Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blessed Be the Berkshires

If you leave New York City and drive straight up the Taconic Parkway, some 135 miles later you'll find yourself in Great Barrington, the small Massachusetts town in the southern Berkshires that attracts ski fiends in winter, hikers in summer and foodies all year round (there are 50+ restaurants here). Just a few minutes drive from town, this privately situated 19th century farmhouse and detached barn have been stylishly revamped into a sunny, modern 5 bed/3 bath home that resembles something in the Swedish countryside. Bright white interiors, burnished wood floors, sleek kitchen with top end appliances and loads of windows do the trick, with a good measure of mid-century modern furniture adding to the effect. Vintage touches include a wood-burning fireplace, older doors with original hardware, and vertical paneling in the bathrooms. The large, recently reno'd barn would make a fine workspace (or guesthouse, with the addition of a bathroom), with its raw wood floor, exposed framing, and industrial windows overlooking the grounds. Speaking of which: the home sits on over 2 luscious green acres with frontage on curvy Green River (love the pic of the swimming pup!). $1.225 million seems about right. Take a closer look at it here

Deal of the Day in Downtown Salt Lake City

While we don't think we could wedge ourselves into a 188 square foot apartment like the one in London that's on the market for—and no, this isn't a joke—$445K (look at it here), the idea of a small, easy to care for pied a terre has appeal. Especially if it's located in a historic building in the capital of Utah's lively downtown area, just steps to shops, restaurants and nightlife. Priced at $159K, this 1 bed/1 bath 550 square foot unit in the Belvedere, a beautifully maintained 1919 condo building, has hardwood floors, updated kitchen, excellent storage and reasonable $205 monthly HOA fees. The fabulous Harmon's grocery store is literally a stone's throw from the front door of the jazzy lobby, as is City Creek mall (with everything from Apple to Tiffany stores!) and Eva's Bakery, a favorite local coffee and pastries joint (we highly recommend the salted chocolate chip cookies). You might want to take this one off the market before some incredulous Londoner does, so take a closer look at it here

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Palm Springs, California

Do you like to golf? Play tennis? Swim? Enjoy tranquil views of desert mountains? Now, what if you could have all of those things and live in condo where somebody else has to deal with bothersome chores like mowing and cleaning the pool? Yes? Well, then, here you go: this completely reno'd 2 bed/2 bath 1550 square foot unit is on the grounds of Palm Springs' coveted Seven Lakes Country Club, the renowned par 58 course where President Eisenhower once shot a hole in one. Built in 1967, the condo has high ceilings, floor to ceiling glass walls on two sides, concrete floors, sleek new kitchen and baths, plus two patios (one has mountain views, the other overlooks the course). The $399.9K asking price includes furnishings as well as the 144 acre club's many amenities including 15 pools, tennis courts, and handsome clubhouse with dining room, bar and outdoor patio (a popular Sunday brunch spot). All you'll need to bring? A stylin' golf cart and appreciation for relaxation. See more of this extraordinary condo here

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Miami, Florida

Despite all those scary hurricane warnings we hear each year, Miami's still standing, and its older homes aren't looking any worse for the wear. Take this 1953 contemporary, which sits on a very private third acre lot in the city's exclusive Bay Point area (some of the 250 residents in this gated community along Biscayne Bay include pop heartthrob Enrique Iglesias and hoops star Dwayne Wade). With 4 beds/4 baths and 3600 square feet of living space, there's plenty of room for a growing family, especially if they like an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, rich finishes and walls of glass that open to particularly dreamy pool and spa surrounded by exotic landscaping. The $2.3 asking price isn't surprising in a neighborhood where properties can soar past $20 million. Take a closer look at the home here

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: 19th Century Irish Cottage

Once you've been to the west of Ireland, it's hard not to dream about living there some day, or at least owning a second home—especially a picture-perfect vintage thatched cottage. Which we just so happened to find for you! Asking around $342K, this 4 bed/2 bath home was renovated five years ago and now features things like gray tiled floors downstairs, hardwood floors upstairs, modern kitchen, and wood-burning (or peat, which we prefer as it smells heavenly) stove. The home, which comes furnished (you'll want to get a couch, but we love the upright piano), sits on over half an acre in the green rolling hills of east County Clare, a mere 25 miles to Shannon Airport. It's also just a stone's throw from gorgeous Lough Derg, which has a large marina and attracts sailors and fisherman from all over (you can rent boats and gear), and the live music pubs of villages like Scarriff, Feakle and Mountshannon. While the foam on your pint of Guinness settles, take a peek at what we'll be dreaming about all weekend here

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Penthouse Living, Moscow Style!

