Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Double Whammy I: Melissa and Joe Gorga

SELLERS: Melissa and Joe Gorga
LOCATION: Montville Township, NJ
PRICE: $3,800,000
SIZE: 13,500 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms,

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The deliciously tawdry and wildly successful Real Housewives of Wherever franchise keeps churning out the (melo)dramatics and nowhere more so than in Noo Joizee where the show's volatile group of mommies are frequently at each others' throats over rumors, minor insults and a whole host of real and perceived slights. They typically argue about important matters like who copies whose style and/or who bought (or didn't buy) gifts for the kids. At the center of the current season's inter-family hysterics is wannabe pop star Melissa Gorga and her ever-horny, fireplug of a husband Giuseppe "Joe" Gorga, baby brother of famously hot-tempered housewife Teresa Giudice.

The young and glitzed-up Gorgas, amid unsubstantiated rumors they want to go Hollywood, have recently (re-)listed their Montville Township, NJ mansion with an asking price of $3,800,000. This is not the first time the Gorgas have gotten on the bronco at this particular real estate rodeo; In 2010, shortly after construction was completed and just before they signed the necessary contracts to appear on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, they briefly had the aggressively opulent and utterly vexatious mcmansion on the market with a higher (and apparently optimistic) price tag of $4,100,000.

Your Mama ain't a scholar so we can't really identify the architectural style of The Gorga's gargantuan mcmansion in Montville. Listing information calls it "European-influenced." We see it less grandiosely, perhaps, through squinted eyes as the East Coast equivalent of all the over-blown faux-Tuscan and mock-Med mcmansions that line the streets of far too many of the gated, master-planned developments that breed like rats west of the Rockies.

Property records we peeped aren't entirely clear but indicate Mister and Missus Gorga picked up the then-vacant 2.24 acre parcel in February 2007 for $950,000. Later in the year, as per documentation easily accessible online, they took a $2,250,000 construction loan—recently converted to a traditional 30-year mortgage—and proceeded to erect their hulking, L-shaped dwelling. Current listing information shows the monstrous, 16-room manse measures 13,500 square feet with half a dozen bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, garage space for four cars, and a 2-story foyer designed to impress family members and pizza delivery boys with biscuit-colored inlaid marble floors, heavy, wedding-cake-ish gilded moldings, curving twin staircases with intricate, wrought iron and gilt banister, and an oddly undulating coffered ceiling laced with—you got it—more gilt detailing.

Listing photographs show the inlaid marble floors in the foyer stretch into the cavernous, double-height formal living room that aims to be decadent with its elaborate fireplace and chimney breast, pilaster flanked windows and doorways, and glittery crystal (or glass) chandelier. Counter-intuitively the room has paltry few furnishings besides a squirrel-colored faux-Louis-style sofa, a couple of mis-matched chairs and a black, baby-grand piano...with the lid propped open.

The inlaid marble floors continue into the baby-blue, white and gold formal dining room and switch to some sort of tumbled stone tile in the cook-friendly center island kitchen. The cabinetry—mostly bone-colored with every inch covered in some awful carved chingadero— has brown and beige speckled granite counter tops. There's a soaring Palladian-type window above the sink, the ceiling is heavily coffered, and the trio of white, carved wood stools scooted up to the convenient island snack bar are, well, unspeakable.

The floors turn to high-gloss wood in the wood-paneled game room (with carved wood fireplace) as well as in the long family room where listing photos show a built-in entertainment center with gilt detailing—of course—and a smattering of furniture and day-core that consists of barely more than a espresso bean-brown leather sofa and a couple of matching, man-sized recliners, a bow-legged coffee table, and a big ol' urn from Pier One or World Market or some global marketplace store like that. The floors surprisingly and inexplicably switch to wall-to-wall red carpeting in the circular, double height library/office encircled by built-in (and book-free) bookshelves topped by pastel-colored murals that may (or may not) depict simple vistas of the Italian country- and sea-side.

Somewhere in the house there's a wood-paneled movie theater with rose-colored carpeting and black leather seating for at least 10 people. In the basement Hubby Gorga installed a costly recording studio so Wifey Gorga could record her thickly auto-tuned club tracks without ever having to leave the house, a feature that will certainly appeal to a few potential buyers.

