Tuesday, March 31, 2009





As many of you are probably aware, there is a drive underway this April 1st, for bloggers to unite and donate to the organization Feeding America, formerly known as the Nation’s Food Bank Network.   April Food Day is asking all those who write blogs and those who read them to donate $1.00 on April 1st (or even today!)     One dollar is such a small amount, yet it equates to ten pounds of food, or seven full meals!    If you wish, and are able, you may donate any amount.  


I know I don’t have to tell you about the hard economic times some people are living through today.   At Cote de Texas, I write about the fun things in life, the beautiful things, and the superficial, the very things that come from a life full of success.    Unfortunately, I don’t spend much time discussing what is going on out there in America now, where so many people are out of work and suffering.    The very things I write about seem so trivial in the face of the devastation and hunger so many families face each and every day.    It only seems fitting that together, we take one day out of the year to think about something more important than the usual.


So, today and tomorrow, please take a minute and go HERE, to donate $1.00 to a great cause.    Be sure and take the time to read the literature on their web site to see all the good work that Feeding America does.   


Thank you so much!!!!!  Together, all of us can make a difference.

Have A Look See Around The Manor

ABC News took some fun footage of the surprisingly lackluster interior of smoky voiced Candy Spelling's Holmby Hills house that she recently heaved on to the market with a coma inducing $150,000,000 asking price. We thought the children might like having a peep around what is thought to be the largest private residence in California.

In the video we get to see the impress the guests style entrance hall with its double height ceiling, twin curving staircases and a chandelier the size of a Volkswagen. There's also video of a Renoir painting, a paneled office/library, a game room that looks like something in the basement of a mid-priced hotel, a doll museum the size of most people's homes, a two lane bowling alley, the flowery breakfast room, the dining room where there is another stupendously sized chandelier, and the kitchen, a room we're certain Miz Spelling never enters except to grab a carton of ciggies out of the freezer.

Okay, we don't really know if Miz Spelling smokes, but her voice sounds like she's been smoking since she was pre-pubescent.

In a recent interview on ABCs 20/20 program–which we've yet to find in it's entirety online, we learned that Candy Darling does not know how exactly many rooms or bathrooms there are in her hotel sized house–a fact sure to piss off the terlit gurls, has a new book coming out called Stories from Candyland, has dozens of collections of expensive tchotchkes, has never met her granddaughter and, shockingly, claims not know where her daughter Tori lives.

She lives in a big house in Encino, hunny. Give Your Mama a ringy-dingy and we'll slip you the address.

UPDATE: Isaiah Washington

Way back in July of 2007, Your Mama discussed the Hancock Park adjacent condominium that too big for his britches ack-tor Isaiah Washington listed and sold in the aftermath of his very public and had to be humiliating heave-ho from hospital drama Grey's Anatomy.

At the time, it was posited by a real estate gossip or two that Mister Washington and family might pack their bags and head back to Houston, TX where records show they own a 4,653 square foot house on Vintage Centre Drive.

However, as it turns out, they stayed in Tinseltown and moved into a newly built and pricey rental property facing the Sherman Canal in Venice, CA. That should have been the end of that, particularly since it looked like Mister Washington was managing to right his professional boat with a recurring role on the short lived and universally panned Bionic Woman boob-toob remake as well as lead roles in two upcoming films.

But alas. It seems the drama sticks to Mister Washington like gum to the bottom of a shoe. According to Perez Hilton (via Radar), Mister Washington and family have been evicted from their Sherman Canal rental for failing to pay five months in back rent totaling $100,000. That's right children, e-vick-tuhd.

If we're being honest, and we always are, we don't feel so bad for Mister Washington. He sorta cooked his own goose in Hollywood by getting all mouthy and big headed before his star had risen high enough for him to get all mouthy and big headed. However, the man does have a wife and kids and it's unfortunate they too have to bear the brunt of this real estate brouhaha.

For those 12 children who still nurse a soft spot for Mister Washington, y'all can rest easier knowing he hasn't lost everything because it appears that he's still got that big house in Houston and his big black Mercedes G-Class car-truck thing.

Pretty in Pinks and Blues


It’s always fun to find new designers, especially ones that share the same aesthetic that you do.  I never had seen Christopher Maya’s work before, but apparently he’s had a long and very successful career.    I try to keep up with designers, young and more established, and thought I had done a good job at that, but apparently, not good enough!   I’ll have to try harder in the future.   It was this living room below that caught my eye .   I think it’s just beautiful! 




I found this apartment in New York Spaces, March issue, and just fell in love with it.  The designer, Christopher Maya, from NYC, used deep pink as an accent color and it really pops what could have been another typical beige space.  Instead, pulling the pink color from the Bennison print on the arm chair, the room looks young and fresh.    Apparently the owners of the space had inherited a house full of antique furniture and accessories, such as the collection of porcelains on the shelves, and they wanted the look to be family friendly instead of stuffy.    Maya certainly obliged.



Bennison Fabric (if you can only afford it!  Too expensive, but worth every penny.)

Deep pinks mixed with beige – a youthful alternative to red mixed with beige.

Deep cushions on the sofas and chairs, filled with down, plumped to a high crown (much maintenance, but looks great when no one sits on it!)

Seagrass in a pattern – slightly more dressy than the typical pattern.

Curtains  that hide the wall space between windows.  Instead of just two panels, Maya installed four which adds richness, luxury, and interest.




In the dining room, Maya used painted Louis XVI chairs and settee. 



Using a check fabric on the back of wood framed chairs – taking a page from history when the French put the more expensive silk or embroidered fabric on the front of the chair and the less expensive, not seen, cotton checked fabric on the back.



