Sorry about my computer glitch.  Hopefully it’s all fixed and I won’t have to get a new computer!!!   Are you ready for the new story?

The other day, I was snooping around California real estate web sites and was surprised to see a house for sale that I had written about a few years ago.  You might remember it HERE.

The Malibu home was once owned by Yolanda Hadid who was then married to David Foster, the decorated music producer.  Yolanda is the mom of the super models Gigi,  Bella and Anwar Hadid.


ABOVE:  Yolanda Hadid’s famous walk in refrigerator in her Malibu home.  This appliance was so well known, it had over 28,000 Twitter/Instagram followers at one point!!  A refrigerator!!! 


It hadn’t been all that long ago that Yolanda’s Malibu beach house sold, but here it was – back on the market yet again.  I thought it might make a good blog story.  But while I was initially interested in seeing what the new owners did to the Malibu house, how they changed it and how they renovated it…it was the new owners THEMSELVES that changed the direction of this story, as it always does.  It is never the original story, but the story behind the story that makes it more interesting!

   Let’s start at the beginning and recap just a little and then we will learn about a man, a most philanthropic, interesting man who now owns the house in Malibu with the famous walk in refrigerator and its own private lemon grove.

About ten years, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a cable show (remember cable?)  that a lot of us stayed home to watch.  Now we stream it.    Back then Lisa Vanderpump was still on the show and so was rowdy Brandy Glanville who was friends with the elegant Yolanda.  At that time, Yolanda was married to the famous Grammy award winning composer and songwriter David Foster and they lived in the wonderful house overlooking the beach at Malibu. 

Yolanda had bought the 5 acre property in 2007 and had the house built a few years later.   The couple did not live there long as Yolanda got very sick with Lyme Disease and put the house on the market.  She quit the show and was quickly divorced.  Today David Foster, 71, is now married to singer Katharine McPhee, 37, and they just had a baby boy.  While Yolanda did seem invested in her time on Housewives,  David Foster acted as if he was trying to boost up his career with the younger audience of the Housewives who had no clue who he was.




     It took a while for Yolanda to sell the Malibu property – a few years and a few listing prices, but it ended up selling for $19,495,000.  At one point, it had been listed as high as $27.5.   The house is 11,000+ interior square feet.                 

While there are many pretty houses on the Bravo Housewives shows (Lisa Vanderpump’s and Kyle Richards new LA home come to mind – hmmm, I’m drawing a blank here about other pretty housewives homes.)…let’s face it, most Housewives homes are McMansions and many are rented just to film in – Yolanda’s remains one of the prettiest on the entire series.

Her house was different than most of the others.  It was a beauty inside and out,  especially outside.  I would watch the show for glimpses of her lemon grove and would screenshot images of her house just to study it in detail. 

Yolanda’s Bucks County Farm in Pennsylvania

Today, Yolanda is off the show and now lives on a Pennsylvania Bluestone farm which I blogged about HERE.   The complete antithesis of her Malibu beach house, her new house shows that Yolanda has good taste, no doubt.



  Acres and acres of lavender grown on Yolanda’s farm is turned into oils and creams.  Beyond charming!!! 


Today, not nearly as many people are familiar with Yolanda’s East Coast life.  They still remember her beautiful Malibu beach house high atop a hill that overlooks the ocean.  Her lemons and walk-in refrigerator played a large part of her life in California on her reality Bravo show.

The house is on an odd piece of property.  It is right off the Pacific Coast Highway so I’ve always wondered about the noise factor.  The fire station is on one side and the Pacific Coast Highway is between the house and the beach. A long winding road leads up to the house.  Even in this aerial view you can make out the lemon grove with its endless gravel paths.


The lemon grove is circled in red. High up the hill, reached by stone stairs, the grove is neatly separated into gravel rows.  At the top of the hill, a white tent gives shade against the afternoon sun. 

WAY BEFORE:   This interesting photograph shows the house after it was first built and before the lemon grove had grown in.   Later the trees and flowers would become quite lush.  The white tent had not been placed yet.

The drive up to the house, with the stairs to the lemon grove on the left.

BEFORE:   Yolanda had the Tuscan styled house painted a warm umber.  Would the new owner keep this color or update its color?

OF COURSE the color would be changed!  No doubt!  Even the new owners of my small nebish house painted it all white!!

TODAY:   And wow! What a huge difference the paint job made.   Instead of the Tuscany yellow – the house is now a gleaming white.  It does make the stone pop.  Additionally, the doors are all painted a dark bluish black.   The landscaping was cut back – the ivy taken off the tower and all the bushes and trees growing up around the tower were trimmed.  It’s all a much cleaner look.

AFTER:   The newly painted house at dusk.

When Yolanda built this house, the Tuscany look was just starting to enter its death throes.   For years, the faux Italian look was so popular – from mansions to macmansions, many houses were built in this style.   But, just a few years later a sea change was coming and the warm colors were replaced with white, white and more white.

