Friday, September 18, 2009

VH1 Divas Edition, Part 2 - Leona Lewis' House

British singing sensation, and newly-crowned diva, Leona Lewis definitely did her thing on stage last night at the VH1 Divas Live show.

Leona is one of four of the new crop of VH1 Divas who owe their fame to Simon Cowell. You probably already know that the other three -- Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Jordin Sparks -- all got their big break as contestants on FOX's American Idol. Kelly and Jordin actually won during their respective seasons.

Anyhoo, turns out that Leona Lewis got her big break on X Factor, the English version of American Idol, on which Simon Cowell is also a judge. Like Kelly and Jordin, she ultimately won the competition.
In addition to obtaining a record contract, Leona also got Simon as a mentor. She became a huge British/international star. He eventually brought her to the States to make her an American star (a status that is strangely always above the realm of "international star").

We know, we know, get to the point! Where does she live?!!!

Where else? Los Angeles of course! According to the L.A. Times, she lives in a 2BR/2BA contemporary home (below) in the Hollywood Hills that reportedly costs nearly $9,000/month.

Rumor has it that Simon bought this place for her and that she leases it from him. Hmmm, wonder what his girlfriend (who looks a little like Leona) thinks of that?
Up next: Kelly Clarkson's home.

VH1 Divas Edition, Part 1 - Miley Cyrus at Home

If you missed last night's VH1 Divas Live, which felt more like a teen edition, you didn't miss much. Except an apparently drugged out host Paula Abdul nearly falling on her ass during one of her lousy opening song and dance numbers. She redeemed herself, though, with a pretty good imitation of Ellen DeGeneres dancing through the audience aisles.

Anyway, this year's crop of divas -- Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Adele, and Miley Cyrus, ranging in age from 16 to 29 years old (Isn't there a minimum age for divas?) -- belted out their hit songs pretty decently. They also sang duets with big music stars like Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, India Arie, Martina McBride, Melissa Ethridge, and Sheryl Crow, ranging in quality from outstanding (Wonder/Hudson) to piss-poor (Lauper/Lewis).

So all we really wanna know is, how do these divas live?

Up first is the home of, ahem, diva Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana. She lives in this 5BR/6BA mediterranean style home in North Hollywood:

At 16, she's the youngest of the diva bunch, so naturally she lives with her parents. Her dad is one-hit-wonder country singer Billy Ray "Joe Jackson is my Idol" Cyrus, who co-stars with her in Disney's Hannah Montana show. Here's the whole family in their kitchen below:
Miley's bedroom is allegedly inspired by the Hotel Viceroy. While we're sick of hotel-inspired houses, we do like the capiz shell chandelier:

And what teenage girl wouldn't want a dressing room like this of her own:

Up next in Part 2: Leona Lewis' home.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NFL's Chris McAlister Selling His Home, Headed for Oakland?

The Baltimore Sun recently reported that former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister (whose contract was terminated earlier this year) might be picked up by the Oakland Raiders. In what is perhaps not a concidence, the Pasadena-born baller is also selling his home in Beverly Hills.

He's asking $7.9 million for this 1990 French-normandy 5BR/7BA mansion, which clocks in at a whopping 9,375 sq. ft. Last week, the L.A. Times reported that he's selling and plans to move to Maryland. Guess they thought the Ravens were bringing him back. Looks like he's headed for the Bay instead.

Anyway, the realtor's site is still under construction, but the Times published a few photos along with its story.

Unfortunately, despite the home's description, the front has that typical generic mega-mansion look (above).

But, even though we don't really care for mega-mansions, we do like the views from the bathroom and the rear terrace:

So, if you happen to have $7.9 million lying around, maybe this house is worth a look. For a couple of additional photos and more details about the house, check out the Times' story.

House Photos: Shaun Dixon.

Bill & Hillary Clinton: They're Gonna Need a Bigger House!

The New York Post's Cindy Adams reports today on Page Six that ex-Prez Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary ("He's not the Sec'y of State, damn it, I am!") are house-hunting in Westchester County, NY. Cindy says they want a bigger place, enough for his-and-hers quarters.

After all their history, it wouldn't surprise us that Bill and Hill would want to be as far apart as possible if they're going to be in the same house. And we guess their Chappaqua house (above) in Westchester County isn't big enough.

But, according to TMZ, they were spotted just last month holding hands while on vacay in Bermuda! Check it out:
We're still scratching our heads! Like, was that a photo op or what?

Top photo credit: Mike Albans

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Krasinski Says 'Away We Go' -- He's Selling His West Hollywood Home

John Krasinski -- that cute guy from The Office and the recent flick Away We Go (who isn't even all that cute, but that's what makes him so cute!) -- is moving on. He's asking $1,245,000 for his little english country-style 3BR/3BA house in West Hollywood.

We're guessing he needs a bigger place since he just got engaged to actress Emily Blunt of The Devil Wears Prada fame. This one's pretty small at less than 1,300sf.

It's also possibly a little overpriced to be located right across the street from an apartment complex. But at least it sits behind a tall hedge, giving it that feeling of seclusion.

Unfortunately, the house has been stripped bare of all personality in preparation for sale. Krasinski actually could have benefitted from a home stager to give the house some warmth. Notice how there isn't a single tchotchke on any table surface below?
And although the kitchen and bathroom are perfectly adequate, both look like standard Home Depot specials from earlier in the decade:
Nevertheless, the home has its small charms like the built-in china buffet in the dining room:

But, again, how about putting something on that dining table and buffet, like some freakin' china?!!!

Oh well, we get the feeling John was more of a chinese food take-out kind of guy anyway. And he's so cute (did we say that already?), we'd buy his house if we could!

If you want to see more of his home, here's the listing. We wish him luck!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze Dies of Cancer at 57

Popular movie actor Patrick Swayze, who rose to fame for both his acting and dancing abilities in the 1987 movie classic Dirty Dancing, died after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

In the words of Jennifer Grey, his costar in that film: "Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace." We agree.

Patrick went on to star in numerous other films, most notably Ghost with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. He also recently starred in the well-received A&E TV drama The Beast.
Patrick spent his later years living with his wife of 34 years, actress Lisa Niemi (shown with him above), on ranches in both California and New Mexico, where they raised Arabian horses. The California ranch is below.

Our condolences go out to Lisa and their entire family.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West: Is This the Home of a Jerk?

Well, oops, Kanye West did it again! He has clowned at the MTV VMA's so many times now. Is anyone surprised about what happened last night?

By now everyone knows that he interrupted Taylor Swift as she was accepting her Moon Man award for best female video. Kanye insisted that Beyonce deserved to win it based on her video for "Single Ladies." Even if we agree with him (and we do!), what a freakin' jerk!

Of course, it made us think, where does he live anyway?!!!

Turns out that Interior Design magazine featured the interior of his Hollywood Hills home a while back.
We were surprised to find that we liked a lot of things we saw, including the entry shown above.

Kanye has amassed an extensive furniture and pop art collection, like Burton Morris' Jetsons pieces above and the blue Eero Koivisto chair. And we especially dig Andy Warhol's classic Campbell's Soup cans over a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk in his kitchen below:

But, as much as we like Ernie Barnes, the famed artist who did the murals seen on the classic TV show Good Times, we do NOT dig the mural he painted on Kanye's dining room ceiling:

Not only is it unattractive and goofy (Kanye is depicted as an angel a la Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel), but it speaks to Kanye's messiah complex.

For more photos of his home go here.
All in all, we found Kanye's home to be a bit sterile, as if it were a museum. Look but don't touch! Composed but artificial. That, along with the bizarre mural, serves as solid proof that he is a soul-less ego-maniacal JERK!
All interior photos by Art Gray.
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