Friday, May 22, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: A Converted Dairy in Sweden!

In our 3+ years of searching for beautiful homes, we've come across many former churches, schools, factories and even post offices, but this conversion is new to us: a dairy from 1893 that's now a dreamy 4300 square foot home in the a small country village in southern Sweden! Priced around $1.55 million, the 3 bed/2 bath home—which also boasts a 320 square foot guesthouse and garage—is just across the sea from Copenhagen and north of the seaport city of Trelleborg. (Fun fact: Looking out over nearby Smygehuk harbor since 1930 is a statue of a naked woman; the model for the statue? Birgit Holmquist—Uma Thurman's maternal grandmother!) We love the home's bright white plaster walls, glazed herringbone brick floors, deep windows, living room with fireplace and old stove, and the walls of glass with views of the pretty garden on the .7 acre lot. In addition to loads of modern updates (tiled roof, heating and electrical systems, plastering, etc), the building itself houses a divine home store on the ground floor, Gamla Mejeriet (literally meaning "old dairy"), where you can purchase everything from wallpapers and fabrics to luxe copper bathtubs, tile, and lighting. We're sooo √§lskar with this house—see why here

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Urban, Straight Up: Historic Townhouse in St. Louis

We were looking at brownstones and townhouses in New York City, but the heart-stopping prices gave us so much anxiety we had to take a Xanax; thus, we ended up in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri, where we found this fabulous 4 bed/3.5 bath 1890 brick townhouse on the market for—hold on to your lattes, Brooklynites—$425K! Completely renovated, the 3300 square foot home has retained original features like hardwood floors, 12 foot high ceilings, original woodwork, and two fireplaces, plus modern amenities like zoned HVAC, snazzy eat in kitchen (there is a formal dining room as well) and baths, ginormous walk-in closets, and gated parking. Located in the coveted Lafayette Square neighborhood (a designated Historic District), it's a short stroll to everything from magnificent 30 acre Lafayette Park to shops (even a Walgreens, one of our personal obsessions), wine bars (like Vino Vitae) and—the piece de resistance—Bailey's Chocolate Bar, where you can order things like dark chocolate martinis, salted caramel milkshakes, banana splits and something called the Chocolate Inebriation! While we run to our local Walgreens for a giant chocolate bar, take a closer look at this home here

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Modernist Romance: A Palace in the Piedmont Region

Part of North Carolina's famous Research Triangle—home to over 170 companies—the city of Durham has a lot going for it, from a thriving job market to a healthy arts community. Indeed, summer here brings a multitude of festivals covering music (jazz, blues, rock), theatre, dance, art and even one specializing in documentary film. And how awesome would it be to experience all the city has to offer if your new home base was this dazzling 1938 modernist manse? Built from plans purchased from the New York Times (which were then modified by a local architect), the 6650 square foot home sits on an acre just blocks from downtown in the desirable tree-lined Forest Hills neighborhood and features 6 beds, 4 full- and 2 half-baths. On the market for $945K, the property's eclectic style starts with the rather formal facade that also has a small polygonal window above the front door and a seamed, hipped copper roof, and proceeds inside to a spectacular octagonal-shaped entry hall, curved metal staircase, and two story glass brick wall. (The jade and black deco-style bathroom gets a special shout-out as well!) If you like beautiful things, take a closer look at this home here

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Traditionally Speaking: 18th Century Clapboard Classic

Today, we've fallen hard (yes, again) and are ready to swear our undying love for a divine piece of real estate, specifically a rambling 11 room clapboard Cape built at the end of the 18th century just a stone's throw from the Medomak River in eastern Maine, close to the Atlantic Ocean. "Rolling Meadow Farm" has been gently updated, but original details like wide pine floors, beehive oven, 4 fireplaces (meticulously restored with antique brick and clay flue liners), and even horsehair plaster are intact. On the market for $395K, the 4 bed/3.5 bath property includes 5 exceptional acres of formal boxwood- and yew-bordered gardens, apple orchards, lush fields and water views. Though the town of Waldoboro is small, it's also, to misquote the Bard, fierce—when it comes to food anyway. Morse's Sauerkraut is famed for its specialty food shop and restaurant, Captain's Fresh boasts mouthwatering lobster rolls, and Deb's Diner is where everyone goes for breakfast (fluffy omelettes, blueberry pancakes and the best biscuits in the state!). All things considered, how could we not be in love? See more here

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: San Rafael, California

Located around 20 miles north of San Francisco in George Lucas territory (his famed Lucas Ranch is nearby), this 1954 post and beam home may look like an Eichler, but it's actually a "Likeler"! Some 200 of these stylish, single story ranch homes were built here in the San Rafael area by Alliance Homes in the mid-50s and are similar to Eichlers in that they feature walls of glass, pitched rooflines, open floor plans and radiant heat floors (they do not, however, have atriums and/or courtyards). Asking $895K, this 3 bed/2 bath model has been freshened up with a gas fireplace in the living room, updated baths and new kitchen with custom cabinetry and volcanic ash counters (who knew they existed?). Though the lot isn't huge, the outdoor spaces are exceptional, including several patios for dining and lounging (including a pergola-covered one), an organic garden with potting shed, a sweet fish pond, citrus and apple trees, and an appealing L-shaped pool. For a look at a textbook-perfect California living space, click here

Friday, May 15, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: L'Appartement en France!

