LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,496 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 3.75 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: When a house in Los Angeles pops up on the open market that bills itself as "celebrity owned" Your Mama usually has to rack our brains, ask our friends, and/or scour the internet to figure out why said "celebrity" is famous. That wasn't the case with a 1920s micro-compound in the foothills of Hollywood that was listed over the weekend with an asking price of $1,998,000; It's owned, according to our research and resources, by comedic actor and former Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Kattan.*
Spritely Mister Kattan, in case you didn't know, was born in the San Fernando Valley, spent some formative years on a Zen retreat on Mount Baldy near L.A., and went to high school in Washington State. His late father, Kip King, was a veteran voice over actor which means there's some Showbiz in his blood. He Mister Kattan was a member of The Groundlings improv group in L.A. before he landed on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1990s. He made a name for himself at SNL with over-the-top impersonations (i.e. Clay Aiken, Alanis Morrisette, Geraldo Rivera, and Queen Elizabeth II) and committed, hyper-manic portrayals of kooky characters like Mister Peepers, Azrael Abyss, and the exceedingly effete male exotic dancer Mango.
Since he quit SNL—or moved on to greener pastures or left amicably to pursue other opportunities or whatever was the sitch—Mister Kattan has popped up in a slew of television programs and movies, most of which Your Mama has never heard of nor seen. Since 2009 he's had a recurring role as a used car salesman on the sitcom The Middle, has a couple of starring roles in the upcoming movies Harvey (with Dennis Hopper) and Walk of Fame (with Malcom McDowell), and has lately jumped on the stand up circuit.
Property records and other online resources show Mister Kattan purchased his house in the foothills of Hollywood back in September 2001 for $1,070,000 and listing details show the 2,496 square foot main house, a sort of Spanish-y cottage tucked behind towering ficus trees, a high will, and an ornate iron gate, was originally built in 1924 and was previously owned (in the 1970s) by diminutive Tinseltown power player Danny DeVito. Your Mama gleaned from the listing description that there are two bedrooms and three bathrooms in the in the main house and, we have to assume, a fourth bathroom in the funked up detached, two-story guest/pool house.
There are well-worn wood floors throughout the main house and, in the not particularly formal "formal" living room, there are wood-framed windows, crown moldings, and an original Batchelder tile fireplace. A bank of French doors opposite the fireplace opens to a shady, foliage enshrouded dining terrace that can also be accessed through French doors in the adjoining formal dining room that listing photos show has a red, possibly Venetian glass chandelier that's (obviously) much too puny for the room.
In a bedroom-sized den/family room that also adjoins the living room Mister Kattan has loads of artwork (and movie posters) hung salon style and a short wall of floor-to-ceiling shelves is chock-a-block with cd (or movies or something). There's an over-sized television, an extensive record collection on the floor, and, above the doorway to the living room, a shelf with what appears to be a rather curious collection of decorative pillows. The green, "K" emblazoned rug is, quite simply, unnecessary icing on an already over-frosted cake.
Besides the wood-beams on the ceiling, the narrow, galley style kitchen leaves much to be desired. The white, hardware-free raised panel cabinetry is perfectly middle brow, the bull-nosed grey-speckled counter tops (of unknown material) are woefully dated, the white appliances are of average-grade, and the greenhouse window over the sink is jam-packed with knick knacks and paddy whacks that Your Mama knows deep in our soul would drive our persnickety house girl, Svetana, to a conniption of astronomical proportions. Just off the kitchen there's a small room set up as an office and with another godawful greenhouse window, also filled to its ever-loving gils with dust-collecting hoozy-goozies.**
The main level master bedroom is nicely sized and has lots of windows and French doors plus a step up niche that leads out through French doors to the backyard. The compact but well-equipped master bathroom has one pedestal sink, a soaking tub for two, and a separate glassed-in steam shower with multiple shower heads and built-in corner bench.
The super-sized, semi-subterranean lower level guest suite is certainly larger than the vast majority Manhattan studio apartments with both interior and private exterior entrances, wood floors, and a wood-burning fireplace. There's also pale celadon paint on the walls, lots of old school track lighting on the ceiling, and an unholy hodgepodge of of furnishings. (We feel the red rug but Mister Kattan clearly didn't get any decoratin' genes.) Two small windows with bars over them probably don't do much in terms of adding natural light to the room and the attached, white-tiled private bathroom is roomy enough to make guests comfortable but, like the bedroom, also has bars over the wood-framed windows.
The small, courtyard-style backyard has flagstone terracing, tropical landscaping, and dark-bottomed lagoon-style swimming pool nestled tightly between the main house and the wacky-looking guest/pool house that some will find pleasantly eccentric and others will surely snipe is architecturally deformed. Listing photos suggest Mister Kattan used the partially wood-paneled upper level of the guest/pool house as a secondary office space/writing room and the Saltillo-tiled lower level, with its bizarre bank of downwardly-angled windows, was done up by Mister Kattan as some sort of low-brow hookah lounge with a partly fabric-tented ceiling treatment and a weary, boho coffee house worthy collection of mismatched furnishings.
Mister Kattan's—ahem—day-core is all but non-existent and all his (over-)abundant collections make Your Mama feel more than a mite claustrophobic but, truth is, we'd still much rather look at personal and personalized interior spaces like this than all the too-perfect and grimly personality-less high-brow interiors presented in most glossy shelter publications. Call us crazy but 'tis true, chickens and kittens, 'tis true.
We haven't a clue as to Mister Kattan's future real estate plans but iffin any of the children do, feel free to holler at Your Mama, okay?
*Fun fact of absolutely no importance: Once upon a time, when he was still on Saturday Night Live, Mister Kattan and Your Mama lived in the same building in New York City. We heard through the grapevine he got kicked out for being too loud (or some such thing) but that was just some idle elevator gossip we heard from one of the more indignant busybody queens who lived in the building at the time. Anyways...
**Rule #12 of Your Mama's Big Book of Decoratin' Does and Don'ts expressly forbids the installation of terrarium-like greenhouse windows even for use, as originally designed, to conveniently grow kitchen herbs.
listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty