Versailles: A Tale of Ten Kitchens

Versailles: A Tale of Ten KitchensDr. Mr & Mrs. Siegel,

My favorite reader, Brian, recently informed me that you’re moving ahead with construction plans on your obscenely large house near Orlando.  Kudos to you for your perseverance through such difficult times.  You’ve obviously been through a lot and I’m glad to see that you’ll finally get to live in your lavish mansion after all.  While I am happy about your new circumstances, I do have a few questions about why you chose to have ten kitchens in your new home.

For instance, where do you keep your favorite rolling pin?  And, what do you do if you’re making grilled cheese and there are only Kraft singles in the kitchen you’re using?  Do you wander from kitchen to kitchen looking for the good deli cheese?  Or, do you just buy the expensive shit for all ten kitchens just in case you need it?

Are you really going to purchase ten sets of pots and pans?  Ten cutting boards?  Ten sets of silverware?  Ten sets of herbs and spices?  Furthermore, what are you going to do if you need to make eleven dinners at the same time WITH ONLY TEN KITCHENS?

Sorry about that, folks.  Give me a second to gain my composure.  I seem to get a little riled up any time I get an update on the Siegels and their ridiculous plans for the ugliest house in America.  If you watched the Queen of Versailles, you learned that the Siegels had to halt construction on the project.  Fortunately, Unfortunately, the couple’s misery was fairly short-lived.   According to a story from Yahoo, the dynamic duo is at it again…building a house so ridiculously large that they should probably be concerned about going to hell.  So, how big is it?  According to Yahoo, the house has 13 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, 10 kitchens, two elevators, two movie theaters, a roller rink and a bowling alley.

Swingers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Need Thirteen Bedrooms

Although thirteen bedrooms is a lot, I can see needing that many under the right circumstances.  After all, they do have all kinds of offspring slothing about their giant home.  I could see them hosting parties full of guests and needing spare rooms to accommodate the extra bodies.  However, what are the chances of 23 people needing to pee at the same time?  And, two movie theatres?  Is that really necessary?  What about learning to compromise on a movie that everyone will like?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Siegels have compromised on much.  According The Queen of Versailles, the Siegel’s “dream home” grew to 90,000 square feet because they kept adding features and rooms that they wanted.  The bigger they dreamed, the bigger the house grew.  Vomit.  I honestly thought this house would never be finished due to the ridiculous sums of money needed to do so.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.   Even worse, we’re probably going to hear this wretched tale of excess for a long time since the house won’t be fully finished until 2015.

Would you want a 90,000 square foot abode?  I personally wouldn’t, and honestly, just reading about it stresses me out.  I can’t imagine how I could organize my belongings in a way that I could ever find anything again.  I also think that a 90,000 square foot home is for people who hate each other.  There, I said it. I would never want that much space between myself and the people I love.

So, what do you guys think?


About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.


  1. Ah that’s crazy they are going through with it. I wouldn’t want it for a few reasons, including the fact that it would be impossible to sell, nearly impossible to manage, and the fact that even if it was what I wanted everyone would hate me because of it haha. But you make a good point that you would be very seperated from those that you love. I’m curious to see how castles from the medieval times compare to this house size-wise….
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  2. Haha ahhhh the Versailles mansion. I wrote about this a while back too because it was so disgusting ro read about ( Seriously, what is the deal with these people?

  3. This confuses me… what possible use could there be for TEN kitchens? Can you imagine if you went to the store to get some ice cream but you forgot what freezer you put it in? It would take hours or a search team to ever find it. Going back to the store to buy more might be quicker.
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  4. I always feel so sorry for these guys. They are so incredibly disillusioned about what’s important in life, and must have pretty empty hearts and souls, I would imagine. When will they learn that all of the “stuff” in the world will never buy happiness? You would think at their current level of spending that they would’ve figured this out by now. Just sad.
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    • It really is sad. In a world where people are starving and dying, they’re squandering their opportunity to actually make a difference in the world by spending a billion dollars on a house for themselves. I don’t know how they sleep at night…I feel bad when I throw a half of a banana away.

  5. Wow, that’s crazy! Just imagine if you lost your keys… though I am assuming these people likely do not drive themselves. I could not have a house that big as it’s simply just WAY too much. Besides that, a house with 2 elevators is really not a house in my opinion.
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  6. I have seen that documentary. I understand having a lot of bedrooms (they have a lot of kids, and I’m sure guests) but ten kitchens? That’s just ridiculous and pointless.
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  7. I think you’re right. You can’t live with only 10 bathrooms, but it’s a good start.
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  8. I am so glad I sent you that link now because that open letter made me laugh in my cube so hard my coworkers looked at me funny (totally worth it).

    I have enough trouble keeping my house clean and using all the space, so I’m pretty sure if I had 90,000 square feet, 88,500 square feet would be empty and a little dusty.

  9. I waste of time and effort but its there money so build 17 rooms if you want. I personally wouldn’t want anything that big. Build a home for needy children or the homeless. One good thing is a lot of people have jobs while they are constructing it.
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  10. Haha, pretty crazy. There’s definitely some diminishing returns involved here. I think I would go crazy with that much space. The one big indulgence I would allow myself, if I had the money, would be a gym. Like a full-size basketball court, maybe with a retractable roof. That would be awesome! But 10 kitchens? Kill me now.
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    • I would also like a gym! Just not ten kitchens or all that other stuff. My big splurge in our next house will be a jacuzzi tub in my bathroom.

