Friday, July 30, 2010

Astor Courts, Historical Site of Chelsea Clinton's Hitching

Listen poodles, Your Mama was really trying hard not to get on the Chelsea Clinton wedding bandwagon. The gurl deserves to have her day in peace. However, try as we might, our resistance has been worn down by all the hoopla and frequent requests from the curious for information about the upstate New York estate where it is widely rumored and oft reported that Miss Clinton will get hitched to her man Marc Mevinsky, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

Although no one will publicly confirm, it appears the former presidential daughter will be married tomorrow at an historic and privately owned estate overlooking the Hudson River in the quaint village of Rhinebeck, NY. The 50-ish acre estate, most often referred to as Astor Courts, was once part of the sprawling 2,800 acre spread of John Jacob Astor IV, the great-grandson of John Jacob Astor who made a mountain of money in real estate, opium, and fur trades. Iffin you want more extensive information on the Astor family, here's a good place to start.

Astor Courts–sometimes referred to as Ferncliff Casino and/or Astor Casino–was commissioned by John Jacob "Jack" Astor IV and his first wife Eva in the early 1900s as a sporting pavilion and guest quarters to go along with the estate's main house built in the late 1850s by another of the wildly wealthy of the Astor clan. The long and low Beaux Arts style building, inspired by the Grand Trianon at Versailles and completed 1904, was one of the last buildings finished by architect Stanford before he was shot and killed in 1906 at Madison Square Garden by Harry K. Thaw, the notoriously volatile heir to a Pittsburgh coal and railroad fortune.

Along with vast entertaining spaces and several guest rooms, the Astor Courts housed what some believe was the first indoor swimming pool at a private residence, as well as an indoor clay tennis court with soaring vault and truss ceiling of industrial glass, two indoor squash courts, a bowling alley, and a shooting range. There was a grass tennis court that sat along side the building. A scratchy and difficult to make out floor plan of the original structure can be seen here. The children will note the indoor swimming pool on the far left (east), the indoor tennis court at the top (south), and the guest rooms to the far right (west).

Mister Astor divorced Eva in 1909 and married the much younger Madeleine Force in 1911. In April of 1912, at the tail end of an extended European honeymoon, Mister Astor went down with the Titanic. A preggers Madeleine was one of the lucky few who survived the sinking but, it should be noted, neither she nor her son the future John Jacob Astor VI inherited Ferncliff or the Astor Courts sporting pavilion.

The entire estate was instead inherited by Mister Astor's oldest son William Vincent Astor who in the 1940s razed the monumental main house at Ferncliff and, after an extensive renovation and re-purposing of some rooms, moved into the sporting pavilion. In 1953 Vincent Astor married for a third time. His new bride was the once-divorced and once-widowed Brooke Russell Kuser Marshall who became the powerful queen of New York high society Brooke Astor, a formidable woman who once upon a time Your Mama would sometimes see swaddled in fur at big shindigs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Although it has been reported that Miz Astor didn't particularly care for the drafty and vast Astor Courts, the couple used the former sporting pavilion as a country retreat until Mister Astor died in 1959. Subsequent to Vincent Astor's death, Ferncliff was cut up into bite sized pieces, some of which was sold off and some of which–the part where Astor Courts is situated–was donated by The Widow Astor to The Catholic Archdiocese of New York who used the former Astor family playhouse as a nursing home where the old folks were cared for by nuns.

By the 1980s the Astor Courts was once again brought into use as a private residence but much of it architectural luster and detail had been lost, destroyed, or covered up with insensitive "renovations" and layer upon layer of paint, linoleum, and carpeting. In the spring of 2003 the property was purchased for $3,200,000 by its current owners, real estate developer Arthur Seelbinder and his Democratic fundraiser and former tee-vee producer wife Kathleen Hammer.

The well-heeled couple, no stranger to home renovations, soon set off on a journey of renovation and restoration so lengthy, emotionally taxing, and costly they refuse to get specific. According to a New York Times article from 2008, the couple sold a house in Palm Beach as well as antiques and artworks to help fund the massive renovation and restoration costs. The renovations included installing a sky-lit barbering station and bathroom fixtures copied from Stanford White's original plans.

The couple hired architect Sam White–Stanford White's great-grandson–to oversee the renovation of the hotel-sized house that stretches out over 40,000 square feet. According to the New York Times article, the Astor Courts building is divided into three areas: public, private, and guest. The owners' private quarters in the east wing include the master suite, a library–a room Brooke Astor had installed in what was formerly the squash courts–and a Middle Eastern inspired indoor swimming pool with a turquoise groin vaulted ceiling and enormous arched windows with views of the bucolic landscaping that surround the house.

The west end of the building includes a large living room with fois bois moldings, fireplace, and access to a terrazzo terrace that overlooks the Hudson River, a newly enlarged kitchen, dining room, and 4 guest rooms that share two poopers. In between the east and west wings is the entrance hall and the extravagantly scaled main hall that measures 35 by 60 feet with 14.5 foot high ceilings. Underfoot are over-sized herringbone parquet floors and overhead is a shallow domed sky light. The room is ringed with heavy 30-inch moldings and elaborate plasterwork and French doors with with dramatic fan lights on either side of the aristocratic 9 by 10 foot fireplace mantelpiece swing open and overlook the indoor tennis court.

Recent reports guesstimate that the cost of Miss Clinton and Mister Mevinsky's nuptials could soar to as high as three or even five million clams. Although we have no idea where anyone got their information on this stuff, some of the costs of the wedding are reported to include $500,000 for flowers, $200,000 for security, $500,000 in transportation costs for guests, a $25,000 Vera Wang designed wedding dress, and $15,000 for dee-luxe portable terlits of the sort that high-class folks like supermarket mogul Ron Burkle will feel comfortable doing their bizness.

According to one of Gawker's top secret sources, preparations for the big event have included repainting the entire house, installing new landscaping, and preparing a clearing on the property so that invited guests can arrive by helicopter. A no-fly zone has been instituted over the property so that airborne paps won't be able to buzz the nuptials with their telephoto lenses and the children can be assured that the property is crawling with so much Secret Service and other security that iffin your were even to drive by and look cross-ways at the estate's front gates you'll be unceremoniously shuffled off in a brusque and unfriendly fashion.

Since Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter can't make it to the wedding, we'll just wish Miss Clinton and Mister Mevinsky a happy day and happy life.

photos: New York Social Diary

New Digs for Dr. and Missus Phil

BUYER: Phil and Robin McGraw
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: last listed at $29,500,000
SIZE: 15,000 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms, 9 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Anyone and everyone who pays any attention to the real estate machinations of celebs and other high profile peeps already knows that talk show titan Dr. Phil McGraw and his decoratin' demon of a wife Robin recently listed their lavishly done Beverly Hills, CA mansion with an asking price of $16,500,000.

Soon after that tidbit found its way to the surface another juicy nugget came bubbling up out of the celebrity real estate gossip tar pit. Even though The Good (Not A Medical) Dr. and his wifey Robin had yet to unload their mock Mediterranean beast in Beverly Hills they'd already snatched up a newer, bigger, and more expensive monster mansion high in the hills above Beverly Hills.

