Modern Family’s Julie Bowen selects a mid-century gem

Today is Thanksgiving for the Yanks among us! In addition to life and health, Yolanda is thankful for the numerous cool houses all over LA. And no, sillies, we don’t just have McMansions out here. Take this sublime mid-century modern quietly purchased late last year by accomplished actress Julie Bowen. (Yeah, we were a bit slow on the uptake).

Ms. Bowen is best-known these days for her long-running role on the hit sitcom Modern Family — for which she has won two Emmy Awards — but she’s had a successful Hollywood career for 20+ years now, starring in numerous bigtime shows and films. Ever heard of Lost, Boston Legal, Happy Gilmore, Dawson’s Creek, or Ed? Sure you have.

A couple months ago, the Baltimore native finalized her divorce from longtime hubby Scott Phillips, with whom she shares three sons between the ages of 9 and 11. As such, Ms. Bowen has bid a fond “hasta la vista” to her groovy mid-century residence in Studio City (Mr. Phillips got that in the split) and headed up the hill to her swingin’ new single lady house.

Julie Bowen in her former home (photo: instyle.com)

Now, Ms. Bowen is a very wealthy woman — she reportedly hauls in $12 million per year and consistently ranks among the top 10 highest-paid TV actresses. So while we imagine she can afford just about any house she wants, Ms. Bowen doesn’t go in for hulking Beverly Hills mansions the way some other actresses do. Like, oh, say, Sofia Vergara. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

No, it’s quite clear that Ms. Bowen has a taste for stylishly cozy mid-centuries, so that’s what she has selected. And she wanted this place quite badly, too — the house sold barely a month after being listed and property records show Ms. Bowen paid $3.1 million — $250,000 more than the asking price.

Built in 1959 and designed by noted architect Thornton Abell — he’s also responsible for Case Study House #7 — the glassy structure has a wee bit of Hollywood history. Back near the dawn of time (October 2000) it was acquired for just over a million bucks by prominent real estate agent Jonah Wilson, a son of Beach Boys co-founder/guitarist Carl Wilson. Our Mr. Wilson then spent another $700k+ on a comprehensive restoration and expansion overseen by architect Tony Unruh and Bonura Building.

In 2005, Mr. Wilson sold the property for $2,530,000 to Veronique Passani, widow of legendary actor Gregory Peck. It seems Ms. Passani — may she RIP — wisely changed very little about the house before her 2012 death. It appears the house was then inherited by her son Tony Peck, the fella who recently sold it to Ms. Bowen.

Just for the record, this is one of Yolanda’s favorite homes ever profiled on here. (And no, we haven’t even started drinking yet). Yep, we’d hardly change a thing — save for that ugly blacktopped driveway, maybe.

Located way high up in the Hollywood Hills, on a quiet street just off iconic Mulholland Drive, the 1.03-acre property is commendably private. A long driveway leads to a large security gate and a tree-lined motorcourt. And while the home does not have a conventional garage, there is a two-vehicle carport — arguably a more graceful manner of automobile storage anyway.

According to the listing, the butterfly-roofed home has 4 beds and 3.25 baths in 3,212-square-feet of living space spread between the main structure and separate guest quarters. Nifty features include a garden atrium entry, sliding glass walls/doors, terrazzo floors, and a sexy bar with teak cabinetry.

The kitchen has been updated with high-end stainless appliances, and we’d love to get our hands on that swoon-worthy round table and chairs. For chilly nights, there’s an original outdoor fireplace. No word on if the foosball table was included with sale, but certainly Ms. Bowen’s boys will make use of it if so.

The master suite (expanded during Mr. Wilson’s ownership) features a fireplace, sitting area, walls of glass and a pool view in the bedroom, and the bathroom has a soaking tub and skylights.

Two of the other three bedrooms sport sliding glass doors with garden views, and the expansive pool is surrounded by a concrete terrace and drought-resistant native landscaping.

Ms. Bowen’s lovely new digs are only a few minutes (by car) from her ex’s Studio City house, so schlepping the kids back and forth between the two stunning mid-centuries — lucky kids — shouldn’t present much of a hassle. Seems like a nice, modern setup for a modern family.

Listing agents: Stephen Apelian & Johnny Schell, Coldwell Banker
Julie Bowen’s agent: Cindi Dameshek, Keller Williams

7 Replies to “Modern Family’s Julie Bowen selects a mid-century gem”

  1. Sandy SantaMonica says: Reply

    I have to agree. This house is fabulous. Hats off to Wilson for a museum quality restorarion. Any house that can make Terrazzo look this chic is a keeper. I give it five very Swanky stars *****

  2. That fireplace! That bar!! That chandelier!!! I’m swooning!!!!

  3. Marry me, Julie.

  4. that’s the real deal and a perfect time capsule. If there was a view it would be a poor man’s Stahl house.

  5. Sandy SantaMonica says: Reply

    ‘a poor man’s Stahl house.’ Lol. Perfect. A backhanded compliment, but a compliment none the less.

  6. Sandy SantaMonica says: Reply

    ‘Complement’ Yikes. Too much tryptophan in the turkey.

  7. This house and a view would cost $10 million. Nothing “poor man’s” about that. LOL.

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