Monday, April 12, 2010

Kelly Wearstler Lists Beige Beast in Malibu

SELLERS: Brad Korzen and Kelly Wearstler and etc.
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
PRICE: $21,900,000
SIZE: 5,658 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: If the children will recall, in late February of 2010 Your Mama relayed the über juicy real estate rumor whispered to us by several well connected informants that property developer Brad Korzen and his superstar decorator/authoress/fashion daredevil wife Kelly Wearstler had quietly floated their legendary and quite substantial Beverly Hills estate on the market with a monumental asking price of around $50,000,000.

Three gin & tonics into last night while perusing the newest listings in Los Angeles, Your Mama ran across a listing for Mister Korzen and La Wearstler's Malee-bee beach house, which they apparently share with three other families and not entirely unexpectedly heaved on to the open market this week with an fat asking price of $21,900,000.

Even all boozed up Your Mama immediately recognized the residence as La Wearstler's. Not only is the place worked over with an easily identifiable version of her sometimes discombobulating signature style of harrowing decorative abandon, the house appeared in all its glory on the glossy pages of the November 2009 issue of Metropolitan Home. According to the Metropolitan Home article, when Mister Korzen and La Wearstler bought the beach house it was "reminiscent of an '80s surf-and-turf restaurant." A couple of years of intensive renovations later and the old surf-and-turf style has been replaced with a kind of Super Studios meets Michael Taylor meets an eight ball of cocaine from the 1970s mixed with a soupçon of Fornasetti and a dash of the Museum of Natural History all of which is blanketed with every shade of cream, sand, tan, taupe, beige, biscuit, ecru and café au lait known to (wo)mankind.

A peep and a poke around the somewhat convoluted and incomplete property records and a quick consult with the ever knowledgeable Lucy Spillerguts reveals that Mister Korzen and La Wearstler–and presumably these three other families that share the house with them–paid $8,500,000 for the beach house in August of 2004. Records and previous reports also show that the property was purchased from none other than Janet Jackson, otherwise known as Miss Jackson if Your Nasty.

Chickens, how do you think Miss Jackson If Your Nasty feels about La Wearstler being quoted in a national and well respected interior decoratin' publication essentially calling her former home a steaming hot pile of architectural and decorative doo-doo? Oh low-erd. We have a feeling that both of these ladees can take off their earrings and really throw. it. down. like a couple of prize fighters and Your Mama would not want to find our self in a dark Beverly Hills alley standing between La Wearstler–who would no doubt be sporting a tutu, toe socks and some sort of rat's nest of a hair don't–and an angry and decoratively scorned Miss Jackson If Your Nasty.

The Los Angeles County tax man shows Mister Korzen and La Wearstler's ocean front house measures 5,658 square feet while listing information eyeballs it at "approximately 6,000 sq. ft." According to listing information, the house sits on 72 feet of Carbon Beach frontage, surely some of the most expensive sand in California. There are, according to listing information, 6 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers including a master suite with its own private sitting room. One has to wonder how these bedrooms get divided up between the four families who share this place. Who gets the master bedroom? Do they take alternate summer weekends? Flip coins? Draw Straws?

A windowless, almost like fortress like front facade runs along the Pacific Coast Highway that La Wearstler has somewhat softened with a uni-brow of planted hedges that she's placed along the roof's edge. While we're concerned about the lack of parking on the property–there is only the 2-car garage and whatever street parking that can be snatched up, Your Mama does indeed love us a seriously solid and formidable facade that makes no beef or bones about declaring, "You better step off Missy Hoo Hoo and Peeping Pete because there will be no peering through the windows of this house." At least not from the street side.

Looking beyond La Wearstler's wacky, unflinching and, yes, rather courageous day-core defined by a conscious tension between hard and soft and an almost cacophonous melange of organic and geometric shapes reminiscent of the Age of Disco, and we find airy interior spaces with bleached hardwood floors, funky light fixtures, and walls wrapped with several kinds of stone including, according to listing information, Honey Onyx, Calcutta Gold and Cippolino stone.

