Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

The Real Estalker – Catherine Deneuve to Sell (Honest-to-Goodness) French Chateau

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

SELLER: Catherine Deneuve
LOCATION: near Guainville, France
PRICE: €3,990,000
SIZE: about 13,000 square feet, 10 bedrooms, unknown bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some of y’all may have already read on Luxuo or Habitually Chic or Domaine or Curbed that enigmatic French actress Catherine Deneuve hoisted her Directoire-style late 18th-century chateau near Guainville, about 75 kilometers west of Paris—that’s about 47 miles for all us metric system eschewing Americans—up for sale with an official prix of €3,990,000. (A quick consult with Your Mama’s handy-dandy currency conversion contraption shows that equals 5,506,400 U.S. dollars at today’s rates and 11,255.94 Bitcoins.)

Your Mama can’t resist having a go at Miz Devenuve’s chateau because this, buckeroos and pussy willows, this ain’t one of those frustratingly ubiquitous, crazy ass faux-chateaus we’re always dissin’ and discussin’ around here. Chateau de Primard is the real damn deal. This is how one does a French chateau, children, and some of those people in Beverly Park (and elsewhere) ought to take note.

Digital listings reveal the sublimey patinated chateau, about an hour from the Arc de Triomphe says one listing, was given a (probably insensitive) overhaul in the 1960s but has since “undergone significant restoration” of the chateau’s “original character.” Inside, the rooms appear generously proportioned without being vulgar and, although a bit dowdy here and there, we are certain Your Mama’s Euro-centric and eagle-eyed chum Adrienne The Greek would swoon dramatically for the original floor tiles and emphatically affirm the un-fussy day-core as “absolutely correct,” and/or “just as it should be.” What need, after all, does a cinema icon like Catherine Deneuve have to try to impress with, say, a perfectly calibrated multi-million dollar overhaul spearheaded by famously autocratic architect Thierry Despont or a quintessentially and chicly Frenchified decorative scheme by Jacque Grange? That’s right, none is the answer to that question.

Current digitally accessible marketing materials show the dignified and essentially symmetrical, four floor edifice sits on about 18 hectares—about 44 acres—up against the Eure river and contains a total of 1,200 square meters, somewhere right around 13,000 square feet. Ground floor living and reception spaces include a large sitting room, a sitting room-boudoir—whatever that is, a library, formal dining room, and a 50 square meter—about 540 square feet—kitchen.

On the second floor—more commonly known to Europeans (and others) as the first floor—encompasses a 700-ish square foot master suite, two more guest/family bedrooms with a shared bathroom, an additional guest suite, and an “annex bedroom, whatever that is.

There’s a second, approximately 700 square foot master suite on the third floor plus two children’s bedrooms, another guest suite, laundry facilities, and a “bathroom and a restroom,” whatever that means. Listing details also mention something called a “70 m2 sauna suite.” Your Mama’s just gonna assume that means a 750-ish square foot health and wellness suite complete with massage treatment space, fitness facilities, maybe a mani-pedi station and/or a built-in hair washing bowl, and, of course, a sauna. Tucked up into the eaves in the “Beautifully converted” attic there’s a “relaxation room,” whatever that is, and a “home cinema.”

The grounds, redesigned by celebrated landscape architect Jacques Witz, include sculpted hedges and trees, vast lawns, and stone terraces. Somewhere there’s some sort of farm component or petting zoo because listing photos include one of a group of farm animals, a couple of sheep, some goats, what looks like a miniature horse or pony, and a cute little big-eared ass. Next to the rectangular swimming pool that’s sunk simply into a hedge-girdled patch of lawn below the house is a colorful statue of Homer and Marge Simpson sitting on a sofa. Well, children, we’re not sure we can totally support that particular eccentricity but we live, hunties, for an unexpected and funny-freaky flash of any homeowner’s unfettered individuality on display in such a loud and proud way. Does that even make sense?

We have no idea what Miz Deneuve’s future real estate plans hold so let’s digress for a moment, shall we? One of Your Mama’s favorite and very probably not true stories about Miz Deneuve has nothing to do with real estate. Ages ago, back in the late 1900s, Your Mama and our charmingly loose cannon bestie Fiona Trambeau flew steerage to London to visit Fiona’s cousin—let’s call him Mister Crownfallsout, and his life-long man-friend who we’ll call him Freddy Fussbudget even though he really doesn’t figure much into the story.

