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!