Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrity Digs HQ Will Be Back Next Year!

Yikes, the holiday season is upon us!  Celebrity Digs HQ is taking a break from our posts for the rest of the year.  We'll be back on Monday, January 4, 2010.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oprah's "Christmas at the White House" Special to Air Sunday

Oprah Winfrey recently taped an interview with President Barack Obama and his family for her "Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special."  She also tours the White House, giving us all the opportunity to see the changes made to it since the Obamas moved in.  The special will air on ABC this Sunday, December 13.

As you may recall, First Lady Michelle Obama hired famed interior designer Michael S. Smith (above) earlier this year to help decorate the White House.  He's one of our all-time favorite designers and a perfect choice for the White House (below). 

Can't what to see what Michael's done! 

White House photo source:  Karen Leonard Photography.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christina Aguilera's Beverly Hills Home

This month's issue of one of favorite magazines, In Style, features singer Christina Aguilera's Mediterranean style mansion.  This home formerly belonged to the Ozzy Osbourne family, of music and reality TV fame.  The house was completely redesigned for Christina's family by one of our fabulous @CelebrityDigsHQ Twitter friends, interior designer Jaime Rummerfield (@JRummerfield).  Fortunately, one of our favorite bloggers, Julia at Hooked on Houses, posted lots of photos showing Christina's newly-designed home, including several "before" shots from when it belonged to the Osbournes.  Go check out Julia's post!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Speaking of Ballers: NBA Player Lamar Odom and Khoe Kardashian Buy Home

Trulia just reported that NBA baller Lamar Odom and his new bride Khloe Kardashian just bought a mediterranean style home in Tarzana, California.  It was listed for $3,995,000.  Guess he didn't need to sell his other house first to come up with the down payment.

Anyway, this 7BR/8.5BA home has more than 8,300 square feet and comes with a gated entrance, gym, and movie room.  So if this is indeed a fake marriage as rumored, at least they have plenty of room to stake out separate areas of the house.  We grabbed a couple of shots of the house before the listing disappears.  Here's the kitchen:

Looks like the master bedroom (below) has nice views:

Ditto for the master bath, which reminds us a bit of the one in Dorothy Dandridge's former home (though we liked hers much better):

This is a nice house, but they need to get someone in there quick to paint those interiors.  To see what we mean, go check out the virtual tour here.  Don't forget to come back and tell us what you think!

Former NFL Player Michael Strahan's NYC Loft Condo for Sale

In light of the Tiger Woods scandal, CNN just posted an article about how difficult it is to be a baller's wife, noting the common concerns about infidelity.  Not believing this to be true of all ballers, we went in search of nice-guy baller digs.  We ran across this Tribeca loft (above) that's currently up for sale.  It belongs to Michael Strahan, former defensive end for the New York Giants and current football analyst for FOX.

Michael is known for his philanthropic efforts.  Interestingly, the only controversy we know of associated with Michael is the reverse of what's happening with TigerMichael is engaged to Eddie Murphy's ex-wife Nicole Murphy, who was rumored to have cheated on Michael.  Michael allegedly implanted a hidden GPS on her car to track her whereabouts. 

As for the loft, we like it!  It was recently reported in the Wall Street Journal that he was asking $1.875 million, but now the price is down to $1.85 million.

It's a large space at 1911 square feet, with two bedrooms and two baths.  It's located in a pre-war building with a gym and roof deck.  The unit has sand-blasted walls exposing the brick (top photo), a sizable kitchen (above), and hardwood floors.  Everything is painted white, so you're working with a blank slate.  Here's the master bedroom:

Even though we understand he rarely uses this place, it was obviously staged for resale.  How do we know?  The furniture is too delicate (Can he even fit in that Barcelona chair in the living area?).  More importantly, there's no giant flat screen TV to watch football!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If Brad and Angelina Split, Who Gets the House in New Orleans?

If you're sick of the Tiger Woods story, there's another story brewing . . . about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  Somebody just wrote a book about them, suggesting they may be headed to splitsville.  We certainly hope it's not true.  We've always liked this couple, particularly Brad's efforts to help rebuild New Orleans, Angelina's humanitarian work, and their combined charitable donations.

Remember that Domestic Bliss spread (top photo) they did for W magazine?  Or how they tried to kill each other in the Mr. and Mrs. Smith movie?  Was that art foreshadowing life?

Oh well!  They won't be the first Hollywood couple to split up.  But wait a minute!  Brad and Angelina don't live in Hollywood!  They live in New Orleans!  Specifically, they live in this historic mansion located in the French Quarter:

The front entrance (above) is deceptively low key.  But the rear courtyard below, typical of grand New Orleans homes, reveals the true charm . . .