After a thrilling week in London doing all the things one does in London and getting completely turned around on the Tube more times than we’d ever confess, Your Mama, Fiona and Mister Crownfallsout hopped on the Chunnel for a few days in Paris. It wasn’t our first time on the Chunnel, thank you very much, but it’s a feat of derring-do that never fails to impress this jaded property gossip.

Anyways, one cool February evening in Paris—it was cool and it was February—we haphazardly landed in a street-side cafe in the over-so-trendy Marais where we proceeded to tipple more than a few back. Mister Crownfallsout, a never ending fountain of arcane (and very probably not true) details about the lives of famous and not famous people, swore on his next door neighbor’s dog that Catherine Deneuve, already then a woman of a certain age, looked so damn good because she has gold filament running throughout her face. Whenever her this sags a little or her that gets to drooping she—or her physician or whomever—simply roots around in her hair until they locate the necessary filament and give it wee twist at its end. Voilá! Up go the fallen ramparts of Miz Deneuve’s face.

It’s horrible and probably enough to send a person to hell but, needless to say, we thought we’d died. Fiona spit up her escargot. She did! Who had ever heard of such a thing? Not us, at least. Of course we have no way of knowing if it’s true but the beauty of the thing is that as outrageous as it sounds it’s totally plausible in a Brazil sort of way.* Beauty—or “beauty” if you prefer—is such and ugly business, isn’t it? But anyways, there we go digressing into a booze-fueled nostalgia.

*If any of y’all didn’t understand that reference to the dystopian masterpiece Brazil, you’re probably young enough to be Your Mama’s grandbaby.

exterior listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty
interior listing photos: Winkworth
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Joanna Krupa and Romain Zago List Miami Condo

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

SELLERS: Joanna Krupa and Romain Zago
LOCATION: Miami, FL
PRICE: $ 1,975,000
SIZE: 2,139 square feet, 2 bedrooms 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In September 2013, shortly after their long-coming nuptials in June, The Real Housewives of Miami‘s hot-blooded Polish model Joanna Krupa and her beefy-sexy-swarthy (and some might say smarmy) France-born and Brazil-raised husband, nightclub impresario Romain Zago, shelled out $ 1,369,000 for a two bedroom and three bathroom condo on the 42nd floor of the much ballyhooed Four Seasons Residences in downtown Miami, FL.

Less than a year later, amid deafening internet whispers and tabloid-y reports that the reality t.v. bigwigs at Bravo canceled the next season of The Real Housewives of Miami (RHOM), the passionate pair flipped the condo back on the market last week (April, 2014) with an asking price of $ 1.895 million. Within a few days the asking price plumped to its current $ 1.975 million. With no reality show—and hence no job—there’s idle and unconfirmed chatter Miz Krupa—presumably with her man in two—will hightail it back to Los Angeles, her home before she moved to Miami to be with Mister Zago and be on t.v.

Current online marketing materials indicate the 2,139 square foot corner condo was “completely remodeled and updated with high-end finishes,” although it’s not clear to Your Mama if the renovations were done by Miz Krupa and Mister Zago or a previous owner. Whatever the case, interior fittings and finishes include, as per listing details, four foot square marble slab floors, a name-brand sound system, a water filtration system, electronic window shades, and a state of the art home automation system that allows temperature, sound and lighting systems to be controlled remotely by a smart phone.

Double doors open from the public corridor to a compact vestibule and a long hallway—some real estate agents might try to call it a gallery—that cuts through the apartment at a catty-wompus angle to the main living area. There appears in listing photos to be some sort of built-in entertainment unit and/or wet bar in the north- and west-facing combination living/dining room where Miz Krupa—or her decorator/stager—placed a cushion-y, low-profile taupe-toned sectional sofa and a zebra stripe ottoman in front of nearly floor to ceiling windows filled downtown tower vistas. At the dining room end of the space a glass door opens to an itty-bitty veranda with oblique Biscayne Bay views and just about enough room for two people to stand or sit (or crouch) in intimate proximity.

The kitchen isn’t particularly big but is expensively and thoughtfully equipped with modern, flat-fronted cabinets with a rhythmic vertical pattern wood grain, high-gloss ebony counter tops (of unknown material), and top of the line stainless steel appliances that include a built-in microwave. A three-stool breakfast bar separates the kitchen proper from a compact breakfast nook/den area that looks out through the aforementioned veranda to the city and bay views beyond.

