Wednesday, July 29, 2015

American Rustic: Country Cottage in Berkshire County

Located in a valley surrounded by forest-covered mountains, the village of South Egremont lies on the Green River in southwest Berkshire County, Massachusetts, just 10 minutes west of Great Barrington (and 140 miles from Boston). This is skiing country—and hiking and biking and kayaking and anything else you can do in the great outdoors. Sitting behind a sweet white picket fence, 200+ year old Edgewood Cottage has a barn, tree house, orchard, trails, and an honest-to-God babbling brook on its verdant 1.7 acres. On the market for $399K, the 3 bed/3.5 bath home has been updated but retains all of its country charms including a cast iron stove in the cozy kitchen, fireplaces in the living and dining rooms, hardwood floors, six over six windows throughout, plus 2 covered porches and a back deck. While you probably won't want to leave this slice o'heaven often, exceptions must be made for occasional jaunts to nearby Old Mill, the highly-regarded dining spot in a former 18th century grist mill. While we attempt (and fail) to recreate their divine iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese-buttermilk dressing and candied pecans (!), take a closer look at this enchanting property here

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gracious Green Space in Greenville, South Carolina

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern South Carolina, Greenville was named one of the top 10 Fastest Growing U.S. Cities by CNN Money and one of the Best Cities for Young Professionals by Forbes. (Michelin, BMW, 3M, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell are just a few of the companies with offices or headquarters here.) Located in a historic neighborhood within strolling distance of the city's revitalized downtown, this warm and spacious Arts and Crafts bungalow has 4 beds/3 baths, wrap around porch and a gorgeous backyard on a .3 acre lot. Asking $675K, the 3000 square foot home is picture perfect out of the gate, from the exterior paint colors to the boxed beamed ceilings, fireplace surrounded by built-ins, original floors, and multitude of classic craftsman windows. We also love that you can walk to loads of shops and restaurants including local faves such as Fowler Interiors (for fabulous wallpapers, fabrics, window treatments, etc), Horizon Records (new and used cd's and vinyl), and Northgate Soda Shop (breakfast, lunch and the best milkshakes in town). Goodies for the eyes, the ears and the tummy—what more could you want?! See more of this lovely house here

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Cool L.A. Condo!

Finding a mid-century modern condo isn't easy (most from the era are rentals), and finding one designed by a noted architect is damn near impossible. Which is why we're feeling all warm and gooey today: presenting a revamped 2 bed/2 bath unit in the Freedonia Apartments building, a 1963 complex created by Ray Kappe, the now-87 year old Los Angeles-based architect known for his quintessential California post and beam residential designs (you can read more about him here). Located way up in the Hollywood Hills near Universal City and Studio City, the sunny 1250 square foot condo has much to recommend it, from the huge glass wall in the living room that opens to a patio (one of 3 outdoor spaces), to the snazzy Ann Sacks tiles in the master bath, swinging wet bar, rich hardwood floors and built-in banquette. The $535K price tag—and very reasonable $300/month HOA fees—includes quick access to the building's pool out the back door as well as covered parking. As it'll probably be off the market in a nanosecond, hurry and take a closer look here

Friday, July 24, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: By the Sea in Sicily

Located on the northern coast of Sicily midway between the lively capital of Palermo and the beach resort town of Cefalu, Termini Imerese is a decidedly un-tourist-y but quaint town that, viewed from the Mediterranean, looks like a postcard of the perfect seaside village. Despite the lost-in-time look, however, it's home to several acclaimed restaurants, bars, an excellent museum and even a famed annual Carnival festival. Nearby we found this 4 bed/2 bath completely renovated stone villa, complete with pool, terraces and gardens, nestled behind pretty iron gates. On the market for around $439K, the 2700 square foot home has lots of gorgeous details like the outdoor kitchen—which includes a pizza oven and barbeque!—with colorful tile work, wood-fired stove in one lounge and open fire in another, and vaulted beamed ceilings. There's a laundry room, modern kitchen and baths, new boiler and radiant heating under the new but traditional tile floors. And then there are the views: the deep blue sea one way, the lush green mountains the other. Molto bello! See more of it here

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Crazy, Sexy, Cool: Austin Texas Showpiece

