Photo: The Agency
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So many of the multimillion-dollar renovations in the Hollywood Hills look alike. Sleek white boxes with glorious amounts of glass, modern finishes, and open floor plans blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.
But the sparkling Novogratz castle in the L.A. neighborhood breaks the look-alike mold. The current owner, video game mogul Jeff Strain, has put the distinctive dwelling on the market for $9.4 million. He paid $12 million for the place in 2018, which indicates he’s in a hurry to vacate.
Originally built in 1926, the ersatz castle was purchased by celebrity interior designers Robert and Courtney Novogratz in 2015 for $3,725,000. They completely tricked it out inside, while updating and maintaining its old Hollywood look on the outside.
The cheeky listing details provided by The Agency lean in to the home’s unique charms: “If you are looking for a modern box house with a shark tank and a gazillion car garage with viewing windows … well, we don’t know what to tell you. You be you. However, if you are looking for a fabulous value for your luxury dollar in what might be the best-kept secret in Los Angeles, keep reading.”
While the Novogratzes are responsible for most of the elegant design work, Strain left his high-tech mark on the mansion, adding features on the tech side. The home now features enterprise-grade networking equipment and Wi-Fi throughout the home.
The four-level, 7,732-square-foot home also offers plenty of perks for folks not worried about Wi-Fi. Among them are four gorgeously appointed bedrooms and seven equally beautiful baths.
The home on a half-acre hillside lot comes with citrus trees, a pool, spa, mini basketball court, and outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and dining area.
The interior spaces are full of glam Novogratz touches, including the Boffi kitchen with a Carrara marble island, glass-front Sub-Zero refrigerator, and an adjacent breakfast room with glass doors that open to an elegant terrace with built-in seating and a fireplace.
There are also minimalist luxury finishes like Schotten and Hansen wood floors and Commune tile. There are three or four fireplaces, depending on how you count the double-sided one in the master bedroom.
Interior walls were removed to open up the space, and the areas are now illuminated by large, multipaned windows.
Luxe amenities include a wine alcove, full gym and spa, library, recording studio, arcade room, and high-tech gaming area. There’s also a four-car garage and front motor court, which comes in handy in this area of the hills where streets are narrow and parking scarce.
Perhaps the most mind-blowing of all is the fact the home is being offered completely turnkey. This means the eclectic modern furniture, large-scale photography collection, library of thousands of books personally curated by the Strains, all-new eco mattresses and luxury bedding, fully stocked kitchen featuring an Italian espresso maker, eight big-screen TVs, a full Sonos system, and even a turntable with a selection of jazz and blues albums are included in the sale!
It’s unclear why the Strain family is willing to sell the home at a loss. But the fact that the family is based in New Orleans could have a little something to do with it.
Shortly before he bought the castle, Strain, the founder and CEO of video game development company Undead Labs, sold his company to Microsoft for an undisclosed amount. In December 2019, he announced that he’d be launching a new studio and development academy in New Orleans. Perhaps a chic Hollywood home is a bit superfluous.
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