Both of the east-facing bedrooms have (windowless) en suite bathroom and the slightly larger master suite has two closets, one of them a decent but hardly huge sized walk-in.

At 789-feet the Four Seasons Miami is currently the tallest building in Florida and the 55th tallest building in the United States. The luxury complex offers its well-heeled residents a separate entrance with dedicated elevators and a residents only swimming pool and lounge so they need not co-mingle fraternize with the hotel guests. Residents are also given some sort of preferred membership at an upscale (and on site) health club but, seriously, children, that’s not really a benefit in Your Mama’s book since we’d sooner have our gin-sotted liver removed by an apprentice plumber than spend any amount of time in a place that bills itself a “health club.” Anyhoo…

As was seen in the last season of the RHOM the couple moved last year or maybe the year before—don’t know or care to figure out—to a fairly ordinary single-story bay-front residence in Miami Beach that property records show is not owned by Miz Krupa and/or Mister Zago but rather a corporate entity easily linked to retired Formula 1 race car driver turned Miami-based real estate mogul Eddie Irvine. (Mister Irvine, as it turns out, was sentenced earlier this year to six months in prison for a 2008 brawl in the VIP section of a nightclub in Milan. But we digress.)

Miz Krupa fashioned herself a bit of a real estate mogul on the last season of RHOM and a few peeps and pokes around various property records data bases reveals that in addition to the condo that’s up for sale, her property portfolio of includes at least four, quite modest single family homes. While she may own forty fancy houses in Los Angeles the only one Your Mama could tie to the beautiful if blustery model/reality denizen is a humble 2,200-ish square foot ranch-style residence in a perfectly fine if decidedly lackluster area of Encino that she picked up in July 2004 for $ 670,000. Property records show Miz Krupa owns (at least) three modest homes in the western Chicago suburbs of Glen Ellyn, Villa Park, and Lombard. (The property in Lombard is co-owned with her younger and also fiery sister, Marta.)

 NOTE: While Your Mama first heard word about the Krupa-Zagos listing their Miami condo from a gal we’ll call E.D. Brickell, it turns out the real estate matter was previously and first discussed by the mad-busy celebrity gossips at Radar. We went with it anyways because, well, for better and worse Your Mama loves us some Real Housewives of… franchise real estate dirt.

listing photos and floor plan: Piquet Realty and Radar Online
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Let’s Talk About Rihanna, Shall We?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Several weeks ago there were a couple of tongue wagging reports that international pop music superstar Rihanna, née Robin Fenty, moved into The Fortress, an industrial-edged and aggressively contemporary and much discussed concrete and glass edifice high above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. And she has, according to several of Your Mama’s better connected sources.

Your Mama first (dissed and) discussed the lasciviously muscular and almost cathedral-like residence back in January 2009 when, after nearly two years on the market with a exceedingly optimistic original asking price of $ 14.995 million, it was sold by (unfortunately named) energy drink entrepreneur Russ Weiner for exactly $ 8,000,000 to then 29-year old DJ and producer Val Kolton.

A little more than two years later Mister Kolton put the illustrious property, perched prominently a private .6 acre promontory with 270-degree views that sweep across the whole of the Los Angeles basin and often poo-pooed by highly opinionated armchair architecture critics, back up for sale with an also wildly optimistic $ 12 million asking price. The price eventually tumbled to $ 8.595 million before Mister Kolton managed to unload the white elephant at a nearly million dollar loss, not counting carrying costs, improvements, and etc., in October 2012 to a still unidentified buyer for $ 7,212,500.

Listing details from when The Fortress was last available for purchase show there are a total of 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms including a second floor city view master suite with dual bathrooms and a curvaceously walled dressing room plus a detached guest house above the garage with two bedrooms and at least one bathroom.

Other features of note include a 60-foot long, double-height entrance gallery with glass panel roof, several seating nooks, a fireplace and a floating, glass-tread staircase that Your Mama would find terrifying and terrifically difficult to navigate after a few gin and tonics. Along the rear of the residence there’s a double-height formal living room traversed overhead by a glass-floored bridge, a much cozier den with built-in entertainment unit, and a double-height library/billiard room.

A couple steps up from the dining room there’s an impressive all-stainless steel center island kitchen designed by Porsche Design Group that Your Mama and our eagle-eyed housegurl Svetlana both agree must be a time-consuming and murderous endeavor to keep finger print free or at least reasonably finger print free. Listing details we dug up also indicate there’s a spacious screening room with built-in booze bar and candy counter and a fully equipped fitness room filled with angry looking contraptions that Your Mama’s fat ass would have no idea how to use.