 . . .  and size of this home, which includes a separate guesthouse in the back:

And the interior of this home is as charming as the exterior.  These photos are a couple of years old and show what the home looked like just before Brad and Angelina purchased it in 2007.

As expected, the rooms look a little choppy and narrow.  Like this master bedroom:

But we love the tall ceilings, chandelier, and fireplace above.  Likewise for the dining room below.  Did you notice the transom windows over the doorways?

We're sure the decor has changed substantially.  But the kitchen below looks like it was previously renovated:

We really like this kitchen and hope Brad and Angelina didn't change it! 

Come to think of it, we wonder what they did to make it and the rest of the home suitable for their six children! 

Tell us, do you think this looks like a good home in which to raise children?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Former NBA Star Latrell Sprewell Heading for Foreclosure

We first learned that ex-NBA player Latrell Sprewell was possibly facing foreclosure yesterday on Bossip. Looks like it's true.  Luxist reports that his home in Purchase, New York, is scheduled for a sheriff's sale in January 2010.  Nearly a decade ago, Latrell bought the 7BR home(the same one where he was accused of attacking his girlfriend a few years ago) for $2.3M.  It sits on 3.3 acres and comes with a gym, pool, spa, basketball court, and a recording studio.  The home is currently listed for $3.8M.

Visit Luxist to see photos of the inside.  We'll stay behind and bite our tongues about the interior decor!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Neighbors at Legal War Over Rihanna's Big Move

Here's another recent story from TMZ on singing superstar Rihanna. Rihanna previously rented a house in the Hollywood Hills that she allegedly considered buying.  She eventually moved out after an angry neighbor sued her for trampling his property.  Now her former landlord is reportedly suing the angry neighbor for killing the sale.

More details here: Neighbors at Legal War Over Rihanna's Big Move

Lamar Odom's House -- Now with Furniture!

TMZ recently reported that Lamar Odom is so anxious to sell his Manhattan Beach, California home that he just paid to have it staged.  We don't think this information is particularly newsworthy--except to note that the house doesn't look any better than it did before.

Go see for yourself:  Lamar Odom's House -- Now with Furniture!

Tiger Woods: Car Trouble in Paradise?

By now you've heard that golf phenom Tiger Woods was involved in a single-vehicle car accident at 2:25am on Friday right in front of his house.  He was knocked unconscious for a couple of minutes.  The neighbor called 911.  And Tiger's wife, Erin (shown with him above), used a golf club to break the car window. 

Rumors started flying everywhere!  After all, where was Tiger going at that late hour?  Why hasn't he talked to the police?  Did he and Erin have a fight?  Did she use the golf club because she was angry?  Is Tiger having an affair?  Why did he issue a statement saying that "the situation" was all his fault and promise that it won't happen again?  How can anyone promise a car accident won't happen again--unless he's not really talking about the car accident? 

And, finally, what's the scoop on his house?  There are lots of photos out there purported to show his home.  But which one is really his?

Well, we can at least help clear up the last matter!  Tiger lives with his wife and two kids in a luxury lake home in Isleworth, a private gated community in the Orlando suburb of Windermere, Florida.

After the accident, there were lots of stories showing this house as belonging to him:

The problem is, this house is not on a lake.  It's actually on a beach!  In Hawaii!  And it's not Tiger's house!

Here's another one that is more commonly shown in connection with Tiger's accident story:

Well at least it's close -- very close in fact -- but it's not Tiger's house either!  It's actually right next door!

HERE is Tiger's house:

We'll let you know if we dig up photos of the interior!

Happy Cyber Monday!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday!  As you probably figured out by now, we took the entire week off last week.  Next time, we'll try to give you a little notice beforehand.  Now, let's spend the day shopping online and catching up on news stories about celebrity homes! 

Up first:  Tiger Woods!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Richard Gere Sells His Hamptons Home for $5.9M

Speaking of the Hamptons . . . Forever handsome Richard Gere and his lovely wife, actress Carey Lowell, recently sold their home in the Hamptons for $5.9 million.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the new owner paid about a third less than the asking price.  Fortunately for us, the WSJ has a slideshow allowing us to peek inside this 7BR home, which sits on 1.2 acres in Water Mill, NY.

The approaching winter clearly has us obsessed with fireplaces right now.  We hated the one in Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons' NJ estate.  But we loved the fireplaces in Barefoot Contessa/Ina Garten and Jason Winer's homes.  And we love the one in this bedroom below:

Okay, so it's not glamorous, but it has a rustic country feel that we like.

