Friday, January 11, 2008

Suzanne Somers Loves Her Some Zebra Rugs


SELLERS: Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel
LOCATION: Alta Vista Road, Palm Springs, CA
PRICE: $12,900,000 (reduced from $35,000,0000)
SIZE: 73 acres, 10 bedrooms, 9 full and 2 half bathrooms (spread across several buildings)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama stayed up late last night in order to receive a ream of faxed missives from informant and aide-de-camp Lucy Looselips, and we dropped everything this morning to bring you photos and information of Les Baux de Palm Springs, the hillside compound overlooking Palm Springs that former Three's Company dingbat turned self help guru goddess Suzanne Somers and her huzband Alan Hamel recently put on the market for a blistering $35,000,000.

Ooo-wee children, Your Mama loves us some Suzanne Somers. Like most of you probably do, we too think she's a bit over the rainbow and she's probably a little too into the white light crap for our particular constitution, but this still blond behatcha is far smarter than most people give her credit. See babies, Miz Somers played Chrissy Snow so flawlessly that many just assumed she was an air brained cow. She is, decidedly, not.

Not only did Miz Somers have the know how to parlay her 15 minutes of 1970s television fame into a lifetime of public eye, she has very successfully turned her wacky ideas into a massive money making empire. Yes, children, that is correct, a damn empire. This lady has earned more money toning booties with her ThighMasters, strutting her stuff in Las Vegas, teaching fat ladies how to "Somersize," and pushing product on the Home Shopping Network than most people realize.

The seemingly charmed sixty-something year old artificial blondie has also been touched by the dark hand of Lady Luck. She was booted from Three's Company because she asked for a raise (something women simply did not do back then), she was diagnosed and survived breast cancer with a combination of traditional treatments and mistletoe injections (whatever that is), and in January of 2007, her and the Mister's ocean front home in Malibu went up in flames resulting in a total loss. Some time ago Your Mama discussed the house on swanky Sweetwater Mesa in Malee-boo that the couple leased in the aftermath.

But we digress. Let's get back to Les Baux de Palm Springs where among her other endeavors such as gardening and inventing silly things people never knew they desperately wanted, the multi-talented dilettante decorates. Oh Jeezis, Mary, and Joseph does she ever decorate. This ladee's got chandeliers hanging in the trees, a silver mine worth of picture frames, miles and oceans of fabric swinging in the breeze, dried roses coming out her well preserved wazoo, and a zebra skin rug in just about every damn room in the compound.

Located in a quiet pocket of Palm Springs at the base of the San Jacinto mountains, Miz Somers and Mister Hamel's desert hideaway sprawls across 65 (or 73 deppending on where you look) acres of canyon scrub land that they've owned since March of 1977. According to a recent article in Palm Springs Life, the small main house was built in the 1920s by Wright Ludington, an artist and architectural dramatic who went on to steward Montecito's quirky and venerable Val Verde estate. Ludington sold the property sometime in the 1950s to the Benoists, who owned the Almadén Vineyards. Presumably it was the Benoists who added the Albert Frey designed guest house up the slope from the main house.

The Somers/Hamels kept the place virtually untouched for 10 years after purchasing it, making due with minuscule square footage and a frightfully wee 4 foot wide kitchen. Then they got a bee in their rich bonnets and went all Winchester Mystery House expanding and building their faux-French-ish desert dreamhouse. The main house was enlarged, a newer, larger kitchen was built, several guest houses were dropped into the craggy landscape, the swimming pool was updated, a small amphitheater was wedged into the rocks, and over the years all services were updated to offer modern day conveniences and luxuries. The myriad of buildings that make up the hillside compound connect by way of stone pathways and curving staircase that are dotted with small terraces and provide big views over the valley.

We know some of you city sophisticates are going to scream and fuss about how Palm Springs is nothing but a deathly hot cemetery where even the young people are old and we know some of you will moan endlessly about all the wildly wealthy, leather skinned 70-something year old retirees piloting flawless, vintage 450SLs while sporting tennis togs, gigantic woman-with-a-past sunglasses and heavy turquoise bracelets. Still others of you will surely gripe about all the queens with pinky rings and jewel colored sweaters wrapped around their shoulders that parade up and down Palm Canyon Drive like it was a god-damn runway in the tents at Bryant Park. Fair enough. None-the-less, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter happen to love the desert in general and specifically the Coachella Valley where we have spent many happy evenings staring contentedly at the craggy mountains as we toss back a few gin and tonics on the balcony of our favorite room at the Jonathan Adler designed Parker Palms Springs Hotel. So we get it when Miz Somers says that the area is magical. We happen to agree, sweater queens aside.

