Sunday, 7 September 2014

Selling Nicole's House...

If you're finding it hard to sell your property, then imagine trying to sell a home stigmatized by shocking crimes and catastrophes.

 Take Bundy Drive in Brentwood, California where Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death, allegedly by her husband O.J. Simpson.

 Denise Brown said her sister Nicole loved her home. "It was perfect for her. It wasn't too much garden work. It was light, it was bright, it was airy," said Brown.

 After Nicole was murdered, the Browns found themselves in the midst of a practical predicament -- what to do with her property.

 Brown said the house looked empty even though nothing from it was gone. "I mean, it wasn't, it wasn't as if the furniture or anything was gone. But it was just an empty, lonely feeling. You know, something was missing and it was my sister," she said.

'A Bouquet of Flowers Lain as a Tribute Outside 875 South Bundy Drive on Monday June 13 1994'

Many people are ambivalent about selling a house where something terrible has happened, because it is difficult to let their loved one's memories go. But the reality is, there are bills to pay.

 Under those circumstances, there's only one person to call, Randall Bell, also known as the master of disaster. He's not a realtor; he's an appraiser and economist, and is considered the country's foremost expert on damaged real estate.

 Bell got a call from Nicole's father, Lou Brown.

 "Lou asked me to appraise the property and also give him some advice on how to handle the situation," Bell said. "The family, of course, was dealing with a horrible emotional problem and still is. But on the other hand, they had this condo and they had practical issues and they needed to sell it."

 The Brown family put the condo up for sale shortly after the murders. But it was too early, and the stigma too deep. It sat on the market for two-and-a-half years and finally sold for $200,000 less than Nicole had paid for it.

 "Crime scene stigma has two effects on property values," Bell said. "One is the most obvious, and that's the discounting effect. And the second is that it takes longer to sell these properties."

 And in another twist for the Brown family, the condo on Bundy, which sold for just $590,000, is back on the market, with an asking price of $1.8 million.

 "I guess real-estate-wise, I mean thinking now, oh my gosh the property's worth so much we probably should have hung on to it," said Denise Brown.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A House on Rockingham...

Welcome to a House on Rockingham which tells the continuing story of the creation of 'Nicole's House'...

On Sunday June 12 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson became a public figure overnight for on that balmy Sunday evening she was senselessly and brutally murdered in the grounds of her home at 875 South Bundy Drive in the leafy suburb of Brentwood in California.

Her murder trial and that of her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman who had been murdered alongside her became known as the "Trial of the Century" with her former husband Orenthal James Simpson as the accused.

It is hard to believe that Nicole was murdered twenty years ago for I can remember the BBC news reports and the iconic photographs of the bloody pathway lined with purple and lilac Agapanthus, the farcical "Bronco Chase", the sensational headlines week after week in The National Enquirer, the court testimony of Mark Fuhrman and the shock of the "Not Guilty" verdict the following year.

And yet what I most recall is the realisation of a grotesque dichotomy that despite the voluminous photographs of a beautiful and happy Nicole that she had in fact been abused by Simpson throughout most of their seventeen year relationship.

The first book that I ever bought about Nicole was in the Autumn of 1994 written by her friend Faye Resnick and I am still reading about her.

She was the subject of my Thesis in 1999 and remains the purpose for my work ever since.

A House on Rockingham is created as a tribute to the essence of this attractive and free-spirited person, loyal to her family and friends and a devoted mother to her children…

Bye for now!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A Talent for Life...

Nicole was, in equal parts, hip, windswept, upscale surfer girl and pious, hardy German fräulein...

She was an avid gardener and a talented decorator who, in that no-nonsense way she had, hauled potted plants and furniture in the back of her car rather than have them delivered; who did her own furniture finishing and exuberantly decorated her friends' homes...

Sheila Weller
Raging Heart
The Intimate Story of the Tragic Marriage of O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson
(London: Pocket Books 1995)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Introducing the Ghost of Brentwood...

As well as a passion for the creation of 'Small Worlds', the Regency world of the Poet Lord Byron and chocolate, I also have an enduring interest in the life and legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson.

"I just don't see how our stories compare -I was so bad because I wore sweats & left shoes around & didn't keep a perfect house or comb my hair the way you like it - or had dinner ready at the precise moment you walked through the door or that I just plain got on your nerves sometimes.

I just don't see how that compares to infidelity, wife beating, verbal abuse.

I just don't think everybody goes through this....
I called the cops to save my life whether you believe it or not.."

These are the harrowing words written by Nicole shortly before her brutal murder on Sunday June 12 1994 in the garden of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles as her two children Justin and Sydney were sleeping.

Nicole's former husband O.J. Simpson was subsequently arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder and that of her friend Ronald Goldman in a relentless blaze of publicity the following year.

I began to read about Nicole shortly after her murder in 1994, she was the focus for the research and publication of my BA thesis in 1999 and I have been reading about her ever since.

She was also the inspiration behind the creation of my "California style" ocean-front house 875 South Bundy Drive June 1994 and now known as 'Nicole's House'

In June 1994 and shortly before her brutal murder, Nicole was making plans to leave her home at 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles in order to escape the abuse and obsession that had characterised her long relationship with O.J. Simpson and only days before her death, Nicole had seen a beach house in Malibu available for rent and she was excited and positive at the prospect of a move there with their children Sydney and Justin.

'Nicole's House' is a House created in Miniature that tells several narratives:

A recreation of some of the principle rooms at 875 South Bundy Drive as they were discovered in the early hours of Monday June 13 1994 as the investigation into the murders of Nicole and Ronald Lyle Goldman was underway and the additional rooms are created as a tribute to the style and essence of Nicole who loved the style of interior design that has come to typify the "California Look".

Finally, as we know that Nicole was planning a move to a beach house in Malibu, 'Nicole's House' is a poignant reminder of "what could have been".

Bye for now!

Introducing the Work of Tee Bylo... Concludes!

In addition, I am also frequently to be located within the annals of Regency history and in particular the year 1815 as the design for my abode for the delightful Lord Byron called 13 Piccadilly Terrace circa 1815 continues...

And although the pots of distemper paint, lime wash and brown mahogany wood dye have been packed away for the moment, a large cardboard box containing the gorgeous silks for the soft furnishings awaits...

I can handle fabrics that I can glue but, alas, the art of the needle is beyond me!

It is fortunate that as I am also an enthusiastic social networker who travels through cyber space to the lands of Blogger and Facebook, tumbling into Tumblr and ‘tweeting’ to Twitter, I have been able to meet other miniaturists whose skills can more than compensate for my shortcomings.

Artists such as Louise Goldsborough of Angelique Miniatures have positively embraced the art of miniature couture on my behalf and Hayley Bedells of MiniMunchies has managed to create a delicious feast or two for my ‘Small World’ inhabitants which is something my own family have been known to long for!

Now what I most long for is a nice cup of tea and perhaps a chunk or two of chocolate!
Bye for now!

Tee Bylo
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