Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lady Gaga Gets Down in the 90077

Listen chickens, Your Mama was away on our vacay a day or two longer than planned because, perhaps not surprisingly, we got stranded in the wilds of northern Arizona after our recently rehabbed friend Fiona Trambeau fell off the wagon and ran off with some socks with sandals wearing German tourist in a rented RV. She also, much to our horror and dismay, took off with the keys to her Lezbaru tucked deep into her tube top. Eventually ol' Fiona came back, worse for the wear and reeking of Pilsner, dripping in chunky turqwahze jewelery and shouting out things like, "Auf dem wasser su zingen!" After giving Fiona a verbal dressing down that would wither even the most bitter drag queen and an arduous 11 hour trek across 4 states, 2 time zones and temperatures reaching upwards of 110 degrees, Your Mama has finally returned home to our hideway in the Hollywood Hills.

Anyhoo, vacation dramatics aside, Your Mama is back in the saddle at the celebrity real estate rodeo and ready to go. Let's get our post vacation feet wet with some recent real estate doings of a gal named Stefani Germanotta, better known to the young people as the provocative pop star Lady Gaga. Besides taking up the button pushing mantle of the middle aged music icon Madonna–a story line the Kabbalah Kween might take umbrage with–Miss Gaga recently made became the darling of the tabs and gossip glossies after the beer swilling high priestess of wannabe shocking brazenly flipped off photographers at a Mets game at Shea Stadium and then showed up a couple weeks later at a Yankees game in little more than a bra and panties where she proceeded to get sauced, sweet talk her way into the team's clubhouse, and cause a ruckus with some word slurring and (alleged) breast fondling.

As tantalizing as Miss Gaga's wacky ways may be, it's her real estate bidness that concerns Your Mama. While away on vacation, not so patiently awaiting the return of our trampy pal Fiona Trambeau, Your Mama received an unexpected covert communique from one of our better connected informants–let's call her Rhonda Ratsemout–who whispered in our big ear that New York City based Lady Gaga maintains a super swank nest in Los Angeles.

That's right bunnies, Lady Gaga is going Hollywood, or rather she's going Bel Air. According to Rhonda, last October Miss Gaga leased a 6 bedroom and 8 pooper residence in the hills above Bel Air at around $25,000 per month.
Property records and previous reports reveal Lady Gaga's leased residence is owned by Canadian real estate developer Lorne Leibel whose car fanatic son Cody is the bidness partner of restaurateur, nightclub owner and hotelier Sam Nazarian who owns celeb friendly Hollywood hot spots such as Hyde Lounge, Katsuya, The Abbey and the SLS Hotel. Property records reveal Mister Leibel paid a hefty $3,150,000 for the property in January of 2004 and last had the property on the open market in 2009 for $4,750,000.

According to listing information the high-walled and gated residence sits at the tail end of a quiet cul-de-sac and measures 6,143 square feet. Interior amenities include an impress the guest style double height entry with marble floors and a curving staircase that would make Norma Desmond swoon with melodrama, a two-story living room wrapped in French doors and warmed by a fireplace with an intricately carved stone mantel piece and a family room with another fireplace and another intricately carved stone mantel piece and brown and cream colored vertical striped wall treatment. There is also an office/library with built-in shelving and French doors that open to the pool terrace and a gigantic gore-may kitchen with separate breakfast area and an adjacent outdoor eating area.

The hillside property has a resort-style swimming pool and spa that practically hangs over the canyon with unobstructed and panoramic views of the Los Angeles. With a pair of binoculars, Miss Gaga can probably look across the canyon and up at Heidi Klum's former house that Nick Lachey currently owns has listed with an asking price of $6,800,000 although we don't imagine Miss Gaga has much use for someone as musically vanilla as Mister Lachey who, Your Mama thinks, beehawtcha could chew up in about 12 seconds flat.

Your Mama freely admits that we don't know where Miss Gaga currently resides in New York City although we do know that she used to live not so far from the Lower East Side tenement where Your Mama lived for about 1,000 years. However, since first hearing from Rhonda Ratsemout, we've heard that Miss Gaga actually tried to by Mister Leibel's other house in the Hidden Valley enclave of Beverly Hills (Post Office) that was last listed at $16,500,000. In the end she decided to lease the less expensive house in Bel Air, all of which makes Your Mama wonder if Miss Gaga is planning on relocating to Los Angeles sometime in the near future. Only time will tell chickadoodles, only time will tell.

