Friday, May 20, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Swede Dreams R Made of This

Two fun facts we discovered about the small town of Rönninge, Sweden: 1. there's a nearby, well-regarded science museum called Tom Tits Experiment, and 2. it's home to one of the leading all-ladies barbershop groups in the world, Ronninge Show Chorus, winners of the gold medal at the Sweet Adelines International Championship! Despite being a mere 30 minute drive from Stockholm, it's surrounded by lakes, woods and nature trails. All of which makes it somewhere we want to live, especially if we can do so from the confines of this resplendent 3300 square foot home, that comes with high ceilings, herringbone wood floors, stucco walls and details, paneling, bay windows, an honest-to-God tower room and several of those sublime tile fireplaces that you only find in Scandinavia. Priced at $1.2 million, the home sits on a half acre just yards from a pretty lake and while we can't tell you exactly how many beds and baths it has—cuz even our handy Swedish-to-English translator couldn't find that info—we suspect it's around 5 beds/3 baths. But who cares about such trivial matters when there's a museum just down the road to explore and show tunes to practice? See more of today's real estate crush HERE

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Family-Sized With Vintage Charm in Pittsburgh PA

We're back in Pittsburgh, one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, for this splendid 5 bed/3 bath 107 year old Dutch Colonial in the quiet East End neighborhood of Edgewood. Asking $544.9K, the 3 story 4500 square foot home has a warm, cozy feel despite its size due to rich wood floors, high ceilings, leaded glass details, multiple fireplaces, big windows and some of the loveliest moldings and mill work imaginable. We're particularly enamored of the bright mudroom and a comfy window seat on the stair landing. Outside, there's a sprawling wood deck, detached 3 car garage and mature landscaping on the property's half acre lot. While the area is leafy and residential, the location allows you to walk to the supermarket, shops, beautiful Frick Park, and family-friendly Edgewood Club for swimming, tennis and things like bocce ball! The city's thriving Google hub is a 10 minute drive, University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon's campuses just 15, and you can be downtown in a half hour. In other words, what are you waiting for? Take a closer look at this awesome house HERE

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Close to the Clintons

The upscale Westchester County hamlet of Chappaqua, less than an hour to midtown Manhattan via Metro-North, has a friendly downtown with independent shops, a handful of solid restaurants and a quaint gazebo where everyone gathers for summer evening concerts. It also counts super fun couples like Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton, among its residents. Sound like your kind of place? Then we suggest this stylish 4 bed/2 bath 1960 mid-century modern, which sits on a whopping 6.7 acres with a pool, on the market for $1.44 million. While it's obviously in need of some updating—you'll notice there are no pics of the baths and nothing up close of the kitchen—we find the realtor's suggestion that you can tear it down and build new alarming and appalling. We heart the nearly 2500 square foot home's details—the brick wall fireplace, wood clad ceilings, full length glass walls, and built-ins everywhere—and hope the new buyer will, too. Take a closer look at this genuine beauty HERE

Friday, May 13, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Perfectly Thatched in Ireland

Question of the day:  name the American actress who once called famous Lismore Castle in County Waterford, Ireland, home. Hint: she was the sister of a very famous silver screen song and dance man. Give up? Adele Astaire, Fred's little sister, whose marriage to fancy Lord Cavendish made her mistress of the elaborate 12th century landmark (her more famous sibling was a frequent visitor). Which brings us to today's property, which is just a few miles down the road from said castle: a madly-charming and fully updated 1 bed/1 bath 19th century stone cottage with thatched roof, plus a 2 bed/1 bath converted barn. Gently priced at just $192K, the home features thick, whitewashed walls, hardwood and tile floors, exposed beams, window seats, wood-burning stoves in the living room and kitchen and one of the most uniquely-tiled baths we've ever seen (and we mean that in a good way!). Outside you'll find an abundance of fruit trees, plus a large patio with extraordinary countryside views. And just think: if you lived in the cottage and rented out or airbnb'd the barn, your overhead would, nothing? Take a closer look HERE

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Wednesday Wow: Let There Be Light!

It's hard to beat a good seventies contemporary, especially one that sits on a half acre adjacent to a lush nature preserve and just 25 miles from downtown Chicago. Lucky for us, then (and you), this exquisite property fits the bill precisely! Built in 1971, the 4 bed/3.5 bath home is like a big, bright white loft with soaring ceilings, huge windows and skylights, hardwood floors and a big deck and patio. We don't know how the architect did it—um, magic?—but the 3700 square foot home somehow has an extraordinary number of sprawling spaces including a 32' x 16' living room and a 20' x 19' family room, plus a loft library, sitting room and office. Perched on the southern side of Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve and a stone's throw to the venerable (read: fancy) Glen Oak Country Club, the house is located in the well-heeled village of Glen Ellyn, coveted for its excellent schools, leafy streets and pretty downtown. As far as we're concerned, $585K is an exceptional price—see if you agree after taking a closer look at it HERE

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Classic Eichler With a Twist