BEFORE:   A view of the Tuscany styled house.  Above the pool patio is the large terrace off the master bedroom.


TODAY, the house painted white which immediately updated its look.

High up the hill in the lemon grove is this stunning view of the Pacific ocean.

THEN:   Under the white umbrella, the Housewives filmed this picnic scene.   Such a beautiful view.

TODAY:   The new owners kept the Yolanda’s original outdoor furniture but updated the upholstery color to navy and white. 

BEFORE:   The stairs that lead up to the lemon grove.


TODAY:  Not much has changed except for new coordinated flower pots.


TODAY:    The view of the Pacific Highway which lies between the house and the beach.    Notice the white umbrella high up on the hill towards the right in the lemon grove.   I’m sorry – but I’m just obsessed with the lemon grove!!!!  I think it is a stroke of genius.

So, who DID buy Yolanda’s house in Malibu?  For a while it was a guarded secret, but eventually the new owner was announced by real estate blogs:

He was on the cover of the Town & Country Philanthropic issue, below:

Robert F. Smith on the cover last summer during the height of the pandemic.

Robert F. Smith is a most interesting man.  He is a self made billionaire (several times over) and is known mostly for his large, philanthropic gifts.

  Before a recent rash of large gifts, Smith kept a much more quiet profile.  But it was his 2019 commencement address at Morehouse College which created worldwide news. 

He shocked everyone during his commencement address when he went off topic to  announce that he was paying off the 396 graduating students student loans to the tune of about $40 million dollars!!

Suddenly everyone wanted to know – who is this Robert F. Smith??? 


Above, look at the elation of the Morehouse students when they realized their student debts were being wiped out!!!!!

This was Smith’s quote about his commencement gift:

"I was looking at 400 students - 400 hundred years after 1619. And they were burdened. Liberating them was the right thing for me to do.” 

Mr. Smith manages one of the worlds larger hedge funds, Vista Equity Partners.  But it is his philanthropy that has caught the attention of the world. 

In 2017, Smith signed the Giving Pledge, committing to give at least half of his wealth to charitable causes during his lifetime.  His gifts have been thoughtful and imaginative.  He donated $50 million to his alma mater, Cornell University.  He pledged $27 million to the Susan G. Komen organization to study how to reduce the racial disparity in breast cancer deaths – black women are 40% more likely to die of this disease than white women.  Hopefully his gift will help to determine Why? Another donation was made to the United Negro College Fund.   He then donated $39 million to preserve African American historical sites such as the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park:

Harriet Tubman’s residence at the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, New York.

During the pandemic, Smith teamed up with Randall Stephenson CEO of AT&T and Apple’s Tim Cook to help low income families get internet access and smartphones so they could participate in remote leaning.  Smith is not just about scholastics.  He also pushed the Trump administration to set aside $10 billion in coronavirus relief to lenders in low income neighborhoods.  Smith is the Chairman of Carnegie Hall, which he was particularly helpful to during the pandemic by organizing online concerts, amongst other events.


In Washington, the gorgeous Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Think of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture which was opened to grand reviews and you think of Robert F. Smith.  He gave over $20 million to that cause. 

While all this is great news for the causes Smith chose, there was a black cloud that threatened to hang over him:  Last summer Smith settled with the DOJ over charges of off shore tax evasion. He settled the case and paid the government over $139 million.  In a complicated case, part of his defense was that the offshore account was set up to provide for the charitable givings.  Cynical critics cite that his givings coincide with his divorce from his first wife and his remarriage along with a restructuring of his businesses which were the reasons for his givings.

I don’t think the charities really care about his divorce or his off shore accounts.  From everything I read about him, Smith appears to be a highly respected and well liked man. 

Robert F. Smith grew up in Denver with high school principal parents who both held doctorates.  He was bused across town to a white school where he learned he and his brother were “more alike than we were different (from the white students.)  That was a big part of my upbringing.”  Robert would watch his father demand better treatment for those in their poor neighborhood, he started the North City Park Civic Association, along with a local YMCA for the less fortunate children.  His parents greatly influenced his giving:

“Sometimes we think it’s just the Giving Pledge-kind of people making a difference, but it's also individuals who may not have great wealth but who give generously of their time and resources.”

It is not just Robert who is charity minded - his wife is also.  A Texan and former model Hope Dworaczyk brings her own brand of giving to the marriage. 

Robert and Hope Smith were married in Ravello Italy.  She wore a Naeem Khan custom gown for the service and another gown for the reception.

The couple own a ranch in Lincoln Hills, Colorado where Robert spent time as a child – it was the first resort west of the Mississippi that welcomed African Americans.  Today, the couple offer inner city and college aged youth the opportunity to experience the outdoors. 

