Tuesday, May 1, 2012

LeAnn Rimes Finally Sells 23-room White Elephant

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oh, what a tangled web of romance and real estate has cross-over country music queen LeAnn Rimes woven over the last few years.

In 2002, at the dewy age of 19, the Grammy, CMA, BMA, AMA, and ACM award winning former Star Seach champion married one of her slim-hipped back-up dancers—that would be Dean Sheremet—and barely-out-of-their-teens newlyweds soon set up house like grown ups in a 7,000-plus square foot mansion on a fast-moving country road in Nashville, TN. Property records show she/they purchased the three-acre estate in April 2003 for $1,700,000 and sold the 5 bedroom and 5.5 bathroom mansion in October 2008 for $2,125,000 to professional wrestling promoter Dixie Carter-Salinas and her hubby Serge.

So goes the celebrity real estate scuttlebutt, Mister and Missus Sheremet-Rimes had moved to an even bigger, 23-room mansion they custom-built on a rounded hilltop in a gated enclave of an upscale but unfortunately Medieval-themed gated community in the semi-rural and star-studded Nashville suburb of Franklin (TN). It's not clear what the couple paid for the property but public records we peeped reveal they took out a construction loan of more than four million dollars to build their own version of Barbie's Dream House.

Alas and alack, wasn't long after the Sheremet-Rimes settled in to their newly-finished, brick-built behemoth sometime in 2008 that Miz Rimes began an extra-marital affair with beau-hunky tee-vee actor Eddie Cibrian, then also married and making babies with long-legged and potty-mouthed former fashion model Brandi (with an "i") Glanville who reality tee-vee watchers know from her high-drama stint on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

By May 2009 Miz Rimes and her cuckolded husband had flipped their recently-completed mansion on 5.22 hilltop acres in Franklin, TN on the market with an asking price of $7,450,000. Listing information from then indicated the beefy, three-story residence measures 13,380 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms and 6 full and 3 half bathrooms while more recent listings available online show it has 13,310 square feet and contains 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Make of those numerical discrepancies what you will.

Although they'd gone their separate ways a year or more before, Miz Rimes and Mister Sheremet—weren't officially divorced until the summer of 2010. It took a couple more years before they managed to unload their former marital home in Franklin at a steep discount; Online sale records we perused show the gated estate with two ktichens, 360 degree views, salt water swimming pool, yoga studio, and smart-house technology sold in mid-March of this year (2012) for $4,100,000, a fortune by any standard, but nearly 3.5 million less than Miz Rimes and Mister Sheremet originally wanted.

Prior to hooking up with Miz Rimes, Mister Cibrian and ex-wife Brandi—with and "i"—Glanville owned an architecturally specious mansion in Encino, CA they sold in late 2007 for $4,300,000 to comedian Carlos Mencia. The erstwhile couple and their kids decamped to 6 bedroom and 6.5 bathroom residence in the gated Mountain View Estates community in Calabasas, CA they bought in January 2008 for $2,500,000 and sold at a loss in May 2010 for $2,200,000.

After kicking Mister Sheremet to the romantic curb Miz Rimes, we heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine, made house a leased mansion in the equestrian-minded and guard-gated Hidden Hills (CA) community.

We're not exactly sure where Mister Cibrian and Miz Rimes, who married last year, currently reside although we've heard (but can not confirm) they're still hunkered down in in a big house in the hot as Hades western suburbs of Los Angeles in or around Calabasas. Last year the greying and hunky Mister Cibrian appeared on The Playboy Club, canceled shortly after its premiere. The short-lived show taped in Chicago where the couple acquired—or maybe leased, we're not quite sure—a condominium they had worked over with Tibetan antiques and contemporary art by interior designer Jonathan Pierce, a process taped for the HGTV program Interiors, Inc.

Art Linkletter's Bel Air Mid-Century Modern Goes on the Block

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Technically, we're still on holiday but we thought the children might appreciate a quick glimpse of a pedigreed mid-century modern pad perched high above Los Angeles' Bel Air community. The house, once owned by music industry mogul Quincy Jones, was long owned by late radio and television icon Art Linkletter and pushed on the (open) market this week, we learned via covert communique from Our Fairy godmother in Bel Air, by his estate with an asking price of $10,250,000.

Mister Linkletter won't likely be a recognizable name to anyone who hasn't already gone grey but once upon a time he was wildly famous for (among other things) his cute and humorous interviews with precocious children in the 1950s and 60s on the long-running tee-vee programs Art Linkletter's House Party and Kids Say the Darndest Things. Mister Linkletter was an also an early investor and promoter of the hula hoop—'tis true—and the long-time spokesman for the iconic Milton Bradley board game The Game of Life.

Mister Linkletter's single story sprawler on 4.6 acres high above Bel Air, was built in 1958, designed by architect Philmer J. Ellerbroek and featured in Architectural Digest in 1959. In addition to the 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms listing information indicates the low-slung residence also includes formal living and dining rooms with long expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass as well as extensive private and service areas that include a family room, kitchen, breakfast room, and laundry facilities.

