Perhaps no celebrity is more synonymous with green living than Ed Begley Jr., the veteran actor best-known for his starring role on “St. Elsewhere” and guest starring gigs on shows like “Portlandia” and “Arrested Development.” Together with wife Rachelle Carson and his now-adult daughter, the hardcore environmentalist long shared a one-bathroom 1930s Studio City bungalow that was sold off about five years ago.
The main floor contains a media room, office and formal living and dining spaces; upstairs includes the three bedroom suites, two of which sport endless ocean views. Indoors, the Cranstons selected décor that is both decidedly neutral and chic, providing a calming contrast to the pounding surf just beyond the towering walls of glass.
Completed in 2012, the distinctly contemporary structure boasts three bedrooms and 3.5 baths in 2,396 square feet of living space. Naturally, a slew of state-of-the-art eco-amenities exist inside and out of the home: photovoltaic and water heating solar panels, a tank for rainwater collection, radiant heated floors and recycled materials.
One pretty, magnolia-lined street in Santa Monica has long been popular with people seeking a balmy evening stroll. Most of them walk right by a particular modern house without giving it a second glance; partially hidden behind trees and painted a subdued shade of charcoal gray, the place doesn’t beg for attention.
Lisa Ling’s Santa Monica Home Is Energy Neutral
New York City and its hotly contested condo wars arguably kick-started the eco trend; with no shortage of luxury apartments available, green features can often be the deciding factor for buyers. And perhaps the building that’s most successfully lured celebrities and other high-profile folks with its sustainability pitch is Battery Park City’s Riverhouse.
Century City Building Sets Eco-Luxe Bar High
Passersby might be surprised to learn the house belongs to journalist Lisa Ling, former co-host of “The View” and host of CNN’s “This Is Life With Lisa Ling” since 2014. And this isn’t just another contemporary Santa Monica home — it happens to be the city’s first-ever energy neutral residence, having also earned a platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
A 5,000-gallon water tank lies in front of the home and collects rainwater from the roof. Though the house is large, Ling and Song’s monthly energy costs for the place are practically nil, thanks to 60 roof-mounted solar panels that supply electricity for hot water and radiant floor heating. And at Song’s request, a waterless urinal was installed in the master bath; according to the maker, Kohler, the fixture can save up to 40,000 gallons of water per year.
The initial outlay is clearly not for the squeamish: The 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom 3,026-square-foot unit pictured above is listed at $5.75 million. Condo owners enjoy twice-filtered air, a gray water recycling system, sustainable teak cabinetry in the kitchens, bamboo floors, arrays of solar panels and lower energy costs than comparable apartments in not-so-green buildings. Constructed in 2006, the 32-story condo building was built to gold LEED-certified standards, every facet of the complex designed to reduce a buyer’s carbon fooprint.
Bryan Cranston Goes Green on the Beach in Ventura
For their next eco-minded project, the Begleys selected a south-facing lot in one of Studio City’s best neighborhoods. They built a new residence, completed in 2016, which combined the characteristics they sought in a dream home: French country-style architecture for her, environmentally conscious features for him. Acclaimed architect William Hefner handled the design; contractor Scott Harris at Building Construction Group oversaw the five-year project.
Outdoors, a giant sunken conversation pit in the front yard is lined with artificial turf. Designed by sustainability expert Marco DiMaccio, the new house was completed in 2010, per records, and sports four bedrooms and six baths in 4,352 square feet of living space. Other areas are sustainably yet lushly landscaped with indigenous plants and a rock garden.
Ed Begley Jr.’s Studio City Pad Builds Sustainability
Ten Thousand was Century City’s first multifamily high-rise to achieve gold-level LEED certification, and was constructed with materials formed from more than 20% recycled content. Residents also enjoy a high-tech irrigation system, native flora and rain-harvesting tanks. Perhaps regrettably, those amenities slightly overshadow the building’s impressive eco-friendly nature; in fact, it’s perhaps the most environmentally sensitive luxury condo building in the city.
Elegant and clean-lined both inside and out, the house includes a master bath with tile crafted entirely from recycled bottles, and hardwood flooring recycled from barns. An outdoor, chlorine-free pool is purified by an ozone system, and there are fruit trees planted in the front yard — instead of the typical water-gorging grassy lawn — plus native plants scattered around the California Oak-studded lot.