Things we love about San Rafael, California: 1. it has a sensational 1918 Art Deco theatre that screens cutting edge and classic films, 2. China Camp State Park's 1600 acres of hushed trails where you can hike and bike to your heart's content, 3. it's where you'll find one of Frank Lloyd Wright's finest public buildings, the Marin County Civic Center. And to this illustrious list, we're adding this stylish 4 bed/2 bath house, designed and built in 1961 by Joseph Eichler. On the market for $1.1 million (a very reasonable price in these parts, so it may have been snapped up at yesterday's open house), it's one of the builder's coveted atrium models and features gorgeous wood walls, vaulted ceilings, brick fireplace with wood-burning stove, radiant heat flooring, and windows windows everywhere! It also has a pool and some compact but lovely outdoor spaces with things like graveled paths and lemon trees. As the old folks say, they don't make 'em like this anymore—so if you know what's good for you, you'll take a closer look at this stunner HERE

Friday, May 6, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Andalusia's Antidote to High Prices

Famous for an annual festival that includes a re-enactment of the battle between the Moors and the Christians, the village of Valor sits nearly 3000 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Alpujarras Mountains in southern Spain's Andalusia region. Top notch ski slopes can be reached in under an hour, beaches in around 2, and the Almeria airport in less than 90 minutes. The village itself, however, has a handful of cafes, a bakery, supermarket, post office, a pharmacy and a doctor, so, technically, you may never have to (want to?) leave! And why would you want to if you snapped up this sprawling, updated and very charming 5 bed/2 bath home there for a mere $154K? We love the colorful tiled walls and accents throughout, the exposed beam ceilings, thick plaster walls, deep set windows, and many covered and open patios. Added pluses: the furniture's included, the house is wired for internet, and the local tax—which includes water and trash removal—comes to around $115 a year. While we don't speak a lick of Spanish, we still might arm wrestle you for this one, but we'll let you have a closer look at it HERE

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Wednesday Wow: Historic Home in Old Santa Fe

Every time the Power Ball lottery goes over $300 million, we start fantasizing about how we'd spend some of that dough and, besides a few 5 star hotel stays (like the Meurice in Paris and the Peninsula in Shanghai), it usually involves—what else?— it real estate! And with the jackpot now at $348 million, this sensational mini-estate in the heart of Santa Fe's gallery district sits at the top of our list. Dubbed "House of Sunshine" by former owner, famed early 20th century muralist Gerald Cassidy, the property dates back around 300 years but has been recently and meticulously renovated. Classic Spanish Colonial features such as saltillo tile floors, thick plaster and adobe walls, vigas, coved ceilings and kiva fireplaces abound, with pieces from an 18th century mission (beams, corbels, and a remarkable altar screen) adding to the beauty. Priced at $3.915 million, there's a 3300 square foot main house, two comfy 1 bed/1 bath casitas that include kitchen, living rooms and fireplaces, and several quiet, shaded outdoor spaces with fountains and patios. Walk to Canyon Road's cafes, shops and especially its famous art galleries (we recommend Vivo Contemporary and the Waxlander). See more of this spectacular, splurge-worthy home HERE

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: San Diego County, CA

Admittedly not a strict MCM home, we couldn't resist this extraordinarily groovy California contemporary from 1969, which sits on 3.3 acres in the hills of Vista, about 40 miles northwest of San Diego (and just 7 miles from the Pacific ocean). Thoughtfully landscaped with crazy-beautiful tropical flora that make it feel more like Belize than SoCal, the sprawling grounds feature koi ponds, greenhouses, pathways, and several shady decks and patios. Past the two foo dogs guarding the front entrance, you'll find a 4 bed/2 bath, 3600 square foot home that has most of its original design intact—which, in this case, we totally dig!—from the living area's soaring, double height rock wall with fireplace, to the kitchen's simple wood cabinets and tile countertops, to the fab, far-out stacked stone shower. $1.6 million puts the keys to the front gate in your righteous paws. So fire up the turntable with some vintage Creedence Clearwater and take a closer look at this awesome pad HERE

Friday, April 29, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: UNDER $100K in Italy!

Three hours east of Rome (but just 40 minutes from Pescara airport), the quiet mountain village of Bomba sits at the foot of Mount Pallano, surrounded by thick green forests and close to the man-made (yet rural) Bomba Lake. This is the less-crowded Abruzzo region of central Italy, beloved by nature enthusiasts for its rocky mountains, narrow valleys and wildlife ranging from brown bears to wolves to golden eagles. And guess what? You can live there in this lovely, updated 3 bed/2 bath  house for just under...wait for it...$97K! We're loving the thick walls with exposed stone, barrel-vaulted ceiling, timber-topped built-in shelving, dramatic iron and wood staircase, raised fireplace and the compact kitchen's blue and white tiles. Pluses include a small balcony, a sizable terrace and ground floor garage with extra storage areas. Did we mention that some of the Adriatic Sea's finest beaches can be reached in half an hour? Craaazy-amazing! See more of this fabulous bargain HERE