Selasa, 15 Oktober 2013

Heidi Klum (Sort Of) Downsizes

BUYER: Heidi Klum
SELLER: Ed. Weinberger
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $9,875,000
SIZE: 11,600 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Shortly before German-born supermodel turned Emmy-winning Project Runway super-mogul and fecund sartorial entrepreneur Heidi Klum split with her musician ex-husband, Seal, the once-happy couple shelled out $14.2 million for an approximately 12,300 square foot mock-Med villa with 8 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms on just over 12 acres in the Brentwood Country Estates, a super exclusive guard-gated enclave in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles where some of the other multi-acre estates and massive mansions are owned by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, sitcom super-producer Kevin Bright, and—directly across the road from Miz Klum—fellow supermodel Gisele Bündchen and her professional pig skinner hubby Tom Brady.

As far as Your Mama knows, after the erstwhile couple parted ways Miz Klum remained in residence in the Brentwood family manse, presumably along with her beefy and rugged new bodyguard/boyfriend Martin Kristin. Howevuh, hunties, according to the ever-bounteous real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, the Klum clan is on the move and, as rich and/or famous people so often do after a marriage slides down the garbage disposal of lost love, the super-rich 40-year old mother of four bought a new house, a (slightly) smaller mansion on a whole lot less land in a smaller and less glorified guard-gated enclave in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles for which she paid $9,875,000.*

Property records (and other online resources) show the ridge-top estate was sold by nine-time Emmy winning writer/producer Ed. Weinberger (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, The Cosby Show) and his wife, former actress Carline Watkins, who custom built the three-story red brick neo-Georgian mansion in 2000 and had the property on and off the market for more than three years at a variety of prices as high as $15 million.

The 11,600 square foot mansion sits on a 4.82 acre parcel with long and wide views down the steep canyons and over Sherman Oaks and the San Fernando Valley, a view that many who can afford to pay $10 million for a house would not want, according to the sometimes snobbish Yolanda, because "it faces the wrong way." A long private driveway cuts between a couple of mansions and forks awkwardly as it nears the symmetrical front of Miz Klum's new and stiff-shirted abode. To the right there's a featureless parking lot-like motor court and to the left a secondary motor court on the side of the house where there's also a detached two-car garage with self-contained one bedroom apartment above.

The center hall foyer will impress traditional architecture loving guests with lustrous chevron-pattern wood floors, the exact sort of sweeping floating staircase for which trail-blazing architect Paul Revere Williams is known and adored,* and glass doors at the back that open to a small veranda that overlooks the backyard. In addition to the graciously scaled formal living and dining rooms—both with wood floors, fireplace and elaborate moldings—lower level living spaces include a pair of offices and a library with yet another fireplace, French doors with semi-circular transoms, and a bunch of bookcases that may or may not be built in, we can't tell.

Family-oriented spaces include a generous family room that opens to the back yard and a spacious, eat-in kitchen that's expensively decked out with white cabinetry, marble counter tops and the customary suite of commercial-style stainless steel appliances that include side-by-side fridge/freezers, a 48-inch range plus wall ovens, and an under-counter wine cooler.

Listing information goes on to indicate there's a (less-than-ideally shaped) media room with angled ceiling and built-in wet bar/candy counter and, somewhere in the house, a temperature-controlled (and sorta dank-looking) wine cellar with stone-tiled walls and floor. Up on the (at least partially) finished third floor there's a home gym/dance studio and the basement, as per listing details, allows for further expansion.

Four guest/family bedrooms with en suite facilities occupy the mansion's second floor along with a roomy master suite that's complete with fireplace, a private deck with view across the entirety of the San Fernando Valley, dual dressing rooms, and two bathrooms—"his" with a vaguely vintage barbershop-y vibe and steam shower and "hers" with lots of mis-matched marble and a super-size soaking tub in front of a Palladian window. (Let's all cross our fingers that Miz Klum or her team of lady and/or nice-gay decorators has the good sense to do away with the cotton candy pink walls in the "her" master bath.)

The landscaping around the mansion is fairly simple with some clipped hedges and, besides total privacy from neighbors, outdoor amenities include an over-sized heated swimming pool sunk into a pancake flat swathe of lawn, several covered and shaded terraces, and an outdoor kitchen off the family room/kitchen. Listing details suggest there's room for a tennis court but we really have no idea if Miz Klum will undertake the installation of such.