In the bedroom, Maya designed an upholstered headboard to mix with a collection of fruitwood French antiques.  The side table is just beautiful.


TO LOVE:   An exaggerated headboard design mixed with a luxurious sapphire velvet.



In the bedroom again, more 18th century French antiques – the gallery top table is really special.  I love the collection of period portraits in antique frames. 


TO LOVE:    

Beautiful striped silk taffeta curtains. 



Christopher Maya has a large portfolio on his web site, filled with all his other projects, mostly in New York.    In this large house in upstate New York,  Maya mixed blues and greens in the family room.



In another living area in the same house, he mixed the blues with beige.  The patterned rug in this room is wonderful.



Close up of the chinoiserie styled coffee table and Fortuny inspired fabric pillows.




In this informal living area of the same house, Maya matches reds with khakis.  I love the checked fabric on the sofa.   The red is picked up again in both the antique chest and in the lamps.  Maya added flat trim to the hems of sofa and chairs for additional interest.   




Other rooms I really loved in Maya’s portfolio include this two store living area.  Here Maya used ice blues and creams.  I love how curtains are so important to his design aesthetic.  Just beautiful!



Wonderful view of the same room.  






In this bedroom, the curtains, again, are the focal point.  In order to hide the AC unit, Maya used textured blinds along with the fabric panels.  The shaped valance is a great way to hide the space between the curtain rod and the window, making the eye see the two small windows as one large unit.





A symmetrical dining room – painted Louis XVI chairs paired in dark brown leather, give the room a masculine feeling. 




 Maya has done several show houses – here in this Hamptons Showhouse, Maya mixed blues, red, and yellows with black accents.




Here in another view of the Showhouse, the striped valance curtains add a summery look to this beach house.




Another view of the Hamptons Showcase room – painted French chairs surround a more contemporary styled table.   Notice the detail of the valance treatment.




Maya designed this beautiful secretary that EJ Victor sells.  This design shows up in his rooms in different finishes.  Available through  Robert Allen showrooms.




Here, the same secretary, painted blue for a summery feel.





And at Kips Bay Showhouse, handsome Christopher Maya sits in the room he designed.  Here the secretary shows up in red lacquer.  He also designed and sells the bookcase. 


To see more of Christopher Maya’s portfolio, be sure to visit his web site here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

UPDATE: Lenny Kravitz

The other day Your Mama discussed the Miami Beach, FL house that rock star Lenny Kravitz recently foisted on to the market with an asking price of $2,850,000 and ever since some of the children have been hissy fitting about wanting to see some photos of the interior.

Well children, pour yourself a tall gin and tonic and brace yourself puppies because here they are.

If anyone were to ask Your Mama, and of course no one did
, this kind of corny nightclub day-core applied to a private residence is exactly why Mister Kravitz can't get sell his penthouse apartment in New York City. A sensible person–that being one with eyeballs–would need to get up in here and gut the place because let's be honest, how many people actually want a metal grill catwalk that lights up from underneath in their home? Or a red lacquered living room that looks like a damn strip club? Or, lawhd have mercy, a hallway lined with mirrors and white faux-fur? Pleeze.

Now children, leave Your Mama alone for a bit because after peeping at Mister Kravitz's decorative disaster down in Miami Beach, we are in desperate need of a nerve pill and a recuperative nap.

UPDATE: We hear from the real estate lady that the photos we've linked to are not what the house currently looks like. And that's a good thing. However, the linked photos do show the house as it looked at one time. We're thrilled to hear Mister Kravitiz has pulled back the decorative reins on this house.

In Other...

...real estate news about women who date rich and powerful men, Manuela Herzer, the much younger and former female companion of troubled Tinesltown tycoon Sumner Redstone, has purchased the Mulholland Drive compound of Lance Bass, the bug eyed ex-boy bander turned every one's favorite Hollywood homosexual. We tease. Like everyone else, we like Miss Bass.

Property records reveal that Miz Herzer paid $3,850,000 for the hill top estate that includes a total of 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, two swimming pools, a guest house and spectacular views of both the San Fernando Valley and the glittery lights of Tinseltown. Unless the records are wrong, poor Lance Bass took a bit of a financial bath on this sale since the purchase price is slightly less than the $3,880,000 records show he paid for the place back in October of 2003.

Mister Bass had been living in New York City recently, but to be honest, we're not actually sure of his real estate wherabouts at this point.

Unfortunately, Your Mama knows next to nothing about Miz Herzner. She's reported to be several decades younger than Mister Redstone–who apparently likes his ladee friends young enough to be his daughter–and in late 2008, amidst his seemingly amicable dee-vorce from the also much younger Paula Fortunato, Mister Redstone was twice spotted dining about town with Miz Herzer sparking rumors that there might be a reconciliation between the former lovebirds.

According to both Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills and proven with property records, in November of 2008 the recently kicked to the curb Miz Fortunato forked over $4,150,000 of her settlement money to buy a 5 bedroom and 9 bathroom house on Liebe Drive in Beverly Hills. Not bad for a gal who was a modestly paid 40-year old New York City school teacher before hooking up with her octogenarian ex-huzband in 2003.

Live Like L'Wren Scoot

SELLER: L'Wren Scott
LOCATION: Tuxedo Terrace, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $999,999
SIZE: 1,712 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Celebrity-owned, but easy to show French Normandy Castle built in 1926 by Fred Hansen. The utmost in privacy and seclusion, yet minutes from the heart of Hollywood, this home is like a fairy tale come to life! Two secured entries off of street lead to a garden courtyard that feels like an English countryside. Privacy, seclusion, out-of-area experience are in abundance here. Perfect for artists, writers, entertainers or your client who simply wants to enjoy being home.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Considering this house has been on the market since July of 2008 and considering that the listing text boldly announces it is "celebrity owned," it's somewhat surprising all us nosy real estate gossips had not already sniffed this one out. Now that Rolling Stone senior citizen Mick Jagger and his ladee-friend L'Wren Scott are reportedly living in sin in London, Mizz Scott has less use for her modest–if not inexpensive–hideaway tucked into the hills of the Bronson Canyon area of Los Angeles and currently listed for sale with an asking price of $999,999.

