09 March 2014

FOR SALE: A LIFESTYLE

I remember reading Santa Barbara magazine years and years ago – it was a story about a blonde Dutch model who had married well and had 3 tiny children who were all already riding horses (ponies for the smallest ones.)  The blonde was gorgeous and skinny and living in one of those beautiful Montecito estates filled with antiques she had found in Europe while on vacation, of course.  I remember reading that particular story and thinking – wow.  What a life!  A few years later, when the book “Santa Barbara Living” by Diane Dorrans Saeks was published – there was that same story again with the beautiful blonde and her three even prettier children.  No pictures of the husband though.

Cut to years later while watching my guilty pleasure Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and a new housewife was joining the cast.  She seemed vaguely familiar to me, but she was married to musician David Foster and I just couldn’t imaginae why I would know who she was.  I couldn’t figure it out until one show of The Housewives which was filmed in some humongous Beverly Hills megamansion which was owned by a Palestinian that it all come together.  Turns out it was the blonde’s now ex husband.  THE blonde, the Dutch model with the three kids who had once lived in Montecito and who was now on Bravo’s Housewives of Beverly Hills.



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Yolanda Hadid Foster

Her name back then was Yolanda Hadid and she was married to the architect/businessman Mohamed Hadid - the man behind many fine hotels and resorts like the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel and the St. Regis Resort in Aspen.  After Yolanda was photographed for the magazine and book all those years ago – she and Mohamed were divorced.  Their huge settlement was even posted online.  After their divorce,  Yolanda later married the multiple award winning musician David Foster and they built a beautiful estate in Malibu. 



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All those years ago – Yolanda – international Eileen Ford model marries architect/businessman Mohamed Hadid. Three children and eight years later – it was all over.  Mohamed later introduced his ex to her new husband David Foster – after David noticed her pictures at Mohamed’s house.

A few years ago, Yolanda and her new husband David spent two years building their dream home in Malibu – on a tall bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.   All is never perfect though.  Yolanda has Lyme Disease - apparently a bad case of it – and with her eldest daughter now in college and the 2nd daughter leaving next year – her dream house is now for sale.  Yolanda said the 11,000+ sq. ft. house is too big for her to take care now that she is sick.

In case you are wondering – of ALL the Housewives on Bravo – from New York to Miami to Atlanta to Orange County – Yolanda is probably the nicest, the sweetest, and despite her insane wealth – the most normal.

First, let’s look at her former dream life in Montecito that was captured in Santa Barbara Living:


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Yolanda’s dream house in Montecito was located on a large horse farm with a grand stable.  The property was owned by the Monty Python star – John Cleese whose wife at the time and daughter – were both avid horse riders, as was Yolanda and her children.  The property had a series of riding paths that connected with neighbors.  From the property – you could ride your horses through the mountains or down to the nearby beach.  Yolanda’s house sat at the entrance to the horse farm, circled in red.


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At here she is at the time with her children - Gigi, Bella, and Anwar.



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The front courtyard.




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From the Santa Barbara Living book – her Tuscan styled house has a stucco façade, tiled roof and iron Juliet balconies.  Yolanda received this house, among others, in the divorce, and she sold it a few years ago when she moved to Malibu.




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The carved front door – gives a glimpse into the living room, which looks out to the gardens. 




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The living room – with its beautiful beamed ceiling and wood mantel.  The fireplace is really pretty.  Today – the mantel would be stone, but back then – Yolanda used the stone overmantel with the wood mantel.




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At the front foyer, an antique suitcase is used as a chair.  The walls are lined in family photographs – these same photographs are in Yolanda’s current Malibu house.




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The front entry leads off the grand hall with a barrel ceiling lined with lanterns from Europe.  The floors are marble. 




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A close up of the hall.  Today, these four chairs are in Yolanda’s Malibu house, as are the two chests.   Up the stairs is the master bedroom.




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The master bedroom suite lies at the end of the long barreled ceiling hall.  To the right is the study.




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The kitchen.  Notice the blue and white farm sink and vegetable sink.   Today – this would probably be a white kitchen – not so dark as it was back in 2000, almost 15 years ago.  The paneled family room is next to the kitchen.  It’s interesting to stop at this picture and realize how different things are today in interior design – and how quickly things change.  I’m sure this kitchen was gorgeous in 2000, but today – it seems very dated.   I would guess that whomever bought the house quickly remodeled it.  This kitchen was designed at the height of the Tuscany craze which in turn led to every store from Target to HomeGoods filling their stores with Tuscan inspired décor goods.  Today, design has shifted yet again, from Tuscany to the Restoration Hardware’s Belgium inspiration to the younger set’s love of the 60s bright colors with patterns everywhere.  What will fill the stores – and our homes – in the next ten years?