Hope prefers to give of her energy, not just rubbing elbows at charity ballets and opera events.  She cites Unlikely Heroes which focuses on child sex trafficking as one of her more important charities.  She invites abuse survivors to their ranch each summer to help recover from their wounds.  She is also intensely involved with Together We Rise which supports foster children who have aged out of the system and want to get a chance at college.  Another charity favorite of Hope’s is the global disaster relief organization International Medical Corps. 

Growing up as an only child of a single mother, Hope says: 

“My charities are always tied to women and children.  I grew up watching children who were underserved, and single mothers, like what I had, who were struggling.”  Hope graduated at 16, became Miss Teen Texan, modeled world wide, was a Playmate of the Year and ended up on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.   Along the way, she caught the eye of Robert Smith.

Their marriage was in Italy where John Legend preformed for the guests. 

  At their wedding, their baby came down in a cloud!!  I love the expression on the guests faces. 

Style!!   We got Style!!!!  The couple have two sons and identical twin daughters who are just darling. 


When the Smiths purchased Yolanda’s lemon grove and beach house, they also purchased another Malibu house that is right on the beach.  Today, both of these houses are for sale.  The second Malibu house was apparently used for beach forays and parties and overnight guests.

The house circled in purple is Yolanda’s lemon grove property.  The smaller house on the beach circled in red is the beach house for ocean swimming and parties.   Both houses are now for sale – apparently the couple is moving their ocean activities to the East Coast.  More on that later.

To introduce you to Hope and Robert Smith’s aesthetic – I found this photo on Instagram and it, as they say, stopped my scroll.

Here is Hope, stunning even in a turban towel, with her darling twin daughters in one of their bathrooms.  Not sure where this bathroom is?  BUT isn’t that wallpaper gorgeous?  Wow.

Except it’s not paper!

IT’S STONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s even on the sink counter!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was slack jawed.  One of the commenters asked “whose wallpaper is that?”  LOL

Hey, I don’t blame her – I would have asked the same thing.


Maybe I am out of it.  But, have you ever seen that stone????

BTW, aren’t her daughters beyond adorable?

Back to the bathroom.  The family has a new condo in NYC, perhaps that is its master bathroom?  She shows the stone in a few Instagram photos.

Which makes me wonder who is Hope’s interior designer???

In this Instagram photo Hope posed with the famous and ultra talented architect/designer Peter Marino and hinted about a new project they are working on.  Besides all her charity work, Hope also has a cosmetic company MUTHA.  Perhaps Marino is going to design a brand store for MUTHA?  Or a new house???  Can not wait to see!

This award winning condo building in NYC was designed by Marino and the Smiths have an apartment there.

They own the triplex penthouse which reportedly included a private roof top pool.   The price?  $59 million which is said to be the highest price paid for a residence in downtown Manhattan.

Let’s take a look at the Smith’s versus Yolanda’s décor:

BEFORE:   The main difference between then and now is the outdoor furnishings.

TODAY:  The Smiths used much of Yolanda’s outdoor furniture.  BUT – it is all covered in faux grass!!!! 



BEFORE:  Yolanda decorated her house using warm colors and textures.  Here rattan chairs surround a firepit.

AFTER:  Here, besides all the white paint, is the first clue to the new décor Hope Smith chose for the Malibu beach house! The furniture was covered in faux grass and either navy or navy and white striped fabric was used for the upholstery.   Outside, the faux grass was used everywhere, including upstairs on the terrace.

’ – ’’                    


BEFORE:  Yolanda’s décor – wicker with white and blue accents.

AFTER:   The travertine was covered with the faux grass.  Yolanda’s furniture was reused and covered in the faux grass as seen here which is an interesting way to update dated or sunbleached rattan furniture!!

BEFORE:  Yolanda is a spiritual person, one who likes to use crystals and other new age talismans.  Here she put an Eastern statue mixed with teak benches and beautiful pots.

AFTER:   Hope kept the large Eastern statue, but removed the teak around the banquettes.

0osfAFTER:   Here you can see the loungers with the faux grass and striped upholstery.  What a view!!!!

BEFORE:   I love this particular photo – taken during a hazy day.  More of Yolanda’s rattan and teak benches.  Notice that these back benches were covered in teak.  She used the blue and white striped fabric mixed with a blue suzani pattern.

AFTER:    Here are Hope’s counterparts – she used a darker pattern here than Yolanda.  It’s nice but I just prefer Yolanda’s suzani and stripe fabrics.   And notice, the teak is gone and replaced with travertine.   I’m going to guess that the teak didn’t hold up OR it just clashed with Hope’s more modern décor.

BEFORE:   The outdoor dining area during Yolanda’s time used an antique looking carved wood table along with teak benches.

BEFORE:   Another view of Yolanda’s dining area.   I just think it is beautiful.

AFTER:  The new décor with a modern table and modern chairs.   Behind the eating area there is also a new fountain.