Likewise for the kitchen above and dining room below.

Mismatched chairs always make us feel like we can relax. This looks like a perfect spot for Thanksgiving dinner--something else that's also on our minds lately!

Tell us what you think.  Would you prefer an informal dining room like Richard and Carey's or a more formal dining room for Thanksgiving?

Top photo from The Insider.  House photos from Saunders Associates.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Barefoot Contessa's Barn

With Thankgiving only one week away, our thoughts are naturally turning to cooking and entertaining.  We've always loved the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks by Ina Garten, who also has her own show of the same name on the Food Network.  She has a beautiful home in East Hampton and recently built a barn(!) for entertaining her friends.

Ina's barn houses a large multi-purpose room with a wonderful open kitchen and dining area.  The visible rafters give it that barn-like feel, yet it is still so remarkably cozy!  We think the fireplace (top photo) makes a huge difference.   We also like that she included comfy arm chairs at the dining table so that it can double as a reading space.

The barn also serves as a guest house, with a beautifully simple approach to decor.  We love the mottled mirror over the sofa in the entry.  The objects located across from it make it appear as if it is a painting.

The bedroom and bath are likewise peaceful and simple:

Can you believe all of this is inside this inconspicuous looking building below?!!!

We love it!  If you want to see more barn photos, check out the House Beautiful slideshow

Also, the folks at House Beautiful liked Ina's barn so much, they asked her to recreate it in Rockefeller Plaza and named it their 2009 Kitchen of the Year.  Check out the video here:

We love it too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

VIDEO: Forbes on Celebrity Real Estate Woes

Here's something we ran across on Twitter:  a Forbes video discussing how celebrities aren't immune from the problems in the real estate market.  It offers glimses inside the homes of Nicholas Cage, Ellen DeGeneres, Eddie Murphy, and other celebs who have had to slash sales prices drastically.  The video also mentions LaToya Jackson, Stephen Baldwin, Toni Braxton and other celebs facing foreclosure.

We posted or tweeted many of these stories over the past several months.  In fact, we tweet LOTS of stories when we don't have time to write about them ourselves.  So if you want to read about more celebrity homes than those you see here, please FOLLOW US ON TWITTER:  @CelebrityDigsHQ.

In the meantime, watch the video and tell us what you think!  Are you sympathetic?  After all, celebs are human just like us.  Or, do you think these celebs tried to live too lavishly?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For Sale: TV Executive Producer Jason Winer's Hollywood Loft

As seen in our post on Sigrid Olsen, you can have a fabulous lifestyle without living in a mansion.  Take this home, which belongs to Jason Winer, executive producer of ABC's hilarious new TV show Modern Family (starring our favorite Married With Children Alum, Ed O'Neill a/k/a Al Bundy).  It's a charming little 2BR loft that looks large, but really isn't.  And it's for sale!

The 3-story condo/townhouse/loft is part of an 8-unit property built by Paramount in the 1920's as a bungalow for their writers.  So you have a chance to own a little slice of Hollywood history.  The asking price is $599,000.

Now, some of the rooms are a little tiny--like the kitchen and dining room above, and the bedroom below:

But that's part of the charm!  The creative types always seem to find their genius in small spaces like this.  Remember, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone's bungalow in Berkeley?

Plus, the 18ft ceilings in the living room and the airy loft upstairs offer breathing room and make up for the lack of space in other rooms.  We love it!

All photos from Sotheby's International Realty.  For more information and to see more photos, check out the listing here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mystery Monday: Which Rock Star Calls This L.A. Pad Home?

We bet you're wondering who lives in this well-curated apartment with fabulous views of the City of Angels.  We'll give you a hint:  It's a famous musician known for his flamboyance.  Okay, maybe that doesn't narrow things down much! 


Friday, November 13, 2009

Celebrity Home of the Week: Donna Karan's Island Retreat

After yesterday's post about a famous hip-hop mogul's home, we figured we'd give you something nice to look at today.  Fortunately, the latest issue of Architectural Digest (December 2009) offers plenty of choices. We just got ours in the mail this week and we were delighted to see that the entire issue is devoted to celebrity homes. And we loved almost every home we saw!

We especially loved the British West Indies family retreat of celebrated fashion designer Donna Karan (shown above on the left, with her daughter Gabrielle).  It's earthy and gorgeous!