One last thing – in Yolanda’s ex husband Mohamed’s megamansion – his kitchen is exactly like this one – almost a carbon copy, which makes me think that Mohamed might be the one who likes the dark paneling Tuscany look?  (His house, with its indoor Arabian swimming pool and Scheherazade dining room,  is the subject of another story!!!)




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Yolanda and her youngest in the French paneled family room.  Again – today, I think the walls would be stained light, not dark.  The pair of caramel colored leather chairs are in her Malibu house today – where they look great.





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The main rooms all overlook this garden. At the end of the yard, overlooking the stables, is a tall outdoor fireplace – which you can see on the right.  On the other side of the house – the rooms face a courtyard.



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Close up of one of the terraces.  This set of furniture is also at the Malibu house now.  It’s nice to see that despite her great wealth – she reused all her furniture.




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And the pool – as featured in the real estate brochure.




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And the pool as it was pictured in the book Santa Barbara Living – it looks more romantic here of course.




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All are avid horse lovers – but, not sure if Mohamed is.



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nother photograph from the book, Santa Barbara Living , showing the good life on the horse farm in Montecito.  Today – Gigi is now all grown up and is a model who attends NYU in New York.   After the divorce, Yolanda put the house on the market for close to $5 million.  It sold several years later in 2011 for a little over $3 million.



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Yolanda Foster – today.

After the divorce, Yolanda continued to be very close with her former husband Mohamed – she even decorated his homes, several of which are some of the largest houses in Beverly Hills.    Through Mohamed she met her future husband, musician David Foster, winner of 16 Grammys.  Together they built a house in Malibu and then married two years ago.
The Malibu house was completely designed by Yolanda – from the ground up.   It’s gardens are fabulous.  Every time they show glimpses on the house on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I pause the TV to ooh and ahh at her house.  There are two things I LOVE about the house – the lemon orchard and the refrigerator.  If you watch the show, you know exactly what I mean.
Lately there have been rumors that the house was for sale and just a few weeks ago – the news went public.  I was thrilled that the real estate pictures were now online so that I can finally really see the house.

Here is an aerial shot from Google maps – so that you can understand the layout of the property.
Yolanda is asking $27,500,000 for the 6 bedrooms/9 baths/ 11,622 sq. ft.  house.   It is 3 stories with 12’ ceilings and recycled Bavarian walnut floors that are gorgeous.  There is also an exercise room, massage room, and sauna, along with a bar, a media room, library, guest rooms, and a recording studio.


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The property is located on a high bluff across from the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.  The beachfront houses are below it on the sand.  The house is on the right where the orange tiled roof is – and the orchard is on the left with the series of paths that wind throughout it.




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A closer view of the house:  you can see the tile roof, the pool, and on the hill is the large lemon/avocado orchard with the stone steps and gravel paths that weave throughout it.  The steps lead to the highest point of the hill where in the left upper corner you can see a large white umbrella.  Yolanda has set up a seating area under the umbrella.


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Looking up from the ocean to the estate high on the hill.  The orchard is to the left.




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A closer view of the house from the beach.  The master bedroom suite is upstairs with the large terrace that overlooks the ocean view.




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The front of the house. 




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And the back, looking down from the orchard towards the pool.   Below the house is the highway and the row of houses on the beach. 





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The swimming pool is surrounded by white pavers set in grass.  The furniture is covered in blue and white fabric, with suzani and striped patterned pillows.





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My favorite part of the house is the orchard, seen here to the right of the house. 




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Here is Yolanda and Kyle, another Beverly Hills housewife walking down the stone steps of the orchard.  Much of Yolanda’s scenes in the reality show are shot in her orchard – where she picks her lemons and flowers.




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The stone steps leading up to the highest part of the orchard where the white umbrella is.  It is quite a hike up these stairs – the guests are always complaining and huffing and puffing after they walk up them. 




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Another view of the orchard.   The lone neighbor’s house can be seen here.






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A view from the top looking down.




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Yolanda had a painting party at the top of the orchard.  Her house can be seen on the left.





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Yellow roses.



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Yo cutting her lemons.  Why lemon trees????    When she was designing her orchard/garden, she had just completed her first  Master Cleanse – drinking only lemon juice for two weeks.  Yo was so impressed with the results that she decided to plant mostly lemon trees so she would have plenty of lemons to do her cleanses.  This is California, after all!!!     In the show, she admitted she overdid it and there are really too many lemon trees, but I love the look of it – I’m obsessed with her lemon orchard. 




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Besides lemon trees, roses, lavender, bougainvillea,  and various other flowers, there are also many avocado trees. 




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Gravel paths wind throughout the orchard – leading from side to side.  The stone steps lead from the bottom of the hill to the top. 




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Yolanda calls herself the Dutch Martha Stewart.  Here she collects rose petals for her dinner table decorations.






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The house.  At the very right is the living room and dining room, which overlook the lawn.   The glass doors open all the way – disappearing into the sides of the house making it truly indoor/outdoor living.