Naturally, we are beside ourselves with mortification about the monstrous and potentially lethal pot rack in the kitchen and we find those little skirt thingys on the dining room chairs to be both upsetting and unnecessary. But in the main, we freely confess to loving Miz Somer's house and its over-stuffed and over blown interiors. No children, Your Mama is not drunk–yet–or on drugs. We just happen to dig all the odd tidbits and pieces scattered throughout the property like the matador costume and nutty green velvet sofas in the dining room. We love that Miz Somers has a passion for opulent and glittery chandeliers and hangs them everywhere, including in the trees. Although Your Mama hasn't a single mirror in any of our houses that isn't above a bathroom sink, we j'adore all the mirrors with intricate carved wood frames and we appreciate the way she injects a single color or texture or pattern into a space that somehow makes the whole thing leap out at you like a 3-d horror movie. And we can not stand–in a good way–that she has used zebra pattern as a motif throughout the house, in almost every room. This house SCREAMS Suzanne Somers and we love that because we love her.

No children, Your Mama could never and would never live among this sort of uber luxe romantical Architectural Digest worthy decor and, in truth, iffin Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter were to buy desert digs we'd look for something far more modern with interior spaces that become outdoor spaces by simply pushing open a massive glass slider, something with a day-core that managed to stop well short of being all did up like one of those horrid clichés of mid-century modern madness that litter the steaming streets of Palm Springs. None-the-less, we can't help it. We're smitten with the Somers/Hamel house and we would relish and pull our toenails out for any opportunity to lay around that wonderfully sited swimming pool with Miz Somers and talk about bioidentical hormones, thigh tightening, organic vegetables and what she really thinks of Larry King and Joyce Dewitt.

We know y'all are going to skewer us and prattle on for days about how awful this place is. And you just go right ahead with your bad selves. Meanwhile we're going to dream about the high-larity of hanging out with Barry Manilow, Dinah Shore, and the memory of Mister Merv Griffin, may she rest in peace, while Miz Somers serenades us in her own private amphitheater.

According to Palm Springs Life, the Somers/Hamels will be packing up their zebra skin rugs and chandeliers and moving to a new Palm Springs compound currently under construction. They say they're moving on, albeit with trepidation and pained hearts, because they love the process of building and all that entails. And we believe Miz Perpetually Young. We do. But Your Mama also knows that money talks, and if the this savvy couple can unload Les Baux de Palm Springs for anywhere near it's current $35,000,000 asking price they'll pocket many millions of dollars. And that my friends is another of the many examples of just how smart Miz Somers is when it comes to making the big bank.

Since the article in Palms Springs Life provided the link to the virtual tour, so will we. Enjoy. And be nice.

48 comments:

alex the sea turtle said...

I am glad you said the place was staged to within an inch of it's life because that's what I felt looking at the photos.

The house is over the top and in my opinion works better as a resort then a personal home. But then I often think my small home and property are too much responsiblity so I am very biased.

fairfield girl said...

I love the bed dreamy in a girl way... and the rose petals in the tub. everything else welll it's a bit much for CA dont ya think?

Anonymous said...

To dark and cave like. The house is jam packed. I would think bigger is better, not over stuffed rooms. Pretty not for me but in good taste.shg

Anonymous said...

Desert scenery is nice, but I guess I've lived in cosmopolitan locales too long to appreciate the joys of owning a desert patch of scrub, even if it's a big ass 65 acres of it. I can't imagine myself coughing up even $3.5 million for this property, let alone $35 million.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! A nice place to spend a fortnights holiday, but its a might too fantastical for everyday life I think. At 35m, its one hell of an indulgence.

Flora.

HACKSTER said...

Geez! I guess the Kauffman house auction with a reserve price of $15,000,000 could be construed as a bargain.

Anonymous said...

The living room looks like an obstacle course. Do you ring a bell once you've taken a seat?

Look at that dreadful chair said...

