Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tudor Tuesday: Totally Tempted in Dallas, Texas

We've traveled to the tree-lined streets northeast of downtown Dallas to the Lakewood neighborhood, home of the swingin' Lakewood Theater (a vintage beauty with live shows and classic films), the Dallas Botanical Gardens and the site of one of the sweetest July 4th parades you'll ever witness. What brought us here? Why, this darling 1929 Tudor, a Dines & Kraft original (a real estate development company that employed great architects and built many homes here in the 20s and 30s) with 4 beds/3 baths and 2700 square feet. Asking $849.9K (Dallas is getting as pricey as Los Angeles!), the home is exceptionally bright and open, with lovely original details like the Batchelder tiled fireplace, stained and leaded glass windows, niched bookcases and built-ins. (We're especially mad for the charming old pink and black tiled bathroom!) Pluses include the large covered front porch, fenced yard, 2 car garage and quick access to tranquil White Rock Lake. See more of this home here

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Ann Arbor, Michigan

We're back in the city dubbed "Tree Town" (for the gazillions of trees that line its streets and 2000+ acres of city parks) for a modest, mid-century masterpiece perched on over an acre just northeast of downtown. Built in 1962, it was designed by the late, great David Osler (he passed away last fall at the ripe age of 93), a local who attended the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design and went on to design commercial buildings, condos and, most notably, dozens of dynamic modernist homes in the Ann Arbor area. On the market for $599K, this nearly 3000 square foot beauty has 3 beds/3 baths, plus study, family room, 2 fireplaces, two-tiered deck with gas fire pit, and a spanking new roof. Besides the ginormous floor-to-ceiling windows, our very favorite feature is decidedly not new: the refinished but original mahogany kitchen cabinets, which we covet more than Hilary Clinton does a Presidential nomination (btw: the Gerald Ford Library is a stone's throw away from this property!). We insist you take a closer look here

Friday, March 27, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Un Grand French Bargain!

We resisted as long as we could, but between the dollar doing well and the undeniable charm of this enchanting country home, we had no choice but to return to France for today's offering. Located about 230 miles west of Paris in Brittany, this reno'd 3 bed/2 bath vine-adorned vintage home has pretty much everything we could desire: modern kitchen and baths, oak and tile floors, french doors and vaulted, exposed timber ceilings. The property's divine three-quarter acre lot is nothing short of heavenly; our hats (er, berets?) are off to its madly talented landscaper. In addition to the lush ornamental plantings throughout, there's a vegetable garden and an orchard where you can pick your own figs, plums, cherries, and apples. There's also a garage, barn and heated kennel (parfait for our longed-for herd of tiny tail-wagging pygmy goats). If you feel the urge to see historic cathedrals, museums and markets, magical medieval towns like Vannes, Josselin, and Ploermel are just a short ride away. The cost for all this loveliness? $220K. Incroyable, non?! See more here

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Everything's Coming Up Roses in Bloomington

Fun fact: Bloomington, Indiana, was founded in the spring of 1818 by a group of southern settlers who, upon gazing upon the area's abundance of blooming flora and fauna, dubbed it "Bloomington." This delightful city in southern Indiana is home to over 43,000 students who attend Indiana University, long considered one of America's most beautiful campuses. It could also be where you settle—if you fall for this divine 11 room home just south of the campus. Built in 1938, the 3 bed/2 bath home is a roomy 4000 square feet and has charm and upgrades to spare, including an airy addition boasting 14 foot high ceilings, refinished wood floors (that's bamboo on the main level), 2 fireplaces, and a fancy kitchen with fabulous blue-stained cabinets.  On the market for $619K, the home is in the desirable Elm Heights Historic District, close to good schools, parks, shops and restaurants like Mother Bear's, which serves what might be the best pizza in the state (and, yep, they deliver). This might be love! See more of our latest crush here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Wednesday Wow: Swooning Over Manhattan

We generally steer away from properties in New York City, especially Manhattan, as the prices are just so cuckoo that our wildest dreams won't even allow for fantasies about owning there (currently, there's a slew of over $50 million apartments for sale in the Big Apple). However, just because we can, we gave ourselves a challenge: find something below 34th Street, with age, updates, good light and a price tag under $2.5 million. We nearly gave up and then, like a sudden Rockette high kick, this handsome 2 bed/2 bath 2050 square foot condo (a rarity in a sea of co-ops) popped up! Located on the border of three of Manhattan's most fashionable neighborhoods (Madison Square Park District, Flatiron and NoMad), it's located in a splendid nearly 100 year old 12 story building with ornamental brickwork, top facade pediment and limestone cornices. For $2.2 million, you'll get refinished original maple floors, high ceilings, ginormous windows, luxe baths and a gleaming new kitchen. Dream a little dream if you dare and see more of it here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Historic Home in America's Theme Park Capital

