SELLERS: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli
LOCATION: Laguna Beach, CA
SIZE: 1,268 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: If the children will put on their thinking caps they may recall that in June of 2010 Your Mama discussed the recently rehabbed 10,000+ square foot Georgian style pile in the hoity-toity Bel Air area of Los Angeles that actress Lori Loughlin (90210, Summerland, Full House) and her garment mogul huzband Mossimo Giannulli hoisted on to the market with an asking price of $19,500,000. In March of 2002, for $8,010,580, the real estate crazy couple bought their Bel Air spread that sits cheek to jowl with the mansion that Will & Grace alum Debra Messing bought from squinty eyed actress Renée Zellweger. To give the entire place a re-do, Miz Loughlin and Signore Giannulli hired molto expensivo superstar decorator Michael "Granny" Smith, the very same earth tone queen responsible for the all-beige and banal over haul of the Oval Office.
As it turns out, their Bel Air estate was not the only Tilt-a-Whirl the Loughlin-Giannullis were riding at the southern Cali real estate fair. In June of 2009 the couple put their bantam beach cottage in the über upscale Emerald Bay enclave in drop dead gor-juss but nauseatingly expensive Laguna Beach, CA on the market with a wildly optimistic asking price of $8,500,000. In early October the eager to sell pair slashed the asking price by a painful and bone chilling three million clams and in January of 2010, according to property records, the property was sold for $4,100,000 to a Hedge Hog from Houston, TX. It doesn't take any flicking of the well worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus to see that after the fat real estate fees were paid, Miz Loughlin and Signore Giannulli took in well under half of what they had first hoped, nothing less than a swift kick in the fiscal groin area.
Property records show the couple bought their modestly sized but immodestly priced beach cottage in September of 1997 for $1,360,000. According to both listing information and the Orange County Tax Man the single story Lynn Pries designed house that sits sardine style on a maxi pad sized parcel measures in at just 1,268 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 poopers.
The white rose vine encrusted exterior that sits hard up on the street makes Your Mama puke in our mouth a little. Not only do we loathe the smell of roses, they're just too dang precious for our particular taste in things and the bitter in that cup of coffee is that the well fertilized and angry maned rose vines that encircle the eensy-weensy front porch look like they might happily shred a person to a bloody pulp as punishment for trying to scoot up on up to the front door.
The interior architecture and day-core, on the other hand, are nearly flawless.
Now listen butterballs, before y'all take a verbal ball peen hammer to Your Mama's head like we've lost our damn mind and veered into dangerous decoratin' territory, remember that this is a part-time residence at the beach custom designed for an extremely wealthy young family who live just a bit over an hour away in a boo-teek hotel sized mansion. See this not, children, through the self-righteous goggles of someone who hisses, "For four million dollars where I live you can buy a 50,000 square foot house on 40 acres with a damn mule," but rather with the more measured perspective and fine tuned filter of what it really is, a multi-million dollar real estate folly of someone likely to have more money in his or her pocketbook this very moment than most people earn in a month, or at least more money, we imagine, than Your Mama earns in an entire month tapping our fingers to the nubbins on our trusty lap tap all day every day.
Anyhoo, the front door, an arched Dutch door bathed in a luminescent and glossy black opens directly into the open plan main living space. Ordinarily Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter both prefer a proper even if puny entrance hall but we give this place a pass since we love us a damn Dutch door and this is, after all, a beach house, where formalities are best left somewhere else. The hardwood floors that run throughout the house were painted a dusty celery green color which sounds perfectly hideous until you see it with your own eyeballs and realize it's really quite good and sets an appropriate decorative ambiance and beachy backdrop for the crisp white walls and the pared down, clean lined and comfy-casual day-core.
The vaulted and beamed ceiling, the same crisp white as the walls, meets in the approximate center of the structure, over the tight but airy main living space where a rooster's nest of clerestory windows shuttles light down into the over-sized eat-in kitchen and the living room area with its corner fireplace. The ambient seaside light bounces off the winter white furniture-grade cabinetry, white subway tiles, and white slab marble counter tops and reflects light off the commercial grade stainless steel appliances.
The home's front bedroom with views of the street has built in cabinetry and desk. The master bedroom, privately and perfectly situated at the rear of the wee-house, has built in wardrobes and, through a deliciously wide doorway, a slim but luxurious pooper that can be closed off from the bedroom by a pair of pocket doors. At one end of the room a terlit occupies a cubby of its own and at the other a marble lined shower has a wood slatted floor and a full-body exposing glass window that would be pornographic rather than sexy if it were clear glass as opposed to the frosted (or maybe it's sand blasted) glass that it is. Your Mama would seriously consider selling one of Sister Woman's obnoxiously pubescent offspring for the cash to acquire the antique Venetian glass chandelier that hangs over the vanity that we imagine cost more than a medium size Mercedes. It's just stuh-ning and all but inappropriate for the setting which makes it pretty close to perfection in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorative Dos and Dont's.
The Loughlin-Giannulli's former beach house, as can and should be expected in a quite small four and some million dollar beach house, is fitted with all the latest and greatest gadgetry including Smart House technology that allows for the easy and remote controlled ability to adjust the lighting, audio and visual systems throughout the house.
Custom metal windows and doors wrap around the house and open the the kitchen and master bedroom to an interior courtyard with Ipe (or maybe it's teak) decking, contemporary wicker dining set and oodles of potted plants. It's a very tiny yard, but yards tend to be tiny in even the most expensive California coastal communities. Let's be honest chickens, how much yard does a person really want want or need when you can stroll to the seashore with a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening in less time than some people can get from one wing of their mega-mansion to another?
Miz Loughlin and Signore Giannulli, bless their little hearts, can't seem to get off the real estate merry go round and in mid-October of 2010, even though they've yet to sell their Bel Air mansion, snatched up a new mansion in Beverly Hills for $7,500,000. The 10,391 square foot Mediterranean manse, according to listing information has 4 bedrooms (plus 2 staff rooms) in the fully walled and double gated main house and a total of 11 bathrooms on the property that's situated catty-corner across the street from Simon Cowell's newly completed Barbie Dream House in a particularly posh part of the the Flats area of Beverly Hills.
Your Mama expects that Miz Loughlin and Signore Giannulli will remove much of the elaborate and melodramatic interior day-core that looks like it might have been done by the theatrical and genius decorating typhoon Tony Duquette, or at least somebody who bought lock stock and barrel into the whole Duquettian style of more is better and excess is best day-core.
Heavy rose colored double glass doors with filigree insets divide the marble floored antechamber from the grandiose impress the guests style entry with swooping curved staircase, intensely colored and intricately patterned tile floor, a couple of over-sized blue and white Chinese porcelain bowls stuffed full of bamboo shoots and an ecclesiastical looking pair of carved and be-tasseled arm chairs that look like the sort of things that the red leather slip-on shod Benedict XVI would pee his papal pants over.
Additional rooms in the mansion include a fearlessly but schizophrenically decorated formal living room with blood red walls, gilded this and brocade that, candelabras here and faux-flower sprays over there. The decorative excess misses no nook or cranny of this crib where the formal dining room has gold fringe trimmed lavender velvet swag draperies worthy of Marie Antoinette's boo-dwar or a glamorous movie house from Hollywood's Golden Age. Listing information refers to a second dining room, with kelly green walls trimmed with gold leaf and a hand panted groin vaulted ceiling, as "less formal" than the formal dining room but as far as our gin soaked pea brain can tell they are both tarted up like no body's bizness and the only really difference is size.
The unrestrained fantasia frolics on in to the paneled library chock full of Victorian style Chinoiserie and boogies on down to a tile floored room furnished with an upright piano, dozens of potted plants and flowers, a herd of Impala heads hung high up on the walls. This display of big game is, sadly, bested by the giant taxidermy lion in another room of indeterminate use. Listing information also shows the house includes a refractory–whatever that is–an office, a full disco bar in the basement and a zesty but incorrect red and black Art Déco style family room with scallop back red velvet chairs and torchere lamps galore. Presumably the humongous and showy house includes extensive service facilities with a large cook-friendly kitchen but listing information doesn't mention it.
Besides the hulking main house, the compound style property includes several outbuildings: One that can be used as office, guesthouse or recording studio with additional space for domestics; Another full of body torture devices (a.k.a. gym equipment); A third that contains a glitzy and glammy indoor swimming pool complex with spa, sauna, steam shower, massage area, pooper, and lounge area; And a cabana with dual changing rooms and terliting facilities services the outdoor swimming pool and scrolled iron gazebo covered spa.
The various structures are connected by a criss-crossed collection of hedge lined walkways that wind through and about thick and tangled foliage, tall cypress trees of the variety that rats love to breed in, a lily pond or two, various fountains, and scads statuary that range from nekkid ladies to religious iconography.
It's difficult to fathom why Miz Loughlin and Signore Giannulli would want to go through the hassle and expense of selling their current estate in Bel Air so that they can start all over again on another house. Perhaps they're just real estate masochists or maybe they think this is a damn good buy at seven and a half million and that when they get through working their interior designer bought magic on the property it too will be worth double or more what they paid. Or maybe they're just fickle with their homesteads and want a change of residential scenery. Who knows? Whatever the reason Your Mama expects
listing photos (Laguna Beach): Surterre Properties
listing photos (Beverly Hills): Everett Fenton Gidley for Coldwell Banker Pacific Palisades