Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Wednesday Wow: Cali Wine Country Contemporary

If you've been to the small town of Calistoga in California's glorious wine country, then you already know how fabulous it is; if you haven't, get thee there immediately! Home to bonafide geothermal hot springs (a mud bath here immerses you in creamy volcanic ash), Michelin-starred restaurants (like Solbar and JoLe), and great shops (our fave: Calistoga Pottery), this Napa County destination has everything we desire—including this house. Surrounded by an acre's worth of vineyards, the 2700 square foot 4 bed/4 bath contemporary (it was built in 1964, but we think it has that 70s style we worship) boasts bright, airy interiors with vaulted, wood-clad ceilings, free-standing rock fireplace, open staircase and huge windows throughout. On the market for $1.295 million, the property's outdoor areas include landscaped gardens, patios, a pergola-covered terrace, decks, gazebo and, probably our favorite spot, a shaded hammock among the grape vines. A post-meal apertif and a nap here = heaven. See more here

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bargain of the Day: 19th Century Catskills Farmhouse

Let's say you're one of the millions who cram yourself into a commuter train bound for midtown Manhattan where you sit in a cubicle all day except for a short lunch break spent gobbling a $10 sandwich in the shade of a highrise. You're about to go all Travis Bickle, aren't you? You need green space and quiet and clean air, but you can't afford the Hamptons or Litchfield County or any of the usual places. Naturally, we've solved your problem: on the market for $257.5K, this 4 bed/1.5 bath farmhouse sits on nearly 3 acres of glorious grounds just 2+ hours north of Manhattan in the Catskills of Greene County. Built in 1850, the sunny 1900 square foot home has loads of original charm like wide pine floors and large front porch, plus a picturesque red barn and garage. There's great skiing up here in the winter and Sunny Hill Resort & Golf Club is nearby should you have the urge to swing a club. We can't imagine doing much more than sipping a fruity cocktail from a rocking chair on the porch, but to each his own. See more of this property here (p.s.: you're welcome!)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Spectacular Glass House

If you're a fan of Philip Johnson's iconic Glass House—and, really, who isn't?—then take a deep breath and have a seat because this stunning concrete and glass house from 1965 is up for grabs and reasonably priced! The work of the late H.P. Davis Rockwell (he only passed last year), who studied under Mies van der Rohe in the mid 1950s before working in his office for a few years, the spacious 3600 square foot 4 bed/3 bath home was where the architect himself lived with his wife and four children. Located a quick 40 minute train ride south of Chicago in the small village of Olympia Fields, the $619K house sits on a sumptuous 2.5 acre wooded lot on Spirit Trail Park overlooking a creek and has a detached 2 car garage. While it's been quietly updated—note the kitchen and baths—"House on the Bluff," as it's called, has incredible original details like wood "wall" dividers, living room fireplace and positively divine terrazzo floors (our very favorite thing in life). If we could, we'd propose to this house and live happily (and stylishly) ever after. See why here

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Johannesburg, South Africa

We were shocked—okay, somewhat surprised, as we're nearly un-shockable at this point (what might do it: flying orangutans, world peace, a Kardashian giving up social media)—when one of our readers pointed out that we'd never featured a house in South Africa! Naturally, we went house shopping immediately and, after careful consideration of many, mostly higher priced properties, settled on this airy but warm contemporary in Johannesburg. The nearly 6500 square foot home, located in a gated community (the norm here), has 4 beds/3.5 baths plus office and library, and features 2 fireplaces, sandstone and wood floors, vaulted ceilings, sleek kitchen and baths, and glass walls that open to outdoor terrace, tiered lawn, and lovely pool. If this was L.A., the price tag would be north of $3 million, depending on neighborhood, so we're pleased to tell you this splendid home is on the market for just a smidge over $600K. See what you think by taking a closer look here

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Amazing Space: Deco Gem With Income Potential

Lying on a flat plain about 40 miles east of Portland, beauteous Boise, Idaho, sits on a river and is surrounded by foothills, giving its outdoorsy citizens ample opportunity to hike, bike, canoe, kayak, and ski. Known as a less frenetic Seattle, Boise is hardly lacking in cultural activities with its own ballet, orchestra, symphony and several theatres and museums. And now if, like us, you're thinking, Damn, I should move there, we present this striking home in the city's North End area, just blocks from downtown and within strolling distance of restaurants and shops (as always, we have a recommendation: In Retrospect, an amazing vintage clothing store that's just around the corner!). Built in 1936, the 3650 square foot property, on the market for $439.9K, has definite deco style—that circular porch wall! the stucco fireplace's tiles! the bath's original tub and curved archway!—and the ability to help you pay the mortgage: it's actually a duplex! Our guesstimate puts the more updated owner's unit with 3 beds/2 baths, and the rental with 1/1. Of course, if you don't need the dough, you could use the smaller unit as a mother-in-law suite or guest quarters (if the latter, we think we deserve an invite). See the possibilities here