Like a large number of gorgeous gals who wind up arm in arm with rock stars, Miss Scott started up her ladder of fame as a cat walker who worked her 6'4" former Mormon stuff back in the 1980s for fancy fashion designers such as Chanel and Thierry Mugler. In the mid-1990s, Miss Scott decamped for the sunny west coast of the U.S. of A. where at first she headed up PR for Prada and then became a noted and in demand stylist to the stars dressing a-list ladees like Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Ellen Barkin. Along the way, Miss Scott did up the costumes for a few movies, met Mick Jagger and then reinvented her professional life once again. In the last few years, Miss Scoot has transformed herself into a fashion designer with the same red carpet clientele she enjoyed as a celebrity stylist. It's a good thing Miss Scott fraternizes with the demimonde children because those are the only damn people who can afford her $510 Bateau neck tank tops and $2,875 satin bustle jackets.

Anyhoo, property records show that Miss Scott purchased her turreted Tuxedo Terrace house in June of 1996 for $255,000. Oh mercy children, remember the good ol' days when you could still pick up a starter home in Los Angeles for well under $500,000? Nowadays you gotta be well employed and reasonably rich to even think about buying a modest house like this considering that the mortgage alone will be well over four grand a month.

Records and listing information shows the French Normandy style house was built in 1926 by a gentleman Your Mama has never heard of named Fred Hansen. The house measures in at just 1,712 square feet and listing information indicates the house stands three stories tall and includes 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

There are, additionally, a living room with a vaulted ceiling, a formal dining room with stained glass windows and a small, lightly updated kitchen where there does not appear to be enough counter space to even make tuna fish sandwich let alone an actual mean. None the less, the kitchen does have a certain sort of relaxed, cottage charm and a magnificent mint green vintage stove. The not particularly large master bedroom suite includes a small bathroom with a soaking tub that appears to be molded from concrete and has a tiled niche for all Miss Scott's lotions, potions and bubble baths.

Outdoor spaces include a secluded and walled courtyard at the front and an overgrown and elegantly wild backyard garden that we think our attitudinal pussy cat Sugar would find a wonderland of vermin hunting.

Photos show the home retains much of it's original charm such as the carved stone fireplace in the living room and has been imbued with Miss Scott's personal style, which Your Mama might describe as a kind of bohemian chic meets a Moorish manor house meets the Paris flea markets sort of thing. Clearly this is not a home ready for the pages of Architectural Digest, but it does look like the sort of place put together someone secure enough in their decorative joie de vivre that they don't really care what's considered to be the latest and greatest in day-core depicted on the glossy pages of magazines like Metropolitan Home.

In addition to their shared London digs, Your Mama presumes Mister Jagger has given Miss Scott the keys to his many other homes. Although we can not confirm ownership of each them, Mister Jagger's long list of residences is said to include an apartment in Manhattan, a French chateau near Tours called La Fourchette, a two-floor flat next door to the 26-room townhouse in the Richmond Hill area of London (which Jerry Hall got in the dee-vorce), and two adjacent villas on the super swank island of Mustique. Your Mama read somewhere that Mister Jagger also has a 5-bedroom house in the Hollywood Hills, but we can't confirm that so don't go spreading that around like you know what yer talking about.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dreaming of My So-Called French Life

Is spring really here?  Really, is it for sure spring yet?    It has been such a cold winter for Houston and everyone is so tired of it.  I know it can’t compare to what those in the north have to suffer through, (and suffer you must surely do!)  but still, this winter it was actually cold here – and for a long time.   Most winters, we have spells where you can wear T-shirts around during the day, but that didn’t happen this year.    And yes, while  I do consider anything lower than 65 degrees to be freezing – it’s all in what you are used to.     March is usually when we start wearing our summer clothes in Houston, but not this year.   And how about this – every time you think winter is truly over and you pack up all those sweaters and fleece, isn’t it always sure to bring on that one last cold front?  This summer when we will all be miserable and complaining, I know I’ll regret saying this, but – I’m so ready for hot weather!!!  My flowers are freshly planted and we’re holding out hope that our huge oak tree is going to make it, but it looks like we have to wait another year or two to be absolutely certain.   I planted a ton of caladiums last week and I can’t wait for them to peek out of the ground and unfurl their huge elephant-like ears!    Do they have caladiums in France?   I wish I had a French garden, with a row of plane trees growing outside a bastide made of limestone with light blue shutters.  And there would be lots of lavender and tall, cypress trees, and gravel paths lined with box.   One of my favorite blogs to read and dream about is Vicki Archer’s French Essence.  Vicki is from Australia, but she now divides her time between London and her house in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, the poor girl.   In Provence, where she and her family grow olive trees, Vickie wrote the book “My French Life”  all about her experience of falling in love with a French ruin and turning it into this:



Vicki Archer’s house in Provence with its tiled roof and blue shutters and pergola surrounded by flowers.  “Mas de Berard” Vicki calls it, I call it a dream.



Vicki’s terrace where they take drinks and dine – how gorgeous is this?


