Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Great Outdoors, Manhattan Style!

Having your own private outdoor space in Manhattan is right up there with winning the lottery or seeing Nicole Kidman's forehead move: extremely rare. Which is why this comfy 2500 square foot 3 bed/2.5 bath co-op with a leafy 500 square foot patio garden on Manhattan's Upper West Side won't last long. The $2.99 million price tag includes lots of original brick walls—the 3 unit building was constructed in the late 1800s—plus a wood-burning fireplace, burnished hardwood floors and a cheery, brightly colored kitchen. Central Park is around the corner, as is the Museum of Natural History and every convenience you can imagine. But let's be honest: if it's winter, you'll be in front of the fireplace, and the rest of the year you'll be hanging in the garden. See the possibilities here

Bohemian Rhapsody in Tucson, Arizona

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Armory Park Residential District lies just west of downtown Tucson, close to several schools and parks. Listed for $395K, this 1904 brick and mud adobe is currently divided into two units but could be turned back into a roomy 3 bed/3 bath family home. We're loving the high ceilings, substantial moldings, vintage doors with transom windows, hardwood floors and the large, homey eat-in kitchen in what we assume is the larger unit. Besides the front porch, there's also a very private walled patio with fireplace, cobalt blue work station/bbq and fountain. Just looking at it makes us think of icy margaritas and spicy salsa, so while we raid our sad pantry, take a closer look at this groovy property here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Wednesday Wow: Binge-worthy in Austin, TX

Everybody we know is obsessed with Austin, the liberal Texas capital where it seems like you can't buy a burrito without tripping over a celebrity: Matthew McConaughey, Billy Bob Thornton (if you haven't seen his new Fargo series, you should—he's amazing), Andy Roddick, Kyle Chandler and even Led Zeppelin god Robert Plant have homes here. Thus, before yet another famous face snaps this one up, we urge you to look deep into your pockets and take it off the market. Located in the wealthy West Lake Hills area, the 5100 square foot 5 bed/4 bath home sits on a shady 1.4 acre lot with huge trees, several patios, pool and stylish guest house (where we'd happily stay!). Built in 2001, the style is contemporary, but details like wide plank floors, vintage wood beams, rolling barn doors and stone walls give it a warm, cozy edge. $2.45 million sounds perfectly reasonable to us—what do you think? See it all here

Mediterranean Marvel Near the Windy City

Just 10 minutes west of downtown Chicago (or 20 if you take the L), the upscale burb of River Forest is known for its many historic buildings, including the Winslow House by the man we consider America's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (we're bowing here). This unusual 1926 Mediterranean home there, close to both Domincan University and Concordia University, has oodles of curb appeal with its clay tile roof, second story terrace and arched loggia. The vintage details continue inside the 3 bed/2 bath home: hardwood floors, leaded glass windows, iron and wood staircase, wide arched doorways and two fireplaces. The $499.5K asking price includes a rather fabulous yard with lush landscaping. We think you really need to take a closer look at it here

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Industrial Strength Living in the Midwest

Did you know that Tulsa, Oklahoma, has 140 parks, ballet and opera companies, several large museums and the third largest zoo in the U.S.? Well, now you do! And should you find yourself relocating there—after all, it's now a center for aerospace, technology, healthcare and energy, among other things—and you're the type who enjoys unique digs, then we strongly suggest you consider this magnificent warehouse conversion right in the city's vibrant downtown area. Built in 1930, the 2 bed/3.5 bath 4300 square foot home has soaring ceilings, exposed mechanicals, floating stairs, a gourmet kitchen second to none, huge windows and glass block details, 2 garages and (cue the scream machine) a pool and yard with glorious city views! $2.5 million puts the keys to its gorgeous art deco front door in your pocket. See more here