We expect Miz Klum with sell her giant house in the Brentwood County Estates but, at this point, Your Mama has no inside intel on her plans. Until mid-2008, when she sold it for $5.35 million, Miz Klum maintained a two bedroom and two bathroom penthouse pad on Bank Street in New York City's Far West Village. We're not sure where the statuesque Miz Klum and family bunks when in New York City but our research suggests—but does not prove—it's a series of high-priced downtown rentals.

*While the property is, address-wise, located in Bel Air's prestigious 90077 zip code, some might say that the north of Mulholland Drive property ought to be in the relatively affluent (and star-soaked) but far less celebrated 91423 zip code of Sherman Oaks.

**We don't know who is responsible for the architecture of this home but it was most assuredly not Paul Revere Williams who met his great drafts(wo)man in the sky in 1980.

listing photos: The Agency

Senin, 14 Oktober 2013

The Electrical Princess

"The plumber's work is done," I said buttering my toast. 
"Yes," Mr. Wonderful said reaching for the ringing telephone. 
"And tomorrow the electrician comes to do his work."
"Yes?" he said into the phone.
"So by Monday night everything will be done!" 
"No," Mr Wonderful said handing me the phone.

The phone call brought bad news. But phone calls with good news never happen first thing in the morning unless you're 1) The grandmother-to-be of a new born baby (which I wasn't); 2) The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (which I wasn't) or 3) Meryl Streep (which I wasn't... yet). 

The voice on the other end of the line belonged to the electrician who informed me he was canceling. Canceling the day before a scheduled work day! UGH.

"Why," I said choking on my toast. 
"My third-grade daughter is playing a princess in the school play tomorrow."
"But why," I said brushing crumbs from my face. 
"She's loves princesses?" the electrician said questioning his own excuse.
"But why now?"
"She had a great audition?"

His daughter's school play? What kind of excuse was that? Please. It wasn't like she'd never be in another school play again. These days kids have school plays every week in third grade. But the electrician didn't care that he was leaving me in the trench-laden lurch while he skipped off to the elementary school's cafeteria to see his princess play a princess. I wished he hadn't told me why he had to cancel. UGH.

So it was back to the drawing board for me in finding an electrician. Whoever said Sunday was a day of rest did not have to deal with finding an electrician. I searched Angie's list, the neighbors' lists and all the lists of my 6,000 Facebook friends. I dialed, emailed, texted, tweeted, Pinterested and Instagramed for an electrician. Finally, lo and behold, I found one!

Jeffrey came, saw the situation, gave me an estimate and left. On Tuesday, Jeffrey's men came, saw the work and left… to get more parts. Soon both electricians returned to the house and while the young one worked on the wiring, the older one left… to get more parts. Again.

I chatted with the young one who was so amiable and pleasant. When the older one came back to work on the job I chatted to him and he was even more amiable and more pleasant then… he left to get more parts. The older one spent more time "going to get more parts" than there were parts required to do all the work on our house. Into perpetuity.

The whole day was an endless stream of electricians coming and going. But by the close of business on Monday, the electrical work was done, it was professional and it looked stellar. I thanked both men profusely. They smiled and nodded.

That evening I called Jeffrey.
"Your men did a fabulous job on my House. Thank you," I said smiling into the phone.
"On your job," Jeffrey said "I miscalculated the parts, the labor and the work. It was the job from hell. Serious hell."  UGH. I wished he hadn't told me how hard the job was. My House is my joy. No one wants to think that the thing they love dearly--their House--is anything less than perfect. Suddenly I understood how the first electrician felt about his third-grade daughter performing in the school play. Whatever or whomever we love is our princess and others should respect our loved ones.

I called the first electrician and asked how his daughter did in the play.
"She was the perfect princess," he said beaming.
"Of course she was," I said. "Because she's yours."

Adam Pally Lists Grove-Adjacent Spanish Bungalow

SELLER: Adam Pally
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,699,000
SIZE: 2,428 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Up and coming comedic actor and writer Adam Pally has put his modestly sized but hardly inexpensive Grove-adjacent* Spanish bungalow in Los Angeles, CA, on the market with an asking price of $1,699,000.

The usually scruffy-faced and Jewfro-ed Mister Pally, now in his early 30s, has long performed with various improv groups (i.e.the venerable Upright Citizens Brigade), occasionally plays around in the Funny or Die comedy sand box, and wrote and/or appeared in a handful of short films (The Indigenous Flowers of Southern California) and cable series (Californication) before he landed a co-starring role on the (now canceled) ensemble comedy Happy Endings. The ad-libbing actor currently appears as a series regular as a frat boy turned gynecologist on The Mindy Project and will soon be seen in the comedy moves A Better You with Natasha Leggero and Nick Kroll) and Search Party with Krysten Ritter, formerly the untrustworthy B---- in Apartment 23.

