Friday, May 30, 2014
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 7,752 square foot, 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It took a bit of a group effort between Your Mama and The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial to figure out that singer/songwriter Jakob Dylan quietly unloaded a freshly rehabbed compound-like mini-estate in the Point Dume area of Malibu for $7,375,000.
Mister Dylan, besides being honest to goodness rock 'n' roll royalty—his daddy is Bob Dylan, in case you didn't know, fronts the band The Wallflowers and, along with Dave Matthews, co-founded the fairly newly formed supergroup The Nauts.
As best as this property gossip can tell, Mister Dylan and his former actress/budding screenwriter wife, Paige Dylan, purchased the hair-more-than-an-acre spread in February 2011 for $3,980,000. They hired accomplished Malibu architect Doug Burdge to give the 1950s-era semi-Spanish style residence a cosmetic overhaul that included the removal of a swimming pool and the installation of downright drool-worthy, wide plank white oak wood floors throughout.
Listing details show the main house plus the two guest houses have a combined square footage of 7,752. One of the guest houses, as per the listing, has 650 square feet and the other 722. If Your Mama uses our ever-reliable bejeweled abacus to add up those latter two figures and then subtract the sum from the total square footage we come up with a main house that measures in at 6,380 square feet. Listing details we perused explicitly suggest the buyer verify the abode's square footage by their own means as the L.A. County Tax Man shows the house has just 5,303 square feet. (Curiously, a digital listing we dug up from the time the Dylan's acquired the property peg the place at 5,611 square feet with six bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.) Whatever the size, online marketing materials show the property has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms but, honestly children, where not sure if that includes any bedrooms and/or bathrooms in the guest cottages.
A high wall and an even higher thicket of shrubbery obscure the peering eyes of passers by and a gated driveway pushes deep into long and narrow property where it circles up to pass under a humbly scaled porte-cochere and pools up in a motor court with front-facing attached garage.
Wrought iron and glass doors open into a ridiculously but pleasantly over-sized reception gallery with pitched beam ceiling, huge windows and what Your Mama imagines (and hopes) is an authentic Beni Ourain rug. The luscious wood floors and vaulted ceilings continue into the living room where a chunky, minimalist fireplace with over-sized firebox anchors one end of the room and a wall of built-in bookshelves the other. Four sets of single-pane French doors that open to a terraces hemmed in on three sides by the back of the house and a baby grand piano and an acoustic guitar or two easily converts this the sitting room in to an extremely intimate music venue.
It's possible and maybe even likely, much of the Dylan's personal day-core and artworks were stripped down for the marketing process but, even if not, we're in an honest swoon for the all but unadorned formal dining room that stops short of cold austerity with a glimmering crystal chandelier (that could probably be hung a mite lower), a rustic and beat up, 10- or 12-seat farmhouse table and eight elegant and refined button tufted chairs that evoke a soupçon of 1940s glamour. But anyways...
We don't care what any of the children say about the uninspired, plain-Jane exterior of this house—because it's pretty ho-hum—but we think the kitchen is kinda fantastic. Two boxcar-sized center islands have slab marble counter tops on walnut cabinetry. Each has a two-stool snack bar and neither, it should be noted, are located underneath a dreaded and—Yes!—occasionally malevolent pot rack, thank you very much. The appliances are top-quality stainless steel and include double wall ovens and full-height side-by-side refrigerator and freezer. One end of the room has a built-in breakfast banquette next to French doors that open to motor court at the front of the house and, at the opposite end of the long, sky-lit space, more French doors open to a roof-shaded dining terrace that overlooks the backyard.
The kitchen flows directly into a step down family room with corner fireplace and a sculptural staircase that ascends to a large loft space with kiva-style corner fireplace and glass doors that open to a wrought-iron railed balcony and staircase that leads down to the backyard recreation and entertainment areas.
The privately situated, second floor master suite has a high, vaulted ceiling and plenty of room for a sitting area. A quartet of single-pane French doors open to a slender, wrought iron railed balcony that affords an long and wide, over-the tree tops view of the ocean. There are two roomy closets, as per listing details, plus a big and glitzy bathroom with two marble-topped vanities surmounted by florid, Rococo-esque mirrors, a jetted garden tub, a glass-fronted shower stall, and—Praise be!—a separate, privacy promoting cubicle for the crapper.
The back of the house wraps around three sides of a spacious, plaza-like central courtyard terrace where previous to its most recent renovation there was a small swimming pool and spa surrounded by a whole lot of red brick terracing. (The Dylans apparently installed a spa somewhere—it's noted in listing details—but they did not put in another pool. No offence, but for nearly eight million clams we want a pool but, then again, if you have eight million for the house you probably can scrape up another quarter million for a badass swimming pool complex.)
The terrace steps down to a thin strip of lawn that, in turn, steps down to a lighted tennis court. The paltry bit of grass between the tennis court and the terrace might seem stingy except that there's a vast stretch of lawn between the street and the front of the house where there's a children's playground tucked up into the shade of a small stand of mature trees.
Your Mama's research on the internets suggest Mister and Missus Dylan have lived or at least maintained a residence in Malibu since 2008 when they paid $3.35 million for a 1.3 acre property (with 2,365 square foot house) that they sold in the last days of 2011 for $3,575,000. Our research also suggests but does not entirely prove the couple still own yet another house in Malibu, this one an almost 6,000 square foot, decidedly contemporary dwelling on a gated, ocean view plateau in the foothills above Point Dume that last traded hands in the early days of 2011 for $4,250,000.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker
Posted by Your Mama at 12:35 PM
Thursday, May 29, 2014
LOCATION: Shelter Island, NY
SIZE: 4,957 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Most New Yorkers at least the ones we know and whether they can afford one or not, have a picture of their ideal weekend getaway. For Bunny and Flower it's a rustically chic and arty-farty compound in upstate New York. For Jo-Jo R-Po it's a puny, un-winterized waterfront bungalow on the North Fork. And for Soozie-Q and Fred it's a rambling (and nearly ramshackle) shingled cottage on a large (if somewhat untended) lot in a quiet corner of the Hamptons.
