A fellow property gossip (a handsome young man from the north!) contacted Yolanda outta the great blue yonder last week. The dashing young fella — we’ll call him NoMo Snow — generously tipped us off about a rather straight-laced residence in the traffic-jammed Westwood area of Los Angeles. Mr. Snow snitched that the house recently was acquired by a man named Ben Winston. And sure enough, property records plainly reveal the conservatively-styled casa was snapped up by Mr. Winston and his wife Meredith for $3,500,000 this September (2016).
He may not be a household name in the vein of Brad Pitt or Steven Spielberg or, say, Harry Styles, but director/producer and Brit export Mr. Winston is a very big deal behind the scenes for some of the world’s biggest celebrities. He produced Justin Bieber’s imiginatively-named concert video/documentary This Is Justin Bieber and and he is the co-executive producer of Brit sensation James Corden’s Late Late Show. You know, that Carpool Karaoke fool. The 35-year-old Mr. Winston is, however, perhaps best-known for his close friendship with those One Direction boys. He produced their This Is Us and A Year In The Making specials and directed several of their music videos. Yolanda hasn’t a clue about what Mr. Winston’s net worth is, of course, but it must be pretty damn high after all that.
Incidentally, some sites say James Corden is Mr. Winston’s BFF. Others say it’s Harry Styles. We haven’t the faintest idea which is correct of course, but we’re sure many fans of both stars are just dying to fill us in with the trufax. You can’t have two besties, right? So spill that tea!
This house is — as far as we can tell — Mr. & Mrs. Winston’s first house in LA. But then again, Mrs. Winston was seen dining out in Malibu with Harry Styles a few months ago so perhaps they were previously renting a house? Hmm.)
But anywho, Mr. Winston’s new house carries a Brentwood zip code, but the property is actually located just about 200 yards east of the eternal parking lot known as the 405 freeway. That means the structure is actually situated within the Westwood neighborhood. Technically speaking.
For those of y’all not from Los Angeles (or those of you from Los Angeles in dire need of a geography lesson), Westwood is located east of Brentwood and directly south and across Sunset Boulevard from Bel Air. The area includes the Wilshire Corridor luxury condo area and is anchored by the massive 419-acre complex known as UCLA. For any of you young’uns applying to college, Yolanda recommends you skip that school. There are better ones in the area. Hey, Yolanda’s just sayin’.
The three-level Colonial-cum-Traditional thing was built “circa 1940” and squats on a .43-acre lot. There are 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in a big-but-certainly-not-massive 4,610 square feet of living space.
Decorative shrubs set off the front door and brick porch. Polished hardwood floors keep it classy inside.
A black marble fireplace steals the living room’s show. A set of French doors lead to the lush backyard, which we’ll visit shortly. Yolanda quite likes the semi-psychadelic pattern rug, though we’re off our meds today. Could be just a fleeting weekend fancy.
A carpet runner lines the stairs, which keep it traditional with white risers. A teepee attempts (and fails miserably) to keep it inconspicuous in the family room. What’s that for? Maybe to store Louis Tomlinson’s fake baby when not in use? We tease!
Yolanda’s favorite room is, of course, the alcohol room. Or the “bar room”, as the listing more prudishly terms it. We love the intricate wood floors and the vaulted beamed ceiling. All that’s missing are some moose heads. BTW… all those mirrors may not be bringing the correct chi to your Feng Shui.
The home’s kitchen was completely renovated circa 2014 and features marble floors, onyx backsplashes, and high-end appliances (Viking, Sub-Zero). Check out Custer’s last stand on the kiddie table.
The master suite, while admittedly a bit less spacious (and indulgent) than those in newer mansions, covers all the bases with a comfortable bedroom, bathroom with dual vanities and built-in soaking tub, and a walk-in closet that leads to a large patio overlooking the backyard.
Four more guest/family bedrooms are packed into the home, three of them with en-suite bathrooms. There’s even a Union Jack throw rug! Wonder if that sealed the deal for Mr. & Mrs. Winston?
The gracious formal dining room is probably the star of the show, if Yolanda’s being honest. It’s got chairs with teal seatbacks, interesting wallpaper, and clubby wood ceiling beams. And what a lovely view of the garden.
In addition to the freeform dark-bottomed swimming pool, there’s several brick terraces, gardens, and a through-the-treetops view of The Getty. Pretty nice, right? Just remember that this house is very, very close to the 405 and Sepulveda Boulevard. That means Mr. & Mrs. Winston will be dealing with (hopefully faint) permanent background noise at home, despite the sound barrier of the privacy shrubs.
Sadly (?) for Mr. & Mrs. Winston, there aren’t a whole ton of celebrities in Westwood. The closest one, as far as we can tell, is Lakers co-owner Jesse Buss and his former escort wife Jordanna Younger. (They recently paid $3,800,000 for a brand-new house basically down the street). But if Mr. Buss & Ms. Younger aren’t up to snuff for the Winstons, we hope they’ll invite Yolanda over for teatime. We’ve got an itch to test the capabilities of that “bar room” in person.
Listing agent: Bernadette Kendall, Wheeler Steffan Sotheby’s International Realty
Mr. Winston’s agent: Adrienne Martz, The Agency