Property records show Mister Pally and his wife, Daniella, purchased the tile-roofed bungalow in July 2011—not long before they had their first baby—for $1,360,000 and their decision to move so soon after settling in to their Grove-adjacent digs may or may not have something to do with the recent birth of their second child. Current listing details show the 2,428 square foot house was originally built in 1927 and has three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms plus additional living space in the converted and detached two-car garage.

A low-walled, gated, foliage-encircled courtyard leads to the front door that opens directly into the living room where listing photographs show honey-blond wood floors, a coved ceiling, lots of windows (with gauzy curtains), and a wood-burning fireplace with stately carved stone (or poured concrete) mantel piece. The honey-blond floors and vintage architectural details (i.e. crown molding and articulated archways) continue into the adjoining (formal) dining room that looks out to the front courtyard through an over-sized window.

The most striking feature of the house would most certainly be the pumpkin-colored star burst patterned Spanish tile in the renovated kitchen that's well-equipped with egg shell-toned cabinetry, grey counter tops (of unknown but presumably high quality material), and high grade stainless steel appliances. The kitchen has a two-seat snack counter tucked a bit awkwardly behind the six-burner range plus a compact but cozy breakfast room with inset book/knick-knack shelves, a vintage light fixture, and a ceiling painted the same dusty pumpkin color as the base color of the floor tiles.

Of the three bedrooms only only the master bedroom opens through wood-framed glass doors to an elevated concrete terrace that runs the full width of the house, incorporates a spa, and steps down the plunge-sized swimming pool. A rock patio along the pool certainly photographs nicely but can't feel that great on bare-footed tootsies, right? Anyways...

The detached two-car garage at the rear of the property has been converted to flexi-use living space with concrete floors, raw wood open shelves that cover and entire wall, and large windows that over look the swimming pool. Since the swimming pool and spa eat up a significant percentage of the backyard space the former driveway is show in listing photos as a spacious outdoor dining area and lounge.

If the staged furnishings in their Grove-adjacent house wasn't enough to tip the kids off that the couple has already moved on to another house, property records show the couple recently paid $2,025,000 for a brand new and much larger 3,700 square foot East Coast-y residence in one of the more desirable neighborhoods in Studio City, CA.

*Grove-adjacent is a terms (sometimes) used by (some) real estate agents to describe a property that's within a few blocks of The Grove, an outdoor mall that's connected to the historic Farmer's Market and is essentially a quintessentially Los Angeles faux version of Main Street U.S.A.

listing photos: Keller Williams

Minggu, 13 Oktober 2013

In Case You Missed It This Week

After she backed out of the purchase of Olivia Newton's John's $6.2 million water front house in Jupiter Inlet (FL) because someone committed suicide on the property right before the closing, Rosie O'Donnell has gone and spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million for a gulf-front spread on Casey Key just south of Sarasota, FL. In addition to the four bedroom and seven bathroom plantation-style house with swimming pool and outdoor kitchen, the sale includes a covered boat slip at a nearby marina. Tennis queen Martina Navratilova sold her Casey Key house back in 2008 and prolific novelist Stephen King owns at least two homes including a modern manse on three lots the northern tip of the sand spit barrier island he bought in 2001 for $8.9 million. (source: Herald Tribune; listing photos: Sarasota Photography for Sotheby's International Realty)

Orlando Bloom listed his gated mini-estate in the star-studded Outpost Estates nabe in Los Angeles (CA) with a $4.5 million price tag. And, yes, this is the place famously burglarized by the Bling Ring and that, much to the chagrin of some of his neighbors, he painted black. (source: Redfin blog; listing photos: Coldwell Banker)

Barbadian-born international pop star Rihanna has moved out of her $12 million mansion in L.A.'s affluent and staid Pacific Palisades 'hood—because she keeps getting unwanted intruders—and (allegedly) leased a $39,000 per month duplex penthouse in New York City's SoHo 'hood. In case Riri might want to buy the penthouse it's also available for sale with a $14,660,000 price tag. (sources: TMZ and Daily Mail; listing photos: Town Residential)