Outdoor spaces include a gated motor court between the main house and the guest house, a small grassy side yard with unobstructed city views and a koi pond, and, out the rear of the residence, a slender swimming pool and attached 12-person spa that together form a shape luridly similar to the male anatomy.

We have no idea how long Miss Riri plans to reside in The Fortress but iffin we were the betting type—and we’re not—we’d bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, the itchy-footed Barbadian will soon move on to another rented residence because, although she’s one of the highest earning entertainers on the planet, she doesn’t seem to stay anywhere very long typically prefers to rent rather than buy.*

Late 2012 brought an avalanche of reports in the tabs, gossip glossies and property gossip columns that stated the Barbadian singer purchased an approximately 11,000 square foot contemporary in the affluent and somewhat staid, hence unlikely seaside community of Pacific Palisades for $ 11.9. However, children, a two minute search of public records reveals the property is actually owned by a corporation easily linked to the same non-famous fellow who purchased the property in 2004 for $ 1.32 and custom built the luxuriously appointed (if woefully specious) residence. **

Last fall, after one too many intruders managed to find their way onto the above mentioned Pac Pal property, Riri packed up her designer duds and hightailed it to New York City where she reportedly rented a $ 39,000 per month duplex penthouse in SoHo. Listing details and previous reports indicate the sun flooded penthouse was had been listed for $ 14.6 million and has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 4,660 square feet of interior space and a 2,400 square foot private terrace.

It was around the time she decamped L.A. for The Big Apple that word got out that Miss Riri had (allegedly) paid around $ 21.8 million for a 10,000-ish square foot townhouse villa with in Barbados that she’d leased the previous summer (2012) for an unknown amount of money. (Your Mama can not confirm or deny whether Miss Riri actually bought the super-luxe five bedroom and five bathroom or not because we really just don’t know but it certainly makes sense she’s set down some real estate roots in her homeland.)

In February of this year (2014), for her 26th birthday, the often touring seven-time Grammy winning entertainer was reported to have leased a nearly 19,000 square foot chalet in the celebrity-approved ski haven of Aspen, CO. Some of the features of the massive pseudo-chalet encompasses 7 bedrooms, 11, bathrooms, a 40-foot tall foyer, a five-car garage (with turntable), two elevators, and tennis court with adjacent clubhouse. The house, a short walk into downtown Aspen, is currently listed for $ 45 million.

NOTE: The children ought to keep in mind that listing photos of The Fortress are from the time the house last sold and may or may not reflect the home’s current state of decorative affairs.

*Miss Riri spent $ 6.9 million on a newly constructed, 8500+ square foot contemporary in Beverly Hills in September 2009. Just about two years later Miss Riri filed a lawsuit against the property developers that claimed the house was riddled with design and construction defects that allowed water to enter and damage the interior areas. We don’t know what became of the lawsuit—and, frankly, we don’t much care—but property records show Miss Riri sold the property at a punishing loss, in late 2011, for $ 5,030,000. In September of 2012 the current owners, presumably after fixing whatever defects allegedly ailed the property, re-listed the property for $ 9.95 million. After (at least) two failed escrows, the property remains on the open market with a much lower asking price of $ 7.995 million.

**Not long after Riri packed her bags the house went up for lease at $ 65,000 per month and in late March (2014) the property popped up for sale on the open market with a $ 14.995 million price tag.

listing photos (Los Angeles, The Fortress): The Partners Trust
listing photos (New York): Town Residential (via Streeteasy)
listing photos (Barbardos): Chesterton International
listing photos (Aspen): Joshua & Co.
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Your Mama Hears…

Monday, April 21st, 2014

…from the kindly Rosetta Stone that word on the real estate street in affluent Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is that Taylor Swift may have caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and might be looking to quietly unload High Watch, the hulking 1930s ocean front mansion she purchased about a year ago for $ 17,750,000. (It’s just rumor and gossip, children, rumor and gossip.)

Since she acquired the historic and exceedingly visible estate, once the summer residence of Standard Oil heiress Rebekah Harkness, the vindictive song penning crossover pop-country superstar has dumped a fair amount of dough on upgrades and improvements. No doubt she beefed up the security systems and she made much scrutinized and publicized repairs to the Hurricane Sandy damaged sea wall at the bottom of the steep bluff atop which the 11,000 square foot multi-story Colonial residence proudly perches.

