Friday, September 30, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Former Olive Mill in Tuscan Town

Located equidistant (around 35 miles) to both Siena and the Tuscan coast, the small hilltop town of Montecastelli Pisano has the kind of charm we find impossible to resist: narrow streets and alleys, covered passages, vine-draped stone houses, a majestic medieval fortress tower and a castle (currently being restored) that dates back to 1202. And wouldn't you know there's an incredible home for sale right in the middle of it all? This former olive mill, now a 3 bed/3 bath home, confidently mixes new features into vintage ones with stylish results. The ground floor's sleek contemporary kitchen melds effortlessly with striking vaulted plaster ceilings, large stone archways and original panted doors and shuttered windows; upstairs, the updated en suite baths display antique marble sinks and the bedrooms' newer terracotta tile floors compliment original barrel-vaulted and wood-beamed ceilings. The reasonably priced $390K home has two fantastic bonuses: a .25 acre private garden with flowers, pergola and patio, and—hold on to your cantuccini—an indoor, grotto-like pool! If our lotto numbers hit this week, we'll be taking this one off the market, so take a closer look at it while you still can HERE

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Holy Literary Legacy: F. Scott Fitzgerald Slept (& Wrote) Here

This is the St. Paul MN house where a 22 year old F. Scott Fitzgerald—depressed because Zelda had broken up with him—spent the summer of 1919, typing out his first novel from the confines of a third floor bedroom. The book was "This Side of Paradise" and its quick publication and success the following year not only turned Fitzgerald into a literary wunderkind, but brought back his muse; he and Zelda were married that spring. A registered landmark that was built in 1889, the handsome 3 story stone row house, which was owned by the writer's parents, is located in the diverse, tree-strewn Summit-University neighborhood just west of downtown, within walking distance of restaurants and shops. Asking $625K, the updated 4 bed/4 bath 3500 square foot home has splendid original features—hardwood floors, high ceilings, arched doorways, rich moldings, fireplaces, original doors, transom windows, butler's pantry—along with a coveted 2 car garage and two outdoor decks. Whether you're a writer hoping for some of Fitzgerald's fairy dust, or just someone looking for a gorgeous vintage home in the city, you should take a closer look at this property HERE

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Magic in the Mountains

A protege of Bauhaus badboy Walter Gropius, the late Alexander James Jr. designed many modernist homes during his 50 year career during which he was also a well-respected professor at the University of Cincinnati. This dazzling residence, built in 1955 on a magnificent 135+ acre parcel in the New Hampshire mountains, represents some of his finest work. The airy 3 bed/3 bath 3650 square foot single story home features things like exposed brick walls and wood paneled ceilings, but it's the walls of glass that take center stage, framing seriously insane (and we mean that in a good way) views of hills, valleys and streams. Located just south of the small—and pretty—town of Dublin and close to Monadnock State Park in southwest New Hampshire (around 80 miles from Boston), the home's $1.3 million asking price includes several outdoor patios plus a 1200+ square foot 2 bed/1.5 bath carriage house and 2 car garage (perfect as a rental or in-law apartment). We urge a closer look HERE

Friday, September 23, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Picturesque Irish Farmhouse

With astonishing views of the countryside, Mount Gabriel, Roaringwater Bay and even the Fastnet Lighthouse, it's no wonder this restored farmhouse in in southern Ireland's County Cork is our latest crush! Situated around a charming courtyard, the 2500 square foot 4 bed/2.5 bath home has loads of original character (beamed and vaulted ceilings, wood and slate floors, deep set windows, fireplace, wood-burning stove), along with carefully considered updates (like the casual-chic kitchen with large apron sink and—one of our Very Favorite Things—an AGA stove!).  Note: that alluring kitchen and attached studio space was originally a milking parlour and pigsty! The property's 2.5 acres of famous Irish green features extra lovely landscaping including raised plant beds, perennial borders, flower gardens, mature trees, lawns and stone walls. Located in Ireland's extreme south, where the winds are strong but the climate is famously mild and moist, the farmhouse is about an hour from Cork airport, less than 5 miles from the lively town of Skibbereen, and just a stone's throw to stunning beaches, rocky cliffs, and a cluster of islands where marine life like porpoises, dolphins and whales are a common sight. $664K seems like a fair price for such beauty; see if you agree—see more of this home HERE (then make sure to click on "photo gallery")

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Wednesday Wow: Deco Masterpiece in the Heartland

Situated in the foothills of the Ozarks on the banks of the Arkansas River, the city of Tulsa OK has the greatest collection of art deco buildings in the country. The Sherman Residence, built in 1937 and located just 7 miles south of downtown, is one of its finest. The steel and reinforced concrete residence, a streamline moderne marvel, has been expensively updated but retains original features like curved walls, glass block decoration, corner windows, triple pipe railings and at least four fireplaces. Asking $2.67 million, the nearly 7000 square foot home includes 5 beds, 4 full- and 2 half baths and includes a separate but authentic guest house separated from the large garage by a snazzy porte cochere. (Note: make sure to take a gander at the dreamy dressing room, which we'd kill for, or at least commit a felony.) There's a covered outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles, several patios and balconies, lawns and a coveted pool on the property's 2.4 acres. While we meditate on getting proud Okie Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani—we heart them—to buy this, get married, redecorate it (the current furniture needs help) and then have it photographed for Elle Decor, have a closer look at its divine deco-ness HERE