Facebook gajillionaire Mark Zuckerberg and his Doctor missus, Priscilla Chan, reportedly heard word that a developer planned to buy the house next door, build a big house and market it as being next door to Zuckerberg, as if that was a reason to buy a house. So, they did what anyone with a net worth near twenty billion dollars might (and can) do, they shelled out more than $23,000,000 to buy (at least) three of the adjacent properties. At that's in addition to the seven million bucks they paid in 2011 for their fully updated and upgraded five bedroom turn-of-the-century residence. The Zuckerberg-Chans reportedly don't have current plans to merge the properties and—so the story goes—have leased the houses back to the sellers. (San Jose Mercury News)

Jumat, 11 Oktober 2013

Your Mama Hears

...from Yolanda Yakketyyak, who swears on her mint-condition '85 Seville, that the mysterious buyer who paid $10.85 million for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi DeGeneres's equestrian-oriented ranch-compound in Hidden Valley near Thousand Oaks, CA is none other than luxury t-shirt tycoon (and budding real estate baller) James Perse and his wife, Brandi (with an "i") Briskman.

Your Mama has discussed the horsey compound several times so if you want a more detailed description of the bucolic and semi-remote spread you can go here or here. Otherwise, suffice to say, the Missus Degeneres acquired the 26 acre ranch property in June 2009 for $8.5 million and, in typical real estate fashion for them, soon flipped it back on the market, first as a pocket listing and then on the open market. Originally priced at $16.5 million and last listed for $10.995 million, the property includes eight renovated residential cottages, two art studio/entertainment space barns, a ranch office, a stable block for half a dozen horses (plus a riding ring, etc), a screened yoga porch, a tree house, and a tennis court. There is not, as far as we know, a swimming pool.

Mister Perse, in case you don't follow the intersecting highways and bi-ways of fashion and commerce, is the progeny of Tommy Perse, owner of the legendary Los Angeles clothing boutique Maxfield. Mister Perse (the son) has become successful designer and an international purveyor of an eponymous line of luxury lounge-around wear; Think $65 for 100% domestic cotton slub casual v-neck t-shirts, $225 for slouchy woven crepe elastic waist pants—essentially swanky sweat pants—and $165 for sueded double knit kangaroo pocket hoodies.

The entrepreneurial Mister Perse has branched out in recent years to—among other things—design low-slung (and prodigiously pricey) furniture, develop a moisture-wicking performance-wear brand (Yosemite), and produce high-cost limited edition lifestyle products such as hand-crafted vintage-inspired skateboards, a rather sinister-looking all-black beach cruiser, solid teak pool and ping pong tables, and teak dog beds fitted with an hypoallergenic organic foam cushion covered in a waterproof, 100% Belgian linen polyfill duvet.

Anyhoodles, poodles, avid watchers of the upper-end Los Angeles real estate game will recognize Mister Perse as an increasingly frequent buyer (and seller) of superbly sited and impressively expensive real estate. In late 2010 he and the missus quietly shelled out $16 million for a glassy, bluff-top house in the Point Dume area of Malibu, in April (2013), after more than a year on and off the market, he finally unloaded in an off-market deal a one-bedroom house at the tippy-top of the Bird Streets above the Sunset Strip, and, most recently, in July (2013), the stylish (and obviously considerably rich) couple dropped $6,690,000 on a nearly 2-acre gated estate—also in Malibu's Point Dume area—that they bought from Dave Matthews Band guitarist Stefan Lessard.

And, finally, everybody knows by now that two Mays ago (2012) the Missus DeGeneres paid $17.4 million an iconic mid-century modern mansion in the lower section of Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills and this last May (2013) they coughed up $26.5 million for an elegant, ten-ish acre estate in Montecito, CA, with an elegant, 10,000+ square foot stone-built villa designed and built by the elegant decorator John Saladino.

video: Interior Pixels (via YouTube)

The Great Cuba Gooding Jr. Sell Off Continues

SELLER: Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Sara Kapfer
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $11,995,000
SIZE: 6,753 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In late 2009 he sold a ho-hum 1950s canyon-view ranch-style residence just off Mulholland Drive in Studio City (CA) for $1.375 million and just this last August (2013) he sold a large, dated and perfectly ordinary house in the affluent Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley for $735,000 and now comes word down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. listed his much more impressive and luxurious gated mini-estate in Pacific Palisades (CA) with an A-list asking price of $11,995,000.

