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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Electro-pop Pioneer Gary Numan Sells U.K. Country House and Decamps to Santa Monica (CA)

SELLER: Gary Numan
LOCATION: Waldron, Heathfield, East Sussex, UK
PIRCE: £995,000
SIZE: 3,789 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: There are scads of a-listers and pop stars currently making waves amongst all the celebrity real estate gossip columns. Take for example Katy Perry's (alleged) recent sale of the New York City duplex love nest she briefly shared with soon-to-be ex-husband Russell Brand and Mister Barry Manilow re-listing his ocean front contemporary in Malibu, CA at a $6,995,000 price tag after first listing it in early 2009 at the substantially higher $12,600,000.

Your Mama opts instead this morning to turn away from the cavalcade of reality tee-vee stars and high-polish Tinseltown celebs and dip into our own well of musical nostalgia in order to discuss the arguably influential if somewhat esoteric music industry touchstone Gary Numan who, we learned via a covert communique received over the weekend from I.M. Alittlebirdie, owns a house in the English countryside currently on the market with an asking price of £995,000.

(A quick consultation with Your Mama's currency conversion contraption shows the £995,000 guide price for Mister Numan's small estate, situated about 1.5 hours drive from Buckingham Palace in bucolic Waldron, Heathfield, East Sussex, converts to $1,617,770 at today's rates.

Mister Numan—née Webb—may not have a recognizable name like more current music industry heavy hitters Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and still-spooky Marilyn Manson, who both cite Mister Numan as an influence, but once upon a time the peculiar musician was an important pioneer in the post-punk electro-pop genre that bubbled up in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Commercially the oddly mannered, angsty, aloof and somewhat otherworldly Mister Numan—who may or may not have some shade of Asperger's Syndrom—was, in reality, a bit of a one or two-hit-wonder but his hard-driving yet ethereal, synthesizer-based compilations were unquestionably part of what was then a sub-pop-cultural zeitgeist and he continues to make critically acclaimed if not exactly commercially successful industrial-edged music.

Surely even some of the children under 40 recognize his 1979 number one hit Cars, a swooping and swooning ditty that sounds to Your Mama like the noise plastic would make if plastic could make noise and—believe it or not—sometimes pops up on the shuffle of Your Mama's iMagiggythingamabob.

As a slight aside: Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor is an on-the-record appreciator of Mister Numan's contribution to the music scene and at least once in 2009 Mister Numan made a surprise appearance on stage with NIN to perform a suped-up and soul-shaking version of Cars. Have mercy, butter beans, we could watch Mister Reznor work that tambourine all damn day long but that's a bit T.M.I. and of zero consequence to the matter at hand, isn't it?

Anyhoo, listing information and marketing materials forwarded by I.M. Alittlebirdie indicate the two story (plus attic) residence sits on 7.6 gated, partially sylvan acres and contains 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in 3,789 square feet of interior space all of which is depicted in listing photographs (and a 2007 article in The Independent) as marinated in an idiosyncratically monochromatic and corporeal color spectrum that meanders from blood red to fleshy coral to straight-up Pepto-Bismal pink.

Don't misjudge Your Mama's sass and flabbergast about Mister Numan's color choices because we are hardly opposed to the color pink as a decorative option. Any of of our many b.f.f.s who used to visit Your Mama back in the olden days when we occupied a just-about-dirt-cheap, rent-stabilized two-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side of New York can verify there was a large wall behind a ticky-tacky, $2 gas stove in our postage stamp-sized kitchen that was for many years painted a particularly saccharine and not-quite-right shade of bubble gum pink. It was rather fetching if a tad bit alarming but worked, we thought, because it such a small dose. That said, any and every day of the damn week we'd much prefer to look at pictures of this unquestionably quirky and deeply personal innards-hued country house in the U.K. than a wrist-slittingly banal, all-beige, faux-Tuscan/mock-Med mcmansion in some upscale, cookie cutter gated development in some upscale, cookie cutter suburban enclave.

Of course, the furniture and slightly sinister, quasi-Gothic day-core will go with Mister Numan, his wife Gemma and their three unusually named daughters Raven, Persia and Echo whence they vacate the premises. And, of course, the pink-, salmon- and tomato-colored walls can be quickly painted to any color more suited to the new owner's preferences. Less easy (and more costly) to change is the structure itself, a U-shaped residence originally built in the 1920s, later expanded according to listing information and dubbed Weavers Cottage.