BEFORE:   Yolanda’s warm décor used in the covered terrace.  More rattan with tan upholstery and wood cabinetry.  Notice the coffee table – Hope keeps the rattan furniture, covers it with faux green turf and restyles other furniture – like the coffee table – see it in a few minutes, below.

BEFORE:   Doors open to the family room.   Lots of candles created romantic evenings.

AFTER:  Wow.  It looks so different now!  Notice how the entire  travertine stone floor is now covered in the faux grass.  There is also a new modern coffee table and the cabinets flanking the fireplace were painted black as were the ceiling beams.

Notice the coffee table.  It is actually Yolanda’s that she used in the family room.  I do wonder if the house was sold furnished because Hope reuses some of it – such as the rattan furniture which she recovered with the faux grass and now, this coffee table.

AFTER:   Hope’s décor – sleek and modern BUT with a touch of whimsy which you will see inside over and over.

Want to go inside??

BEFORE:   Stained wood doors flanked by Italian styled lanterns and  green shutters with lush landscaping.


AFTER:   Sleeker, trimmed landscape with a black painted front door flanked by modern sconces with newly painted white stucco.  



BEFORE:  The front door opens onto a foyer and to the right is the three story staircase that goes through the basement to the top floor.  In the foyer Yolanda used a round center table and in the stair hall she used matching antique wood chests.  The stairwell is a focal point of the house and most rooms look over the stairs on three different levels.


BEFORE:  The center stairwell.  Looking from the 2nd floor down to the basement.  You can see a large globe that rests at the basement.  The stairs are classic – white with stained bannisters.  A seagrass runner was used.

GET READY!  What you need to understand that Yolanda spent five years building this house, starting in 2004, she moved in in 2009. She and David Foster were not married then and she ran shorts of funds, which he graciously pitched in to help.  They married a few years after he moved in.  Yolanda says she designed every inch of this house but I’m sure she had a handful of architects who worked on it.   She says that there was over 100 people on the building crew. 

While I call the house Tuscan, she says Spanish.   It’s probably a combination of both.   The house was very conservatively decorated – nothing too much or outlandish.

NOW, here comes Hope and Robert Smith.   Hope is very young, younger than her husband.  They have four children under the age of five or six.  Hope is very cutting edge.  She dresses in haute couture and there is nothing conservative about the way she dresses or decorates.

So, seeing how Hope and Robert have redone this house is very exciting!!

While Yolanda’s central staircase was almost Georgian in its conservative banister and spindles….look at the staircase now:


AFTER:  The entire stairwell from the top floor to the basement is covered in this bright, fun wallpaper.  Each room has a view of the paper with its green and aqua tones.  The floors are stained a dark dark brown close to black. 


AFTER:   Well, the globe at the basement level is definitely gone.  WHAT is that in the globe???

TODAY:   Is it a fish tank????   OR is it a giant lava lamp?   I just do not know.

TODAY:  In the basement, the stairwell leads to the wine cellar, the spas, the exercise rooms and other “fun” rooms.



BEFORE:   Yolanda decorated her house in muted tones such as yellow and beige with blue accents. She used both antiques and reproductions such as the dining room table and chairs.

BEFORE:   The dining area overlooks the stairwell.  The paint is a beige which is repeated in the muted stripe fabric and the area rug.   While pretty, it is all a bit blah. A pair of coordinating oushak rugs would have been so much more interesting.

BEFORE:   On the living room side of the great room.   Notice the coffee table!!!:


TODAY:   Notice the coffee table!  Hope kept Yolanda’s living room table and covered it with the faux grass!  Very ingenious. 

BEFORE:   Yolanda sits in front of the fireplace – which was later redesigned by Hope.   Yolanda suffered from a terrible case of Lyme Disease which lasted for years and is said to have contributed to her divorce.   It’s very hard to have a happy marriage in Hollywood, much less when you have a life threatening disease.  It was never said, but I do wonder if David left because he couldn’t handle a sick wife.  That was the implication on the show.  Today, she is recovered and has a wonderful boyfriend that she is madly in love with according to her Instagram.

So, Yo’s beige/yellow living/dining room with blue accents was completely dismantled by Hope and her designer, whomever he is. 

TODAY:  White walls, whitish gray carpets, modern curved sofas and chairs and round tables.   LOOK at the fireplace with its matched marble.   You know this isn’t my style but that marble is very nice.  And – you can see the beautiful stone mantel is now gone, replaced with the sleek & chic marble.

Also notice that without the aqua of the butterflies on the stairwell, the colors here are muted – just like with Yolanda.  Except the colors are modern – white and silver and gray as opposed to beige and yellow. 

TODAY:  The view outside.

Hope and the boys!   Now – notice the sheep.  More about these later.  It might be a clue to who her designer is. 

Today:   The living/dining room – you can see the aqua from the stairwell.   Notice the shiny ceiling.  All the Tuscany was erased.

Today:  Notice the extra long chandelier over the dining room.  And wow!  They have a Hunt Slonem bunny painting!!

