Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Get Your Chic On

We confess to ignorance when it comes to "French contemporary," which is how this house is described in the realtor copy, but if this is it, we approve! Built in 1953, but undoubtedly revamped and reconfigured over the years, the 4 bed/3.5 bath home is actually located over 5000 miles from la Republique in the City of Roses, aka pretty, pricey Pasadena, California. We love how the 4000 square foot home mixes cool elegance (limestone floors, 12 foot high ceilings, tall, skinny glass windows and doors) and formal spaces with old-world furniture and art (we're especially enamored of the large painting of the woman in white with black hat—very John Singer Sargent!). The tree-ringed yard is très magnifique, too: huge covered patio, garden, spa, pool, and several spaces for lounging, dining and entertaining. $2.75 million puts your name on the deed. Take a closer look at it here

Vintage Charm in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Just 15 miles northeast of Minnesota's state capital (that'd be St. Paul), the small town of Mahtomedi sits on the shores of beautiful 2400 acre White Bear Lake, home to several kinds of fish (and dinner) like walleye, largemouth bass and northern pike. Asking $331.9K, this 1750 square foot home is actually one of the pricier ones in the area, but not only is it just yards from the lake and its popular beach, but it's been nicely reno'd and updated. The 104 year old house has 3 beds/2 baths and lots of pleasing pluses like arched doorways, interior shutters, light maple floors with dark walnut inlay, and a new kitchen with rich cherry cabinetry. Outside you'll find a  detached 2 car garage with extra storage, potting shed, deck, brick patio and a well-tended garden. Homey never looked so good—see it for yourself here

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Dallas, Texas

Today, we're declaring our undying love for this magnificent 1963 MCM in east Dallas' desirable Lakewood neighborhood, home to trendy shops, happening restaurants and a gorgeous restored 1938 theater. With 4 beds/3.5 baths and 3500 square feet, there's plenty of room for a growing family (highly ranked Lakewood Elementary is within walking distance, as is excellent Lakehill Prep), who will appreciate the home's bright, open spaces. Priced at $1.285 million, high end finishes (just look at the lighting fixtures!), good design (note the open built-ins and wall of glass doors) and some fabulous artwork (we'd look into negotiating, say, the painting in the study or the one over the white sofa) juice the 50+ year old house with glossy glamor. The outdoor spaces, while not huge, make us want to grab an icy drink and hang out there for the rest of the summer straight into autumn: pergola-covered dining patio, plunge pool with dramatic fountain, garden, lawn and lily pond with fish. Despite our jealous tendencies, we've decided to allow you to take a closer look at our amore here

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Portland, Oregon

Portland has been the recipient of many honorable titles—best city to have a baby, best city for dogs, cleanest city, greenest city, etc.—but none more true than being named Best Bike City by Bicycling Magazine. Besides having more cyclists per capita than any other U.S. city, where else can you find a local moving company that transports your furniture across town via bike trailers, and an annual event called Naked Bike Ride? While you don't have to be a 2 wheel enthusiast to live here, it couldn't hurt, especially considering this snazzy 1956 mid-century is located in the city's pretty Raleigh Hills area southwest of downtown. We love the nearly 3000 square foot home's vaulted ceilings with dark beams, white brick fireplaces, slinky modern kitchen and huge windows with evergreen views. Asking $499.9K, the 2 bed/2 bath contemporary also has exceptional outdoor spaces: deck, patio, lawn and a very swingin' covered lounge. See it all here

Friday, July 25, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Waterside in Sweden

Are you watching NBC's new sitcom Welcome to Sweden? If not, you should and not just because comic goddess Amy Poehler produces it, but because it's filmed in that stunning Scandinavian country and costars one of Sweden's gifts to acting, the great Lena Olin. Which inspired us to go house hunting there and led us to this expansive 5300 square foot contemporary near the magnificent city of Gothenburg on the southwest coast. The 6 bed/3.5 bath home, with a pool and water views, has top of the line finishes, from rich limestone and oak floors to sleek Miele appliances, luxe Rebol cabinetry to stylish Boffi bathrooms. The $2.77 million price tag includes things like geothermal radiant heat on both floors, concealed high speed wiring, 3 fireplaces and one knockout of a swirling staircase. There are lots of outdoor spaces to sunbathe, dine or just enjoy the salty breeze from the archipelago, which is literally a stone's throw away. Great design, gorgeous natives who look like Alexander Skarsgard, fresh seafood and real estate like this—Sweden is our idea of heaven! See more of this property here