The pink stucco and cedar-shingled cottage-style exterior gives way to a double-height reception hall/foyer with wood floors and a curved, floating staircase lined with swords of one sort or another. The fleshy pink walls and ceiling make a lurid if amusing backdrop for a mix-and-match group of potted plants and flowers that include the exact kind of fresh cut lilies that remind Your Mama of funerals. Tucked under the stairs stands an unexpectedly friendly-looking taxidermy white Alaskan timber wolf.

A set of double doors connect to a spacious but uncomfortably low-ceiling drawing room with multiple seating areas, a hulking brick fireplace with a massive maw of a fire box, and a bank of multi-mullioned French doors that open to the south-facing terrace tucked into the shallow courtyard of the U-shaped house.

Beyond the drawing room (and up a few steps up) there's a storage closet, small study and a second sitting room/den with hot pink short shag wall-to-wall carpeting, rich red walls and (low) ceiling, tapestry-like drapery, a couple of wall-mounted bas reliefs of Buddha (or some other Thai or Hindu god we can't identify), and a most-unusual, riveted leather and velvet brocade sectional sofa in soft shades of blood and cooked tongue.

A surprisingly wee formal dining room furnished with carved wood dining set that looks straight out of The Lord of the Rings connects the principal drawing room to the eat-in country kitchen painted pretty close to the same chalky pink color of—you got it—Pepto-Bismol and equipped with Indian slate tile on the floor, polished butcher block counter tops, a deep farmhouse sink, and a two-oven Aga range set into a deep, brick-lined niche. An adjoining boot/laundry room allows for easy access to the backyard and barbecue.

The gracefully curved staircase in the foyer ascends to a second floor gallery that over looks the foyer and leads and off of which open the three, unspeakably narrow three guest/family bedrooms that share a windowed hall bathroom with free-standing soaking tub/shower. At the far end of the hall, set best for privacy from the other three bedrooms, the bi-level master suite encompasses a dressing area, walk-in closet and bedroom area described by Mister Numan in The Independent in 2007 as "very calm and relaxing" with dark red walls, "lots of low glitter lights," and "a huge Louis XIV bed that dominates the space."

A narrow, hidden staircase climbs up to a garret-like attic space with what appear to be a couple of sky lights. The floor plan included with various online listings and marketing materials labels the space a "games room" but would certainly be suitable for use as storage or living space for a live-in domestic.

A wide, stone terrace extends off the back of the house and overlooks the bucolic gardens and grounds that encompass, according to listing information, sweeping expanses of lawn bordered by mature trees and thick, sylvan woodland, formal gardens, some fruit trees, a picturesque stream spanned by a wood bridge that connects to several paddock and various ponds.

Although in 2007 Mister Numan told The Independent he "...could never live in a city. There's too much noise—I'm too vulnerable and it's too unpredictable. You are very much at the mercy of other people. When I have space and peace, I can think and write." He seems to have changed his mind about that because, shortly after the devastating London riots in August 2011, rumors and reports began to circulate Mister Numan—somewhat reclusive, a little xenophobic, and socio-politically Libertarian-like—planned to decamp to the sunny streets of notoriously politically correct but not exactly rural Santa Monica, CA, an often traffic-jammed Los Angeles beach community he described last year to the U.K.'s Daily Record through rose-tinted glasses as "not having one bit of trouble and not one surly or aggressive person there." Your Mama suggests Mister Numan visit the Santa Monica pier on any sunny weekend—lots of volatile looking young people—or try to snag one of those obscenely puny parking spots behind Santa Monica Seafood on any Saturday at noon and he'll see just how aggressive and surly a Prius-driving Santa Monican can really be. Seriously.

If the space desiring and security-minded Mister Numan does decide to decamp to Santa Monica, Your Mama regrets to inform him he may be hard pressed to find a property suitable to his needs and desires, at least one anywhere near the same price range as the East Sussex spread he's currently listed at what amounts to just over $1.6 million. There are, according to Trulia, a paltry handful of properties priced under two million (American) dollars in the much coveted (and shockingly expensive 90402 zip code that encompasses the number streets north of Montana Avenue and down into the leafy lanes of the scenic Santa Monica and Rustic Canyons.

listing photos and floor plan: Strutt & Parker

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shoe Tycoon Sells Villa Stella to Former Ambassabor (And A Few Other Related Things)

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Previews International

SELLER: Lisa and Donald J. Pliner
BUYER: Trudy and Paul Cejas
LOCATION: Miami Beach, FL
PRICE: $14,325,000
SIZE: 10,160 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We really can't say what their future real estate plans may be but it appears to Your Mama that shoe and accessories tycoon Donald J. Pliner and his co-executive creative director wife Lisa in the mood to lighten their luxury property portfolio.