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The same view from further away.  Yolanda planted cypress trees around the house and palm trees ring the yard.





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The lawn that the living room/dining room overlooks.





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There is also a fire pit on the lawn for the chilly Malibu nights on the left lawn.





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Past the lawn is the swimming pool.  The family room and kitchen overlook the swimming pool area of the estate.





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The view from the family room – of the infinity pool. The prettiest view!




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The terrace that surrounds the pool – next to the orchard.







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The open air porch with its own fireplace – right off the family room.






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The same view of the terrace at night.





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The night view of the house and the family room – upstairs is the master bedroom and its terrace.





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At the very left on the first floor is the guest room.  Next to that is the library – then the family room and kitchen.




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Yolanda brought this table with her from her Montecito house.






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Another seating area brought from Montecito.  I love the gravel that Yolanda used.




Moving to the Inside:

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The long driveway goes from the side of the orchard up to the house.





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There is the standard rotunda.  I have a funny feeling that Yolanda’s next house is going to be more contemporary, and less Tuscany.  Actually there are two rotundas – here in the front, and another in the back side.




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Yolanda welcomes us to her home!  The eye goes directly through the house to the view of the Pacific Ocean.




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At the foyer, there are armchairs and a console, which leads to this room – where there is a center table.  The stairs are to the left.




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The hall with the center table leads to the staircase.





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Brandi – another Beverly Hills housewives in the stairhall.  Three stories, the stairs resemble a classic Hamptons house with the white walls and dark treads.  Notice the wide planked walnut floors.  They are gorgeous.  The chests came from her former house in Santa Barbara.  I love the white walls with the dark, dark floors.  It’s so classic.  Will this look go out style and look dated?  I don’t honestly know.   It’s so classic and old photographs with similar décor never look quite as dated as the more trendy interiors do. 




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Inside – the living room/dining room – that overlooks the lawn area of the property.  The furnishings are not very dressy because this is a “beach house” of course.  But – in one episode – Yolanda’s husband was talking and he said “I absolutely, hate, hate, hate, hate froufrou.”   This made me feel like Yolanda took his tastes into account when decorating.  Everything has a bit of an overscaled, masculine feel to it.    This photo was taken from the TV show.  Over the mantel is just one painting.  But below – in the newer real estate photographs – there is a different series of framed prints flanking the mantel.


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And the living area of the room – with the new framed pieces on the walls.  It looks there are framed sheets of music which would make sense.  A black piano separates the living area from the dining area.  Notice the wall of windows which completely open the room to the outside.  What a view!!!  




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Yolanda – decorated for Christmas



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The house – with the table decorated for a party.  The hall in the middle where the front door/entry hall is.


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Yellow and pink roses – and lemons for this dinner party.






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At a dinner party for the reality show – David invited musician friends and singers to provide the entertainment.  He said that he kept all his 16 Grammys in storage, but Yolanda wanted them on display.  She thought they made an interesting décor touch – but also were very meaningful.  She is a very European wife, very submissive to him, always putting his wishes first.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I need to take a lesson from her!!



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The living room/dining room overlooks the side yard and ocean.




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The kitchen is beautiful – with white marble and cabinets – and the wide planked walnut floors.




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While there is a regular refrigerator in the kitchen – Yolanda also has a custom refrigerator she designed – to the right of this picture.
Her refrigerator is so famous it even has it’s own twitter account: 
@YolandasFridge



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The infamous refrigerator.   It is made out of white marble on all sides and glass shelves and doors with chrome hardware.  It’s stunning and gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!




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Another view with different groceries.




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It’s not always neat – leftovers in the bottom.




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To style it – Yo has to stand on a chair.




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Yo explains that refrigerators are never big enough when you need them to be – like cakes.  This gingerbread house shows exactly what she means!







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Yolanda and her butler/caterer discuss party plans with the refrigerator in the background.




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Making her lemon drink for the Lemon Cleanse.  To the right are tiny canvases that friends and family paint.  She did the same thing for daughter Gigi’s own NYC apartment.





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Having fun in the refrigerator.  OK – I want one – so badly!!!  It’s beyond fabulous and so practical!  She probably uses her regular refrigerator most of the time.    Still – since she is selling her house, will she build a new refrigerator like this at her next house?








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Next to the kitchen is the breakfast room that sits in the back rotunda.  The table and chairs are the ones that were in the Santa Barbara house.




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The family room – with a beautiful repro Oushak rug.  There are several pretty rugs like this throughout the house.  She mixed in blue velvet pillows that pick up the blue in the rug and the utside ocean.  With this she mixed caramel colored leather.  These colors – khaki, light blue and caramel are found throughout the house.  There are no painted woods – most woods are stained dark.    These leather chairs and the coffee table also came from the Santa Barbara house. 




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Another view – on the left is a console and chairs and a wall of photographs. 