Vickie’s book “My French Life” has inspired me to think of writing about MY life.  After all – it’s just as glamorous.  Working titles are “Being Born in Galena Park Didn’t Hold Me Back.”   (Yes, I spent the first year of my life in that booming metropolis, Galena Park, near the stinky Houston Ship Channel.)  Or how about this title  “A Life Divided: Houston and South Padre Island.”    Wait, I have a few better ones:  “A  Grocer’s Daughter, a Landman’s Wife,  A Shopping Fool’s Mother.”    hmmmm – doesn’t quite have the same ring as “My French Life.”    OK, try this one:    “From Secretary to Interior Designer to Blogger – A Road Never Taken”   or  “Pretending A Spec House’s Backyard in Texas is a Lavender Farm in Provence.”    My favorite though is “My So-Called French Life.”     I’ll let you know the final  title when the publisher calls.

So, I don’t actually live Vicki Archer’s life (that’s for sure!) but I can dream, can’t I?   A psychiatrist once told me that when you get down or get the blues, you should imagine you’ve won the lottery and what you would do with it.    I hate to sound so superficial, but sometimes it works.  OK, let’s play.   What would it be like to move my family to Provence and tend to this garden?   It’s available!!!


“Le Dream:”


Every morning I would get my bicycle out and ride down this gravel road to the village bakery for fresh hot coffee and a croissant.   If I can move to Provence, do I still need to cook?



I’d come back laden with the daily papers and bakery goodies and have my butler Pascal ring that bell on top of the bastide to wake up my lazy  family (some things never change.)   We’d eat the pastries and drink the coffee and read the paper sitting outside under the umbrella.   Pascal’s wife Charlotte would whip up lunch for us to eat here too.   




After breakfast, Pascal would set up a little bistro table with a chair for me to blog away on, right under the shade (we’d have wi-fi, of course.)  All the while my dog Georgie would be swimming in the pond and Sammie Jo would bark at the squirrels (do they have squirrels in Provence?)  Ben would head back upstairs to his bedroom, at the front, right, to sleep the morning away (probably nursing a migraine) and occasionally he’d wave at me down on the gravel terrace.  Elisabeth would be gone – driving into town for a bit of shopping!



After lunch, Ben and I would go to the ruins for swimming under the hot summer sun.




After the swim,  we would go back upstairs to change out of our wet clothes and shower for an early evening.   We’d wait for Lizzy to come home and then we’d watch the Purple Martins fly into their cute little house.  Or is that a dovecote?    OK, we’d wait for the doves to come fly back.




Before dinner, we’d take a leisurely stroll through the  gardens, taking the time to actually smell the roses. 





 And dinner would be set up here, with a white table cloth and lantern light, watching the sun set over the mountain range.    Maybe, just maybe we’d have a glass of wine for the occasion.    And then, it’s back to the house for a quiet night in, watching a few good oldies on DVD.  




Just to wake up and do it all over again! 


I hope your weekend is filled with wonderful dreams that one day might just come true!    To read Vicki Archer’s “My French Life” go here.   To read Cote de Texas’ “My So-Called French Life" go here.

Don Imus's Surprisingly Dignified Digs

SELLER: Don Imus
LOCATION: Beachside Avenue, Westport, CT
PRICE: $30,000,000
SIZE: 10,000 square feet (approx.), 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Direct waterfront estate on Westport's premier "Gold Coast." 10,000 sf post Greco-Georgian main house built by Hobbs Construction. New 2 bedroom guest house and renovated 2 br gate house. Total of 10 garage spaces. 215' of private beach.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama is a little late to the fair on this one having already been discussed first in The Wall Street Journal and then again by Mister Big Time. But we're weighing in anyway because seldom do we get to discuss insanely expensive properties in Connecticut and seldom are they owned by such a controversial ignoramus. Don Imus, the grumpy cowboy hat wearing radio host who has nearly killed his career in the last couple of years making repeated and obnoxious racial slurs...on the damn air, has put his Long Island Sound front estate in Westport, CT on the market with an impressive asking price of $30,000,000. Westport, CT is, of course, the same waspy enclave made famous by Miz Martha Stewart, who only pretends to be a wasp. The matron of impossibly perfect housewifery shacked up and filmed her television program at Turkey Hill, her long time estate which she's done sold now that she's living her post-prison, high-wasp lifestyle on a big farm north of New York City.

Anyhoo, property records and reports reveal Mister Imus purchased his 4-acre estate on Beachside Avenue in 1997 for $4,600,000. Listing information indicates the Mister Imus' mansion was built in 2000, so presumably this was either a vacant lot at the time of purchase or he ripped down the existing house and built his own dream house. Whatever the case, according to listing information, the 16-room so-called "Greco-Georgian" style pile measures approx. 10,000 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, 8 fireplaces, garaging for 9 or 10 cars, 9-foot ceilings, a formal dining room, great room, family room, gore-may kitchen with breakfast nook and pantry, a library/study, an office/computer room, a recreation room and a year tax bill of $131,863.

The grounds include a 2 bedroom gate house as well as a newly built 2 bedroom guest house. There does not appear to be either a swimming pool or a tennis court, but there is 215-feet of water front.

According to Mister Big Time, this is not the first time Mister Imus has tossed this big house into the real estate rodeo ring. Apparently, back in 2005, the mouthy and opinionated radio icon wanted to sell the house and listed it at $30,000,000.

We find Mister Imus and his radio ways to be rather repellent and since it makes us feel a little dirty to even discuss him, the only thing we're going to say about the day-core of Mister Imus's digs is that they are far more dignified than we would have expected from a man who has shown a stunning lack of decorum and class the last few years. None the less, since fair is fair, we'd be completely remiss if we did not acknowledge that Mister Imus, who very recently announced that he has been diagnosed with stage two prostate cancer, has spent a great deal of time, money and energy founding and running their 4,000 acre cattle ranch in New Mexico where children with cancer and and blood disorders are invited to experience what it's like to live and work on a functioning cattle ranch. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Records reveal that Mister Imus also owns a penthouse apartment on Central Park West that he's owned since at least 1994. Records indicate Mister and Missus Imus also own a maisonette style unit in the same building which they purchased in February of 2006 for $2,030,000.

