Friday, February 5, 2010

Crime of the Week

Let me tell you about the nouveaux riches. They are different from you and me.

811 N. Linden Drive, Beverly Hills

I've driven by this 1988 "Tuscan-style" house in Beverly Hills many times and, admittedly, admired its commanding situation, on the raised triangular intersection of Linden and Whittier Drives.

Commanding position: the knoll at Linden and Whittier Drives.

But now that it's on the market (for $6.495 million—the listing is here), I've had a chance to see how its affluent owners (or tenants?) have been living. It's not pretty.

For starters, the entry hall is a crude, disproportionate affair that, with its tawdry furnishings, immediately sets an amateur, DIY tone and makes me suspect that the owners designed the place themselves with no input from a trained architect, much less any real knowledge of architectural precedent.

The carpeted staircase is fit for a suburban townhouse condo, and the cheap white glazed tile continues throughout major sections of the ground floor.

Drama-less DIY.

The downstairs space is confusingly laid out and contains rooms of dubious utility, not to mention appalling ugliness.

Bookless library? Knick-knack storage area? Stand-by-the-fireplace room?

Sooner or later, we run into this mysterious timber-ceilinged lair, the purpose of which can only be to further vex and annoy anyone with a love of architecture or interior design:

Office? Art studio? Torture chamber?

Continuing upstairs, the master bedroom is a vacant, ill-proportioned shell of a room with oppressively high ceilings made worse by the lack of crown molding
perhaps the most uncozy sleeping quarters I've ever seen. (I will spare you the several children's chambers.)

Wha happunnn?

And the façade, for all its imposing symmetry, is hardly more than an anemic affectation of a Tuscan villa.

Villa Pretensiosa.


  1. Egads! The exterior didn't look so bad, other than the smallish windows and the cheap entry door, but that door should have been left closed!

    The entry reminds me of a Holiday Inn Express. That ceiling in the office looks like it's going to crush its occupants. Almost forgot the "tuscan" can lights drilled into the "wood".

    I thought it wouldn't get any worse until I checked out the website. I was wrong. You spared us the bordello powder room with the floating golden chandelier.

    It would take a mil (at least) to remove all of the ugly.

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