The step down living/dining/lounging room features a fireplace with a monolithic and modern carved stone surround that reaches to the ceiling and a series of tall window openings that spill the interior space onto the terraces that hang over the sand. We're not sure–so don't nobody make the fool mistake of quoting Your Mama on this–but the multi-purpose room appears to stretch the full width of the house, which would make it somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 or 70 feet long, a stunning, rare, valuable and almost civic stretch of interior space for an ocean front house in Malibu.

The bedrooms all appear to be hotel-suite sized each with, which Your Mama hopes and prays an en-suite pooper. Otherwise a potentially malodorous situation could develop between the 4 families that share this house and cause a serious rift. Other notable features of Mister Korzen and La Wearstler's beach house, according to listing information, include a total of 3 fireplaces, central heat and air conditioning, a media/music room, a private spa, direct garage access, inside laundry facilities (as opposed to a couple of machines stuck up in the corner of the garage), a heavy duty security system, and guest/staff quarters.

While Your Mama is not really sure that some of Miz Wearstler's stylistic frippery will withstand the brutal test of decorative time, there are without question some utterly magnificent moments and pieces that we think should make every decorating fool and shelter rag reading queen sit up and take a wee bit of notice. Did y'all see those barrel shaped dining room chairs? Gore-jhus. The Escher-esque staircase? Weird but wonderful. The utterly bee-zare but brilliant slipper chairs and matching couch in the living room that look like smooth boulders wrapped Christo-like with a million yards of ruched fabric? Fabulous. We don't want them in our house, but we could certainly spend some time looking at them and wonder how well they hold up against sea salt, sand and the kind of damp daily fog banks bring.

Of course there are some glaring mistakes such as those inadequately sized stick chandelier thingamabobs hanging from the ceiling in the living/dining/lounging room and the kitchen is also problematic for Your Mama. We appreciate that the wall between the kitchen area and the living/dining/lounging room was opened up so that the ocean view can penetrate deep into the house, we l.o.v.e. a built in banquette breakfast table (we don't know why, we just do), the veined marble is absolutely stunning, and there's certainly an enviable and generous amount of counter space. But, that said, Your Mama can only describe La Wearstler's beach house kitchen as all done up and did over in a mausoleum chic manner. Don't misunderstand Your Mama. We like a clean lined and functional kitchen space as much as the next water boiler, but we do not, thank you very much, want to prepare a meal on a surface that closely resembles the sort of thing on which a dead body would be laid out for a viewing by the family.

We know some of you Midwesterners and East Coast types who covet the wide open spaces of the Hamptons or Newport, RI will hiss and howl about how it's certifiably insane for a person to pay twenty million clams for a beach house that sits right up against the very bizzy Pacific Coast Highway with neighbors so close on both sides you can converse and pass sugar from kitchen window to kitchen window. But all those other people who understand the geography and lexicon of oceanfront living in southern California will surely get the absolute rarity and desirability of a house this wide on this particular stretch of sand. Will Mister Korzen, La Wearstler and those three other families be able to parlay that rareness and desirability into a big Kaching! on their investment of $8,500,000 for the property and–we're guessing–several million more in renovations?

Only time will tell chickens. Certainly there is enormous appeal about a newly renovated house on Carbon freaking Beach. However, according to the peeps at listing and sales figure aggregator Redfin, the current state of the real estate market isn't really on their side. Excluding private sales, there have been just 10 transactions in excess of $10,000,000 in Malibu in the last 12 months and the the highest price paid for a single family house in Malibu in the last year is $16,500,000 for a 1+ acre Point Dume estate that happens to have Barbra Streisand as its next door neighbor.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey all...I looked at this property today (*NOT* as a buyer mind you, as an assistant) and it is HORRIBLE...bland and dull and not worth the money....

Anonymous said...

21822 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is overpriced!!!!

Detective La Toya said...

bitch better be ready for a throw down

Anonymous said...

I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit

Maimou said...

Oh, Mama. I just clicked through on the hair don't.

My eyeballs are bleedin'.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if the'Marble Us All Over' clearance store ships outside california?

Anonymous said...

