Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hilary Duff Lists the Duff Family Digs

SELLER: Hilary Duff
LOCATION: Toluca Lake, CA
PRICE: $7,000,000
SIZE: 9,827 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only in June of 2010 that Your Mama dissed and discussed the downsized digs in Beverly Hills, CA that former Disney cash cow Hilary Duff and her hockey stud huzband Mike Comrie snatched up for $3,850,000.

Mister and Missus Comrie's new crib of newlywed bliss–a sort of Southern Plantation meets Greek Revival meets suburban Los Angeles style affair–sits behind the guarded gates of the celebrity friendly Summit community. The Summit happens to be the very same community where pop superstar Britney Spears lived when she came apart at the mental seams in 2007 and 8 and where, we hear, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have recently embarked on a major remodel of big booty diva Jennifer Lopez's former house, a long and low single story contemporary they scooped up in August of 2006 for $13,250,000.

Now that the recently hitched Mister and Missus Comrie have a new nest to feather up in the Beverly Hills (Post Office), Miss Duff has, not surprisingly, heaved her hulking quasi-Mediterranean style mansion in Toluca Lake, CA on the market with an asking price of $7,000,000.

Property records show that Miss Duff picked up the Toluca Lake property through a trust in March of 2004 for $3,500,000. That would have been about when Miss Duff was a young, dewy and noo-bile 16 or 17 years old. Say what y'all want about Miss Duff, her big fake teeth and her all too frequent cliché roles in money making tween yawners like Agent Cody Banks and A Cinderella Story, but beehawtcha bought a multi-million dollar house long before some moe-rons even managed to graduate from the damn high skool.

Anyhoo, listing information for Miss Duff's digs shows it measures in at a whopping 9,827 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms and 6.5 poopers. The gated and secured property occupies a double wide parcel that, while it does not actually back up to Toluca Lake, still has access to the private 6-acre lake where Miss Duff toodles around on an 8-seater electric boat that she's offering as a free gift with purchase of the house.

Call us a real estate and decorative snob and cynic–which we are–but after seeing the architecturally not quite right house that Miss Duff and Mister Comie picked up in the Summit community, Your Mama is rather surprised to see that the interior spaces and the done, done, done day-core of her house in Toluca Lake are so well conceived and thoughtfully executed. The quite large house, a mansion really, manages to feel both grand and intimate and the utterly mouth watering antique French oak floors laid down in most of the house were a brilliant and inspired choice that inject a comforting patina into the interior spaces that could easily gone down the decorative terlit like all those impossibly banal and way too beige mcmansions that litter the landscape in Los Angeles and just about every other suburban place in America.

A large living room on the main floor sets the decorative tone and tight color story for the entire house. In here we find a well ordered and thoughtfully chosen mix and match of furniture styles, shapes and time periods and a soothing, sophisticated and muted palette of mushrooms, taupes, milk chocolates, and very dusty blue and green accents. This does not to Your mama look like the home of a very young woman, but rather the residence of a person with a keen, somewhat quirky (and well financed) sense of style and taste. Or, at least, the home of someone with the smarts and deep pockets to hire someone with a keen and eclectic eye for the day-core.

What's absent throughout the house, as far as Your Mama is concerned and can see, is a critical mass of proper artwork. There do appear to be a few things such as the orange and purple camouflage patterned painting in the dining room but, hunnies, a half dozen flat screen tee-vees mounted on the walls and that swirly and scary sun-shaped mask mounted on stick and set on the chunky credenza with decorative paneled doors in the den/family room do not count as art in any way, shape or form. It is our humble and meaningless opinion that the mask, with its treacherous curly-cued tentacles, is one of the few mistakes made with Miss Duff's day-core, and is it ever a damn doozie of a decorative blunder. Lo-ward have mercy puppies it causes Your Mama to need a nerve pill just to think of that thing falling over and slicing and dicing whatever unlucky person might be sitting on the sofa directly behind it.