His online resume shows Mister Gooding remains a steady working actor with starring roles in lots of (mostly straight to DVD action/thriller) movies we've never heard of before (i.e. The Devil's Tomb, Hardwired and The Hit List) and couple of small parts in more successful and/or critically well-regarded films such as the currently in theaters Don Juan and Lee Daniels' The Butler. However, at the risk of sounding like a catty beotch, it seems to Your Mama, Mister Gooding, Jr.'s (to-date) professional salad days were way back in the mid-1990s to the early-Aughts when he starred in films that include As Good As It Gets, Men of Honour, Pearl Harbor, and What Dreams May Come, and, in 1997, won an Academy Award for Jerry Maguire.*

Property records show Mister Gooding, Jr. and long-time wife and high-school sweetheart, Sara Kapfer, acquired their family-friendly Pacific Palisades mini-estate in May 2000 for $3,500,000. Current digital marketing materials don't state the square footage but the Los Angeles County Tax Man puts it at 6,753. The two-story, slate-roofed and smooth stucco-sided European-ish farmhouse-type abode was originally built in the early 1940s and currently contains seven bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, five fireplaces, and two laundry rooms. There's also a separate guest house and garage parking for six or more cars.

A gated driveway opens off a secluded and rustic lane near Will Rogers State Park to a long driveway that cuts through a manicured sylvan landscape to the front of the house where custom glass and steel front doors open into a circular entry vestibule with stone floors and a spoke-like display of exposed ceiling beams.

The formal living room has wide-plank wood floors, a boxed wood ceiling, fireplace with some sort of antique-y looking carved or cast stone mantelpiece, and floor-to-ceiling steel-framed French doors on three sides the expose the room to the landscaped surroundings and open to various outdoor living areas. The floor switches to tumbled travertine (or some other beige-colored tumbled stone) in the formal dining room that has more floor-to-ceiling steel-framed windows and French doors as well as a slender, walk-in wine cellar and a butler's pantry.

Less formal family quarters include loft-like combination kitchen and family room with wide-plank wood floors under foot and exposed ceiling beams over head. A massive stone fireplace anchors the family room end where lots of windows and French doors make for a smooth transition to the outdoors. The colossal, cook-friendly kitchen has two work islands, several counter top materials—marble, wood and some sort of slab stone, and a full suite of industrial-style appliances that include two dishwashers and at least a couple of built-in warming drawers. An adjoining mud room, as per listing details, does double duty as a home office.

In addition to the half dozen family/guest bedrooms throughout the property there's a spacious master suite with vaulted, exposed beam ceiling and direct access to a private terrace. There's also a sitting area with yet another stone-faced fireplace, furniture-grade closets, and a marble-floored bathroom with two-sink vanity, free-standing soaking tub set in front of a picture window with tree-top view, and a separate glass-enclosed steam shower with convenient built-in tiled bench.

Other celebrity-style features of the Gooding, Jr. mini-estate include: A second floor den where open rough hewn wood shelves flank a fireplace; A wood-floored, mirror-walled, and punching bag-equipped gym  installed in part of the garage—if y'all look closely you can see a covered car reflected in the mirror; And, naturally, a home theater with vaulted exposed wood ceiling, contemporary drum-style light fixtures, a wide-screen projection system, and tiered seating.

Shaded and stone-floored verandas ring the main living spaces on the lower level and give way to, verdant outdoor areas that include expansive lawns with lush landscaping and mature shade trees, and a hedge-enclosed swimming pool and elevated spa. Perhaps the most unusual and certainly unexpected outdoor recreational feature, tucked into a sweeping—and probably noisy—curve of Sunset Boulevard, in a spot where a person might understandably expect a tennis court, we find a lighted ice hockey rink complete with glass protection barrier. Now, children, how many private outdoor ice hockey rinks do you think there are in sunny southern California? Probably more than Your Mama might guess but it really can't be that many since ice hockey really isn't much of a thing in southern California, you know? Anyways...

*Mister Gooding, Jr. also won a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Jerry Maguire, taken home three Image Awards—Firelight (2012), Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009), Radio (2003), and in 2002 he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

listing photos: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Kamis, 10 Oktober 2013

Sketch Comedy King Michael McDonald Lists Hollywood Hills House

SELLER: Michael McDonald
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,495,000
SIZE: 3,250 square feet, 2-3 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A friendly birdie we'll call Lou Neetoones flew down and let Your Mama know that (comedy) actor/writer/director/producer Michael McDonald hoisted his long time (and just about diabolically earth-tonal) home in Los Angeles's Nichols Canyon on the open market with a $3,495,000 price tag.

