Through the verdant, winding hills of Laurel Canyon, we find some of LA’s most beautiful homes, like this gorgeous contemporary 5 bed/4 bath, 3,203 sq. ft. residence at 2660 Skywin Way, owned by the same family for 40 years.
2660 Skywin is in a neighborhood where pride of ownership is rivaled only by the desire to preserve the area’s abundant natural resources. (Of course, you get the occasional bizarre story like the one recently about the Audi driver who drove backwards down Mulholland Drive to Laurel Canyon Blvd.)
The Laurel Canyon Association, in combination with the preservation group CLAW (Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife), are working hard to preserve the 17 acres of pristine wilderness that still remains in the canyons, and even have a campaign called “Let’s Buy A Mountain” to help in that effort.
It’s a move that the area’s original inhabitants, the Tongva, would likely be pleased with.
When developer Charles Spencer Mann began developing the area as a tourist attraction and vacation destination away from the hubbub of the main city drag, he knew what he was doing. The area boasted abundant water, acres of banana, apricot, lemon, and other trees, and of course, unparalleled views.
Laurel Canyon was the first mountain subdivision in the LA area, a 250-acre subdivision that Mann made available for sale in 1907. Mann called a desirable section of the area “Bungalow Land,” attempting to lure vacationers and the like from the high prices and hassle of Beverly Hills and Hollywood. According to a 1931 copy of the San Bernardino County Sun, Mann sold these lots for $50-$300 for $10 down and $10 monthly. (Can you imagine?) He built the nation’s first trackless trolley to ease the trip for prospective buyers.
Slowly, a community began to form in the canyons. Mann built Laurel Tavern to cater to the visitors’ dining and adult beverage needs.
But it was the 60s-70s rocker area for which Laurel Canyon became truly known. From the likes of Carole King to Jim Morrison to Frank Zappa, and the infamous Wonderland Murders that happened in 1981, the canyon was visited by some of the world’s most illustrious (and dangerous) people.
In Michael Walker’s book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock’s Legendary Neighborhood, he writes “The musicians flocking to the canyon—at night caterwauling coyotes and hooting owls made you marvel that you were only five minutes from the noise and neon of the Sunset Strip—constituted an unprecedented breed of incipient celebrity: the rocker hippie.”
This home was built during that time of Laurel Canyon’s heyday, in 1971. The wooden trim, carpeting, and pale beige/pinkish walls hint at 70s style design…
The dining room, with its sloping ceiling, wooden trim, and wide picture window continues the 70s vibe while keeping the space cozy yet comfortable. A decorative chandelier with mini lamps ensconced in it adds just the right touch.
The kitchen contains all the basics and provides a great sightline to the rest of the space. Wooden cabinets and track lighting offer a balance between a contemporary and rustic design. Spanish tile is a nice touch keeping the home rooted in its context of Los Angeles living.
The living room opens into a less formal den, offering just the right amount of space for family bonding and relaxing.
But the 70s aura really dominates when it comes to this bedroom, for the obvious reason of…say it with me, ROYAL BLUE CARPET.
And a matching blue bathroom, to boot.
Well, if there’s a blue bedroom, there’s gotta be a pink one, amiright?
Naturally, a dainty pink bathroom with mosaic chandelier and delicately printed wallpaper is in order here.
The master bedroom is a considerably more demure butter yellow. Spacious and sunny, it continues the open, homey feeling of the rest of the home.
Yes, the bathroom matches the bedroom perfectly, and has those absolutely divine Jack and Jill sinks.
But the biggest draw of the master bedroom is the gigantic walk-in—a perfect repository for all those bell bottoms and thigh high boots.
The property has ample outdoor areas for sunbathing, gardening, and entertaining. The backyard is especially verdant, and sports majestic canyon views that are unmatched by any other location in the city. The home is enshrouded in a variety of trees that not only add natural beauty, but a significant degree of privacy.
It’s these views and the comfort of living in a neighborhood where residents really invest in preserving all the great attributes of the area that keep families like the one that once lived at 2660 Skywin around for so long. It’s worth braving the winding, narrow streets for the peace of mind that comes with living in, well, peace.
2660 Skywin is just a mile from the Skyline Drive home that mega-star/musician Pharrell Williams purchased earlier this year for a cool 7 mill. Designed by Belzberg Architects, this stunning 1.5 acre property looks like something straight out of the Jetsons, with a folded plate roof and wall-to-wall glass windows.
And just a couple of miles south of the Skywin home is the fabulous Mulholland Tennis Club, which is the local hangout for the neighborhood’s wealthy residents who want a private place to play, or simply relax using one of the club’s many amenities.
All in all, though Laurel Canyon is a far cry away from its more bohemian, proletariat days of yore, where rockers would hole up together in an old bungalow and create art, it still retains much of the charm from that era.