Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Celebrity Interior Designer Ron Wilson's Bev Hills Manse Goes on the Market

SELLER: estate of Ron Wilson
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $7,295,000
SIZE: 7,580 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The celebrity real estate well continues to run a bit dry so today, rather than discuss the home of an actual famous person, we point our attentions on a mansion owned by noted and recently deceased interior designer Ron Wilson who did up digs for a number of high profile people and whose secluded and historic Beverly Hill, CA estate was recently pushed on the market with a celebrity-sized asking price of $7,295,000.

Mister Wilson's (still active) website explains his roster of clients "come primarily from the private sector" but he none-the-less described himself as a "celebrity interior designer" with name brand clientele such as Princess Diana, Michael Landon, and Johnny Carson–all three dead now–Tom Selleck, Eddie Murphy and country music king Kenny Rogers for whom he designed and decorated two legendary Los Angeles estates. First he did Lionsgate for property mad Mister Rogers and then The Knoll, one of the trophiest of Tinseltown's trophy estates now owned and in the final stages of a gut renovation by tool tycoon Eric Smidt who purchased the approximately 45,000 square foot mega-mansion in 2005 for an undisclosed but rumored and reported $46,000,000, give or take a few million.

Doing over Lionsgate and The Knoll are certainly feathers in any high-flying decorators cap but Mister Wilson's biggest claim to decorative fame wasn't, children, his association with Kenny Rogers but rather with uni-named international showbiz super nova Cher. Mister Wilson's website claims he did the day-core for 19 of Cher's homes beginning in the 1970s when he slapped his magic on a Bel Air mansion she shared with then-husband Sonny Bono and clean on through the 1990s when he did the day-core for the Gothic meets Moroccan mansion the Emmy-, Oscar- and Grammy-winning entertainer had custom-built on a bluff in Malibu in the late 1990s. Cher continues to own the Malibu mansion that at one time in the not so distant past was listed with an elephantine asking price of $45,000,000 (later reduced to $41,000,000).

In author Michael Gross' just released non-fiction book Unreal Estate, a snappy and sassy Mister Wilson–described as "estranged" from and a "former friend" of Cher–drops a number of savory bon mots about various subjects and clients. He's quoted–perhaps cattily, perhaps not–of his longtime client and benefactor Cher, '"She was sure she was a descendant of an she started changing her face and built her Egyptian house [in the Benedict Canyon area of Beverly Hills]. She simply liked to change."'

Anyhoo, property records are a big vague on the matter but it appears to Your Mama that Mister Wilson acquired his 1930 Mediterranean mansion, privately situated high above the street on a ridge top behind double columned gates at the tail end of a winding cul-de-sac lined with impressive estates, as recently as 1997 and perhaps as long ago as 1981. Listing information shows the two-story residence measures 7,580 square feet and contains a total of 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

Note children that the day-core, while elegant in that swish and casually fussy upper crust southern California sort of way, is hardly our cup of decorative tea but we're loathe to speak (too) ill of the dead, particularly the recently passed, so we're not going to carp and harp too much about that sort of thing.

The front of the house wraps around a large courtyard that connects the motor court and garages to the wrought iron and glass front door that opens into a double-height entry. The party-sized public rooms include a somewhat narrow but very long formal living room with massive carved stone fireplace and banks of French doors that open to a pergola-shaded terrace with panoramic and leafy views over the tree tops from downtown to the Pacific Ocean. The formal dining room, with saltillo tile floor and peach colored walls comfortably seats 30 as per listing information.

Less formal gathering areas are contained in a suite of three rooms comprised of a family room with fireplace, beamed ceiling, and French doors, a media lounge and a bar room, which we presume is a room set aside specifically for the imbibing of boozy beverages. The nearby kitchen complex includes a lounging area, casual dining area and a large and well-equipped if stylistically snoozy center island kitchen with miles of wood cabinets and a menacing, Mercedes-sized pot rack.

Upstairs there are two guest/family bedroom suites plus a third guest suite with exterior access via an ivy-covered stair in the entry courtyard. The peach-colored master bedroom, larger than most people's living room, has hardwood floors, fireplace, Juliet balcony with city view, dressing room, and an updated bathroom with marble (or maybe it's onyx) floor, trough-style sink with two taps, separate soaking tub tucked into a mirrored corner and a very sexy glass-enclosed shower with double shower heads. Listing information goes on to state there are "generous add'l staff quarters."