Lenny Kravitz Lists Another One

SELLER: Lenny Kravtiz
LOCATION: Biscayne Point Circle, Miami Beach, FL
PRICE: $2,850,000
SIZE: 5,717 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Amazing estate home, point lot in guard gated Biscayne Point. Ultra modern luxury on a large 12,000 sq. ft. lot w/ unparalleled wide open bay views, with over 1,100 sq. ft. of tiled dock, and 100 feet of waterfront. Everything done to perfection, custom marble baths, polished concrete floors, custom wall of glass totally opens the large living area to incredible water views. Backyard is resort like w/ pool & spa, amazing dock area.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Poor Lenny Kravtiz. The pierced, tattooed and dirty looking singer/songwriter turned interior decorator has been having a bitch of a time selling his Manhattan penthouse apartment which he's had on and off the market for years. The 6,000 square foot nightclub-like doo-plex on SoHo's cobbled Crosby Street has had asking prices as sky high as $19,500,000 and as low as $12,500,000. Currently the five bedroom party palace carries an asking price of $14,995,000. Whatever the damn price may be, Your Mama recommends the listing agent discourage any prospective buyers from running a black light up in there because lawhd have mercy, who knows what kinds of fluids would turn up and where. It gives us the shivers just to think of it.

Anyhoo, in addition to the New York digs and a pad in gay Paree–where our recently nuptialed friend Falsetta Knockers and her louche literary lover/huzband are honeymooning as we type this missive–Mister Kravitz has long maintained a real estate base in Miami Beach, FL. In May of 2005 he sold his 9 bedroom Mediterranean style pile on Sunset Island's W. 25th Street for $14,500,000. However, that was not his only home in the Miami area. Property records show that back in December of 1996 Mister Kravitz picked up a waterfront sprawler for $725,000 which, thanks to Donna Summer, we've learned he recently listed with an asking price of $2,850,000.

Listing information for the Biscayne Point Circle residence is slim, and Your Mama was able to scare up only an itty bitty bit of information about the the recently renovated Kravitz krib which measures 5,717 square feet and has three bedrooms and 3 full and 2 half bathrooms. Out back a new swimming pool hangs over the Biscayne Bay where Mister Kravitz (or the new home owner) can park a big boat.

As far as we know, Mister Kravitz continues to maintain and run a two story, 2,500 square foot state of the art recording studio in the penthouse of Miami Beach's The Setai, a swanky ocean front condo-hotel located on bizzy Collins Avenue.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Candy Spelling Officially Asks for $150,000,000

SELLER: Candy Spelling
LOCATION: S. Mapleton Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $150,000,000
SIZE: 52,503 square feet, 11 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms (as per assessor)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Fetch yer nerve pills, pour a tall gin and tonic and hold on to your britches children, because Candy Spelling's 123-room Holmby Hills monster mansion has officially and finally hit the open market with a knee buckling and record breaking asking price of $150,000,000.

Although records we accessed show a purchase date in December of 1991, a recent report in The Wall Street Journal states that Missus Spelling and her now deceased boob-toob producer huzband Aaron Spelling purchased the approximately 5 acre property on swish S. Mapleton Drive in the early 1980s. We're gonna believe the Wall Street Journal, but whatever the case, the couple proceeded to raze the former home of the legendary Bing Crosby and erect a massive, multi-winged monument to their wealth which they called The Manor.

Records on file with the County of Los Angeles show The Widow Spelling's hotel-sized house measures in at 52,503 square feet with 11 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms. However, those numbers are somewhat in dispute as The Wall Street Journal puts the residential beast at 57,000 square feet and during a televised interview and tour of her palatial pile poor Candy Darling herself couldn't remember if her huge house has 23 or 26 bathrooms. It would seem that only the terlit staff knows precisely how many poopers are on the property.

Some of the only in a mega-mansion features of The Manor include the bowling alley in the basement, a beauty parlor and a barber shop in the 17,000 square foot attic, a gift wrapping room, doll museum, a home gym, a wine cellar and wine tasting room, a humidity-controlled silver storage room, a room just for the China, and a leviathan living room that does double duty as a screening room where the screen rises up out of the floor.

The fastidiously maintained and gated grounds include a major motor court with a spitting fountain in the center, covered parking for a fleet of fancy automobiles, meandering pathways that circle the property, formal gardens including a rooftop rose garden, a swimming pool and spa complex and a tennis court which we like to imagine Miz Spelling has never even seen let alone used.

Miz Spelling's attorney Stephen Goldberg told The Wall Street Journal that ever since his client announced she coughed up a staggering $47,000,000 for a yet to be completed 16,000 square foot doo-plex penthouse in Century City, the wildly rich widow has had about 12 calls from interested and qualified buyers.

Your Mama assumes these calls and queries are coming from the same dozen or so qualified buyers that have peeped and poked around the insanely decadent rooms of Suzanne Saperstein's $125,000,000 Holmby Hills behemoth for which it is rather bizarrely rumored that scantily clad superstar Mariah Carey has made an offer. We don't believe it, but that's another story.

Anyhoo, only time will tell how long it will take for The Widow Spelling to unload her big house, at what price and to which bizness baron, mogul, magnate or foreign potentate. If the ladee gets anywhere near the $150,000,000 asking price it will most certainly set a record for the largest amount of money paid for a single family residence in the United States.

