Friday, February 5, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Beer+Football=U.K. Heaven

Truth be told, we usually neglect properties in proper English towns to concentrate on sizable, picturesque homes in the countryside, but today's listing simply wouldn't be ignored. Located in the center of Rugby, a pretty town of around 75,000 inhabitants just 85 miles northwest of London (50 minutes by train), this 3 bed/1 bath mix of old and new is a former Guinness bottling factory and still has its original working winch and hoist to prove it. The 2000+ square foot home also has warehouse doors, metal windows and sandblasted brick walls, along with radiant heated hardwood floors, a/c (in the bedrooms), skylights, glass block walls throughout and a snazzy kitchen with steel counters and appliances and an aluminum tile floor. The main living space on the first floor is exceptionally open and bright with a Juliet balcony, and pluses include an enclosed sauna in the master bedroom, a large storage room/area, and a lovely 1400 square foot rooftop terrace. Rugby—which is, in fact, the birthplace of rugby (English football)—is renowned for its many pubs, lively restaurant and shopping scene (people travel from all over to visit the Clock Towers, a large indoor shopping center), and a collection of prestigious schools. Asking a smidge over $500K—an excellent price in a country where there are no real estate bargains—means this home won't last long, so take a closer look at it HERE

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Potentially Presidential in New Hampshire

With both parties neck and neck at the polls, we came up with an ingenious way for one of the candidates to ensure a win in New Hampshire next week: buy a house there! Showing your love for the granite state in this way would clinch the nomination, which in turn could eventually lead to being sworn as as leader of the free world. Easy, right?! Okay, so, considering the property would need to serve as a de facto White House North, we went on a hunt for something palatial and presidential and found just the thing: this sprawling 9 bed/7 full- and 2 half-bath manor house on 14 acres (meaning you could land a helicopter) with a large carriage house (where the Secret Service Agents could bunk) in tiny Rye Beach Village along the Atlantic coast. Built in 1906 by the founder of Marshall Field department stores, the sunny 7500 square foot main house is both elegant and homey and features things like hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, multiple fireplaces, painted tin ceiling, thick moldings, formal living and dining rooms, and lovely glass conservatory. Windswept beaches are just a short stroll away, as is Abenaqui Country Club; a little further away are great schools (you could send the First Kids to famed Phillips Exeter Academy) and a place to for rich contributors to park their yachts (Wentworth Marina). The asking price is $4.2 million, but if you take into account that there's no income tax or sales tax in New Hampshire, it's a bargain! See it for yourself HERE

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Swing-Time in Atlanta

We're kind of obsessed with Northcrest, a leafy residential neighborhood about 20 minutes northeast of downtown Atlanta that's become popular with young families in the last few years due to its many mid-century modern homes and reasonable prices (although those have climbed quite a bit). Revamped for today's lifestyle, this 4 bed/3 bath 1961 contemporary there still has its original vaulted, wood-clad ceilings, pale brick fireplace and clerestory windows, but there's a fancy new kitchen (with two island areas), baths (simple but cleanly designed with sleek tiling), sun room and office. An updated 3,000 square foot house for $379.9K is a great price, but add in the property's three quarter acre with large patio and deep yard on a cul-de-sac and it becomes a fabulous price. We're also hyped that the swingin' Northcrest Swim and Tennis Club is a short stroll away, meaning you'll have someplace groovy to hang out year round and participate in events ranging from the annual July 4th bbq to Tacky Tourist Night (no idea what that is, but we sooo wanna go). Too good to last for long, take a closer look at this house HERE

Friday, January 29, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: 18th Century French Chateau

Think of it this way: for around $2.1 million, you could buy a 2 bed/2 bath coop in Manhattan (and it might need some work), OR you could snap up this dazzling, updated 18th century chateau in the Poitou-Charentes region of France (about 2 hours southwest of Paris via high speed train). If you buy the coop, you'll get around 1200 square feet; the chateau has nearly 15,000 square feet with 7 beds/baths in the manor house and an additional 18 beds/6 baths in the many guest houses dotting the property's 50 acres. The Manhattan pad will come with a doorman and maybe some extra storage space in the building's basement; the historic manor, on the other hand, has a large fountain with reflecting pool (very Versailles!), a swimming pool, a pond with a quaint bridge leading to an island, and several beautifully landscaped gardens, including a one just for fragrant flowers, as well as a fruit orchard. The NYC apartment will be just feet from restaurants, shops and transportation; the estate, surrounded by rolling green hills, is 10 minutes from the picturesque medieval town of Parthenay, so enchanting it's said to have been created by the wave of a fairy's wand in the early Middle Ages. The Manhattan digs will be delivered empty; the chateau comes with most of its furnishings. Oh, who are we kidding? Assuming you haven't been declared insane, the choice is obvious—so have a closer look at the crazy-beautiful French property HERE

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Made in the Shade: 70s Contemporary in Tennessee

Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and home of the University of Tennessee, the city of Knoxville is one of America's most underrated cities, full of culture, from great museums and galleries to an opera company and symphony orchestra. Ringed by mature trees and perched on a verdant 1 acre lot, this 2300 square foot 1976 home in the hills just west of downtown has the distinct features we love about homes from that era—diagonal wood walls, vaulted ceilings, angled windows—along with much appreciated updates to the kitchen and baths. Priced at $349K, pluses include an inviting stacked stone fireplace, several outdoor decks (the pergola-covered one is our favorite), fenced yard and a separate studio/guest space over the two car garage. Another plus? Your taxes are less than $1500 a month and your mortgage should be about the same. We know! So. When you stop hyperventilating, take a closer look at this home HERE

