Friday, May 15, 2009

Spin Mistress Lara Shriftman Lists Sunset Strip Digs

SELLER: Lara Shriftman
LOCATION: Belfast Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,200,000
SIZE: 2,455 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Wonderful Paul Williams style traditional above the str. at the end of a cul-de-sac. This gracious residence offers city views, privacy, frmal entry w/ sweeping staircase, step-down LR w/ high clngs, crown mldings & FP opening to a sun rm. Formal DR, lrge kitch., office & den complete the downstairs. Garage has been converted to spacious bonus rm. Upstairs is a mster suite w/ city views, 2 walk-in closets & a junior mster suite. All baths have been redone. Secluded pl, patios and garden.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: First of all, it's pronounced Lair-uh, okay?

Now then, Your Mama recognizes that many of the children will not recognize Lara Shriftman's name...but Your Mama sure does, as we imagine most of the New York City children who used to dine and drink in places like Butter and Lot 61 do too. (We know Lot 61 is closed no, so don't be sassin' us about including it here.) See puppies, once upon a time, another lifetime ago really, Your Mama did a lot of work for a super swanky skincare company on the Upper East Side of Manhattan...you know, the sort of place where you could get your skin peeled, the age spots lasered and Botox injected all up and down your damn body. The company has since swirled down the proverbial terlit of start up companies that can't cut the mustard. However, at the time we were working our fingers to the nubbins for this emporium of bizarre beauty treatments, Miss Shriftman and her bizness partner Elizabeth Harrison were the high-toned (if part-time) public relations people for the company.

According to their website, Harrison & Shriftman has offices is Los Angeles, New York, and Miami and their impressively long list of current retainer clients includes (but is not limited to) companies such as Fearless Yachts, Grey Goose Vodka, Lacoste, Mercedes Benz, Mr. Chow, the Sagamore Hotel, The naughty-naughty Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and the entire country of Costa Rica. So it goes without saying, really, that Miss Shriftman has been boo-coo successful in her quest to toss exclusive parties for and say only the nicest things about her many clients. It doesn't hurt that she pals around with another well-known Lara (Flynn Boyle) or that her baby daddy is Juan Bacardi who, you guessed it, belongs to the booze making Bacardi family.

Anhoo, back in the early 2000s (or around that time), there was a small army of very young, very well connected and oddly powerful PR flaks who were paid big bucks to promote pricey doo-dads, throw parties, and pull strings for their high profile clients. These Prada-clad twenty-somethings proudly hung around with famous folks (remember that awful name dropper Jonathan Cheban?), partied like their rock star clients in places like Amy Sacco's notoriously celebrity packed Bungalow 8 and, in some cases, ran people over with their Mercedes SUVs like that high priestess of PR Lizzie Grubman did in July of 2001. Miss Shriftman was/is part of that crowd. Although we don't think she ever mowed anyone down in front of a velvet rope club in the Hamptons like Miss Grubman did, she was featured in a deliciously salacious article in New York Magazine that profiled some of most powerful ladee-gurl publicists of that time who plied their smooth talking, party making and VIP all access pass carrying ways all around the globe.

Although Miss Shriftman, who reportedly consults (or used to consult) a psychic friend named Karen on any major decisions, was often working her PR magic in New York and elsewhere, property records show that in March of 2004 the spin mistress purchased a dignified if not pedigreed house on Belfast Drive in the Sunset Strip area of Los Angeles for $1,200,000. In mid-April of 2009 she hoisted the house on to the market with an asking price of $3,200,000, a figure that just two weeks later was choppity-chopped to its current asking price of $2,850,000.

Listing information and prop records show the house measures 2,455 square feet, a number that seems a bit wee to Your Mama because this crib photographs looking far more substantial than 2400 and something square feet. Records show the 3 bedroom and 4 bathroom house was built in 1938. According to listing information, the house, which sits gloriously high off the street, was built in a "Paul Williams style" which means, all the architectural snobs recognize, it is not an actual Paul Williams designed house.

A long driveway curves and rises to a two car garage in which no cars can be parked because it's been turned into some sort of "bonus room." The front door opens to a old-school foyer with a gorgeous slate floor and a swooping staircase begging to have Norma Desmond or some other high-drama diva come gliding down screeching about her faded youth and beauty. The living room has been updated with pot lights (for better or worse) and features shiny wood floors and a lot of very white, clean lined furniture pieces surrounding a round coffee table, all of which sits in front of the wood burning fireplace with its wonderfully minimal surround. We're just going to pretend like those purple and too-precious orchids aren't even there because Your Mama will fly into an uncontrollable rage if we have to explain one more time that orchids as day-core are through. Done. Fini.