Anyhoodles, there are at least four indoor eating areas, which is sort of odd for a house that belongs to a very thin woman who has spoken out about the pressure women feel to be impossibly thin if they want careers in Hollywood. The largest is in the dramatic double height atrium space that's surrounded by arched colonnades. A proper dining room with built in wet bar was did up with a casual nod to the modern with an oval shaped Danish dining room table and leather padded chairs, a funky crescent shaped glass chandelier, and an even funkier leather sofa that looks like a good place to plop down after over-eating. This, puppies, is Your Mama's favorite room in the house. We'll let you make of that and say of that what you will.

In addition to the more "formal" dining areas, there is a breakfast room with Mexican paver tile floors, a carved wood table, wacky wicker chairs, and taupe colored walls. In the huge sky-lit kitchen–which barely even looks like a kitchen–a large island has plenty of room for a snack counter. The antique French Oak flooring that we like so well continues into the kitchen that has mud colored cabinets, sleek stainless steel appliances, and a built in banquette covered in mushroom colored velvet (or velveteen or whatever). Your Mama particularly appreciates the open shelving for the cook books that gives the room a needed blast of color and we love love love the plant growing out of the gnarled stump on the island and we're pretty sure we like that totem pole like light fixture that has a bunch of Sputnik-like rods with light bulbs sticking off of it.

Other rooms in Miss Duff's house, according to listing information, include a billiard room, game room, cognac room–which seems like a silly sort of thing to have–a wine cellar wrapped in racks that hold a boatload of booze bottles, a fitness room crowded with body torture devices, and–just like Candy Spelling–a gift wrapping room. All of our life Your Mama's momma, a goosey gal well known in her circle for giving extravagantly and meticulously wrapped presents, has sat on the floor to work her gift wrapping magic so we don't really understand why these pampered Tinseltown types need a damn room to run some ribbon around a box covered in pretty paper. But then again, iffin Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter were custom designing a huge house like this we'd probably have an entire room built our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that would include a dog-washing station, down padded banquettes, a television and radio, and built in cabinets with plenty of shelving space for all the food, toys, poo bags, vitamin supplements and nail clippers that currently to clutter up our kitchen and pantry.

The heavenly antique French oak floors continue up into the master suite that has a gorgeous vaulted wood ceiling, and a bank of French doors that open to a loggia that overlooks the backyard. In addition to the big bedroom that's plenty large enough for a generous sitting area with a dusty blue sectional sofa with rolled arms there are, according to listing information two walk-in closets and two poopers. One of the private poopers in the master suite has sexy shimmery pearlized tile walls, heated stone floors, a free-standing egg-shaped soaking tub, and a large glass enclosed steam shower in which Miss Duff's nice, gay decorator has placed a stunning petrified wood stump that Your Mama would pull out most of our fingernails to have sitting on the floor of our shower.

In addition to the quartet of loggias that run along the back of the house on both the first and second floors, Miss Duff's digs in Toluca Lake contains several additional outdoor living and lounging areas. A sizable and private interior courtyard with a ceiling of tangled vines has a gurgling fountain and hundreds if not thousands of twinkling white Christmas lights wrapped around the massive beams that stretch over the space. A vine and trellis covered lounge area with an outdoor fireplace and cushioned seating–some of it built in some not–for 15 or 20 guests sits off to one side of the back yard adjacent to the small but perfectly adequate swimming pool and spa. We're sort of surprised that with the level of sophistication seen on the inside of the house that the swimming pool still has very pedestrian brick coping and concrete terracing.

Although the house does not back up directly onto tiny Toluca Lake, it does open to a community controlled and maintained green space that leads down to the water's edge where, we imagine, Miss Duff keeps her little 8-seater electric boat-thing that–if she was so inclined–could use to putt-putt down to the lake front house of that poor unlucky in love ack-turuss Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer).

Property records (and the bizzy boys at Celebrity Address Aerial) show that in February of 2006, an 18 year old Miss Duff laid out $1,650,000 for a walled and gated Mediterranean style residence with 2,420 square feet and 3 bedrooms and 2 poopers. Since Your Mama really does not know a fishing pole from a ceramic bowl, we can't really say whether Miss Duff will hang on to this house or if she'll opt to cash out on this one too. Iffin we had to guess we'd say she'll keep it because her sister Haylie and her parents need someplace to live now that she's unloading the Duff family homestead.

Like the celebrity packed Hidden Hills, CA community, a person can not swing a cat or anything else without smacking a famous person across the face. Other residents of Toluca Lake with identifiable names include Disney queens Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale, and Demi Lovato, actor Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, not particularly funny comedian George Lopez, former Baywatch babe Brook Burns, actor James Marsden, one of Puff Daddy's several baby mommas, Beverly Hills 90210 alum Jason Priestley, Beverly Hills 90210 alum Jennie Garth and her man-mate Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) who listed their huge house in June of 2010 for $5,995,000, and comedy's reigning king Steve Carell who has long lived in the star-studded 'hood and recently shelled out $6,000,000 for the old Jonathan Winters house and tore it down to make way for his own Barbie Dreamhouse.

listing photos: Keller Williams


Jeannified said...

Wow! Beautiful place! I love it! I was so surprised to see such a sophistocated and tastefully decorated home! Why in the world is she selling this beautiful place?! She should keep it!

lil' gay boy said...

It is a lovely, lived-in residence, albeit of a style that I would not choose for myself; but one can certainly picture being immediately comfortable upon entering this abode. I concur with Mama's analysis of Ms. Duff's decorating ability; this particular architectural "style" is so easy to get wrong, and little can be done to hide the sin. She has done well given the palette.

In addition to the paltry artwork, there is also a dearth of reading material (i.e., books); but each room seems to make the best of a bad lot. I guess because it's southern California I'd like to see more access to the outdoors without encountering some clever screening technique. IMHO, the atrium & outdoor fireplace, while stylish & welcoming, just don't compensate for blue sky & wide vistas from all the principal rooms.

Once again we are treated to the miracle of real estate photography. It seems to me the mantra location, location, location should be replaced by deception, deception, deception.

As you can see from the aerial, it is virtually wedged between two pseudo Mediterraneans without a direct view of the spitting-distance lake. And the siting of the neighbor's pool to the west is too intrusive for my liking; unless they're a houseful of mutes, I'd have nightmares of Marco! Polo! until I got out the shotgun.

Now if you could drop this on a Beverly Park-sized lot (just not in Beverly Park), I could see it garnering $7MM; but here? Um, no.

Barnabus Collins said...

What a delicious surprise, Mama! Would love to see some shots of the grounds, given the lot size.

Anonymous said...

L'il gay boy: your comments are always stellar - insightful and amusing both.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 12:58, Thanks, darlin'! You're too kind.

Barnabus, (love me some Dark Shadows!) if you click on my link above (the word "miracle"), you'll see a Bing maps aerial ––– there are, essentially, no grounds to speak of.

Unknown said...

Can anyone provide me with a link to the real estate listing/


lil' gay boy said...

Phoebe, here it is...

Unknown said...

thanks heaps lil' gay boy!

Ally said...

lol toodles around- loved the commentary ha. the closeness would bother me but then I'd feel more secure with houses really close by mmm ..

what I love most is the homey-ness. my guess, it doesn't feel over done which means a interior decorator was nowhere near it. I had a feeling she had a quirky, homey style, you can guess by her out of the norm earrings lol

on your surprise, I have no doubt she will likely fix the new place up with a little of the same aura. she loves the antique pallete looks like, though this might have a blend from both her and the hubby. I think she probably sold it because of certain rooms like the cellar which is useless if you don't use and doesn't she/her sister have two more in that street. The lake is really gorgeous. I want to see ALL the rooms!

Scruff said...

I agree with mama, i like this house.

btw: although the home is wedged very very closely between two homes, one of them least is not some "pseudo Mediterraneans". its a grand old home built in the late 1920's that was beautifully restored by a very well internationally respected music artist.

Anonymous said...

according to selling la show s04e07 from january 2014 this house was sold for 4.9m