Just beyond and elevated from the central courtyard, a rectilinear swimming pool with inset spa is surrounded by more saltillo tile terracing, thick carpets of green lawn and lush tropical foliage both potted and planted in terra firma.

This is not the first time in recent years the house has been on the market. Mister Wilson attempted to sell his historic house high above Benedict Canyon and Beverly Hills in early 2008 when it was listed with an asking price of $11,500,000, later reduced to $8,500,000. He also put the property out for lease at a rate of $35,000 and it appears, based on information gathered from Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills, that Mister Wilson did lease the estate out in the fall of 2008 for an unknown amount of money for an unknown period of time to an unknown person or persons.

Some of the nearest notable neighbors to Mister Wilson's residence include New York Giants co-owner/executive and Oscar-winning film and television producer Steve Tisch (Forrest Gump, American History X, Snatch, The Pursuit of Happyness); financier Lawrence Post; entertainment industry bigwig Sid Sheinberg and his actress wife Lorraine Gary (Jaws franchise, Ironside, Kojak); and Oscar-nominated director Adrian Lyne (Flashdance, Nine 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction). The property is just a couple hundred yards east as the crow flies from the 5.2 acre property super-producer Jon Peters sold in the fall of 2009 to Prince Abdulziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud who has the dander up of a number of his high- and well-heeled neighbors who are having a bit of a snit over the titanic 50-60,000 square foot compound–already scaled down from 85,000 square feet–the luxe-livin' Saudi prince wants to build on the prime piece of hill top property.

Property records indicate Mister Wilson has long maintained a high-hedged retreat in the swanky Old Las Palmas area in Palm Springs, CA. Records show the .61 acre estate property was acquired in April 1988 for $235,000 and includes a 5,012 square foot residence with 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and a large swimming pool surrounded by sun bathing terraces and a shaded loggia. The property does not appear on the (open) market as far as Your Mama can tell.

Mister Wilson is survived by his long time man-friend and business partner Joseph Guidera who, according to property records, owns two adjacent (and presumably combined) ocean front condo on Malibu's Los Flores beach purchased in late 2003 for $1,389,000.
Misters Wilson and Guidera also own a 2,100 square foot ocean front house on sandy Corral Canyon Beach also recently put on the market with an asking price of $4,350,000 (above). Records indicate the house was acquired in March 2006 for $4,700,000. Current listing information shows the two-story beach house contains three en-suite bedrooms in the main house plus a separate staff room and bath with outside entrance. Other amenities include a three car garage, Brazilian walnut floors, open plan living/dining/kitchen with wrap around floor-to-ceiling windows and two ocean side decks with long views up and down the coastline.
Thanks to a heads up from long time informant we call Junebug we learned Misters Wilson and Guidera have owned a residence in Westwood/Holmby Hills (above) since August of 2007 when property records show they paid $3,694,000 for a 1932 Monterey Colonial style residence that measures 3,928 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. Misters Wilson and Guidera restored and revived the property and according to old listing information provided by Junebug shows the two gentlemen briefly put the property on the market in June 2010 with a $4,199,000 price tag.

Mister Wilson at least once dabbled in the flipping of property. Property records Your Mama peeped and perused indicate the decorating dervish purchased a residence on Bel Air's Chantilly Road in June 2001 for $1,130,000, flipped it back on the market and sold it less than a year later for $1,950,000. The house was acquired by financier Blaine Lourd and his wife Crystal who in turn sold the house to McDreamy Whatshisface from Grey's Anatomy in July 2006 for $3,100,000. Mister McDreamy–that would be Patrick Dempsey–listed the house in March 2009 for $3,595,000 and sold it at a significant loss in late August of the same year for $2,571,500 to its current owners, uber (music) agent Kirk Sommer and his wife Chloe.

listing photos (Beverly Hills): Teles Properties
listing photos (Malibu): Coldwell Banker Previews International
listing photos (Westwood): Prudential California


Anonymous said...

It's so aboreal!