NOTE: This posting has been amended for its original form. Your Mama got our wires crossed as to the exact house Miss Gaga leased. We've got out ducks in a row now. We apologize for the gross error.

A Confession


Beatlemania, NYC, 1964.   Some things never change.

In 1964, I was crazy over one boy – well, he was a young man then.  I lived and breathed for Paul McCartney.   That year, on Aprils Fools Day, my mother woke me up for school, screaming excitedly - “The Beatles are coming to school today!  Get up,  get up!!!”  Sad to say, I truly believed her and jumped up, got dressed immediately, plotting out ways I could impress Paul enough to get him to marry my 10 year old self.   I still, to this day,  almost 45 years later, remember EXACTLY how I felt when she told me it was an Aprils Fools joke. 



Twihards, 2010


Fast forward years later, through all kinds of obsessions with singers, books, and movies and here I find myself a Twihard.   It’s truly embarrassing to admit this, but yes, I am a Twihard, a serious devotee of Stephenie Meyer’s books, the Twilight Saga.    I don’t know how I fell into this (well, I really do know) but when I fell, I fell hard.    It’s not like I don’t appreciate fine literature – my cats names were Quilty and Humbert, for God’s sakes!!  But, I am, at the age of 55, in the grips of a series of books written for teenaged girls. 


 z002  Rob Pattinson, aka Edward Cullen, smexy vampire and Kristen Stewart aka Bella Swan, his fragile little human girlfriend.  Will he turn her into a vampire so they can live happily ever after as teenagers for all of eternity?  Stay tuned for Breaking Dawn to find out, the 4th book in the Twilight Saga – and the 4th and 5th movie.


So, people, I confess here, publically, to you that tonight at midnight – my daughter and I, along with every other teenaged girl in Houston, will be at the movie theatre attending the Twilight-Eclipse premier.  Something tells me we’ll probably return tomorrow for a second viewing.  Well, I will – not sure if Elisabeth will want to go again so soon.



I’m not THIS bad off that I would tattoo a famous line from the book/movie on my arms.  Not yet at least.   The actual quote from the book is:  


"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb..." he murmured.
I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.
What a stupid lamb," I sighed.
“What a sick, masochistic lion."

I guess this poor girl didn’t have enough room on her arms for the entire quote. 




Edward and Bella at their junior prom where she begs Edward to change her into a vampire.  He refuses, of course.  He’s too much of an old fashioned gentleman from the early 1900s to ever do anything inappropriate to Bella, like have sex with her for instance!  The Twilight Saga is definitely smut free.  Stephenie Meyer is a devout Mormon and her values on premarital sex are woven into the plot. 


Even more embarrassing about my obsession is that I almost escaped the phenomenon altogether.  Oh, if I only had.   I had heard about the Twilight Saga but never really paid any attention to it.   I wished I had continued to ignore it – it would save me all this humiliation.   Until last year, I didn’t even know who Robert Pattinson was, nor did I care – but boy, has THAT changed!   I laughed at all the endless TV promotions for Twilight and it’s sequel New Moon.  Laughed.   I’m not laughing now, I live for those commercials!   My fall into the abyss occurred  when the first movie, Twilight, came out on DVD.   Elisabeth of course was already involved.   She had a slumber party where she and her friends watched the Twilight DVD all night long.   I snickered at them.   It looked so boring!   The acting was so stilted!  Everyone looked so pasty!



Pasty???   Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen, the gentlemanly vampire.   His career is huge now thanks to Twilight – he has two major motion pictures coming out next year.  He is the the Marlon Brando, the James Dean of youngest generation.  He made the Forbes List.  And he is just 24 years old. 




Ok, I can’t resist another picture of this gorgeous man.   That hair!  It has a mind of its own.



Maybe just one more peek.  hehe.  Brooding Rob.   I’m Team Edward all the way.  Elisabeth is Team Taylor.  She even has a life size cutout of Taylor Lautner.  We argue about who is cuter – Edward or Taylor.   It’s all so ridiculous – I KNOW THIS!!!! 