As soon as Your Mama heard the Mister and Missus McGraw were moving we immediately imagined them moving into something even larger and more grand than their current home because, well, we always suspected that the tough talking celebrity psychologist and his book writing wife were real estate size queens. And sure enough, Mister and Missus McGraw's new mansion, according to previous reports and listing information, measures in the neighborhood of 15,000 square feet and includes 5 bedrooms and 9 full and 2 half poopers in the main house and another 1 bedroom and pooper in the detached guest house above the garage.

The very privately situated property sprawls across more than 3 acres of rugged hillside terrain high in the hills behind Beverly Hills and was last listed on the open market with an asking price of $29,500,000. A massive motor court with a spitting fountain in the center sits at the end of a long gated driveway and separates the main house from the detached garage and guest quarters.

Listing information shows that proportionally odd and squat looking mansion, which listing information called a "romantic European villa," includes a two-story entrance hall with sweeping staircase–natch–drawing room, formal dining room, library game/media room, and a kitchen/family room complex. If the couple's previous estate is any indication of what's to come, Your Mama expects that Missus McGraw will work over the vast interior spaces into an over-stuffed frenzy of faux-Tuscan extravagance mixed with glittery nouveau riche excess.

All four of the family bedrooms are, according to listing information, located on the second floor and each has a private pooper. In addition to dual poopers, the second floor master suite has a private sitting room and terrace. Given that in their previous house Mister and Missus McGraw each had lavish poopers and dressing rooms that combined are probably larger than Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's entire house, we imagine that they'll be creating a suite of poopers and dressing rooms equally as large and over the top dee-luxe in their new house.

A deep loggia with outdoor fireplace, terra cotta tile floors, and brick groin vaulted ceiling runs along a portion of the back of the house and steps down to an expansive back yard with flat lawn, swimming pool, and a panoramic city lights view. Over behind the garage and guest house is a sunken and lighted tennis court.

After it became public knowledge that Mister and Misssus McGraw were on the move, Dr. Phil–or his mouthpiece or some secret source or something–claimed that they were decamping for new digs because they wanted something a little larger to better accommodate their growing family. As far as Your Mama knows Mister and Missus McGraw's family currently consists entirely of two sons–one unmarried and another who's hitched to a gal who bared her naughty bits in Playboy–and one grandchild. We're not sure why their old 11,036 square foot house wasn't sufficiently large enough to accommodate their family of six–it has 8 bedrooms and 7 poopers plus a 2 bedroom guest house, after all–but such are the wacky real estate ways of the rich and famous.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Previews International

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Max Palevsky's Malibu Estate Goes Up on the Block

SELLER: Estate of Max Palevsky
PRICE: $55,000,000
SIZE: 11,303 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 full 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The estate of recently deceased Los Angeles based computer industry pioneer, philanthropist, art patron, and big time lefty liberal political donor Max Palevsky is wasting no time liquidating–or trying to liquidate–Mister Palevsky's legendary residential real estate portfolio. Mister Palevsky perished at 85 from heart failure in early May of 2010 and by mid-July the tech tycoon's George Washington Smith designed mansion in Beverly Hills was up on the block with an asking price of $12,500,000. More on that later.

Word quickly began to creep down the real estate gossip grapevine that Mister Palevsky's may-jer Malibu mansion was to be next out of the real estate gate and sure enough the sprawling, ocean front spread in the Paradise Point area just hit the open market with a blistering asking price of $55,000,000.

Mister Palevsky was a man of many millions, many professional endeavors, and many interests. Stripped of the details, his big life can perhaps be best summed up as being a founder of the semiconductor juggernaut Intel who used his vast fortune to fund Democratic political campaigns and to amass a substantial and important collection of Arts and Crafts knick-knacks and paddywhacks that included Tiffany lamps, Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass, and furniture pieces by Gustav Stickley and Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann.

It appears that the Malibu property was purchased by Mister Palevsky in 1974 for an unknown price that Your Mama would bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly was pennies to the dollar compared to its current sky-high asking price that makes it the second most expensive property on the open market in The Bu. (The most expensive, for those who might want to know, is a secluded 37-acre estate in the mountains with a 9,000 square foot main house and acres of vineyards and orchards listed at $65,000,000.)

Mister Palevsky's six and some acre estate stretches all the way from the bizzy Pacific Coast Highway to a high bluff that tumbles dramatically down to the ocean's edge. The massive main house, a chunky and hunky Spanish Colonial affair, was originally designed in 1975 by Joe Wieser, an interior designer best known for designing banks for Downey Savings. The house sits very near the bluff's edge, a position that provides unimpeded and electrifying views up and down the rugged Pacific Coast.

Listing information indicates the 11,313 square foot main house has a total of 7 bedrooms and 7 full and 3 half poopers, a count that includes a staff room with private pooper near the laundry room and kitchen. There are also, according to listing information, five family bedroom suites each with private pooper slathered in vintage hand-glazed Catalina tiles, and a magnate-worthy master suite that encompasses a bedroom, private office–both of which have fireplaces–extensive closets and storage space, a private deck or two, and a gigantic private pooper with sauna and 2 side by side bathing tubs. That's right, side by side bathing tubs where two people can sit separately in boiling vats of hot water and their own filth.

In the mid-1980s Mister Palevsky commissioned maverick Italian architect Ettore Sottsass to re-work the interior spaces. Mister Sottsass was, of course, the founder of the Memphis Group, an influential multi-disciplinary design collective formed as a reaction to the clean lined modern designs that dominated the high-minded architecture and design scene of the previous decades. While much of the house remains true to its original design, Signore Sottsass injected vibrancy and explosive color into the interior spaces with custom designed furniture pieces and abstract objets that are peppered throughout the house and act as totemic focal points to the generously scaled and architecturally traditional spaces.

Although there's an undeniably grand procession from the front gates to the motor court as well as through the gardens to the mansion's front door, entering the house is a little like Alice going through the looking glass. A surprisingly modest, arched wooden front door in the dignified and stately façade swings open to a spare but monumentally voluminous foyer and stair hall with gleaming coffee colored tile floors with custom inlays, double height ceilings, whimsically scrolled wrought iron stair balusters, and a wacky undulating ceiling that signifies the entrance into the formal living room.

The public rooms include a formal living room with 25-foot ceilings and ocean views, cherry wood flooring, a wood burning fireplace, and a couple of wildly colorful seating clusters that allow for intimate interactions in a room so large it could easily feel like a hotel lobby. The dining room has another fireplace–with an ass-uglee insert–a burl wood coffered ceiling, ocean views, and red wall to wall carpeting with Catalina tile baseboards. That red carpeting, puppies, is so strange, and unexpected, and decoratively hostile that we kind of like it. We'd never recommend it and we'd rip it out iffin this was our house, but there's something very courageous about installing such tawdry wall to wall carpeting in such an expensive and elegant house.

