Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mind Your Manor, Pittsburgh Style!

Yep, we're back in the city of the Steelers—and the Penguins, the Pirates, and the Panthers, among others—for this massive and magnificent pile of bricks in the city's leafy East End neighborhood of Regent Square. Built in 1898, the 5 bed/4 bath updated home boasts a whopping 7200 square feet of delectable details: pillared porch, ceilings tall enough for an NBA player, intricately detailed inlaid floors, burnished wood trim and molding, built-ins, pocket doors, and some of the most remarkable stained and leaded glass windows we've ever seen. Asking $639K, the home, currently configured as owner's unit and a rental unit (or two? we're not sure), includes a 2 car garage, back deck and sizable fenced yard with pretty landscaping and patio. Restaurants (and the Vanilla Pastry Studio, which has cupcakes to die for—scroll down that link and be prepared to drool), shops, and ginormous Frick Park are just a short stroll away, and you can be downtown in under 20 minutes. What more could you want? See it all here

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Westchester County, NY

We're back in the leafy loveliness of Westchester County, an hour+ north of Manhattan but worlds away in terms of natural wonders and cherished quiet. Sitting on a hidden 2.25 acre lot just over the Connecticut border in southern Pound Ridge, this stunning 1957 stone contemporary had us at "hello" with its tree-enveloped setting, multitude of covered flagstone patios and walkways, and floor to ceiling glass walls. The interiors of the 4 bed/3.5 bath 3100 square foot home are just as seductive: stone walls and fireplace, skylights, hardwood floors, gray painted beams, and original floating walnut cabinets throughout. The $999K asking price includes a separate screened in porch and reflecting pool. Get better acquainted with our new house crush here

Mid-Century Modern Monday: A Ralph Haver Bargain!

Mid-century modern architect Ralph Haver may have been born in California, but the architect certainly left his mark on Phoenix, where he lived and worked from the mid-1940s to the early '80s. Beloved for affordable tract housing, he's responsible for the entire Marlen Grove neighborhood (about 6 miles due north of downtown), including this bright, modest 1300+ square foot 3 bed/2 bath home, which is on the market for just $230K. Built in 1950, it has the hallmarks of a Haver—low pitched roofline, exposed beams, and a flexible, open floor plan—along with updated baths, a laundry room, stained concrete floors and snazzy kitchen with steel island large enough for dining. Perched on a corner lot, the home has a circular drive, gated parking, and walled yard with covered patio and shade trees. Bonus: the home is surrounded by other nicely revamped Havers, the neighborhood is coveted for its friendliness, and you're within walking distance of good restaurants. While you're running the mortgage numbers, take a closer look here

Friday, November 21, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Normandy, France

One of the reasons we return again and again to the country that bestowed the world with treasures such as champagne, camembert and Catherine Deneuve, is because of properties like this one. Built nearly 200 years ago as a hunting lodge, this incredibly picturesque 2 bed/1.5 bath stone cottage—located about 140 miles due west of Paris in the Calvados region of Normandy—has a recently re-thatched roof (try finding one of these stateside!), modern kitchen and bath, updated mechanicals (heat, internet, etc), huge living room fireplace, exposed beams and countryside views from every window. Outside, there's a pleasing little summer house with covered jacuzzi (two rather jolly looking pensioners are actually pictured in it!), a matching thatched roof barn being used as workshop (it has electricity, so we're thinking 'future guest house'), patios, lawns, and gorgeous gardens on over half an acre with a stream. Larger towns like Vassy and Vire are just a few minutes' drive, while the port town of Caen and the historic beaches of Normandy are about an hour. The price for all this exquisiteness? $262K. And that's why we keep coming back. See it for yourself here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Thursday Thaw: Small but Fierce in Key West

As we're currently wearing every piece of cashmere we own (the northeast has succumbed to winter), the thought of living in Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville," aka Key West, Florida, where you'll never have high heating bills or need a snow shovel, sounds awfully appealing. Asking $649.9K, this adorable 2 bed/1 bath 1933 cottage is perfectly located and has updates and charm for miles. For starters, the 850 square foot home's white painted cathedral ceilings give it an airy feeling, while the cabin-like pine walls infuse warmth and coziness. We also love the bright, modern kitchen with quartz counters and steel appliances, and the adjacent dining porch couldn't be lovelier. Like the house, the back yard is small, but lush plantings, a koi pond and a sweet covered bath area—with clawfoot tub—more than make up for it. Everything you could want is a short stroll from the front door: the beach, the Ernest Hemingway Museum (say hey to the six-toed cats!), the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, and a restaurants for every day of the month (we're partial to the conch chowder, pulled pork and pitchers of sangria at nearby El Siboney). Take a closer look at this home here

