Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Down on the Farm, Dutchess County Style!

Slip on your Wellies, grab the dog and pack up the Land Rover: today we're heading to the bucolic Dutchess County village of Rhinebeck, 90 minutes north of Manhattan via Amtrak but a million miles from the crowded streets and exhaust-perfumed air. Hidden away on 102+ glorious green acres—with 5 paddocks, a large apple orchard and picturesque red barn—is this dreamy 5000 square foot home, built just 14 years ago but beautifully designed to evoke a Victorian farmhouse with wide plank floors, rich molding, fireplaces and country kitchen. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains, you'll probably never want to leave the grounds, but it's good to know that the renowned shops and restaurants of artsy Rhinebeck are just a few minutes away (if for no other reason than for the guests who will clamor for a weekend invitation). We're ready to pony up the $2.595 million asking price; what about you? Take a closer look here

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Dallas, Texas

The name "O'Neil Ford" probably doesn't ring a bell, but the late (and, yes, great) Texas born and raised architect was deemed so important in the Lone Star State that he was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974—the only person to have been given that title! Known for carefully considering the setting of his buildings and for using brick, glass and wood, he often had his brother, a master woodworker, create spectacular doors and screens. This handsome home in Dallas' pricey Preston Hollow area is one of Ford's finest: a nearly 6000 square foot contemporary with 4 beds/5 baths with a pool and patios on a wooded acre that backs up to pretty Bachman Creek. Built in 1967, the home, a collaboration with Jane and Duane Landry (architects who specialize in modern churches like the Church of the Incarnation at the University of Dallas), has stunning front doors, soaring, wood-clad ceilings, pale brick walls, wide doorways, and ginormous walls of glass. $2.295 million puts the keys to that front door in your pocket and means you'll soon be rubbing shoulders with neighbors like George W. Bush and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. (Fancy!) See more of this extraordinary home here

Friday, November 20, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Trulli-Madly-Deeply en Italia!

You'll hear lot of languages besides Italian in the glittering hill town of Ostuni (referred to as "the White Town" due to its white baroque churches, walls and painted palazzos) in Italy's southeastern Puglia region. Expats from England, Ireland and Scandinavia, especially, have settled here, lured by the town's beauty, mild climate and close proximity to the pristine beaches and blue waters of the Adriatic (about 20 minutes away). Tucked into an olive grove on three acres just outside of town, this bewitching 3 bed/2 bath traditional trulli (dry stone dwellings, mainly from the 19th century, with thick limestone walls and conical roofs, particular to this part of the country), complete with several outdoor terraces, seating areas and a seriously spectacular pool, has taken our heart by storm. We kinda think that $425K is a pittance for this piece of paradise; what about you? Take a closer look here and then decide.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

That 70s Glow: Stylish Digs in the City of Oaks

Not only did it place #1 on Forbes' list of Best Places for Businesses and Careers this year, but Raleigh, North Carolina is also home to several institutions of higher learning (NC State University, Duke University, U of NC at Chapel Hill, etc.) and is surrounded by great natural beauty (gently rolling hills plus rivers and creeks with picturesque waterfalls). Literally steps from pretty Eastgate Park in the city's North Hills area, this sharp 3 bed/2.5 bath from 1974 (a great year for awesome American houses) boasts loads of upgrades at a very reasonable $400K asking price. We're mad for the groovy diagonal wood floors, big windows, vaulted ceilings and step up/down rooms, and an unusual raw steel wall with fireplace. We're also thankful for the nicely updated kitchen and bathrooms, the large fenced yard, and for the fact that playing fields, tennis courts, playgrounds and trails are a mere two minute stroll from the front door. Needless to say, this won't last long, so see more of this groovy house here

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Wednesday Wow: A Lloyd Wright Original!

The eldest of Frank Lloyd Wright's eight children, Frank Jr—referred to as Lloyd Wright to differentiate from his father—was a landscape and building architect who collaborated with his dad on several projects but is best known for the crazy-beautiful Sowden House in Los Angeles (which famously resembles a Mayan temple) and the ethereal Wayfarers Chapel, aka the Glass Church, in Palos Verdes, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. He also designed a handful of exquisite homes, like this 4 bed/4 bath contemporary in La Canada Flintridge, an affluent foothill town 15 miles from L.A., nestled between Angeles National Forest and the San Rafael Hills. Built in 1948, the single story redwood, stone and concrete home has been gently updated but retains its original design features like its dramatic, overhanging roof and two distinct wings (they meet in the middle of the large living room), angled rooms with walls of windows, and tons of built-ins. On the market for $2.395 million, the 3200 square foot home is barely visible from the road, resting on a beautifully landscaped .7 acre parcel. Before Courteney Cox or Ellen DeGeneres—veteran house buyers and flippers—snap it up, take a closer look at this exceptional property here

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hearth & Soul in the Steel City