The Aussie

angie said...

Beautiful home, although the peach dining and bedroom color and kitchen pot rack would have to go, and the sooner the better imo. That aside, this is one of the loveliest properties I've seen in awhile. Thank you Mama.

Anonymous said...

He has owned the house since 1981. Sad to say Ron Wilson left this earth earlier this year. Great guy, lots of energy, he is missed.

Anonymous said...

tick-tock, the Estalker was now on the clock
Just another day
of typical greedy display,
but the masses gave dear Mama a shock.

Anonymous said...

three blind mice
see how they run
they think their bucks keep the
crowds at bay
but oh how they can't see
how they're about to pay

Anonymous said...

jack and jill
bought a house on the hill
and realized they couldn't even afford the water

Jack fell down
and went to town
as jill carried a sawed-off shotgun that jack had bought her

Anonymous said...

celebrity: someone who publicly celebrates through gaudy and onstentatious displays of wealth the "ity-bit" of intelligence and talent it took to make enough money to purchase it.

Anonymous said...

If you arrest a "real estalker",
is the charge indecent disclosure?

Bev Mo said...

Seriously, Mama gurl, I thought blog comments require your approval. How are the creepy comments sliding through your beedy-eyed firewall?

One who note that anonymous is no poet said...

It appears that "Anonymous" is only entertaining "him" or "her" -self, with these silly-ass rhymes. What a bore!

Anonymous said...

Mamma, love the property and I believe it is a good deal on a very good street and location!!! About 300Gs will transform this to spectacular!

As to the "occupiers" of Realestalker... the Mamma is the Queen and go find another blog that you can discuss your plight in life and leave the fabulousness to those who love it and twirl in delight.


angie said...

Mama, each of those last several comments came just a few minutes apart, so it's likely the same person who wrote them. It's your blog and up to you, but I for one don't think being subjected to the abusive drivel of a pretentious asshole is fair to you or the rest of us who appreciate this blog. The concept of freedom of speech wasn't intended as carte blanche permission to impose in an unrestricted fashion on others who don't want it, so please feel free to exercise your right to moderate.

angie said...

Just to be clear, I was referring to comments 6:26 PM through 6:48 PM.

Anonymous said...

Hurry up, frightened lil' chillin'
grab your toys and trinkets
big ol' monster a-comin',
gonna eat you up
dont go clingin' on Mama's apron strings
cuz Mama ain't gonna love ya
no more...

Anonymous said...

enney meeney miney mo
we've occupied to bring you low
were 99
your one percent
when we get done
you'll lower the rent

Anonymous said...

6:26 while I detest the arrogance and extravagance of the plutocracy more than most, I don't blame Mama for them. I don't think she adores or worships them. She does provide a service in revealing their extravagant lives so that those of us who despise what they represent can see exactly what makes us detest them. That is a service to be appreciated.
Now, changing the subject, of all the houses here, I think the Monterey 1932 is the nicest. Reasonably modest and very livable.

midTN said...


Ditto on the "rhyme"'s getting very old.


Anonymous said...

Dearest Mamma... your subjects love your blog and just recently we are subjected to the tacky ill written poems by some delusional a-holes who have nothing better to do then complain about luxury. I truly think you need to use your editing skills and delete such commentary that is no rediculous to read on this sweet and uber fabulous blog.

Ok, any more News on Petra or Tamrya? Love the excess of those 2!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Mama's blog. While I could care less to live this extravagant, I do love well done architecture and interior design!

I do find our Occupy Real Estalker entertaining, and I believe Mama does too! :)

Anonymous said...

I too hate being subjected to the abusive drivel, now back to the architectural & design portions of our program!

Anonymous said...

Oh if these walls could talk! As a much younger (and hotter) man, I can remember savoring each page of AD when one of his projects were displayed. He must have really been lettin Cher have it with the hourly rate, to afford this lifestyle! As to the occupyers to give them attn is what they want. I refuse to do so.

Desert Donna said...

The more I look at this the more it seems like a deal. The grounds and location (behind Bev Hills hotel I think) are top notch. Yes it needs some updating but the grounds are charming. Thank you Mama.

Calgary Realtors said...