The spare, yet delightfully dramatic dining room has a large bay window, black painted walls with white accents and a large marble topped circular table with six or eight angular and straight-edged chairs. The whole room is lit by a bowl shaped chandelier that looks like it's crafted of melting crystals, a look both disturbing and interesting. The adjacent and starkly all white kitchen has marble counter tops and a large greenhouse style window has been installed the length of one wall over the range top and sink where we feel certain our imperious but day-dreamy house gurl Svetlana would surely enjoy watching the bamboo sway in the breeze while scrubbing up the dinner dishes

Also on the main level, according to listing information is an office and den where Your Mama spies a giant velvet covered sectional sofa quietly whispering to be laid on by someone, perhaps Your Mama, who is not wearing any clothes. Or perhaps this is the aforementioned "bonus room?" Could be. We don't know.

Upstairs are the bedrooms which include a junior master and a senior master bedroom all white and Delano Hotel-like except for the honey colored wood floors and Grandma Shriftman's wonderfully out of place embroidered chair in the corner. All bathrooms, according to listing information, have been over-hauled including the master where an ornate, beveled Venetian style mirror makes a real statement and an interesting (if not entirely successful) counterpoint to the very modern and clean lined double sinks and nickel plated taps...or at least we hope they're nickel plated for this kind of money.

The solarium (or whatever Miss Shriftman calls it) features a wall of paned windows that open to a brick terrace that runs along the back of the house. The entire room, including the brick floor, has been painted with the freshest white paint money can buy and is set off by a quartet of yellow abstract painting (that look sort of intriguing from this distance) and a small disco ball which hangs from the ceiling and is really too small for the toom. A larger glitter ball would have better matched the scale of the room, at least in our humble and entirely meaningless opinion.

Out back, large brick staircase gently leads up the to the blessedly rectangular swimming pool which is surrounded by more brick terracing and a lighter than air Hollywood Regency style fence that may or may not keep a drunk party guest from falling off the upper terrace and down into the lower terrace outside the kitchen and solarium, or whatever it's called.

There would seem to be no reason for Miss Shriftman and Mister Booze Heir to move house just because they had a baby recently, but the children all know that rich people often think, "new baby, new house."

A quick spin through property records does not show Miss Shriftman or Mister Bacardi owning any other property in Los Angeles or New York. That doesn't mean they don't own other properties, just means we didn't find any.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I bet the glass window behind the stove top is a real bitch to clean.

Anonymous said...

This house is in serious need of some curb appeal. Yuck- I would drive right past it.

StPaulSnowman said...

I have tried to imagine otherwise but I can't think of a place in any home where a glittery disco ball would be anything but gaudy.........morning mouth is bad enough without your eyes being assaulted by splintered photons.......but to each his/her own.

Bigdealoncable said...

Utterly and completely predictable. Could someone in L.A. PLEASE hire a real designer? Not some overly Chanel-clad twink from the Abbey who thinks he's a designer because he's "studied a few books"!!!! for the LOVE OF GOD...... I'm going to gouge my eyes out if I see one more "cloned" interior with black walls, white furniture and non-descript crystal chandeliers!!!!! And could you at least TRY and create some window treatments??!!

Anonymous said...

Her & her partner sold Harrison Shriftman years ago I'm sure ... I don't think they're involved at all with the company now.

Anonymous said...

UGH!!!!!!!!! There's really nothing about this house or decor I like, but the bedside tables are beyond ugly. The place looks like a tear-down; however, if the new owner doesn't tear it down, there's no telling how much it will cost to bring it into this century. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

Anonymous said...

I have been in this house. It's decorated to look like a page out of DOMINO Magazine. The list price is ridiculous... and the driveway is at the same pitch as a waterslide! Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Oy vey!
Better chop that price again Laaaara. This place is pure shite; inside and out.

BTW- I don't get the anti-orchid thing. Pot racks, sure. Too high/low hung light fixtures, check. But orchids? The right plant in the right place can be effective. Hell, they offer the only warm touch this pile has.

Babe Parish said...

this place is super parochial and i like it.

Anonymous said...

Im really surprised that everyone hates this house so much. Its a pretty good traditional, set up off the street and its a great location/address. I think it does have great curb appeal. Sure it has a few dated touches like all those greenhouse windows and the cliche paint job/lemon yellow/white viceroy type interior. The new price even seems fair. I'm really stunned that Im out of sync with everyone on this one.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen this house, but I googled the lady you all seem to be discussing and it seems she has written four books and been enormously successful. Due to the vehemence of "Mama's" comments I did a little more digging and saw that this house has been published many times as an example of beautiful decor. I wish I could afford it.....

Anonymous said...

I'd never heard of Ms Shriftman before this article, although I am of course fully aware and appreciative of the Bacardi family's work.