THE END OF LIFE AS I KNEW IT:   I don’t know why I actually chose to sit down one night to watch the Twilight DVD, but that’s where this all started.   I’ve probably seen the movie about 30 or 40 times since.  Elisabeth has watched it probably over a 100 times.  Plus factor in New Moon, the second Twilight movie on DVD – we watch that one too, but it’s not as good as the first one.   Since we’ve seen Twilight so many times, we know the dialogue and can recite it, word for word.    It’s not a great movie to be sure, the acting is bad (except for Pattinson who steals every scene he is in), the script is worse, but it sucks you in all the same.   It’s no To Kill A Mockingbird or Gone With The Wind, but it’s a sweet story of first love, if your first love is a vampire, that is.   When you are hooked you actually wish there were vampires that you could fall in love with.  How sick is that?  But, what is so wrong with never dying, never getting older, never sleeping, having brute strength, incredible vision and hearing, and gorgeous good looks (all vampires are gorgeous to lure their victims in)?  Plus, the Cullens are GOOD vampires.  They only drink animal blood, not human blood.   I know, I know, this is all so STUPID!!!!!  But, what confession is easy? 




The famous school cafeteria scene in Twilight.  Here Edward sits with his “family” – the Cullens. He is the only one without a partner, so he is lonely and brooding.  The “fragile human” Bella has a special scent that attracts him like his own “personal brand of heroin.”  He can’t be with her or without it.  It’s all so tortured!!!!   In real life – Bella (Kristen) and Edward (Rob) are also romantically linked.


After watching the movie, I read the first book in about a day, then promised myself  - I was through with all this nonsense.    Except there’s that pesky thing called Kindle.   Kindle makes it too easy to buy a new book at 3:00 a.m.   In shame I tell you, that within just a few days, I had read all four books.   Twice.    But it doesn’t end there.  It’s just the beginning.    After  you have read all the books, there is this weird thing called FanFiction.    What is FanFic exactly?  Well, it’s where people write long stories (as long as books sometimes)  online.  These stories are their interpretation on the plot -  they may rewrite an original book with different endings, or  different beginnings or even different plots altogether.  Sometimes the FanFic story will just takes the characters names and it will have nothing to do with the original book.  FanFic is not just about Twilight – any book or movie can be rewritten.    For instance, fans of the book To Kill A Mockingbird have written over 350 FanFics, retelling that book in their own way.   There are 607 FanFics for Gone With The Wind.   For Twilight, there are over 150,000 FanFic stories.  Harry Potter has over 450,00o FanFic stories.    So far, I have probably read more than 100 Twilight FanFics in my spare time.   Some are actually fabulous books – change the characters names and they would have nothing to do with Twilight.   Many of the more popular FanFic stories are even better than Stephenie Meyer’s original books.  It must kill her to read the better FanFic.    Still, FanFic is a mysterious and strange world, but a highly addicting one.




While I am bad off, I’m not this bad off that I would camp out for days for a glimpse of the Twilight cast.  At least I don’t think I would, but it sure looks like fun!


So, this is my confession to you.  I’m not just about decorating and French antiques.    I’m a Twi-Mom.   And yes, there are a LOT of us out here.    I won’t admit this to you in person, nor will I talk about this addiction with anyone that knows me except my poor long suffering husband and daughter.   It’s my secret.   Until now.   I might need an intervention.    I’m sure there must be a 12 step program out there for people like me who are hopelessly lost in the world of Bella and Edward.   Knowing Twihards though, it would be a 3 step program that would sound something like this (taken from an important excerpt in the book):


About three things I am absolutely positive.

First, Twilight is just a book.

Second, there is a part of me that will always be addicted to this book.

And third, I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it!


hehe.  You need to read the book for this to make sense!


 image Cote de Texas on her cell phone at the premier of Eclipse.


If you are going to see Eclipse tonight or tomorrow or the next night – be sure to wave if you can recognize me.   I’ll be the one in disguise wearing all black.  


If you want to see what all the fuss is about – I suggest you read the Twilight Saga books first.  Then rent the movies Twilight and New Moon.  And then, and only then go see the movie Eclipse.     OR you could do what I did and see the Twilight movie first, then read the books, then see New Moon and Eclipse!  Either way.    If you are already a Twihard and have never heard of FanFic, email me – I’ll give you some great stories to start out with.

