Christopher Kennedy Lawford, a nephew of the late US president John Kennedy and a son of movie star Peter Lawford, was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Los Angeles, and spent much of his professional life in the city. So when he began to look for a property in LA in 2013, he knew what he wanted.
“Everything I do, I do in my area,” he says. “I don’t leave the West Side: I don’t go east of the 405, and I don’t go south of the 10.” He considered living in Malibu for “about four seconds”, he says, but settled instead on Brentwood, in the hills above Sunset Boulevard.
He bought a small plot of land (about .32 acres) for US$1.3 million at the end of 2013, and told a friend at Tatum Construction “that I have US$600,000 [to spend on] a house”, Lawford says. The house took less than a year to build, and Lawford moved into it in 2014.
Four years later, he’s selling the finished product for US$2.85 million, having listed it with Simon Beardmore of Sotheby’s International Realty.
The home covers about 1,720 square feet. The house is a single-storey rectangle, with rooms arranged in a line.
The kitchen and living area are at one end of the house, while the bedrooms are at the other; one bedroom is currently used as an office. “It’s a very manageable house for one person or a couple,” Lawford says.
The house has three bathrooms, the largest of which has a massive plate glass window and “a giant tub”, he says. “It’s got a great view all the way to the ocean.”
The house is relatively small, but it’s built with accordion glass doors that open onto a large deck, giving it a spacious feel. “Those doors wrap around the whole house,” Lawford says. “What someone else could do is make the porch area, which is about 500 square feet, into another room.”
In a continuation of the home’s indoor/outdoor feel, a spa area stretches off the living room, with a large hot tub and a nearby, refrigerated plunge pool. Next to both is a sauna.
The house is surrounded by vegetation. “I was looking to wake up and not know I was in LA,” he explains. “I’ve brought in giant bamboo and surrounded the house with foliage. So it’s hard to see any of my neighbours, but I’ve got a great vista.”
Behind the house, the driveway goes up a sharp incline to reach the road, which Lawford considers a benefit. “The steep driveway might dissuade some people from buying it,” he says. “But I like the driveway – I consider it a moat, and I’m at the bottom of it, where no one can get to me. LA is a really crowded place, and when I got home, I wanted to feel like I wasn’t around a lot of people.”
Lawford, who gives speeches about addiction and recovery and writes books, splits his time between this house and a residence in Maui. “I live in this house about two months a year,” he says. “It hasn’t had a lot of wear and tear.”
He’s selling the home, he says, for variety’s sake: “I like to vary my climate, and I don’t get that in LA and Maui,” he says. “I’m trying to find a way to get to Vancouver, as long as I can get out in the winter time.”
He’s not, however, desperate to sell. “I don’t have to sell,” he says. “If I get my number, I’ll sell it. If I don’t, I’ll give it to my kids.”