Last June (2011) they quickly unloaded a mid-floor condo in a full-service high-rise building on Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard—more on that later—and this month, after at least a year on the market, the casually- but expensively-dressed, high-gloss couple sold their Miami Beach, FL mansion for $14,325,000 to Cuban-born/Miami-based businessman Paul Cejas, a famously close crony of both Bill & Hill Clinton and the former ambassador to Belgium.

Property records show Mister and Missus Pliner paid $11,800,000 for their essentially Moroccan-style estate on Miami Beach's star-stocked Star Island in October 2004, the same year, it turns out, Mister P. was inducted into the Footwear News Hall of Fame.

When the good people at Luxist discussed Mister and Missus Pliner's casually opulent mansion in March 2011, Villa Stella, as the property is dubbed, was listed with what we now know in hind-sight to be a rather rose-colored price tag of $24,000,000. We're not sure what the last asking price put on Villa Stella was but a few quick clicks of the well-worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus reveals, in the end, Mister and Missus Pliner opted to hack an eye-popping 40% off their original asking price in order to get the deal done with Mister and Missus Cejas.

Mister Pliner, back in his good-lookin' youth, owned a few high-end retail shops in Beverly Hills, CA before launching his an eponymous product line that now encompasses shoes, handbags, and accessories. A number of years ago Mister Pliner branched out into accoutrement for pooches called BabyDoll Pliner, after the Pliner family's fluffy white Maltese named—you got it—BabyDoll Pliner. Supermodel slender wife Lisa Pliner works side-by-side with Mister P. and, according to the company's website, inserts her "artist's vision into the designs, colors and textures" of each new collection. We're not sure which of these two first thought this was a good idea.

Anyhoo, the undeniably successful shoe sellers purchased Villa Stella—a sort of Moroccan-Italianate mish-mash built in 2000 and painted a daring, chalky azure—from a couple sur-named Ifergane. In 2005, after the property was damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, Mister and Missus Pliner saw fit to file a lawsuit against the Iferganes that asserted they were victims of fraud because, the Pliners claimed, the Iferganes sold them Villa Stella without, as is legally required, disclosing that some of the windows (allegedly) leaked. Natch, the Iferganes lawyered up and got busy with their brass legal tacks. At least one article on the lawsuit reveals the Iferganes had previously leased the property to both Gordon Sumner—a.k.a. Sting—and Denzel Washington, neither of whom reported any leaky windows; Neither did a local real estate agent who showed the house 50 times, including during rain storms. Long story short the Pliner's lawsuit was tossed out—or whatever the legal term is—in spring 2008 as a "sham."
Gigantic driveway gates with lattice-like iron grill work set into a massive Moroccan keyhole-shaped arch part to reveal a short, double-height arched tunnel that connects through to a party-sized motor court paved with bricks painstakingly laid in a herringbone pattern. Listing information claims upwards of 15 cars can be parked in the motor court plus 8 more can be stashed in the various detached and attached garages, at least two of which are luxuriously air conditioned.

Another extra-tall Moroccan arch with glass and iron grill work doors open to the mansion's airy foyer defined by a shiny inlaid tile floor, a series of extraordinarily high archways, a number of carved wood columns, and a gigantic glass-topped table thick with framed family photographs.

Various listings we dug up online indicate the interiors have high-end finishes that include Venetian stucco walls, imported limestone and Brazilian cherry floors, and lofty ceilings that in the main living room soar upwards of 30 feet to a dome that took south Florida-based muralist Yves Lanthier six months to hand paint. The easy-breezy (and probably very expensive) day-core feels like a colorful mash-up of African safari meets Moroccan souk meets Balinese seaside resort mixed with some New-Age American southwest and medium dose of South Beach boo-teek hotel sprinkled on the top.

In addition to the cavernous main living room with it's hand painted dome, the Pliner cum Cejas mansion on Star Island has a banquet hall-sized dining room with arched windows and an elk antler chandelier, a library, and a billiard room.

Listing information shows the house has 5 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms. Downstairs there is a staff room (with bath) and garden-view guest suite while upstairs there are two guest/family chambers plus and capacious master suite with chunky, stenciled wood beams across the soaring ceiling. At leaston of the his and her bathrooms is outfitted with glinting floors and counter tops inlaid with glinting semi-precious stones, a multiple head shower, heated towel racks, and a lipstick red whirlpool tub. Did y'all get that? A lipstick red whirlpool tub. We. Are. Speechless. Did anyone know such a thing even existed before today?

Your Mama didn't find any mention of closet space or dressing rooms in any of the (online) listings we perused, but it's probably pretty safe to assume these two footwear and accessory designers fashioned custom closets and dressing rooms for their master suite that may (or may not) include necessities like bejeweled sandal cabinets, retractable purse racks, and beaded men's slipper drawers, not to mention a state-of-the-art, automated computer system that catalogs every shoe, shirt, every everything and tracks when said shoes, shirt, handbags, or any anything gets worn.

