Architecture and Design

Frankie Muniz Is Selling His Phoenix Estate — Here's a Look Inside

Frankie Muniz is on the move. Maybe.

The former child star and current Valley resident has put his Biltmore-area home on the market, and he's asking $3.5 million.

The most famous face of FOX's Malcolm in the Middle — or at least, most famous face pre-Breaking Bad — followed former girlfriend Elycia Marie to Phoenix back in 2009, where the two made headlines by starting a Twitter war with former New Times music editor Martin Cizmar and having the cops called to settle a domestic dispute.

While 2003's Agent Cody Banks might be the last movie Muniz made that anyone actually saw, the actor has kept a pretty ink-generating profile, at least here at home. In the decade since he was named "Most Bankable Teen," he's spent his time as a celebrity race-car driver, celebrity golf player, and celebrity drummer for otherwise unknown bands — the first being the now-defunct Scottsdale outfit You Hang Up. Muniz quickly got back behind the kit, though, joining Pennsylvania-based Kingsfoil in 2012 before leaving due to "scheduling conflicts" a few years ago.

So, what's Hollywood's proverbial middle child been up to since? Selling properties for a pretty penny, apparently. The home at 2100 East Missouri Avenue is the second Muniz mansion on the market this month. According to the Arizona Republic, he's also asking $2.795 million for his home in the Estancia Club in Scottsdale. The New York Post reports he put the same house on the market for $3 million in January. (Back in 2014, he sold his Arcadia-area residence to a well-known golf instructor for $2.85 million.)

Does this mean he's packing up and leaving Phoenix for good? We're not sure. A representative for Muniz directed all New Times inquiries to his real estate agent instead, who told us she couldn't answer personal questions. So, maybe he truly enjoys investing in mansions rather than living in them. Should we expect a new HGTV series, Frankie Flips Out, to debut soon? Who can say? What we do know is this new listing boasts a noticeable "Hollywood" style, with a price tag to match.

The central Phoenix estate sprawls across 2.25 acres and includes the 5,300-square-foot main home, a detached guest house, a five-car garage, a dive-worthy swimming pool, prayer gardens, and a bocce ball court, because why not.

And the private, gated property can be yours for a cool $3.5 million. Yes, 'tis the season for sharing and charity, but it's also a time to treat yourself. Cash in the kids' college funds, sell some stock options, and break the budget — all for the privilege of saying you now live in "Frankie's old place."

A media liaison from the Monson Luxury Group at Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty, which is handling the listing, didn't immediately provide specifics on the home to New Times. But we've watched enough MTV Cribs to pick up on a few things, so let's take a look around.

Built in the 1930s, the four-bedroom bungalow has undergone a complete Scottsdale-Tuscan restoration. The property has been nicknamed "il Segreto," which means "secret" in Italian — get it? (No, you're laughing.) The original homestead has been upgraded with an almost impressive amount of Roman-inspired columns and vine-covered archways. There's even a completely on-theme Roman fountain, which makes perfect sense when you live in a desert where water is infinite. Factor in that deep pool and you're in for a hefty water bill.

The inside of the house features touches of that same relaxing, Italy-inspired retreat with soft finishes, exposed shelving, and rounded corners, coupled with some bizarre sink choices, too much wrought iron, and, yes, more columns. It also looks a bit like every house you've ever spotted while watching a celebrity reality TV show. But at $3.5 million, we suppose that "celebrity" is what you're really paying for. And you'll probably feel like one after spending a night in the master suite, which includes dual bathrooms, a relaxation room, and a bedroom-sized closet.

The realty group is marketing the mansion's kitchen as "farmhouse-inspired" which, sure, though we've never seen a farmhouse tout stainless-steel appliances. The aged look of the stained and distressed cabinets are a nice nudge in that direction, and we'll admit we envy that rustic, floating island, but it also looks a bit like they're trying too hard. How much farmhand kitsch does one kitchen need?

The farm theme stops there — save for a few animal pelt-inspired rugs that cover other floors. The bedrooms are decorated with lots of warm wood and plush, caramel-y leather, adding levity to rooms that, judging by the amount of windows, will benefit from plenty of light. The original architecture style peeks through in the low ceilings and realistically-sized rooms, revealing Spanish Revival roots. It's just coated in too much faux-Venetian plaster to truly thrive.

The highlighted, wooden beams and accents throughout are a nice, approachable touch for a property that seems to have a lot going on design-wise. It's as if every room has a competing concept — and a chandelier to match. While we'd love a crack at the interior designer's budget, it definitely seems to stretch the imagination, and we're left with a modern mansion that can't decide between farmhouse chic and Roman redux. The result is a confused (and overpriced) luxury home of great historical value.

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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard