Friday, April 18, 2014

Robin Williams Sells L.A. Pied A Terre

SELLER: Robin Williams
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $869,000
SIZE: 1,3,18 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some of y'all may have already read in The Wall Street Journal this week that award-winning comedian and actor Robin Williams* will re-list his 650+ acre vineyard property in Napa and Sonoma Counties with a new and lower asking price of $29.9 million. (Yes, puppies, the estate straddles the county line so it's in both counties.) Mister Williams previously had the luxuriously fitted estate with its titanic 20,000 Tuscan villa on the open market back in August 2012 with a significantly higher and (apparently) optimistic $35 million asking price.

According to Your Mama's research, re-listing his baronial estate in Northern California isn't the only recent shuffle Mister Williams has made to his residential real estate portfolio. In February of 2009 Mister Williams, via trust, paid Gossip Girl co-creator/writer/producer Stephanie Savage $857,500 for a modest pied-a-terre in Los Angeles' historic and leafy Bronson Canyon.** Last September, to little or no hoo-ha or hullabaloo, the property popped back up for sale with an asking price of $939,000. Within six weeks the price dropped by $40,000 and in late January, according to property records, Mister Williams sold the house to a non-celebrity for $869,000.

Digital marketing materials show the 1920s Storybook Tudor*** retains many of its original architectural features and measures in at just 1,318 square feet with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms plus what listing details rather describe as a "unique screening room." More on that "screening room" in a moment.

A charming brick stairway curves up from the street to a steeply pitched portico where an arched front door opens into the tiniest of tiny vestibules. It's just one or maybe two steps through the tiny vestibule to the pleasingly voluminous living room with original wood floors, a raised and angled ceiling, and a period fireplace. A perfectly lovely set of arched, multi-pane French doors at the far end of the room lead out to the home's primary outdoor living space, a walled and shady-looking red brick terrace.

In the dining room, two steps up through an archway from the living room, built-in book cases surround a street-facing bank of windows. Next door, in the efficiently petite and not particularly special kitchen, listing photos show humble white cabinets with glass fronted uppers, white ceramic tile counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and—curiously—parquet pattern flooring. The parquet pattern floor inexplicably extends into the main floor powder pooper and Your Mama fears all that parquet might be some sort of laminate material.

A a slender stairway ascends to the upper level where two bedrooms—one with an excitingly vaulted ceiling, share a squeezy but thankfully sky-lit bathroom with dark tile floors and white ceramic tiles in the combination tub/shower.

As mentioned above, listing details point out a "unique screening room" where a carpeted platform consumes more than half the floor space and makes it impossible for anyone taller than a toddler to stand up. Presumably one is expected to crawl up onto the platform and then, minding one's tender noggin, fold oneself into the day bed in order to watch a movie? Gurl, pleeze. Just put a big ol' t.v. in the living room and call it a day. We don't know what some people are thinking, children. We understand that some people do not like to have their living room dominated by a television. And we get that. We feel your pain. But this is a small house and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. For chrissakes, Your Mama feels our blood all hot up in our eyeballs with claustrophobia just looking at a picture of that room and we can assure y'all we would most certainly require a nerve pill and a stiff gin & tonic to muster the courage to wedge our fat ass up in there just to look at the damn boob-toob. We'll say it again because we think it's important: Put a damn t.v. in the living room and call it a day. Okay? Okay.

Mister Williams, now married to his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, also owns a six bedroom and 7.5 bathroom bay front home in the über-affluent community of Belvedere-Tiburon. Your Mama's research shows Mister Williams purchased the large and luxurious if architecturally nondescript, 6,517 square foot single-story residence in the latter days of 2008 for $4,050,000.

*Mister Williams has been awarded 1 Oscar, 2 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, and 5 Grammys.

**For the record: Your Mama can not say with certainty this house was occupied by Mister and Third Missus Williams. It's possible it was purchased for one of Mister Williams' several young adult children. Certainly, there's precedent for this. In the fall of 2007 Mister Williams, again via trust, paid $1,010,000 for a sunny one bedroom and two bathroom duplex condo with private roof terrace in Brooklyn's hipster haven of Williamsburg. The condo was later deeded over to his eldest son, Zachary, who subsequently sold in May, 2010, for $1.1 million. (As it turns out the top-floor condo is currently on the open market with an asking price of $1.695 million.)

***Is that what this house is? A Storybook Tudor? Anyone? 

listing photos: Keller Williams

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Composer Bryan Tyler Buys Glassy Digs

SELLER: Jack Corwin
BUYER: Brian Tyler
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $7,975,000
SIZE: 7,614 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama is not sure how much we can add to the already interminable discussions and commentary about this horizontally inclined mansion—tucked privately down a gated driveway in an out of the way enclave off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills—with all its much dissed and drooled over melodramatic glassy-glassyiness. So, with an uncharacteristic attempt at brevity, Your Mama will try to stick (mostly) just to the facts.

Digital marketing materials we dug up and the cavalcade of property gossip tongue wagging that went on when the property, with its super-flash glass-walled garages and glass-walled living spaces, was originally listed in May 2013 for $7.9 million. By the end of the year the price tag had ballooned to $8.5 million. Raising the price can and will seem rude and entirely counter-intuitive to some not savvy to the highways and alleyways of high end real estate but—skeptics take note—clearly somebody knew what they were doing because the sleek and architecturally lascivious residence sold at the end of March (2014) for $7.975 million to—as per the ever-vigilant real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak—prolific film and television producer Brian Tyler.

Mister Tyler and his slender frame and movie star hair are little known to Joe and Josephine Public but his musical compositions certainly are not. His impressively long and robust resume includes original scores for a whole lotta big budget sci-fi action adventures: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, The Expendables, the 2008 reprise of Rambo, and the original Fast & Furious (2009) as well as Fast Five and the upcoming Fast & Furious 7. Along with a few high-profile film gigs on his plate Mister Tyler currently does the music for the Sleepy Hollow and Hawaii Five-0 television series. He's busy, children, and just because you ain't never heard of him don't mean he's not a Showbizness powerhouse who can afford an $8 million house with what must be staggering window washing bills.

The existing house sits on a .85 acre parcel that was once part of apparently pervy silver screen big hunk Errol Flynn's Mulholland Farm estate. So the scuttlebutt goes, Mister Flynn's long ago razed party pad had a casino room and a leather padded bar tended by a bald Russian exile he kept on full time retainer. A secret door in the bar opened into a tiny, triangular room with a two-way mirror into the restroom, presumably so Mister Flynn and his voyeuristic pals could watch people pee and Lord only knows what else. Good grief. Some people have such kooky proclivities. Anyways...

A much larger chunk of Mister Flynn's Mulholland Farm estate was sold to Helen Hunt in 1997 who custom built a huge Mediterranean mansion she sold in 2002 to its current owner Justin Timberlake who lives there—as far as we know—with his pillow-lipped actress wife Jessica Biel. We can't vouch for the veracity but a gated compound at the far end of the enclave is believed by some property gossips and other celebrity property watchers to be owned by Tom Cruise who—rumor has it—bought and rehabbed the property to be used as some sort of Scientology retreat or some such nonsense.

The title chain for the property presents itself with some frustrating murk but Your Mama's research shows the property in question was purchased in 1980 by singer-songwriter Ricky Nelson. The property was sold to developer in the later 1980s who, we're pretty sure, built the previous iteration of the current house and sold it in 1997—for a reported $1.85 million—to car-collecting financier Jack Corwin. The previous iteration of the existing residence was built in 1987, as per the L.A. County Tax Man, but it was Mister Corwin who transformed whatever residence was here into the exuberantly lit, multi-level glass-walled extravaganza that it is today.

Digital marketing materials and reports from the time it was listed on the open market show there are five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 7,641 square feet. A few of the sybaritic residence's more impressive features include a sprawling, multi-level living room lounge that looks like it could be the lobby of a swanky boo-tique hotel, a state-of-the-art media room, a gym—rich Angelenos prefer not to sweat in public, and the aforementioned pair of glass-walled garages that will accommodate and display up to nine cars. More private quarters include a private guest bedroom suite, a separate guest house, and a spacious open plan master suite with a multi-level platform with three-sided fireplace, integrated tub, and glassed in steam shower.

A series of planted terraces extend off the glassy rear of the residence and step down to a massive, foliage-ringed terrace with large swimming pool and separate, slightly elevated spa. A glass wall in the main living space on the other side of the house looks out to a grassy courtyard over-looked by the ass-end of one of the two glass-walled garages. Did we mention the walls of the garages are all glass? We did. Okay then...

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

Kate Bosworth Lists Hollywood Hills Bachelorette Pad

SELLER: Kate Bosworth
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,499,000
SIZE: 2,890 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last summer, after an almost two year courtship, supermodel slender and highly photogenic actress Kate Bosworth married also slender if not quite as photogenic indie filmmaker Michael Polish in a Martha Stewart Weddings-approved ceremony on a scenic Montana mountaintop.

It wasn't long before the newlyweds were spotted by the paps house hunting in Los Angeles's celebrity-approved Los Feliz neighborhood even and shortly after that Miz Bosworth revealed that she and her new mister—plus his daughter from a previous marriage—had moved to a lake front house in Montana.*

We do not know Miz Bosworth or Mister Polish or, as far as we know, even know anyone who knows either one of them so we really can't say how much time they spend holed up in the semi-remote, lake-front wilds of Montana or if they ever found a new place to buy in Los Feliz. (We suspect they may have.) Whatever the sitch the still newly wedded couple has not gone without a crash pad in Los Angeles. Indeed, Your Mama's research on the matter indicates that in November 2005 Miz Bosworth, via trust, paid $2.1 millions for a gated residence in L.A.'s Nichols Canyon area that—as it turns out—popped up on the open market this week with an asking price of $2,499,000.

Current online marketing materials show the two-story house—all T, no shade, hunties, it ain't no great shakes in the architecture department—was originally built in 1955 and has three bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms in a modest but hardly minuscule 2,890 square feet of thoroughly and arguably thoughtfully updated and upgraded interiors.**

A blacked out, celebrity-style gate on winding street near the top of Runyon Canyon swings open by remote control to reveal a brick-lined concrete driveway that dips down to a compact motor court/parking pad and a visually aggressive, front-facing two car garage. Wedged into the slim space between the house and the up sloping hillside, a brick courtyard surmounted by a bougainvillea climbing trellis leads back to the front entry.

Inside a small entry area leads into a J-shaped open-plan main living space that hinges around a white painted brick fireplace with modern-minded wood storage capability. Milk chocolate-toned hardwood floors run throughout the various nooks and crannies of the somewhat meandering, urban loft-style space that includes an itty-bitty "formal" seating area with vaulted ceiling in front of the aforementioned fireplace. Tucked off to the side in a nest-y nook with a lower and flat ceiling, there's a boob-toob viewing lounge where somebody managed to successfully use a butter yellow and crimson floral wall paper on the back wall. (And that's high if entirely meaningless praise from this sometimes inappropriately bitchy property gossip because snazzy-jazzy wallpaper just really isn't Your Mama's decorative thang.)

Beyond the fireplace an airy dining area was done up in such a fashion that works for easy breezy breakfasts and more dressed up dinners. A glimmery antique crystal chandelier hangs above an all-black, Chinoiserie-style dining room set with leopard print cushions. (In case anyone cares—and we can't imagine why they would—we find the chandelier a smart if perhaps a bit too petite choice for the room but we can not get enough of that deliciously high-camp dining room set. It might only be better in all the worst ways if it was done in Chinese red lacquer.)

The dining room opens on one end through windows and single pane French doors to the backyard entertainment and recreation areas and on the other end over a two-seat snack peninsula to a just about all white kitchen with two farmhouse sinks, some sort of expensive looking buff-toned counter top material, and a full suite of top-quality stainless steel appliances.

The galley style kitchen has a steeply pitched ceiling and a long greenhouse-type window that gives the otherwise fairly skinny (if well outfitted) galley kitchen some much needed head room. Everybody knowns that Rule #53 Your Mama's Big Book of Decoratin' Dos and Don'ts emphatically states that greenhouse windows in kitchens (or any other rooms) are strictly verboten as they far too often get cluttered with collections of silly things people ought not collect like, say, figurines of sleeping cats. (Believe it or not, children, there are people who actually collect sleeping cat figurines and we can't help but cynically pity the poor souls for their efforts to surround themselves with—ugh—cuteness.) However, Your Mama recognizes that there can always be an exception or two to any rule and, in this case, we utterly j'adore the greenhouse window the sucks up natural light like a vacuum on crack in what could easily be a very dark kitchen.

One of the two main floor guest/family bedrooms appears in listing photos to have been dressed and used by Miz Bosworth as a small den/office with built-in display shelves (that display an eclectic and global collection of books and other this and thats). The other, larger bedroom has two sets of multi-paned French doors, one set opens to a narrow, bamboo shaded side yard where somebody was clever enough to sneak in a lap lane swimming pool into what was surely, previously, a under-utilized sliver of the sylvan .54 acre property. The bedrooms share a travertine- (or maybe limestone-) lined hall bathroom that's big and well-equipped enough it could easily be mistaken for the master bathroom of a comfortably appointed home. Once again, some clever person punched a (single pane) glass door through the bathroom wall for lap pool access. That way, of course, the lap swimmer need not traipse soaking through the whole damn house should they need to stop for a mid-swim visit to the facility. Anways...

The upper floor is given entirely to a wood-floored and sky-lit master bedroom with a small seating area between the bed and side-lit multi-pane French doors that open to a private terrace nestled into the surrounding tree tops. There are two walk-in closets—both, we have to imagine, custom kitted to the exact specifications and sartorial storage needs of stylish Miz Bosworth—and an all-white bathroom with Carrara marble topped double vanity, white-tiled steam shower with convenient built-in seating bench, an all white tile jetted bathroom, lots of high windows, and a semi-private cubby for the crapper.

In addition to the entry courtyard and the side yard with the lap lane swimming pool a continuous series of decks and bricked terraces run along the full length of the back of the house. Single-pane French doors in the t.v. lounge open to a deck with portable kiva fireplace and a couple of canvas slung butterfly chairs ottomans. Two more sets of single-pane French doors in the "formal" living area and dining area connect to a larger, red brick terrace, ringed by a short, well-clipped hedge and shaded by very mature eucalyptus trees. The canyon views aren't the sort that some might call jet liner or panty dropping but the views over the canyons and mountains are certainly appealing, especially given that it's only about 10 minutes down the brutally twisting canyons roads to the bustling (if still somewhat tawdry) heart of Hollywood.

*Just to round out the story: Mister Polish and several of his family members have long vacationed and owned homes in Montana so, while a bit out of the way for a couple of chicly arty-farty Tinseltowners its wasn't some odd place out of the blue. Property records show Mister Polish owns a modest, lake front house (sort of) near Bigfork, MT, that he picked up in early 2009 for $555,625.

Not for looking, we didn't find any direct evidence that Mister Polish currently owns any real estate in Los Angeles. That does not mean he does not, only that we don't know. Property records do show he previously owned a home above Beachwood Canyon that he quit claimed over to his ex-wife in the late 1990s and we also turned up some mildly circumstantial evidentiary traces that suggest that at some point in the last several or so years he rented an unassumingly charming bungalow in Silver Lake owned by dynamite contemporary architect Lorcan O'Herlihy

**One snarky criticism (among others) that we will make is that we don't care for how some of the room have more modern, single pane French doors and others have more classic and traditional multi-paned French doors.

listing photos: Michael McNamara/Shooting L.A. for Coldwell Banker

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trisha Yearwood Lists Near Nashville

SELLER: Trisha Yearwood
LOCATION: Brentwood, TN
PRICE: $2,200,000
SIZE: 6,553 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although country music queen cum cooking industry entrepreneur Trisha Yearwood* and her country king third husband Garth Brooks have long made their primary home a massive mock-Med manse on a 2,000+ acre spread near Tulsa, Oklahoma, they've also long maintained a home near Nashville, Tennessee that popped up on the market—as was first reported by the celebrity property gossips at Zillow—with an asking price of $2,200,000.

Property records show Miz Yearwood, coupled with Mister Brooks since sometime in 2000 and married since 2005, acquired this house, as per property records, in May 2000, shortly after her second divorce, for $1,775,000.

Listing details show the completely renovated and updated 1920s farmhouse sits on 4.42 acres in bucolic if not exactly rural Brentwood, about 22 miles due south of the legendary Grand Ole Opry, which Miz Yearwood officially joined in 1999. A picture perfect tree-lined driveway sweeps deep into the fenced and gated estate to the front of the house where guests are greeted with proper southern hospitality on a front porch complete with a couple of rocking chairs.

The front porch gives way to 6,553 square feet of traditional and luxurious interior spaces with wood floors, high ceilings and custom millwork. Listing information indicates the two-story house has five bedrooms and six bathrooms, including a main floor master suite with dual bathrooms, a feature few can afford but many who can swear on their bulging banks accounts are crucial to a happy (and less funky smelling) marriage.

There are formal living and dining rooms—the former with a fireplace and the later with a built-in china buffet—plus a library/den with built-in book cases and a bay window that extends to the floor. At the heart of the home, looking out over the planted terraces that surround a classic, kidney shaped swimming pool, there's a spacious center island eat-in kitchen that was prominently featured on Miz Yearwood's televised cooking program, Tricia's Southern Cooking. The kitchen appears to be outfitted with speckled grey granite counter tops, both grey and black raised panel wood cabinetry, and the usual slew of high(er) grade appliances. Listen, chickens, although Your Mama does not love it we can deal with the washed grey-tone of the cabinets and the speckled gray granite but the grey on silver vertical striped wall covering is simply too much for our sensitive decorative funny bone, thank you very much. Less formal lounging and entertaining can be done in either the sky-lit family room or a depressingly bland den (with fireplace) that opens through French doors to a glass-enclosed porch with red brick floor.

In addition to the various terraces and patios that surround the swimming pool the property has acres of verdant lawns and scads of mature shade trees that—cliche as it may sound—really and truly give the grounds the feel of a private park.

In addition to their homes in Oklahoma and Tennessee, the Yearwood-Brooks own a home in a discreet gated enclave above Paradise Cove in Malibu, CA, that they picked up in 2008 for $4,950,000. The 3,700+ square foot single-story contemporary sits on more than half an acre with direct beach access.

*Miz Yearwood, on the country music scene since the early 1990s, has sold more than 12 million albums and hauled in two ACMAs, three, CMAs, one AMA, three Grammys and, last year, an Emmy for her partly eponymous televised cooking program, Tricia's Southern Cooking.
listing photos: Fridrich & Clark Realty