Yuck. These rooms look like the "after" scenes from that cottage in Beetlejuice, when the oh-so-trendy artiste mom comes in with her screamingly gay decorator (sorry) and turns the whole house into a modern monstrosity... except in beige.

Maybe Kelly really liked that movie.

The rest of us chirren have the good taste to adore you, Mama!

Hugs from the Colorado Sunny :)

Madam Pince said...

This from the woman who wrote a book called "Hue"?!? Granted, it's her beach home shared with three other famous, but Jeezbus Christus, Mama! Talk about boring. I fell asleep in my bourbon & ginger ale halfway through the photos -- good thing I'd already read your commentary.

Anonymous said...

What's hanging above the bed in the second bedroom...a tagger's creation? East Los meets Malibu...wow, edgy! Beachfront meets the Barrio! Taco Lengua, with peach salsa!

Carla Ridge said...

Does it not strike anyone else as meaningful that both their Dolena on Hillcrest and this place are up for sale at the same time?

Nothing says 'money troubles' like multiple properties on the block, Kel. Ask Nic Cage.

And PS: what is UP with this 'shared' business. As in, shared on the Title?

barton keyes said...

Ahhhh.. Carbon Beach- made famous and trendy by David " i was a free man in Paris" Geffen, Peter "i can design a house better than you douche bag" Morton and Zuma " i'm th fucking mayor!" Jay.. but Ms. Wearstler aint got the chops for this game kids- she's all hat and no cattle.. a modicum of talent granted but her very rich hubby paid for residences that only she would and could design as you dont see her work published with any other clients do you now? nope- was in the Boo late Oct- Mama this is your pal for NYC London Terrace chiming in- and saw this monster as my hosts know one of the other "owners". let me tell you pork pies this is a train wreck at half the price and any of those "i go more money than god but taste up my pooter" types will lap this up as they dont know the poor little rich bitch has no clothes..

Sean Penn's best pal said...

Oh, my gosh...can someone tell me where the sand ends and where the house begins ??????

Anonymous said...

OMG, talk about butt ugly boring. However, on the other hand, I guess we should all be thankful she didn't use a lot of different colors--can you even begin to imagine what a nightmare that would have been? I realize this is her own house (well her's with others), but do people really pay her to "decorate" their homes? Scary if anyone does.

Anonymous said...

I've never really cared for her taste, and THIS REALLY shows why!! FFUUGGLY......

StPaulSnowman said...

This beach house is not merely beige........it's really most sincerely beige. Requiescat in pacem Rheinhardt.

T.T. Andreeson said...

I'm not defending all things K.W. but I think you all are too hard on her just for the sake of being hard on her. In a world of really bad design–have you seen 98% of the houses in Calabasas? What about all that bullshit that gets printed in Architectural Digest by "real" decorators?–K.W. is hardly the worst of the worst. She's just an easy target because her "style" is just so over the top it makes people crazy.

One wonders what some of you would say if Tony Duquette were a new designer today and not the legend that he is. Would you say his intense, over excessive work was crap too? Me thinks you might.

I happen to think K.W. has got some talent and would do better by pushing herself and move away from recreating eras (first there was hollywood regency, then there was her duquette phase and now, apparently a 70s flea market sort of thing).

While her career is most certainly built on the back of her husband, she does get paid sometimes to do other people's houses...just look at her website. I wouldn't want a K.W. designed house, but I wouldn't want a Duquette designed house either but I still think he was brilliant.

It's interesting how she inspires such vitriol and ire in people.

Anonymous said...

I'd hate to have to sit in those "gorgeous" dining room chairs all through a four or five course meal. If you wanted to lean back to rest you'd be too far from your plate to eat. Okay for a "salad and dessert" meal, not for anything more.