Listing details (and other reports) from the time of Miss Swift’s purchase show the 16-room Colonial-style pile sits on 5.23 hedged and gated acres with 8 bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms. Inside there are several reception rooms (living room, parlor, library), an octagonal dining room with built-in china cabinetry, a 45-foot long sun porch, and an updated eat in kitchen. Many rooms on the main and upper levels open to various verandas, balconies and expansive terraces with sweeping views from Block Island to Montauk Point. Set on a plateau below the house there’s an ocean view swimming pool with an adjacent, flat-roofed pool house/fitness center.

For a gal of her age—she’s 23 or 24 or something like that—Miss Swift maintains an impressive portfolio of private residences. She owns eccentrically decorated 4,000+ square foot duplex penthouse in downtown Nashville she picked up in August 2009 for $ 1.99 million and she—or possibly her parents—shelled out $ 2.5 million in June 2011 for a semi-pastoral multi-acre spread with a large Greek Revival sprawler in the leafy Belle Meade area south of downtown Nashville. In Los Angeles she owns a  a micro-compound tucked deep into a quiet canyon in Beverly Hills—acquired in April 2011 for $ 3.55 million—and she’s the much rumored buyer of an 8,000+ square foot duplex penthouse in lower Manhattan that writer/director/producer Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises) sold last month (May, 2014) for $ 19.95 million.

listing photo: Seaboard Properties
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Kate Bosworth Lists Hollywood Hills Bachelorette Pad

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

SELLER: Kate Bosworth
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 2,499,000
SIZE: 2,890 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last summer, after an almost two year courtship, supermodel slender and highly photogenic actress Kate Bosworth married also slender if not quite as photogenic indie filmmaker Michael Polish in a Martha Stewart Weddings-approved ceremony on a scenic Montana mountaintop.

It wasn’t long before the newlyweds were spotted by the paps house hunting in Los Angeles’s celebrity-approved Los Feliz neighborhood even and shortly after that Miz Bosworth revealed that she and her new mister—plus his daughter from a previous marriage—had moved to a lake front house in Montana.*

We do not know Miz Bosworth or Mister Polish or, as far as we know, even know anyone who knows either one of them so we really can’t say how much time they spend holed up in the semi-remote, lake-front wilds of Montana or if they ever found a new place to buy in Los Feliz. (We suspect they may have.) Whatever the sitch the still newly wedded couple has not gone without a crash pad in Los Angeles. Indeed, Your Mama’s research on the matter indicates that in November 2005 Miz Bosworth, via trust, paid $ 2.1 millions for a gated residence in L.A.’s Nichols Canyon area that—as it turns out—popped up on the open market this week with an asking price of $ 2,499,000.

Current online marketing materials show the two-story house—all T, no shade, hunties, it ain’t no great shakes in the architecture department—was originally built in 1955 and has three bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms in a modest but hardly minuscule 2,890 square feet of thoroughly and arguably thoughtfully updated and upgraded interiors.**

A blacked out, celebrity-style gate on winding street near the top of Runyon Canyon swings open by remote control to reveal a brick-lined concrete driveway that dips down to a compact motor court/parking pad and a visually aggressive, front-facing two car garage. Wedged into the slim space between the house and the up sloping hillside, a brick courtyard surmounted by a bougainvillea climbing trellis leads back to the front entry.

Inside a small entry area leads into a J-shaped open-plan main living space that hinges around a white painted brick fireplace with modern-minded wood storage capability. Milk chocolate-toned hardwood floors run throughout the various nooks and crannies of the somewhat meandering, urban loft-style space that includes an itty-bitty “formal” seating area with vaulted ceiling in front of the aforementioned fireplace. Tucked off to the side in a nest-y nook with a lower and flat ceiling, there’s a boob-toob viewing lounge where somebody managed to successfully use a butter yellow and crimson floral wall paper on the back wall. (And that’s high if entirely meaningless praise from this sometimes inappropriately bitchy property gossip because snazzy-jazzy wallpaper just really isn’t Your Mama’s decorative thang.)

Beyond the fireplace an airy dining area was done up in such a fashion that works for easy breezy breakfasts and more dressed up dinners. A glimmery antique crystal chandelier hangs above an all-black, Chinoiserie-style dining room set with leopard print cushions. (In case anyone cares—and we can’t imagine why they would—we find the chandelier a smart if perhaps a bit too petite choice for the room but we can not get enough of that deliciously high-camp dining room set. It might only be better in all the worst ways if it was done in Chinese red lacquer.)