Upstairs the all-biscuit and beige master suite has a vaulted ceiling, arched windows, a giant walk-in closet and an attached bathroom with free-standing soaking tub, a pair of carved wood sink pedestals, a small crystal (or glass) chandelier, an over-scaled carved wood fireplace and—natch—lots of gilded accents and details. The children's bedrooms included with online listings—but not shown here—are down-the-line gender specific. A young girl's bedroom room is all blush pink and princess-y while a young boy's is baby blue with a sports theme. How imaginative.

We're not sure if Mister and Missus Gorga (e la famiglia) have already cleared the house of much of their day-core and other personal belongings or if they just don't own much in the way of furniture or care about the day-core. We hope it's the former because the latter is just a sad and sorry state of affairs. People who buy or build massive mansions and then don't have the good sense (or money) to furnish them properly really chaps Your Mama's delicate decorative hide. We ain't saying this is the case for the Gorgas. We make zero claims of any knowledge of their financial circumstances. For all we know they're holding more cash and jewels than the damn Pope. However, hunties, let's get real for a moment. Rule Number 3 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Don'ts reads in part, "There's little that more loudly screams, 'We don't have as much money as we like people to think we do' than a barely furnished mcmansion." We're not sayin', we're just sayin'. Okay?

Anyhoo, much of the Gorga's 2.24 acres sits at the front of the house where a narrow paver-tiled driveway makes its way through un-gated pillars before it snakes across a gently rolling lawn to a too-small circular motor court at the front of the house that connects via an arched passage between the two, rear-facing two-car garages to a second, much larger parking area and motor court.

An uncharacteristically discreet, tri-arched loggia at the back of the house joins the interior spaces to the exterior entertainment areas that include (and may not be limited to) a built-in barbecue, an amoebic terrace lined with boulder-strewn planting beds and wide swathes of un-fenced lawn that gives way to a thick stand of woodland. As far as we can tell from listing information and aerial imagery, unlike most of the other surrounding mansions, Chez Gorga does not have a swimming pool or spa. Pity that for $3.8 million.

As was shown on a recent episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Joe and Melissa Gorga also own a waterfront house down by the sea shore in Toms River, NJ. More on that also-on-the-market wart below...

listing photos: RE/MAX Village Square


Anonymous said...

The interiors don't look as bad as they do on the show, weirdly enough.

Anonymous said...

Sweet baby Jesus!

Candy Spelling said...

Melissa is my hero. I love her dramatically poignant rendition of "Amazing Grace".

"...That saved a wench like meeee..."

Oh hunny, you have no idea.

Anonymous said...

~~ reality show people

Shopgirl said...

Love the library...not one book on any of the shelves. That makes sense as Joe nor Melissa speak as if they have ever read one.

stolidog said...

simply dreadful.

lil' gay boy said...

Jesus H. Christ.

The truly sad part in all this is that at times these folks seem to bee the sanest of the bunch -- not encouraging in the least.

It seems to me that the latest trend at "puttin' on the lux-urr-ree" is to demonstrate how sophisticated one is by coating the whole overblown confection with too many shades of oatmeal.

As for the "architecture", this is what a developer can shake out of his sleeve when working for the kind of folks who can count themselves surprised that the Golden Gate Bridge isn't really golden . . . I will say no more.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus Indeed!

Grant me the serenity to look at this pictorial spread right our of the Antithesis of Architectural Digest!

The gold, the bling, the lack of class, the look at me, the OMG I have $5 in the bank, the... ok I must stop I need a glass of Veuve Clicquot immediately!

Anonymous said...

As depressing as a Walmart parking lot. Makes me wonder if Victoria Gotti ever unloaded her hideous pile from years ago, the one that backs up to the Long Island Expressway out in Old Westbury.

Anonymous said...

As a former resident of New Jersey, all I can say is: it isn't ALL like this!! There are gorgeous, tasteful homes all over the state from Short Hills to Bernardsville, Princeton, Bay Head, etc. Really, there are!!

Anonymous said...