Loyal readers who think that the style and structure of this glitzy penthouse clashes with the aesthetics of this blog aren't wrong, but we felt the chance to finally feature something in Moscow was more important. After all, the capital of Russia has a population of 12 million at last count and contains more billionaires (ie, the folks who are snapping up exorbitantly priced Manhattan apartments) than any country in the world. Priced at $10.5 million, this 3 bed/4 bath apartment is perched on the 71st floor of a building in what's known as Moscow-City, a glamorous commercial district on the city's western side that's still being developed. On the plus side, the 2 story 2700 square foot apartment boasts 16 foot ceilings, high end appliances and furnishings (included in the price), and walls of glass framing drop dead city views. While things like exotic stone finishes (even on the doors?), a piano worthy of Liberace and a deluge of gigantic, sparkly lighting fixtures aren't our cup of tea, there are plenty of people who love shiny, shimmering things. To see how wealthy Moscovites live, go here

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Deal of the Day: Moderne Times in Nashville, Tennessee

This is the kind of architecture that thrills us as well as tests our knowledge; thus we had to consult our expert—let's call him "Dave"—who, after some debate, declared it 1940's Moderne. Whatever it is, we love all 1350 square feet of this 2 bed/2 bath condo in the now much-discussed 1943 building in Nashville's fancy Belle Meade (5 minutes southwest of downtown and home to people like Al Gore, Vince Gill, and Taylor Swift, who probably doesn't spend that much time here, considering she has homes in, like, 20 states!). The realtor description includes not a speck of info about it or the building (just a breathless list of why the city is so fabulous), so we'll just tell you what we adore: the gorgeous casement windows, burnished hardwood floors and trim, small but updated kitchen with tons of cabinetry, separate dining room, and gently reno'd bathrooms with vintage tile and floors intact. Even better than the retro laundry room, elegant lobby, 2 parking spaces and quick access to exclusive Belle Meade Country Club? The $255K price tag. But before you pick up a pair of cowboy boots and Google map "Nashville," see more of this condo here

Northern Star: Lakeside in Bellingham, Washington

We've surprised ourselves for the second time in, like, two weeks by falling for a house that's a mere 12 years old. But it's easy to see why: surrounded by 13 acres of deep green forest with views of lovely Lake Whatcom (yep, that's the name of the lake and the county!), the 3900 square foot  4 bed/3 bath home is warm and homey, with loads of windows to let the sun pour in, contemporary kitchen with top notch finishes, a solarium, two master suites, skylights throughout, deck and wraparound porch. Priced at $859K, the property includes several gardens, private pond, and a creek. Located about 20 minutes west of Bellingham—surrounded by several mountain ranges and next to the San Juan Islands, it maybe the prettiest city in the Pacific Northwest—this is definitely a country location, but a short stroll puts you on the doorstep of The Fork at Agate Bay, a great restaurant serving scrumptious meals from early morning til late at night. All told, what more do you need? Take a closer look here

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Palm Beach Story

The barrier island off the southeast coast of Florida known as Palm Beach has been synonymous with American royalty since the Gilded Age, when people named Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, DuPont and Astor decamped here for the winter season. Still exclusive (in spite of Donald Trump turning E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post's divine Mar-a-Lago into a resort/club—the horror!), it boasts some of the prettiest, priciest real estate on the eastern seaboard. On the market for $14.5 million, "La Loma" was designed in 1926 by prolific local architect John Volk, responsible for everything from Palm Beach Town Hall to helping restore The Breakers after WWII. Staggeringly beautiful, the home has 10,500+ square feet with 7 beds and 13 baths and details like andalusian style windows and doorways, rich tile floors (and at least one gorgeously colorful tiled bathroom), ornately carved and painted ceilings and finely turned wrought iron staircase. And that's just the interiors! Outside you'll find vine-wrapped terracotta walls surrounding the deep blue pool, Moroccan style fountain, covered loggias and sprawling upper and lower terraces, all perfectly landscaped. If you've just inherited a truckload of cash, hit the lotto, robbed a bank, or just want to see something truly stunning, take a closer look at La Loma here

The Wednesday Wow: Small Town Charm in Oregon

Placing second on Parade Magazine's recent Best Main Street In America contest, the quaint town of McMinnville, Oregon, also has a growing reputation as a culinary destination—just ask the finicky folks at Bon Appetit who named it one of the nation's 'foodiest' towns. Located about 35 miles southwest of Portland in the Williamette Valley, it's also right in the middle of Oregon's wine country, which accounts for the town's 9 (!) tasting rooms. Sooo, if you like good food, good wine and gorgeous scenery (like, who doesn't?), perhaps you should consider this darling 4 bed/2 bath 1913 craftsman within walking distance of all McMinnville has to offer. Priced at $409K, the 2800 square foot home has plenty of pluses: cozy front porch, rich hardwood floors and trim, built ins galore, updated kitchen, fireplace, finished basement, large back deck and yard. Now, is it just us or do you have a sudden hankering for a goblet of Oregon pinot noir? While we pour, take a closer look at this sweet home here