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Along the right wall are shelves and the fireplace.  This room has a great view – the infinity pool ines directly with this room.




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The outside terrace with the fireplace leads right off the family room onto the pool area.  Gorgeous.





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Next to the family room is the library.  In another part of the house, David has a recording studio which is where he really works.  The desk came from the study in the Montecito house.





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And past the library is the guest suite.  It opens directly to the pool.  Must be nice to be a guest here!!!!





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The three story staircase.   At the bottom level is a large globe.





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The stairs are classically beautiful.  Notice how there is a piece of wood on the bottom – the balusters don’t attach directly into the floor (like mine do! ugh)  I like this so much better.  A small detail – but one that is really classic, and is worth the extra effort to put into your staircase if you are designing one.






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The master suite is upstairs – with its own large terrace.  Done in caramel leathers and light blues – it goes with the décor scheme that Yolanda used throughout.  Notice the nude photograph of her over the mantel.







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Her feminine bathroom.





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Of course there is a huge closet.  Through the window on the back you can see the side of the hill.




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David’s bathroom and closet is more masculine.  I love the doors in closets.  A dream!




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Inside the rotunda is a library.  These cane chairs also came from the Santa Barbara house.  I like how she used grasscloth on the walls throughout – perfect for a beach house.






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The bar/pool room with all of David’s gold records.





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And, there’s a media room.   I supposed when you have a large basement – there is plenty room for all these excess rooms.  I wouldn’t know – unfortunately, we don’t have basements in Houston. 






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And – there is an exercise room.





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There is a sauna and a massage room in the rotunda.  Love this!!!  Such a pretty massage room.





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And I LOVE this – but not sure what it is?  A zen whirlpool room?



The reality TV world is abuzz with the news that Yolanda and David are selling their dream home.  Rumors were flying that they were divorcing, which they vehemently denied.  They spent two years building the beach house and had just moved in which accounts for all the rumors.  I don’t understand why people move like this?  Why?  If they didn’t want a huge house – why build one in the first place?  They knew what it was like to live in a big house. And they knew their children were going to college in the next year or two.    Makes NO sense.  They are saying that now that Yolanda has Lymes disease, she doesn’t want the upkeep – but it’s not like she actually cleans the house and mows the lawn.  I just don’t understand.  It’s such a wonderful house – with a fabulous view.  Where could it be better to recuperate?  I’m not sure where exactly?
David has five grown daughters.  Yolanda’s two girls will both be in college next year and Anwar is still young. What’s the hurry to downsize?
Oh well.  I’ve been working on this story for four days now and it feels like I know every inch of it.  I feel like I own it myself!  I wish! But do I?  Not really.   I would never want  a house this big.  I don’t want endless workout rooms and offices and bars and game rooms.   So,  if I could chop off around 6,000 sq ft from it’s 11,000+ = I would be happy!  Also, I would need to chop off a few million from the $28,000,000 price tag.  Like $27,900,000 million.  Ha!  Oy!



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Hard to imagine wanting to give this all up.




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Finally, Yolanda’s two daughter’s Gigi and Bella are now grown and both model.  The elder one Gigi is a NYU student and her modeling career has really taken off.




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Yolanda and Gigi in NYC.  I love the way Yolanda dresses.  She never wears any pattern only solids.   It’s usually all white or white with a bright clear color like bright blue, coral, pink or yellow. 




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Like most college students in NYC – Gigi has her own apartment which Yolanda decorated.  It’s very contemporary – all in white and chrome.




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And another view – I love the lamps.    The color seems a little off here.




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Gigi’s shower curtain – from Target.  My Elisabeth has this same shower curtain.  Elisabeth’s trick is to buy two shower curtains and put one on each side tied back with hooks – it looks like curtains that way. 




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One final thing, when Gigi graduated high school, they had a party for her at Mohamed’s Arabian Nights dining room, where he cooked her favorite Arabic foods.  Gigi got up and made the sweetest speech – about how much love she had received growing up – and how lucky she was to have her mother and father and stepfather, all of whom she loved very much.  “Having one wonderful father is great, but having two is amazing.”  She said that although she grew up in beautiful homes and had a great life, both her parents came from humble beginnings and had to work hard to give her this life - but the most important thing they instilled in her was a very strong work ethic. Gigi seems like an amazing young woman and there wasn’t a dry eye at her party, or at my house either, after her speech!




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I hope you have enjoyed this slice of life from the other side!



65 comments:

  1. I am a huge fan of Yolanda's as well- Loved seeing her beautiful home in such detail- Barbara P from MA

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  2. Joni, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The view from the family room of her Malibu home overlooking that stunning infinity pool and the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking. I also loved her refrigerator and that closet! She seems like a nice person who loves her kids. I hope she recovers from the effects of Lymes Disease. My sister in law got that from her garden in Connecticut. It is fierce and zaps your strength. I can see why the upkeep on that house would be a challenge under those circumstances.

