Thursday, October 8, 2015

Splurge-tastic Garden of Paradise in Austin, TX

Acclaimed landscape designers James deGrey David and Gary Peese (see more of their work here) have put their ravishing 2 acre property in Austin on the market for $3.95 million and, in our never humble opinion, it's worth every last dime. Built over the last 30+ years by several diffferent architects, the interiors include the warm, contemporary 3 bed/3 bath main house and a striking brutalist style concrete studio, but it's the outdoor spaces that had us ooohing and ahhhing like besotted first-time grandparents (the gardens have been featured on Martha Stewart's travel series, so you know they're fabulous). Paths through various gardens and limestone terraces lead to multiple outdoor dining, entertaining and living spaces as well as several ponds, waterfalls and a pool. (Note: the site has more photos of the exteriors.) While it feels like a million miles from civilization, the property is hidden in the wealthy West Lake Hills area, just across the Colorado River and a mere 5 minutes from lively downtown Austin. If you like pretty things, take a closer look at this amazing home here

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bargain in the Berkshires: UNDER $100K!

For those of you living in New York and Boston who'd given up on your dreams of a country getaway, we suggest that you get out your hiking boots, wax those skis and brush up on your wood chopping skills cuz we've got you covered! This adorable 1000 square foot vintage cottage sits on 3 acres ringed by pines in the Berkshires town of Becket, Massachusetts, just down the road from Center Pond's pretty beach and prestigious Camp Greylock (over 100 years old, past campers include billionaires Ron Perelman and Jonathan Tisch). Originally built in 1814, the 2 bed/1 bath home features a big stone fireplace, hardwood floors, exposed beam ceilings, updated kitchen and bath, and large deck. Manhattan is a three hour drive and Boston can be reached in two. As for the $99K price tag, well, it makes us as giddy as a Publisher's Clearing House winner! Take a closer look at this bargain here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tudor Tuesday: Turning Up the Heat in Hot Springs

One of the prettiest towns we've ever seen, the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, literally sits on top of several natural, thermal-heated springs from which 1 million gallons of water flow each day. In fact, you can bring some containers and fill 'em up for free from several taps on beautiful Bathhouse Row in the city's historic center. And just steps from there is this dapper 4 bed/3 bath 4000 square foot brick and stone Tudor from 1939, on the market for a very reasonable $345K. Arched doorways, rich burnished floors, ornate fireplace, high ceilings, built-ins—all the things we love are present and accounted for. While the fancy stainless appliances let you know it's been updated, we're loving the original tiling in two of the baths and the kitchen's black and white floor, and the deco touches in things like the snazzy woodwork surrounding the fridge. Did we mention that the city is a center for the arts and has several music fests as well as the prestigious Documentary Film Festival (which gets underway this Friday)? Well, now that we have, take a closer look at this lovely home here

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Valley Pearl

We love the Valley, the 'burb-filled area north of Los Angeles immortalized in the great 1983 movie "Valley Girl" starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman as Randy and Julie, two star-crossed lovers from, like, different worlds, you know? Which is where we found this fantastic 1955 post and beam, complete with updates, pool and views, on the market for $939K. Located in Glendale's tiny upscale neighborhood of Whiting Woods—close to Verdugo Mountains Preserve, Wildwood Canyon Park and Angeles National Forest—the nearly 2000 square foot 3 bed/2 bath home has an open floor plan with high, wood-clad ceilings, pretty brick fireplace, floor to ceiling glass walls, and a master with sitting room and private patio. The kitchen's upper cabinets are original, but everything else has been revamped, and the baths have original tile but newer fixtures. Like, this house is totally bitching, fer shure! See it for yourself here

Friday, October 2, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Cozy Country Cottage in England

With the sudden nip in the air, we dug out a sweater, which then made us wonder if it was too early in the season to light a fire, which led us to thinking about how nice it would be to live in a cozy cottage, which compelled us go house hunting for something picturesque in the countryside far west of London. And we hit paydirt! Located in Great Coxwell, a tiny village built on limestone in the Vale of White Horse (don't you wish we used the word "vale" in the U.S.?), this traditional thatched cottage has 3 beds/2 baths, sitting/dining room, and large kitchen in the main part of the house, with 1 bed/1 bath, sitting room and kitchenette in the annexe (perfect for guests, adult offspring or in-laws). Asking around $825K, Pear Tree Cottage—it's named after the old pear tree trained against the front facade—has a gorgeous landscaping, with graveled paths, large back garden and several outbuildings including an adorable pavilion. Less than 2 miles away, the bustling town of Faringdon is home to cafes, shops, excellent schools and 12th century All Saints church (beware the headless naval officer who haunts the churchyard). We're ready to move—how about you? Take a closer look here

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Timeless Appeal of a Princeton Classic