Inside, each apartment unit features contemporary interiors with high-end finishes, while walls of glass drink in the panoramic views that capture the Hollywood Hills, the Pacific Ocean and everything in between.” />
Lumber from the old roof was resurfaced and used as hardwood flooring; items not reused were donated to Habitat for Humanity. For Ling and radiation oncologist husband Paul Song, sustainability was paramount on their list of features when seeking to build their dream home a decade ago. Though they tore down an existing structure on the 0.2-acre lot, they achieved a 100% diversion rate — the home’s materials were used on the new residence; nothing wound up in a landfill.
But that's no longer the case. Bryan Cranston, Lisa Ling, Ed Begley Jr., Leo DiCaprio and other famously eco-friendly celebrities show us that in this modern age, you really can have it all. Green living is sometimes thought of as a lifestyle fraught with compromise — comfort and efficiency sacrificed in the name of sustainability. And sustainably, too.
It’s no secret that eco-oriented building amenities at luxury condo and apartment complexes have proven effective lures for wealthy homebuyers, as marketing strategies for residences across the country display.
He may be best known for “Breaking Bad,” but Bryan Cranston is even more devoted to going green. His Mussel Shoals beach house, designed by Turturro Design Studio, is Platinum LEED-certified and was the first passive-house-certified residence ever built in Ventura County.
DiCaprio liked the place so much that in 2014, six years after purchasing his apartment there, he dropped another $8 million to buy a neighboring unit. Riverhouse buyers have included Leo DiCaprio, Tyra Banks, Oliver Stone and Sacha Baron Cohen.
With all its eco-friendly features, the residence qualifies as a net-zero home — meaning it produces as much energy as it uses. But it’s the perfect marriage of form and function that really set the property apart, proving that environmental consciousness and attractive design are not mutually exclusive.
The swoopy house looks like any other custom-built contemporary beach house, which is just fine with Cranston, who aimed for the highest level of sustainable style and comfort with zero compromises in his new pad. “We know we have succeeded if our guests ask incredulously, ‘This is a green home?’” he told Dwell magazine.
Built to exacting standards at a reported cost of $300 million, the 40-floor tower packs in 283 rental residences, with monthly rates ranging from $9,000 to about $25,000 (the penthouse goes for a cool $65,000). The building’s strikingly angular, glass-sheathed façade was inspired by the work of modernists Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, designed by Handel Architects in collaboration with Shamir Shah Design.
Residents share a 50-foot lap pool, a fitness center with yoga studio, concierge services, on-site valet parking, pet grooming suite and a landscaped rooftop garden. Of course, just because the building is green doesn’t mean it comes without a laundry list of less virtuous luxury perks.
A gray water system recycles for irrigation, as does a 10,000-gallon rainwater collection tank. The Platinum LEED-certified residence spans 3,896 square feet with four bedrooms and an equivalent number of bathrooms, according to records. The structure itself includes 12-inch thick walls for optimum insulation and a recycled-steel frame. Amenities include Lutron automated lighting and shades, which dim and rise on timers for maximum energy efficiency. But from the outside, the property appears to be an elegant French-style house, not unlike many others in the surrounding area.
Riverhouse: Manhattan’s Greenest Condo Building
Banks, who has long owned one of the Riverhouse’s most lavish units, had her mansion-sized duplex on the market back in 2017 with a $17.5 million asking price. Though the spread didn’t sell, archived photographs reveal just how much fun it can be to go green: Her condo sports panoramic views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty, a private fitness room, hair salon and spacious library.
Marketing materials provided by Crescent Heights, the building’s New York-based developer, also tout the compound’s private outdoor park that includes 100 trees, an amenity that benefits air quality and provides a wee oasis in the sea of concrete that is urban Los Angeles.
Equipped with all the latest solar arrays, the energy-neutral property features a two-car garage with electric car chargers and off-street parking for at least six additional vehicles.
has to offer. Located on bustling Santa Monica Boulevard just steps from Beverly Hills, Century City’s new Ten Thousand building is likely the glitziest condo living L.A. With an extensive amenities list that includes an 80-person staff, in-house dog walkers, indoor and outdoor pools, on-site botox injections and a robot butler named Charley, one might be forgiven for wondering if the complex is less about quotidian existence and more of an extended resort-style vacation for the very well-heeled.

