LOCATION: Isleboro, ME
SIZE: 3,371 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Every now and then Your Mama gets a ringy-dingy from a friendly snitch in a far off place we know little about who, for whatever reason(s), knows their celebrity real estate stuff backward and forward. Such was the case the other day when we awoke to a covert communique from an unknown informant we’ll call Muffy Devareaux who tattled to Your Mama that Fat Actress and (once again) newly svelte Dancing With the Stars runner-up Kirstie Alley put her florid house in semi-remote Isleboro, ME on the market with an asking price of $2,350,000.
Public property records show Miss Alley’s retreat on the rugged and dramatic coast of Maine was built in 1993, measures 3,371 square feet and that she acquired it in her own name in April 2003 for $1,150,000. Listing information, on the other hand, shows the 12-room clapboard-sided residence includes 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in a suspiciously snug sounding 2,048 square feet. We don’t know why the discrepancy in square footage but iffin we were the wagering type–and we’re not–Your Mama would bet our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly both that Miss Alley’s Isleboro hideaway is closer to 3,400 square feet than 2,000 square feet.
Once upon a time, in our long ago dewy youth, Your Mama occasionally visited Maine’s gay-gay-gay seaside community of Ogunquit where our old and dear pal Flower’s family owned a modest modernist cedar and glass summer home. Of course, being natural born contrarians, we only went north to Maine in the late fall and early winter when all the sunbathers had retreated like the tide back to whatever east coast community they called home during the more inclement months of the year. As much as we loved our trips to Maine, the truth is, we rarely ventured farther than the back yard so we know precious little about Maine in general and even less about the upscale summer enclave of Isleboro. A few minutes research on the interweb did teach Your Mama that the somewhat remote and very quiet community is accessible only by ferry or private plane, has long been a gathering spot for rugged blue bloods, Mayflower lock-jaws and various other wealthy folks, and counts at least one other property owner besides Miss Alley who is both a famous actor and a committed Scientologist. Since at least the late 1990s John Travolta and his long-time wife Kelly Preston have owned a massive Tudor Revival style pile on Isleboro all done up and did over with a very traditional English Country house type day-core that was featured in a 1999 issue of Architectural Digest.
Miss Alley’s Isleboro getaway, scenically sited on a mild slope above Jones Cove has a bone-chilling but oddly interesting girly-grandma day-core that looks to Your Mama like a kind of geriatric homage to the explosive (and expensive) mixy–matchy floral print and multicolored chintz extravaganzas that made high-class decorator Mario Buatta rich and famous. Well, at least he’s famous in the persnickety world of nice, gay decorators, design critics and magazine/blog editors.
Anyhoo, we’re not sure who might be responsible for the frilly and almost frighteningly feminine day-core at Miss Alley’s shore side cottage in Maine but it all looks to Your Mama like the still-sexy-at sixty Miss Alley dispersed an army of wild-eyed and budget-unencumbered assistants to scour flea markets and yard sales up and down the eastern seaboard to fill the house with old-school doo-dads and gew–gaws that reach back into the days when women were expected to be happy homemakers and domestic dervishes who bake, vacuum and launder day in and day out with a frozen smile on their face, an apron around their waist, and a cloth-diapered baby on each their broad child-bearing hips.
The one-noted decorative style aside, listing information shows luscious wide-plank wood floors run throughout the main living areas which include a few sitting rooms–some with fireplaces and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams–an intimately-scaled formal dining room with built-in buffet, and a country kitchen with Viking brand and retro-style appliances, and old-school marble counter tops. Open shelving display Miss Alley’s rather extensive looking pastel-colored collection of vintage glass- and dishware. An enviably gigantic pantry has a dee–voon vaulted pitched vaulted ceiling, vintage wash sink, portable center work island with butcher block counter top, and row after row of open shelves where Miss Alley displays dozens of vintage vases and various other breakable tchotchke.
Each of the bedrooms and bathrooms were given the same effusive and powdery cottage-style decorative rigamarole as the home’s more public rooms. The sleeping chambers and terliting facilities all look to Your Mama like the sort of über-quaint high-end bed and breakfast we avoid like the plague. Bed and breakfasts are fine for those who prefer to take their temporary accommodations with a heavy dose of antique cuteness, either authentic or faux. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter just prefer something less decoratively saccharine and aggressively charming.
Anyhoo, beautifully and lushly maintained gardens surround the house as do various porches and decks that exploit Maine’s temperate summertime weather. At one end of the house a covered porch with outdoor fireplace makes for a shaded spot from which to survey the grassy grounds that slope gently towards the water. A dining deck off the main living rooms at the rear of the residence offers a more direct and dramatic view of the coastline through a sparse stand of tall trees. For the record, Your Mama can be an absolute push over for brightly colored things and we’re jelly-kneed with desire for the octagonal picnic table and we die for the yellow umbrella trimmed like Ronald McDonald with a vigorous red-orange scallop.
A pathway with hand-carved handrail slopes from the back deck to the secluded estate’s 634 feet of water’s edge where a narrow wood dock stretches out over the lapping waters to a floating dock perfect for sunbathing, fishing–if you like fishing, which we do not–and parking watercraft.
Naturally we don’t have any idea why Miss Alley would want to unload her flagrantly feminine house in Isleboro but, perhaps she just wants to lighten her rather heavy, costly, and high maintenance real estate load.
Miss Alley’s other known real estate holdings are significant and include (but are not limited to) a gated estate with a 6,958 square foot mansion originally built in 1931 and located in a prime section of the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles that she bought back in September 2000 for $2,998,000. In March 2008, property records reveal Miss Alley dropped $1,800,000 for a 7,948 square foot mansion with 10 poopers in Clearwater, FL. Clearwater might seem a slightly unusual locale for a Tinseltowner to own a huge home but Clearwater happens to be the spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology, the religion to which Miss Alley is famously affiliated. Property records also indicate that Miss Alley owns several homes in her native Wichita, KS as well as a 300-plus acre ranch spread tucked deep into a remote canyon outside of Ashland, OR.
listing photos: Legacy Properties / Sotheby’s International Realty