Thursday, December 10, 2009

Party Prince(ss) David Tutera Lists Manhattan Condo

SELLER: David Tutera
LOCATION: East 21st Street, New York City, NY
PRICE: $5,675,000
SIZE: 4,073 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The most stunning renovation you have ever seen, with ceiling heights one foot higher than all the other floors at the Infinity Lofts on 21st Street in the heart of the Flatiron District. This 4 bedroom 4.5 bath condominium with home office also has a fireplace and balcony. Large arched windows in the front bring in beautiful northern light, and there is tons of additional lighting throughout the apartment, as well as sound systems in every room. The kitchen features red lacquered walls and two color ceilings, a red Murano chandelier, brand new appliances and marble counter tops. The enormous living/dining room features all new Venetian plaster walls, tri-color ceiling, gold leafed stone fireplace and all baseboards and trims finished in a gloss mahogany with gold leaf accent....

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Several weeks ago Your Mama hazily remembers reading on the always informative CityFile that celebrity party planner and well-groomed wedding guru David Tutera had bought himself a full-floor condominium on East 21st Street in New York City last listed with an asking price of $4,495,000.

However, we must have been three or four sheets to the wind because Your Mama can't find any reference to Miss Tutera anywhere on CityFile, which is not entirely surprising given that our memory often fails us. Clearly we read that on some other blog or website and just can't remember where. Jeezis Mary and Joseph, Your Mama lost our damn mind long ago and we'd loose our ears if they weren't affixed to our head. What we can dig up on the interweb regarding Miss Tutera's real estate doings is a tidbit in an April 2007 Manhattan Transfers column in the New York Observer that discusses Miss Tutera purchasing a full-floor condominium on East 21st Street in New York City last listed with an asking price of $4,495,000.

Why does any of this matter, the children might inquire? Fair enough, hunnies. As it turns out and after an extensive dressing up of the interiors, Miss Tutera heaved said full-floor condo purchased in 2007 on East 21st Street's Infinity Flats building back on to the market in late October of 2009 with an asking price of $5,675,000. And ooooo-wee babies, you better run and get your box of nerve pills right now because this one is a real damn decorative doozy.

David Tutera, a well-known planner of glitzy and glammy weddings and events for high profile people like Elton John, Barbara Walters and the almighty Rolling Stones, has authored four books on planning parties, including Big Birthdays and A Passion for Parties: Your Guide to Elegant Entertaining. He also recently opened a couple of high end floral and gift boo-teeks called Stem, one of which is located in the basement retail area of The Plaza. The bizzy as a beaver Miss Tutera also hosts his own show on the WE tee-vee channel called My Fair Wedding. Don't none of you marriage minded people take this wrong, but Your Mama would rather be dipped in a vat of honey and left out in the woods for a bear to eat than watch any program on the boob-boob about bitchy brides, emotionally checked out grooms and/or excessively expensive wedding ceremonies. We don't know if Miss Tutera's show features any of those things, but we won't be tuning in to find out.

Now then, let's get back to the meat of the matter and do like the late, great La Wanda Page and, "tell it like it t-i is." Property records we accessed on Property Shark show that Miss Tutera and his man-friend Ryan closed on their condo in December of 2007 and cost them $4,312,500. Listing information indicates the 4,073 square foot condo–prop records show it spans 4,109 square feet–includes 4 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers. A wee look-see at the floor plan reveals there are actually 3 bedrooms plus a media room and a windowless home office tucked up behind the kitchen. Of course, the media room could be pushed into use as a 4th bedroom should it be necessary but we can not in good conscious recommend putting that windowless home office to work as a staff room. Our comfortable accommodations requiring house gurl Svetlana would surely stage a coup or some kind of picketing protest iffin we told her she was going to be living in a dark, windowless box behind the damn kitchen. Ol' Svetlana don't play that way.

Anyhoo, regarding his plans for his new condo, in the above mentioned Manhattan Transfers column Miss Tutera said, "Our kitchen is going to be red—bright, bright, bright—kind of a Chinese red. The living room will be sunset colors, mustard yellow and a chocolate brown. The bedroom will be a buttercup yellow." Let's see how tightly to his original decorative vision Miss Tutera cleaved.

The key-lock elevator opens directly into the apartment, which has more of an entrance hallway rather than a proper foyer. On the floor plan the space is marked "gallery." In houses and apartments that cost more than a million or two, hallways are often called galleries because apparently that sounds more expensive. A wide opening leads from the entrance "gallery" into the 43-foot long living/dining room which features, according to listing information, a gold-leafed stone fireplace, a tri-color ceiling, labor intensive Venetian plaster walls, and high-gloss mahogany baseboards with a gold-leaf accent. For light there is a one of a kind Murano glass chandelier over the dining room table, a bank of large, north facing arched windows at one end and, at the other, French doors open to a Juliet balcony that hangs over the building's courtyard. It appears to Your Mama that Miss Tutera closed off the opening between the kitchen and the living/dining room, which is really, really bad for the apartment's feng shui since it hinders the free flow of the Chi. However, Miss Tutera did, mostly, stay true to his original idea in the living/dining room which has mustard-ish colored walls and a lot of brown accents not to mention a shiny grand piano.