As per current listing information the house, architecturally preserved if not pickled in time, has "Classic mid-century architectural elements [that] include two atriums (one with an outdoor patio), sculptural metal screens, pocket doors, stone fireplaces, walls of glass, [and] one-of-a-kind built-ins...."

The gated grounds have a long driveway, off-street parking for upwards of 20 cars, multi-car car port, lushly landscaped gardens, flat lawns, a sport court of some sort, and a boomerang-shaped swimming pool with sweeping views over Los Angeles and Century City.

Not bad for an orphan boy born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (Canada).

Some of the swanky nearby estates and mansions are owned by the aforementioned Quincy Jones who stayed in the 'hood when he sold to the Linkletters, soft porn purveyor Joe Francis, PayPal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk, social fixture Jean Kerkorian (an ex-wife of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian), and 90-something year old Hungarian Zsa Zsa Gabor and her attention hungry 9th husband Frédèric Prinz von Anhalt.

Just down the road a short piece are properties owned by Salma Hayak and her luxury goods mogul huzband Henri-Francois Pinault and the former Marion Jorgensen mid-century modern compound scooped up by Transformers film franchise tycoon Michael Bay in late 2009 for $10,900,000 and quickly knocked down so he could custom build a new mansion that Your Mama fully expects will be as big as a boo-teek hotel.

Monday Morsel: Ricky Martin Unloads in Miami

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It only took (close to) five long years but bon bon-shakin' Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin has finally unloaded his big bay-front mansion in Miami Beach, FL for $10,600,000.

Much tatted Mister Martin purchased the hulking house in May 2005 for $10,000,000 and—and far as we can tell—first put it on the (open) market during the summer of 2007 with an asking price of $16,900,000. At least one report in The Miami Herald shows the price tag went as high as $19,500,000 (in 2008) and listing information we coaxed out of the internets indicates the waterfront mansion was last listed in mid-April with a $12,500,000.

Celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ reported in early December last that Miami-lovin' megastars Jay-Z and Beyoncé toured Mister Martin's not exactly humble abode but so far there isn't any proof we've seen that suggests they are the new owners. More like they new owner is a professional athlete or wealthy businessperson. We shall see.

Anyhoo, listing information and property records indicate the gated Mediterranean was built in 2004, measures a gigantic but hardly gargantuan 9,491 (or 9,165) square feet with 7 bedrooms and 8 full and 2 half bathrooms plus separate guest quarters located across the center motor court from the main house.

Stone and wood floors run throughout the very grown up and architecturally detailed residence that includes intricately articulated ceilings, carved stone columns and fireplaces, and an almost alarming number of archways and arched windows, many of which suck up the glittery, northwesterly bay views. Iffin we were the betting sort—and we're absolutely not—we'd wager both our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that listing photos show the posh pad entirely staged and the very spare, Armani Casa-like day-core is not a complete representation of Mister Martin's full decorative magilla.

A second floor loggia looks down on the heated, dark-bottomed swimming pool, spa and sunbathing terraces, over the private boat dock and across the Biscayne Bay. The gated residence fronts swank North Bay Road near homes owned by Barry Gibb and a couple of professional basketball dribblers we've never heard of (Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh).

As it turns out, this ain't the first North Bay Road residence Mister Martin has owned or the only mansion in south Florida he's sold in the last year. Oh, no children, he's been riding in this particular real estate rodeo since at least March 2001 when the hot-bodied daddy of twin toddlers paid $6,400,000 for a 7,000-plus square foot mansion on North Bay Road that he sold in May 2005 for $10,600,000.

In April 2007, just about the same time he put his house on North Bay Road mansion on the market—the one that's just sold for $10,600,000—Mister Martin dropped a mouth drying $16,250,000 on a second south Florida mansion 10 or 12 miles up the coast, this one a nearly 10,000 square foot Mediterranean iwith 4-5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. By the end of the year, perhaps stricken with a wicked case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle, he'd flipped the property back on the market with a substantially higher asking price of $22,500,000. There are reports on the interweb that say Mister Martin sold the house last September (2011) for just $6,300,000, a toe curling ten million less than he paid, not counting carrying costs, improvements and real estate fees. Howevuh, no disrespect to any of our real estate gossip compadres but property records Your Mama peeped show the ocean front mansion still owned by the same limited liability company (allegedly connected to Mister Martin) that acquired the property in 2007. We also, for what it's worth to any of y'all, find lots of online listings that show the property actively for sale on the open market with an asking price of $17,900,000.

Mister Martin, who contrary to some reports did not marry his physically fit stockbrocker man-friend Carlos Gonzalez Abella in January (2012) in New York City, currently sings his beau-hunky heart out in the Broadway revival of Evita in The Big Apple where he's oft reported by property gossips to own a 2,637 square foot loft-like condo-crib with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in an impossibly chic downtown building developed by Ian Schrager and designed by Pritzker-prize winning Swiss archistars Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron.

Mister Martin continues to own a substantial residence in Dorado, Puerto Rico (where the American Rockefellers once owned a vacation compound) as well as—so the celebrity real estate rumors go—a casa in Madrid and a private island hideaway in Rio de Janeiro.

Supply Catalog joins the Bookshelf Page...