Geez.....a tough to beat location for sure. This isn't that bad - needs updating, but the price doesn't shock me at all.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what's with all this bitter stuff? So many unhappy people who are jealous of others who have. Too many Obama people here who think the rich should give what they have to those who choose not to earn it themselves.
If this site is offensive to you, don't read it.

Anonymous said...

Secret to a succesful long term marriage = Separate Homes

Anonymous said...

Secret to a successful long term marriage = love, trust and respect.

ZnSD said...

Miss thing loved his potracks!

Oh and as for the anon comments supposedly representing the 99%:
you're a troll. This blog is informative, it's real estate porn at its best. I too am one of the 99% but I love me some real estate porn, probably because I live in SoCal and have the luck to own my own home. So I get it. If I had the dineros I'd be in a 2.7M home. But I don't. Maybe someday! I was wiser than most - no liar loan, didn't overbuy for what we could reasonably afford, the gay Navy hubby and I, anyway. But we are certainly feeling the repercussions of the Dubya. As for the poster who thinks that the Anon postings are somehow representative of people who support Obama and that people just want "handouts" - get real. Read a paper much? Unemployment, real estate nightmares (for many, not us, thankfully!) are the common denominator here. The occupy movement isn't going anywhere, trust.
Love you Mama! Continue on, I'll be reading, always.
Much love from Z in San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Don't speak ill of the dead.
He's dead- good!

Anonymous said...

His obit (and he) says he designed for Princess Diana. Reality check: He didn't. He decorated a house YEARS ago, before Dodi Fayad allegedly LOOKED at it and did not even buy it. He LOOKED at it! Diana was never even in the house!

His obit claims he designed for Eddie Murphy. Again, a bold-faced lie. Eddie Murphy bought the "Egyptian" house from Cher that Ron did for Cher, years earlier. All Eddie wanted Mister Wilson to do was replace carpeting in a bedroom and various other peon duties. That never even came to be. Ron was above working like that...

On the subject of Kenny Rogers: The story goes Mr Wilson had a heart attack (REALLY!) when he was informed Mr. Rogers became aware of some "fancy bookkeeping".

As far as the remark about Mister Wilson giving it to Cher with hourly fees: Mister Wilson was very old school. No hourly fees, at all. Just soak'em by marking it up throught the roof. Poor Mr. Landon: He forked-over moolah for items that never even saw the light of day in his house!

You missed the real estate holding in Weho. He owned a rambling rental property with little tiny bungalows in it. He wasn't very "green". If a classic, quality range needed a minor repair, he would have it hauled-off to the dump and replaced with a cheap new one. oh well....

Anonymous said...

he bought the house in april 1977. he paid $500,000. + for it.

Anonymous said...

He owned the Palm Springs house LONG before 1988. I know that for a fact andy clearly a prime located 5000+ house there would fetch more than 235k. I am not a real estate or tax professional. It seems there is a method used by the rich to buy and transfer properties (To themselves)that makes the timeline fuzzy.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness and truth in reporting, Mister Wilson was a very good designer. These pics of his house in Bev Hills have some furniture and accessories either he placed in it to replace his own pieces when he rented it out, or, items owned by a renter. He did his best work in the "California" style. That is, basically classic upholstery, covered in textured plain fabrics, with antique accents, lots of texture and mainly biege and white color palette with black accents. His work with Cher and Michael Landon, as seen in AD, was dreamy. His work, in my opinion, fell several notches from about 1991 onward. Age issue? Going out of his comfort zone with style and color? I don't know. It could be as simple as he had a really good assistant/designer on staff when his good work was done. That was the mid 80's to about 1991.

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Brenton Bacari said...

Thank you to anonymous commenter about his good work being done during the mid to late 80's and early 90's, and speculating that may be due to his assistant at that time. That was me! I was the only designer on staff at that time. I was head designer for many of the Architectural Digest featured projects, including Cher and Michael Landon. It was very exciting for me. I moved to LA specifically to gain that kind of experience,from Wash DC. I was very proud to work for Ron. He was a major mentor for me in my career. I am now back in Wash DC but enjoy projects all around, including CA. Check out my website:, I think you will be able to see Ron's influence on my work. Again, thanks so much!

Brenton Bacari