Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your Mama Hears...

...From a trusted canary deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate world—let's call her Heidi Hearsay—that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith recently floated their epic compound in the Santa Monica Mountains near Calabasas (CA) as a whisper listing with a very loud $42 million asking price.*

The Tinseltown power players, who are forever insisting they are not splitting up or having some sort of unconventional open relationship, spent four years and heaven only knows how many millions to custom construct the 150-plus acre Calabasas area complex that includes an approximately 25,000 square foot adobe-style mega-mansion that bends around a plaza-sized central motor court before it branches off to accommodate garage bays for at least eight cars with additional living space above.

Some of the children may recall that the Smith's humongous, hand-crafted domicile was featured on the cover and in the glossy page of the September 2011 issue of Architectural Digest. The multi-winged house was described in A.D. by the home's Santa Fe-based architect, Stephen Samuelson, as "various interpretations of adobe in Persian, Moroccan, Spanish, as well as Southwest American cultures."

The article elaborates on the "deeply personal" and sensually curvaceous interior spaces that include decorative this and thats such as hand-troweled plaster walls, miles of exposed ceiling timbers reclaimed from old barns and homesteads, hammered wrought iron accents and stair banisters, floors and ceiling with spiral and infinity knot patterns pressed into the stucco or fashioned from river stones, brilliantly colored stained glass windows, and antique hand-carved wood doors from around the globe.

The Smiths first worked with esteemed nice-gay decorator Waldo Fernandez, according to the  A.D. article, but at some point switched to L.A.-based lady decorator Judith Lance who filled every nook and cranny with hand-crafted bits and bobs from around the globe as well as scads of bespoke pieces, including a bed canopy in the master bedroom painstakingly made entirely of tiny ball chains. It's a bit much for Your Mama's less show-stoppy personal taste in day-core and it's certainly something our house gal, Svetlana, would not even dream of dusting without a guarantee of a sizable bonus but it's certainly an impressive construction and conversation piece.

The double-height main entry spills easily into a double height living room with massive carve stone fireplace, a dozen or more towering jute wrapped columns, and a retractable skylight. That's right, a retractable skylight. There are numerous other secret nooks and cozy crannies throughout the house that provide more intimate spaces for private chats and solitary moments.

The dining room has rich vermilion walls and another kiva-ish fireplace plus an adjoining circular lounge with cushioned built-in seating that's perfect for taking in a palette cleansing aperitif or satiating digestif. The kitchen has cabinets crafted from 19th century oak panels, double fridge/freezers, a built-in pizza oven, and an adjoining breakfast room where an over-sized picture window frames a long view across a vast lawn toward a lakeside gazebo.

There's a meditation lounge with circular skylight, a billiards room, a luxuriously appointed screening room, and a state-of-the-art recording studio where a then 9 or 10 year old Willow Smith recorded her brilliantly catchy if terrifically annoying Platinum certified single Whip My Hair.

The master suite has high ceilings with exposed timbers, a raised hearth fireplace, and towering arched glass doors that link to a private terrace with built-in lounge seating. There's also a custom-fitted closet/dressing room that Your Mama would bet our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, is bigger than all the bedrooms in our house put together plus a sculptural bathroom with an over-sized flesh-colored soaking tub and a shower cave lined with glimmering pebbles.

Outdoor recreations and amusements include a man-made lake with a small island accessible via a narrow footbridge, a multi-pronged lagoon-like swimming pool complex with poolside cabana/changing room, a sunken trampoline, a sand volleyball court, and side-by-side basketball and tennis courts. The landscaped areas that surround the house give way to scrubby, undeveloped hillsides, rugged escarpments, and a distant view of Saddle Peak.

We're not sure if Mister and Missus Smith are looking to significantly lighten their real estate load or if they're simply looking to cash in the currently electrified upper end real estate market but it was recently revealed that the Smiths surreptitiously sold their 7-acre Hawaiian hideaway on the island of Kauai in an off-market deal for around $20 million to Russian real estate baller Dmitry Rybolovlev. Mister Rybolovlev is the very same fella, in case any of y'all somehow don't know, who paid brash real estate mogul Donald Trump a brain freezing $95 million for Maison de L'Amitie—a 33,000 square foot beast of a house on 6.26 acre ocean front acres in Palm Beach that he would like to raze and subdivide. He's also the same guy who shelled out $88 million dollars for financier Sandy Weill's terraced penthouse at 15 Central Park West in New York City and last year dropped another $150+ million for the Greek island of Skorpios and the neighboring island of Sparti.**

Your Mama's research shows Mister and Missus Smith's still impressive property portfolio that includes several properties in Pennsylvania—he was raised up in and around Philly—including a 3.34 acre estate with an 8,000+ square foot mansion in Bryn Mawr, PA. In the Los Angeles area the couple own a 4,100+ square foot mock-Med mini-macmansion in Woodland Hills that they snatched up in August 2010 for $910,000 and way back in 2003 the pampered pair quietly shelled out $3.4 million for a 4.66 acre equine-friendly estate in the guard-gated, star-stocked and equestrian-friendly community of Hidden Hills. It's here, Your Mama thinks but can't confirm, that the Smith family lived while their Calabasas compound was under construction.

*Use yer noggins, nuggets. Although our informant Heidi Hearsay is a hardcore mover and shaker in the real estate game and has provided us with eerily accurate top secret intel many times in the past, Your Mama can't currently vouch for the accuracy of this particular chewy morsel. So, for now, of course, this ain't nuthin' but mouth watering celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, at least until it pops up in of the more respectable property gossip columns.

**At least one of the three purchases listed here were acquired through trusts associated with Mister Rybolovlev's 20-something year old daughter, Ekaterina, but most property gossips assume Poppa Rybolovlev is the the real owner or at least the money behind the brutally pricey purchases.

aerial photo (Calabasas): Bing
photo (Hawaii): Houses.com