Where do I start?OK how about the foul French provincial dining chairs with her dogs clothing on them?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing it will become either a hotel or corporate retreat. I don't see any mention of it being lease land (land belongs to local indian tribes but homeowners have long term leases). 65 acres of non-indian land in Palm Springs would be pretty valuable.

http://www.lesbauxdepalmsprings.com/

http://www.palmspringslife.com/media/Palm-Springs-Life/January-2008/Theres-Magic-Here/

so_chic_darling said...

That shade of green for the,is it velvet?,drapes is just my favorite color du jour,and as Mama said how can you not love her wacky ways;but I wonder is the value here in the rest of the land and would a developer be eying it for subdivision?

Anonymous said...

It's breathtaking - but a little scary looking. A creepy vibe, like there are a lot of tarantulas lurking there.

aunt mary said...

No, no, no, no, NO! Didn't y'all hear Mama! Be nice! Mama's trying to court famous people to come on her show. She doesn't need snotty nosed brats breaking any deals. I warm you, she will crate the lot of us if we scare these people away. Now here's how you be nice: I love all the ruffles and dead flowers. I mean dried floral arrangements. It's so rustic the way the candle wax runs down the sides of the empty wine bottles. I've never seen that done before. How clever! The wonderful thing is that the more you drink the brighter the room becomes and by the time you're smashed, you can easily find your way out. The pot rack is wonderful because you can see the bottoms of all the pots and can tell which ones need an extra scrubbing up. I don't think you can ever have enough zebra rugs and chenille throws. Especially pretty flesh pink ones. And someone as pretty as Ms Somers should have at least two mirrors on each wall. Of course ugly chilruns don't need ANY mirrors. Ok. Now try it. Don't you even think about screwing up this deal for Mama.

Pickles said...

She used alot of voodoo and hormones to completely avoid menopause that's why we love her.

lil' gay boy said...

It's not the dining chairs that disturb me as much as the green chairs and sofa in the room ranged around it - are they for the audience to vote on your table manners while you eat a bowl of healthy grass for Miss Sommers? Do they hold up scorecards with numbers on them?

As Mama said, it looks like they kept moving that damn zebra rug from room to room; well they can just keep moving it right out the front door and into the nearest dumpster as far as I'm concerned . . .

This is more than way over the top for a desert compound; I'd be quite happy with what appears to be a stone guest house - simple, clean, elegant lines and appropriate material for the desert. The rest of the house is a sprawling mess across the landscape, dotted with oddly lovely vignettes and views.

Aunt Mary, take a nerve pill and relax; Mama's got it all under control. No one's gonna listen to a bunch of her noisy little chilrun prattle on about dead flowers, candle wax, lethal pot racks and dog's clothing anyway - Mama's the star, remember?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they had a two for one sale on zebra rugs. And green velvet. On HSN perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Mamma, I just discovered your wonderful real Estalker blog and it is so wonderful! I love your description of my home town and the Somers Palace. this will be a definite keeper for me. Keep up your wonderful blog. Blessings, Palm Springs resident

sandpiper said...

I'm seriously crazy about the wine cellar table and chairs. This home is a groovy collision of architecture and decor. The spot green is a nice surprise. Thanks Mama.

Little aside ... we don't raise voices at our house, unless it’s to alert "Hey, Suzanne Sommers is on HSN." We love her on that show, and we’re not even HSN viewers!

Anonymous said...

And don't forget, Mr and Ms Somers also own a private jet. NOT a share, they OWN it. Yes, she is shrewd in business and obv very smart. I, for one, bow down to her.

caveman said...

cool house, it does have a sort of cave feel & i dig the wine cellar.
who threw up in the tub?

Fat Ugly Whore said...

Anyone want to join me in a business venture? We won't even have to redecorate.

lil' gay boy said...

No one unswallowed (we never use vulgar terms like "threw up"), Caveman - that's her lunch.

Staging lady with a Toyota said...

Yes this was one of my biggest jobs yet,but can't you tell that I had a Conde Nast budget?You should see all the crap we had to put in the Indian caves a the back so it wouldn't be in the photos,there was twice as much crap before!

lil' gay boy said...

Staging Lady, I'd thought we'd lost you on the highway to Burt's in the Prius - where have you been?