For Emmy-winner Louis Szekely, an upwardly mobile stand-up comedian and sitcom star known professionally as Louis C.K., it's Primrose Cottage, a gloomy but stunningly intact, turn-of-the-century timbered Tudor on two water front acres on Shelter Island that he reportedly snatched up for $2.44 million.
So the scuttlebutt goes, Babe Ruth once summered in the three-story, 4,957 square foot house that listing details show has half a dozen bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and six wood-burning fireplaces. (Big whoop!) The generously proportioned main rooms stop short of grand—it's a vacation house, after all—and, although they could use some spit and polish, retain an impressive array of original architectural details. The tightly spindled staircase alone is a revelation and the built-in inglenook benches next too some of the fireplaces couldn't be more charming even if they are a wee impractical for modern day life.
The pastel paint on the walls in some of the rooms is on decorative trend—not that Mister C.K. gives a shit about that—but it looks a bit wan and old fashioned in the somewhat dim listing photographs. And the kitchen, well, it looks reasonably sized but—lowerd have mercy, butter beans—it needs a complete overhaul starting with that mortifyingly massive (and massively mortifying) pot rack. All the children should know by now that Rule #8 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decoratin' Dos and Don'ts adamantly forbids the use of pot racks in residential kitchens. Not only are they voracious dust magnets they're also a capricious if inanimate menace that will drop a pot on a puppy's head without warning or snatch the weave right off the head of an unsuspecting weave wearer.
An asymmetrical front porch overlooks an otherwise landscape-less, hedge-ringed lawn and, off the rear of the residence, a spacious and inviting, brick-floored screen porch has a long view over the flat back lawn to the water's edge. There isn't a swimming pool or a tennis court—there's room for both should Mister C.K. want them—but there is, however, a private dock that extends out into a cut that provides direct and easy boat access to West Neck Harbor and Noyac Bay. The convenient boat parking facility was probably a selling point for Mister C.K. who owns an micro-yacht that was recently featured on Jerry Seinfeld's pleasantly droll web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
We read, Mister C.K. once lived at the fabled and controversially condo-fied Apthorp complex on the Upper West Side but we also have a vague memory of being told by someone—we don't recall when or by whom—that he moved downtown, to the formerly boho now fully gentrified West Village. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
In addition to his somewhat dark and relentlessly self-deprecating stand-up work the veteran comedian also writes, directs and edits a smartly calibrated and critically acclaimed, semi-eponymous sitcom (Louie) that closely adheres to the framework of his own life.
listing photos: Daniel Gale / Sotheby's International Realty via Curbed
Posted by Your Mama at 12:45 PM
LOCATION: Studio City, CA
SIZE: 5,075 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A couple of weeks ago Your Mama and all the other celebrity real estate watchers learned from the long-legged blond at Trulia Luxe Listings that race car driving actor/director Jason Priestley and his make-up artist wife Naomi Lowde-Priestley sold their Toluca Lake home to a not-famous couple for $2 million. The sale represents a $140,000 loss that does not account for carrying costs, any maintenance and/or improvement expenses the couple may have incurred or the real estate fees.*
This week, oddly enough, Your Mama heard word from a couple of snitchy informants, including the inestimable real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, that the Priestley couple, who have two young children, bought a substantially bigger new house about four miles directly west in a leafy pocket of Studio City, CA for $2,720,000.**
Listing details show the freshly constructed and well appointed, two-story wannabe-Cap Cod sits on less than a quarter acre right on the border between Studio City and Sherman Oaks and has a total of five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 5,075 square feet. A prominent, full-frontal two car garage has direct entry to the main house and a detached cabana adds additional living space . (By Your Mama's quick and rudimentary calculations the Priestley's new digs in Studio City is just over 1,800 square feet larger than their former home in Toluca Lake.)
We don't love the exact tone of ashy medium brown as appears in listing photographs but otherwise we live, children, for the seven inch wide floorboards that run throughout the main floor living areas. A medium-width but exceptionally long center hall entry extends clear through to the back of the house with wide openings into adjoining formal living and dining rooms, both with scads of custom mill work and the former with a marble-faced fireplace. Not that it matters more than a damn pickle what this moody property gossip thinks but we could happily have done without the showboat-y glass display cases built in to the columns that support the shallow archway between the living and dining room.
A luxuriously fitted butler's pantry with marble back splash and warming drawer links the dining room to the expensively outfitted family-sized kitchen. Along the long back wall of the kitchen dark counter tops (of unknown material) sit on snow white Shaker-style counter tops while the generously proportioned center island has steel grey Shaker-style cabinetry topped with an impressively thick single slab of marble. In addition to the four-stool center island snack counter there's a small informal dining area in front of a picture window with backyard view and all the appliances are top-grade, as should be expected in a house at this price point in this location. The kitchen opens to the family room where there's a deeply coffered ceiling, a bookcase flanked marble-faced fireplace, and a wall of wood-framed glass doors that fold open to a concrete-floored veranda that overlooks the backyard.
Also on the main floor is a powder pooper for guest, an en suite guest bedroom, and a home theater with a projection system, milk chocolate brown fabric wall panels set off by lipstick red columns, lily gilding nightclub lighting, and tiered seating for (about) 11 in puffy black leather recliners with built-in cup holders. (We know they are a pearl clutching sight for sore eyes, children, but Your Mama would bet our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, and our mean ol' pussycat Sugar those recliners are as comfortable as they are hidjeous.)