BEFORE:   The kitchen with Yolanda’s famous refrigerator on the right.  Her hardwoods are a rich brown. 

TODAY:  The cabinets remained and new counters in a white marble were added along with the dark brown/black floors.  The beige wall paint is now a stark white.   These small touches really change the look from rustic to modern.


And here is the infamous refrigerator.


Here is how Hope fills her decorative refrigerator.  Lots of water and fruit and is that champagne?   I don’t drink, so I’m not sure.

BEFORE:   The breakfast room, more beige fabric and leather chairs.


AFTER:  Gray and more gray.  AND the chandelier?   I think that is intentional – the cat hanging off the fixture.   It’s been in all the different photoshoots.

BEFORE:   I like this room more with its oushak rug.  Actually I just do not care that much for contemporary.  I can’t lie. 

BEFORE:  Different view of the same room.  But the mantel was redone with more white marble. 

BEFORE:   Right off the family room is Yolanda’s library.

And After.  What’s interesting is they really didn’t do much but paint and add a stainless veneer to the fireplace and shelves.  Another smart redo move.

Do you see?  The shelves just have a veneer of stainless as does the fireplace.

BEFORE:   The master suite with the half round library that sits above the breakfast room.   More Tuscany yellow and more beige carpets and rugs with blue accents – just like downstairs.

BEFORE:    The master with the stone mantel and the terrace with rattan furniture.  More beige, yellow and blue damask with leather.  At least its consistent.  And Hope will not use any of these colors!

AFTER:   More of the same gray silver and contemporary furniture that Hope has used throughout.  Hope fitted a round white shag rug.  Of course if shelves were styled it would be much better.

AFTER:  The master bedroom went through several looks.  Here – the oval shaped sofa in pink with fur chairs.  The ceiling is shiny silver.  The rug is cut out.   And notice – the lounge chairs on the outside balcony were also covered in the faux turf as is the entire floor.

And here is another look.   I think this was a before and the pink sofa was the finished look.  The Tuscany stone mantel is long gone replaced with mirrors and contemporary sconces.   But I showed this for one reason only – the sheep!!!   Remember we saw the sheep before in the living room?   There were a different variety.   BUT – these sheep are famous designed by the late artist ….

The sheep, and other animals, are the work of François-Xavier Lalanne and his wife Claude.    The architect, Peter Marino, is a long time collector of the animals and he even designed a garden filled with the commissioned pieces that are also quite rare.  When I saw the sheep in Hope and Robert’s beach house – it tied in with Peter Marino being on Hope’ Instagram.    But – is this the clue that Peter or an assistant did the renovation and décor at the beach house?   Maybe.   I wish I knew!

More info on the sheep and Marino HERE

BEFORE:   Yolanda’s bathroom is soft and pretty and Shabby Chic.

TODAY:   Whoa.  The bathtub remains but the hardwoods are dark, the walls pink to match the pink sofa and the ceiling is glossy silver.

And the view out the balcony to all that fake grass, not faux – that sounds too chic.   It’s just a lot of fake turf.   It’s like a shag carpet.  What is getting stuck in it and does anyone even vacuum it?

Do you vacuum fake grass?????

And this is….a newer AFTER.   Apparently the pink was a stop gap until this new stone arrived.  It had probably been back ordered for months.   It matches the butterfly wallpaper coloring.


BEFORE:   Yolanda’s men’s master bathroom.  Yo uses the same pink flowers throughout the house which pop here with the gray stone.  A very pretty man’s bath.

AFTER:  New paint, new sconces and new shiny ceiling.  The almost wall to wall rug is pretty but a surprise because it covers so much of the floor.

BEFORE:   Guest room – more Tuscany gold and beige and leather.


AFTER:  Hmmm.   Gosh.  I really, really dislike that bed.  I’m sorry Hope.  I really am.  But it’s just NOT French Country!!!  LOL

AFTER:   Another guest room.   Much better.  I think the French chairs came from Yo’s living room.


Let’s go to the basement, the fun floor. 



BEFORE:   The bar/pool room and the room where David Foster showed off all his gold records.  Did I say “showed off?”  Nah.  Not David!


AFTER:   A total change.  More silver and gray but with lavender taken from the butterflies paper.   I like the modern pool table and the rug.

To the left is the media room.

Yolanda’s media room.  More beige, more yellow, more Tuscany gold and hot pink flowers.  It’s definitely a theme.

AND AFTER.   Talk about a theme?   More silver more shiny and more gloss.   Yo’s chairs were recovered in velvet and reused.

After:   The wine cellar is huge with two time controlled rooms. 

BEFORE:   The work out room in the lower level.   More beige carpet and hot pink flowers.  I know, I know.   She moved the same vases of pink flowers from room to room for the photos.

AFTER:  More brown/black floors and gray carpets.