We believe in owning our ignorance so here goes: we had no idea that Orlando, Florida, home of Universal Orlando, Disney World, SeaWorld, etc., had homes older than 50 years old, much less SIX officially designated Historic Districts! This 3 bed/1.5 bath arts and crafts bungalow from 1925 resides just south of downtown in the Lake Copeland Historic District, a pretty neighborhood of around 100 homes lining shady, oak dotted streets. The nearly 3000 square foot home—which has water views—has hung on to its original details (large front porch, refinished hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplaces, built-ins) without sacrificing high-end modern updates (the kitchen boasts Miele appliances and Silestone counters, the posh master bath has Hansgrohe fixtures, and there's a Poliform wardrobe and custom closets throughout). Extra rooms mean you can add another bedroom (or two), Delaney Park is across the street, and the $650K asking price includes your own little lakefront parcel, perfect for a dock or fishing deck. And just think: 57 million folks visit the Orlando area every year, but far fewer get to live there. If you'd like to be one of them, see more of this home here

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Dobbs Ferry, NY

For today's history lesson in a nutshell, allow us to introduce the late, great architect Giorgio Cavaglieri, a preservationist whose passion lives on. Born in Venice, Italy, he left under fascist rule and ended up joining the U.S. Army, where he earned a Bronze Star. If you've ever admired the gorgeous Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village, thank Mr. Cavaglieri, who painstakingly restored and revamped the former Victorian Gothic courthouse in the 1960s (he also led the successful fight against drastically altering Grand Central Station around the same time). Ok, now that you admire him as much as we do, thrill to this light-filled 4 bed/3 bath Westchester County home he designed in 1951. Cool, calm and classy, the 2100 square foot home has been thoroughly updated (just look at those baths) and features wood floors, 3 zone HVAC system, walls of glass framing green views and multiple decks and patios on the .7 acre lot. Located in Dobbs Ferry and asking $1.39 million, it's close to restaurants, shops, excellent schools, parks and the train station, which will whisk you to Manhattan in 45 minutes! See more here

Friday, March 20, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: A Farmhouse in Andalusia

History lesson of the day: the Andalusia region of southern Spain has been ruled by everyone from the Phoenicians (starting in 800 BC) to the Romans to the Visigoths to the Muslims to the Christians. Little wonder that everyone coveted this verdant slice of heaven: covered in lush green hills and bordered by the Mediterranean, the fertile land here produces prodigious amounts of fruit and vegetables, while the sea offers up shellfish, monkfish and squid, among other delicacies. Perched on an acre+ just outside the historic hill town of Almunecar with stunning country and water views, this restored farmhouse is on the market with a very reasonable $364K asking price. A comfortable 2150 square feet, the 4 bed/2 bath home features thick plaster walls, traditional tile floors with radiant heat, exposed timbered ceilings, wood-burning fireplace, and deep set windows with what appear to be vintage wood shutters. Large doors from the kitchen open to the vine-draped terrace, which runs the length of the house and has a built-in barbeque and bread/pizza oven. Maravilloso! So: who wants to move to Spain with us? See more of this lovely home here

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Thursday Thaw: Berkeley or Bust!

Just a quick BART train ride across the bay from San Francisco, the city of Berkeley is known as a center of learning (the University of California at Berkeley is one of America's toughest schools to get into) and of liberal politics. It's also known for its high home prices, especially in the quiet, leafy Claremont neighborhood where the median listing price is over $1.3 million. At $2.05 million, this gleaming 3300 square foot modern there has a higher price tag, but considering the home's many pluses, the cost seems fair. Completely revamped and reimagined by architect owners (the original home was built in 1921!), the exceptionally bright and open 4 bed/2 bath house has super swanky baths and kitchen, ebonized wood floors, comfy outdoor spaces and spectacular views of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and even San Francisco's twinkling lights. The stunning Claremont Hotel is just down the road, as are restaurants like Rick & Ann's, a local favorite with the best breakfasts in town (we recommend the pumpkin pancakes, white chocolate and cherry scones, and the eggs with "red flannel hash"). While we peer into the lonely corners of our fridge, see more of this house here

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cool, Cozy Pad in America's New Hipster Capital

We were watching the news last night (it happens occasionally) when it was announced that after much research, the hipster capital of America is... no, not Brooklyn... no, not Austin... but...Hoboken?! Yep, Ole Blue Eyes' former stomping grounds, now over run with young Wall Street types, ranked #1 by FindTheBest.com (who defined hipsters, btw, as "all about non-conformity and effortless nonchalance"—which describes almost no one we know!). Naturally, we took this as an opportunity to search for digs suitable for a discerning hipster and lookee what we found: priced at $549.9K, this 2 bed/1 bath condo has updates galore but hasn't sacrificed the vintage details of the 115 year old limestone building. Thus, the kitchen has been nicely renovated with cabinets that reach the ceiling, stainless appliances and a sweet breakfast bar, but the 812 square foot unit also has high ceilings, burnished wood floors, exposed brick and pretty crown molding. Located in a slightly quieter uptown area, everything is within walking distance, from legendary music joint Maxwell's to fancy cocktails and seafood restaurant Stingray Lounge, to our very favorite linen/home goods store, Galatea (seriously, it's fabulous). Thank your stars that you don't have to be a hipster to take a closer look at this condo here