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Big Style in the Big D

We struggled to find a negative about this property in Dallas' leafy Highland Meadows neighborhood (a small area of Lake Highlands), but all we could come up with is that it doesn't have a pool—but with an acre of ground, there's more than enough room to add one! Built in 1964, the architect isn't named, but props to him/her for the sleek, flowing design and coveted features like the terrazzo floors (looove), wood ceilings and huge picture windows and walls throughout. Asking just under $725K, the 4000 square foot home has 5 beds/4 baths and loads of unobtrusive but fancy updates like the open kitchen and snazzy bathrooms and energy efficient windows. As for location, it's pretty hard to beat: 20 minutes to downtown, across the street from pretty 10 acre McCree Park (tennis courts, basseball field, playground, etc), down the road from excellent Highlander School, not to mention close to a Kroger supermarket and a CVS drugstore (two of our personal essentials). Take a closer look at today's crush HERE

Friday, September 16, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Lighthouse Love on a Scottish Isle

For the sake of real estate, we'll bite the bullet and age ourselves: Remember the video for Eurythmics' classic "Here Comes the Rain Again" where a blankie-wrapped Annie Lennox first appears wandering around a rocky precipice surrounded by churning waves? (look at it HERE ) Well, it was shot on Hoy, an island off the northern coast of Scotland famous for spectacular jagged cliffs perched high above the sea—which just happens to be where this picturesque property is located! Looking like the setting for "The Light Between Oceans" (minus the World's Most Attractive Couple, Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender), the actual lighthouse is not included in the $400K asking price (the government owns that), but the quaint 3 bed/1 bath Cantick Head lighthouse keeper's home is, as well as two sweet 2 bed/1 bath cottages. The grounds, including a walled garden, have to-die-for water views, and the island has a school, post office, general store, theater and fast ferry service to the mainland. If you like homes with cinematic qualities, see more of this one HERE

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Deal of the Day: Modern Country Sanctuary for $219K!

Twenty eight miles north of Lexington, an hour south of Cincinnati and 90 minutes east of Louisville, the tiny town of Sadieville has a quaint main street with a few shops and historic buildings, but the main attraction is the lush Kentucky countryside, dense with woods and hills and creeks. Sitting on one such 20 acre parcel there, this 11 year old 4 bed/2 bath home was designed by highly regarded Lexington-based architect Scott Guyon (his firm is currently doing a major reno/expansion of Churchill Downs). A more rustic example of one of his "new native houses," the 1600 square foot home features things like concrete floors, soaring ceilings, a stacked stone fireplace, wood-clad walls, metal roof and large window configurations. The result is a homespun yet dapper cabin-in-the woods vibe that we find wildly appealing. Also wildly appealing? The $219K asking price. Before some Millenial from the big city snaps it up, take a closer look at this property HERE

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Inspired by...Keith Richards!

Not that you asked, but since it's part of the reason this home is featured today, we'll tell you anyway: we truly, madly, and deeply love Keith Richards—not in a gooey, romantic way (we'd never disrespect the awesome Patti Hansen), but in a sort of spiritual way that simply makes us "Happy" (get it??) that he exists. Therefore, when we glimpsed not one but two Keef portraits in this 1959 MCM home in Portland, Oregon (there are also blowup photos of Mick/Stones, Jim Morrison, Pete Townsend smashing a guitar, Steve McQueen's mugshot and a few Marlon Brandos downstairs), the search for today's listing was over! On the market for $690K, the nearly 3000 square foot 3 bed/2.5 bath brick home doesn't show its cards at the curb (it looks rather dull outside), but reveals its hand after the front doors open. Highlights include vaulted, wood-clad ceilings, two-sided brick fireplace, nicely updated kitchen and baths (love the ocean-hued kitchen tile), picture windows and two decks with views of the surrounding evergreens. Located just south of city center, the property is just steps to 32 acre George Himes Park, which boasts verdant hills, trails and paths, and outstanding downtown views. We suspect that Mr. Richards steered us to this house today—because, you know, both God and the Human Riff work in mysterious ways—which means that he wants you to take a closer look at it HERE

Friday, September 9, 2016

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Seaside Splurge in Singapore

Today's lesson in a nutshell: Made up of 63 islands and renowned as a global commerce hub and highly rated social policies, Singapore also has the highest percentage of millionaires, with 1 in 6 households having at least $1 million in disposable income. And for someone whose bank account is somewhere north of there, we suggest this sensational and unusual 9500 square foot home (called "The Copper House," we presume, because the metal adorns the exterior) there, which is on the market for around $35 million. Just 4 years old, the 6 bed/7 bath manse is swanky in ways we find almost disturbing: sure, all the en-suite bedrooms face the pool and terrace (duh), but there's also a gym, wine cellar, massage room, elevator, craaaazy gorgeous bathrooms (the fixtures in the black and white one look positively space age), ginormous underground parking garage and some sort of large metallic thing that could be a high tech speaker, a piece or art or an alien pod. The property is perched above the sea on Sentosa, the world-renowned island resort located just a quarter mile off the southern coast of mainland Singapore and quickly reached via cable car, monorail or the Sentosa Boardwalk, a kind of upscale footbridge with restaurants, shops, gardens and travelators for when your dogs are barking. Take in all the gorgeousness HERE