Amazon:  HERE

Twilight FanFiction:   HERE

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Decorating Your House: Skirted Roundtable

This week on The Skirted Roundtable HERE,  the three of us discuss decorating for the seasons and how to update your house for the 2010s.   I am currently writing a magazine article for Antique Shops and Designers HERE on this very topic, and the conversation flows from that story.  One segment is devoted to Megan talking about painting her brown hardwood floors white.  In case you have never seen Megan’s adorable beach bungalow- below are a few photographs to help you follow along with the conversation. 



In fact, if you have never been formally introduced to The Skirted Roundtable’s Megan Arquette of Beach Bungalow 8, here she is – Mrs. Smexy!   Is it fair for ANYONE to be this beautiful????  I LOVE this girl!!!




image Megan lives in this adorable rose covered, picket fenced bungalow in Manhattan Beach, California.  Her street is a walk street only – no cars allowed and her house is but a few doors down from the Pacific Ocean.




This is Megan’s “front yard” – the life guard stand is at the end of her street.  Aw….must be tough living!   



Megan’s bungalow is tiny – she readily admits - but, it’s a small price to pay for such beautiful and valuable real estate.    Megan is contemplating painting the walls in her living room a lighter color and painting the dark hardwoods either white, cream, or light aqua.    She is also getting new window treatments.   Her furniture is all slipped – the two arm chairs are in a light blue and white batik and the sofa is white.  




On The Skirted Roundtable, I mentioned that I love this turquoise chair!   In fact, I adore everything about Megan’s house and am green with envy she lives so close to the beach in such a charming house. What a dream life she has.



image BEFORE:  Years ago when Megan and her daughters first moved into the bungalow, she had a leather sofa courtesy of her former husband.   She quickly replaced it  (along with her husband!) with the white slip covered sofa and recovered her two chairs.  The dhurri rug was replaced with sisal. 


Megan actually hung the Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis wallpaper herself!  During the show, she says she is thinking about taking it down.  Should she?  I happen to love the wallpaper myself!   Notice the white light fixture. 




In this picture – she has a red light fixture.  I’m not sure which is her current fixture, but this red one is too cute!  I love her iconic Saarinen table with the classic West Elm chairs.    



image Megan’s “famous” bedroom.  This photograph is all over the blogosphere and is universally admired.   When Megan moved in, the walls were plain sheetrock and she had them covered in plank boards to create a beachy feel, a process she explains on the Skirted Roundtable. 



image Of course we have to talk about the carpenter who redid her bedroom – none other than this famous Calvin Klein model!!!!   Yep!   Only Megan would have a carpenter like him.  She dismisses him by saying he was a lot “older” when he worked on her bedroom.  




image OK, back to business.  So, should Megan repaint her hardwoods white – like in this picture?   I say YES, absolutely!!!!  What say you?


Be sure to listen to this week’s The Skirted Roundtable HERE – it’s a fun one!!  Don’t forget you can get The Skirted Roundtable on I-Tunes.

p.s.  Again, let me apologize for my voice!  I know I have the worst voice and it is really magnified by Linda and Megan’s melodious ones.  I don’t know what to do about this, but believe me, it annoys me more than you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Outward Bound

Your Mama has popped an early morning nerve pill so that we can psychologically prepare our self to hop in a car with the usually sauced but recently rehabbed Fiona Trambeau's lezbaru in order to scream across the Mojave Desert to meet Chow Lee, his Lovely Laundress, and their Trio of Bandits who may or may not make Your Mama want to rip their sassy, pre-teen throats out before this journey into the wilderness is through.

What this means is that we're taking a bit of a vacay kids. By the end of the day Your Mama will be deep in the boondocks without telephone or wireless services and won't be back until next week iffin we decide to come back at all. Now butter beans, try to control yourselves in Your Mama's absence. We don't want to have to take the time to give y'all a smack down when we return.

Bye now.

P.S. Here's a few tidbits and morsels to keep your mouth wet while were gone.

Tommy Mottola lists Aspen ranch for $27,500,000.

Some New York hockey honcho lists his Upper West Side bachelor pad.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw finally sell their Beverly Park spread, the one with the super gay bathroom, for way less than the $14,800,000 they wanted.

Frederick C. Wehba lists Le Palais du Couchant, his newly built and never occupied Beverly Hills mega-mansion he decided is too damn big to live in.