Anyhoo, the family room is enclosed in a sweeping curved wall of glass overlooking the rear gardens and terrace and beyond to the ocean. There are more of the coffee colored tile floors with custom inlays, simple book-filled bookshelves that line opposite walls, a pair of ebony turned columns, a fireplace, and a ceiling that dips and swoops dramatically like the interior of a dressed down cathedral. The room is furnished with little more than a couple of identical deep purple sofas facing the fireplace and two tufted red leather chairs with bulging and curved backs positioned to take in the ocean view.

The kitchen complex, according to listing information, contains several serving areas, 2 dishwashers, 3 Sub-Zero refrigerators, 2 cook tops, a butler's pantry with sink, counter tops and extensive storage, laundry facilities, staff room and pooper, and a round breakfast room with tile floors and floor to ceiling windows,

The Palevsky estate also includes a guest house that sits towards the front of the property and includes, according to listing information, a living room with fireplace, bedroom and pooper with Catalina tile, study/tee-vee room, eat-in kitchen, laundry room and outside storage.

Much but not all of the lavishly landscaped grounds immediately around the main house are enclosed in a 12-15 foot high wall. Access to the property is, natch, through an electronic drive gate and, we would guess, some seriously high-tech security systems. There are palm groves, a small Eucalyptus forest, coastal redwoods, wide swathes of lawn, an orchid shade house, 3-car garage, potting shed, and storage rooms for all the necessary garden equipment required to maintain an estate of this magnitude. A lighted north/south aligned tennis court complex has storage space for ball machines and other equipment, a drinking fountain, and half pooper which is convenient when the urge to do yer bizness strikes in the third set of a heated game of mixed doubles.

A 20-foot by 40-foot swimming pool has a titanic tiled fountain that anchors the far end where a row of tall palms sway gently in the sea breeze, and on the ocean side of the house terraces spill down to the bluff's edge where there is a spa and fire pit. A long, booty-busting and heart attack inducing staircase and path lead down the bluff to a private and sandy beach.

It remains to be seen who if anyone might be in the market for a $55,000,000 beach house. Even at the tippy top of the white hot real estate market in the mid-naughts these kinds of extravagantly priced properties didn't sell quickly or at all. The recent financial fracas and resulting decline in the the markets has been even less kind to Malibu's most expensive properties. Although we heard there were interested parties and even an offer or two made, Cher's $45,000,000 Italian Renaissance residence never sold, nor did investment mogul William Chadwick's $65,000,000 beast on Carbon Beach, and the executors/family of philanthropist Nancy Daly recently slashed the asking price of her Carbon Beach monster mansion from $57,000,000 to a still spine tingling $47,000,000.

Mister Palevsky's Beverly Hills mansion (above) was built in 1929 and designed by the much lauded and applauded architect George Washington Smith. Property records show the Greenway Drive dwelling was purchased in April of 1982 from actor George Segal for $2,880,000. According to current listing information the Spanish Revival manse measures 7,997 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 5.5 poopers. Mister Palevsky had the interiors re-worked in the late 1980s by avant garde architect Coy Howard who sliced and diced the interiors and inserted marble and wooden slabs into the walls and floors to create a visual geometry meant to mesh with Mister Palevsky's collection of Arts and Crafts furniture. It's not a house that will resonate with architectural purists who will, no doubt, fuss and holler about how Mister Howard bastardized what was once a perfectly lovely house. Others will say he breathed new life into a beautiful but past its prime property buy juxtaposing classic elements with more modern gestures that brought out, highlighted, and enhanced the home's classic good looks .
At the time of his death, Mister Palevsky also owned a very contemporary, low profile and smartly conceived Craig Ellwood designed dwelling (above) in the jagged foothills above Palm Springs, CA. The house consists of a trio of linear and glassy pavilions set into a rectangular walled garden. It was here that Mister Palevsky–who once lamented to the writer Aaron Betsky that one of his greatest regrets was that his doctor told him he could no longer drop acid after three heart operations–reportedly "cavorted" with the staff of Rolling Stone magazine, a struggling and then nascent publication he once saved with a giant wad of cash. Your Mama does not know if the Palm Springs property is also scheduled to be sold, but we suspect that unless someone comes along and snatches it up in a private deal, it too will be put on the market for real estate-ophiles around the world to ogle and drool over.

In 2002, Mister Palevsky's posh pads in Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Palm Springs were published in a glossy coffee table book called Three California Houses: Homes of Max Palevsky written by the above mentioned Aaron Betsky with juicy and delectable photographs by Richard Barnes. It's a real stunner if you can get your hands on a copy children. As of today, Amazon has 3 used copies available starting at $149.

Property records show a fair number of smaller and less significant holdings in Mister Palevsky's residential property portfolio including homes in Venice, Brentwood, and Santa Monica. At least one of the properties appears to be occupied by Mister Palevesky's 4th and 6th wife and widow, the radical lefty political activist Jodie Evans. Miz Evans, for those who don't recognize her name, is fearless firebrand who gets a kick out getting dolled up in pink outfits and disrupting political events. She once bum rushed right wing operative Karl Rove and announced she was going to make a citizen's arrest while trying to hand cuff the man,

listing photos (Malibu): Pritchett-Rapf
listing photos (Beverly Hills):
Jan Eric Horn
photos(Palm Springs): Palm Springs Architecture blog

Christie Brinkley Lists Picture Perfect Pad in the Hamptons

SELLER: Christie Brinkley
LOCATION: Sag Harbor, NY
PRICE: $15,750,000
SIZE: 5,500 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Former supermodel Christie Brinkley is hoping to thin her fat real estate portfolio in the hoity toity Hamptons. Miz Brinkley, who makes the Hamptons her home year round, recently listed an historic property in the North Haven section of Sag Harbor, NY with an asking price of $15,750,000.

Property records reveal that Miz Brinkley picked up the 4.5 acre bay front spread in April of 2004 for $7,150,000. It doesn't take a math genius–which Your Mama certainly is not–to see that Miz Brinkley and her real estate peeps believe her property has more than doubled in value in the last six years. And maybe it has. It's quite possible that Miz Brinkley's philandering ex-huzband, architect Peter Cook, did a number on the property prior to them parting ways in 2006 amid salacious stories in all the tabs and gossip glossies about Mister Cook's lurid affair with a legal but teen-aged gurl. Or maybe she stuck it to his professional ego and hired another architect to do the place over. Whatever the case, and extensive renovation would certainly might account for at least some of the increase in value even though the market sank like stone in 2007 and 2008 and 2009.

Anyhoo, listing information for the property shows the three floor Greek Revival style captain's house was built way back in 1843 and has not just one, but two elegant and imposing columned porticos. The interior spaces, which we'd bet our long bodied bitches are well executed and decorated even if they're not to Your Mama's own taste, include period details, wide-plank old pine floors, and 4 wood burning fireplaces according to listing information.

The main living level of the approximately 5,500 square foot house has a large living room and adjacent sitting room, formal dining room, a no doubt lavishly equipped kitchen with soapstone and marble counter tops, and a "great room" with additional sitting and dining areas. There are also a mud room, pantry and full pooper plus a powder pooper on the main floor.