BEFORE:   Yolanda decorated the spa in Shabby Chic cute.  I once had a client with the fugliest massage table in the master bedroom – I didn’t design the room, but if I would have, this would be one way to handle the table.

AFTER:  Hope redid the entire room with new tile.  She kept Yo’s Buddha.   With a new contemporary fixture and a shaggy rug with the brown/black wood floors – it’s a brand new room.

This room is under the second floor master library and the round breakfast room – a tower. The door is a sliding half round barn door.  The hall has new gray wallpaper, but the sauna remains just the same.

BEFORE: Yo’s sauna looks like an Eastern temple to the senses!  More hot pink flowers, another Eastern statue.   It looks like there are two soaking tubs – his and hers.


AFTER:   The main change is the white paint.  It’s amazing how different the room looks with the blue toned white paint compared to the yellow tone cream paint that Yolanda favored.   These two photos tell it all – how cold a white can turn a room, or how warm a room can be with just a bit of yellow.

With all the restored rooms from the Lemon Grove house seen – Air BnB showed a new listing -- the Smith’s new Lemon Grove house!  What?!?!?! 

Apparently the Smiths decided to sell their two Malibu homes just a few years after they bought them.  The smaller house on the beach was put up for sale, as was Yolanda’s once dream house, her Lemon Grove house.   Until the houses sold, they were put up for rent on an exclusive Air BnB listing (that has since been deleted.) 

And just guess who rented the Air BnB?


Kylie Jenner!!!   Of course the Kardashians would be a part of this Californian story.

Don’t all roads in LA always lead back to the Kardashians????

One surprise guest was Kylie Jenner and her daughter Stormi who rented out the house over Mother’s Day.   Of course, her baby daddy Tyler Scott went overboard with the flowers.

It’s hard to imagine what all those flowers cost and I can’t imagine they last more than a day or two at most.  So wasteful.  But pretty.

Kylie and Stormi.

Where there weren’t flowers – there were balloons.


And just before Kylie had her Mother’s Day Event, the Smiths had their own party.   On Instagram, a Cinco de Mayo party was thrown with orange and red and yellow rose petals in the pool.

Let’s look at the Malibu Beach House that the Smith’s have now put up for sale along with the Lemon Grove house:

The main house is the purple triangle while the house on the beach is where the red square is.  Both are now for sale.

The house on the beach is a mid century modern design.  Myself?  I love the small cute bungalow to the left!

The front door is right off Pacific Highway – with wood and steel gates that close the house off to the cars.  Love the driveway that softens all the concrete.  Look familiar?   The pavers with the grass in between reminds one of the Lemon Grove house’s pool terrace.

TODAY:  The Smiths decorated the house in white slips and bleached woods.  They actually kept many of the original decorative items – like the tiled floors, the kitchen, the ceiling beams and more.

And from the other direction.   The main decorative change is the dark gray walls. 

BEFORE:  Just a change of furniture.  And painting over that mural!

BEFORE:  Later, the fireplace area was also painted the dark gray by the Smiths.

AFTER:   The kitchen looks almost exactly the same.  Not sure anything was changed.  And like with Yolanda’s house – the Smiths did keep some furniture – the bar stools remained from the original owners!!!

BEFORE:   The same barstools.  It doesn’t look like the Smiths even changed the granite!

AFTER:  The master suite is divided by a media cabinet.   The walls are again painted a dark gray which looks so great against the pale wood ceiling.

AFTER:   The newly painted media cabinet.

BEFORE:  The media cabinet looks so puny painted light but painted the dark gray it is more substantial!  It looks like the Smiths also kept the curtains and the carpet.

After:   The bathroom remained exactly the same except for the gray paint.

AFTER:  A perfect room for someone with four children!

Another guest room on the ground floor.

And so, while the two beach houses are both now for sale, the family has been busy buying up other properties including on the Atlantic coast.  Just like in Malibu they bought two beach houses.   And just like the Malibu home with a celebrity heritage, the new Florida house also has a celebrity history!


North Palm Beach

When Tiger Woods was caught cheating (not just cheating, but CHEATING) on his beautiful wife and mother of his children, Elin Nordegren, she took her huge divorce settlement from the lowly cheater, and bought this 1920s house in North Palm Beach. 

Elin wanted to renovate the house but her architect said it would cost much more to renovate it to hurricane code than to just tear it down and build anew.

I’d be curious to see what the original house once looked liked inside, but above here is the 1920s façade of the beachside mansion.


The new beach side house that Erin built.  Notice the second level on the far right – it is an inside/outside area and you will see this again later.  Upstairs, centered, is the master suite.  At the left is a guest suite.

The front entrance of the beach house.  Notice the widows walk at the very center of the house – top level.   The large garage is to the far left.

Elin met a new man, had a baby, and sold this house plus the house next door to Ross Weiner, Mr. Rockstar Energy Drink Founder.  Weiner recently sold his Las Vegas-based company to Pepsico for a reported $3.85 billion.  And he then sold these two houses to the Smiths!