Located 9 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the desirable Aspinwall/Fox Chapel area, this 5 bed/3.5 bath vintage charmer would make a perfect home for a growing family. Resting on a verdant 1 acre lot with a 2 car garage, front lawn, back yard and sizable outdoor patio, the 9 room 3000+ square foot house may be 97 years old, but has been extensively updated throughout (note the addition with huge, vaulted ceiling'd kitchen, mudroom and half bath). On the market for $585K, the home's many arts and crafts features—burnished wood floors, built-in cabinets and book cases, box beam ceilings, window seats, french doors, stone fireplace—give it a warm, welcoming feel. While the neighborhood is very residential, shops and restaurants are nearby (Waterworks Mall, for example, is just down the road and includes a 10 screen cineplex) and the fabulous Pittsburgh Zoo is a few minutes' drive across the Highland Park Bridge. Did we mention the schools here, like Fox Chapel High, are top-ranked? Now that we have, go ahead and take a closer look at this pretty property here

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Pedigreed in Phoenix

What would you say to a sprawling house on 2 full acres zoned for horses that's right in the middle of the best neighborhood in Phoenix, AZ, close to shops, restaurants and golf courses? And what about a home that was designed by a celebrated Frank Lloyd Wright-trained architect, built in 1955 but refurbished and updated, that includes a solar-heated salt water pool, cabana and complete outdoor kitchen? Well, no need to choose—this property has all of that and more! Located practically on the doorstep of the swanky Arizona Biltmore Hotel—an exquisite 1929 landmark—this 5000+ square foot 5 bed/5.5 bath home was designed by the late, great Paul C. Yaeger (his legacy includes several high end mid-century modern homes sprinkled throughout the state) and displays several of his go-to elements: open floor plan, random oak floors, rough sawn pine ceilings, stacked stone walls and fireplaces galore. Priced at $2 million and, in our not very humble opinion, worth every cent. See why here

Friday, November 13, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Scottish Church Conversion

After we saw darling James McAvoy (one of our favorite actors) on "Kelly and Michael," followed by viewing a very long trailer for next spring's "London Is Falling" starring Gerard Butler, and then caught John Barrowman on "Arrow," we took the hint: today's property, like all the aforementioned actors, would have to be Scottish. And holy haggis, look what we found! Located in the wee village of Potterton and just a few miles from bustling Aberdeen (the 3rd largest city in the country), this former church is now a divine 5 bed/3 bath home with a separate stone studio (complete with bath) and large garden. Priced around $922K, the 3250 square foot residence has been meticulously updated, but the original building's charms—like the spectacular great room with several seating areas and soaring, beamed ceilings, stained glass windows, and rock walls—remain. The North Sea is nearby, as are lots of sandy beaches, magnificent rocky cliffs, sand dunes and some of the most spectacular flora and fauna displays on the continent. All in all, a heavenly place to rest one's head, don't you think? See more of it here

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Grand Entrance in a Northeast Capital

We feature lots of historic homes here—cuz we love 'em!—but few compare to this imposing Queen Anne in the affluent College Hill historic district of Providence, Rhode island. Built in 1889, the Joseph E. Fletcher House sits a few blocks from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design and is within strolling distance of recently refurbished Brown Street Park as well as shops, cafes and the Avon Cinema (a restored Art Deco movie house). The eye candy starts with the front porch's ornately carved columns and goes straight through the heavy antique oak doors into what could be an American version of Downton Abbey. Exactly what does the 9 bed/6.5 bath 12,000+ property have that makes us go weak in the knees? Well, let's see...there's rich oak paneling, gold-leaf coffered ceilings, more marble clad fireplaces than we could count, vintage Italian leather wallpaper, dentil mantels, built-in bookcases, decorative millwork, a ballroom, stained glass windows and a grand double staircase built for dramatic entrances (and exits). The $2.8 million asking price includes au pair suites, an elevator and a roomy matching carriage house (fits 6 cars) with a second floor that would make a great guest house (hint hint). You know you wanna see more, so do that here

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Air Up Here: Colorado Springs Contemporary

If you're into hiking, biking, skiing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fishing, spelunking or just sitting and staring at the great outdoors (that would be us), then Colorado Springs is your kind of town. And perched on a .4 acre pine-shrouded lot northeast of downtown in the pretty Powers neighborhood, we found one of our Very Favorite Things (as opposed to that show-off Oprah's): a snazzy 70s house! On the market for $475K, the super sunny 4250 square foot home sports vaulted ceilings, one of the loveliest kitchens imaginable (take a gander at those maple cabinets—no veneers here!), two fireplaces, and huge picture windows throughout, framing stunning nature views. Built in 1978 (of course—nearly all of our favorite houses were born then), the 4 bed/3 bath home is also within walking distance of 730 acre Palmer Park, which itself is home to deer, foxes, eagles, owls and the occasional bear. We're ready to move in; what about you? Decide by taking a closer look here