The dining room opens on one end through windows and single pane French doors to the backyard entertainment and recreation areas and on the other end over a two-seat snack peninsula to a just about all white kitchen with two farmhouse sinks, some sort of expensive looking buff-toned counter top material, and a full suite of top-quality stainless steel appliances.

The galley style kitchen has a steeply pitched ceiling and a long greenhouse-type window that gives the otherwise fairly skinny (if well outfitted) galley kitchen some much needed head room. Everybody knowns that Rule #53 Your Mama’s Big Book of Decoratin’ Dos and Don’ts emphatically states that greenhouse windows in kitchens (or any other rooms) are strictly verboten as they far too often get cluttered with collections of silly things people ought not collect like, say, figurines of sleeping cats. (Believe it or not, children, there are people who actually collect sleeping cat figurines and we can’t help but cynically pity the poor souls for their efforts to surround themselves with—ugh—cuteness.) However, Your Mama recognizes that there can always be an exception or two to any rule and, in this case, we utterly j’adore the greenhouse window the sucks up natural light like a vacuum on crack in what could easily be a very dark kitchen.

One of the two main floor guest/family bedrooms appears in listing photos to have been dressed and used by Miz Bosworth as a small den/office with built-in display shelves (that display an eclectic and global collection of books and other this and thats). The other, larger bedroom has two sets of multi-paned French doors, one set opens to a narrow, bamboo shaded side yard where somebody was clever enough to sneak in a lap lane swimming pool into what was surely, previously, a under-utilized sliver of the sylvan .54 acre property. The bedrooms share a travertine- (or maybe limestone-) lined hall bathroom that’s big and well-equipped enough it could easily be mistaken for the master bathroom of a comfortably appointed home. Once again, some clever person punched a (single pane) glass door through the bathroom wall for lap pool access. That way, of course, the lap swimmer need not traipse soaking through the whole damn house should they need to stop for a mid-swim visit to the facility. Anways…

The upper floor is given entirely to a wood-floored and sky-lit master bedroom with a small seating area between the bed and side-lit multi-pane French doors that open to a private terrace nestled into the surrounding tree tops. There are two walk-in closets—both, we have to imagine, custom kitted to the exact specifications and sartorial storage needs of stylish Miz Bosworth—and an all-white bathroom with Carrara marble topped double vanity, white-tiled steam shower with convenient built-in seating bench, an all white tile jetted bathroom, lots of high windows, and a semi-private cubby for the crapper.

In addition to the entry courtyard and the side yard with the lap lane swimming pool a continuous series of decks and bricked terraces run along the full length of the back of the house. Single-pane French doors in the t.v. lounge open to a deck with portable kiva fireplace and a couple of canvas slung butterfly chairs ottomans. Two more sets of single-pane French doors in the “formal” living area and dining area connect to a larger, red brick terrace, ringed by a short, well-clipped hedge and shaded by very mature eucalyptus trees. The canyon views aren’t the sort that some might call jet liner or panty dropping but the views over the canyons and mountains are certainly appealing, especially given that it’s only about 10 minutes down the brutally twisting canyons roads to the bustling (if still somewhat tawdry) heart of Hollywood.

*Just to round out the story: Mister Polish and several of his family members have long vacationed and owned homes in Montana so, while a bit out of the way for a couple of chicly arty-farty Tinseltowners its wasn’t some odd place out of the blue. Property records show Mister Polish owns a modest, lake front house (sort of) near Bigfork, MT, that he picked up in early 2009 for $ 555,625.

Not for looking, we didn’t find any direct evidence that Mister Polish currently owns any real estate in Los Angeles. That does not mean he does not, only that we don’t know. Property records do show he previously owned a home above Beachwood Canyon that he quit claimed over to his ex-wife in the late 1990s and we also turned up some mildly circumstantial evidentiary traces that suggest that at some point in the last several or so years he rented an unassumingly charming bungalow in Silver Lake owned by dynamite contemporary architect Lorcan O’Herlihy

**One snarky criticism (among others) that we will make is that we don’t care for how some of the room have more modern, single pane French doors and others have more classic and traditional multi-paned French doors.

listing photos: Michael McNamara/Shooting L.A. for Coldwell Banker
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Robin Williams Sells L.A. Pied A Terre

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

SELLER: Robin Williams
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 869,000
SIZE: 1,3,18 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some of y’all may have already read in The Wall Street Journal this week that award-winning comedian and actor Robin Williams* will re-list his 650+ acre vineyard property in Napa and Sonoma Counties with a new and lower asking price of $ 29.9 million. (Yes, puppies, the estate straddles the county line so it’s in both counties.) Mister Williams previously had the luxuriously fitted estate with its titanic 20,000 Tuscan villa on the open market back in August 2012 with a significantly higher and (apparently) optimistic $ 35 million asking price.