Overhead view of the property.  Notice the garage with all the bay windows at the front left.  There’s a putting green across from the front door.  


Elin demolished the house in 2011, but she allowed “Habitat for Humanity to come into the home for four weeks and salvage anything they found of value. Many valuable contents of the estate went on the auction block at a Habitat for Humanity warehouse. Among the items donated to Habitat were a 12-foot (3.7 m) fountain with water spouting out of 3 lion’s mouths, 5 Sub-Zero refrigerators, 14 vanities, temperature-controlled wine coolers, and other furniture.”


The front façade.   Doesn’t this house has a completely different vibe than the Malibu beach houses?

After the new house was built, Elin bought the house across the street and then sold both houses together as an estate.



The Widows Walk on the top floor

Hope’s Instagram started filling up with photos from the new Florida beach house.  Through these windows you can see the front entrance with the arched French doors.

Hope posed in the front foyer with modern art.


Just as the stairwell in the Malibu house has an butterfly art --installation – this one has a Baccarat waterfall light fixture.  These interiors photos came from the real estate photos and are not from the Smiths décor.   No word on who the Smiths hired to decorate this house.

The living room/dining room.



The kitchen with two huge islands.  Through the opening is the breakfast room and through the door is the living/dining room seen above.


 Off the kitchen island is this seating group that overlooks the outdoor dining room.

There are so many cushy seating areas in the Palm Beach house –this is personal preference.  I just prefer smaller homes with cozier décor. 


Off the living/dining room is the office/library where Hope has posted a  lot of photos of her working for her company Mutha:


Hope at work in North Palm Beach.  



The second floor living area on the beach side with walls of windows that disappear into the sides of the room.


And below that room on the ground floor is a rec room with pool table and wet bar along with its own walls of windows that disappeared when opened.


The media room with chaises and chairs.


On the second floor, at the center of the house above the  living/dining room is the master suite.


   And the master bath with its contemporary fireplace and chandelier.

So…would you have moved from the west coast to the east coast?  Hard question!!!! I love both coasts.


There are more photos from this beach house on Hope’s Instagram.

The handsome couple!

When I found that Yolanda Hadid’s Malibu house was up for sale, again, I was excited to see the new décor the owners had installed.  But – to me, the more interesting part of the story was reading about Robert F. Smith and his wife Hope and their babies.   I had heard of Smith, but had never really read in detail about him. 

What an interesting man!   A generous man.  A good heart.  A flawed man.   But, aren’t they all?  I found myself so impressed with him.  I found myself wanting to learn more of Hope and her philosophy on charity giving.  I admire her hands-on approach to giving as opposed to just writing a check for a seat at a table.

Like I said, you never know where a story will take you and this was one of those for me. 


WHAT HOUSE IS THIS STONE IN?????? WHERE IS THIS????   I’m thinking maybe it’s the Peter Marino apartment in NYC?

Or is it here?   This is their main house located in Austin on the lake!!   This is where Hope had her two baby boys, at home.    An immunocompromise disorder made having a third baby risky, so one egg was implanted in a surrogate.   That one egg divided into identical twin girls!!  What a shocker!!!!!!!!!   But how lucky is this family?????


I’m so ready to be a granny!!!


  1. Very Nice Blog. It took me almost an hour to read all about the Yolanda's house old and new furniture and how its sold again. Thanks anyways for great article. Hoping to see more soon.

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  2. So glad you worked out the kinks on the blog, great story. I am always amazed with your research! Happy you are back, and congrats on your daughter's engagement! Have fun helping her plan the wedding!

  3. What a fabulous post!!! Yolanda is my very favorite housewife of all time. Boy, did she ever get a raw deal from Foster. She becomes ill and he bails. Insert eye roll. I will always remember Yolanda's refrigerator as well as her lemon grove. Now I am off to read your post on her other property. Have a wonderful weekend, Joni.

  4. The after proves just because you have money doesn't mean you have taste. Uggh.

    1. I completely agree. Also, I guess she didn't get the memo that gray is on the way OUT. Big time. Most of her decor is just tacky, in my opinion.

  5. Another masterpiece of a blog post! What an absolute pleasure to follow along on your research! I enjoyed every word and photo. Thank you, Joni, and congratulations on Elizabeth's engagement!

  6. Thanks for the well researched post. The wealth and extravagance of both owners are equally interesting and appalling to read about. The choices the super wealthy make when money is of no object is a real testament to their character and taste.

  7. Wow!! what an interesting and informative Blog!! First, thank you for introducing me to the wonderful, philanthropist Mr. Robert Smith and his lovely family. As to the houses, both before and after as you brilliantly researched, what a huge contrast in interior styles! Like you Joni I much prefer the softer, natural style of Yolanda's house. Personally, I think the interior style of Hope's house is too, too corporate for a family home and lacks warmth, but to each his own, as they say. I am so sorry to hear that Yolanda became gravely ill and her husband decided to leave her, very sad indeed. Anyway, it is probably the best thing to have him out of her life. She seems a spiritual, intelligent and warm woman with exceptionally good taste. Love your Blogs!