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Live in an Italian Monastery

In the far northwest corner of Italy, just over the French border and below the Maritime Alps, there's a tiny village with a 13th century Benedictine monastery that's been converted into apartments—and, lucky for you, the one on the top floor is up for grabs! A compact 950 square feet, this 3 bed/1 bath charmer has high ceilings, old tile floors, dining room with fireplace, huge arched glass windows and a private terrace with views of the hills and, distantly, of the water. That's right: this apartment, in Isolunga near the larger village of Dolcedo, is a mere 4 miles from the deep blue sea. The asking price for all this beauty? $250K. Now, pick yourself up, grab a paper bag, inhale deeply—and then take a closer look at it here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Rock Star in Ulster County, New York

We were reading the realtor's description of this idyllic 19th century stone farmhouse on nearly 10 acres when we came across a phrase that made us stop dead and start dreaming: "...huge 3 story barn could be used for horses or goats..." (Owning a small herd of darling pygmy goats has been a long-held fantasy!) Located just 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan near the bucolic Ulster County hamlet of Accord, the magazine-ready 2500 square foot home has 4 beds/2.5 baths, exposed beam ceilings, stone walls and fireplace, brick floored sun room with gas stove, and loads of updates, from central air to gourmet kitchen to master suite with steam shower. The rather reasonable $1.05 million asking price not only includes that picturesque red barn and fenced yards and pastures, but a large pool and pond. While we pick out names for our thus-far imaginary goat family (Claudette? Mitzi? Schnitzel?), take a closer look at this exceptional property here

The Thursday Thaw: Austin's Powers

You're just 11 minutes from downtown, 23 from the airport, and the streets are filled with laid-back hipsters and the coffee- and thrift type shops they love. In other words, you're in Austin's North Loop neighborhood, where we were shocked to find a nearly new condo that's a great alternative to the area's proliferation of tiny 2 bed/1 bath cottages. Priced at $529K (oh, for the days when Austin had cheap real estate!), the 1800 square foot craftsman style unit has 3 beds/2.5 baths with a separate study, gas fireplace, walk-in closets, high end appliances, and garage plus deck, patio and yard. This being the North Loop, you can walk to any number of fab eating establishments (like Biscuits & Groovy for flaky hot carbs covered in peppery gravy) and swinging cocktail joints (try Poor Perry's Cobbler—bourbon, boysenberry compote, spiced pear, lemon, Amargo Vallet—at Drink Well). Despite being hungry and thirsty now, we urge you to take a closer look at the home here

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Desert Flower: Phoenix, Arizona

We're in Phoenix's affluent East Camelback neighborhood, just west of Scottsdale and south of Camelback Mountain itself, for this swoon-worthy 5200 square foot historic home. Originally built nearly 100 years ago, the 4 bed/4.5 bath house has been revamped and renovated to highlight its vintage details while quietly incorporating modern amenities. There are 9 fireplaces, huge antique doors, tile floors, exposed beam ceilings, thick adobe walls, skylights and french doors everywhere. The $2.45 price tag includes an acre of exceptional outdoor spaces: shady patios, fountains, gardens, pool and, our very favorite feature ever, a guest house. Added plus: just a 5 minute drive takes you to Scottsdale Fashion Square, which has over 250 shops and restaurants (everything from Gap to Gucci!), as well as a valet to park your car and a concierge to...well, do just about anything you ask. Perhaps even get you the best mortgage rate and coordinate your move. See more of this property here

Keeping Up Traditional in Richmond, Virginia

It's hard to resist a stately red brick Colonial Revival, especially when it's located in Virginia's pretty capital city. So we won't! Built in 1907, this 3 story 5 bed, 5 full- and 2 half-bath home rests on a tree-lined street in Ginter Park, a historic neighborhood featuring a remarkable array of vintage homes, from Tudor Revivals to Queen Annes to humble workers' cottages. Asking $633.2K, we can imagine a growing, family of stylish prepsters taking up residence in the home's 4500 square feet, which has formal spaces, but a warm overall vibe. Highlights include glossy wood floors, pocket doors, window seats, cherry red kitchen cabinets, and rich mill work, paneling and plaster. We even dig the wallpaper, especially the delicate floral chinoiserie pattern in a room that looks like a woman's office (?). If we lived here, we'd throw lots of casual dinner parties while wearing things like leopard print driving moccasins, emerald hued jeans and purple cashmere sweaters—it's that kind of house! Take a closer look at it here