Babe Parish said...

this looks like all of my friends in echo park and mt. washington got together for an indoor yard sale/art walk/ tag fest/free for all complete with the complimentary kush & vegan buffet. decidedly UN-hollywood regency and a tad overboard on the eclectic, i blame the influence on the bald kid who won top design last year who was so in his own head and the polar design opposite of most of the design militia on hgtv... how could margaret, india and kelly NOT love it for fear of appearing unhip. now, mama you know how much i dig la wearstler, but i must admit i've been unfaithful ever since i got a gander at cindy gallop's place on the selby blog.

oh me, gallop's place makes kelly's look like something out of Love American Style. kelly better reboot, quickly.

love,
Babe

Babe "design polar opposite" Parish said...

damn! i just thought of something... weren't we taught that magazine coverage usually means a d.i.v.o.r.c.e is in the cards???? um in that case, kelly, it's lovely. would you like to drop by and sample some of my oils i picked up at panpipes? xo

Anonymous said...

Yikes-- not my taste but what do I know? I like marble when done tastefully but this looks like they got a bargain at Home Depot and went crazy with the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm not a huge fan but after reading the comments I think everyone here just wants to see Arch. Digest type interiors, nothing with personality or quirks. Anything outside of the limited and conservative design box gets slammed. It's unfortunate because there's a lot of really interesting stuff happening that's not getting in Arch. Digest

Anonymous said...

Hideous and silly, but who knows what goes on in the apparently weak minds of the fabulously wealthy? Just read that Janice Min's uber-pedestrian condo (featured on this terrific blog in March) sold for $7.3 million.

luke220 said...

I can imagine some buyer objections to the traffic light immediately in front of this house.

Tal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

They totally butchered this house, it looks hideous..."80s surf and turf." What rubbish. When Janet owned this house, it was quite beautiful and had an organic/natural charm. It was featured in Architectural Digest in the 90s.

final presentation said...

Purely from a design point of view, there are some serious problems here: yes, the repeated ziggurat motif (in various marbles), while ripped off wholesale from a marble table by Carlo Scarpa and Marcel Breuer, is admittedly genius; the living room chairs you so love (Momma, you do have exquisite taste!) are by Scarpa's son and daughter-in-law Tobia and Afra - also incredible; the Sottsass-inspired marble volumes and staircase - great too. But then it falls apart. The dining room chairs are bad Scarpa copies, and much of the rest of the house is filled with junk.

It's one thing to curate an inspired collection of far-flung pieces; it's another to, say, ruche fabric around a king size bed in order to trick, say, at least THREE OTHER FAMILIES, into thinking the bed was made in Italy in 1970.

For me - and I don't read shelter magazines so I rely on rare glimpses into Wearstler's ouvre - this particular property exposes her as a very unserious designer once and for all. The queen of Hollywood Regency (who, back in the day, must have gotten her hands on the now prophetic paperback "Exterior Decoration" by John Chase) has shifted gears and plunged headlong into a new, superficial "theme." It's 70's Italian-meets-Egon Von Furstenberg-meets-Michael Taylor! Except there's no scholarship, no bravura, no love. Nothing but a stack of vintage Italian Design books, a handful of tear sheets and a big dose of contempt for the true masters who came before her. And the uneducated nouveau riche of Los Angeles and beyond will line up to pay her for her services.

Welcome to the future...

Amanda B Rekendwith said...

Your commentary is THE best.
Consistently uber witty.
Always good for a major LOL!
Too bad the (so-called)comedy writers on so many TV shows don't have your advanced talents.

As far as this beige nightmare goes.....what the heck is up with the dinky twig ceiling fixtures? Did they spend so much on all the marble they had to rely on beach remnants to keep the budget in line?
Keep up the great work, Mama.
Luvs ya tons.

Matt Lapa said...

Ahhhh.. Carbon Beach- made famous and trendy by David " i was a free man in Paris" Geffen, Peter "i can design a house better than you douche bag" Morton and Zuma " i'm th fucking mayor!" Jay.. but Ms. Wearstler aint got the chops for this game kids- she's all hat and no cattle.. a modicum of talent granted but her very rich hubby paid for residences that only she would and could design as you dont see her work published with any other clients do you now? nope- was in the Boo late Oct- Mama this is your pal for NYC London Terrace chiming in- and saw this monster as my hosts know one of the other "owners". let me tell you pork pies this is a train wreck at half the price and any of those "i go more money than god but taste up my pooter" types will lap this up as they dont know the poor little rich bitch has no clothes..