Rihanna, who retains a large home in her native Barbados, briefly owned a property in West Hollywood, Calif., that she bought in August 2017 for $2.75 million and sold in early 2018 for $2.85 million and she continues to maintain a not quite 3,500-square-foot three-bedroom condo on a high floor of an ultra-luxe tower in L.A.’s Century City she scooped up just over four years ago for $5.45 million.
Listing photos: The Agency” />
All but invisible behind a towering wall of foliage and camera-secured entry gates on close to half of an acre with an over-the-palm-trees city view, the property offers six bedrooms and eight full and two half bathrooms in a total of about 7,130-square-feet divided between the three-story main house and poolside guesthouse atop a detached two-car garage. The glamorously and expensively outfitted residence, an unusual mix-and-match Craftsman meets Mediterranean contemporary, has high ceilings, arched doorways, a slew of glitzy light fixtures and steel-framed windows and doors.
Just over six months after her Los Angeles residence was busted into by an intruder/stalker who hung around inside the lavish house for 12 hours, mononymic Barbadian pop phenom Rihanna has unsurprisingly hoisted the property near the base of Nichols Canyon up for sale at $7.495 million. The nine-time Grammy winning fashion icon purchased the property about 1.5 years ago for $6.8 million.
The kitchen features textured wood cabinetry and grey and white striated stone countertops that waterfall over the ends of a huge, T-shaped island with integrated dining table and a state-of-the-art home theater has eggplant-colored walls and a wide-screen projection system. A pair of golden chandeliers lights the stone-tiled entrance gallery that leads to a living room large enough to accommodate a grand piano next to the rustically tiled fireplace while the separate formal dining room is lined with tall and slender arched windows. A stone terrace and infinity edge swimming pool and spa are awkwardly positioned next to the parking area between the main house and the guesthouse that marketing materials indicate is “outfitted as a fabulous fitness center” with bathroom. There are four en suite guest bedrooms in the main house, one of the ground floor and three more on the upper floor plus a sprawling master suite that encompasses a separate, city-view sitting room, a fireplace and decadently appointed bathroom.

listing photos: Michael McNamara/Shooting LA for Partners Trust” />
A small, secured and lushly planted courtyard entry behind striking, blue glass panels leads to a massive glass door that pivots open to a loft-like, open plan living space with gleaming hardwood floors, a fireplace, floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that open to the yard and a chef accommodating kitchen daringly fitted with acid green solid surface countertops. Originally built in 1962 and later remodeled in a manner listing descriptions described as a “modern homage to the Case Study Houses,” the 3,821-square-foot single story contemporary offers three bedrooms plus an en suite bonus room suitable for an office of gym, a total 4.5 bathrooms and open plan living spaces that spill out to a resort-style yard with shimmering nighttime views over Los Angeles.
Having failed to entice a buyer when listed on the open market from late June to early October 2017 with a $13.5 million price tag, veteran sitcom superstar Matthew Perry sold his former home in the Bird Streets neighborhood above L.A.’s Sunset Strip late last month in a surreptitious, off-market deal valued at $12.5 million. The syndication rich “Friends” star, who more recently co-starred in the three-season sitcom reboot of “The Odd Couple” and wrote and starred in the play “The End of Longing,” which opened in London and ran off-Broadway in New York City last year, has owned the slick and sexy city-view contemporary since August 2011 when he picked it up for $8.5 million.
Tucked beneath the master suite, a state-of-the-art screening room with exterior entrance features large picture windows into the watery depths of the swimming pool. Large stepping stones across a shallow pond with two theatrical fire chalices links the living area to the backyard that incorporates a small bit of lawn, a covered patio for dining and lounging and an LED-lit infinity edged swimming pool that butts up to the master suite where a huge glass slider opens and allows direct entry to the pool from the master bedroom.
Like many successful entertainment industry luminaries with the financial fire power to do so, Perry also maintains a prodigiously pricey and stylish ocean-front residence in Malibu, a Scott Gillen designed organic contemporary with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in about 5,500-square-feet that he scooped up in the fall of 2011 for $12 million. The high-floor unit, where his upstairs neighbor is deep-pocketed syndicated television widow Candy Spelling, sprawls across an entire floor that measures almost 9,500-square-feet with four bedrooms and five full and three half bathrooms plus four terraces and a banquet hall sized living room with two fireplaces. Perry swapped his Bird Street nest for a much grander, mansion-sized aerie at the prestigious and exceedingly expensive Century tower in Century City he bought in May 2017 for $20 million.