Upstairs, three guest/family bedrooms have private bathrooms and a second family room might easily be put to use as a children's play room, arts and crafts nook, yoga lounge or Pilates parlor. The spacious master suite has a (third) marble-faced fireplace, built-in bookshelves, something called "separate entry closets," and a wee private balcony with backyard overlook. Slathered in marble—floors, counters, shower—the master bathroom has two sinks on either side of a built-in hair and make-up vanity, a soaking tub for two set into a bay window, and a separate, glass-enclosed steam shower.
Back downstairs, the veranda off the family room and kitchen area—which Your Mama would like so much better if it were more comfortably half again as deep—gives way to newly sodded lawn. Off to the side, there's a built-in barbecue situation and, in the far western corner, what we imagine may (or may not) have once been a detached garage was converted to a pool side cabana with kitchenette and convenient half bathroom. A wide set of French doors and a long wall of folding glass doors expose the cabana to the terrace that runs along the smallish saltwater swimming pool with picayune suntanning shelf and inset spa.
*Mister and Missus Priestly paid $2,140,000 for their 3,266 square foot Toluca Lake home in May 2007. They first listed the property in the fall 2011 for $2.1 million. It did not sell and was taken off the market and re-listed in February 2014 for $2,099,000, a figure that might as well be $2.1 million.
**We were able to confirm the purchase with property records—it was purchased through the same trust as their former home in Toluca Lake—and as far as this property gossip can tell the Priestleys paid nearly a million dollars more than any other property sold in the immediate vicinity in more than a year.
listing photos: Keller Williams Realty
Posted by Your Mama at 10:15 AM
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
LOCATION: Thousand Oaks, CA
SIZE: 3,691 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We have a lovely fella we'll call Missy Hoo Hoo to thank for the kindly communique that informed Your Mama that Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen has her reasonably spacious if fairly ordinary tract house inside the guarded gates of the Rancho Conejo development in affluent Thousand Oaks, CA, on the market with a $1,088,000 asking price.*
Miz Madsen, in case some of the younger children don't know, has shaken her Showbiz money maker in Hollywood since the mid-1980s but didn't reach her to-date professional salad days until 2004 when she was nominated for an Academy Award for her quirky turn as a waitress in the low budget and much ballyhooed film Sideways. While the Oscar nod—she was also nominated for a Golden Globe—didn't catapult her to superstar leading lady status, she has worked steadily ever since. There have been numerous television programs (Justice League, Monk, Scoundrels, Witches of East End), a fair number of movies (The Number 23, The Haunting in Connecticut), and a bevy of television movies (Anna Nicole, Hatfields & McCoys). As per her resume on the Internet Movie Data Base, she has lead roles in at least four movies currently in one stage of production or another.
Property records show Miz Madsen acquired herThousand Oaks abode in November 2005 for $1,351,000. A couple of quick calculations on our bejeweled abacus shows that even if her young and scruffy-chinned real estate agent manages to coax a full price offer, his Tinseltown client still faces a hardly inconsequential $263,000 loss, not counting carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees.
Current listing details show the two-story house was built in 2004 and backs up to a public park that Your Mama imagines could get loud with screaming children at least every now and then. There are four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and a garaging for three cars in two bays, both with direct access to the house. Your Mama isn't an educated expert so we really can't be sure what blend of architectural styles are present here but there's plenty of used red brick veneer applied to the exterior's lower level and there's a whole lotta quintessentially tan stucco on the upper level. Some of the vinyl-framed windows have (probably faux) shutters, the roof's edges are lined with brown clay tiles, and there's a minuscule, second floor veranda that overlooks the red brick driveway.
Inside, listing photos suggest Miz Madsen has an unrestrained passion that borders on an addiction to elaborate wall treatments. In the narrow entrance hall and unexpectedly voluminous, double-height formal dining room the walls are slathered in a questionable, duo tone crosshatched situation that looks a little like an over-scaled linen pattern. Beige, natural stone tiles the in front hall and dining room switch to mahogany-toned wood with a semi-gloss treatment in the "formal" living room where we can't not notice the at least as equally labor intensive—and probably more questionable—bronze toned paint treatment on the walls and the ceiling.**
Around the backside of the staircase in the formal dining room the an eat-in center island kitchen has faux-aged raised panel cabinetry, speckled tan granite counter tops, high quality appliances and—you got it, Tea Cups and Tiddlywinks—a hand-applied custom faux-paint treatment. The kitchen opens into a family room with television surmounted gas fireplace, plantation shuttered windows and doors to the backyard, and even more of the same buttery colored paint treatment as in the kitchen. Inexplicably and much to the chagrin of Feng Shui experts and aficionados around the world, the floor in the family room is partly done with a natural stone tile and partly with wood, or some of that new-fangled porcelain tile that looks like wood.
Honestly, children, Your Mama never thought we'd have to make a hard and fast rule about this but all but Rule No. 187 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decoratin' Dos and Don'ts now avers with laser sharp self-righteousness that, "A single room in a well-dressed residence shall not have more than one floor material installed at the same time. It's confusing and unnecessary and, functional as it may be in any given circumstance, it just looks like shit. It does and y'all know it does, too." Talk about needing a goddamn nerve pill. Pleeze.
Along with the discrete power room, one of the three guest/family bedrooms is tucked back into a private corner of the house were it has direct access to a private bathroom. Two more guest/family bedrooms on the second floor each also have an en suite pooper. Double doors*** lead into the master bedroom where—in our humble and meaningless opinion—the taupe-toned shag wall-to-wall carpeting clashes angrily with the haute-glammy silver-leaf treatment applied to the walls. French doors open to a private balcony with park and sunset views and there's a an L-shaped walk-in closet off the spacious if entirely beige bathroom that's outfitted with twin sinks, a jetted garden tub and separate shower stall. The upper floor is finished with a spacious secondary family room and a sink-equipped laundry room.