A staircase with an oak banister climbs up the the landing that opens onto a water side deck. Four of the home's 5 bedrooms are located on the second floor. Three of the guest rooms have private poopers and the master suite includes a separate sitting room, private pooper, and private deck with bay views. The third floor contains a fifth bedroom, separate study, and generous storage space. What the third floor does not appear to have is a pooper which means anyone staying up there has to make their way down a flight of stairs in the middle of the night to do their bizness.

The property stretches out to the bay where there is 327 feet of sandy beach over looking the bay, harbor and Shelter Island. The grounds have mature landscaping, specimen trees, gardens, and a water side gunite swimming pool sunk directly into the lawn with a simple blue stone coping. While pools completely surrounded by lawn can be murder for Pablo the Pool Boy–they sho' do look purdy.

In addition to owning the bay front property immediately next door that records show she purchased in August of 2007 for $9,900,000, Miz Brinkley also owns Tower Hill, a 20+ acre compound in the inland area of Sag Harbor that she's owned since the mid-1990s and has had on and off the market for years with asking prices as high as $30,000,000.

The middle aged and still quite striking Miz Brinkley also maintains an itty bitty and dumpy but charming ocean front cottage in nearby Water Mill that she had on the market back in May of 2007 with an asking price of $7,900,000.

listing photos: Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Comedian Chris Tucker Selling Short

SELLER: Chris Tucker
LOCATION: Monteverde, FL
PRICE: $2,000,000
SIZE: 8,861 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It wasn't so long ago that comedian Chris Tucker was one of the highest paid jokesters in Tinseltown. We didn't believe it either but 'tis true, puppies. Your Mama just about fell out of our chair when we read reports that indicated Mister Tucker took in as much as $20,000,000 for his role opposite Jackie Chan in the 2001 action film Rush Hour 2 and we actually did fall out of our damn chair when we read that he reportedly earned another $25,000,000 for Rush Hour 3 in 2007. By the end of the first decade of the naughts, Mister Tucker was, needless to say, a very rich man who was livin' large with multiple mansions and a fleet of faincee automobiles that he at least once drove fast and recklessly.

The problem, children, is that Mister Tucker apparently forgot to pay his taxes and, as anyone with even 1/3 of a brain knows, the taxman gets 49 kinds of peeved and pissed when he is denied his due. Last year the busted-ass broke state of California filed a $3,594,409 lien against Mister Tucker and just today reports have begun to surface that the not exactly rolling in clover federal gubbamint filed documents with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office that demand Mister Tucker fork over $11,571,909 and 26 damn cents in back taxes.

In addition to his taxation traumas it appears that Mister Tucker has some real estate woes too. We don't know if it's a co-inky-dink or if it has something to do with his taxman troubles, but yesterday Your Mama learned from Darryl Divulgesthedirt that Mister Tucker has put his massive mansion in Monteverde, FL on the market with an asking price of $2,000,000.

The hitch, the rub, and the pickle is that Mister Tucker paid more than two million clams for the property. In fact he paid way, way, way more than two million dollars. According to property records, the once plenteously paid wise cracker forked over–brace yourselves butter beans–$6,000,000 for the mansion in June of 2007. It don't take any flicking of the beads of Your Mama's well worn and bejeweled abacus to see that Mister Tucker's current asking price is an unnerving four million bucks less than he paid for the property just 3 years ago.

Mister Tucker's faux-Tuscan Floridian getaway, located just outside of Orlando, FL, sits on an approximately 1 acre lake-front lot in the upscale and guard gated golf and equestrian community of Bella Collina. Listing information indicates that the 2-story, 8,861 square foot extravaganza of questionable architectural integrity and day-core has 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half poopers, and is a former "Street of Dreams" model. Your Mama does not know nor do we care to know what a "Street of Dreams" model is but based on our own sensitive and persnickety decorative tastes and preferences we find Mister Tucker's crib to be–we're just gonna say it–a Street of Nightmares.

That's right. We said it. Pleeze people, there is no way in hell Your Mama or the Dr. Cooter could get a good night's rest in a house that includes what listing information calls a "whimsical pirate ship themed home theatre." Oh lo-ward have mercy, please do not tell Your Mama that there are people out there who actually think a pirate ship theme is an appropriate or acceptable style of day-core in any home with even a shred of dignity. Maybe you can pull that shit off in a 5 year old's bedroom but not in any room used by an adult. No. Seriously. Just no. Someone get Your Mama a nerve pill and the smelling salts because we're going to need a little something to get us through this one.

Listen chickens, we're sure there are many people who find living up in the Bella Collina community to be a stellar experience and we can't argue with them about that since we've never been to Bella Collina or even to Orlando. But we take serious umbrage with these ticky-tacky decorating themes that get installed in too many over-sized faux-Tuscan and mock-Mediterranean model mansions that line the streets of upscale gated communities across the country. In fact we are so adamantly opposed to themed day-core that Rule #9 of Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Don'ts states that, "No dwelling of any architectural style in any location that aspires to be a home of good taste shall inflict theatrically themed day-core on any room besides that of a small child, and even then the "theme" should be used very sparingly."

Anyhoo, Mister Tucker's Bella Collina crib sits at the tail end of a cul-de-sac where a long driveway leads to a motor court and garaging for 4 cars. Tall and skinny cypress trees flank the font entry that leads into the double height foyer where some sort of faux paint treatment has been slapped on the on the walls, multi-colored tiles are installed the stair risers, and swoopy wrought iron stair rails and banisters of the type not seen in any real Tuscan home climb dramatically up the the second floor landing.

Listing information indicates that in addition to the formal living and dining rooms, Mister Tucker's digs include 2 game rooms, a temperature controlled wine cellar, a library with secret room, and that horrifying "whimsical pirate ship themed home theatre." Listing photos show a family room with a patterned stone floor that connects across a breakfast counter to the kitchen that we presume is equipped with high-grade appliances and high end counter tops.

The in addition to a decent-sized bedroom where a zebra skin rug is laid out on camel colored wall to wall carpeting, the master "wing" includes a sitting area, morning kitchen for all those too damn lazy to walk downstairs to get a cup of damn coffee, and a lavish pooper where a multi-colored stained glass window separates the showering area from a gigantic jetted tub for two.

The outdoor living spaces include a deep covered patio with dee-luxe built-in barbecue center, long bar with bar stools and randomly placed flower arrangements in urns with a faux-patina treatments. There is also a large stacked stone outdoor fireplace with flat screen tee-vee mounted about the fire box, a free-form dark bottomed swimming pool, and a small spa tucked into a rock formation/water fall thingy. The property backs up to one of the community's two private lakes which allows for maximum privacy and, yes, pretty views.

The Bella Collina community offers residents 2 Tuscan themed clubhouses, a full service spa, fitness center, sports and equestrian facilities, 2 lakes, vineyards, and a Nick Faldo designed championship golf course. All the amenities probably explain the $1,178 per month community fee that the homeowner must pay in addition to the $68,852 per year in taxes.