Took a wrong turn and wound up in Palm Springs, I suppose.

lil' gay boy said...

Oh, and Fat, Ugly Whore, you may not have been aound here for a while yet (although it sounds as if you have been around for quite a while), we chilruns play nice in Mama's backyard.

aussie child said...

I like the outdoors, all the nice garden follies, but not the indoors. And I don't understand the point of 4 poster beds with just the frame and no curtains.

Anonymous said...

whats up with the cat in the patio pic? Is it her's???? I hope it's not an outdoor cat in ps? poor kitty

Pussy on the patio said...

Why is this mess 35 million clams?

lil' gay boy said...

Everyone knows a little pussy can close the deal.

;-)

Viva! said...

I would never, ever, live in Palm Springs (I hate a climate that arid) but I LOVE this house. It's very St Tropez-esque. Yes, the decor is over the top and chandelier filled...but it's Suzanne Somers, so it's fantastic. I am a big fan of Ms Somers and her hubby Mr Hamel, she is, without question, the smartest dumb blond Hollywood ever produced. I would think that the value of the property is the 65 acres that don't seem leased. It would make an amazing corporate retreat.

Anonymous said...

LGB
THAT WAS A VERY CHEAP SHOT.
PLEASE STOP WITH THE FEMALE BASHING. IT IS NOT FUNNY.

lil' gay boy said...

Sorry - just a little (very little) clever wordplay. Not meant to be female bashing.

I'll be a good boy for Mama.

Anonymous said...

NOT CLEVER.

dana said...

Even in it's death, that poor zebra is migrating all over the place.

caveman said...

relax anon, the only one that can hurt your feelings are you...is what i remember from kindergarten.

Anonymous said...

Caveman, Yours words make good sense for most situations. But IMHO this is not one of them. Chauvinistic slams are never cute, clever or socially tolerable, even here where the rules are liberal.

caveman said...

those who look to get their feelings hurt, are usually successful...1st grade

Anonymous said...

Mama I get what you say about Palm Springs. I love the pool and outdoor dining area. Where else can you get rocks like that? But then I love rocks.

Anonymous said...

"Chauvinistic slams are never cute, clever or socially tolerable, even here where the rules are liberal."

I didn't think it was chauvinistic, or even a slam. It was a catty comment by a gay man. DUH!

And yes, it was cute & clever.

LGB, we love you. Don't ever change.

lil' gay boy said...

Thanks, anon, you hit the nail on the head with my intentions.

Even Mama can't please all of the people all of the time - but some of Mama's chilruns seem a little more high strung - no lederhosen for them!

Babe Parish said...

It looks like an extended remix version of my Grandma's house in Texas and seeings how I have the flu right now, I'd love nothing more than to climb into that big bed with the curtains and drink some Theraflu...then after my nap Granny would have chilaquiles and ice tea waiting for me out by the pool after which I'd sit in that glorious steam bath, and let the Mucinex and Nyquil run thru my body like Drano...pray for me, I think I'm goin' to the light!

lil' gay boy said...

Babe Parish, can I borrow your Granny sometime?

;-)

Old Hag in a house said...

Don't even think about it bitch!

Anonymous said...

OMG! It never occurred to me that some poor children might have had to call Old Hag "granny", "grandma" or "nana". NOW we know why Britney & Jamie Lynn turned out like they did....

lil' gay boy said...

Oh, and a belated thank you to Caveman - I thought you'd appreciate the comment.

That particular anon poster seemed just a tad uptight, don't you think?

I all know what we're thinking she really needs but I don't want her going ballistic . . .

Princess Perfect said...

P.U.S.S.Y say out loud and say it proud children

Anonymous said...

isn't this the house in waiting to exhale? the house that belonged to angela bassett's character?

Anonymous said...

Interesting house and compound. Insane price!

For the asking price you would think you would be getting something lets say...the size of Scotty's Castle!

35 mil can get you two or three VERY, VERY, nice estates around the World and a private jet to fly you to them.

Maybe the asking price is in Canadian dollars???

Brenda Sue Daughter Girl said...

Mama knows best! I love Suzanne and everything that makes up her world! Her home is just a fabuloso desert dreamland. If I won the lotto today, I would happliy plunk a few million denari into the lovely hands of Ms. Somers and her hubby. I want to disappear into this compound and not come out for a month or two.