A window-enclosed rooftop conservatory—accessed, we think but can not say for sure, by a slender spiral staircase, has views over the mansion rooftops of Star Island to Miami proper and over the sparkly Biscayne Bay towards the apartment towers that line the western shore of South Beach.

Lush, tropical landscaping and a wide herringbone pattern brick terrace encircles a dy-no-mite, keyhole-shaped saltwater swimming pool and nearby spa. At the bay's edge an octagonal open-air pavilion shades a built-in barbecue center/wet bar and lounge and an L-shaped deep-water dock extends into Biscayne Bay from the 100-foot bulk headed waterfront.

The Pliner cum Cejas spread sits just down and around from Star Island estates owned by Sean Combs (a.k.a. P. Diddle, Daddy Puffer or Diddy Don't or whatever), the Queen of Latin Pop Gloria Estefan, and lip-flapping comedienne Rosie O'Donnell who hoisted her 11 bedroom and 12.5 crapper compound on the market a few weeks ago with an asking price of $19,500,000. Shaquille O'Neal sold his Star Island mansion in June 2009 for $16,000,000 to Russian multi-billionaire Vladislav Doronin, otherwise known as Naomi Campbell's unusually handsome, decidedly beau-hunky, and technically still married man-friend who embarked on a full-scale renovation of every square inch of the mansion and grounds.

Previous to buying the Star Island estate they just sold to Paul Cejas, Mister and Missus Pliner maintained a Bal Harbour penthouse condo at the so-called Majestic Tower bought in August 1999 for $100,000 and sold in May 2005 for $2,400,000.

photos: Coldwell Banker / Beverly Hills North

In June 2011, as we touched upon earlier, Mister and Missus Pliner sold a 2 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom condo at The Remington along the tower-lined Wilshire Corridor in Los Angeles, CA (building shown above). Property records and other online documentation shows Mister and Missus Pliner purchased the 2,400-ish square foot condo in September 2002 for $1,350,000, listed it in March 2011 for $1,695,000 and sold it within a month for $1,350,000 to Irvin and Joan Levy of Houston and Dallas, Texas.

Paul Cejas and wife Trudy, the buyers of Mister and Missus Pliner's fantasy land on Star Island, are frequently mentioned in the real estate gossip columns in south Florida and New York City where in May 2010 they sold a 10-room apartment in at the hoity-toity and high-toned 834 Fifth Avenue. The buyer, Swiss security ink mogul Maurice Amon, paid $15,000,000 for the spacious two bedroom and 3.5 bathroom unit that includes an two additional (and tiny staff) bedrooms with shared bathroom tucked up behind the kitchen.

photos and floor plan: Prudential Douglas Elliman

A few months later they went on to spend $5,601,000 on an 11th floor apartment at the supah-swank Carlyle House. The park view apartment has—or had at the time of the sale—a private elevator landing, marble foyer, and sunken living room with 13-foot ceiling, corner fireplace, and elaborate wedding-cake moldings. The floor plan included with listing information also indicates a formal dining room, paneled library, windowed kitchen with laundry facilities, and a master bedroom with three walk-in closets and a dressing room plus. There's an additional guest suite with private bathroom plus a prison cell-sized staff room with closet-sized attached bathroom. Residents/owners of apartments at Carlyle House pay exceedingly high monthly maintenance—$6,011 per month for the Cejas unit, according to listing information at the time of the sale—that in addition to all the usual white glove services (porters, doormen, security, etc) provides access to the the hotel's fitness center, spa, room and laundry services.

photo: Bing

Mister and Missus Cejas have already off-loaded their old Miami-area estate, a 2.71 acre water front spread on insanely exclusive and punishingly expensive Indian Creek Island (above). The buyer, idiosyncratic, transcendental meditating hedge fund honcho Edward S. Lampert, paid somewhere near $40,000,000 for the property, so the property gossip goes, that includes a coral-colored, custom-built 17,000 square foot Italian mansion with 7 bedrooms, a reflecting pool and an arrival court.

photo: Bing

Mister Lampert, in case anyone might be curious, resides in a large mansion on a fully landscaped waterfront parcel (above) in Greenwich's über-fancy Belle Haven enclave where his neighbors include Her Highness Diana Ross and slew of other financial fat cats like Paul Tudor Jones, Peter Briger Jr., Israel Englandeer and Ray Dalio who heads up Bridgewater Associates, one of the if not the largest hedge fund in the world.