The living room fireplace will leave you slack-jawed and open-mouthed. There, stretching from floor to ceiling, is Bacchus, the hedonistic god of wine, with mouth agape, doing double duty as a fireplace.
The quirky plaster fresco, with its ring of sharp incisors, wild hair and flared nostrils, is a guaranteed conversation stopper, or maybe starter—especially with flames flickering from a roaring fire.
The origins of this funky, over-sized wall decoration aren’t clear, but it certainly reflects the playful character of the home’s owner, actor and two-time Academy Award winner, Geena Davis, star of the beloved 1991 road flick Thelma & Louise.
Davis, 64, has lived in this five-bedroom, 5,146-square-foot Mediterranean-style villa for the past 13 years, splashing out $4.19 million for it in 2007, shortly after wrapping up her run in the hit TV series Commander in Chief, which won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Built in 1999, the home sits on a 17,000-square-foot lot on a quiet, tucked-way cul-de-sac in leafy Pacific Palisades, a stone’s throw from the western end of Sunset Boulevard and a quick drive down to the beaches, Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica.
Here there’s no guarded entry, no security gates or imposing fences; it’s just a peaceful, somewhat unassuming house on a street, with a low, rustic, wood-framed fence separating home and sidewalk.
The front of the barrel-tile-roofed villa is dominated by three side-by-side garages and arched front door with masses of bougainvillea decorating the façade.
The front door leads straight into a foyer with views ahead to Bacchus in full yawn. The Spanish influence is seen in the lovely colored tiles on the floor, white-washed walls and soaring vaulted ceilings with imposing arches.
Off the living room is a casual dining room with French doors leading out to a secluded, tree-shrouded, covered terrace. Close by is the recently remodeled kitchen with its large central island, gray-green stone countertops and backsplash, white cabinets and gorgeous mosaic tiles behind the gas range.
The first floor is also home to two of the five bedrooms, each with its own distinct character. We love the quirky Japanese room with its painted wall featuring Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa, whimsically countered by a surfboard mounted on the wall.
The rear garden is the home’s secret hideaway, with its shady vine-covered pergolas and terraces leading down to a grille and dining area, lovely rose garden and lawn. But one surprising omission—especially for an A-list Hollywood star’s home with a $6 million price tag—no swimming pool, though there’s certainly space to dig one. And the private beach clubs along the nearby Pacific Ocean are a short bike ride away.
Upstairs are three of the five bedrooms, which include the spacious owner’s hideaway. It features a stunning vaulted-ceiling, gnarled wood beams, gorgeous fireplace with hand-painted tile surround.
French doors lead out to a private terrace with a wrought-iron balustrade and views over the lush gardens. Just off the master is a cozy sitting room with its wall of built-in bookcases.
The master suite also comes with dual bathrooms and walk-in closets and a light-filled private office/study. The highlight of one of the bathrooms is the free-standing, shiny-chrome bathtub.
“This is a very special offering filled with romance and charm in a fabulous Palisades location,” says listing agent David Offer, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeService California Properties.
What Offer is reluctant to reveal, however, is the location of the home’s key safety feature—a fortified panic room.
There’s no word either on why Davis is parting with her longtime home. Perhaps it has to do with her recent split from her husband or there’s a can’t-miss upgrade on the horizon—with a pool. But look for the actor on the silver screen in upcoming feature films Ava and Cowgirl’s Last Ride.