Miz Spelling is still trying to sell both of the homes she owns in the gated Century Woods community which lies in the shadows of the towers of Century City. One is an 8,424 square foot Faux-Tuscan sitting on a double lot with 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and an asking price of $7,895,000 and the other a quasi-French farmhouse sort of thing measuring 4,843 square feet with 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and an asking price of $4,795,000.

photos: Pacific Coast News

James Perse's Pad in The Birds

SELLER: James Perse
LOCATION: Oriole Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,750,000 (reduced from $4,995,000)
SIZE: 2,235 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom
DESCRIPTION: ...This residence designed by James Perse exemplifies the Southern California lifestyle: flr. to ceiling walls of glass provide abundant light & seamless indoor-outdoor flow, fantastic master w/ FP, huge walk-in closet & luxurious bath, lrge open eat-in kitch. w/ stainless steel appliances, wonderful open living rm w/ FP & wet bar opening out to private lush landscaped grounds, pool, spa & outdoor shower.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, as we were watching those skinny bitches strut their wannabe model stuff on that dee-lishusly undignified America's Next Top Model program, we were also perusing the newly available properties in the Bird Streets high above Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. It wasn't long before our beady little eyeballs beheld a re-worked ranch directly across the street from the architectural tour de force of Ricardo Montalban, may he rest in peace, and around the corner from Leo DiCaprio's recently remodeled crib. As it turns out (and as the listing so boldly declares), the desirably located property is owned and being offered by t-shirt tycoon James Perse.

Unless you're in the tax bracket where you can comfortably afford to fork over more than fifty bucks for a cotton t-shirt or 145 clams for a pair of cotton cargo shorts, you might not know who our James Perse is or how he can afford to bed down in the Birds. See children, young Mister Perse was born into Los Angeles fashion royalty. His fatherm, Tommy Perse, is the man behind Maxfield, the super swank Melrose Avenue boo-teek that has been selling high priced and fashion forward duds to rich and famous folks since before the dawn of time. For those the children who think Los Angeles is a fashion wasteland, Your Mama suggests you haul your heiny to Maxfield and check out all the dee-voon tailored Dries Van Noton and gloriously avant Comme des Garçons garments that fly off the rack and into black shopping bags that get loaded into idling automobiles that cost as much as a damn house in Middle America.

Anyhoo, starting when he was just a baby-faced 22 years old, young Mister Perse followed his father into the rag trade selling pricey pared down basic pieces to celebrities and other folks with black Amex cards and money to burn. Although Your Mama is certain some of you will have all sorts of sassy and snarky things to say about people who plunk down $295 for a thermal lined hoody, we're also quite sure that Mister Perse will pay you no mind because whether y'all think his relaxed fit boxer shorts are worth 28 bucks a pair or not, he's managed without your financial assistance to successfully expanded his casual clothing lines into an small empire that includes 9 architecturally minimal boo-teeks stretching from the shimmering shores of Malee-boo to the casually glizty streets of East Hampton.

Property records show Mister Perse picked up his Oriole Drive property in May of 1998 for $875,000. Records on file with the County of Los Angeles show that the 2,235 square foot house includes 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. However, listing information shows there are just 1 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms. That's right children, 1 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms. Let's just pause for a moment and try to get out mind around the staggering optimism and impressive real estate cajones it takes to list a one bedroom and 1.5 bathroom house for almost five million dollars in a luxury market that is, by all accounts, less than brisk.

The 1/3 acre property is properly gated and fully hedged for privacy and listing information reveals the wonderfully pared down pad features walls of floor to ceiling sliders that open every room to the out doors. The crisp, clean lined and barely furnished living room has a fireplace, several seating areas, shiny blond wood floors, and a wet bar. The living room leads directly into to the master bedroom at the rear of the house where there is a second fireplace, more floor to ceiling glass sliders opening to the pool deck, a large walk in closet and a bathroom with a shower large enough for Mister Perse to scrub down with a few friends should he desire.

The minimally designed kitchen with its white cabinets, black counter tops and blond wood breakfast bar is open to the dining room where Mister Perse has placed a picnic table painted a gleaming black. We know the children are going to skewer us for saying so, but Your Mama loves us a picnic table moved indoors to become dining room table.

The long, low and lean house wraps around the rear terrace where there is a simple rectangular swimming pool, spa and a good sized grassy area. Somewhere, according to listing information, is an outdoor shower. For those not familiar with the pleasures of showering outdoors, you are missing out on one of life's great simple pleasures.

Mister Perse has admirably adhered to a strict palette of black, white, cement grey, grass green and blond wood in his minimally designed digs. While Your Mama goes weak in the knees over such decorative restraint, we fear that things have gotten a wee to minimal even for us. Perhaps all of Mister Perse's personal effects have been removed from the premises, but we feel strongly this house would benefit greatly from some thought provoking art hanging on the expansive white walls and a few stacks of books and magazines tossed about would make it look like someone actually lives up in here as opposed to just occupying it.

Presumably, the asking price of Mister Perse's property is partly justified by its stellar location at the white hot center of the Bird Streets. But given that there's just one bedroom here, any new owner will need to be single, childless and/or prepared to spend another few hundred thousand adding additional bedrooms and bathrooms. Your Mama wishes Mister Perse all the luck in the world unloading this one because, we fear, he's going to need all the luck he can get selling a one bedroom house at this price.