As in many upscale housing developments from coast to coast in the United States, Miz Madsen's Thousand Oaks' backyard is unquestionably compact. It's barely bigger than a decent sized courtyard, really. But it is carefully outfitted with a narrow strip of flag stone terracing, a plunge-sized salt water swimming pool and raised spa that comfortably seats eight, and a vine-draped and curtain-hung pergola that shades a seating area around a built-in fire pit. The property backs directly up to a publicly accessible park with tennis courts, soccer pitch, a couple of softball/baseball diamonds, and a children's playground.
We freely confess that we haven't a clue where Miz Madsen plans to decamp not that her Thousand Oaks home is about to be sold. It's possible, if somewhat unlikely seeming, she'll hole up in the three bedroom and three bathroom condo in the western end of West Hollywood that property records reveal she picked up in 2006 for $860,000 and appears to co-own with her mother. But we sorta doubt it.
*As of today, online listings indicate the property is deep in escrow with an unknown buyer at an unknown price.
**Do not even ask, children, because we will not go there over all the chocolate brown contempo-style furnishings Miz Madsen done shoved up in her bronze-toned formal living room. Your Mama is plum out of nerve pills and we simply can not tolerate those wacky-footed abominations another second without needing at least two pills and a gin and tonic chaser, extra lime, please and thank you.
***Double door entries to master bedrooms in suburban tract homes are another of Your Mama's many pet peeves. Aren't double doored master bedrooms, after all, just a cliché of tract house design meant to invoke a false sense of grandeur? No? Yes? Are we just being snobby? Anyways...
listing photos: Coldwell Banker
Posted by Your Mama at 1:50 PM
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,398 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just because giddily vulgar Jackass stunt performer Steve-O will gleefully staple his scrotum to his leg, voluntarily let an alligator bite his nipple and somehow hold a lit firework in his—ahem—ass crack does not mean, at the end of the day, he doesn't want to come home to a nice house with plenty of creature comforts. According to the ever-vigilant real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, last month the pathologically masochistic Mister O— via a pretty much lewdly named trust—shelled out $1,162,000 for a fully renovated, canyon view contemporary residence perched on a steep hillside above Los Angeles's historic Beachwood Canyon.*
Since his death defying stint on Jackass in the early Aughts, Mister O has appeared in more Jackass movies than anyone should care to count and he's helmed a series of similar programs where he performed such lurid entertainments and utterly pointless feats of stupidity as covering himself in stinging jellyfish and getting slathered in human excrement while strapped into a porta-potty his buddies launched into the air. Charming, right?
More recently, the sober and more introspective former circus clown—a dedicated vegan who, as of mid-April 2014, said he was living a celibate life—popped up on Dancing With the Stars (2009) and developed a reasonably well-received stand-up comedy routine. And good for him. Not that it matters a single whit what this jaded property gossip thinks but Your Mama thinks a career move towards something less physically reckless is a good idea for the 40 year old Mister O. Let's be honest, butter beans, could there be anything more heart breaking than a heavily tatted 65 year old man who will snort wasabi for a paycheck and/or allow himself to be slathered in honey and locked up in the truck of a car with a dozen hungry rats? No, there really isn't, is there?
Anyhoodles, poodles, it's a complicated and serpentine drive up from Beachwood Canyon to Mister O's new digs that present little to the street other than a two car garage, a high fence with secured entry gate and a dramatic, overlapping roof line. A tiny and gated courtyard leads to the front door that opens directly into a 40-ish foot long open plan main living space with wide plank wood floors and a winsomely pitched post-and-beam ceiling.
Just inside the front door, where it practically does double-duty as the foyer, a compact but well equipped kitchen has walnut (or maybe teak) cabinetry, slab marble counter tops, high-quality stainless steel appliances. A two or three seat snack peninsula divides the kitchen from the dining area. At the far end of the room, a catty-corner fireplace surmounted, natch, by a flat-screen television anchors the living area that opens through sliding glass doors to the home's primary outdoor living space, a reasonably roomy, canyon view terrace that spans the width of the house.
Adjacent to the living room, where it also has direct glass slider access to the deep and wide canyon view terrace, an over-sized den could be pressed into use as a fourth bedroom as it has a sizable walk-in closet and easy, semi-private access to the windowless main floor bathroom.
A perforated banister hems in the narrow stairwell that leads down to the lower level bedrooms. There are two reasonably-sized guest/family bedrooms that share a two-sink hall bathroom plus a master bedroom with two closets and enough room for a generous sitting area. Glass sliders open to a private balcony cantilevered over the steep hillside and the attached bathroom with free-standing soaking tub and separate shower space.
Fun Celebrity Real Estate Fact: Mister O's new digs happen to be on the down slope side of the same secluded cul-de-sac above Beachwood Canyon where, as it turns out, ill-behaved tabloid staple Chris Brown owns an extravagantly lit, multi-level modern he currently has on the market for $1.79 million. We haven't personally polled them but Your Mama would bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that at least some of the neighbors aren't exactly thrilled to have another resident in their immediate midst who proudly earns his keep as—all T, no shade—a loud-mouthed jackass.
*The house was listed for $1,149,000 after being raised from its original $1,099,000 asking price. The $1.162 million sale price suggest Mister O faced some competition with the purchase of this property.
listing photos: LA Luxe Group/Keller William Realty
Posted by Your Mama at 9:36 AM
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 5,267 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oscar- and Emmy-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan and his well-born wife Minnie Mortimer listed their East Coast-y abode in L.A.'s quietly swank Brentwood area in late April (2014) with an asking price of $4,995,000 and within two weeks the property was put into escrow with an unknown buyer at an unknown price. (As of this morning the deal has yet to close.)