Country king Alan Jackson just sold Sweetbriar, his massive mansion in Nashville for a heart stopping and record breaking twenty eight million and some change and now he's looking to unload a waterfront house in Tequesta, FL for $1,270,000 because he's got a new place in Jupiter Island, the very same Jupiter Island where Tiger Woods is completing a colossal contemporary mansion and where Celine Dion built a private water park in her front yard.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Patrick Dempsey Does It Up in the Bu

BUYER: Patrick Dempsey
PRICE: $7,000,000
SIZE: 5,547 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The children regularly question Your Mama about the real estate doings of a lot different famous people as if we are the damn Oracle of Delphi and know everything about everyone's bizness. Much as we'd love to promote that illusion, it simply isn't true. Our powers, we're not eager to confess, are far less potent than many of the children seem to believe.

Over the last year one of the persons we've been queried about more than anyone else is the much lusted after actor Patrick Dempsey who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd on the enormously popular hospital drama Gray's Anatomy. Not being a fan of the hospital drama genre of boob-toob fare–we do not even want to think about our aged internist schtupping his nubile nurse at work–we can't say that we know all too much about this Mister Dempsey or his Doctor character other than the poor man is saddled with the rather embarrassing nickname McDreamy by a lot of horny and under-sexed, middle-aged ladees whose huzbands probably stopped humping them 45 pounds ago.

Anyhoo, for the 6 months or so the real estate whereabouts of Mister Dempsey were a mystery to Your Mama, a real god damn sixty four thousand dollar question. Yes, we'd heard the rumors about him living in Malee-boo and we'd heard through the real estate grapevine that he was shacking up in the Sunset Strip area, but until recently we had no real intelligence about where the faux-doctor was hanging his scrubs.

In July of 2006 Mister and Missus Dempsey forked over $3,100,000 for a 3,841 square foot New England-y style domicile on Chantilly Road in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. In early 2009 they listed the property with an asking price of $3,595,000 and decamped for a rented residence on N. Bundy Drive in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. After several prodigious price chops, the Chantilly Road property finally sold in late 2009 for $2,571,500, a stunning $529,000 loss not counting the fat real estate fees that the Dempseys surely paid to their real estate people. The last we knew about the Dempsey's was in early 2010 when we heard from a reliable informant that they'd done left from their leased crib in Brentwood with their trio of youngins and headed to parts unknown.

Fast forward to this very week when we received a clandestine dispatch from Franny Francophile who directed Your Mama's limited attentions to some hard evidence as to the real estate transactions of Patty Dempsey and, as it turns, out he and the family are indeed making a nest in hills above Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA.

A little peep and poke around the property records revealed to Your Mama that back in June of 2009 Mister and Missus Dempsey dumped $7,000,000 on a 3.24 acre property that includes multi-level contemporary residence originally designed in 1972 by maverick architect Frank Gehry as the home and studio for abstract artist Ron Davis. Mister Davis sold the property in the early 1990s and it eventually landed in the hands of architecturally minded and suggestively named investor Alex Glasscock and his wife Sue who, property records reveal, paid $1,900,000 for the property in March of 2003.

Listing information provided to Your Mama by Franny Francophile shows the vaguely wedge shaped, barn-like residence measures 5,547 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 poopers including the master suite that contains dual poopers and closets, a fireplace, plasma screen tee-vee and a wide, wood framed sliding glass door that provides access to a private relaxation garden.

What's inneresting to Your Mama is that unless some sort of expansion is planned, Mister and Missus Dempsey spent seven million clams to buy a house in which two of their three shorties will need to double up in one of the secondary bedrooms. About that situation Your Mama can only tell the children that iffin we were one of Mister Dempsey's off-spring, we would most certainly grow up to be deeply resentful of having to share a damn bedroom with a sibling given that, clearly, there's plenty of dough-ray-me for all of the Dempsey children to be provided with their own private bedroom if not their own private pooper too, you know?

