Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Double Whammy I: Melissa and Joe Gorga
LOCATION: Montville Township, NJ
SIZE: 13,500 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms,
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The deliciously tawdry and wildly successful Real Housewives of Wherever franchise keeps churning out the (melo)dramatics and nowhere more so than in Noo Joizee where the show's volatile group of mommies are frequently at each others' throats over rumors, minor insults and a whole host of real and perceived slights. They typically argue about important matters like who copies whose style and/or who bought (or didn't buy) gifts for the kids. At the center of the current season's inter-family hysterics is wannabe pop star Melissa Gorga and her ever-horny, fireplug of a husband Giuseppe "Joe" Gorga, baby brother of famously hot-tempered housewife Teresa Giudice.
The young and glitzed-up Gorgas, amid unsubstantiated rumors they want to go Hollywood, have recently (re-)listed their Montville Township, NJ mansion with an asking price of $3,800,000. This is not the first time the Gorgas have gotten on the bronco at this particular real estate rodeo; In 2010, shortly after construction was completed and just before they signed the necessary contracts to appear on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, they briefly had the aggressively opulent and utterly vexatious mcmansion on the market with a higher (and apparently optimistic) price tag of $4,100,000.
Your Mama ain't a scholar so we can't really identify the architectural style of The Gorga's gargantuan mcmansion in Montville. Listing information calls it "European-influenced." We see it less grandiosely, perhaps, through squinted eyes as the East Coast equivalent of all the over-blown faux-Tuscan and mock-Med mcmansions that line the streets of far too many of the gated, master-planned developments that breed like rats west of the Rockies.
Property records we peeped aren't entirely clear but indicate Mister and Missus Gorga picked up the then-vacant 2.24 acre parcel in February 2007 for $950,000. Later in the year, as per documentation easily accessible online, they took a $2,250,000 construction loan—recently converted to a traditional 30-year mortgage—and proceeded to erect their hulking, L-shaped dwelling. Current listing information shows the monstrous, 16-room manse measures 13,500 square feet with half a dozen bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, garage space for four cars, and a 2-story foyer designed to impress family members and pizza delivery boys with biscuit-colored inlaid marble floors, heavy, wedding-cake-ish gilded moldings, curving twin staircases with intricate, wrought iron and gilt banister, and an oddly undulating coffered ceiling laced with—you got it—more gilt detailing.
Listing photographs show the inlaid marble floors in the foyer stretch into the cavernous, double-height formal living room that aims to be decadent with its elaborate fireplace and chimney breast, pilaster flanked windows and doorways, and glittery crystal (or glass) chandelier. Counter-intuitively the room has paltry few furnishings besides a squirrel-colored faux-Louis-style sofa, a couple of mis-matched chairs and a black, baby-grand piano...with the lid propped open.
The inlaid marble floors continue into the baby-blue, white and gold formal dining room and switch to some sort of tumbled stone tile in the cook-friendly center island kitchen. The cabinetry—mostly bone-colored with every inch covered in some awful carved chingadero— has brown and beige speckled granite counter tops. There's a soaring Palladian-type window above the sink, the ceiling is heavily coffered, and the trio of white, carved wood stools scooted up to the convenient island snack bar are, well, unspeakable.
The floors turn to high-gloss wood in the wood-paneled game room (with carved wood fireplace) as well as in the long family room where listing photos show a built-in entertainment center with gilt detailing—of course—and a smattering of furniture and day-core that consists of barely more than a espresso bean-brown leather sofa and a couple of matching, man-sized recliners, a bow-legged coffee table, and a big ol' urn from Pier One or World Market or some global marketplace store like that. The floors surprisingly and inexplicably switch to wall-to-wall red carpeting in the circular, double height library/office encircled by built-in (and book-free) bookshelves topped by pastel-colored murals that may (or may not) depict simple vistas of the Italian country- and sea-side.
Somewhere in the house there's a wood-paneled movie theater with rose-colored carpeting and black leather seating for at least 10 people. In the basement Hubby Gorga installed a costly recording studio so Wifey Gorga could record her thickly auto-tuned club tracks without ever having to leave the house, a feature that will certainly appeal to a few potential buyers.
Upstairs the all-biscuit and beige master suite has a vaulted ceiling, arched windows, a giant walk-in closet and an attached bathroom with free-standing soaking tub, a pair of carved wood sink pedestals, a small crystal (or glass) chandelier, an over-scaled carved wood fireplace and—natch—lots of gilded accents and details. The children's bedrooms included with online listings—but not shown here—are down-the-line gender specific. A young girl's bedroom room is all blush pink and princess-y while a young boy's is baby blue with a sports theme. How imaginative.
We're not sure if Mister and Missus Gorga (e la famiglia) have already cleared the house of much of their day-core and other personal belongings or if they just don't own much in the way of furniture or care about the day-core. We hope it's the former because the latter is just a sad and sorry state of affairs. People who buy or build massive mansions and then don't have the good sense (or money) to furnish them properly really chaps Your Mama's delicate decorative hide. We ain't saying this is the case for the Gorgas. We make zero claims of any knowledge of their financial circumstances. For all we know they're holding more cash and jewels than the damn Pope. However, hunties, let's get real for a moment. Rule Number 3 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Don'ts reads in part, "There's little that more loudly screams, 'We don't have as much money as we like people to think we do' than a barely furnished mcmansion." We're not sayin', we're just sayin'. Okay?
Anyhoo, much of the Gorga's 2.24 acres sits at the front of the house where a narrow paver-tiled driveway makes its way through un-gated pillars before it snakes across a gently rolling lawn to a too-small circular motor court at the front of the house that connects via an arched passage between the two, rear-facing two-car garages to a second, much larger parking area and motor court.
An uncharacteristically discreet, tri-arched loggia at the back of the house joins the interior spaces to the exterior entertainment areas that include (and may not be limited to) a built-in barbecue, an amoebic terrace lined with boulder-strewn planting beds and wide swathes of un-fenced lawn that gives way to a thick stand of woodland. As far as we can tell from listing information and aerial imagery, unlike most of the other surrounding mansions, Chez Gorga does not have a swimming pool or spa. Pity that for $3.8 million.
As was shown on a recent episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Joe and Melissa Gorga also own a waterfront house down by the sea shore in Toms River, NJ. More on that also-on-the-market wart below...
listing photos: RE/MAX Village Square