SELLER: Lara Shriftman
LOCATION: Belfast Drive, Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,455 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Wonderful Paul Williams style traditional above the str. at the end of a cul–de-sac. This gracious residence offers city views, privacy, frmal entry w/ sweeping staircase, step-down LR w/ high clngs, crown mldings & FP opening to a sun rm. Formal DR, lrge kitch., office & den complete the downstairs. Garage has been converted to spacious bonus rm. Upstairs is a mster suite w/ city views, 2 walk-in closets & a junior mster suite. All baths have been redone. Secluded pl, patios and garden.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: First of all, it’s pronounced Lair-uh, okay?
Now then, Your Mama recognizes that many of the children will not recognize Lara Shriftman’s name…but Your Mama sure does, as we imagine most of the New York City children who used to dine and drink in places like Butter and Lot 61 do too. (We know Lot 61 is closed no, so don’t be sassin’ us about including it here.) See puppies, once upon a time, another lifetime ago really, Your Mama did a lot of work for a super swanky skincare company on the Upper East Side of Manhattan…you know, the sort of place where you could get your skin peeled, the age spots lasered and Botox injected all up and down your damn body. The company has since swirled down the proverbial terlit of start up companies that can’t cut the mustard. However, at the time we were working our fingers to the nubbins for this emporium of bizarre beauty treatments, Miss Shriftman and her bizness partner Elizabeth Harrison were the high-toned (if part-time) public relations people for the company.
According to their website, Harrison & Shriftman has offices is Los Angeles, New York, and Miami and their impressively long list of current retainer clients includes (but is not limited to) companies such as Fearless Yachts, Grey Goose Vodka, Lacoste, Mercedes Benz, Mr. Chow, the Sagamore Hotel, The naughty-naughty Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and the entire country of Costa Rica. So it goes without saying, really, that Miss Shriftman has been boo-coo successful in her quest to toss exclusive parties for and say only the nicest things about her many clients. It doesn’t hurt that she pals around with another well-known Lara (Flynn Boyle) or that her baby daddy is Juan Bacardi who, you guessed it, belongs to the booze making Bacardi family.
Anhoo, back in the early 2000s (or around that time), there was a small army of very young, very well connected and oddly powerful PR flaks who were paid big bucks to promote pricey doo-dads, throw parties, and pull strings for their high profile clients. These Prada-clad twenty-somethings proudly hung around with famous folks (remember that awful name dropper Jonathan Cheban?), partied like their rock star clients in places like Amy Sacco’s notoriously celebrity packed Bungalow 8 and, in some cases, ran people over with their Mercedes SUVs like that high priestess of PR Lizzie Grubman did in July of 2001. Miss Shriftman was/is part of that crowd. Although we don’t think she ever mowed anyone down in front of a velvet rope club in the Hamptons like Miss Grubman did, she was featured in a deliciously salacious article in New York Magazine that profiled some of most powerful ladee-gurl publicists of that time who plied their smooth talking, party making and VIP all access pass carrying ways all around the globe.
Although Miss Shriftman, who reportedly consults (or used to consult) a psychic friend named Karen on any major decisions, was often working her PR magic in New York and elsewhere, property records show that in March of 2004 the spin mistress purchased a dignified if not pedigreed house on Belfast Drive in the Sunset Strip area of Los Angeles for $1,200,000. In mid-April of 2009 she hoisted the house on to the market with an asking price of $3,200,000, a figure that just two weeks later was choppity-chopped to its current asking price of $2,850,000.
Listing information and prop records show the house measures 2,455 square feet, a number that seems a bit wee to Your Mama because this crib photographs looking far more substantial than 2400 and something square feet. Records show the 3 bedroom and 4 bathroom house was built in 1938. According to listing information, the house, which sits gloriously high off the street, was built in a “Paul Williams style” which means, all the architectural snobs recognize, it is not an actual Paul Williams designed house.
A long driveway curves and rises to a two car garage in which no cars can be parked because it’s been turned into some sort of “bonus room.” The front door opens to a old-school foyer with a gorgeous slate floor and a swooping staircase begging to have Norma Desmond or some other high-drama diva come gliding down screeching about her faded youth and beauty. The living room has been updated with pot lights (for better or worse) and features shiny wood floors and a lot of very white, clean lined furniture pieces surrounding a round coffee table, all of which sits in front of the wood burning fireplace with its wonderfully minimal surround. We’re just going to pretend like those purple and too-precious orchids aren’t even there because Your Mama will fly into an uncontrollable rage if we have to explain one more time that orchids as day-core are through. Done. Fini.
The spare, yet delightfully dramatic dining room has a large bay window, black painted walls with white accents and a large marble topped circular table with six or eight angular and straight-edged chairs. The whole room is lit by a bowl shaped chandelier that looks like it’s crafted of melting crystals, a look both disturbing and interesting. The adjacent and starkly all white kitchen has marble counter tops and a large greenhouse style window has been installed the length of one wall over the range top and sink where we feel certain our imperious but day-dreamy house gurl Svetlana would surely enjoy watching the bamboo sway in the breeze while scrubbing up the dinner dishes
Also on the main level, according to listing information is an office and den where Your Mama spies a giant velvet covered sectional sofa quietly whispering to be laid on by someone, perhaps Your Mama, who is not wearing any clothes. Or perhaps this is the aforementioned “bonus room?” Could be. We don’t know.
Upstairs are the bedrooms which include a junior master and a senior master bedroom all white and Delano Hotel-like except for the honey colored wood floors and Grandma Shriftman’s wonderfully out of place embroidered chair in the corner. All bathrooms, according to listing information, have been over-hauled including the master where an ornate, beveled Venetian style mirror makes a real statement and an interesting (if not entirely successful) counterpoint to the very modern and clean lined double sinks and nickel plated taps…or at least we hope they’re nickel plated for this kind of money.
The solarium (or whatever Miss Shriftman calls it) features a wall of paned windows that open to a brick terrace that runs along the back of the house. The entire room, including the brick floor, has been painted with the freshest white paint money can buy and is set off by a quartet of yellow abstract painting (that look sort of intriguing from this distance) and a small disco ball which hangs from the ceiling and is really too small for the toom. A larger glitter ball would have better matched the scale of the room, at least in our humble and entirely meaningless opinion.
Out back, large brick staircase gently leads up the to the blessedly rectangular swimming pool which is surrounded by more brick terracing and a lighter than air Hollywood Regency style fence that may or may not keep a drunk party guest from falling off the upper terrace and down into the lower terrace outside the kitchen and solarium, or whatever it’s called.
There would seem to be no reason for Miss Shriftman and Mister Booze Heir to move house just because they had a baby recently, but the children all know that rich people often think, “new baby, new house.”
A quick spin through property records does not show Miss Shriftman or Mister Bacardi owning any other property in Los Angeles or New York. That doesn’t mean they don’t own other properties, just means we didn’t find any.