Mister Tucker owns a couple of California residences including a 6,399 square foot mansion in the guard gated Mulholland Park community in Tarzana, CA. Property records show he purchased the 5 bedroom and 6.5 pooper house in November of 1996 for $1,113,511.

In June of 2001 Mister Tucked snatched up the house next door paying $2,400,000 for the 6,549 square foot mansion. Mister Tucker listed the house in the spring of 2008 for $3,800,000 and finally sold the white elephant about 18 months later in November of 2009 for $3,000,000.

Property records show that in April of 2008 Mister Tucker laid out $1,300,000 for a 4,922 square foot house in super suburban Los Angeles city of Granada Hills, CA. As best as we can tell the 5 bedroom and 5 pooper property is where his baby momma lives with his young son.

There are reports that state Mister Tucker maintains a home in Atlanta, GA–he was raised just outside Atlanta in Decatur–but Your Mama didn't find much in the way of evidence of that. Don't mean he down have real estate roots there, just means we didn't find anything specific.

listing photos: Re/Max Central Realty

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Is James Marsden Going Hollywood...Again?

SELLER: James Marsden
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
PRICE: $1,399,000
SIZE: 3,974 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 poopers

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A person can not swing a damn cat in the country music capital of Nashville, TN without knocking a celebrity over. It's not just crooners and country pop people like Taylor Swift, Alan Jackson, and Tim McGraw who own homes in Nashville. There's girl-rocker Sheryl Crow (who listed her farm in the spring of 2010 with an asking price of $7,500,000), soon to be dee-vorced former vice president/global warming do-gooder Al Gore, all the Followill boys from the Kings of Leon, Jessica Simpson (who not very successfully tried to reinvent herself as a country queen in 2008), disco diva Donna Summer, Hollywood's favorite homosexual Lance Bass, alterna-musician Ben Folds, a-list actress Reese Witherspoon, rock musician Peter Frampton, and frozen faced Aussie actress Nicole Kidman who is, of course, married to country king Keith Urban.

For the last couple of years Nashville has also been home to hard working actor James Marsden and his former actress wifey Lisa Linde who, thanks to the Nashville House Whore, we've learned recently heaved their Nashville home on to the market with an asking price of $1,399,000.

Mister Marsden, a former model for Versace, got his start in the Hollywood Shuffle not long after meeting actor turned Christian activist Kirk Cameron while on vacation in Hawaii in 1991. In the mid-1990s Mister Marsden appeared on the one season wonder Second Noah and by the early naughts had hit a professional stride with parts in Zoolander and as Cyclops in the wildly successful X-Men, a role he has repeated in all three of the films in that money minting franchise. In more recent years bizzy Mister Marsden appeared in Hairspray, Enchanted, 27 Dresses, and he voiced a part in the recently released and dee-voonly named Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. He also has a regular and no doubt lucrative role in the latest incarnation of the Superman film franchise. Mister Marsden's wife Lisa Linde is–or was–an actress whose biggest role to date was on the soap story Days of Our Lives in the late 1990s. However, it seems she's spent the last 10 years more focused on making and raising babies than making movies.

By the fall of 2008 there were reports and confirmations that Mister and Missus Marsden had picked up and moved their expanding family from Los Angeles to Nashville, TN. It wasn't really a far-fetched or shocking choice given that Nashville happens to be the hometown of Missus Marsden whose father is country music songwriter Dennis Linde who penned songs sung by folks like Elvis Presley, the Dixie Chicks, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, and Garth Brooks.

Property records reveal that in February of 2008, the comely couple scooped up a secluded house in the Forest Hills area just south of downtown Nashville for which they paid $780,000. Despite and extensive eco-friendly renovation, the brick-faced split level ranch house, situated at the opposite end of the same street as the home of Al and Tipper Gore, looks on the outside like the sort of office building Your Mama imagines one might go to buy life insurance or have yer teeth worked on.

Although listing information shows the house measures 3,974 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 poopers, the Davidson county tax man shows the Marsden crib measures 4,860 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 5 poopers. We're not sure why those numerical discrepancies exist but it may or may not have something to do with the big ol' renovation they performed on the house.

The Marsden's 2.15 acre property sits at the tail end of a leafy cul-de-sac where a steep driveway ascends to a motor court, garage, and wood framed clear glass front doors. Your Mama loves us some all-glass front doors and would love to have one installed at our house. However, the front door of our Hollywood Hills hideaway sits just 4 feet from the street and the busy-body Russian spinster sisters across the way would no doubt be all up in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's bizness every damn day iffin we had a glass door.

Anyhoo, the interior of the Marsden's 1975 era home has been re-worked and opened up creating a loft-like environment where one room flows freely and easily into the next. The main living space, where people are likely to gather, is a large kitchen/family room combo at the back of the house that opens out onto a large covered patio. The ebonized cabinetry in the kitchen is topped with marble–that's marble, right?–and there are all the expected accouterments including a Mac-Daddy sized stainless steel range with industrial venting hood. Your Mama appreciates that the kitchen dee-ziner included a small breakfast bar at one end of the large work island because sometimes it's nice for guests to sit around and get sauced while the hostess prepares dinner. We also appreciate that the dee-ziner didn't pull the overhead cabinetry in too tight over the sink, which had he or she done might have felt a mite claustrophobic for anyone doing the dishes.

The large family room area includes a built-in entertainment center with space for a big tee-vee and under counter wine fridge. Two sets of extra-wide wood-framed sliding glass doors open to the backyard and at the far end of the room the fireplace has been done over in a clean and crisp contemporary manner with smooth gray concrete. While we do like the two wirey sphere chandeliers in the family room we feel they're not quite the right scale for a room this size with ceilings this high and would have recommended they be twice and large as they currently are.

The generously sized master bedroom has white, white, white walls, wide-plank hardwood floors, a gently pitched ceiling, closets large enough for 27 Dresses, and an extra-wide sliding glass door that opens onto a small deck that overlooks the back yard. While the deck really isn't large or private enough for Mister or Missus Marsden to have a chaise lounge where they could sun their buns in the nood, it would be the perfect spot for our mean ol' pussy Sugar to spend the afternoon lolling in the sun and cleaning her fur.

The exterior articulation at the back of the house is complicated, haphazard looking, and so unattractive that it makes Your Mama sweat with architectural flabbergast and dismay. Listen hunnies, no one loves a covered and shaded patio for enjoying the outdoors out of the glare of the blazing sun more than Your Mama. But this large and vaulted patio covering that juts uncomfortably off the back of the house and over a gigantic concrete patio is an eyesore. For a million and four in Nashville we want–nay, require–a patio created from a natural stone not some slab of concrete that looks like the carport of a damn mobile home.

It does not appear that Mister and Missus Marsden got around to or bothered to have any work done on the landscaping, which consists of little more than a large swathe of patchy grass. Rather than get all bitchy about that, we're going to turn that lemon into lemonade and say that the barely landscaped backyard that's depressingly devoid of a single plant or flower is primed and ready for the next homeowner to exercise their green thumb and install a swimming pool.

