Monday, April 20, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Mill Valley, California

People often ask us, "If you could live anywhere, where would it be?" and 9 times out of 10 we answer "northern California" cuz we love the cool salt-tinged air, nights that require blankets and cashmere sweaters, the way the wind slants the pine trees, and glorious land and sea views that make even an atheist believe in heaven. Just 12 miles north of San Francisco, the Marin County town of Mill Valley fits the requirements quite nicely; in fact, this property there is pretty much our dream home! Built in 1962 and reached via staircase, the 2800 square foot 4 bed/3.5 bath contemporary is like a luxe treehouse, with walls of glass framing and opening to magnificent forest, valley and bay views. Asking (and likely to get) $1.995 million, the fully renovated house has vaulted, wood-clad ceilings, huge gourmet kitchen, skylights, master suite with fireplace, several outdoor living spaces and a sweet guest house. Added bonus: it's within strolling distance of glorious Muir Woods, the often fog shrouded 550+ acre redwood forest that's home to creatures like spotted owls, deer, foxes, bobcats and nature-loving locals. See more of this stunning property here

Friday, April 17, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Feel the Heat in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sure, it has terrible smog, insane traffic and more skyscrapers than Donald Trump's idea of heaven, but Brazil's biggest city, Sao Paulo (20 million+ citizens in the metro area, including huge populations of Japanese, Italians, Germans and Arabs) also has miles of museums, art house cinemas, cutting edge theaters, and a famed foodie scene that includes over 12,500 restaurants. Listed for a smidge over $2.4 million, this sleek—and dare we say muito sexy—contemporary home there sits behind secure walls and includes a 4 car garage, garden, hot tub/spa and pool with waterfall. We're positively louco for its calm, zen-like interior, especially the open floor plan, high ceilings, floating wood and metal staircase and giant glass walls that allow for true indoor-outdoor living. See how good architecture can make all the difference in your mood by taking a closer look here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Splurge-Worthy Stunner in One of California's Priciest Zips

Okay, we'll just get this out of the way: yes, some very famous folks make their home in Montecito, the super-wealthy town north of Los Angeles. Oprah, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, and Rob Lowe to mention just a few. However, the real stars here are the striking Santa Ynez Mountains and the pristine stretches of Pacific coastline. Oh: and the real estate, which requires very deep pockets but delivers with homes such as this one. Hidden away on 2 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, this mini-compound consists of a 4 bed/4.5 bath main house and separate 1 bed/1 bath guest apartment for a total of 5500+ square feet living spaces. On the market for $5.995 million, the circa 1951 home features vaulted ceilings, wood and tile floors, fireplaces (including one in the master suite), tons of built-ins, gourmet kitchen (Miele! Viking! Thermador!), and more french doors opening to the great outdoors than we could count. And those outdoors are something else, dotted with giant oaks, pathways, pretty little footbridges, a rose garden, a citrus grove—even a tree house! So before some actress from a Shonda Rhimes series grabs it, take a closer look at this exquisite property here

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bargain of the Week: Updated Historic Condo for...$235K!

The sound you're hearing now? Why, it's the anguished cries of bearded Brooklyn hipsters and young Eagle Rock parents realizing how far their dollar would stretch in the groovy, diverse Shaker Square neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio! Located in Moreland Courts, a historic 1925 Tudor complex, this 4 bed/3 bath unit boasts over 3300 square feet of living spaces including formal dining room, living room with fireplace, office, library and updated kitchen with top flight appliances and two pantries. Shaker Square—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—is right outside the front door, which means you have instant access to things like restaurants and cafes (we're fond of Dewey's coffee house), a Dave's grocery store, and a restored art deco theater with six movie screens. It's also a convergence point for the city's excellent train and bus lines, so owning a car (and paying for gas and insurance) isn't even a necessity. While you Google "Cleveland jobs," have a closer look at this incredible deal here

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Celebrity Real Estate: Vince Vaughn Slept Here!

At long last, a famous person with a fab pad! The 6 foot 5 inch actor, whose flicks have garnered something like $3 billion world-wide, has listed his ginormous 12,000 square foot 3 story penthouse in Chicago's historic 1929 Palmolive Building for $13.9 million. And whadya get for that hefty chunk o' change? Pretty much everything your heart desires: 5 beds, 4 full- and 4 half baths; screening room; billiards room (we kid you not); card room (now that's bonkers); 2 offices; 2 kitchens; outdoor terraces; crazy amazing 360 degree views of the city and lake; plus top notch gym, spa, and 24 hour concierge, doormen, valet parking services (the unit comes with 3 parking spaces). Superb Windy City restaurants like Rosebud Steakhouse are mere feet away from the front door as are shops like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. The married father of two—who's been spending more time away from his beloved Chicago, revving up his career (he's starring in this summer's highly anticipated True Detective with Colin Farrell)—owns several homes in California including a $6.5 million pad in Manhattan Beach, a $3.9 colonial in  La Canada Flintridge (a rather conservative 'burb north of L.A.) and a modest $2.4 million Hollywood Hills mid-century modern that he purchased from actress Kate Bosworth last summer. In other words, his bank account is just fine (perhaps a penthouse on top of a 37 story building with outdoor spaces isn't safe for his two youngsters?). See more of his posh apartment here

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: A Clearwater Winner!