According to Your Mama’s research, re-listing his baronial estate in Northern California isn’t the only recent shuffle Mister Williams has made to his residential real estate portfolio. In February of 2009 Mister Williams, via trust, paid Gossip Girl co-creator/writer/producer Stephanie Savage $ 857,500 for a modest pied-a-terre in Los Angeles’ historic and leafy Bronson Canyon.** Last September, to little or no hoo-ha or hullabaloo, the property popped back up for sale with an asking price of $ 939,000. Within six weeks the price dropped by $ 40,000 and in late January, according to property records, Mister Williams sold the house to a non-celebrity for $ 869,000.

Digital marketing materials show the 1920s Storybook Tudor*** retains many of its original architectural features and measures in at just 1,318 square feet with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms plus what listing details rather describe as a “unique screening room.” More on that “screening room” in a moment.

A charming brick stairway curves up from the street to a steeply pitched portico where an arched front door opens into the tiniest of tiny vestibules. It’s just one or maybe two steps through the tiny vestibule to the pleasingly voluminous living room with original wood floors, a raised and angled ceiling, and a period fireplace. A perfectly lovely set of arched, multi-pane French doors at the far end of the room lead out to the home’s primary outdoor living space, a walled and shady-looking red brick terrace.

In the dining room, two steps up through an archway from the living room, built-in book cases surround a street-facing bank of windows. Next door, in the efficiently petite and not particularly special kitchen, listing photos show humble white cabinets with glass fronted uppers, white ceramic tile counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and—curiously—parquet pattern flooring. The parquet pattern floor inexplicably extends into the main floor powder pooper and Your Mama fears all that parquet might be some sort of laminate material.

A a slender stairway ascends to the upper level where two bedrooms—one with an excitingly vaulted ceiling, share a squeezy but thankfully sky-lit bathroom with dark tile floors and white ceramic tiles in the combination tub/shower.

As mentioned above, listing details point out a “unique screening room” where a carpeted platform consumes more than half the floor space and makes it impossible for anyone taller than a toddler to stand up. Presumably one is expected to crawl up onto the platform and then, minding one’s tender noggin, fold oneself into the day bed in order to watch a movie? Gurl, pleeze. Just put a big ol’ t.v. in the living room and call it a day. We don’t know what some people are thinking, children. We understand that some people do not like to have their living room dominated by a television. And we get that. We feel your pain. But this is a small house and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. For chrissakes, Your Mama feels our blood all hot up in our eyeballs with claustrophobia just looking at a picture of that room and we can assure y’all we would most certainly require a nerve pill and a stiff gin & tonic to muster the courage to wedge our fat ass up in there just to look at the damn boob-toob. We’ll say it again because we think it’s important: Put a damn t.v. in the living room and call it a day. Okay? Okay.

Mister Williams, now married to his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, also owns a six bedroom and 7.5 bathroom bay front home in the über-affluent community of Belvedere-Tiburon. Your Mama’s research shows Mister Williams purchased the large and luxurious if architecturally nondescript, 6,517 square foot single-story residence in the latter days of 2008 for $ 4,050,000.

*Mister Williams has been awarded 1 Oscar, 2 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, and 5 Grammys.

**For the record: Your Mama can not say with certainty this house was occupied by Mister and Third Missus Williams. It’s possible it was purchased for one of Mister Williams’ several young adult children. Certainly, there’s precedent for this. In the fall of 2007 Mister Williams, again via trust, paid $ 1,010,000 for a sunny one bedroom and two bathroom duplex condo with private roof terrace in Brooklyn’s hipster haven of Williamsburg. The condo was later deeded over to his eldest son, Zachary, who subsequently sold in May, 2010, for $ 1.1 million. (As it turns out the top-floor condo is currently on the open market with an asking price of $ 1.695 million.)