Given that the interior of the home is stripped of all personal effects, we're guessing the Marsden family has done moved on. Of course, Your Mama don't know a Parson's table from a patio set, but iffin we were the wagering type we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that Mister and Missus Marsden will be heading back to Los Angeles where property records show they own two houses.

In May of 1998, prior to their getting hitched, Mister Mardsen forked over $454,000 for a 1,595 square foot house in a prime if not glittery neighborhood in Studio City. In April of 2004 the couple traded up for a $1,300,000 single story home with 3 bedrooms and 3 poopers in the family friendly celebrity enclave of Toluca Lake, the same neck of the Tinseltown Woods where Miley Cyrus, Steve Carell, Jenny Garth and Peter Facinelli (who listed their home this summer for $5,995,000), and many more famous folks own homes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Housewife Nonsense

Put on your safety belts butter beans because like it or not Your Mama is going to discuss the recent doings and sad but not surprising turn of events of The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice and her huzband Joe. The couple, who have made a display of themselves on national tee-vee as big spenders, filed for bankruptcy back in October of 2009 with claimed debts of around $11,000,000.

Although she's been publicly saying that everything is all cool and copacetic, word is starting to slip and slide down the real estate gossip grapevine that the contents of Tee-tee's tremendous and ticky-tacky Towaco, NJ mansion are about to be sold at a bankruptcy auction scheduled for the 22nd of August, 2010.

This bit-o-biznes comes right on the heels of "news" that Mister and Missus Giudice–that's pronounced jew-dice or gee-oo-dee-chay or something like that–failed to disclose significant income and assets to the bankruptcy court. Oh dear. Your Mama ain't no brain surgeon and half of our brain is rotted out from booze but even we know you can't go messin' with and hidin' assets from the bankruptcy people.

A few of the items to be sold off to pay Mister and Missus Giudice's elephantine 11 million dollar debt include (but are far from limited to):

–a Schaefer & Sons grand piano
–48-inch Wolf brand stainless steel range
–pair of shell leaf carved crest leather & fabric sofas
–six-foot tall ceramic Satsuma Temple urn
–mahogany poker table & chairs
–a faux marble chess set
–Sea-Doo Bombadier X20 jet boat
–10-foot tandem axle dump trailer
–and a damn snow plow.

Listen celery sticks, nobody including Your Mama would be dancing on the real estate and financial grave of Mister and Missus Giudice iffin Miss Thing weren't so damn obnoxious on the national tee-vee driving around in a damn Maserati and bragging about how much moolah she and the Mister spent on their 9-year old's birthday party all the while running up millions in debt.

We recognize that the economy may have soured and good bizness investments went bad for many almost overnight. But, pleeze, $11,000,000 of the sort of debt they have–credit cards, etc.–don't just creep up on someone overnight. It builds up over a period of time. Had those Giudice's had a full brain between the two of them they would have tightened their damn Gucci belts instead of having the Bravo TV cameras over to film while they had a huge housewarming party complete with valet parking and gave their daughter an expensive atv and took all her little loud friends for a limo ride to a sad little beauty parlor where they do up little girls in grown up make-up and hair dos.

All that seems to Your Mama is like a sad and depressing effort to keep up with the damn Jones family whoever they are. They'd have curried a lot more sympathy from folks like Your Mama had they been upfront and honest back then and told the Bravo TV cameras that like so many other people in this suck-ass economy they were having a rough go of it and as a result were cutting back on unnecessary expenses like chinchilla furs and bitchy party planners.

Although they have denied it, the couple's over-blown faux chateau that backs up to the very busy I-287 freeway was indeed on the market earlier in the year for $3,999,999. We have a copy of the listing, thank you very much. The property no longer appears on the open market and Tee-tee has repeatedly declared that her home is not for sale and not in foreclosure. However, once the vultures swoop down and buy her bedroom set and range top, Tee-tee might just wish she'd done sold that 10,000 square foot white elephant a long time ago.

It seems that slick spread in a recent issue of Life & Style magazine was really Tee-tee's swan song and farewell to all us people in the public having the apparently false impression that she's a free-spending rich lady with a insatiable hankering for marble and onyx.

Your Mama still thinks that maybe Tee-tee and that might-be-a-lesbian-ladee Danielle may want consider burying the hatchet and going in together on two-family house in Parsippany or Paterson or Passaic or one of those other "P" places in New Jersey until they can get back on their feet. Just a thought.

Sacha Baron Cohen Lists and Goes Big In Los Angeles

OWNER: Sacha Baron Cohen
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,900,000
SIZE: 2,806 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Now that colossally and constantly controversial British born comedian and provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen is playing with the big boys girls in Tinseltown and earns $20,000,000–plus many millions more on the back end–just to make a damn movie, he and his Australian actress wife Isla Fisher have turned into some serious, a-lister style real estate size queens. More on that big buy later.

Since the Baron Cohen clan is decamping for a dee-luxe new compound high in the hills above Laurel Canyon, they're no longer in need of their much more modest current home, also in the hills high above Laurel Canyon. Thanks to the bizzy boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, Your Mama has learned that the sassy and scathing satirist recently put his family house on the market for $2,900,000. The property is also listed for lease with the unnecessarily complicated asking price of $11,995 per month. Lo-ward have mercy Your Mama hates these crazy real estate numbers. Why can't they just call it twelve grand a month? Why go through all the numeric rigmarole that just gives people a damn headache?

Anyhoo, as most of the world is well aware, Mister Cohen's comedic stock in trade involves creating fictional characters who go around the world, talk to strangers, act like a damn fool, and ask probing, provocative, and often tasteless questions until his subject reacts in sometimes funny and often revealing ways. He unquestionably uses stereotypes to poke fun of others, but he arguably does it in the service of exposing barely under the surface bigotry and hatred for Jews, black, homosexuals, and any number of other historically marginalized groups of people. Mister Baron Cohen has his detractors for sure but there also seem to heaps and hordes of folks happy to pay $10 or $13 bucks to watch him mercilessly pillage, plunder, and disembowel the social construct at the expense of folks not in on the joke.

Mister Cohen started up his ladder of fame in the late 1990s when he achieved notoriety as the ignoramus "whigga" poser Ali G, a character that parodied the very real and very strange phenomena of privileged suburban white kids adopting the patois and mannerisms of inner city hip-hop culture. As popular as Ali G was in Britain, the character that put Mister Cohen on the entertainment world's global map is without question the bumbling buffoon Borat Sagdiyev, a dim-witted rube from Kazakhstan whose constant and only schtick is that he says inappropriate things to the unsuspecting. Next up for Mister Cohen was Brüno Gerhard, a flouncy homosexual fashion reporter from Austria who pissed off a just about everyone from the The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades militia group with his excessive narcissism and sexually suggestive questions. Mister Baron Cohen's cinematic modus operandi reminds Your Mama of the old Candid Camera program only with the more high minded aim to use low brow humor to gleefully expose the soft and ugly underbelly of racism, homophobia, religion, taboo, and etc.