P.S. As noted by one of the children and despite the language in the listing description, this house was indeed did up and done up for Mister Perse by an architecture firm called Standard.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mel B Is Moving On

SELLER: Melanie Brown
LOCATION: Mount Olympus Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,999,999
SIZE: 3,476 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Magnificent contemp masterpiece surrounded by a tropical oasis. Purchased in 2007, this ultra chic showplace has undergone close to a $1m make over. Lush landscaping & 8 camera security system w/ night vision create complete security & privacy. W/ a saline pool, spa, 3 waterfalls, state of the art entertainment system, outdoor living room w/ flat screen & Viking outdoor kitchen, this is resort living at its finest. Sweeping city & ocean views, art walls, gourmet kitchen & open flr plan.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Earlier today, Your Mama discussed the moronic rumors about Dave and Vicki Beckham selling their Beverly Hills house to that wild eyed Tom Crooz character and his mousy wifey Katie and we're going to continue with the Spice Girls theme this afternoon and discuss the Los Angeles house that Melanie Brown, otherwise known as Scary Spice, otherwise known as Mel B, just listed with an asking price of $2,999,999.

Miz B first climbed high on the elusive ladder of fame as a member of the Spice Girls girl group but in 2006/07 she elevated her celebrity quotient into the stratosphere by mixing it up tranny luvin' Eddie Murphy and becoming one of his many baby mamas. Miz B and her crack team of publicists and managers managed to successfully parlay her Eddie Murphy baby mama drama into a much coveted spot the sparkling stage of that hugely popular but upsetting to Your Mama's sensibilities Dancing With The Stars program. Miz B's next professional engagement is, apparently, in Sin City where the singing and dancing diva is scheduled to perform–in her underwear–in a risque and "woman empowering" review called Peep Show.

Property records and previous reports reveal that Miz B bought her contemporary crib on Mount Olympus Drive in August of 2007 for an even-steven $3,000,000. Given that the property is now priced exactly one dollar less than she paid, she's obviously going to take a substantial financial hit, particularly when you factor in the near one million clams listing information claims Miz B put into the place in renovations and re-dos.

Although rich and famous folks are notoriously fickle in their real estate comings and goings, Your Mama can't help but wonder why Miz B would choose to move now, in this rather unstable real estate market in which she's going to lose a big bundle of buckage. Babbling Babette, one of our more adorable tattle tales, whispered in our big ear that Miz B and her man-mate Stephen Belafonte are eager to sell so they can move to a house with more room for their combined quartet of children produced from three previous relationships. Your Mama thinks it's really very sweet of them to think of their children's best interests this way, but didn't they have four children when they bought this damn place in 2007? Seems like somebody was not using their noggin when they should have been.

Anyhoo, listing information shows the two story residence measures 3,476 square feet and includes 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Additional rooms include an open plan living, dining and kitchen area with white walls, chocolate stained wood floors and cabinetry, walls of windows that slide open and a full suite of high-grade if somewhat chintzy-sized stainless steel appliances.

Among other bits and pieces, the near million dollar make-over included swapping the existing staircase out for a curving and nearly transparent glass and steel contraption that would befuddle and scare the bejeezis out of our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly who are, bless their tiny hearts, having issues with their eyesight. Miz B and Mister Belafonte also expanded the second floor deck the full length of the front facing three car garage where they've placed an outdoor pool table. Christ almighty children, who knew you could buy a pool table able to withstand the elements? Not Your Mama nor the Dr. Cooter, that's for sure.

It also appears to Your Mama that Miz B replaced the old master bathroom with an all glass and grey veined marble affair that has more in common stylistically with a high-toned mausoleum than it does with a master bathroom. Don't misunderstand Your Mama, we love us some tombstone grade marble as much as the next person, but too much of a good thing is, well, too much of a good thing. We might have recommended the nice gay marble loving decorator have left the wall behind the floating sink cabinet marble free. But that's just us. Some of you children may think bathing and doing the dirty bizness in a damn crypt is cool.

The backyard is really a large courtyard at the side of the house and includes an amoeba shaped saline swimming pool and spa surrounded by some nifty flag stone terracing, an outdoor kitchen full of Viking brand appliances, three waterfalls (when 1 would probably be enough), and and outdoor living room complete with, natch, a flat screen boob toob and a whole bunch of white furniture.

The last feature of the house that will appeal to all the paranoid children is the state of the art security system which features eight video cameras equipped with night vision.

Your Mama wishes Miz B all the best in her new show and her next home because although we find her career path to be a little icky, we find we always like her immensely when we see her interviewed on the tee vee, something we can't say about very many famous people.

A Little Real Estate Crazy With Your Morning Coffee

Once it was confirmed that British ex-pats Dave and Vicki Beckham are indeed packing up their tea sets and moving to Milan, it was only a matter of time before the real estate crazy train that surrounds their every move got underway.

The most recent real estate rumors swirling around the internets are that teeny tiny Tom Crooz and his mousy wifey Katie want to buy Sexy and The Spice Gurl's Beverly Hills mansion. The reports seem to stem from a story in Star Magazine which we can't locate online and which reported that the Crooz couple want to buy the Beckham's 6 bedroom and 9 bathroom house and use it as a damn guest house. The article quoted someone as saying, "They would use the place for visitors, but they don't want to spend much more than $15 million."

Queen, pleeze! That's just preposterous. Your Mama is seriously skeptical of all these unsubstantiated canards and we suggest the children also look at them stories through squinted eyes and furrowed brows because above and beyond it's sheer unbelievability factor, there are some glaring errors that toss a dark cloud of suspicion over then entire story.

Firstly, A little look-see into the property records clearly reveals that Sexy and the Spice Gurl paid $18,200,000 for their 6 bedroom and 9 bathroom mansion and not the reported amount of $22,000,000. There's really no excuse for that error unless the rumor was printed without even the appearance of fact checking.

Secondly, when the British Beckhams bought their single story sprawler in the Spring of 2007, the pound was way up and the dollar was way down, which means they'd be fools not to grab a deal at fifteen million clams because, with the exchange rate at the time, they really only paid like 10 or 12 million max for the place so 15 million would put a couple million in their pocket.