  11. It seems like a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.
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  12. I think living in a house that big could be interesting! Maybe some of the kitchens are reserved for catering events or for staff to use during their down-time? There’s no way I would have a house that big without paying for a cleaning and/or maintenance team to help run it.

    Oh! Maybe this sized house could be finally be the excuse to invent a real-life Willy Wonka Elevator!
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  13. I actually just watched that stupid documentary and I think my wife was about to throw something through the television. This is the ultimate show of consumerism and it is disgusting. I wouldn’t want a house that large and that is not ever going to be a dream of mine.
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  14. I watched the documentary and while their current home is large and grand, there’s crap everywhere! I wouldn’t want to live like that. I think a more reasonably sized home encourages one to get rid of clutter and keep a clean house and that’s how I prefer to live.
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  15. oh so that’s what that show is about! I keep seeing in hulu but I never knew. I don’t understand all that excess…it’s so beyond my way of thinking. Even if I had billions of dollars I’d have a manageable house. I’d rather use that money for other things like travel experiences…or just never having to worry about money…EVER!
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  16. No effing way!! Wouldn’t want that at all. I think for me 2,000 square feet would be ideal and 3,000 square feet would probably feel like a mansion. I really just don’t understand what would possess someone to want a 90,000 square foot house other than just to say that they have a 90,000 square foot house. I personally think it’s disgusting!
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  17. Well Holly, you certainly know how you feel about this, were in the same boat. I can’t believe they’re going through with this. He probably finally just filed for bankruptcy with his Vegas towers and took the money for the house. I call an eviction within 3 years. Modern day Harrenhal anyone?
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  18. I’ve never watched the show but I’ve heard of it. It is fun to see extravagant houses on TV but it really is such a enormous waste! The money could have gone to so much better use.
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  19. I actually watched the documentary the other day on Netflix and couldn’t help but laugh at the entire thing. Well I’m glad they have finally started building once again, it was a shame to hear that they may not and that their children may actually have to go to college. Good luck to them lol

  20. CNBC (I think) has been playing this and I’ve been watching snippets. I think it’s sad that the oldest son thinks him and his dad have a more “employer-employee” relationship – why the heck did he have 8 more with the third wife?!? The house is ridiculous, it’s a little upsetting that it’s moving forward. When she was going through all the things that they were going to decorate it with, the things were so tacky.
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  21. LOL! I don’t think these people cook. It’s an axiom; the larger and flashier (and more numerous) the kitchens, the less likely the owners of the manse are to do their own cooking. And I’ll bet the kids have nannies. In the plural. One for each kid.

    My father saw that film and thought it was sad. Apparently, one of Siegel’s sons from a previous marriage said he was grateful to his father but that they did not have a father-son relationship; it was a business relationship.
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  22. I wouldn’t want it in my neighborhood! 90,000 square feet needs a lot of land which is hard to find in Los Angeles or very expensive. Los Angeles already has a 56,000 square foot home, This size house would seem more like a public building than a home.
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  23. Nick @ says:

    I lived in a 10,000 square foot house when I was younger and that was WAAAAAYYYYY too big. I can’t imagine being in a house 9 times as big as that.
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  24. Haha you’re probably onto something with the hating each other thing.
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  25. I saw that movie- I’m still amazed by them and their is just unbelievable..
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  26. I think the 23 bathrooms are even more ridiculous. With such a big palace you can argue that the food will be cold if you decide to eat at the other end of where the one kitchen would be. But 23 bath???
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  27. Absolutely NOT! I would probably get lost in that place. How is something of that magnitude ever supposed to generate a “homey” feeling? I haven’t watched the documentary because I don’t think I could stand to sit through all of that, but it is rather disgusting. It also just sounds ridiculous…23 bathrooms and 10 kitchens is such a waste if they really want to go that big. What about a gym, Olympic sized pool, basketball court, huge den/playroom, maybe a library (for show, of course)…
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  28. I agree that it’s just sickening to see a wanton waste of money like that. It’s one thing to build a large house for a large family, but to take on projects simply for the sake of having an absurd abundance…
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  29. Maybe they will end up like the couple in the Shining. It must be like living in an empty resort to be in a house that big.
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  30. That sounds juuuust a bit excessive. The maintenance, caretakers, utilities and taxes on that thing have to be a couple million a year!

  31. Did anyone notice in the documentary when she went to visit her new house and said there was going to be a wing for the children. Then later she told her friend, “These are the stairs I would go up if I wanted to visit the children.” :-(

  32. I try hard to be unbiased when people tell me what they want to do with their money, because it’s THEIR money. But sometimes …. UGH! In fairness, with a house that big, you could probably starve walking from one of end of the house to the other, so they probably need those 10 kitchens.
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  33. It would only feel right to own a house that large if my whole ENTIRE family lived in it with me. Especially with 10 kitchens and 23 bathrooms!
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  34. The documentary is great in the same way the Real Housewives franchise is great, it made me feel I totally have my life together and I’m incredibly financially savvy. I’m shocked they managed to rebound so quickly and can continue this monstrosity.

    Your open letter is great, Holly. I wish we could ensure they saw it…
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  1. [...] Versailles: A Tale of Ten Kitchens on Club Thrifty [...]

  2. […] recovery is rampant, and so the mansion construction is back on track.  Head on over and read Versailles: A Tale of Ten Kitchens.  This is living proof that all of the stuff in the world will never, ever buy you […]

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