We don't know if anyone actually won the $310 million Powerball last night, but if our numbers had hit (tragically, the gods of luck spurned us yet again), we know where $3.95 million of it would go: for this sublime property in posh n' pricey Princeton, New Jersey. Built in 1946 on 4+ prime acres just west of downtown and close to parks and excellent schools, the grounds alone have pretty much everything we could desire to live like royalty (or characters from an old Aaron Spelling drama): snazzy swimming pool surrounded by stacked stone walls, tennis court, multiple terraces and garden areas, guest house—even something that looks like a quaint fishing cabin. Inside the 5300 square foot main house, it only gets better with arched doorways, stenciled floors, marble baths, dreamy kitchen with adjacent vaulted ceiling'd breakfast room and more fireplaces than we could count. The finishes are perfection, as are the furnishings, which are not included; however, a little sweet talk and a lot of negotiating could change that, right? So take a closer look at this pretty property here

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hiding in Plain Sight: 70s Beauty in Raleigh N.C.

It's happened again: we've fallen for a Seventies heartthrob and we don't mean Mark Hamill or Rick Springfield (although the latter is still looking awfully good!). Designed by local architect John Farabow as his own home, this 1977 contemporary is located on nearly 2 acres in the coveted neighborhood of Lakestone, about 5 miles north of downtown Raleigh, overlooking Crabtree Creek and a two minute stroll to 32 acre North Hills Park. Enveloped by trees and built into a slope, the 3 bed/3 bath 2600+ square foot home features ginormous picture windows, oak and slate floors, pitched ceilings, and two large decks. The kitchen's many updates are much appreciated and we love the cozy fireplace tucked between two big windows, but we're especially smitten with the futuristic-looking tub surrounds in two of the bathrooms. $549.9K seems more than fair to us—see if you agree by taking a closer look here

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Retro-Moderne in the Hollywood Hills

When we first saw this house deep in the Hollywood Hills, we were completely bedazzled by its many outdoor spaces—green lawns, decks, patios, even a fanciful rock fireplace; then we took notice of the corner windows and deliciously curved lines, even a front door with a  porthole window, and fell in love. Built in 1938, it's the kind of house where we can picture William Powell or Greta Garbo, clad in silk smoking jackets, cocktail in one hand, cigarette in the other, lounging by the living room fireplace. Of course, now its 2200+ square feet has to be viewed in full color as opposed to classic black and white (which we would have preferred, especially as the staging furniture and paint colors are very blah), and the kitchen has been given a modern revamp with an open plan and luxe finishes, along with new baths and hardwood floors. Asking $1.895 million, the 3 bed/2.5 bath home is nestled on a spectacularly private, lushly landscaped (but with drought-tolerant plants!) lot, but is close to local hangouts like the Break Room Cafe (folks swear that the kale smoothie is, er, delicious) and Universal Herbal Center (where spending $40 on legal weed qualifies you to spin the wheel and win a bong!). Now before some actor whose show gets picked up for a full season takes  it off the market, take a closer look at this home here

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Southern Star

If you've ever read—or, more likely, seenFried Green Tomatoes, then you've experienced some of the charm of Irondale, the small town just a few miles east of Birmingham, Alabama, where author Fannie Flagg grew up and which serves as the actual setting of her best seller. Perched on a rocky bluff and surrounded by trees, this spacious, super-bright 4 bed/3.5 bath 1958 home there has loads of updates—from a new kitchen and hardwood floor to revamped plumbing, electrical and roof—but we're most obsessed with the walls of glass that define nearly every room and especially the spectacular natural rock formation that inhabits a large corner. The $549K asking price includes 4+ acres with several outdoor spaces including a pool, cabana with shower, koi pond with waterfall, decks and patios. While we usually feature homes with furnishings as they simply look so much better online, we made an exception for this house because,'s exceptional! See why here

Friday, September 25, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: In Pope Francis' Hometown

In honor of the Pope Fever that has gripped America (and made getting around the NYC area impossible, which is fine by us—we have the fever, too!), we've traveled to his birthplace, the grand and glorious city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, which has been called "The Paris of the Americas" for its wide boulevards and many French-style buildings. This sprawling 4500+ square foot home is located in one such edifice, a 1931 beauty in the city's northeast Retiro neighborhood, famed for its many upscale stores, restaurants and hotels. On the market for $1.45 million, the 5 bed/4.5 bath home, which also features a separate 3 room service apartment, actually looks like it was plucked straight out of the City of Light with it's double height ceilings, ornate plaster and wood moldings, blond oak floors and those very distinctive ginormous glass-paned doors that open to lovely city views (particularly of pretty, leafy Plaza San Martin and the many Beaux Arts, Baroque and Art Deco buildings that surround it). To be clear: we're well aware that humble, Fiat-driving Pope Francis would never live in anything so posh; however, that doesn't mean he'd mind if you did! See more of it here