Winning Bidder Pays $35,000 to Tour Bill Gates' House

Todd Bishop, a blogger for Seattle-based, recently reported that Bill Gates donated a tour of his Lake Washington home once again this year for a charity event.  He's talking about this techie-lover's dream home, we featured a while back. 

Anyway, last year, the winning bid was $8,600.  This year, it came in at a whopping $35,000!   Either the economy is really bouncing back, or somebody has waaayyy too much money on their hands.  Hey, may we tag along?

A big thanks to Zillow Blog for spotting this news item.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can You Guess Who Owns This House?

This living room is filled with tons of furniture, drapes, and accessories.  In fact, the whole house is filled with so much opulence that it's hard to believe anyone can even breathe here.  So whose house is it?


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kimora Lee Simmons looks to trade $16.5M New Jersey estate for new Manhattan pad

Will she ever unload this house?  We saw Kimora's mansion on MTV Cribs a while back, when she was still married to Russell Simmons.  We hated almost ever inch of this house.  We'll dig up some photos later and show you why.  In the meantime, read the full story here:

Kimora Lee Simmons looks to trade $16.5M New Jersey estate for new Manhattan pad | The Real Deal | New York Real Estate News

Website Listing Addresses and Aerial Photos of Celebrity Homes Comes Under Scrutiny

The L.A. Times reports today that one our favorite sources -- Celebrity Aerial Address -- is currently under scrutiny in connection with a criminal investigation. A search warrant revealed that one of the alleged Hollywood Hills burglars used the site to obtain the addresses of celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom.

Some people may not realize that the addresses of celebrities' homes are public information.  It just take a little bit of legwork to find it.  Or you can visit  The site's operator, David Ruppel a.k.a. Celebrity Dave, gathers publicly available data on celebrities' homes into a one-stop shopping site and charges a fee for the service. 

We use Dave's service occasionally.  (So do a lot of other celebrity real estate bloggers!) We try to avoid publishing the addresses of celebrities, however.  We believe our readers typically don't care about where celebrities live.  They're just curious about how celebrities live.

Tell us, do you think there's anything wrong with having access to celebrities' addresses?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Metropolitan Home Magazine Folds

Hachette Filipacchi Media, publisher of Elle Decor and other notable magazines, announced today that it will halt publication of Metropolitan Home magazine.  December 2009 will be its last issue.  Another one bites the dust.  Too bad.  Met Home was one of our favorite sources for info on celebrity homes.

Thanks to Casa Sugar and Shelteriffic for alerting everyone.

Mad Men's John Slattery Says "Not In My Backyard!"

We Tivo'd last night's season finale of Mad Men and started watching it this morning.  We were on the edge of our bed waiting to hear a final quip from our favorite character, Roger Sterling.  But, as luck would have it, our Tivo ran out of storage space and didn't record the last few minutes!  Oh well!

We decided to spend this morning looking for info about the homes of Roger, er, John Slattery, that is (above). We know this handsome actor is married to actress Talia Balsam--who plays his ex-wife on the show and also happens to be the real-life ex-wife of George Clooney.  We also know that they split their time between New York and Los Angeles.

Looks like they might be spending more time in New York . . . so they can keep fighting!  No, not each other!  They are fighting the city's plans to build a $346 million sanitation department building in their neighborhood.  For more details, check out the Huffington Post article here.

We'll let you know if we find photos.  In the meantime, if you want to get your fix on the homes of Mad Men stars, be sure to read our earlier posts showcasing the homes of John Hamm/Don Draper, January Jones/Betty Draper, and  Bryan Batt/Sal Romano.  By the way, Sal was conspicuously absent from last night's show, but we'd bet money he'll be back!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Celebrity Home of the Week: Sigrid Olsen's Home

Sorry for the late posting.  Today is such a terrible news day. One day after the mass shooting at Fort Hood, we now have another mass shooting, this time in Orlando. It's the kind of day to make us question why we do what we do.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Lady of France Carla Bruni's Childhood Castle For Sale

Carla Bruni has many titles: wife of French President Nicholas Sarkozy, former singer/songwriter, former model, and current fashion icon who gave our First Lady Michelle Obama (shown with Bruni above) a run for her money at this year's G-20 summit.

Well she's also an Italian-born heiress who grew up in this castle in Italy, which happens to be for sale with an asking price of around $28 million (U.S. dollars):

It's grand of course! Still don't know if we'd ever want to live in a castle, though. See interior and exterior photos at PropGoLuxury. Hat tip to Luxuo for alerting us to it!

After checking out the photos, let us know if you'd want to live there!
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