  8. Illustrates that great wealth doesn't always equal great taste

  9. Not "the Pacific Coast Highway" and not Pacific Highway. (No one would know what you were talking about on the last one.)
    It's PCH to everyone there, and if you must say the whole name for some reason, legal papers, talking to someone out of state, etc., there is no "the" in front of Pacific Coast Highway. Just a tidbit of local info.

    1. Yes, really.

    2. I live in Princeton, NJ, so "the Pacific Coast Highway" is fine with me. I would have no clue what "PCH" represents. We don't all live locally, Sheila.

    3. I'm just saying that it doesn't have the "the" on it-just like you don't say the Main Street or the Fifth Avenue.

    4. Sheila, I think that's good to know. I always welcome learning something new and prefer being corrected to being allowed to carry on out of false consideration. But that's just me. Your comment by no means diminishes this fabulous post and it shouldn't be viewed as such.

  10. What a roller coaster!! Love-hate most of it! I agree with you, Joni, that terraced lemon grove was the very best use of the hill behind that Malibu house! The bougainvilla, and Mediterranean plantings were beautiful, practical, and a terrific idea!
    You would probably love another Beverly Hills Housewives house that is in Pasadena; right near where I grew up and lived until 24 years ago!
    Tom Girardi and his RHBH wife Erika Jayne. It is a gorgeous, old Pasadena estate designed by one of the best architects of the century in Southern California, Myron Hunt. Gorgeous. Only slightly wrecked in a few places by this wacko wife.

  11. I really appreciate all the thought and care and research you put into your blog posts. But I am so uninterested in what vacuous billionaires do with their piles of cash. All these people, their divorces and drama, their serial real estate transactions are creepy. And man, their taste is gross. So could we skip the billionaires and just see some places with originality and taste?

    1. Boy do I agree with you! Boring! who cares. I wish we could go back to blog stories on real people with real homes. I could care less about this stuff.

  12. Yolanda's fridge is the masterpiece here although I must say that I used to love watching her in this house when she was on Real Housewives.

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  14. I would have loved to see how Elin and Tiger decorated the Palm Beach house. I don't think the Smith's understand how to decorate it to suit the architecture. They only know glitzy, whether the house calls for it or not.

  15. These pictures here in the post helped me better understand
    thank you

  16. As always well done Joni. I think i loved what they did to the front of Yolanda's lemon grove house, but hated the back with all that faux grass. Really disliked the interior redesign though in hindsight Yolanda's interiors were equally blah. The new butterfly staircase is fabulous though i don't like the fishtank. I think moving from such a fabuloys staircase/ hallway to the corporate bland rooms off it was a let down.

    The Malibu beach house is more corporate bland which is a shame.

    I'm glad they kept the kitchen mostly intact, and the marble from that IG photo is mesmerising. Please let us know if you do findout where it is from.

  17. The irony of hundreds of yards of polluting non-green and frankly butt-ugly plastic grass on every outdoor surface juxtaposed with wallpaper which features our delicate, endangered, and naturally beautiful Monarch Butterflies - but in blues (really, Hope?) is mind-boggling. As others have mentioned, money doesn't always buy class. So sad that Mr & Mrs Moneybags aren't a whole lot more environmentally savvy. Or even slightly aware of their environmental footprint, sigh. Someone, tell them to smarten up and start paying attention to Greta, please.

    1. Agree oh the ugly (and probably itchy) fake grass. Ugghhh . . . Money and class don't always go together.

  18. I loved reading my 2 mo old granddaughter sits at my feet, snoozing away this Sunday afternoon. ♥

  19. I live in PA and the stone houses are everywhere. The craftsmanship is beautiful and certainly not matched in today's construction world. The "rings" you mentioned on the trees are not rings at all. Those are most likely very old growth pines that had branches removed as it grew to keep them off the ground. The knobs on the tree are where limbs were at one time. The limbs of pines grow in "rows" or "rings" around the tree, but that isn't the kind of ring that determines the tree's age. Growth rings are counted when you cut a tree down and count the concentric rings from the center of the trunk to the outside bark.

  20. A client, about 3 years ago, renovated an older home. Kitchen had similar stone walls & counters. Behind the walls, lighting on dimmer switch.


    Client said she loved having the dimmers on lowest level, at night.

    Her sink was made of same stone, alas no lighting.... She mentioned the maker did not want to make a custom sink of the stone, and would not guarantee delivery without damage. She was on her own. Of course her sink arrived Perfect.

    Fun use of Artificial Turf !!

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  21. I like the use of "astro turf" on the seating but hate it on the ground. Just because it is an expensive property doesn't make it any less tacky.

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