Danny Elfman and Bridget Fonda's Eccentric Homes
Award-winning music guru Danny Elfman and his wife, retired actress Bridget Fonda, are ready for their next chapter.
The couple is selling a pair of two eccentrically decorated homes in Los Angeles, California. The two multimillion-dollar houses are right next door to each other in the historic and exclusive Fremont Place neighborhood, and they've been done up to look like something out of a Tim Burton movie.
That's a good thing — at least in our opinion (yours may vary). And these homes are awesome to gawk at. Come take a tour.
These are the two homes. The one that looks like an "F" on the left, and the "guest house" with the black square roof on the right. Fonda decorated the entire guest house, while it looks like Elfman had more of a hand in decorating the main house.
The one on the left is for sale at $8.8 million. The one on the right is up for grabs at $4.888 million.
We'll take a look at the most expensive property first.
It's No Nightmare Before Christmas
The two homes are being sold separately but can also be purchased together for $14.5 million.
The main home is 8,346 square feet and has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
It's 'No Weird Science,' Just Good Decor
Elfman rose to fame with the funky, multi-instrumental new wave rock band Oingo Boingo, which he formed in 1979.
They're probably best known for the song "Weird Science," the theme song to the John Hughes "Weird Science" movie and its television adaptation starring Vanessa Angel.
The Living Room
The living room is flush with colorful furnishings, antiques, unsettling figurines and religious artifacts. The far end of the room has an impressive floor-to-ceiling window with floor-length drapes that are flanked by wall tapestries. The ceilings measure 20 feet.
Taxidermied animals, like that alligator head and the snake on that antique table, can be found here and throughout the home. Elfman told The Wall Street Journal that all of the taxidermied pieces are from the 19th century or earlier.
"That’s where I draw the line," he said. "I don’t know why I feel less guilty if it’s over a century old. It’s like it’s now taken on a different life or something."
A Skeleton by the Fire
A curious skeleton figurine with extra-long arms warms its tail by the stately fireplace.
It might look like something out of Tim Burton's imagination, but it's a real spider monkey skeleton.
The Sun Room
This room is a fresh green with arched white windows and well-worn furniture, indicating that the couple like to spend their time in this room.
According to Architectural Digest, this room was entirely designed by Fonda.
Soaking up the Sun
Fonda has remained out of the public eye for quite some time, opting to retire from acting at the age of 38 in 2002.
She married Elfman in 2003.
The house was built in 1920 and still has some original architectural details, like the fireplace in here and in the living room.
Records indicate Elfman purchased the home in 2000 for $2.125 million.
The Dining Room
The dining room features another large, stately fireplace and some more figurines from the 1920s.
There's a taxidermied turkey here — fitting, since the place was put up for sale in the fall of 2020 — and a coffered ceiling with hand-painted octagon shapes.
A $3 Million Restoration
Elfman and Fonda spent $3 million renovating the house.
That included having the ceiling handpainted back to its original splendor.
They Can Afford It
While $3 million is outside of our price range by several orders of magnitude, Elfman and Fonda can afford it.
The couple is worth an estimated $50 million.
The classic farmhouse kitchen has hardwood flooring, recessed lighting and wooden countertops.
The Viking stove has been painted a custom purple to complement the home's eccentric decor.
The Breakfast Room
The breakfast room has black-and-white checkered marble flooring with a tall, groin vault ceiling.
The chairs are upholstered with a pattern and color typical of the kind you'd see on wallpaper in the early 20th century.
A Dramatic Entryway
This foyer leads to the ballroom and features woodwork that's original to the Jazz Age house.
The grand ceiling is painted and no doubt redone during that expensive renovation.
The ballroom is the most stunning room of the home.
A stage is located at the far end of the room, a place where Elfman or his friends can play for guests.
A ceiling-length skylight lets natural light wash over the room, while the cathedral-like moldings make this room unique.
Shall We Dance or Watch a Movie?
You can't party every night, so the ballroom was given a drop-down screen and doubles as a home theater.
The Recording Studio
Elfman is one of the most prolific and accomplished composers for film and television, creating music for 16 movies by Tim Burton, including "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Batman," as well as the scores for the three "Men in Black" films and the theme songs to "Tales from the Crypt" and "The Simpsons."
"The Simpsons" theme song made him lots of money, as to be expected. "Those are the three notes that kept me in health insurance for 25 years," Elfman told Classic FM, likely meaning the song kept him in the Writer's Guild so he could keep his health insurance while working on other projects. "It was such a weird show. I thought it was going to run two or three times and disappear forever."
