SELLER: Ross Mathews
LOCATION: Palm Springs, CA
SIZE: 1,233 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: A desert birdie with whom we’re acquainted kindly let Your Mama know by way of covert communiqué that sassy-pants television personality and budding eCommerce entrepreneur Ross Mathews put his colorfully decorated Palm Springs hideaway on the market with an asking price of $509,999. (Let’s just call it $510,000, shall we?)
Mister Mathews strapped on his showbiz training wheels in the early Aughts as an intern turned sharp-witted and campy correspondent on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and just this last weekend, in fact, he fêted and roasted his former employer in New York City when he — Mister Leno — received the 17th-annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Beginning in 2007 Mister Mathews started to show up as a panelist and/or guest host on both “The View” and Chelsea Handler’s recently shuttered chat show “Chelsea Lately.” Last year he published a droll memoir (“Man Up”) and debuted his own late-night talk show (“Hello Ross”) that, despite his People’s Choice Award nomination in the Favorite New Talk Show Host category, was cancelled in August (2014) after just two seasons. He also does a fair amount of red carpet interviews and commentary, occasionally pops up on celebrity-related game shows and reality shows and, late last year, he incongruously co-founded a sprawling eCommerce site, Swank, that hawks all manner of stone, tile, wood, veneer and other flooring surfaces.
Property records show the self-described pop culture junkie and his long-time man-friend, stylist Salvador Camarena, purchased the property in July 2012 for $223,000. Listing details gleefully announce the house “was featured on HGTV’s House Hunters!!!!!!!!!!!!!” but, honestly children, we’re not sure if Mister Mathews was involved in that production or not. Whatever the case, a few quick clicks and clacks on Your Mama’s trusty bejeweled abacus shows the current — and unnecessarily complicated — asking price is more than 2.25-times the couple’s 2012 purchase price. (We’re just gonna let those in the know about the Palm Springs real estate marketplace duke it out in the comments about whether that’s a bravely optimistic asking price or an accurate reflection of just how brisk the property market is in Palm Springs where, in case any of the children did not know, an unusually high number of homeowners are grey, gay or — as often as not — gay and grey.)
The walled, gated and high-hedged property occupies a puny, .13-acre corner parcel on a busy street just a few blocks from the heart of the tourist-choked downtown and the design-oriented uptown districts. Listing details show the flat-roofed residence was originally built in 1955 with 1,233 square feet but goes on to explain that a former owner converted “another room” — presumably the garage — to interior space thus bringing square footage to “approximately 1,600.” Additionally, digital marketing materials show there are three bedrooms and three bathrooms while the Riverside County Tax Man shows just two bedrooms and one bathroom.
Buoyant, bright green double front doors stand out against the more discreet and manly slate blue exterior and open to a two-chamber entry that switches back to a compact dining space that does double-duty as the crowded hub between the entry, the kitchen and the living room. In the living room area, listing photos show an unfortunately off-center fireplace set into a white-painted brick wall as well as wide row of French doors the open to the entry porch and yard. The kitchen has not one but two raised snack counters, plain white cabinetry, speckled taupe granite counter tops, low-to-medium grade stainless steel appliances and an inconveniently situated door that opens to a slender side yard.
Throughout the house this property gossip spotted a healthy dose of cutesy and — let’s be honest — cliché mid-century modern decorative accoutrement, i.e. the macramé owl wall hanging in the entry and the golden owl on the all glass coffee table. Your Mama also feels we’d be remiss not to note that the above-mentioned main living spaces have utterly ordinary, mottled beige tile floors that, quite frankly, don’t seem like a particularly inspired choice for a flamboyant fellow who co-founded an internet-based retailer that sells about 900,000 types and colors of floor tile.
Listing photos show one of the three bedrooms was furnished by Misters Mathews and Camarena as a den/home office while another, much larger bedroom has wood pattern laminate floors and French doors that open to the swimming pool. The third bedroom has an itty-bitty lounge alcove with sliding glass doors that open to the yard and, in the bedroom area, one wall is almost entirely covered with mirrors. The mirror panels actually stretch from wall to wall and clear up to the ceiling but inexplicably stop about two feet from the fully carpeted floor. Can someone please explain the decorative wisdom of that? If a person desires a bedroom wall completely covered with mirrors — and, children, we can not in good decorative conscious suggest that anyone but the painfully vain install a full wall of mirrors in their bedroom — why not just have the mirrored panels extend all the way to the floor? But anyways…
The professionally landscaped and essentially L-shaped yard wraps around the front and side of the house and includes a gated parking pad for one car, a crushed granite dining terrace and a kidney-shaped swimming pool set into a concrete patio partially shaded by a black and white striped awning.
Last May (2013), Misters Mathews and Camarena sold their starter home in L.A.’s Atwater Village area near Silver Lake and Los Feliz for $676,500 and shelled out $1,100,000 for a newly refreshed, 3,788-square-foot contemporary house in Glendale with panoramic valley and mountain views.
Listing photos: Keller Williams