We're in love! Yes, again, but this time we swear it's forever—how could it not be when it involves a home this spectacular in the west Florida coast town of Clearwater (which, btw, is the Guinness Book of World Records winner for most consecutive days of sunshine at 361)? We've never heard of Joe Louis McClung, the talented architect behind the 4400+ square foot 1961 Usonian style contemporary (our search turned up zip), but we're head over heels for everything from the koi pond at the entrance to the wood-lined walls, wood-burning fireplaces, rows of accordian glass doors that open to a patio (very Frank Lloyd Wright) and especially the unusual green hued floors (painted concrete? tile?) inlaid with pale yellow brick throughout. The kitchen looks modern (dig those cabinets!), there's an adjacent red dining banquette we covet, an interior water feature at the foot of the stair case (another koi pond perhaps?), a large screened/glassed in porch, two dens, an office, a safe room (well, Sandra Bullock would love it), and 5 beds/3.5 bathrooms! The 1+ acre property, gorgeously landscaped with giant oaks and all manner of lush plantings, is zoned for horses and there's a stable just a stone's throw away to board your fine filly. The price for all this loveliness? $599K. No, really. So, get out the smelling salts and have a closer look [images courtesy of RiMo Photographics] here

Friday, April 10, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Sun-Kissed in Sicily

Surrounded by wheat fields and verdant rolling hills, we fell hard for this 17th century stone house near the central Sicilian village of Aidone (also known as "the balcony of Sicily" because its height allows for to-die-for views of everything from Mount Aetna to the city of Syracuse to the deep blue Ionian Sea). Splendidly updated (note the kitchen and baths), the 4 bed/2 bath home has retained the vintage details that matter most: large majolica-tile fireplace, 18th century doors and woodwork, tiled floors throughout and some of the most heavenly plasterwork we've ever seen. Asking just $469K, the property features a pool, terrace, patios and over 4 acres of olive trees, orange groves, and roses. Should you ever feel the need to leave the premises, Aidone is home to many famous historical sites such as the 11th century Church of San Lorenzo, medieval Pietratagliata castle, and the ruins of ancient Morgantina. Have a closer look at what we'll be dreaming about this weekend here

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Young At Heart in Historic New York State Locale

Fun fact:  Troy, New York, located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River about 150 miles north of Manhattan, used to be known as Collar City for its prolific shirt, collar and textile production. Filled with gorgeous Victorian and Belle Epoque architecture, and home to a burgeoning restaurant and gallery scene, the town has been attracting artistic types looking for space and inspiration at affordable prices. You'll find all that and more in this splendid 1923 center hall colonial, which features so many things we love, from burnished hardwood floors and french doors to working fireplaces and butler's pantry. Asking $449K, the 4 bed/2.5 bath 3550 square foot home has been sensitively updated (hello, central a/c, modern kitchen and new electric system!) and sits on a beautifully landscaped .7 acre lot that's just a hop, skip and jump to pretty Lake Ida. We're confident that we'd be happy here—how about you? See more here

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Air Up Here: Clear Your Mind in Santa Fe, NM

Question: What was Santa Fe's original name? Answer: La Villa Real De La Santa Fe De San Francisco De Asis, which means "the royal town of the holy faith of St. Francis of Assisi." Thankfully, the name was shortened—can you imagine writing that on an envelope?!—sometime after it was established in the early 1600s by a Spanish governor (which makes it America's oldest state capital). Alright, we'll end the history lesson, but only because we need you to know that this divine 7200 square foot 1978 pueblo revival just southeast of downtown is up for grabs with an asking price of $1.3 million. All told, there are 5 beds, 6 full- and 2 half-baths, including a guest house (and, as always, we'd love to visit—just ask!), along with traditional features like soaring vigas ceilings, built in adobe seating, and multiple kiva fireplaces. Perched behind walls on 1.58 acres west of Santa Fe National Forest, the home has heavenly views of the surrounding ranges and valleys. Absolutely maravilloso! So take a closer look here

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Blues Queue: Lining Up for a Bargain Bungalow

Mindful of the stock and real estate bubble being predicted by some economic pundits, today's offering is priced to tempt those looking for a bargain but who don't want a fixer. Asking $179K, this cozy 1750 square foot bungalow is located in the gentrifying Valley neighborhood, just west of downtown Providence, Rhode Island and Brown University. Built in 1930, the interiors of the 3 bed/2 bath home are clean and contemporary, with an open floor plan, small but sleek kitchen, wood-burning stove, radiant heat and smart built-ins. The outdoor spaces, beginning with the inviting front porch, are exceptional and include a rooftop deck, patio, raised garden beds, 2 parking spaces and—for the urban farmer—a stylish, custom built chicken coop, perfect for a flock of hardy Rhode Island Red chickens! See the possibilities here