Anyoo, a long, gated cobblestone drive leads up to the main house where a wall of glass tucked into the chunky structure marks the front entry, a small lofted area that overlooks the voluminous, airy and maze like interior spaces that are unified by a gigantic, 20-foot by 20-foot central sky light that pierces ceiling. A staircase winds down from the entry to the "formal" living area that has reclaimed wide plank wood floors, a double height ceiling with behemoth beams, and a fireplace flanked by shelving set into the crisp, white plaster walls. The living area spills into the "formal" dining area where a wall of windows looks out onto the drought tolerant gardens all did up and done over by soo-blime landscape architect Scott Shrader who specializes in merging the vibe of a home's interior spaces with its exterior environment resulting in a seamless integration of classic California style indoor and outdoor living.

Although there really aren't any "formal" areas of the house, the more casual, family areas consist of a v-shaped galley style kitchen with thick, polished concrete counter tops and the usual coterie of high grade stainless steel appliances–including a built in Miele brand cappuccino maker–usually found in multi-million dollar dwellings. The kitchen opens into a large breakfast area and a large, elevated den that hovers over the breakfast area has built in shelving, a long wall of pane free windows, and a wall-mounted flat screen tee-vee. There are, in addition to the 3 bedrooms, two offices.

Mister Gehry clad the exterior of the house with corrugated metal and exposed wood, a combination that allows the house to both set apart and comingle with the quasi-natural landscaped environment that surrounds the house. The south side of the house opens to a colossal cobblestone terrace that meanders though the shaded and rustic landscape and a sun-bleached wooden deck that surrounds the massive swimming pool inserts a rigid order into an otherwise tangled landscape. There are tree-shaded banquettes around the swimming pool and an outdoor rain shower.

The sprawling property also includes an existing barn with three stalls, tack room and wash racks, a riding ring, two irrigated pastures, a chicken coop, and established raised bed vegetable and herb gardens accented with rose bushes and flowering vines that wrap around a long pergola. Listing information indicates the previous owners, the unfortunately named Glasscocks, submitted plans to the city of Malibu for a 3,343 square foot Laura Burkhalter designed barn with a 2nd story loft.

At the time the Mister and Missus Dempsey bought their new house in the Bu the interior day-core have been exquisitely done up and worked over by accomplished Malibu, CA and Sag Harbor, NY based decorator Michael Lee who, Your Mama thinks, owes a debt of decorative gratitude to another Michael, the late, great Michael Taylor. For those not edgumuhcated in the history of interior day-core Mister Taylor is widely and frequently credited as the creator of the "California Look," a glam meets rustic style characterized by a neutral but intricately and interestingly textured palette, huge, white upholstered pieces, stone and rough hewn wood accents, indoor trees, and sleek, sexy and clean lined elements in all the right places such as the kitchen and pooper.

Now children, before y'all start praising or dissin' on Mister Dempsey's day-core please keep in mind that the listing photos show the interior spaces as they looked when the pornographically named Mister and Missus Glasscock occupied the premises. Presumably Mister and Missus Dempsey have put their own decorative stamp on the day-core. We don't know what decorative plans the Dempsey's have (or have instituted) for their new house but Your Mama can only hope they had the good sense to hire someone with a similarly deft hand as Mister Lee. What we do know is that the Dempseys are committed to an organic Malibu lifestyle and that they employed Scott Shrader to re-work some of his original landscape design to incorporate outdoor cooking facilities and a number of sustainable elements for food-production.

Another celebrity real estate mystery solved.

photographer: Nick Springett

Brother, Can You Spare A Cool $24,500,000?



It’s official.  The blog French Kissed recently announced that John Saladino’s gorgeous Montecito estate, Villa de Limma, is for sale. Why?  Why?   The fabulously talented interior designer spent years restoring the stone house – chronicled in the book Saladino Villa.   Built in the 1920s, the restoration took over four years and the budget was double its estimation.    Everything was decrepit and had to be restored.   The stone walls were crumbling which Saladino had to reinforce from the inside.   His crew spent years scrapping offensive paint from the stone and tile floors.   The entire restoration process was backbreaking, hugely expensive, and a true labor of love.  And yet, just a few years later, it’s up for sale.   Perhaps the allure was the challenge.  Once he accomplished it, the upkeep proved too much or the estate is too big for just Betty and John?  Who knows?   But seriously, anyone out there have $24,500,000 they wish to loan me?  