    The houses are quite something, and that is one good looking family.

    I wonder if her ex husband designed the Malibu house for her if she still decorates for him? And it seems so odd that he would willingly introduce his friend to his ex wife, but I guess it was good for the children since the daughter obviously loves her step father from what she said about him at her graduation party.

    Very entertaining post. Thanks, Joni!

    xo

    Sheila

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  3. Wow! I watch the show and of course noticed as other cast members commented on that refrigerator! ha So glad to see some up close pics. In one of your posted pics Joni, the one of the dining room table loaded with gorgeous candles, there is a mirror in the background. Look at what it is reflecting. Is that the moon over the ocean or maybe just some light. No matter, it's all so gorgeous. Yolanda did an incredible job on this house. Love the lemons!! And you are right, she does take care of her man :-) Beth

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  4. I enjoyed this so much. Beverly Hills Housewives is one of my favorite reality shows. Yolanda is so beautiful and what a gorgeous body ! I get exhausted watching her trainer work with her. :( But her home is fabulous and it was nice seeing it in pictures like you displayed. By any chance, was she also on front cover of another magazine, maybe Veranda-not sure where she was in her foyer and had several dogs she had adopted standing around her !!?? I remember seeing the magazine article you have here and loved the way she was sitting in the chair with her leg hanging over the chair.
    Her wedding picture to Mohammed was so beautiful and what a handsome man he was . Thanks again for a very fun post !!!!! Now ,can you please do one on Lisa Vanderpump too ?!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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  5. I'm also a big fan of Yolanda's as well. I have her picture which seeing the magazine article you have here and loved the way she was sitting in the chair with her leg hanging over the chair. I think this couple is looking very beautiful. I also loved her refrigerator and that closet! She seems like a nice person who loves her kids.

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  6. Joni,

    I just love your postings.

    Ya know, the way you write in an article like this, is just how I think if I would happen to look at the mags you are talking about.

    Right now I am living in a new place, so this feels like sharing with an old friend.

    Thank you

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  7. I too enjoyed this post too. Love the fridge. My only question is: She seems like such a class act. Why is she on reality TV? I'm certainly not judging any of you who watch the show. I have no doubt it's highly entertaining. Is she bored? Perhaps that's why they're selling the house. Time for a new project.

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  8. Such a fabulous home in a fabulous setting. I agree with you, I don't know why they would want to give it up...unless??? Thanks for all the closeups we RHBH fans only glimpse. Now I can pour over them.

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  9. I don't watch the show but sure enjoyed seeing the lovely home!

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  10. Wow Joni....I REALLY did enjoy this post. No clue about the show (not my thang)....but what a place!

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  11. Wow, serious money! I only envy the house so close to the water, and well maybe the kitchen. LOL I don't watch the show... too messed up. Interesting post though.

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  12. The fantasy land. Love all the cognac colored leather...absolutely intoxicating! You can really tell a story. franki

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  13. Replies
    1. Can't relate at all to someone who hates this place. You could put your own furniture in, after all.
      Sheila

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    2. Despise it. Horrible!

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    3. Given the size she had to work with, and the views, it's strangely dowdy.

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  14. I reallly enjoyed this post! Thank you for all the work you put into it!! What a beautiful home!

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  15. She's a good submissive European wife? Ever been to Europe? Ever been to Holland? Y'all can keep chatting in Texas - please stay there.
    Btw, the gardens and property are gorgeous, the house is hideous.
    And, Lyme disease is horrid, you're not one to judge what she is or isn't able to take on,

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    Replies
    1. This is just to enjoy and not judge- I don't feel Joni is judging at all. Sometimes in today's world, EVERYBODY needs to watch a reality show once and awhile. It can be quite uplifting !!!!!

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    2. So agree Anon 10:34! This women is tasteless beyond comprehension and completely over botoxed. She is about as submissive as a pit bull and I am sure her husband tolerates her while enjoying a side of Mexican chippee. Even her voice is grating. If this hideous group is not living credit card to credit card, I sure as hell hope they give some of their money to those in need. I feel ill after looking at these photos - so over and self indulgent. Gross.

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    3. Kathy - Joni did say she is submissive European wife, generalization which was uncalled for. Surely she has met other European women who are not like that. Anon 5:35pm, you just sound massively jealous. Anon 10:34 I agree, even with help she still has to manage it and schedule it etc, that itself can be totally overwhelming when sick.

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    4. Re 5:35 Anon;
      Really uncalled for.
      Oh, and by the way, in spite of some of the stuff going on these days, the last time I checked this is still the U.S.A. and people are still allowed (for the time being) to spend their money that they have earned on themselves without apologizing to anyone.
      Sheila

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    5. Dearest Sheila- You are so right and I am sure you do just that. You Americans are so over indulged and so entitled, just as you so clearly stated.