This may well be the most hideous monstrosity Mama has ever thrust upon the chillen's poor defenceless eyes.
I don't know whether to throw up or cry.
Thank God I have no plans to ever visit New Jersey.

The Aussie

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:28 p.m., you took the words right out of the Rabbi's mouth! Thank heavens that none of the Children have used this shande (Yiddish for a disgrace of cosmic proportion) as an excuse to bash New Jersey, my Alter Heym (Yd. Old Country or former home).
Rabbi LaTess
Formerly of Trenton

Anonymous said...

Someone call Lil Wayne STAT

Anonymous said...

Help me, Miriam, I can't look away, even though it hurts! The top facade photo and the library...can they be Collingwood in parallel time? Angelique has me spellbound!
Rabbi LaTess

Anonymous said...

I wanted to hate it but it is honestly not that bad, especially considering who owns it. I can't believe I complimented these people.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago I was filling my gas tank at a self-serve station when a pickup towing a trailer filled with porta-potties pulled up to the next pump; the driver got out and gave me a friendly nod. Wishing to be congenial, I noted the company painted on truck door provided services for the movie industry so I said something pleasant like, "it looks like it's going to be a good summer for movies". The driver got kind of an important aura and replied, "speaking as someone in the business...". God, I still laugh about that and it has become something of a meme in our family.

If you don't watch reality TV these "stars" are about as high up the entertainment food chain as a trucker with a load of mobile poopers. I hope they enjoy their 15 minutes and get better taste in houses.

Anonymous said...

They're not moving to LA. They're moving to Franklin Lakes, NJ where the other housewives live.

Anonymous said...

This house looks more mock-french than mock-med, also I heard the reason that joe gorga and melissa gorga are selling is cause the are broke, the gossip is that they got some sorta construction loan to build the house on spec to flip, I believe joe gorga is a builder and it is easier for a builder to get approved for a loan to build a home on spec cause the builder can build it so cheap and then sell it for a huge profit, so supposedly they got approved for the loan and built this big house and they had some sorta balloon type payment that wasn't due for a while, they were supposed to flip the house before the payments came due but they decided to live in the house even though the construction loan was approved as a spec house, but they decided to live in it once they got cast on real housewives of new jersey even though they couldn't afford it just to show off like they are so rich for the reality show, and supposedly the payments are about to come due and since they are broke they have to sell it allegedly, that's the gossip!!

Candy Spelling said...

Even with a full price sale they won't make much money off it. They invested $3.2 + whatever other decorating costs, realtor fees, etc. $3.8 is not that great.

Btw, is that Teresa above me?

Anonymous said...

Having never actually watched Real Housewives, the Rabbi imaged googled the Gorgas, and Children...she is in love, and not telling with which one! Now as for Mama's Rule Number Three, the Gorgas understand, innately, that a room with too much furniture is overdone, and that one must never introduce or mix real antiques with reproductions.
Rabbi Hedda LaTess
Formerly of Trenton NJ

Anonymous said...

I actually like the Montville place, at least in comparison to Teresa and Joe Guidice's crappy doghouse of a "mansion."

Anonymous said...

Mama, I am sure that if you had a doctorate in pretentious vulgarity (PVD) you would be able to identify the style. I don't know however what institution would offer such a degree.

Lee Seng said...

Very impressive!

Land Auction said...

Ahhh, another beautiful house being lost to people who could never afford it in the first place. Here is a small piece of advice to you wannabe tv celeb's....STOP SPENDING MONEY YOU DONT HAVE.

Well then again, the more you buy what you can afford and lose back to the bank makes it easier for common folks like us to acquire it. So go ahead, keep buying. I will see it at the bank auction in a few months.

Thanks :)

Chris O said...

Candy, love, love, love you - your interior decorating skills ROCK! Is your Manor in the Sky complete? Any place on the web we can see photos?

Candy Spelling said...

Chris hunny, you are too sweet! Sadly my Manor Redux is still undergoing renovations, but I can guarantee you that it will FABBB!! Simply fab, darlings!!!! The indoor pool, breathtaking views, marble floors, OH MY!!! I'll keep you updated!!! xoxo

Until then, hunnies, here's a sexy photo of myself to keep you sated!!!:

Kimberly said...

I like it. So beautiful.