Below, are some of the photographs from the real estate brochure HERE, as well as others from the book and assorted places.  To view the story on French Kissed, go HERE.



imageIf you don’t have it – get it.  It’s a fascinating read, all about the renovation with wonderful photography.



image Aerial view.   The entrance is on the upper right.   The master bedroom overlooks the swimming pool on the left.



s17Entering the estate through these arches.




image The same arches with a view of the motor court and entrance gallery on the right.



s18The open air entrance gallery.   To the right is a courtyard.  To the left is the front door, kept with its exceptionally low door, making tall visitors have to lower their heads to enter. 



Looking at the entrance gallery from the courtyard.



The entry hall.  Saladino is known for hanging antique tapestries, fabrics, and rugs on the walls, then layering mirrors and art works atop them.  



image The entrance hall faces out to the side yard.  To the right past the fireplace is the living room.  To the left of the French doors is the dining room and then the kitchen. 




A  photograph of the stairway leading up to the guest bedrooms.  Notice the antiques on top of the chest.  Saladino surrounds himself with beauty.  Every item in his house is either an antique or specially chosen piece. 


 image The living room – so Saladino!   Every chair, every table, every lamp, every urn is gorgeous. 




Same view from the real estate brochure.  Notice the gorgeous rug.  The master bedroom is reached through the door to the right of the window. 



s9 The opposite view.   The back door way leads to the entry hall, then on to the dining room and kitchen.   Notice the tapestry hanging on the wall, with a mirror layered over it.  His beautiful Cy Twombly is on the wall to the right.   Just too gorgeous for words. 



Close up view of living room. 


image The hall which leads from the living room to the bedrooms downstairs.  Here Saladino’s Robert Courtright artwork hangs in front of a door which leads out to the courtyard, by the front door! 





The dining room is located to the left of the entry hall.   The kitchen is through a hidden door in the wood paneling, to the right of the fireplace.   Saladino loves skirted tables and slipcovers.  His collection of creamware is seen above the fireplace.   Notice his curtains.





A closeup of his chairs, available from his furniture line. 


imageAnd looking the other direction.  Up the steps is the entry hall, then the living room, which can be seen through the wood doors.   Gorgeous chandelier! 




Past the fireplace in the dining room is the kitchen.  The refrigerator to the very left is actually a door to another room.  The breakfast room is to the right of the refrigerator.   The large charger on the left is seen from the entry hall, past the dining room.   Saladino believes the eye should have a resting point at the end of a vista – here the charger provides that.


Another view of the kitchen, showing a small eating area.



Dining spot off kitchen – door leads to entry gallery.

imageThe breakfast room.   All the windows were replaced with these iron beauties that were custom made to fit the arches.  Notice how very thin the window is – you can see this where it meets the thick stone wall.




A night view looking into the breakfast room.



image Saladino’s companion Betty’s room.   He designed the bed to act as a sofa during the day. Those pillows! Those books!




And another view of Betty’s room which overlooks her own courtyard.



Saladino’s bedroom.   The bed floats in the space.  His desk is to the left. 




A closeup view of the hanging curtains layered with mirror on the back wall.  



Opposite Saladino’s bed is his desk placed in front of a Zuber wallpaper screen.




Saladino’s shower – contemporary against the old stone walls.





Saladino’s two story home office.  The desk is a beautiful table called into service.   His famous cylinder lamp sits atop it. 




This room is across the entrance courtyard away from the main house. 





Upstairs there are a row of guest rooms – each is unique and each has its own name.  This is the Primavera Bedroom.  I love the headboard detailing with its Edwardian pelmet. 


 imageThe famous powder room with its ancient bowl used as a sink.  Notice the mirror and the faucet. 



Saladino spent enormous energy and money on getting the landscaping to his satisfaction.   But, first, he had to create an elaborate drainage system to remove rainwater from the estate.







The courtyard to the right of the entrance gallery seen on the left. 



Saladino used lots of succulents for their texture and color. 



The swimming pool off the living room and master bedroom.



The ancient column becomes a focal point in the gardens.




One dining table in the gravel courtyard.




 s2 And another dining table in the olive tree allee.  Notice the balustrades. 






A Bing Map view of the property.  You can see the swimming pool and lone column to the left bottom.  The entrance court is on the right. 


Thank you to French Kissed.  To see more pictures of Villa de Limma on French Kissed, go HERE.  And to see the real estate brochure, go HERE.  The glorious photographs taken for the real estate brochure were done by Jim Bartsch HERE.