An array of waterbrushes
People often ask what tools and supplies we like, what we recommend, what works--so I've made a start at some of those recommendations on our new Supply Catalog page (if you think of a better name for it, do let me know.)

I'll be adding to it as we go along, and I know I've missed some great stuff.  I plan to write some blurbs on some of these as I have time, so check back!

This joins our Favorite Supplies page, which is longer reviews gleaned from our journal posts...you'll find some of the same things in both places, of course.

Like our new Bookshelf, it's a javascript thingie, so it may take a bit to open...

So check out the "catalog" at the top of the page, or find it here: 

Minimal Minded Fabien Baron Re-Lists SoHo Loft

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We are not, we know, the first property gossip to discuss the New York City loft-condo recently re-listed by art director/publishing pasha/creative force Fabien Baron, but none-the-less thought it might be fun for the kids to wrap up this scorcher of a Friday with a peek and a poke around Mister Baron's almost masochistically minimalist loft located in an 1895 Beaux Arts-style building in the SoHo 'hood.

The 25-time FiFi award winning Mister Baron may not be a household name for tabloid readers and hardcore entertainment news junkies but the always au courant Frenchman has cut a deep and wide swathe through the high-glam and arty-farty edges of the advertising, design, publishing, and marketing milieux. He currently tops the editorial masthead at Interview magazine and previously toiled creatively for publications that include French Vogue, Arena Homme, and Harper's Bazaar. He's also had his fingers in lucrative creation of a number of top-selling fragrances including Madonna's Truth or Dare. Mister Baron also, some of the older children may recall, designed Madge's then-quite-controversial coffee table book Sex in 1992.

The creative industry kingpin first and unsuccessfully attempted to unload his very and even shockingly spare loft in June 2010 when it popped up on the market for six months (or so) with an asking price of $7,450,000. It's now back on the market at $8,400,000 and carries with it, according to listing information, hefty-hefty-hefty taxes and common charges that ring up to $6,698 per month. Records show Mister Baron bought the unusually large loft way back in late 2007 for just $1,522,500 so—by Your Mama's less-than-reliable mental calculations—unless he's mortgaged the place without mercy Mister Baron stands to make a small fortune from the sale of his SoHo loft even if he opts to accept substantially less than the current asking price.

Listing information indicates the 4,171 square foot, full-floor loft was stripped down and given an über-minimalist re-do by much-published smart architect Deborah Berke who used just six basic but deluxe materials for the finishes: walnut, oak, white-colored glass, plaster, stainless steel, and Manhattan black schist, a dark, garnet-flecked stone.

Other noteworthy design conceits noted in listing information and marketing materials include unembellished floating cabinets and shelves, discreet metallic slivers for light switches, and electrical outlets hidden beneath planks of the hardwood floors that were laboriously rift-sawn to reinforce the horizontal linearity of the clean-lined loft.

The punctilious floor plan included with listing and marketing materials shows a prairie-like main living/dining/cooking space that measures 31-feet wide by nearly 59 feet long by 10'6" high with 7 windows on two walls. Two boxy forms, one that extends to the ceiling, anchor the effective but not exact center area of the vast room and contain the high-grade (and all but hidden) kitchen appliances and utilities.

A small office with built-in walnut desk and shelves off the living area has a convenient separate entrance that allows the owner/resident to accept visitors without having them fall down in flabbergast at the sheer magnitude of the severely and spectacularly spartan main living space.

What could easily be opened up to one large bedroom at the extreme rear of the loft is now divided into a pair of identically-sized sleep areas (with closets) that connect to a small, shared play/sitting area. Another small bedroom marked maid's room on the floor plan houses a squeezy laundry closet and shares the hall bathroom with the other two guest/family sleeping chambers.  

The over-sized master bedroom has almost one entire wall of floor-to-ceiling white glass and another complete wall of custom-designed built-in closets with walnut door panels. The attached, nicely windowed, and compartmentalized bathroom has a separate cubby for the crapper (and bidet) and a wet room with shower and separate tub carved from a half-ton chunk of Manhattan black schist.

Listen kittens, iffin we had almost $8,500,000 clams to spend on a New York City apartment Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter—who will not likely ever have $8.5 million clams to spend on anything—would not, we can assure anyone who might care, spend it on a loft in SoHo without a single square inch of private outdoor space. For that amount of money we would most certainly require at least a small terrace where our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly could sunbathe and we could barbecue and grow tomatoes. Neither would we nor could we ever live comfortably in such brutally minimal and monochromatic circumstances as Mister Baron's loft without going plum berserk. That does not mean, however, we don't drool like a hungry dog over this, dare we say, poetic and magnificently rigorous example of architectural hyper-austerity that makes a striking and radically subdued juxtaposition to the thrilling but near-constant urban chaos of New York City.

Mister Fabien's building mates include a slew of merely rich as well as a number of other urbane and high-profile peeps who include boo-teek hotelier Andre Balazs, fashion heiress/ Emmy winning producer Marci Klein (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), and Bon Jovi front man Jon Bon Jovi who paid 24 million bucks for his jaw-dropping duplex penthouse in 2007 and was rumored to have quietly shopped last fall (2011) for around $45,000,000.