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Royal Crush in Coveted West Philly Neighborhood

While Tuesdays are usually reserved for Tudors here, we're making an exception for this distinct stone Queen Anne that mixes elements of a Tudor with a Victorian for a result that's positively castle-like. Built in 1925, the 4 bed/3.5 bath 3800 square foot home features a gorgeous rounded entry door, several fireplaces, hardwood floors with mahogany inlays, window seats, french doors, and a library area with built-in bookcases. The homey kitchen is deceptively updated with reclaimed barn wood cabinets, soapstone counters and steel appliances, while the master suite has several closets (including a cedar one) and a large bath with 2 person shower and clawfoot tub. We're also seriously psyched about the separate stone carriage house above the garage with perfect guest suite (there's a full bath and adorable kitchenette plus a screened in porch and patio). Asking $689K, the home is located just west of downtown Philadelphia in the lively, diverse Mount Airy neighborhood, within easy strolling distance of the Big Blue Marble Bookshop (the city's best independent book shop) and High Point Cafe (which boasts the city's best coffee, pastries and crepes). We're ready to move in—how about you? See it HERE

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Midwest Majesty

We adore the work of architect Bruce Goff, a Frank Lloyd Wright-trained architect whose organic style work is scattered throughout the Midwest, but we'd never heard of his protegee, Philip B. Welch...until now. Welch, who studied with and then worked with Goff, designed this uniquely shaped 4 bed/2 bath home in the quaint Illinois town of Kewanee, 150 miles west of Chicago and 50 miles north of Peoria (fun fact: Kewanee's stature as the "Hog Capital of the World" is celebrated each Labor Day weekend with a parade and carnival). Built in 1955, the 2350 square foot home's original features remain intact and show the influence of both Goff and FLW with its vaulted, wood-clad ceilings, angled central brick fireplace, narrow hallways and built-ins. Our favorite feature? The triangular, glass enclosed porch. The asking price of $499K includes a whopping 30 acres of nature's finest offerings, including  your own private lake. If you love fabulous design, take a closer look at this house HERE

Friday, January 22, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Living Large in Grand Cayman

Less than 90 minutes from the Miami airport, the Cayman Islands are known as the offshore banking capital of the Caribbean, which means its three islands are populated with well-heeled folks from around the world who like luxe living. If you're lucky enough to be one of them, we suggest this $2.85 million 5 bed/5.5 bath home in posh, private Britannia Estates on the western peninsula of Grand Cayman, near world famous Seven Mile Beach. Built in 1997, the 8000 square foot home—called "Laughing Koi" for reasons we can't fathom as everyone knows koi rarely smile, much less laugh—is surrounded by well-tended tropical gardens featuring palm trees and flowering vines, and features a unique pool with bridge. High ceilings, huge windows and french doors throughout make the interiors extra airy, and as we're actually loving 95% of the furnishings (which almost never happens), we hope they come with the property or are at least negotiable (is that a Fortuny pendant over the dining table?). Besides counting your money and spending it in the nearby town of Camana Bay (hello, Versace, Gucci, and Hermes shops!), activities in these parts include exploring white sand beaches, snorkeling the azure waters (where you can swim with stingrays and spot green sea turtles) and playing golf to your heart's content (the home has access to a spectacular Jack Nicklaus-designed course). We could sooo get used to life here; what about you? See the property HERE

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Big Easy Living in a 100+ Year Old Condo

In the decade since Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans to the tune of $80 billion in damages, the city has worked hard to regain its footing as one of the world's most unique destinations. A record number of tourists are helping the city recover and a very American can-do entrepreneurial spirit has inspired a wave of young business owners to launch a variety of start-ups. All of which is our way of saying that it's a very cool place to live, which we'd especially love to do from the confines of this elegant 3 bed/3 bath condo in a dreamy Beaux-Arts building right on St. Charles Avenue on the border of the Milan and Touro neighborhoods in the Central City/Garden District. Built in 1914, Emlah Courts was designed by prolific New Orleans architect Moise Goldstein (who graduated in 1902 from Tulane University, just a few blocks west of here) as the first cooperative in Crescent City with five units. This is the penthouse unit and its 2500 square feet of space is bright, airy and super luxe with high ceilings, marble baths, a huge kitchen, fireplace, formal dining room, enclosed sun porch and a balcony with enchanting views. Asking $1.45 million, it also comes with a vintage-looking elevator, roof deck, courtyard, parking and quick access to many of the city's famed restaurants and night spots. If you like pretty things, take a closer look at this home HERE

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Capital Cool

Frankly, we're surprised that this spectacular 1961modern by highly regarded architects Thomas Wright and Leon Brown has been languishing on the market, but we think it's more about the fact that Washington D.C. is currently such a political mess (and everyone's waiting for the presidential election to shake out) than about the property itself. Located in in the leafy, coveted Kent neigborhood, the 3 bed/4 bath home isn't classic MCM, but has an interesting touch of '30s air to it, specifically the Bauhaus style flat roof. While the exteriors and overall design haven't changed— stunning walls of glass framing verdant surroundings, white brick walls, floating stairs and open floor plan—a careful and undoubtedly pricey reno means that the 2450 square foot interiors now boast things like a Jetsons-worthy kitchen and high end baths. The $1.899 million asking price includes an exceptionally pretty bluestone patio and graveled zig-zag path through a tiered garden with stone walls. Battery Kemble Park, ground zero for sledding this time of year, is literally steps away, with American University and all the shops and restaurants of McArthur Boulevard a few blocks more. While the city's politicians mud wrestle one another, take advantage of their insecurities and see more of this home HERE while you still can.