Ryan Murphy Doing It Again in Laguna Beach

SELLER: Ryan Murphy
LOCATION: Laguna Beach, CA
PRICE: $8,500,000
SIZE: 4,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms (main house); 2,500 square feet, 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (guest house)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Emmy-winning writer/director Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck, Running With Scissors, Popular) has been on a bit of a real estate spree the last couple of years and as such Your Mama has several times dissed and discussed his multiple property transactions. In fact, we last dished on Mister Murphy's real estate activities less than two weeks ago and today we're going to yammer on some more about the increasingly prolific property shifter.

We first discussed Mister Murphy way back in May 2008 when we read the beads of his mid-century modern house in the hills behind the star-choked Chateau Marmont Hotel, then listed at $4,195,000. Finally, nearly three years later, Mister Murphy sold his stylized albatross in April 2011 for $2,775,000.

Next up on the docket for Mister Murphy was the purchase of a Ralph Flewelling-designed hacienda-style mansion of exceptional beauty in Beverly Hills, CA acquired in September 2010 for $10,000,000 from Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton, an architectural sophisticate whose avocation is the flipping of significant homes in some of Los Angeles's most plush zip codes.

A well-informed real estate insider snitched to Your Mama in late April (2011) that Mister Murphy was in the process of purchasing Academy Award winner Charlize Theron's ocean front beach house in Malibu, CA. We sat on the information for quite some time until our pal Lucy Spillerguts was able to confirm that the deal was indeed done. In early June (2011) Your Mama revealed that Mister Murphy, fresh on the high heels of his ten million dollar buy in Bev Hills, coughed up a considerable and considerably complicated $6,562,500 for Miss Theron's modestly scaled boho beach front cottage that occupies the same stretch of sand as homes owned by Stephen Dorff, David Spade, Candy Spelling and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne.

Shifting gears for a moment...

Yesterday Your Mama prattled on (and on and on) about a recently sold Beverly Hills (CA) home that had had its wig curled and nails did by decorator to the rich and famous–and newly minted reality tee-vee star–Mary McDonald, a Gucci-clad dervish who never met an inconsequential three thousand dollar knick-knack she didn't declare a God damn steal. As it turns out, in a happy sort of celebrity real estate accident, the haughty but extremely likable Miz McDonald plays a part in today's discussion about Mister Murphy's ongoing exercises on the celebrity real estate hamster wheel.

Beverly Hills and now Malibu are not the only swank SoCal locales where Mister Murphy currently owns property. Thanks to a cache of intel that rather fortuitously and unexpectedly found its way into Your Mama's myopic field of vision, we've learned that our Mister Murphy is fixin' to foist his Laguna Beach, CA compound on the market with an asking price of $8,500,000.

The property, comprised of two prime parcels in the desirable and convenient Temple Hills 'hood in The Village section of the once arty-farty now bejeweled and upscale beach community, includes a substantial guest house and a larger main house with day-core worked over by none other than–surprise!–Million Dollar Decorators' Mary McDonald. The two houses–each on its own parcel–sit on an approximately 1.25 acre promontory with panoramic bird's eye views up and down the dramatic and intoxicating (and arguably over built) Orange County coastline.

Property records show that Mister Murphy acquired the first part of his two-piece Laguna Beach real estate puzzle in March of 2005 when he paid $4,475,000 for the portion of the property that includes the main house. The house shares a swooping private driveway with a smaller residence that property records show Mister Murphy–along with his b.f.f.–snatched up in January 2007 for $3,340,000. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that Mister Murphy (and his b.f.f.) are into their coastal compound for a total of $7,815,000 not counting the upkeep, taxes, carrying costs and extensive fees associated with the renovation and decoration of the two residences.

Mister Murphy had the main and guest houses, originally built in the 1960s, renovated by noted Laguna Beach architect Mark Singer. Combined, the two abodes contain 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, 3 kitchens and garage space for 4 automobiles plus a carport for one more.

Mary McDonald, we were informed, only did up the day-core for the main house that measures around 4,500 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. The main house was originally built for a pair of pianists who not only spent big bucks to have the living room designed with optimal acoustics but also to have a bomb shelter installed. This was the 1960s, children–the Cold War–when many Americans feared the Russians were coming with their nuclear bombs and communism.

Architect Singer outfitted the main house of the casually luxurious compound with walls of sliding glass panels and concrete slab floors that Your Mama can only hope and pray have a radiant heat system for warming the tootsies on damp and foggy coastal mornings. No expense was spared on all manner of imported pocketbook punishing finishes that include such exotic sounding materials as Calacatta Borghini marble.

Miz McDonald took over where Mister Singer ended and furnished the living room of the main house in a somewhat uncharacteristically muted palette that includes a couple of seating groups and a number of organic and "beachy" accessories such as what appears to be a driftwood lamp. A pair of crisp and clean-lined taupe-colored sofas square off over a coffee table on which pretty books are stacked. A spiky, mean-looking object sits in the center of the coffee table and looks like it would happily take an eye out if an eye came too close. A pair of matching armchairs with fat stainless steel feet were upholstered in a steely blue shade that mimics tones in the ocean seen through the vast wall of glass sliders that marry the room to the lushly landscaped grounds and monumental view.

Miz McDonald took things in a more glammy sort of masculine route in the master bedroom, the sort of masculine that–let's be honest puppies–wouldn't be very manly if it were owned by a heterosexual male. Miz McDonald installed (or retained) a rather unusual parquetry ceiling crafted in a concentric square pattern, padded the walls and covered them with imported blue linen–how delish!–and furnished the bed with a duvet that appears to be made of fur. A chocolate brown tufted Florence Knoll style settee holds a couple of bolsters in the exact same shade of blue as the wall–a Mary McDonald decorative ism to be sure–and a high-glitz mirrored coffee table holds stacks of picture books topped with a trio of sculptural knick-knacks that combined probably cost more than most of the children paid for their car.

Terraces ring the residence and extend the interior living spaces to the outdoors. This is southern California after all where it's possible to comfortably enjoy outdoor living spaces pretty much all year round. A pergola built with copper-framed 200-year old reclaimed oak defines an ocean-view living/dining area off the main house with outdoor fireplace. Nearby are an over-sized fire pit and an over-sized salt water spa with lounge platform complete the scene.

The guesthouse, larger and more luxurious than most people's primary homes, sits across the motor court from the main house, measures around 2,500 square feet and includes 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, newly installed hardwood floors, fireplace faced with imported stone, custom-designed kitchen and the same $8,500,000 views up and down the craggy coastline as the main house.

Deep pocketed and interested parties can direct inquiries to listing agent Ann Eysenring (310-413-7663) at The Partners Trust.

photos: Luke Pidgeon Photographic