One look at this house says the owner has high tight peeled, buffed and stretched skin, tight skirts, high heels, pursed lips bright white teeth and absolutely no individuality whatsoever. She's a California Clone, probably some Zelig type who will swoosh and swish from one engagement to the next alighting on each conversation like a butterfly and then moving on to the next without leaving a trace.

Really, could someone please put a bit of colour and life into these people's homes: make it look as if human beings actually live here, rather than making every single element of home life some robotic 'this-is-how-you-have-to-live' statement.

Anonymous said...

These comments are ridiculous - especially when all of you are probably living in some shitty $400/month studio rather than a $3.2 Million home in the Hollywood Hills - You may not like the house but could you all be anymore jealous? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not jealous of this piece of shit.

It's souless, charmless, lack of personality means it's less of a home than most $400/month studio.

And most $400/month studios have some sense of style and personality.

This is just a sterile pile of crap with no sense of love or sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

3.09, you're clearly shallow enough to appreciate the the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that there seems to be something "missing" in much of the decorating. But it's 90 thousand time better than most of the crap out in calabasas and places like that where it looks like they backed a truck up to Home Direct and bought every carved wood piece of furniture meant to look "tuscan" and weighty that was on sale.

Maria said...

Lara & Elizabeth did sell the company years ago...it was one of those deals where the two pocketed millions, yet both get to stay on as 'advisors' and still make a yearly seven figure salary. dream.dream.dream. Anyway..I 'm sure Lara used this house a lot for entertaining, hence the coldness

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you want it WARMER if you were entertaining?

Just saying is all...

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to be rude, but the mirror in the master bath is a Venetian style, not Art Deco.

Your Mama said...

Oh, you're right dolly. I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground sometimes. Thanks hun.

White Chocolate Mess said...

ouch Mama that must be hurtful sometimes! Have a booootyful weekend, and all you chirren, play safe and drive friendly!

Oh Mama said...

Well, color me utterly predictable and personality-less, but I'm with Anon 10.06. Nice house in a nice area. And if you like the style, a few updates would make it perfect.
Obviously the pics lack personal touches, but surely the staging lady is heading up the hill in her pink toyota as we speak, to return all the knicknacks and family photos to their proper places. Although I wish she'd have taken the disco ball and burned it. Noone should have one of those in their homes. Noone.

Uppityarentwe said...

Give my two long-bodied non-bitches, Manly and Lola, five minutes and they'll give this antiseptic, monochromatic pile a memorable lived-in look...

Anonymous said...

HI ANON 3:09

congrats! you're the "once a month person who whines about all of us living in $5 studios and being jealous of the homeowners"!!

don't take the comments personally! don't forget, opinions are like a**holes.

NewYorkQueer said...

Does the Miss Owner-Gurl think all that white will make her pure again?

All I can think of in that house is one small baby and a bowl of spagitti-o"s. That makes me feel much better about it all.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:49,

Indeed there is someone who tries to make that point at least once a month.

We all know the truth though -- the only non-wealthy person who reads this blog is Average Joe. :oP

Anonymous said...

A stunning house. I don't know what you're all on about. Very dramatic.
Throw a few personal touches around, add the cat and there you go!
Andra

pch said...

I swung by to take a look. Well-located, a minute or two from Sunset. The street looks a bit like an alley, being narrow and having a drainage gutter down the center. But lots of roads in the hills are crap, so it's not a dealbreaker. It's nice that all three houses at the end of the cul-de-sac are above the street, but the approach for all three is awkward. Feels disjointed.

The driveway is a bit steep, and I'd want to convert the garage at the top back into a garage. Either way, much more off-street parking than you get in most houses around here.

The house itself, so-so for the era. Not terrible, not great. I could work with it.

There's something off about this joint, though. I don't think it'll be a slam dunk for many people.

NewYorkQueer said...

Oh my goodness I have been guilty of having an unoriginal thought. Please kill me now I am useless!

Anonymous said...

ugh these LA home are so ugly.

Selangor said...

Nice house! I like the design very much!

Oh Mama said...

Anon 12:44,
and we all know the REAL truth - which Mama points out over and over again: there's no correlation between taste and wealth.

de_roy said...

anyone who saw the house or have more info about this dig could tell me if there is a garage space as well? where miss lara put her car(s)??...thanks

Anonymous said...

here's their company site,Harrison & Shriftman it looks pretty good

Anonymous said...

Lair- uh is as nasty as that house looks fromn the street picture. Mr Booze Heir is engaged to another person, he just accidentally knocked her up after an, I imagine, Bacardi fueled night...

Anonymous said...

Miss Piggy definitely got knocked up accidentally by Mr. Booze who thought he was having a moment of beastiality with an animal of the swine speciies with lipstick. I would imagine Miss Piggy's digs resemble that of s swine's. She's pathetic.