Aussie Actor Toni Collette Snags Tinseltown Pied a Terre

SELLER: Toni Collette and David Galafassi
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,330,000
SIZE: 2,236 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms (plus 1 in the pool house)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was recently reported here, there, and every damn where that soo-blime Academy Award winning Australian actor Toni Collette (United States of Tara, Little Miss Sunshine, Sixth Sense, Muriel's Wedding) and her musician man-mate David Galafassi, who already have one two year old named Sage, will soon be proud parents to a second shortie.

It was also reported last week in the Australian celebrity (real estate) gossip columns that Miz Collette and her Mister had applied for permits to allow an expensive renovation of the beach house they bought last year in Tamarama, a swank seaside suburb a few miles east of Sydney.

As it turns out, the upcoming overhaul of their Tamarama residence isn't the only real estate news being made by Miz Collette and her Mister. Thanks to our wickedly well informed tattletale Lucy Spillerguts we've learned that the duo from Down Under recently shelled out $1,330,000 (US) for a home in Los Angeles. It's perfectly understandable they'd want a pied a terre in Tinseltown since the newly preggers Miz Collette, her Mister and their toddler tot Sage spend a great deal of time in Los Angeles where she films and delivers a tour de force performance on The United States of Tara as a suburban housewife with a diverse collection of personality alters that number at least half a dozen.

What endears Miz Collette and her Mister to Your Mama's cold and dark real estate heart is that they didn't feel the senseless need to splash out on a showy, celebrity style estate in the 90210 or even the 90027; That's Bev Hills and Los Feliz, children. Instead they went for the the much more downmarket 90038 zip code, a center of the city locale not normally associated with celebrity residents. While it might more correctly be called Hollywood, many Real Estates might try to call the neighborhood Hancock Park adjacent or maybe West Hollywood adjacent while real estate snobs, the sorts of folks who can't bear to drive their Bentleys east of La Cienega unless it's north of Sunset Boulevard, will consider this neck of Lala Land the 'hood. But it's not. It really isn't. It's a lovely, leafy street in a somewhat unremarkable and un-fussy but well-kept and, generally speaking, safe section of Los Angeles. For what it's worth–and it ain't worth a cookie jar–Your Mama much prefers a residence that leans towards humble rather than big and brassy so we'd live there without complaint.

Although there really are scads of neighborhoods throughout the city where residents can walk to a charming commercial shopping district, true to stereotype and the Missing Persons, nobody walks in L.A., not if they don't have to. Your Mama sincerely believes that many Angelenos would happily chew off their pinky toe to be able to drive from the living room to the damn kitchen. Miz Collette and her Mister have opted for a new nest in a modest if not particularly inexpensive neighborhood where they can–should they have the very un-L.A. inclination to do so– actually walk to a myriad of shops and restaurants. They can easily pop down to Susan Feniger's Street, over to Pizzeria Mozza, and up to DeLuscious Cookies & Milk. Even better perhaps, they're just around the corner from the yummy and quirky Blackman Cruz showroom where faboo furniture and other pocketbook punishing decorative accouterments abound, like a rare and dee-voon Dan Johnson designed Gazelle Lounge Chair that could easily set a person back ten thousand clams.

A little digging around on the interweb and Your Mama learns that the walled, gated and fenced 1924 Spanish casa was purchased as a fixer-upper in March of 2008 for $650,000 (US). As best as we can assess, the house was gutted, given a major re-do and flipped back on the market in January of 2009 for $1,495,000 (US). Over the next 18 months, the property was de-listed and re-listed more times than we care to count and the price slowly shaved down to $1,395,000 (US), the asking price when Miz Collette and her Mister purchased the place.

Listing information shows that Miz Collette and her Mister's Los Angeles, CA crash pad measures 2,236 square feet, includes 3 bedrooms, 3.5 poopers and a wide front porch shaded by a trellis woven with bougainvillea. The customary and expected cluster of rooms in a typical Spanish-style cottage in L.A. have been blown out to create an open plan living space. The sizable living/dining room includes glistening walnut wood floors, prominent but minimalist fireplace, and a classic, arched floor to ceiling window. Directly behind the living/dining room a crisp and clean, white and stainless steel kitchen was did up and done over with concrete colored CeasarStone counter tops and a massive work island/breakfast bar. The kitchen opens into a cozy–which means kind of small–family room where wood framed French doors provide access to a raised deck that runs the full width of the back of the house. The small deck is just spacious enough for a barbecue, a table with a couple of (Panton) chairs and one of those double-wide chaise lounger biznesses that Your Mama loves so much.

Three bedrooms line up like ducks in a row along one side of the house. The master bedroom at the very back, with French doors that swing open to the backyard, has a gleaming white bathroom with spa tub, wide vanity and separate glass enclosed shower that Your Mama thinks might have benefited from a built-in seat or shelf for lining up all the shower gels, body jellies and salt scrubs. Maybe, given the vast number of 90-degree angles formed by the tile work and cabinet construction, something friendlier and less hard edged like a not yet petrified tree stump or an antique hand-carved Chinese stool. Thoughts?

The deck at the back of the house steps down to the back yard where a narrow strip of lawn divides the swimming pool and spa from the one-time garage now legally converted to a pool house with hardwood floors, kitchenette and bathroom. One of those new-fangled "fire ribbon" things separates the swimming pool from a wide and smooth privacy wall onto which movies and slide shows can be projected. We j'adore the projection wall but could have done without the "fire ribbon," a tiresome design trend and cliché conceit that makes Your Mama need a tall gin & tonic to chase down a fat nerve pill.

In addition to their recent real estate acquisition in the United States, Miz Collette and her Mister have also been lightening and switching up their property portfolio Down Under. It was reported in the Australian papers in 2008 that Miz Collette and her Mister pulled in $1,610,000 (AUS) when they divested themselves of an eco-friendly getaway a couple of hours outside of Sydney.

In July of 2004 Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi paid around $5,000,000 (AUS) for El Mio, a sort of Spanish-Mission style mansion compound built in 1928 in the Bellevue Hill neighborhood of Sydney. Your Mama discussed the 5 bedroom and 2.5 pooper property in early August of 2009 when the couple had house on the market for a rumored asking price in excess of $6,500,000 (AUS). Shortly after we worked the place over, it sold for $6,400,000 (AUS). We don't, contrary to popular opinion, think there's any connection to the two events.
Some older reports declare that property rich pair sold a beach house in Sydney's eastern suburb of Tamarama. And maybe they did. More recent reports, however, reveal that Miz Collette and her Mister paid around $4,400,000 (AUS) for a 4 bedroom and 2 pooper property (above) in Tamarama and the latest "news" on their new Tamarama spread is that they've applied for permits to begin an extensive $2,500,00o (AUS) renovation that includes an addition to the back of the house as well as the addition of a swimming pool and spa.

As far as we know the couple still own a home somewhere in Ireland that Your Mama imagines is very green.

listing photos (Los Angeles): Gilleran Griffin Company
listing photos (Tamarama): goodyearDonnelly Real Estate via Domain