Because his three most well known characters are now so easily identified by the public, Mister Baron Cohen has retired them. Next up for Mister Cohen, according to reports, is a goat herder and a deposed foreign dictator who will appear in an as yet unnamed movie scheduled to be released in 2011.

Property records show that Mister and Missus Baron Cohen purchased their mid-century modern-ish house in December 2005 for $2,450,000. Listing information shows the single story house measures 2,806 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers, a count that may or may not include what listing information calls a "detached guest room with steam shower."

The property presents a fairly fortified facade to the street with an electronic gate that slides open to a small motor court, two car garage and front entry. The entry leads to the primary living space which is a gigantic living/family room with hardwood floors, a pitched and beamed wood ceiling, large windows and French doors that open to the back yard, and a massive, extra-wide river rock fireplace with a raised hearth where two table lamps flank the firebox. The room is divided into two distinct areas. A more formal area in front of the massive, extra-wide river rock fireplace contains two indentical sofas covered in a dee-lishusly tactile dusty baby blue fabric that square off over a clean lined and low wooden coffee table. The second less formal area has a seal gray sectional sofa, several poufs and ottomans for overflow guests, and a vintage Vernor Panton capiz shell least we think it's a vintage version but it could be a custom Panton inspired thing.

The dining room, an extension off the living/family room, has high ceilings, lots of windows and French doors with views of the surrounding mountains and canyon, and a large dining room table with 10 chairs over which hang a trio of classic George Nelson saucer-shaped pendant lights. The adjacent kitchen is a gray and white wide-galley style affair that opens on one end to the dining room and a breakfast area at the other where the Baron Cohens have a round Saarinen dining table surrounded by four white Saarinen designed tulip chairs. The winter white kitchen cabinetry has a lovely gloss that our sometimes difficult house gurl Svetlana tells us are probably very easy to clean and the appliances, as expected, are of the high grade stainless steel variety. The children will note that the clever kitchen designer has accommodated the microwave in an under counter cubby so it isn't settin' out looking a hot mess on the counter top. Hanging over the work area in the kitchen is a Cellula chandelier that retails for $2,600 at the mid-century and modern design emporium Design Within Reach, a store that that carries product that are not, in fact, fiscally in reach for most people.

The not particularly large master bathroom has a very high beamed ceilings painted white, a wall of windows with thick white mullions, a low built-in cabinet below the windows painted a gleaming shade of white, white wall to wall carpeting, and a walk in closet with custom built-ins. On the tall wall behind the bed black and white wall covering that looks to Your Mama like a bunch of birch trees without any leaves. It's all very stark, but at the same time it looks like a serene room in which to slumber. The home's clean lined design continues into the Baron Cohen's private pooper where there is a grey tile floor and an extra long vanity fitted with two sinks that have exposed plumbing under the counter and are divided by a large window, half of which is frosted for privacy.

In addition to the lagoon-style free form shaped swimming pool and spa that's surrounded by grey flagstone, the property includes a covered terrace where the Baron-Cohen's have a very expensive and new-fangled picnic table lit by a satellite style chandelier, several decks with very contemporary furniture and hammock, and an outdoor gym with any number of body torture contraptions, free weights and a large mirror. Can someone please explain to Your Mama why people like to watch themselves in the mirror when they're strain to lift weights and do other exercise?

Although no property records confirm a transaction, two of out better sources whispered in our ear that the reason for the move is because Mister and Missus Baron Cohen recently dumped a butt load of money on a huge, a-listers only spread above Laurel Canyon last on the open market with a price tag of $18,900,000.

According to listing information that we dug up courtesy of Babbling Babette, the Mister and Missus Baron Cohen's new compound crib sprawls across several park-like acres and has multiple structures including a mansion sized main house with 7 bedrooms and 10 poopers, plus a guest house pavilion/pool house, detached theater, and caretaker cottage.

listing photos (lease): Sotheby's Int'l Realty Sunset
listing photos (purchase): Sotheby's Int'l Realty Beverly Hills

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

1. All the celebrity gossips were going bat shit crazy over the architecturally dramatic Venice, CA compound hoisted on the market by the estate of recently deceased actor Dennis Hopper. The listing has officially hit the interweb as has an extensive virtual tour.

The five parcel compound, listed at $6,245,000, includes a 4,900 square foot Brian Murphy designed main house dripping with architectural chutzpah, a guest cottage, swimming pool with lap lane, pool house and three, freestanding Frank Gehry condominiums often referred to as the three little pigs.

2. Stop the presses. George Clooney would like everyone to know that his house on Lake Como in Italy is not–and we repeat–not for sale.

3. Bling Queen Kimora Lee Simmons and her ex-huzband Russell have finally sold their Saddle River, NJ house of decorative horrors. The 35,000 square foot beast was first listed during the time of Jesus for $23,888,000 and the price sank over time to $13,900,000. The unknown buyers are reportedly paying close to the asking price.

4. It only took 4 years but Sting and Trudy Styler have finally sold there massive doo-plex digs on Manhattan's Central Park West. The Tantric sexer, who bought the doo-plex digs in the 1980s from Billy Joel, first put his colossal crib on the market in 2006 with an asking price of $24,900,000. But alas, property records and previous reports show that Mister Sting–real name Gordon Sumner–recently sold the place for $17,750,000 to a man named Michael S. Naify. Although we aren't for certain, Mister Naify seems to be from a very prominent Bay Area based family who once owned the United Artists Theater company.

Sting and Trudy have moved on to the excessively priced and over-hyped 15 Central Park West Building along with an army of celebs like Denzel Washington and extremely well compensated financial industry bigwigs.

5. There are rumors galore that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are fixin' to spend tens of millions of dollars on a gigantic Palladian style villa in the hills of Valpolicella, Italy. We don't believe it, but then again, what do we know about anything?

6. According to new reports, Celine Dion's new mansion/water park in super swank Jupiter Island, FL never should have gotten the necessary permits from the town board. But approved the permits were and as a result the Director of Planning, Zoning and Building Jeff Newell is now the ex-Director of Planning, Zoning, and Building.

7. Did LeBron James–whoever that is–spend $50,000,000 to purchase a sprawling waterfront estate with 8 bedrooms and 11 poopers in Coral Gables, FL formerly owned by a man named Pat Riley who is the "head honcho" of something called the Miami Heat?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Geoffrey Bradfield's Jewel Box

BUYERS: Geoffrey Bradfield
PRICE: $1,100,000
SIZE: 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While cobblers often need a new pair of shoes, nice, gay decorators rarely do. As a breed they are deeply and highly sensitive to their surroundings and would rather saw off a limb than reside in rooms that do not reflect their personal vision. A not yet successful decorator may live in a dump, but hunnies, it's a dump decorated and done over to within an inch of its life.