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    6. Anon 6:53a.m.,
      Yes, the money I have left over after paying my taxes is MINE, all mine. Eat your heart out. I can choose to do with it as I wish. I don't feel indulged or entitled except entitled to MY money, that I have worked very hard for. I will give to charities of MY choice, save some, and spend whatever I feel is appropriate on whatever I choose.
      There is a growing number of people here that appear to feel entitled; I won't open that can of worms right now.
      But for me personally I feel great- accomplished and fulfilled as I worked hard and honestly all my life. It's called "the American dream". Maybe you should try it.
      Sheila

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  16. I love the first kitchen much more than the new white one. I like the heaviness, the earthiness, the feel of longevity. Those see through refrigerators are ridiculous. Looks like the refrigerated case of a convenience store or a hotel sundry. Of course, those houses are gorgeous. No one can deny that. But the people on the housewives shows are hideous on the inside and usually on the outside as well. Such tackiness takes away from the beautiful surroundings.

    A word about Lyme disease: I have a friend that has had it for two years now, and it seems to be progressing into Alzheimer's. He is only 62 years old. Medical research has linked the type of bacteria in Lyme disease to the type of bacteria that has been found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. It can be quite debilitating.

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  17. Gosh, none of this appeals to me. I guess I'm an east coast grrl to the bone. As a side note, if the price of that refrigerator and lemon orchard is that I have to wear tight clothes even after my three kids go to college, forget it. SO not worth it.

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    1. When you have a figure like Yolanda's why would you hide inside baggy clothes? She dresses fashionably, she was, and still is, a model after all. She looks great.
      Sheila

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    2. Heh, I think you missed my point. ;-)

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    3. I thought your point was that you have reached a certain stage in life where you like comfortable clothing and wouldn't forgo that comfort you enjoy for anyone.. Some people get to that point and that is great for them. I personally am WAY older than Yolanda and I still like to wear well-fitting clothing. I must be vain. I'm still preening my feathers at this old age.

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  18. Surprisingly tasteful -- not what I expected from a "Housewife". But do you really think "most" NYC college students have their own apartments in NYC? Do you know how much they get for rent in NYC is? My neice is living in a dorm and will probably be there for the duration . . . .

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  19. Don't watch the show but enjoyed the post... especially the decor changes from 15 years ago to nowadays... glad the kids were raised with strong work ethic and appreciation of what they have... that's rare these days on either coast!

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  20. Love Yolanda, love the house, love the gardens, love the orchard but I hate the fridge. I thought it was cool at first but it dawned on me it looks like a big shower stall. And it makes no sense when you to have to get up on a chair just to have an orange.

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    Replies
    1. As long as it's full of fruit, vegetables, and flowers and you are not standing naked in it, it won't look like a shower!
      Sheila

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    2. Sorry, Sheila. It looks like a shower.

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  21. What an incredible, incredible setting!!! I can imagine waking up to those ocean views. Spectacular!! xoxo

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  22. Enjoyed the post, loved the house but was totally thrown by she is "submissive European wife". I have never heard that reference before and cannot figure out where that came from. I am European living in the States and though I enjoy cooking, decorating and love my husband, I don't consider myself meek or docile. I don't think she is either, she just really REALLY prioritizes her relationship and after a divorce, I can understand why. He seems to respond in kind, so perhaps something to learn here.

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  23. Enjoyed this post so very much! I haven't read all the comments other than the one above mine from unknown about the "submissive European wife" and like her, never heard of that before either. I think she's spot on with her take also. Back to Yolanda's houses. They're both so beautiful and befitting for where they're located but like you, I don't understand the how or whys of wanting to move from the new one so quickly. Maybe us ummm..."ordinary" folks get too attached to our homes. I know I could live in either of these in a heartbeat and be content until they had to wheel me out. I loved the frig too. Such style and function all rolled into one! I wonder what something like that costs?? Both houses are exquisite in design and decor imo. Thanks for your 4 days of work! I have never watched the show because I really dislike shows like that but sure do like noseying around beautiful homes!

    Karen

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  24. As always, I love reading your posts Joni! I have to say....RHOBH is a bit of a guilty pleasure because i like to see all of the houses and places they all go. And Yolanda is a favorite! That Refrigerator! But she MUST have another real refrigerator where all of the "ugly" food goes, right? Tell me I am right!

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  25. Joni! Your posts are incredible!!You could be a detective!! In fact; you ARE a detective!

    You blow my mind!!

    I think she looks incredibly sad. In her eyes. I saw her a few times when she lived up here; really right near me. I thought it then.

    SAD; just my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, struggling with a debilitating chronic illness will do that to you, but thanks for your great insight.

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    2. Wow, Anon. Way to be an @sshole.

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    3. Not "sad"; more like "peevish."