A Bargain Bungalow in Portland, Oregon

A super sweet 2 bed/2 bath 1920s bungalow in one of America's most desirable cities with a fenced yard, detached garage and quick access to a great park and golf course for $315K? Get that mortgage approved and start packing! Located in the Roseway neighborhood of northeast Portland, we're not saying that the 2150+ square foot craftsman is luxurious, but it's been nicely updated (note the kitchen's slate floor, stone counters and stainless appliances) and possesses charming touches like those original front windows, wood-burning fireplace, hardwood floors and clawfoot tub. It's also got a cute-as-a-button front porch swing, which is where you'd find us at least 6 months of the year, sipping delectable local coffee each morning and taste-testing the city's famed brews each evening. (Or anytime after noon, really.) Anyhoo, take a closer look at this house here

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Savannah, Georgia

It's not all that common to find such a fine example of mid-century modern architecture right in Savannah—they're a bit young for the city—so this one really stands out. The 4 bed/3 bath home has been updated but with sensitivity to its 1956 roots, thus there's carrara marble in the kitchen and an custom steel tub in the opulent master bath (which looks out on its own little bamboo garden), but the coveted (by us) terrazzo floors and many original fixtures are intact. Asking $449K, the U-shaped home in midtown's Abercorn Heights/Lamara Heights has lots of other things to admire like sliding glass walls, a koi pond at the entrance, white brick interior (one of our favorite things) and a large yard. Stylish enough for Don Draper—or, better yet, you. See more of it here

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Philadelphia, PA

Cheesesteak, soft pretzels, the Eagles and the Liberty Bell: a few of Philadelphia's finest. And if you're familiar with the large (metro pop: 6 million) and lovely eastern Pennsylvania city, then you probably know that affluent Chestnut Hill is one of its best neighborhoods, chock full of large homes and within walking distance of chic shops, restaurants and the city's posh Cricket Club. All of which only adds to the appeal of this cool, classic 4 bed/3 bath 1964 contemporary there, on the market for $1.095 million. It's got everything on our list of most-wanted details. Wood burning fireplace? Check. Richly updated kitchen with custom cabinetry, high end appliances and cork flooring? Check. Two terraces including one with a dining area, firepit/lounge space and grilling station? Check. And there's much, much more—but instead of us telling you what, check it out for yourself here

Friday, April 18, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Tropic Isle, Thai Style

If you've ever dreamed of running away to an exotic tropical island, then Ko Sumai, which floats in the Gulf of Thailand and has soft white sand beaches, coral reefs and real coconut trees, would be an excellent choice. And this luscious, luxe 5 bed/6 bath beach side villa would make a fine locale to park your sun-worshipping self. Priced at $4.25 million, the dazzling home possesses true indoor-outdoor living, with most rooms opening to the elements and panoramic water views. Highlights include vaulted wood ceilings (we so want those pendant lights), huge rocks that inhabit some of the indoor spaces, an interior glass wall that abuts the infinity pool, and several outdoor areas for lounging or dining. We can think of nothing more heavenly than stretching out in one of the hammocks, fruity cocktail in hand, while swaying in the breeze. See what we mean by taking a closer look here

Foreign Intrigue Friday: in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains

Friends keep randomly mentioning places in Mexico that are beautiful, safe and inexpensive, so we did a little digging and discovered that the area around Lake Chapala in the central state of Jalisco is considered one of the best places to live. Briefly: it's about a mile high on a plateau in the Sierra Madre mountains, so the climate is temperate with little humidity; Guadalajara International airport is 30 minutes away; there's a great medical center nearby; and there are literally thousands of American and Canadian expats here. At $179K, this 2 bed/2 bath isn't the cheapest house you can find down here, but it's one of the prettiest and most up to date with two gas fireplaces, tile floors, arched brick ceilings, polished kitchen and covered terrace and garden. Both the lively town of Ajijic (with restaurants, shops and artists' studios) and Lake Chapala (77 miles long and 13 miles wide) are 5 minutes away. Muy bonito! See more here