Early on Mister Gaghan worked in television (American Gothic, The Practice) and in 1997 he took home an Emmy in 1997 for his work on NYPD Blue. He shifted to the silver screen in 2000 with the war-drama Rules of Engagement and the star-studded Traffic (2000), the latter for which the clean and sober Mister Gaghan won an Oscar and Golden Globe. (He was also nominated for an Academy Award in 2006 for penning the script of George Clooney's geopolitical thriller Syriana, which he also directed.) In more recent years Mister Gaghan has shifted somewhat back towards television, writing scripts for a couple of programs that were not picked up for series and here are scads of reports he's writing (or written) a script for Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking but, honestly, children, we don't know nuthin' about that.
In 2007, Mister Gaghan married New York City-bred Standard Oil heiress, fashion designer and casually chic sophisticate Minnie Mortimer. They met, so the story goes, at a pre-Oscars picnic at Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Dillers' secluded estate in Beverly Hills and their deluxe Fifth Avenue nuptials, attended by a who's who of New York society types, were swooned over in no less than The New York Times.
Property records show Mister Gaghan and Miz Mortimer purchased their Brentwood spread in late 2008 for $4.4 million and digital marketing show the house was originally built in the 1940s on a gated and elevated 1.15 acre parcel with five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 5,267 square feet.
Stone columns flank a gated driveway that rises gently to a decent-sized (if decidedly declassé) black topped motor court that gives way to a wee patch of tree shaded grass embraced on three sides by the house's wood, stone and red brick accented front façade. (We'd prefer the blacktop be replaced with pea gravel or compacted decomposed granite but what do we know, right?)
Inside, the public entertaining spaces are spacious without being grand and include a formal living room with honey-toned wood floors, exposed wood beams on the ceiling, a flagstone-faced fireplace that nicely ties in the flag stone on the front façade, and a massive 18-pane picture window with lovely and long views.
The roomy formal dining room does double duty as a library with floor-to-ceiling book-filled library shelves installed on three walls. While the living room day-core appears to have been put in place by Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota, the dining room still presents (in listing photos) as an eclectic, seal gray room with a idiosyncratic mix of furnishings and a capiz shell chandelier Your Mama would swear was hand-made by our dear old friend Gwen Carlton.
The kitchen doesn't look particularly large in listing photos but it is expensively outfitted and well-equipped with a vaguely Craftsman style with unpainted Shaker-style cabinetry, marble counter tops and a full suite of top-grade appliances. There is, as per listing details, an "ample pantry and enormous Butlers/Laundry room" plus a convenient back staircase but and alas, as many of the eagle-eyed children probably noted, the kitchen designer failed to provide a built-in cubby for the microwave so there it sits, inelegantly at a cattywompus angle, on the counter top next to the sink.
Off the kitchen there's a spacious sun porch with wall-to-wall windows carpeting and wrap around floor-to-ceiling windows. At the other end of the main floor, behind the living room we find a paneled den quirkily painted a steely shade of blue. There's a tile-accented fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and direct access to the red brick veranda that runs the the full width of the back of the house.
A separate screening room provides a private entrance, paneled walls, a raised red brick fireplace, a vaulted exposed wood ceiling, wall-to-wall carpeting (in a questionable shade of midnight blue) and, natch, state-of-the-art projection equipment.
The expansive, upper floor master suite is complete with wood floors, a third fireplace, a private sitting room/office, and extensive (and meticulously organized) walk-in closets. French doors in the bedroom and in at least one of the two master bathrooms lead out to a deep, semi-private red brick veranda with an exterior staircase for easy access to the backyard entertainment and recreation areas. There are two (or maybe three) additional guest/family bedrooms in the main house plus another with private bathroom located off the kitchen and, hence, best positioned for a live-in domestic or household office. A detached guest house with high ceilings offers additional living space for live-in staff and/or guests.
The main floor veranda has a sweeping mountain, city and even ocean view and gives way to a flat lawn girdled by a glass railing. A wide red-brick staircase descends to a lower plateau with more red brick terracing, a rectangular swimming pool, a slightly raised circular spa, and another flat patch of grass or two.
The Gaghan-Mortimer's Mandeville Canyon nabe is home to a long list of rich and famous people including, just a few doors down the street, conscientiously uncoupling Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin who bought their 8,000 square foot Windsor Smith-conceived manse in mid-2012 for $9,950,000.
Although we didn't find any incontrovertible evidence they own any other private residences, this property gossip did read the boho-glam couple, both surfing aficionados, once lived in Malibu and we'd be somewhat surprised if they didn't maintain some sort of pied-à-terre in Manhattan, the Hamptons and/or Palm Beach, the three pricey and posh locales where Miz Mortimer spent her well-heeled youth.
listing photos: Partners Trust
Posted by Your Mama at 10:11 AM
Friday, May 23, 2014
LOCATION: Newport Coast, CA
SIZE: 13,306 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8 full and 5 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little birdie dropped a note in Your Mama's inbox to let Your Mama know that, like so many of the other "Housewives" across this great U-nited States—Real Housewives of Orange County's (RHOOC) Shannon Beador has her nearly new Newport Coast mansion listed on the open market with an asking price of $13,498,000.
As it turns out, Missus Beador—who really is a housewife—and her hubby, David Beador, first listed their custom-designed villa in the exclusive, guard-gated Crystal Cove enclave* in April 2013 with an asking price of $15,998,000. About a month or so ago, the house was de-listed and quickly re-listed with its current and substantially lower asking price.
Missus Beador revealed on RHOOC that she came from a privileged background and, hence, she may or may not be an independently wealthy woman. We don't know. Whatever the sitch, let's just assume her handsome, sarcastic and silver-haired husband, David, brings home a boatload of bacon as the owner a construction company primarily engaged in building freeways.
