SELLERS: Richard Gere and Carey Lowell
LOCATION: Water Mill, NY
SIZE: Halsey Lane, 7 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: It's easy to imagine living here. Since the turn of the century, rooted in time sits this lovingly renovated farmhouse. Cozy comfort with high-end luxury. Hiding behind the hedges, merging fantasy and fairy tale, a place to call home. 7 bedrooms, 10 baths, heated pool, guest house, artists studio and not too many maples.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Being that it's the dead of winter here in the northern hemisphere, Your Mama thought the children could use a little dose of the summer to come so today we're going to discuss two pricey properties in posh Water Mill, NY. That's the Hamptons babies.
The first property we'd like to discuss, which we read about in New York magazine, is owned by one of the film industry's sexiest and most outspoken Buddhists. That's right children, we're talking about American Gigolo Richard Gere and his good lookin' wifey Carey Lowell who have recently listed one of their (two) Hamptons hideaways with an asking price of $8,800,000.
Property records show the comely couple scooped up their Halsey Lane house in February of 2001 for $2,750,000 and, according to listing information, the property has been dubbed Too Many Maples. Desirably located South of the Highway–that's Montauk Highway puppies–on a 1.2 acre pie-shaped parcel, the turn of the century farmhouse style residence measures in at approximately 5,500 square feet and offers 7 bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms, a large number that ensures a minimum wage terlit gurl be on call 24/7 to deal with any back ups and etc.
Listing information also indicates the fully hedged mini-estate includes a large heated swimming pool, a guest house and an artist's studio where we imagine Mister Gere spends his summer mornings meditating in the nood. Okay, we don't know if the man meditates buck nekkid, but we like to imagine that he does.
Anyhoo, the 100+ year old residence has been updated and upgraded with modern conveniences while still retaining the original charm and rambling quality of a house that's been added onto in a willy-nilly fashion over the years as the owners needed another bedroom, another bathroom or stuck a screened porch on to the back so they could do jigsaw puzzles on warm summer evenings without being eaten alive by the horrid mosquitoes that plague the Hamptons.
The three story and much gabled getaway is graced with a lovely wrap around porch on what was originally the front of the house. However, the main entrance now appears to be approached from the side via a circular gravel drive that is partially shaded by a pergola like porte cochere. The stair hall sets the tone for the mood of the entire house–as it should–where a simple and subdued palette sets offs some seriously spectacular wood floors, a couple of vintage light fixtures and an elegantly turned newel post that anchors the wonderfully wide staircase.
Listen children, Your Mama can understand why this house and its day-core may not be to every person's preference or enjoyment. In fact, it's not even what Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would do had we the scratch for a nine million dollar farmhouse in the Hamptons–which, of course, we do not. None the less, we find the Gere/Lowell abode and it's relaxed, weekend house of a very rich yet thoughtful person vibe to be almost beyond reproach. So y'all can make whatever sassy and snappy comments about all the silly plates that are stuck to the walls throughout the house, but we are going to refrain from our usual snarky remarks.
The living room is warmed by a corner fireplace, is stuffed with some comfortable looking seating and is separated from the formal dining room by a pony wall. Ordinarily we're not so keen on pony walls but, surprisingly, it's sorta working here. The farmhouse style table in the large dining room is surrounded by 8 mis-matched wood chairs and is lit by a pair of simple drum-shaped chandeliers. A mid-century sideboard adds to the eclectic but well conceived decorative melange.
The stunning wood floors continue into the kitchen–Your Mama loves us some wood floors in a farmhouse kitchen–where simple white cabinetry is topped by simple, but expensive, white marble counter tops. A large work island defines the work flow and hosts a quasi-commercial style stove, a two-drawer dishwasher and a breakfast counter where googly eyed guests can pull up stools and watch Mister Gere whips up some French Toast in his robe on Sunday mornings. Built into a well lit and windowed nook, the kitchen dining area is appropriately wrapped in wainscoting and the built in benches have been piled with down cushions and pillows in mis-matched striped and patterned fabrics. The children will note that a Scrabble game sits on the table. It warms the cockles of our cold, dark heart that the Gere/Lowell clan plays Scrabble because Your Mama loves playing us some Scrabble.
A small paneled den house features a built in book case with actual books in it as well as a good sized flat screen tee-vee so that no one need ever miss a single episode of the bizarre and dee-lishusly camp boob-toob extravaganza that is RuPaul's Drag Race where a bunch of catty queens are made to, "lip sync for their lives." Gorgeous!
Upstairs, the master bedroom features a high peaked ceiling with beautifully exposed wood trusses, a wood burning fireplace for all the Hallmark card types who like to get bizzy Valentine's Day style and French doors that lead to a private terrace. Although we really don't know if it's the case or not, given that there are 10.5 terlits for 7 bedrooms, Your Mama would like to think that each of the guest bedrooms claims a private pooper.
It seems almost unfathomable that Mister Gere and Miz Lowell would want to sell this near perfect weekend getaway. However, it does not appear that they are giving up the East End altogether because property records show that in November of 2005 the property rich pair picked up another Hamptons pad when they paid $6,900,000 for a 4+ acre water front property on Actors Colony Road in North Haven–that's up near Sag Harbor people.
In August of 2007, the couple paid $12,000,000 to purchase one of those delightfully ka-razy kribs in artist/filmmaker Julian Schnael's hot pink architectural folly in the far West Village of New York City that he whimsically calls Palazzo Chupi. However, it appears the pair are not so interested in living up in the Chupi with the usually pajama clad Mister Schnabel. Just seven (or so) months after closing on the 4 bedroom and 4 bathroom full floor flat, they flipped the bitch back on the market with an asking price of $17,995,000. According to the always helpful Street Easy, the asking price was later reduced to $15,000,000 where it languished before being taken off the market in early February of 2009.
As an aside and just for fun, here's a short list of things the children may not know about aging gracefully Mister Gere: He's an accomplished pianist; He was great friends with famed photographer Herb Ritts who took some of Mister Gere's first head shots; He turned down the lead role in Die Hard which subsequently went to Bruce Willis; And he went to the University of Massachusetts on a gymnastic scholarship which means the young man could (and perhaps can still) bend his body up like a damn pretzel. Lucky Miz Lowell.