      I have no idea where Joni got the idea that this woman is "probably the nicest, the sweetest, and despite her insane wealth – the most normal." She comes off as brusque, judgmental, and harsh.

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  26. Wonderful post - I enjoyed every word and every photo ! I also enjoy RHOBH - one of my favorites ! I think Yolanda is very classy and down to earth normal. She obviously has oodles and oodles of money to spend and I don't think she should be ashamed of that. The home is beautiful and I can't imagine leaving it - they must have a good reason. Thanks once again for an enjoyable read !

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  27. Oh my gosh! I loved that story years ago. Wasn't there a Veranda that showed her walking a horse through her driveway? We all think we want these houses as we drool...so odd the people who actually own them leave them. I think I'd want to be buried in either of her homes yard...LOL. That is a WHOLE lot of stairs. One of my friend has Lymes disease. She can't handle all of those steps. It would be so sad to live in that house and not get floor to floor or enjoy her orchards. Thank you for posting...I'll try not to "covet my neighbors house or goods!" LOL xo e

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  28. Thank you for that amazing house tour, what it would be to live a life like that. I went to a house tour in NZ last friday, it was in Auckland and one of the houses was a very old Mediterranean style home, it was simply stunning, it reminded me from the outside a little of Yolanda's house. It belonged to a woman who is an interior designer, there is a link to her house on the NZ House and garden site but only a few images and taken at Christmas time but you might want to look as it was just amazing. I wanted to sit down and stay forever and it has completely made me re-think my study which I was going to re-decorate Hamptons style but now I want French style. Here is the link; If you flick through the images you will see the exterior of the house. It is much smaller than Yolanda's but to be honest I think nicer as it felt very homely. It was still very big though and you could probably have fitted several of my little cottage in it.

    http://nzhouseandgarden.co.nz/vision-accomplished-2/

    Lee

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  29. Joni, I truly enjoy your posts. The home is not as wonderful as others you have shown--large decor-wise. It doesn't hold a candle to the Montecito home. It is extravagant with views to die for-- yes. I suspect the stairs are difficult based on previous posts. Having lived in SoCal and visited Malibu many times, I also suspect the noise from the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) below and the unending surveillance from "helicopter papparazi" made Yolanda miss a more secluded home. That being said, you can't expect anything but when you choose to be on RHOPBH.

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    1. You didn't really live in SoCal. Nobody calls it "the" PCH. It's just PCH.

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    2. Didn't mean that to sound that harsh. Came out wrong but still nobody who is from there calls it "the".

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  30. Joni you are the best. ..... For all the time , research and taste you put into your blog- I love you! Thank you for years of happy reading!
    - Linda, ny

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  31. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the time you took collecting all the photos ... and of course, your detailed commentary. As someone else said, you have a way of describing these photos that make me feel as if I'm perusing a magazine with my best friend and chatting about them over a cup of coffee.

    I love Yolanda - she's my favorite housewife. I understood what you meant by submissive - even Yolanda admits it on the show! It's not meant to imply she is meek or weak or anything of that nature. She is a very strong woman who loves her husband and loves making him happy. I can imagine a house of this size would be difficult to manage (both physically and literally) with her health issues. I know their next home will be equally as beautiful. And I REALLY hope she's able to incorporate another glass fridge (in addition to the "regular foods" fridge). Mine would hold wine! ha ha

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  32. The garden and site of the house are spectacular. The glass fridge as art installation is great. If Yolanda had not been a model she could have been a food stylist. While the house is not my specific taste it is a beautiful family home and it may not meet their needs any longer so they sell it and move on. Thanks Jonie for another great read.

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  33. I wonder if the reason she is moving is she wants something closer to Beverly Hills. Isn't Malibu about an hour drive away? Now that there will only be 1 child at home it might feel isolating.

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  34. Hi Joni, I always love reading your blog entries and your affinity for french and gustavian design has really informed my own choices in my home -- Thank you!
    I thought I might mention a few things about chronic illness in regards to Yolanda's situation. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and know many people with Lyme disease, MS, Fibromyalgia and other little understood chronic illnesses. In addition to the physical pain and exhaustion, many of us get what is loosely termed as 'brain fog.' It means we have difficulty thinking clearly, problem solving and communicating our thoughts. Thinking becomes as difficult as any physical activity and is just as tiring. So, in thinking of my own experience in trying to instruct someone to help me with some activity, i.e. house cleaning, gardening, being driven around on errands, it is still completely exhausting -- just from communicating. After a while, people with chronic illness often re-prioritize their choices. I'm guessing that Yolanda would rather not be spending all her energy giving instructions to her employees and wants to save what energy she has for the people and pursuits in her life which are most important to her -- that's what I and many of my chronic illness friends have done. But it must be heartbreaking for her to give up that amazing view of the ocean and her infinity pool!
    Thanks so much for your beautiful blog,
    Sabrina

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    1. The wonderfully talented author Lauren Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit, Unbroken) has written absolutely horrific accounts about the devastating effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, from which she has suffered since she was 19 years old; if Lyme Disease is anything like that, Yolanda has a daily struggle indeed. It's trite but true - you can have all the money in the world, but if you don't have your health, you have nothing. Interestingly enough, despite her new wealth from the bestsellers, Lauren Hillenbrand and her husband still live in their relatively small home (around 1,500 sq ft, I think, maybe smaller) because she says she would be incapable of taking care of/navigating anything larger.

