“Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy spend $4.5 million in Studio City

Hey y’all, this is a pretty slow week for real estate so we’re gonna pull one out of the archives for today. If that bothers you, don’t fret — Yolanda will have something current soon enough. Just sit back and relax.

So anyway, let’s jump right in. It seems that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy — the married creators of that wonderfully wacky hit HBO show Westworld — have decided to spend a few of their newly-acquired millions on a secluded mini-compound in Studio City. And yes, this sale actually went down last year, but we only caught wind of it recently. The purchase was done off-market through a blind trust and it does not appear that anyone else has written about it. So, well, here we go.

Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy

We have no clue as to the exact net worths of Mr. Nolan and Ms. Joy, but Yolanda can only imagine they are fabulously rich. After all, Westworld is a massive hit — its first season was the most-watched of any original HBO series. Ever! And should the show eventually go into syndication — Yolanda would guess there is a very good chance of that — the Joy-Nolans will likely be loaded for the rest of their lives.

Anyway, Mr. Nolan was born in London and raised between there and Chicago. Although Westworld only blew up within the last couple years, he has worked consistently in the industry for the last two decades, frequently co-writing hit films with powerhouse film director Christopher Nolan. (Yes, in case y’all were wondering, the Nolans are brothers).

As for Ms. Joy, she is a Harvard Law graduate who was raised in New Jersey by her English father and Taiwanese mother. Some of her career work prior to Westworld included writing for both Pushing Daisies and Burn Notice (she also served as co-producer on the latter show). She and Mr. Nolan have two young children, one boy and one girl.

Since 2009, the couple have been Studio City homeowners. And it seems they were well-off long before the Westworld show was even a proverbial twinkle in their four eyes — Yolanda would estimate that their Studio City starter house (which they still own, for now) is worth at least $3 million. More on that place in a moment.

The Joy-Nolans’ new Studio City home is located in the family-friendly (and celebrity-approved!) Colfax Meadows neighborhood and sits very privately at the end of a cul-de-sac. The .44-acre flat lot is invisible from passers-by thanks to imposing wooden gates and a high red brick wall.

To be frank, y’all, Yolanda is not particularly fond of this little estate. Sure, Studio City is quite nice and we do like the quiet serenity this property offers, but the house itself is kinda oddball. It looks like a Traditional ranch house that badly wants to be a contemporary but doesn’t quite know how best to go about it. Yolanda finds the front-facing garage doors rather cheap lookin’, we don’t love the olive green paint or the red brick driveway, and the interior of the house is currently rather brown and depressing.

Don’t call Yolanda a complainer! We are just pointing out that this place could use some sprucing up, some simple improvements. (And apparently Mr. Nolan and Ms. Joy are keenly aware of that — word on the street is that they already are giving the ol’ gurl a major renovation). But we digress.

Anywho. The mini-compound includes a main house of 4,510-square-feet with 3 beds and 3.5 baths, a guest house of 770-square-feet with 1 bed and 1 bath, and a 485-square-foot pool house with a three-quarter bath. For all you bean counters, that’s a total of more than 5,700-square-feet of living space with 4 beds and 5.25 baths on nearly a half-acre lot. For that, Mr. Nolan and Ms. Joy paid just under $4.5 million — $4,480,000, to be exact.

The main house features a large great room with vaulted ceiling and exposed wooden beams. A giant, eye-pleasing floor-to-ceiling expanse of windows overlooks the lush backyard, which is landscaped more akin to a tropical resort in Bali than a typical house in the San Fernando Valley.

A double-sided fireplace fronts both the living room and the step-up dining room, which opens to the skylight-equipped kitchen. A large island features bar-style seating — perfect for the modern family’s on-the-go lifestyle — and fancy Viking stainless appliances.

The master suite includes stunning Brazilian teak hardwood floors and more vaulted ceilings. The house was originally built in 1939, but has clearly been  remodeled — check out the trendy all-glass shower and soaking tub. The bathroom also features dual vanities and Turkish marble countertops. Fancy!

Other deluxe features of the main house include a recreation room, a gym, and a basement wine cellar (temperature controlled, naturally).

Outside, the tranquil grounds include a stone patio with a firepit, a lagoon-like pool with rock waterfall feature, and plenty of green lawn for kids and domestic pets to frolic upon. According to the listing, some of the property’s tall trees are more than 100 years old.

The rustic guest house has both hardwood and tile floors and includes a wee kitchen with dated appliances, an eating area, and a living room. Large sliding doors open to provide easy access to a narrow covered porch and the pool area. Ah, such peace! (Though the property is wonderfully private, it is mere minutes to a wide variety of shopping and dining destinations on always-bustling Ventura Boulevard.)

This house, it turns out, also has a bit of a celebrity pedigree: in the early 2000s, it was briefly owned by Oscar-winning producer Grant Heslov, a guy known for his frequent production collaborations with George Clooney.

The Joy-Nolan $2.1 million Studio City starter house

And as previously mentioned, Mr. Nolan and Ms. Joy have lived in Studio City since (at least) 2009, when they paid $2,100,000 for their family starter house. At that time, the global economic recession was in full effect, so Yolanda expects that the property is now worth more than $3 million. The heavily remodeled mid-century modern sits on a gated .69-acre lot high in the Studio City hills. Records indicate it has 4 beds and 4 baths in 3,579-square-feet of living space.

It appears that the couple still own their first house, and we currently find no trace of it on the market. But as they say — these things are only a matter of time.

Listing agent: Dennis Chernov, Keller Williams Studio City

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