The homes of decorators and designers are not only laboratories for testing their decorative ideas in the most thorough and pure manner, but they are also calling cards. One decorating eminence well known to work over his personal spaces as a direct reflection of his decorating psyche is the wildly successful and much acclaimed Geoffrey Bradfield who recently placed a done, done, done 1 bedroom and 1.5 pooper Park Avenue pied a terre on the market with an asking price of $1,100,000.

The upright but sassy Mister Bradfield, who typically plies his talents for international high society types with nothing so boring or bothersome as a budget to get in the way of a well decorated home, is a clever chap who was once asked what it would take for a home to look like a million bucks. His pithy response was, "To spend two million bucks," which may not be funny to everyone but ought to provide a wee window into the uppity world in which Mister Bradfield floats.

Mister Bradfield, who scoots around town in a $200,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur with a driver named Carlos, is well known among the hoitiest of the toitiest for creating sumptuous, opulent, somewhat outre, and–natch–remarkably expensive rooms. A Geoffrey Bradfield designed space will typically be done with a severely restricted background palette–often white or the most soo-blime shade of grey–and punched up with piquant and forceful pops of vibrant color. He achieves his vision of elegance and restrained glamour by fearlessly concocting a carefully balanced but rule breaking decorative marinade of various styles and eras. He takes high-minded often abstract contemporary art and a dizzying number of mirrored walls that he bravely mixes, matches and mismatches with a Baroque this, a Neopolitan that, a Louis the something or other here and a Gustavian gewgaw over there. The idea behind Mister Bradfield's stew like day-core, as far as Your Mama can tell, is that good design is good design no matter what century it hails from and well designed things, regardless of when they were designed, fit together like a top and a bottom. Mister Bradfield's creations drip with an urbane sophistication that might seem fussy to the point of precious by some, but for a certain segment of the high faluttin' folks who own homes in posh places like Palm Beach, St. Moritz, and the Sherry damn Netherland Hotel in New York City, he's a freakin' genius.

Property records show that Mister Bradfield has owned a number of properties in New York City–more on that later–and that he picked up his 8th floor pied a terre at The Beekman in April of 2006 for $585,000. Since Mister Bradfield has owned an E. 61st Street townhouse since May of 2004, it's unclear for what purpose(s) he purchased or maintained this Park Avenue apartment. The Beekman was built in 1927 in the Italian Renaissance style and offers white glove services to residents that include 24/7 doorman and concierge, and hotel style amenities such as valet, 5-day per week maid service and fitness center. Those services, plus the private storage room, account for the the unusually high $2,530 per month maintenance charge.

The 3-room apartment–4 if you count the picayune kitchen–has a standard and unexciting layout with a front door that opens into an entrance gallery that Mister Bradfield transformed into an intime jewel box of a dining room with a wall of paneled mirrored doors that extend up to the ceiling and attempt to give the low ceilings a more dramatic sense of scale. The square dining table has a crisp white tablecloth surrounded a quartet of painted Rococo style chairs with intensely detailed carved backs. A large, monochromatic abstract painting takes up most of the wall opposite the mirrored doors and pushed up into the corner of the room near the mirrored doors that open into the hallway leading to the bedroom a stone carving of a man's torso wrapped toga-like in an elaborately draped fabric sits atop a pedestal that due to it's design allows the torso to be lit from underneath. Listen chickens, Your Mama certainly understands the importance of antiquities and the decorative benefits to bringing some genuine patina into a well dressed room but we always find these kind of male (semi) nude things to be a bit silly and–dare we say with all due respect to Mister Bradfield–desperate when placed in the private quarters of a middle aged man.

Behind the entrance gallery/dining room is a typically teeny-tiny and windowless New York City kitchen that's barely more then 5 feet wide but includes what listing information calls "top gourmet appliances" and " floor to ceiling bookcases." While Mister Bradfield like to entertain, he hardly seems like the type to get sweaty in the kitchen so Your Mama imagines the wee kitchen is nothing more than a expensive room to store the champagne magnums and fois gras until the hired help comes over to pour and dish it all out.

Several of the walls of the shoebox shaped living room are fitted with Mister Bradfield's signature giant mirrored panels comprised of smaller frameless mirrors set end to end. The room's all important contemporary art component consists primarily of a somewhat disturbing and gigantic portrait of an unknown redhead with a bad hair do. Quilted curtain panels with exquisitely hidden hardware puddle generously on the ground, and a couple of clean lined slipper chairs are swaddled in the same delicate lavender colored fabric as the Louis the XVI (or something) settee with silver leafed wooden accents and a gently undulating back.

In front of the dainty but elegant settee a thick, masculine slab of glass balances beautifully on a tangle of twigs cast from some sort of metal and finished with a silver material, possibly nickel or silver plating. Whatever those twigs are covered in we'd bet our long bodied bitches that that coffee table cost more than the Dr. Cooter's big white BMW. The children will note that one of the many ways Mister Bradfield achieves balance in this room is with lighting sconces affixed to the center of the wall mirrors that stylistically reflect the the twiggy tangle of the coffee table legs.

Although storage space is often at a minimum in New York City apartments, Mister Bradfield managed to squeeze in a total of 11 closets into the 1-bedroom apartment that by our rudimentary and unscientific calculations measures somewhere between 700 and 800 square feet. Seven of the closets are located in the lone bedroom where Mister Bradford smartly lined one entire wall with mirror-fronted closets.

The mirrored closets reflect the massive mirror on the opposite wall that reaches up to the ceiling and acts as the backboard for the bed. The mirrors reflecting the mirrors reflecting the mirrors reflecting the mirrors ad infinitum would be enough to make Your Mama need a damn nerve pill. Plus and quite frankly, chickens, we do not want or need to see every contour and bulge of our body reflected an infinite number of times at the very moment in the morning that we wake up and step out of bed all bleary and boozy eyed. Anyhoo, the portions of the walls not slathered in mirrors are covered in a canvas that depicts a dozen or more gentlemen in pre-revolutionary garb who may (or may not) be the founding fathers or just some pre-Revolutionary chicken for Mister Bradfield and/or his guests to check out while drifting off to slumber.

Mister Bradfield maintains homes in both New York and Palm Beach, natch. His former real estate holdings include a 5th floor apartment at 610 Park Avenue that records show he purchased in October of 1998 and sold in November of 2003 for $1,200,000. That same month he picked up a 1 bedroom and 2 pooper Palm Beach condo for $375,000 and a month later sold a Palm Beach home for $1,800,000. In December of 2005, Mister Bradfield sold a small apartment in the same E. 62nd street townhouse building where Joan Rivers lives in a doo-plex penthouse pad she recently had on the market for $25,000,000.

In May of 2004, property records show that Mister Bradfield paid $4,150,000 for an East 61st Street townhouse built in 1869 by the same Irish bloke who built the entire block. Sometime in 2009 Mister Bradfield took the peeps at LXTV on a fascinating video tour of the townhouse that includes a white, Lucite, and mirrored reception room with a few hot pink bits and pieces, a library done mostly in a most gorgeous gray with electric bursts Yves Klein blue, and a mostly black and white top floor office suite wrapped in black and white wallpaper depicting hand sketched clusters of New York City buildings.