Property records show the Beadors bought the then still bare .67 acre parcel in July 2006 for an unknown amount. Current listing details show they engaged the undoubtedly pricey services of neo-vernacularist SoCal mansion specialist Richard Krantz to do the architecture and interior designer Robert Ricker to gussy up the day-core with "heirloom and art-quality finishes." The result is a stately, walled and gated four-plus floor faux-Tuscan French farmhouse—it's described in listing details as "reminiscent of European country manors and legacy East Coast mansions"—that was completed in 2012 and spans 13,306 square feet of eco-minded traditional eleganza.** There are at least four fireplaces, about a dozen copper-framed French doors and an elevator that services the basement, main and second levels.
While (mostly) stopping short of fussy, the interior spaces are unquestionably plush and largely traditional as evidenced in the fully paneled, double-height foyer and stair hall with its checkerboard black and white marble checkerboard floor, a wrought iron railed marble staircase and antique crystal chandelier that Missus Beador revealed on RHOOC cost $150,000. (Or maybe it was $250,000. We don't recall, do any of you? What ever the cost, listing explain the chandelier is excluded from the sale, so...)
Formal living and dining rooms flank the foyer, the former with a fireplace and a paneled, pass-through music alcove and the latter with a temperature-controlled walk-in wine cellar. Just off the formal dining room there's a fully and expensively equipped center island catering kitchen with super-size pass-through pantry. Right next door to the catering kitchen there's a larger and equally as expensively outfitted family kitchen with chandelier lit center island, top-grade appliances, marble counter tops and lightly faux-distressed, taupe-toned cabinetry. That's right, puppies, this family of five has two, high-cost chef-quality kitchens butted up next to each other. Your Mama is quite sure that people of a certain financial ilk—or those that aspire to a certain financial ilk—can plainly see and can effectively articulate the necessity of side-by-side gor-may kitchens but, to this shade-throwing property gossip, it seems a gross and unnecessary extravagance. Anyways...
The family kitchen opens to a window-wrapped breakfast area that, in turn, merges with a roomy family room with rustic brick walls, semi-glossy distressed wood floors, and a polished and coffered wood ceiling. Tucked behind the built-in entertainment center in the family room is an L-shaped arts and crafts room with 3/4 height bead board paneling, stone tile floors and lots of bead board-accented cabinetry and storage closets.
The fully finished basement level includes a 12-seat home theater with tiered seating, a fitness room, the aforementioned staff suite, an indoor basketball court (!) and, in addition to the three car attached garage on the main floor, a basement-level subterranean garage that accommodates eight more cars. Somewhere in the house—it's not shown on the floor plans included with digital marketing materials—there's a secret, children's tea party room. (How many of the children think the tea party room was designed, ultimately, as a panic room?)
The landscaped grounds include well-watered patches of lawn, formal gardens, an outdoor kitchen, and a pergola bracketed courtyard with swimming pool and spa. The poolside guest house offers a loggia for shaded lounging and a self-contained situation with living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom with convenient, secondary access from the pool terrace.
An ever so brief and not-thorough perusal of property records indicate Mister and Missus Beador also own some sort of timeshare situation at the Tuscan-style Marriott Newport Coast Villas and she revealed on RHOOC that the couple had already purchased a residential parcel where they planned to build another house but, honestly, chickens, we don't nuthin' about that.
*Crystal Cove may ring a bell with some of the children as Missus Beador's RHOOC cast mate Heather Dubrow and her plastic surgeon husband are in the process of building a new house that Your Mama would bet cash money will top 15,000 square feet. (The Dubrows, some of y'all may recall, sold their previous home in the posh Pelican Crest development last year for $16.45 million and are currently living in a 5,000-ish square foot rental residence while they build their new digs.)
**Missus Beador is a dedicated and vocal proponent of organic and alternative living practices. So, big as this house may be and as counterintuitive as a 13,000 square foot mansion may or may not be to the principles sustainable living practices, Missus Beador insisted upon non-toxic construction and finishing materials (i.e. non-fiber glass insulation and no-MDF hardwood woodwork) and in installation of a whole house HEPA air filtration system.
listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty
Posted by Your Mama at 5:10 PM
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Court documents from their acrimonious, public and crazy expensive 2011 divorce—their legal bills alone reportedly topped $20 million—reveal the erstwhile couple spent another $14 million on a series of improvements and expansions, including having the kitchen in their Brookline, MA, de-installed, shipped to Los Angeles and, like Humpty Dumpty, put back together again in their new Holmby Hills mansion at a cost of $180,000. They later replaced an outdoor tennis court with a partially subterranean indoor swimming pool and spa complex complete with sauna, steam room, dressing room and massage room. Divorce documents also revealed expenses related to the maintenance of the estate ran up to $202,716 per month including nearly six grand a month in utility bills. Think about that for a minute.
So the reportage goes the divorce decree granted ex-Missus McCourt a settlement of around $130 million and sole ownership of a considerable number of the couple's many private residences, including the Holmby Hills estate. (They also maintained multi-million dollar homes in Malibu, Massachusetts and Colorado plus property in Mexico and Montana.) In March 2012, so Your Mama heard from Heidi N. Holmbyhills, Miz McCourt quietly floated the pretty darn palatial property as a whisper listing with an optimistically plump $65 million price tag. Almost two years later the property popped up on the open market with a $55,000,000 asking price and just a few days ago the lady property gossip at the L.A. Times announced that Miz McCourt had done sold the pristine property to an unnamed buyer for $45 million.**
The 20,627 square foot Euro-style villa, according to the official listing details and other online resources, has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a step-down living room, a library/study, billiard room, bar, commercial-grade kitchen, and a home theater. In addition to the main house the gated estate includes a guesthouse, staff apartment, outdoor swimming pool house and pool house as well as the aforementioned indoor swimming pool and spa complex.