As planned by Miss Tutera, the very contemporary eat-in kitchen is all did up and done over with Chinese red lacquer and, in our humble and entirely meaningless opinion, a little (too much) pumpkin paint. Besides the questionable color choices and those three deeply disturbing upholstered stools bellied up to the breakfast counter, the kitchen itself has a number of nice qualities including sleek white cabinets with towel rack pulls and white and gray veined marble counter tops. We know some of you people are going to fuss about how difficult marble is to maintain in the kitchen and, you're right. But dayum it looks good. Other fine features in the cookery would be the five fab windows, the dee-voon walk-in pantry–a real and true luxury in Manhattan for sure, and Your Mama is rather fond of that glossy orange bizness that extends the breakfast bar and clearly delineates where the cook is meant to cook and where the guests are meant set their cocktails and nibble fancy canapes created from recipes in one of Miss Tutera's how to be a good hostess books.

A long gallery, lined with floor to ceiling windows along one wall and an expensive sounding hand-cut wide stripe silk wallpaper on the other, leads from the condo's public spaces to the more private rooms at the back of the house. Like tidal waters, public and private functions mix and mingle in the exuberantly and arguably over chinoiseried media room outfitted, according to listing information, with an antique Asian cabinet wet bar, surround sound, and a screen and speakers installed on an hydraulic lift. A multi-colored striped rug anchors the space but competes for visual attention with the Chinese red lacquer chain link fretwork and fights with the wallpaper that depicts the Chinese countryside–or some kind of Asian countryside. And what about those ridiculous cloud and sky murals painted into the tray ceilings? Listen closely here now children: Your Mama's decorating rule number 217 states that unless you live in the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, no ceiling shall ever be painted to look like the heavens.

Okay babies, put on your dark glasses now and grab something solid to steady yourself because we're about to enter Miss Tutera's decoratively harassed and over-patterned master bedroom where, according to listing information, an artist was paid boo-coo bucks to hand paint a variety of patterns on the walls and ceiling. Not only is the wall behind the bed papered–or maybe it's hand painted–with a faint but shimmery vertical stripe pattern in lilac and light lavender, the adjacent wall is also papered–or maybe it's hand painted–in an unharmonious manner with a wildly complicated lilac, lavender and purple pattern. Miss Tutera's fetish for lilac, lavender and purple patterns don't end there. Oh no butter beans, not by a long shot. Custom window shades have an angular, geometric pattern that are just about–but not quite–identical to the real hand painted star of the room, a glimmery, geometric lilac and lavender extravaganza Miss Tutera had hand painted on the ceiling.

Listen puppies, Your Mama could have easily tolerated one of these patterns and, in fact, we sort of even like the idea of that geometric ornamentation on the ceiling. However, altogether Miss Tutera's bedroom is like a newly wealthy woman who goes to lunch at the Red Lobster in a beaded gown and dripping in diamonds. It's just too damn much. Maybe he should have stuck with his original notion of a buttercup yellow bedroom. Surely Miss Tutera has put some furniture in the bedroom but, honestly butter beans, we can't get past all those mixed, matched and mis-matched patterns on the walls and ceiling to even notice any of the damn furniture. In addition to the recrementitious paint situation, the master bedroom includes, impossible to keep clean white carpeting, two large large windows, a small closet and a 13' foot long walk in closet, and a private pooper with double vanities and separate tub and shower.

Please don't misunderstand Your Mama. We are well aware that Miss Tutera's lack of decorative restraint has made him enormously successful, his penchant for excess makes for stunning and visually exciting parties and events, and we can appreciate that he went hog wild with the day-core without concern for what might be considered tasteful or Architectural Digest worthy. It is, unquestionably, a very personal space that overcomes the generic quality sometimes seen in apartments that are decorator done, which we applaud. However, as fer as we're concerned, a little restraint with the paint patterns at home would have gone a long, long, loooong way.

Where Miss Tutera is off to next is anyone's guess, or at least not known to Your Mama, but property records do indicate that Miss Tutera and his man-friend Ryan also maintain a country compound on 9 and some acres in East Haddam, CT purchased in November of 2003 for $650,000.

Another big name resident of the 8-unit Infinity Flats building is 20-something year old Mets all-star player David Wright who dumped an even six million smackers on his 4,109 square foot penthouse in August of 2007.