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Wednesday Wow: Modernist Berkshires Barn

Normally, when the Berkshires beckon, it's because we've fallen for an antique farmhouse or 19th century Georgian, but this singular 2009 contemporary has turned our head and won our heart with its sexy modern lines. Built and designed by two people who obviously know design, the 3 bed/2.5 bath 3800 square foot home is front-loaded with discreet but luxe touches like radiant heating beneath polished concrete floors, slinky kitchen with top notch appliances (Miele! Blue Star! SubZero!), and a master suite with two walk in closets and a bathroom we'd find difficult to leave (limestone soaking tub, anyone?). Surrounded by 13 glorious acres—which can be viewed via the double height living room's humongous wall of windows—the $1.65 million property is located near Sheffield, Massachusetts, the antique shops-filled Berkshires town which the New York Times has described as "sophisticated," "charming," and "laid back." Take a closer look at this remarkable home here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Seeing the Light in Lake Oswego, Oregon

We traveled less than 10 miles south of Portland for something that, like chocolate and movies where Liam Neeson beats up bad guys, we find irresistible: a snazzy 70s house! Ignore the ruby-colored living room walls and the, er, grandmotherly floor coverings and focus your attention on this 1974 beauty's high, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, two fireplaces, swanky kitchen, walls of glass, updated baths and 2 wood-burning fireplaces instead. Located just north of affluent Lake Oswego itself in the leafy neighborhood of Mountain Park—a planned community on 700 acres of volcanic hillside with a clubhouse, pools, tennis courts and 8 miles of trails—the home has 3 beds/2.5 baths and 2450 square feet of living space plus an attached 2 car garage and enclosed yard with deck and patio. $475K puts the front door keys in your hand and allows you to start picking paint colors and decor asap. Take a closer look here

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Jonesing for A. Quincy!

If we had $2.995 million, there's no way we'd rather than spend it than by purchasing this sensational 4 bed/4.5 bath home in Los Angeles designed by famed mid-century architect A. Quincy Jones. Built in 1950, the fully renovated 3200 square foot home—which includes a swanky 1 bed/1 bath guest apartment over the garage—takes full advantage of the west coast weather with floor to ceiling windows throughout, fenced yard with patio and built in BBQ, and views of the city, canyon and even the Pacific Ocean. A few of our favorite things include the unique pivot entry door, white painted tongue and groove ceilings, hardwood floors, sunken living room, masonry block walls and fireplace, and luxe kitchen with high end appliances and marble counters. The home is located on a quarter acre lot in Brentwood, one of L.A.'s best neighborhoods and home to dozens of celebrities such as Ben and Jen, Jim Carrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dustin Hoffman and Heidi Klum (head to the Brentwood Country Mart to see them looking "just like us!"). Before some actor whose show just got picked up takes it off the market, we encourage you to see more of this home here

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Atlanta, Georgia

Well, technically, we're a few miles northeast of downtown in Doraville, but it's part of the metro area and a short ride via car or train to the city. Specifically, we're in one of our favorite mid-century modern neighborhoods in America, Northcrest, a subdivision developed in the 1950s-early 70s that's full of reasonably priced homes (with low taxes!) surrounded by pretty pines and mature trees. With 2100 square feet and 3 beds/2.5 baths on a half acre, this updated 1966 contemporary would meet a young family's needs, especially with an asking price of $289.9K and pluses like new roof, HVAC system and new kitchen with mosaic backsplash and stainless appliances. Original details like hardwood floors, brick walls, vaulted wood ceilings and carport aren't bad, either. See it for yourself here

Friday, November 14, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: San Miguel de Allende for...$84k!

We got so excited when we found this property that we hyperventilated and had breathe into a paper bag from the local bakery (there is nothing like a fresh, buttery croissant, so it smelled delicious) and lie down on the couch for a while. Just a few minutes' stroll from San Miguel de Allende's idyllic town center—this central Mexican enclave, home to expats from all over the world, features winding cobbled streets, colorful stucco walls and lush flora and fauna—this small but darling home is on the market for $84K, which makes a warm weather getaway a distinct possibility for those who couldn't normally afford it. The well-designed 450 square foot studio has living, dining and sleeping areas, plus small but functional kitchen and bath with attractive tile work. Floor to ceiling windows opens to a private, walled patio and nicely landscaped garden. A truly inspiring way to end our unintentional Bargain Week, we urge you to take a closer look at this home here