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Seeing Red in Celebrity-Filled Litchfield County

Meryl Streep, Daniel Day Lewis, Patti Lupone, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, and Stephen Sondheim are just a few of the famous faces who have homes in the posh northwest corner of Connecticut. Situated on the border of both New York and Massachusetts and only 2 hours to Manhattan, Litchfield County is also known for its crystal clear lakes and bucolic landscape. On the market for $2.995 million, this extraordinary ruby-hued 5400+ square foot contemporary there sports ginormous windows framing tranquil views of the property's private 38 acres, which includes a 2 bed/1 bath guest house, 5 car garage, tennis court and pond. Built in 1980, the 5 bed/5.5 bath home features lots of eye candy like a windowed great room with 2 story fireplace, one of a kind metal staircase, pricey Poggenpohl kitchen, and large screened dining room. While we can't guarantee you'll see any Oscar winners at the local market, the odds seem to be in your favor. See more of this property here

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Past Perfect: All Hail the Queen of Bluegrass!

Fun fact: the grass (species name: Poa Pratensis) in Kentucky's beauteous Bluegrass Region gets its hue from the rich limestone deposits in the area's soil. We have no idea of the color aids in breeding world class race horses or world class bourbons, but they're all good reasons to seriously consider setting down roots here—and with that in mind, we suggest Lynwood, an exquisite 1880 Victorian listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in the small town of Richmond (a 28 mile straight shot on I-78 south of Lexington), the 6300 square foot 15 room home sits on 10 gently rolling acres and includes a fully functioning 1 bed/1 bath cottage with kitchen as well as a carriage house. This regal 3 story Queen Anne beauty has tons of original features like 9 highly detailed fireplaces, hand carved mill work, vintage lighting fixtures (the bulb-bearing statues on the staircase posts are to die for), pine and walnut floors, stained glass windows and 16 foot high ceilings. We're sure it needs updating—there are no pictures of the main house's kitchen or baths—but the $725K asking price seems pretty reasonable. See if you agree by taking a closer look here

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Tucson, Arizona

We've been to the desert city known as "The Old Pueblo" and can tell you firsthand that nature is king here, from the cactus-covered deserts (lusher-looking than you'd imagine, especially in winter and spring) and pine forests in the nearby mountains, to the rushing water at Seven Falls and cool underground caves at Kartchner Caverns. If this—and the city's average 350 days a year of sunshine—appeals to you, we suggest this snazzy 4000 square foot contemporary on nearly an acre with a pool a few miles north of downtown in the foothills of the Catalina mountains. Asking $789K, the 4 bed, 2 full-, 3 half-bath home was built in 1965 and retains a vibe straight out of "Mad Men" via vaulted ceilings, parquet floors, glass walls, interesting wood dividers and large but cozy fireplace. The school district is excellent, the updates top notch (from the kitchen to the baths to the windows), and the views spectacular (the mountains on one side, the city lights in the other). Take a closer look at it all here

Friday, June 19, 2015

Close Your Eyes and Think of England—In Oregon!

We're taking a break from Foreign Intrigue Friday because we're on a roll this week with charming homes in quaint towns close to water, and we just can't stop! (Blame the gods of real estate.) And here we go again: Located along Highway 101 on the southern Oregon coast, Coos Bay is surrounded by deep green forests and pristine coastline (much of it is designated park land, like nearby Oregon Dunes National Recreation area). Just a short stroll from historic downtown, this enchanting 4 bed/3.5 bath 1932 Arts & Crafts home was designed by the intriguingly-named Wade Hampton Pipes, a Portland based architect known for his English Cottage Style architecture. On the market for $424.9K, the 4500 square foot home boasts swoon-inducing vintage details like arched doorways, mahogany mill work, fireplaces, deep set windows and original tile work in the kitchen and baths, plus lushly planted garden areas, brick patios and pathways. Gorgeous Mingus Park, literally down the street, is the site of Coos Bay's awesome July 4th festivities, which include everything from food booths and free concerts to an animal petting zoo and canoe rides courtesy of the local Boy Scouts. Imagine the possibilities of living in this lovely home here

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pond Bombshell: Seventies House in Idyllic Locale!

About an hour northwest of Chicago, the pretty village of Wauconda is the kind of place where it's easy to imagine postcard perfect winter holidays and sweet summer vacations. Hugging the banks of Bangs Lake, its 14,000 inhabitants enjoy a quaint but lively downtown and Main Street featuring shops, restaurants, yoga studios, a library, and a bowling alley, as well as annual events ranging from a Bunny Hop to December's Holiday Walk to next month's old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration. Obviously, you'll want to move here immediately, so consider this awesome and amazing 5700 square foot contemporary just east of town, which comes with 3 beds/3 baths, its own (aerated) pond and 2 acres. We're mad for the $647K's home's soaring, wood-clad ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, brick walls, loft-like library space, oak floors, snazzy kitchen (with Miele appliances), and 4 car garage. Take a closer look at the loveliness here