BUYER: Peri Gilpin
SELLER: Rachel Ashwell
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 1,783 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week the gal at the L.A. Times reported that She-ra of Shabby Chic Rachel Ashwell sold her land side beach house inside the guarded gates of the celebrity packed Malibu Colony community. Miss Ashwell is, for those ignorant of 1980s decorating trends, the gal who popularized what Your Mama calls "Grandma Sheek," a distinct decorative style that incorporates lots of white slip-covered sofas, chenille bedspreads, country cute-cute vintage linens, heavily distressed bureaus and side tables, and shimmery chandeliers for a soupçon of glamor and shine.
What Miss L.A. Times celebrity real estate reporter did not reveal is the big name buyer who forked over a few million clams for the Miss Ashwell's cottage in The Colony. According to our wonderfully well connected informant The Mistress of Maleeboo–and confirmed with a very roundabout tour through property records–the buyer is gravel voiced actress Peri Gilpin of Fraser fame and her artist huzband Christian Vincent who should absolutely not to be mistaken with hard-bodied dancer/actor Christian Vincent.
Listing information shows Miss Ashwell's Colony cottage was first listed at the beginning of March of 2010 and property records show that the deal closed quickly in early July for $3,550,000. A few quick flicks of the well worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that the purchase price is $875,000–a not insignificant 20%–less than She-ra of Shabby Chic's original asking price of $4,425,000.
Miss Ashwell bought the beach house in February of 2003 for $1,950,000 and while we presume she occupied the cottage herself at times, it's well established (and oft reported) that she frequently leased the home to celebs. A few of the Tinseltown hoity-toities who dumped big bucks to lease Miss Ashwell's Shabby Chic beach house include back in the saddle pop star Britney Spears who lived there during her pre-meltdown/party with Paris Hilton days, busty party princess Pam Anderson who is known among Colonyites for handing out perfectly packaged caramel apples in their own individually wrapped containers at Halloween, and the dee-voon actress Mariska Hargitay who appeared for years and years and years one of those damn Law & Order programs and who, according to the Mistress of Maleeboo, took up residence in Miss Ashwell's cottage in The Colony while she was preggers in 2006 with her baby boy.
Listing information and most previous reports indicate the modestly sized cottage measures 1,783 square feet and has a total 4 bedrooms and 4 poopers including a master suite with office area and private pooper. There is also a separate 1 bedroom and 1 pooper guest room that opens into the front garden through a Dutch door.
A lavender lined brick pathway leads from the entry gate and two-car garage, through the grassy and rose bush filled front yard and to the front door. Luscious limestone floors have been laid throughout the main living areas of the updated and upgraded but still rough around the edges cottage. The living/dining room has a fireplace and a wall of wood-framed sliding glass doors that open to the backyard, and the kitchen, all white cabinetry, open shelving and Viking brand appliances, is separated from a family room area by a breakfast counter. It's not known whether Miss Gilpin plans to retain the tired ol' Shabby Chic day-core or if–as Your Mama hopes–she'll tinker it into something a little less decoratively cliche.
The backyard, which has lovely views of the mountains that spill down to the ocean's edge and backs up to media mogul Jerry Perenchio's privately owned golf course, consists almost entirely of a large brick terrace shaded by mature trees and ringed by thick foliage. In one corner of the yard, pushed up against the house in the most upsetting and undignified manner is one of those above-ground, plug-in spa contraptions in which some people–including the Dr. Cooter and his cold-blooded sister Tee-Tee–enjoy settin' in what amounts to a boiling vat of their own filth and call it relaxing. No thank you, ma'am.
Property records show that Miss Gilpin and her huzband sold a house in West Hollywood back in 2003 for $1,367,000 and another house on Bowmont Drive in Beverly Hills in March of 2007 for $5,600,000 but the real estate trail goes dead there and Your Mama freely confesses that we don't know where Miss Gilpin and Mister Vincent currently live.
The Colony has a long, long, looooong history of celebrity residents A short list of past and current property owners with recognizable names include Barbara Stanwyk, Gloria Swanson, Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks, Sting and Trudie Styler–who at one point leased their home to Leo DiCaprio, Linda Ronstadt, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Mel Brooks, Brian Grazer, Cicely Tyson, Rob Reiner, Jeff Bridges, Paul Reiser, Jason Statham, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, Ridley Scott, Eric Roth, Pam Anderson who is allegedly going broke due an extensive and expensive remodel of her land side property, and media mogul Jerry Perenchio owns at least a dozen homes in The Colony as well as the aforementioned private golf course that sits discreetly between The Colony and the Pacific Coast Highway. One of the current Colonyites is Miss Gilpin's former co-star, b.f.f., and bizness partner Jane Leeves (Fraser, Hot in Cleveland) who has spent the last few years re-working her inland Colony getaway into a big yellow monster.
Like many rich and (quasi) famous types in LaLa Land, Miss Ashwell seems to be on a constant real estate merry-go-round. In the early 1990s she quit-claimed an ocean front house on Carbon Beach to her now ex-husband artist/commercial director David Ashwell, and in May of 1998 she paid $1,050,00 for a inland side house in The Colony that she sold in September of 2002 for $2,200,000.
In August of 2004 she scooped up a perfectly private 3,119 square foot house on Westgate Avenue in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles for $3,170,000. Then, in October of 2007, according to property records, the Shabby Chic She-ra dumped $4,150,000 on a 5 bedroom and 3 pooper residence located just behind the Brentwood Country Mart where scads of stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner come to shop and nosh. In July of 20o9, presumably after completing a re-do of her new house behind the Brentwood Country Mart, Miss Ashwell sold her Westgate Avenue property to a cardiologist and a pediatrician for $2,824,400 after listing it 10 months earlier with a much higher asking price of $4,395,000.
listing photos: Pritchett & Rapf via Redfin.