Elfman wrote the theme song in "in one day … in the car on the way home from the meeting, and ran downstairs to my studio, recorded a demo, sent it out. That's exactly what plays at the beginning of 'The Simpsons.'"
Golden Age Influences
The house doesn't have an old Hollywood feel just because Elfman wanted the decorations to fit the home's history.
Elfman's major influencers were active during the Golden Age of Hollywood. He has credited composers like Bernard Herrmann and Kurt Weill.
A Wood-Coffered Ceiling
This is one of the home's six bedrooms. It has a coffered wood ceiling similar to the one found in the dining room.
The Power Couple
Between them, Fonda and Elfman have five Golden Globe nominations, three Emmy Awards and four Academy Award nominations.
The two met on Sam Raimi's 1998 neo-noir thriller, "A Simple Plan." Fonda had a starring role in the film, and Elfman scored it.
Bridget Fonda's Bedroom
This bedroom — which oddly isn't the master, which isn't photographed — is outfitted with furniture that was given to Bridget from her grandparents, Henry and Frances Ford Fonda.
Henry was an Academy Award-winning actor who starred in "The Wrong Man," "12 Angry Men" and "On the Golden Pond."
His daughter, Jane Fonda, is Bridget's aunt.
Bridget's last role was as the 2002 made-for-TV Hallmark movie "Snow Queen."
She and Elfman had a son, Oliver, in 2005.
He's now 15 years old.
The pool is one of those classic 1920s rectangle pool, complete with a spa and water-spewing grotesque feature.
The property is enclosed in tall walls covered in plants and ivy.
Two long, wooden tables placed end-to-end under a vine-covered veranda create a shady place to eat and drink on the brickwork patio.
Beast or Beauty?
While we dig the weird decorations and the old-world architecture, some people don't. Here's a sampling of some YouTube comments under Architectural Digest's video tour:
- "perfect home for some 200 year old vampire."
- "$14.6M to buy, $10M more to redecorate and get exorcised."
- "Looks haunted and like the set of a horror movie."
- "if everyones grandparent's house was on steroids and acid."
But wait, there's more house to explore! On to the next house.
The House Next Door
This is considered to be the "guest house," even though it's on sale for $4.888 million.
Elfman bought the home for $3.6 million in 2015.
Iit was a gift to his wife.
Enter with Flair
The home has four bedrooms and six bathrooms with 4,238 square feet of living space on a 0.37-acre lot.
The front door hints at the kind of style to be found inside.
The Living Room
This home was originally built in 1912 but was remodeled into a midcentury modern style in the 1970s.
When Elfman and Fonda bought it, it was in a bit of a fixer-upper state. Fonda was the one who redesigned it.
Midcentury Modern Stylings
The home is decorated in midcentury modern furniture, and all the items are appropriate to the period.
A cool feature that we don't see anymore is the sunken living room, which we think should make an architectural comeback.
Fonda kept the textured plaster walls and funky tiles.
She also added a big, plush, U-shaped couch that fits perfectly in this nook.
The coolest part of the home has to be this bar, which is original to the 1970s remodel.
According to Architectural Digest, this thing isn't just for serving booze. There's a milkshake machine behind there, too.
It's a Difficult Place to Be a Cynic
Elfman is a self-described "cynic-ologist," an ancient Greek philosophy from the Socratic period.
But it has got to be difficult to be cynical in a place like this, which is so bright and open.
The Breakfast Nook
Eat a light meal under this boho lamp in this small breakfast area. The room has a post-atomic kind of feel, and it's pretty rad.
In the ceiling, close to the breakfast bar, is an automated drop-down projection screen.
The Dining Room
The dining room has wormwood walls and a decorative brickwork space with a set of three "casks," which probably don't work.
The kitchen is swathed in that cool 1970s yellow, which is all original to the remodel.
They even kept the fluorescent lighting.
This is a bedroom that Fonda converted into her own office. It's a loud room, with mint green walls, black trim, and leopard-print carpet.
You know who else likes leopard print carpets? The members of Motley Crue.
One of the home's bedrooms is also designed in a very loud fashion, with red, yellows and blues.
According to Architectural Digest, Fonda was inspired by the maximalism design, which stresses excess and "more is more."
According to the Wall Street Journal, Elfman and Fonda are moving to a smaller home in Los Angeles until their son graduates high school, but then plan to move outside of the city.