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Live Like a Pro: Designers' Homes That Hit the Market in '12

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For interiors enthusiasts, few things indulge the itch of spending time in rooms completed by the pros: those who get paid to undertand the complexities of proportion and light, color and texture, beauty and function. While that's most often a pleasure limited to showhouses and the like, this year saw many a designer home actually hit the market, providing ample opportunity not only to tour these spaces but to actually lay down money for them. Take the Manhattan pied-à-terre listed by Albert Hadley a couple of months before he passed away in March. Hadley, éminence grise of American decorating, counted Jackie O. and Al Gore among his clients and famously once said, "decorators should always remember that letting a client see too many beautiful things is a pitfall." In that spirit, he filled the two-bedroom flat, located around the corner from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with "a lifetime of exquisitely curated art and furnishings," as Lonny put it when it published the home in Dec. 2010. Sadly, these priceless pieces do not come packaged with the petite apartment, but some of the unique finishes are sure to stay, including the pearly ceiling in the living room. Perhaps the folks who just signed a contract on the place, which was originally asking $1.3M, are looking to follow Hadley's credo of "classic sensibility and editorial restraint."

? While the 11,300-square-foot Beverly Hills estate Kelly Wearstler shares with her husband, real estate developer Brad Korzen, didn't first hit the market this year, for the purposes of this roundup the property was hugely repackaged, re-photographed, and listed publicly on the MLS this year. The 1926 house, remodeled into a Hollywood Regency beaut in the '30s, was first shopped around as a $46M pocket listing in Oct. 2010 and was PriceChopped to $39M a year later. That's the price tag it sported when it appeared on the MLS in March, accompanied by a fresh crop of photos—the ultra-glam, extremely particular decor that's made Wearstler so famous was replaced with suitably pared-down interiors. Thankfully, the estate's maximalized glory was eternalized in the Oct. 2009 issue of Vogue, which recorded her signature look: "horn-legged tables, black-lacquer-and-brass furnishings and objets, ebony leather Chesterfield sofas, and an alarmingly overscaled nude sculpture (torsos, busts, and other statuary abound in the house." Despite the make-under, the interior designer may have given up: she PriceChopped the manse by $3M in August, bringing its ask down to $36M, and then de-listed it around Thanksgiving.

? While Sister Parish wasn't technically the last soul to reside in this maisonette in Manhattan, the interiors queen, a partner of Albert Hadley, used the first-floor flat as a pied-à-terre to maintain close contact with potential city clients while she kept a permanent residence in New Jersey. Since Parish died in 1994, the apartment has been modified by the current owner, with decor by Mario Buatta, and few remnants of Parish remain. Listed for $3.5M in February, the apartment was PriceChopped to $3.295M in April and taken off the market in July. Perhaps someone's having second thoughts about letting go of this decorating pedigree?

? Egyptian-born industrial designer Karim Rashid has turned out thousands of off-beat designs over his career, and seems to have included most of them in the design of his Manhattan loft. Purchased by the designer in 2008 for $2.475M and featured in a 2010 issue of Interior Design magazine, the austere space is currently set up as a one-bedroom with office, and absolutely stuffed full of furniture conceived by Rashid. The furnishings aren't included in the $2.795M asking price, but the Rashid-designed "faucets, sinks, mirrors and tiles" are part of the sale. Living in the middle of a Karim Rashid retrospective might not be for everyone, but at least the famous designer isn't going for an outrageous flip, asking just $320K more than he paid for the unrenovated space.

? In April, Jeff Lewis, the saucy designer of the Bravo reality show Flipping Out, snatched up this Los Angeles home for $1.35M from a client who had, luckily for Lewis, already paid for its renovations, then put it back on the market six months later for $1.45M. Other than the reality TV connection, the 2,368-square-foot "all systems upgraded" home is, well, nothing extraordinary, with three bedrooms, a media room/office space, and a "walk in diva closet." The exterior is coated in a shade of gray that probably has some sort of fancy name like "graphite shavings at high noon" and white trim, a paint combo that seems to be the general M.O. of L.A. house flippers. Rightfully so: the property sold for $1.45M on the nose just after Thanksgiving.

? In July, designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch—who operate professionally as Roman and Williams and who have had a hand in projects like the Ace Hotel, various restaurants, and Gwyneth Paltrow's "fuzzy nap zones"relisted their Manhattan home for $3.3M. The one-bedroom full-floor loft was first put on the market for $3.5M about a year before that and had been subsequently delisted in March. Unlike most, this dashing apartment was on offer with all the furnishings; as Alesch joked, "empty it's 2.2—filled with stuff its 3.3. Thats 1.1 worth of sweet stuff. No shortage of lite contemporary drywall boxes at 1000 - 2000 a foot for most folks to buy, go get one before its too late!" Did sarcasm sell? Unclear: the listing was removed, yet again, in late October.

· The Legendary Albert Hadley Lists Much-Published NYC Flat [Curbed National]
· Kelly Wearstler's Toned-Down Estate Finally Hits the MLS [Curbed National]
· Live in the Former Digs of Legendary Decorator Sister Parrish [Curbed National]
· Designer Karim Rashid Lists Loft Full of His Own Designs [Curbed National]
· Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis Aims for Teeny Profit on L.A. Abode [Curbed National]
· Design Duo Roman and Williams Relist Their $3.3M NYC Loft [Curbed National]
· All Year in Curbed 2012 posts [Curbed National]