SELLERS: David Garfinkle and Maira Suro
LOCATION: Royal Oak Road, Encino, CA
SIZE: 2,953 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The 4 bd/4.5 bth combines the best of mid century dsgn w/ top of the line technlgy in sought aftr Royal Oaks nghbrhd. Walls of glass thru out allow for great indr/outdr flow. Sparkling pool & water sculpture fntn make for entertainers dream. Prvt mstr suite has tree-top & pool vws, walk-in clst & striking mstr bth w/ spa tub & over-sizd shwr. Walnut flrs, exotic wd cabnts, skylights, media rm, epicurean kit w/ Viking & SubZero appls, security t.v., plasma & LCD tvs, srnd snd & btf lndsp.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Take a chill pill children, Your Mama recognizes that unless you're in "the bizness" of tee-vee y'all probably haven't got a clue who these David Garfinkle and Maira Suro people are. While you may not know their names, we can assure you that you've seen some of the television programming they've produced.
Mister Garfinkle works as a reality tee-vee executive producer who has a long list of credits that include such glorious boob-toob trainwrecks as Gone Country, Mobile Home Disaster, Let's Make a Deal and the always eye popping and dee-lishusly entertaining reality tee-vee extravaganza The Surreal Life where the formerly famous go to earn a few easy dollars so they can keep making the payment on their automobile and, hopefully, breathe a little life into their moribund careers.
Miz Suro works her tee-vee magic as an executive at the MTV. In fact, she was an executive producer for the recent publicity ploy Britney: For the Record during which Miss Spears rather conveniently failed to reveal anything about her more bizarre behaviors over the last year or even mention her recent tangle with mental instability.
Listen puppies, Miss Spears does not owe any one any kind of explanation about nuthin'. However, we find it deeply disingenuous to promote an hour long television interview as her attempt to set the record straight about her life and then NOT talk about the juicy bizness like being forcibly removed from her Beverly Hills home and checked into the psych ward Cedars Sinai. Or her rumored battle with bi-polarity, the acknowledgement of which, if true, could really help a lot of people. And, perhaps most appalling was for her to say shaving her damn head was no big deal and that lots of other people do the same thing when they get stressed out? Pleeze. Your Mama's last nerve gets worked every damn day but you don't see us ducking in to some dirty looking hair parlor in Tarzana and shaving our head.
No children, that television special was clearly not meant to be a window into Miss Spears' strange world of mega-celebrity. Let's cut the crap and just call it what it was, okay? Despite a few tears and some almost poignant moments, the interview was a puff piece meant to garner attention for her newly released (and hugely successful) album Circus. All due respect, because we do not think Miss Spears has it easy, but gurl should have just stayed home if she wasn't going to speak on any of the important issues that her fans really want to know about.
Anyhoo, as usual, we digress. Let's get back to the contemporary crib in Encino that Mister Garfinkle and Miz Suro have recently listed with an asking price of $3,699,000. Property records show the couple scooped up the Royal Oak Road residence in October of 2006 for $3,095,000. It is unclear to Your Mama if the Garfinkle/Suros are responsible for the complete overhaul of the property or if those accolades belong to someone else.
Although we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that there was nothing architecturally significant about this house when it was built in 1950, the recent renovation has clearly taken what was probably a very ordinary ranch house and turned it into a warmly modern home with a properly conceived space plan. Listen, we know that some of you are gonna say that a pig with lipstick is still a pig, but we happen to like this house. Even if it is in a good part of Encino. Ain't a thing wrong with Encino children, but Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would rather live in the 10th circle of hell than Encino. It's just a personal preference.
Anyhoo, listing information shows the house measures in at 2,953 square feet, which is a perfect size for this Goldilocks. Any more square footage and we'd just have to pay our bossy house gurl Svetlana extra to clean rooms we did not use. Listing information also indicates there are 4 bedroom and 4.5 bathrooms, a bed to bath ratio that makes the Dr. Cooter swoon with dee-lite.
The long and low house is accessed up a long, curving and gated driveway that terminates in a small motor court. If you're going to own a house with a front facing garage, it might as well be one of these frosted glass numbers, right? The front facade offers little more than straight lines and solid walls and certainly does not hint at the fa-boo floor to ceiling walls of glass at the back of the house which nicely blur the lines between inside and outside.
Ordinarily Your Mama does not care for an open plan layout...we just go crazy when we have to look at the dang dishwasher while we're bizzy concentrating on shoveling food down our gullet at the dining room table. None the less, the "L" shape configuration of this house allows each living area to have its own separate space while still participating as a part of the whole, not an easy architectural trick.
The living room features a fireplace and a wall of custom cabinetry and shelving where the Garfinkle/Suros have quite wisely not overloaded with knick knacks and family photos. We might like to see a few books up in there, but we'll give them a pass on that. This time.
We find the dining room table to be too small for the room, but we do appreciate the conical tortoise shell chandelier which tosses off the sort of soft yellow light that makes everyone look younger and beautiful even while chomping on big piece of meat. The kitchen sits in the corner of the "L" and connects the "formal" spaces with the family living spaces which include a family room with a gigantic white sofa, some shiny tables and a white super-shag rug that would indicate to Your Mama that shooz are not to be worn in this house. We do note a lack of books in here, a decorative oversight we can not over look twice. Beyond the family room is the windowless media room where, for better or worse, all the reality tee-vee stars can be seen life size. Your Mama's back aches just thinking of settin' down in a bean bag, but otherwise we find this to be one of the better media rooms we've come across in a long time. Not to big, not too small and none of those black out curtains that just collect dust.
Upstairs, the large master bedroom has a long, low cabinet running the entire length of the wall opposite the bed. A window seat has been cleverly built in which we imagine our mean ol' pussy cat Sugar would find an excellent spot to soak up some sun and dig her claws into the very expensive fabric covering the cushion. He's a bitch that way. We find the master bathroom strikes an appropriate chord between luxurious and functional with heaps of storage space, a large walk in shower and a steam room where Your Mama could sweat out the booze toxins on a regular basis.
The modestly sized back yard includes a large rectangular shaped swimming pool surrounded by privacy hedges. We'd prefer a little more shaded area out here since the Encino sun can be a blistering nightmare in the summer. A small grassy area (not shown) is tucked back behind the media room where–if one must–a swing set and sandbox could be installed for the kiddies.
To be honest children, Your Mama can't imagine why the Garfinkle/Suros want to sell this house. But sell they are. We presume with their tee-vee successes they'll be moving to bigger and better digs. Well, at least bigger.