Naturally, as soon as we read that Mis McCourt sold the Holmby Hills house Your Mama tapped and typed our fingers to bloody nubbins contacting a few of our better connected contacts. We quickly heard back from Peter Propertyseller and Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air who both told us they're quite sure the previously unidentified buyer is low-profile British billionaire Ian Livingstone.
Mister Livingstone, a former optometrist who along with his younger brother earned their first (small) fortune through eyeglass stores, quietly parlayed the small fortune into a multi-tentacled, multibillion dollar real estate investment and development juggernaut that has, according to the fine folk at Forbes, ballooned their combined net worth to $3.7 billion. The brothers have their fingers in real estate pies all around the world (South Africa, Russia, Panama) as well as a bevy of swanky hotels in the U.K., including the stately and elegantly English Cliveden House.
Even though she shed the Holmby Hills house, Miz McCourt still has an impressive property portfolio that includes a John Lautner designed house on Carbon Beach in Malibu that she (and her ex-husband) bought in 2007 for $27.3 from Courtney Cox as well as the shackety-shack next door that she (and her ex-husband) picked up the following year for $19 million. Last fall the single, rich and fancy free Miz McCourt shelled out $11.25 million for a 21-plus acre vineyard estate in Napa, CA, with a two bedroom main house, a separate and architecturally significant two bedroom guest house and what the kids at Curbed called "a show-stopping lap pool."
*They also bought the spacious but far less grand house next door for $6.5 million that was sold off in August 2011 for $6,525,065.
**As of today property records do not reflect a transfer of ownership and, hence, we can not confirm or deny the actual sale price but we have no reason or insight to dispute the reported $45 million sale price.
aerial photo: Bing
Posted by Your Mama at 12:25 PM
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
In the late 1990s Swedish-born Miz Saperstein and her ex-husband David Saperstein, then based in Houston, TX, acquired 4.6 prime acres in L.A.'s super-swank Holmby Hills 'hood.* Inspired by the elegantly extravagant Vaux-le-Vicomte palace outside Paris, the famously spendthrift Sapersteins spared no expense to erect a monumentally decadent chateau of around 35,000 square feet that they slathered in gold leaf and filled to the gills with pedigreed antiques. The fully-landscaped estate also includes: a snaking 600 foot long driveway that ends in a motor court the size of a civic plaza; a separate sizable caretaker's house plus extensive staff quarters; a second motor court for staff and service vehicles; a swimming pool and spa complex; a lighted tennis court and extensive gardens that include a football field sized backyard lawn. A few short years after the estate was completed in 2002, Mister Saperstein left Missus Saperstein and took up with the family nanny, another blond but much younger Swede whom he later married.
Missus Saperstein, a voracious consumer of haute couture who in 2008 described herself to W Magazine as "the most insecure person you could ever run into in your entire life," was granted ownership of Fleur de Lys and, post-divorce, often leased the palatial property out for parties and charity events. For at least half a dozen years—Your Mama first (dissed and) discussed the property back in 2007—Miz Saperstein had the fancy-pants pad on and off the open market with an astronomical asking price of $125 million.
This property gossip has many times heard from impeccable sources deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game that Miz Saperstein once turned down an offer of $100 million because the buyer refused to cough up a couple more million bucks to cover her multi-million dollar moving expenses. British Formula 1 racing heiress Petra Ecclestone was widely rumored to have had an $80 million offer rebuffed and later there were reports of rumors that Petra's equally profligate sister, Tamara, was interested in the property. (She wasn't.) Pop superstar Mariah Carey was also widely rumored to have expressed some interest in the the property but that also turns out to have been little more than rumor.
Anyways, in February of this year (2014) Your Mama received some juicy but unsubstantiated gossip that an unnamed Chinese billionaire made an $85 million offer for the grandiose estate and in mid-March we received a decidedly cryptic communique from a different but also anonymous informant who claimed Fleur de Lys was in contract for around $85 million with a Russian billionaire who is not Roman Abramovich, Andrey Melnichenko or Dmitry Rybolovlev but is "well established in California." But, as y'all will soon see, that bit of delectable scuttlebutt turned out to be little more than heavy load of Platinum Triangle real estate hooey.
In late March an unidentified source told the lady property gossip at the L.A. Times revealed that Fleur de Lys was indeed to be sold to a mysterious buyer identified only as a French billionaire.** The report went on to say that the otherwise unidentified Frenchman beat out two other billionaires, one from China and another from the U.K., with an all-cash offer of $102 million with a 10 day closing. The sky-high and record-breaking price, so the reportage went, included a cache of unspecified antique furnishings.***
Follow up reports revealed the new owner's tax bills were being mailed to an attorney's office at junk bond billionaire Michael Milken's Santa Monica-based Milken Institute leading many to speculate that the buyer might be Michael Milken. However, a representative for Mister Milken explicitly denied to the lady property gossip at the L.A. Times that neither Milken nor his institute bought the property, which was purchased via a limited liability company.
Almost immediately after Fleur de Lys changed hands, the property somewhat surprisingly popped up on the open market for lease at a stomach churning price of $400,000 per month and, even more inexplicably, when the property records were finally recorded and made available to the public in mid-April (2014) they show the mysterious buyer paid $88.3 million for the estate and not the originally reported $102 million.****
Naturally, as soon as we heard Fleur de Lys was to be sold we contacted some of our better connected contacts who operate in the upper end of the Platinum Triangle real estate market and—curiously enough—no one could—or would—name the mysterious buyer. Then, finally, we heard from real estate yenta extraordinaire Yolanda Yakketyyak who told us she's 100% certain and will "swear on everything, including her seven pair of vintage Gloria Vanderbilt jeans," that the mysterious buyer of Fleur de Lys is—as has been widely speculated but roundly denied by his own representatives—none other than Michael Milken. Apparently Mister Milken hosted what Yolanda called a "massive housewarming party" a few weeks ago in the gilt-trimmed downstairs ballroom the day before his institutes's capitalism promoting Global Conference began.