Thirdly, A quick perusal of an easily accessible internet map shows that Tom Crooz and his posse of handlers, minders, family members and Thetans do not live "around the corner" from Sexy and the Spice Gurl. The Beckham's 13,149 square foot house sits up a long driveway off San Ysidro Drive, which is west of Coldwater Canyon Drive and the Crooz clan's crib sits up a long driveway off Calle Vista Drive which is east of Coldwater Canyon. It might only take 5 minutes to drive their Bentleys back and forth to each other's houses for Saturday night Scrabble tournaments, but they are most definitely not "around the corner" from each other.

It makes sense that Sexy and the Spice Gurl want to sell their house and maybe those crazy Crooz's do want to buy a fancy guest house near their own ritzy residence. However, we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that the Crooz's are not buying the Beckham's Beverly Hills house.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009






Sweet Artie, the voice behind Color Outside The Lines,  emailed me some pictures last week, saying he thought I would enjoy them.  Well, thanks Artie, you were right – though the word “like” is actually an understatement.     On so many levels – these photos present endless opportunities  to look, admire, critique, devour, learn, remember but certainly, not forget.    So enjoy!  And thank you Artie.  I owe you one!!







Down a long brick drive, through wooden doors and a gate house, you enter the property.



It is big, and it is old, very old.  There are also two guest houses and an underground garage for 15 cars.   The property is large – suffice it to say.



The walls are white, the floors are black herringbone wood, and notice that the doors are painted black too.   The architecture is Mediterranean.


No one lives here.  The house has been completely furnished so that potential owners might imagine how it would look to live here.  It’s called “staging.”  This is an example of mega-staging to the nth degree.



The main room is all red, really, really red!   The carpet is a huge piece of seagrass, which shows how much color and texture seagrass actually adds to a room.  The golden rug becomes the second major color here, after the red.



The living room is large enough for three separate seating groups.    There are many Moroccan inspired accent pieces of furniture, along with English antiques.  Suzanis cover the large sofas.   Blue and white porcelains are accents.  This room sets the color theme for the entire property.  Almost every room has a touch of red, golden-beige, black and blue  & white.  



I think whether you like this room or not, will be highly personal.  It has started to grow on me, actually.   But I do feel that if some of the upholstery was covered in white, or the beige, it would have given the eye a place to rest.    Right now, all the red makes it hard to appreciate the antiques and the subtleties in the room.   




The dining room is a respite from all the red – done in blues with again, the seagrass and the chairs’ caning playing a major roll in the color scheme.   Dyed grasscloth covers the walls.    Notice the   touch of red shows up in the painting!  Perfection!




The breakfast room brings back the red and the mother-of-pearl furniture.  Ikats and stripes make up the curtains.  Again, the seagrass and the grasscloth tone down the bright reds.  There are actually two breakfast rooms in the house.




The adjoining kitchen is nice and white with marble and light blue walls.   Again, everything is high contrast between white and black.



The family room is next to the second breakfast room.    More suzanis – on the sofa and made into pillows.  



The family room again – notice the blue walls, how warm they actually are, which is nice shade to mix with reds.  My favorite item in the room?  The red lanterns on the mantel!  I love those!




The library:  Ahhhhh.   You can relax now.   Imagine if the big living area was done in these colors instead of the red, so much more restful!  I love this room.   The plain seagrass has been replaced by Starke’s diamond pattern in the library.   I love the patterned curtains and the pillows.   Beautiful!



Another view, showing the card playing area. 




The upstairs family room is white, black and beige, again – with zebra and blue & white accents.  The blue and white porcelains are a running them throughout the house.   Symmetry symmetry.                            




One of the bedrooms has red accents and a Moroccan theme with more of the mother-of-pearl furniture.  This red is more of a persimmon shade than the truer red downstairs.




Indienne cloth covers a skirted table.   Again, the rug provides the calming color against the high contrast of the red, black and white.




Another of the bedrooms with the light blues.  Seeing a color theme yet? 





The upstairs library has the white upholstery again which pops against the dark floors and the wood paneling.



The master bedroom is the most calming room in the house.  Warm blue, not quite an aqua, with beige carpet, and white and black accents.   Notice the perfect symmetry on the window wall – the small frame above each French door, the sconces and chairs  flanking the middle door. 




I love the framed wallpaper panels that flank the bed and the touches of ikat fabric.  I just love this bedroom!    And – I think this is the first room with absolutely no red in it – yet it ties in with the rest of the house through the blues, white and black accents.




The tufted chairs with wheeled feet are wonderful.  And the fireplace with a black framed mirror and crystal sconces add perfect symmetry. 



The woman’s master bathroom is all white marble and even has a fireplace!




The open air loggia connects the main house with one of the guest houses.  Notice how the outside window of the guest house is curtained in red!  And notice the tiled fountain – it  picks up the house’s color theme.




The entire loggia is decorated in blues and white with touches of yellow.




The main guest house has a rotunda where the staircase is located.  Just as in the main house, it is decorated with black hardwoods and white stucco walls.




The main guest house contains a combination media and game room.  The furnishings are white with black accents, the textured rug again adds the important color.



The second guest house acts as the pool house and has a gym and more guest bedrooms.  There is another smaller pool outside the gym.  And not to worry – there is a wine cellar and servant’s quarter.





And finally, the pool house is furnished in the same color scheme as the main house, black, white, red, and khaki.   Love the two lanterns – love the curtains, love the room!


OK, now that you have seen the Suzani House – do you have any clue as to who the interior designer is?   Any guesses?   I would bet a million dollars on whom I think it is – that’s how sure I am.    Would you?