***Is that what this house is? A Storybook Tudor? Anyone? 

listing photos: Keller Williams
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Composer Bryan Tyler Buys Glassy Digs

Friday, April 18th, 2014

SELLER: Jack Corwin
BUYER: Brian Tyler
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 7,975,000
SIZE: 7,614 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama is not sure how much we can add to the already interminable discussions and commentary about this horizontally inclined mansion—tucked privately down a gated driveway in an out of the way enclave off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills—with all its much dissed and drooled over melodramatic glassy-glassyiness. So, with an uncharacteristic attempt at brevity, Your Mama will try to stick (mostly) just to the facts.

Digital marketing materials we dug up and the cavalcade of property gossip tongue wagging that went on when the property, with its super-flash glass-walled garages and glass-walled living spaces, was originally listed in May 2013 for $ 7.9 million. By the end of the year the price tag had ballooned to $ 8.5 million. Raising the price can and will seem rude and entirely counter-intuitive to some not savvy to the highways and alleyways of high end real estate but—skeptics take note—clearly somebody knew what they were doing because the sleek and architecturally lascivious residence sold at the end of March (2014) for $ 7.975 million to—as per the ever-vigilant real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak—prolific film and television producer Brian Tyler.

Mister Tyler and his slender frame and movie star hair are little known to Joe and Josephine Public but his musical compositions certainly are not. His impressively long and robust resume includes original scores for a whole lotta big budget sci-fi action adventures: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, The Expendables, the 2008 reprise of Rambo, and the original Fast & Furious (2009) as well as Fast Five and the upcoming Fast & Furious 7. Along with a few high-profile film gigs on his plate Mister Tyler currently does the music for the Sleepy Hollow and Hawaii Five-0 television series. He’s busy, children, and just because you ain’t never heard of him don’t mean he’s not a Showbizness powerhouse who can afford an $ 8 million house with what must be staggering window washing bills.

The existing house sits on a .85 acre parcel that was once part of apparently pervy silver screen big hunk Errol Flynn’s Mulholland Farm estate. So the scuttlebutt goes, Mister Flynn’s long ago razed party pad had a casino room and a leather padded bar tended by a bald Russian exile he kept on full time retainer. A secret door in the bar opened into a tiny, triangular room with a two-way mirror into the restroom, presumably so Mister Flynn and his voyeuristic pals could watch people pee and Lord only knows what else. Good grief. Some people have such kooky proclivities. Anyways…

A much larger chunk of Mister Flynn’s Mulholland Farm estate was sold to Helen Hunt in 1997 who custom built a huge Mediterranean mansion she sold in 2002 to its current owner Justin Timberlake who lives there—as far as we know—with his pillow-lipped actress wife Jessica Biel. We can’t vouch for the veracity but a gated compound at the far end of the enclave is believed by some property gossips and other celebrity property watchers to be owned by Tom Cruise who—rumor has it—bought and rehabbed the property to be used as some sort of Scientology retreat or some such nonsense.

The title chain for the property presents itself with some frustrating murk but Your Mama’s research shows the property in question was purchased in 1980 by singer-songwriter Ricky Nelson. The property was sold to developer in the later 1980s who, we’re pretty sure, built the previous iteration of the current house and sold it in 1997—for a reported $ 1.85 million—to car-collecting financier Jack Corwin. The previous iteration of the existing residence was built in 1987, as per the L.A. County Tax Man, but it was Mister Corwin who transformed whatever residence was here into the exuberantly lit, multi-level glass-walled extravaganza that it is today.

Digital marketing materials and reports from the time it was listed on the open market show there are five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 7,641 square feet. A few of the sybaritic residence’s more impressive features include a sprawling, multi-level living room lounge that looks like it could be the lobby of a swanky boo-tique hotel, a state-of-the-art media room, a gym—rich Angelenos prefer not to sweat in public, and the aforementioned pair of glass-walled garages that will accommodate and display up to nine cars. More private quarters include a private guest bedroom suite, a separate guest house, and a spacious open plan master suite with a multi-level platform with three-sided fireplace, integrated tub, and glassed in steam shower.

A series of planted terraces extend off the glassy rear of the residence and step down to a massive, foliage-ringed terrace with large swimming pool and separate, slightly elevated spa. A glass wall in the main living space on the other side of the house looks out to a grassy courtyard over-looked by the ass-end of one of the two glass-walled garages. Did we mention the walls of the garages are all glass? We did. Okay then…

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland
The Real Estalker