2125 Upper Kress: A Tranquil, Modern Getaway in the Hills of Laurel Canyon

2125kress_exteriorNestled in the heart of Bungalow Land, 2125 Upper Kress is a stunning, private property that features 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 2-car garage and boasts magnificent canyon views. Located in arguably one of the most magical neighborhoods in LA, the home is situated in the coveted Wonderland school district. Set above the road, this incredibly peaceful 3,624 square foot retreat is the ideal oasis for creatives who are looking for inspiration amidst the glorious foliage—and from the fabulous history of its denizens—that Laurel Canyon has to offer. Currently available for Lease

2125kress_livingroomLaurel Canyon’s location is tough to beat. It’s close enough to all the major studios and thoroughfares, yet a far enough stretch away (along gorgeously winding roads) to feel comfortable. Perfectly private yet lacking in any of the stuffiness that other affluent LA neighborhoods have to offer, the area is a friendly, artistic enclave full of eclectic, and sometimes palatial architecture. (Um, there’s a Mount Olympus nearby mmkay?!.)

The completely remodeled home features hardwood floors throughout, high ceilings, and multiple picture windows that filter in tons of natural light. The living areas are comfortable, clean, and private without feeling particularly cloistered from the outside world. You can thank the abundant foliage and sweeping views for that.

Like a properly seasoned cast iron pan that imparts flavor into each dish it cooks, we could also argue that a home’s past owners cumulatively have some bearing on the home’s aura. In the case of 2125 Kress, we’d hope so. The home was once owned by musician Chad Sexton, drummer of the popular alternative band 311.

Chad Sexton of 311, photo courtesy of Drummerworld Magazine

Chad Sexton of 311, photo courtesy of Drummerworld Magazine

311_transistorHe purchased the home in 1997, the same year, 311 released their album, Transistor, and sold it in 2008 for $1.7 million. For those of you who either selectively or unintentionally missed out on the post-grunge era of the 90s, Sexton was one of the founding members of 311, a band he started along with Nick Hexum, Aaron Wills, and Jim Watson in Omaha, Nebraska that saw the zenith of its success in the late 90s with chart toppers like “All Mixed Up” and “Down.”

Photo courtesy: http://www.311.com

Photo courtesy: http://www.311.com

They were Ska-meets-rock-meets-reggae from the mouths of babes with close-cropped platinum blonde hair. This writer certainly rocked out to a few of their songs at various music festivals. (In oversized plaid, of course.) Ahh…the 90s.

2125kress_kitchenThis isn’t one of those look-but-don’t-touch kitchens. Get in there and mix it up. A comfy yet spacious kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a kitchen island that doubles as a breakfast bar. All the culinary must-haves for a gourmet dinner or a Paleo-friendly snack after Crossfit.2125kress_diningroomA simple and spacious formal dining room with gorgeous views makes this the perfect place for a dinner party…or, if you’re a musician, a place to set up your recording equipment. Creativity reigns in the canyons. Laurel Canyon has long been a welcoming home to some of the most legendary names in the music industry’s counterculture movement. Jim Morrison, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas, Frank Zappa, Carole King, and other music legends have all found a home within the canyons at some point. Photographer Jim McCrary shot the cover of Carole King’s bestselling album Tapestry (along with her cat Telemachus) at her first Laurel Canyon home on nearby Wonderland Avenue. Tapestry, released in 1971, was one of the bestselling albums of all time, with over 25 million sold.

Not convinced? Take a (short) self-guided tour of Laurel Canyon created by two of the former members of The Doors.

Carol King Tapestry Album Cover

Carol King’s 1971 hit album, Tapestry

2125kress_patioBut really, we came for the outdoors. Don’t want to dine inside? Then…dine alfresco. There’s no need to stay in when you can enjoy a tranquil meal on this expansive stone patio flanked in the protective, verdant sycamores, chaparal, willows, and oaks of the canyons. Listen carefully, and you might hear a woodpecker or spot the friendly flit of a finch. Despite decades of development, Laurel Canyon has retained so much of its natural beauty and is home to abundant wildlife and flora, thanks to conscientious residents.2125kress_bedroom1One of the home’s four bedrooms.2125kress_bathroom1All the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. Oh there’s something seductive about red walls…

2125kress_bedroom2The master bedroom is spacious and sunny, and includes an adjacent private patio and fireplace for those chilly nights in the hills.2125kress_masterbathThe master bedroom also comes with expansive master bath and bathtub. Like the black-and-red bathroom, this too has gorgeous tiling. The interiors are impeccably done—each room offers something unique, yet all is incredibly tasteful. Perhaps that is the influence of the home’s current owner, Ondine Angarola Langford.

Ondine is the daughter of Richard Angarola, a well-known character actor who starred in Papillon, Jeremiah Johnson, and Gambit. Ondine’s grandfather is the reputed American artist Anthony Angarola, and her grandmother Marie was a concert pianist. There’s no doubt that taste and artistic sensibility passed through the family and is reflected in every aspect of this home.

Judas by Anthony Angarola. Photo courtesy of chicagomodern.org.

Judas by Anthony Angarola. Photo courtesy of chicagomodern.org.

2125 Upper Kress offers multiple opportunities to enjoy the expansive vistas of the canyons. A glass of Pinot Grigio in one hand and a great book in the other is probably the best way to enjoy this patio.2125kress_viewBesides the beauty of the eclectic mix of Mediterranean, Spanish, and Bungalow homes, Laurel Canyon’s major draw has always been the sense of refuge it offers its inhabitants. The area has a long tradition of providing respite, ever since Charles Spencer Mann began developing the area in the 1920s. He marketed the area as a place for Angelenos to vacation, and built the first trackless trolley to help make it easier for people to visit.

Kress Street was named after Joseph Kress, the original owner of the nearly 4 acres that make up what was originally known as the Kress neighborhood. For obvious reasons, the area was originally called Bungalow Land.

West Hollywood/Laurel Canyon before development in the 1920s photo courtesy of Laurel Canyon association

West Hollywood/Laurel Canyon before development in the 1920s photo courtesy of Laurel Canyon association

Laurel Canyon has come a long way since Mann first envisioned it—but what still remains is the spirit of innovation, creativity, and comfort that has permeated the area for generations. Books and articles about Laurel Canyon’s fascinating history are a testament to that. The residents of 2125 Upper Kress are lucky enough to be amidst—and the progenitors of—these remarkable spirits.


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