Lifestyles of the rich and fabulous of the Grand Valley

One of the first shows to capitalize on Americans’ obsession with celebrity was “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” with host Robin Leach.

Remember his tag line, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams”?

I used to love that show. I am endlessly fascinated with seeing how other people live, especially rich people.

I recently did an Internet search on a local real estate Web site for homes in the Grand Valley listed at or above $1 million.

I found approximately 30 million-dollar listings.

As I stalked the hallowed halls of the Grand Valley’s rich — maybe not famous, but definitely fabulous — I noted some interesting similarities.

I also picked up on some things that could easily be incorporated into a more humble abode to make it feel like a million-dollar mansion, even if it’s a quarter-million dollar rambler.


The rich and fabulous of the Grand Valley are more concerned about seeing outside their window than who is looking in.

Most of the homes listed are situated on enough property that they don’t need to be concerned about their privacy as much as the gorgeous views from their fabulous homes.

I, on the other hand, live in a neighborhood and have blinds, drapes or both on every window of my house.

As much as I enjoy the view of the neighborhood park and Colorado National Monument from my office window, privacy is still paramount.

Consider choosing the best picture window in your house and pairing down the dressings without compromising privacy. Switch a set of heavy curtains for sheers or install blinds that can allow the view during the day and be closed for privacy at night.


A chair, settee or even a couch in the bathroom gives million-dollar homeowners somewhere else to sit other than the “royal throne.”

Wouldn’t it be “loverly” to have an enormous chair in your bathroom, albeit if you had the space, or perhaps just a stool on which to stack your towels or to sit whilst tying your shoes?


A glimpse into the walk-in closets revealed that the rich and fabulous have all matching hangers, and none of them wire, Mommy Dearest.

Matching hangers make a closet look less cluttered. It also makes you feel like you’re “shopping” for your clothes all over again.

My sister, who is a wardrobe consultant, exchanged my mismatched, bulky plastic hangers for slimmer, velvet hangers with a metal, swivel neck. I love the streamlined look of my closet. It was an inexpensive change that made a big difference in how my closet looks and feels.


No bellying up to the bar a la Molly Brown. The rich and fabulous of the Grand Valley prefer to sit. Every single one of the million dollar listings I perused had stools lined up at the kitchen counters.

Varying in styles and height, larger kitchens give highfalutin homeowners options for extra seating around countertops and bars.


As much as I love my Dyson, it can’t go anywhere without me.

The rich and fabulous have robots do the work for them. I spied one million-dollar listing with a Roomba, a small robotic vacuum.

You don’t need to wait until you make your first million to have your own cleaning robot. The Roomba sells for about $250 new or about $129 used.


The million-dollar listings were orderly with minimal, if any, extraneous furnishings or belongings.

Perhaps it’s clean just because they have their house up for sale. Perhaps, a home stager came in and told them to put a third of their stuff in storage.

Whatever the scenario, the million-dollar listings I looked at were clean and orderly.

Cleanliness isn’t an exclusive quality of the rich. Whatever your tax bracket, it doesn’t cost a thing to clean up.

My personal tastes aren’t champagne and caviar, but with some matching hangers, a little chair for the master bath and robot to help me keep tidy, I can at least feel like a million dollars.

For more on an unpredictable variety of other topics, visit Annie Payne’s “Anniethology” blog online at


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