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  35. I have only watched the show a handful of times. Yolanda did stand out and I thought she may be a likable person, more down to earth. After reading this, I still think that. Although she has so much stuff - such a huge house (to big for me - I'd go nuts) it does not seem that it defines her. The views of the ocean are breathtaking and the lemons..I think I'm jealous of her having so many lemons! Yes, the view would be hard to give up. So many times we see celeb homes and they don't look lived in or enjoyed - she comes across as truly enjoying every aspect of her home - it just comes through. I understand downsizing - this is a lot of house & property to care for - I'm sure the downsizing will still mean a huge house by my standards. If I had the money to pay someone to do my grocery shopping (HATE IT!) and make me a lovely little breakfast (I usually skip it, I know - bad) -I'd be doing all right!

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  36. Joni, Thanks for sharing this gorgeous home! I do enjoy it when Bravo shows the interiors of the "Housewives" homes.
    xx,
    Sherry

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  37. Lovely post on Yolanda, and her home, Joni. I love how her personal style has always been so simple, casual and yet elegant. It is like she has a uniform, albeit a very chic one. It was fun to see in the older photo from Santa Barbara that her signature Hermes belt was part of her look even then. Her garden is so lovely - my greatest desire is to have rolling hills of lavender outside my home.

    I completely agree with the others who have shared experiences with Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, etc. That treatment for Lyme she was going through is brutal and is not always successful. Those of us who have these often appear normal, strong and healthy as symptoms can wax and wane, but you can't imagine the devastation to your life. It does get to the point where you feel like you have to jettison so much [relationships, possessions, responsibilities] just to keep your head above water. And everyone's battle is a little different.

    Let's all wish her family well and toast to the lucky folks who get the famous fridge and a lifetime of lemonade.

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  38. There is no denying that she had had the good fortune to live in some beautiful homes (even if not my personal taste, the heavy woods don't do it for me) but the views and outside areas are incredible BUT this is not a nice lady. Not at all, she has a very masculine energy and I say it as someone who watches the show faithfully. She is in fact been voted the most disliked housewife next to Brandi! Some of your comments about her being such a nice person, and her attitude to her husband, do you know her personally? If not then how can you make those statements?

    Lastly Gigi DOES NOT go to NYU. She attends The New School. I know this because my daughter knows her. Gigi is a very sweet girl but clearly not a reflection of her mother.

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  39. The furniture falls into two categories: Undistinguished and Charmless.

    She has a lousy eye.

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  40. Loved the Santa Barbara kitchen, and every bit of the Malibu house!
    Gorgeous interiors, amazing scenery, luscious garden, fabulous pool, a wonderful large family home.

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  42. Joni, the refrigerator is beautiful, but I can PROMISE you that it is the most inefficient appliance (for lack of a better word) on the planet. I have a friend who lives in a gorgeous home, they are about to redo the already beautiful kitchen, since that is what people seem to do when they buy a house that has someone else's fingerprints in the design...but there is an amazing refrigerator. Not custom like this w/ marble, but still, over 20k w/ glass doors, bought in the city. I gasped when she said they were going to sell it, She said it cost her something like 700 a month to run (b/c most r/frigs have insulated sided/doors) Now this refrigerator was my friends main refrigerator, so they kept everything in it. I'm assuming that Yolanda's is a 'for looks' only, they probably don't keep it that cold? But in a warm climate, the cold air must just leak out of every glass crack. So even keeping it at 55 would be costly. That said, Yolanda can afford seven grand a year in a pretty refrigerator's appliance bill. But still. Just wanted you to think about that part before designing one for yourself...

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  44. Posts like these make me wish you were my next door neighbor. Thanks for being my best cyber-girlfriend. We are renovating a farmhouse on a shoestring, but in the kitchen I installed side by side industrial cooling units. The fridge has a glass door and looks so cool. My sister calls it my Yolanda. This post was so much fun, thanks for spending 4 days on it.

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  45. What a great post!
    Just one minor correction: The office in Yolanda's new house is facing the courtyard (driveway). It's not anywhere near the living room. When you enter the house, it's the first door to your left. In other words, it's in the north east corner of the first floor. You can even see it in the shot of Brandi walking by the staircase. Also, you can see the driveway area via the office window.
    OMG... I officially qualify as a stalker now. But topology is one of my strong suits, so I can't help it. :)

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