Before Mister McDonald achieved physical comedy genius-ness on MadTV—that's right we said it so deal with it—the former loan officer appeared in a slew of gawdawful horror and thriller franchise sequels. There was Bloodfist IV, V, VI and VII,  Leprechaun 2, The Unborn II, and let's not forget Carnosaur 2 and 3. Not only did he show up in a bunch of horror movies, in the 1990s Mister McDonald penned a handful of really bad horror movies for both the small and the silver screens (The Crazysitter, A Bucket of Blood and Alien Avengers I and II).

During his long tenure at MadTV (1998-2008), Mister McDonald frequently appeared as Dr. Toilet on the sitcom Scrubs and since the sketch comedy show went dark in 2008 he's landed recurring parts on a couple of sitcoms including Rita Rocks, Cougar Town* and, currently, on the clever (and Emmy-nominated) short-form web-series turned half-hour cable sitcom Web Therapy.

Property records show Mister McDonald paid $1,979,000 for his hillside abode in the Hollywood Hills in December 2004 and current listing details, which include floor plans (below), show the updated and upgraded three story Mediterranean-style villa was built in 1977 and is currently configured with two generous bedroom suites and a total of 4.5 bathrooms.

We're not sure if it was Mister McDonald who's responsible or if perhaps a previous owner did it but whatever landscaping there may have once been in the front yard was ripped out and replaced with an apron of polished Mexican pavers that provides five off-street parking spaces in addition to the two in the attached, direct access garage. We know some of you would prefer a carpet of unnaturally green grass but do y'all know how rare that a house in the Hills of Hollywood can claim seven off-street parking spaces?

A spider web of vines and shrubs clings to the windowless street façade where double carved wood doors set into a shallow portico open not, as expected, directly into the house but rather into a small tiled-courtyard that Mister McDonald dressed with a couple of potted palms and a glass-topped cafe table for four. Two sets of arched French doors—we j'adore all the arched French doors—give access to the uppermost level of the residence; One set opens into a stair hall (with a privately situated powder pooper) and the other into a much roomier main foyer.

The dark brown wood floors in the foyer continue through a wide archway into an open-concept living area that spans the full width of the back of the house and opens through three sets of arched French doors to a slender, awning-shaded and heater-equipped balcony also spans the full width of the back of the house. The "formal" living room area is anchored by a fireplace with (what looks to Your Mama like) a cast concrete mantelpiece and furnished with a whole bunch of brown thing set off against a ruby red Persian (or maybe it's Oriental) rug and another potted palm.

An extra-wide archway connects the living room to the dining room where there are more arched French doors and more brown (and mostly wood) furniture set atop a rug red accents. Yet another archway links the dining room to the center island outfitted with custom, medium brown-toned raised panel cabinetry, a mix of granite and marble counter tops, and high-grade appliances.

On the middle level, two master-style bedroom suites each have a bedroom with direct access via (non-arched) French doors to a small, private terrace that connects by way of long stairway to the lower level backyard area. Each master suite also has a separate sitting room with French doors and Juliet balcony, adequate (if not exactly celebrity-scaled) closets, and a renovated (if not exactly decoratively thrilling) en suite facility. One suite has a custom-fitted walk-in closet and a weird little wood stove heater thing in the corner of the bedroom and the other has a step down sitting room and a jetted bathtub in addition to the glass-enclosed shower stall. One (or possibly both) of the sitting rooms could be converted to bedrooms and, should the next owner want to do such a thing, a hall-accessible three-quarter bathroom easily accommodates such a reconfiguration.

The stairs continue down to the tile-floored lowest level where a dishwasher-equipped kitchenette with a bizarrely high center island snack counter. An adjoining sunken family room is furnished with a large tan sectional sofa and a wall-mounted flat screen television not to mention another one of those wood-burning stove heater thingamabobs in the corner. On the other side of the kitchenette there's  just enough space for a small dinette set and a compact three-quarter bathroom.

French doors in the dining area open to a half-flight of exterior steps that descend to a column-lined, vine-draped, and trellis-shaded terrace that overlooks the the swimming pool. Even more steps lead down to the pool terrace where there's an awning-shaded open-air cabana at one end and at the other a heater-equipped outdoor kitchen and dining area enshrouded in dense, jungle-like foliage. An octagonal, eight-person spa was placed off by itself for maximum spa-time privacy in a forest of ferns.

Lucky for potential buyers who might feel a real connection to Mister McDonald's affinity for all things khaki-, beige-, camel-, chamois-, tan-, ecru- and otherwise brown-colored things, listing information indicates "Most furnishings avail for sale sep."

*Mister McDonald, to his professionally expansive credit and among a sundry of other gigs, wrote three episodes, directed more than 20, and produced 50+ episodes of Cougar Town.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland