Friday, September 25, 2009

Christina Ricci's L.A. Home Up for Sale, Celebrity Home of the Week

What a beauty this one is!  We're not talking about the celebrity.  Yes, Christina Ricci -- the brilliant star of several indie movies who first got out attention playing Wendy in the Addams Family movies -- is certainly beautiful in her own way.  But her home is gorgeous!  And it's for sale!

It's a 2,428 sq. ft. mediterranean home on a sought-after street in The Oaks/Hollywood Hills.  It has three bedrooms, three baths, and a pool (shown in both photos below).  She's asking $1,549,000. 

Lots of our favorite sources, like Trulia, Zillow Blog, and Real Estalker, have done stories this week about this house.  So we thought about just skipping it.

But we like it so much, we decided it would be our Celebrity Home of the Week.

Like its owner, this home has quirky charms like white-washed exposed beams on the vaulted ceilings, randomly-placed stairways, and this open-yet-cozy living room (above and in top photo) with built-in bookshelves.

The dining room and kitchen above are also fab!

Even the master bedroom, which opens to the patio and pool, is charming!  Likewise for the smaller guest bedrooms:

You'll notice that this house isn't all that big and has a fairly neutral color-scheme.  Yet it has loads of style architecturally and interior design-wise.  Take note Whoopi Goldberg, THIS is how you do shabby chic!

Congratulations Christina!  You have the Celebrity Home of the Week!

See the listing with all photos here.


NY Governor David Paterson's Home For Now

New York Governor David Paterson of course lives in the Executive Mansion in Albany.  We're not sure for how much longer though.  The unpopular governor and his own "First Lady Michelle" have been quite vocal regarding their disappointment that President Obama has asked him not to seek re-election.  They naively think that what the President did was unthinkable. 

What they fail to realize however is that it was unthinkable to disclose such communications and, even worse, to fail to honor the President's request.  Unfortunately, this is entirely consistent with the way Paterson blunders through his way in office. 

But what we wanna know is, have they made any blunders with respect to the Executive Manse?

In December 2008, the New York Times interviewed New York's First Lady about moving from a 2-BR apartment in Harlem to the 40-room Victorian governor's mansion (above).  At 29,000 sq. ft. and sitting on three and a half acres, the Patersons certainly had plenty of space to work with.

The previous first lady, former governor Eliot Spitzer's wife Silda, started an eco-friendly makeover of the mansion.  According to the Times article, Michelle has continued that effort "using organic cleaners, serving mostly locally grown foods and installing energy-efficient appliances and solar panels on outbuildings."

The Patersons also brought furniture from their other home (a 2,600 sq. ft. Colonial in a nearby town) to furnish their master bedroom and third-floor family room.  Alas, no photos were taken of these rooms, so we don't get to see any of their personality or taste.

They also scattered a few family photos around the house, like in the drawing room below, but those are barely noticeable: 

The article suggests that, in light of the state's difficult economic times, the Patersons haven't done much in the way of decorating (obviously!) and likely won't do anything significant.   So the mansion remains a stodgy old "gloomy pile," as it was once described by Teddy Roosevelt.

But at least this shows prudence on the part of this governor.  Maybe he'll get to keep his job after all!

To read the NY Times article and see a slideshow with lots of photos of the mansion, go here.

Top photo by Goldfield for the NY Daily News.
Executive Mansion photos by Nathaniel Brooks for the NY Times.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Miami Condo for Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony

People magazine is reporting that Jennifer Lopez's husband Marc Anthony --who just became a part-owner of the NFL's Miami Dolphins--has bought a waterfront condo in the Icon Brickell building in Miami.

Marc promises it'll be the "sexiest place in town" and we believe him!

The Icon Brickell's main entrance (above) and the pool (below) should give you some idea of what the building has to offer.

We've always liked this stylish couple.  We have no doubt their place will be smokin' hot--and family friendly at the same time!  Can't forget about their twins!

EXCLUSIVE HOUSE PHOTOS! Sarah Michelle Gellar/Freddie Prinze Jr.'s Home

Congratulations to beautiful actress Sarah Michelle (Gellar) Prinze and her handsome husband Freddie Prinze Jr. on their new baby girl!  Little Charlotte Grace Prinze arrived on Saturday, September 19th.  According to People, her parents are "over the moon."

We've obtained EXCLUSIVE photos of their home!

Looks like precious little Charlotte will have plenty of room to grow in her parents' luxury Bel Air home (above).  According to property records, the home is nearly 7,000 sq. ft. with 7 bedrooms and 7 baths.  Hmmm, 7-7-7!  Wonder if they spend a lot of time in Vegas?

The foyer below is unremarkable--even if we visually delete the previous owners' ugly decor.  (These photos were taken just before the Prinzes moved in.)  What's with the fake flowers over that hideous cabinet anyway?   The mirrored-wall behind it only makes matters worse!

We like the wood-paneled study (below) though, which we assume has been redecorated to lighten it up and remove all that dull 1980's plaid:

Freddie (or Sarah!) will need a place to escape during those sleepless nights with the baby.  And the study surely looks cozy enough.

While we don't have photos of Charlotte's nursery, we do know that Sarah Michelle purchased most of the furnishing for it from Argington, a children's furniture shop.  Here's the stylish crib she selected:

Judging from the crib and some of the other pieces we found on the store's website, we think Charlotte will have a very chic nursery--one fit for a California princess!

We're thrilled for the family and wish them the best!

Top photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images.
Crib photo by Argington.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

VH1 Divas Edition, Part 6 - Where in the World is Jennifer Hudson?

You knew we'd save the best one for last.  In our view, Jennifer Hudson is the only true diva of the bunch from this year's VH1 Divas Live show.  At a mere 28 years old, she's managed to do and survive through things that have earned her our respect.

We got our first glimpse of J-Hud when she was a finalist on the third season of American Idol.  Though she didn't win, she ultimately became a bigger star than any other Idol before or since.  After earning an Oscar and a Golden Globe award for her work in Dreamgirls, she later won a Grammy award for her self-titled album, containing her debut single "Spotlight."  She also suffered a horrific family tragedy and emerged as graceful as ever.  Finally, as she demonstrated on Divas Live, the girl sure can blow!

So, you ask, where does she live? 

All we can say is:  Carmen Sandiago and Matt Lauer don't have ANYthing on J-Hud.

First, we know that our girl Jennifer hails from Chicago.

We also know that nearly a year ago, Jennifer went through one of the most horrific tragedies imaginable.  On October 24, 2008, her mother and brother were found slain in the home they shared (below) with Jennifer's sister.  Three days later, Jennifer's 7-year-old nephew was found slain in an SUV.  Her sister's former boyfriend is charged with the triple murders and awaiting trial.

At the time, we believe Jennifer lived separately in a luxury condo in downtown Chicago.  But soon thereafter, for safety's sake, Donald Trump graciously put her up in his Trump Tower (below), also in downtown Chicago.

Then we heard Jennifer was moving to L.A. and we temporarily lost track of her.

By the time we caught up with her again, Jennifer was engaged to David Otunga, a Harvard Law School graduate best known as "Punk" from VH1's I Love New York reality series.  Not surprisingly, we pretty easily tracked Otunga from Cambridge to New York and Chicago.

Next thing we know, Jennifer's pregnant.  And then she was spotted out and about in TAMPA of all places!  And we heard that she was shopping for a bed! 

Turns out that Otunga just got a new gig as a professional wrestler for the Florida Championship Wrestling division of the WWE.  His division is based in Tampa.  You can go ahead and laugh now.

The last piece of info we have is that Jennifer had her baby (a boy named after his dad) in an L.A. hospital.  Congrats to her!

So we're guessing she's bi-coastal--with homes in both L.A. and Tampa. 

We also think she's leasing because we can't find any property records in either of those areas.  Smart girl.  The housing economy has yet to fully recover.

VH1 Divas Edition, Part 5 - Adele Chooses Notting Hill for Home

This year's VH1 Divas Live show included two british singing sensations, Leona Lewis and Adele.  While we thought Leona's voice was okay, we must admit we found Adele's to be quite soulful and beautiful.  So we at least understand why she was included on the diva list.

At 21 years old, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is yet another youngster.  Until last year, she lived with her mum. But, unlike the slightly younger Jordin Sparks and much younger Miley Cyrus, Adele was ready to fly the coop. 

In July 2008, Adele bought herself a one-bedroom flat in London's posh Notting Hill.   She finally moved into it in November 2008. 

Adele describes her new home as looking like "it's straight out of the film [Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant], in a row of white houses."

We haven't seen any photos of her apartment yet, so we'll have to placate you with this exterior shot (above) of a row of white houses on a Notting Hill street.

Cheers to Adele!

Monday, September 21, 2009

VH1 Divas Edition, Part 4 - Jordin Sparks' House

Nope. Beyonce hasn't been eating too many biscuits. If you saw the VH1 Divas 2009 show last week, then you know that it was Jordin Sparks who strutted on stage looking like an oversized version of your girl Bey. With all the sexy gyrations a normally modest, slightly heavy, wholesome teenager can muster up.

It just so happens that Jordin also belted out the national anthem at last night Dallas Cowboys-NY Giants game.

The Cowboys may have lost, but we actually thought it was Jordin who was off her game when it came to singing the anthem.

She can't blame it on the acoustics either. That new Cowboys Stadium cost a whopping $1.2 BILLION dollars--so you know they've got a kick-ass sound system!

Our discerning ears tell us that this sugary sweet 19-year-old singer still hasn't come into her own yet. It might take moving out of her parents' home.
Yes, the daughter of former NFL player Phillipi Sparks reportedly still lives in the same home (above) in Glendale, Arizona, purchased by her folks back in 2003 for around $900K. Here's a larger (albeit hazy) view:

At more than 4,000 sq. ft., there's plenty of room for Jordin along with her mom, dad, and brother.

What there isn't room for is growth and maturity--the kind that gives a singer that soulfulness of experience in her voice. This used to be what was required for diva status. Maybe VH1 sees or hears something we don't.

All we can say is: Call us when you get your own crib, kid.

VH1 Divas Edition, Part 3 - Kelly Clarkson's Home

How can we not love Kelly Clarkson? She was our very first American Idol, beating out Justin "I can't sing, but I'm cute" Guarini for the title. She also tore it up in her duet with Melissa Ethridge at last week's VH1 awards.

Last year, Kelly reportedly bought this 5,470 sq. ft. home in Nashville for nearly $1.5 million: At first blush, the house seems pretty unremarkable--just like Kelly's forest green dress at the VH1 show. But upon closer inspection, we find it to be quite tasteful, understated, and elegant--just like her dress!

This is a classic stone cottage that's large enough to feel comfortable. Yet it's cozy enough to feel like you have a REAL home. What's not to like?

Okay, so we don't like the kitchen:
And, yes, the house has a couple of generic rooms like these:

But, please remember, these photos are from the realtor's listing and she's not responsible for the bland traditional decor of the previous owners. Perhaps she's punched it up a bit since she bought it.

Whenever she's bored with the inside, all she has to do is step out to this fabulous screened-in porch with a stone fireplace and vaulted ceiling:

We love it!
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