There are, besides Yolanda's proven good word, a few other coincidental tidbits that point to Mister Milken. First off, the real estate agent who represented the buyer is married to one of Mister Milken's daughters and, several years ago, Mister Milken, via a limited liability company, paid close to $37 million for a 13,000 square foot ocean front house on Malibu's Carbon Beach that, like Fleur de Lys, and surprisingly came up for lease at $200,000 per month just days after it was purchased. (FYI, Yolanda is adamant that Mister Milken's beach house was never actually rented to anyone but we don't know if that's true or not.)
Now children, just to be clear, even though we have zero reason to doubt Yolanda, since Mister Milken's representatives have publicly denied in a major newspaper that neither he nor his institute bought the estate this is just some delicious high-end real estate rumor and gossip and you should make of it what you will.
*Technically, the estate is on (or near) the border between Beverly Hills and the Holmby Hills in a neighborhood called Beverly Crest.
**Curiously, Your Mama knows a well connected individual who, in late April, told us that one of the agents involved in the deal was going around town telling people the buyer was Bernard Arnault, a French luxury good tycoon with a fortune in excess of $36 billion.
***Several years ago Miz Saperstein sold off $8 million worth of antiques, including an 18th century German chandelier that went for $602,500, so we're not sure what antiques the buyer might have purchased.
****The original price recorded with the Multiple Listing Service was $102 million but that has since been swapped out for the $88.3 million figure.
aerial photo: Pacific Coast News
Posted by Your Mama at 11:35 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
LOCATION: Solvang, CA
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms (total)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week we learned that seven-time Grammy-winning country music iconoclast Dolly Parton* listed her excessively countrified bungalow-cottage in the heart of West Hollywood, CA, with an asking price of almost $1.4 million.
Well, children, thanks to our dear and eerily vigilant informant Lucy Spillerguts, Your Mama has learned that the countrified cottage in West Hollywood isn't the only countrified cottage in California that the globally beloved and liberally nipped and tucked Blue Ridge Barbie doll owns and has for sale on the open market. As it turns out, Miz Parton also owns an itty-bitty compound in the high-lariously kooky and tourist-choked faux-Danish village of Solvang, CA, that's listed for $950,000. That's right, butter beans, Solvang.
A little more investigating turned up evidence that Miz Parton owns a rustic retreat in the boondocks woods of Idyllwild, CA, that—as it turns out—she also has up for sale on the open market with an asking price of $599,000. More on that property in a minute but first let's go over the place in Solvang.
There is evidence on the internets that Miz Parton has owned a place in somewhat unlikely Solvang—about two hours north and west of downtown Los Angeles—since the early 2000s but property records we peeped suggest she acquired her current hideaway in the pseudo-Danish community (via trust) in October 2007 for $1,085,000. That means, of course, even if Miz Parton's real estates manage to secure a full price sale she still faces a $135,000 hit to her bank account, not counting carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees. While many might develop an angry and bleeding ulcer over losing $135,000, it's really pennies compared to the veteran country music tycoon's estimated $450 million fortune.
The picket-fenced micro-compound, just a couple short blocks from the center of Solvang's densely faux-timbered downtown, occupies a .27 acre corner parcel and includes three separate living spaces. The compact, clapboard-sided main house, according to listing details, has three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The cottage is jam-packed with over-sized furnishings and decoratively done up with Old-Timey lace curtains, hokey stenciled borders around doors and windows, and a downright punishable amount of fake flower sprays and faux-greenery. In the living room there's a television surmounted gas fireplace set cattywompus to room and accented with blue and white Danish tiles.
In the adjoining (and nearly claustrophobic) eat-in kitchen there are ordinary oak cabinetry topped with ordinary laminate counters and what Your Mama thinks might be the least expensive appliances money can buy.
A gated gravel driveway separates the rear of the petite main house from a roomy bunkhouse with garaging for three cars plus a ground level studio apartment. Upstairs there's a three bedroom and two bathroom guest apartment with wood stove and an eat-in kitchen finished with the similar, humble finishes and appliances as in the main house.
Each of the three living spaces has a private patio or deck. The ground level studio has a slender strip of grassy yard the main house has a fenced and gated deck area where Dolly can lounge around on her porch swing without being seen by all the clog-acquiring and pickled gherkin noshing hoi polloi that visit Solvang in droves. We are not even going to discuss the mortifying miniature windmill in the front yard because it's really just too much for Your Mama's delicate constitution to bear.
The multi-level creek side cottage has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,800 square feet with a a river rock fireplace and cathedral ceiling in the living room, a raised hearth fireplace in the dining area, and, as per listing details, a "taste bud tempting kitchen" with a secondary Sub-Zero fridge. There are also "Lots of nooks and crannies for extra storage," and a spacious deck that overlooks a meandering pathway and bridge that leads down to the crick and out in to the woods. Honestly children, we just can't see Miz Parton with her suped-up wigs and stripper heels
*In addition to her seven Grammy's and 45 more Grammy nominations the lauded and applauded Dolly Parton can also brag about a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award along with three AMAs (plus a 18 more nominations), 7 ACMs (plus 39 more nominations), two CMTS (plus three more nominations), 9 CMAs (plus 40 more nominations), four People's Choice Awards (plus 7 more nominations) 5 Golden Globe nominations, two Tony nominations, one Emmy nomination, and two Academy Award nominations.
listing photos (Solvang): Village Properties
listing photos (Idyllwild): Idyllwild Realty
listing photo (Nashville): Pilkerton Realtors
Posted by Your Mama at 12:11 PM