How does an updated 4 bedroom flat in an old stone house located in a picturesque medieval village in France sound to you? Pretty good, right? And what if it included things like a living room fireplace, hardwood floors, modern kitchen, and a rather lovely walled yard/garden? And what if the price tag came in just under $160K? We know: craaazy—in a good way! Le Dorat, located about 3 and a half hours south of Paris in  the Haute-Vienne department of Limousin (that's via train, as the station is within walking distance), is famed for its Romanesque architecture (especially the Collegial Saint-Pierre church, with its stunning octagonal belltower topped by a gold angel), but also bustles with horse races throughout the summer, a cinema, good shops, several fine restaurants (we recommend La Den de Loup and La Marmite), and an annual Christmas market. This might be l'amour! See more of it here

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fresh Take: 95 Year Old Nashville Home, Revamped!

It wasn't all that long ago that this lovely single story Victorian clapboard in Nashville's East End area would have had an asking price that's a full half of what it is now, but that was before the housing market bounced back (and Music City, like, say, Pittsburgh, has more than doubled its housing prices in many neighborhoods) and, admittedly, before this house was given a nifty update. Asking $569.9K, the 3 bed/3 bath home sports high ceilings, rich dark woodwork against pale wood floors, multiple fireplaces, transom windows, front and back covered porches, modern but retro styled baths, and one seriously gorgeous kitchen, complete with fancy appliances, floor to ceiling white subway tile and luxe marble counters. Did we mention that there's an adorable detached garage (aka, a potential guest suite for us!), pretty fenced yard and that it's within walking distance of dozens of trendy coffeeshops, galleries, shops (we like Any Old Iron, which peddles groovy clothes and accessories from the likes of Vivienne Westwood and English food like PG Tips tea and cans of mushy peas!) and 800+ acre Shelby Bottoms Park? Well, it is! See more of this awesome home here

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday Wow: A Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece!

Warning: you may want to sit down, as this is the kind of news that causes fainting in architecture aficionados! The William Winslow House, the extraordinary Prairie-style house in River Forest, Illinois that kicked off Frank Lloyd Wright's illustrious career, is up for grabs! Built in 1893, the beautifully restored 5000 square foot, 4 bed/3.5 bath home (there's also a separate apartment in the Coach House) was the great master's first independent commission after leaving the firm of Adler & Sullivan, and served as inspiration for a generation of architects who followed. Perched on .7 acres in the leafy, pricey village 10 miles west of Chicago, the $1.55 million home has been meticulously updated, but retains its many original FLW features including built-ins--the curved window seats are amazing!—art glass windows, oak flooring and paneling, murals, multiple fireplaces, and even the front gate. Quite frankly, we are overcome and have to go have a little lie-down, but you should take a closer look at this American jewel here

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bargain of the Day: Stylish Vintage in Gulf Coast City

Did you know that marvelous Mobile, Alabama, has a slew of museums, a symphony orchestra, an opera company and a respected ballet company? you do! It's also chock-full of lovely old homes, like this 1930 beauty just west of downtown in the leafy Midtown area, close to schools, shops and a rather nice Winn Dixie! The roomy 4200+ square foot home has 4 beds/3 baths in the main part of the house, plus a separate 1 bed/1 bath with kitchenette and den (there's also a large space above the garage that could be turned into studio space for that sulky teen or visiting in-laws). We're mad for the burnished hardwood floors, wide arched doorways, multi-paned windows (many with plantation shutters), pretty center hall staircase, wood burning fireplace, updated kitchen with era-appropriate details (like the hardware) and butler's pantry, and not one but two screened porches. All this and quick access to everything that the gorgeous Gulf Coast has to offer for just $295K? Oh, yeah! See it here

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Scarsdale, New York

Question: Can you name the major American crime figure who once made his home in Westchester County's fancy Scarsdale? Answer: Bugsy Siegel! Built in 1950—3 years after the gangster was murdered—this exquisite mid-century modern home there is far too tasteful for the famously flashy Siegel, although we're sure he would have appreciated the property's sparkling pool and manicured grounds. Designed by architect Edgar Tafel, a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice who worked on Fallingwater before opening his own well-regarded East Coast practice (aside: in addition to some 80 modern homes, he designed things like the First Presbyterian church house on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street in Manhattan—a building that actually emulates the 19th century church's Gothic style!), the carefully restored home features 4 beds/4 baths and gorgeous original details like vaulted ceilings, two huge yellow brick fireplaces, kitchen cabinets (love!) and loads of built-ins. The $2.895 asking price (hardly unusual for this pricey village) comes with bonuses such as being able to walk to top ranked schools (like Scarsdale High), shops, restaurants, and the train station (you can be at Grand Central Station in under 40 minutes!). You need to take a closer look here