This is the kind of house that makes us want to quit our lives and just become its groupie. Really. In the same way a tie-dye wearing, weed-loving Deadhead wants nothing more than to be in the presence of their favorite band, we can imagine being content just to bask in the glow of this home's divine perfection forever. Built in 1978 (our favorite year for architecture strikes again!), the Grotto Dome, as it's known, was designed by John Covert Watson, an organic architect who studied with Frank Lloyd Wright in the '50s and actually worked on the Guggenheim. Built so that its glass facade  reflects a 1,000 year old rock formation, the 2 bed/2.5 bath 2500 square foot home sports a 50 foot high gunite arch that stretches over the structure and gives the interior ceiling/walls their unique look. Meticulously updated (see the kitchen) and preserved (note the rounded tiling in one of the baths), the $1.9 million property is located a mere 5 miles from downtown Austin in affluent West Lake Hills and includes a pool, pond, greenhouse, gardens, and gated parking on its 1+ acre lot. While we contemplate appropriate garb for a house groupie (Helmut Lang? Rick Owens?), you absolutely must see more of this spectacular home here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dome Sweet Home West of Midtown Manhattan

Fun fact: located within the New Jersey Highlands (part of the Appalachian Mountains), the area around Randolph, New Jersey was a popular summer vacation spot in the first half of the 20th century, as folks fled sweltering NYC to enjoy the clean air, woods and lakes. It's still beautiful, of course, and at just 40 miles west of Manhattan, within commuting distance of the big city. And how cool would it be to come home to this every night?: a bright and spacious 5 bed/3.5 bath geodesic dome house with loads of updates and 1.75 acres. Sweet, right? Built in swinging 1976 and asking $545K, the 3500 square foot home shows its age well (the current owner's decor is not to our liking, nor is the orange accent paint, but your own furniture and a new color are easy fixes) with uniquely shaped windows, walls and skylights, open wood staircase, and cozy circular fireplace. The cherry on top? The property comes with deeded rights to private Shongum Lake, just down the road. See more of this awesome house here

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tudor Tuesday: A Grand Affair in North Carolina

The American center for home decor, High Point, North Carolina hosts an annual furnishings fair where designers and buyers from around the globe can roam 12 million square feet showcasing everything from sofas to flooring to bath fittings and everything in between. In other words, it's our kind of town! And you'd need a lot of those products to fill up this nearly 10,000 square foot Tudor home there, with its 19 rooms including 6 beds, 7 full- and 3 half-baths, library, gym, playroom and several flagstone terraces (is it just us, or are outdoor rooms the new obsession?). Built in 1930, the home—secluded behind stately gates and reached via a tree-lined drive—oozes elegance with details like 6 fireplaces, richly paneled and plastered walls, ornate moldings, exquisite wallpapers (we're gaga for the gold-detailed one in the chinoiserie-style bathroom) and a sexy, sinuous iron and wood staircase. The $3.75 million asking price includes 5+ acres of manicured grounds, not to mention the knowledge that you live in one of the finest homes in the entire Piedmont region. See more of it here

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Chicago's North Shore

Just 45 minutes via train from downtown Chicago, the affluent village of Northbrook, Illinois, is the birthplace of the late, great American movie director John Hughes (much of Ferris Bueller's Day Off was filmed here), and serves as the current headquarters for one of our favorite retail destinations, Crate & Barrel. In other words, we're already predisposed to love it here! Speaking of: today's mid-century modern house crush was built in 1953 and sits on a secluded 1.5 acre lot here with discriminating landscaping, gorgeous pool, spa, cabana (with a fireplace!), and greenhouse. The 5000 square foot 4 bed/4.5 bath house, built on a corner lot, has enough space for a large family and lots of extra places to get away from each other as well: in addition to the living room, there's a family room, a den, a great room, a game room, a gym and an office. Sumptuously updated—note the master suite's luxe bath with indoor and outdoor showers—the home also features high ceilings, large glass walls, several fireplaces, skylights, radiant heat and what appear to be terrazzo floors (a feature we'd kill to have). $1.19 million seems more than reasonable—see if you agree by taking a closer look here

Friday, July 17, 2015

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Tres Jolie en Provence

Marked by lush green hills where olive groves and wineries thrive, the Var department of southeastern France contains picturesque Provencal villages, where neighbors still rely on small shops and weekly markets for their provisions. One such place is Lorgues, a fortified town with a tangle of twisty, stone streets, squares dotted with fountains and plane trees, and colorful old townhouses. And right outside Lorgue is where we found this divine 3 bed/2.5 bath villa set on an acre of beautifully landscaped grounds, complete with infinity pool, 3 terraces, bocce (boules in French) court, and the kind of views we've only seen in movies. On the market for around $979K (Provence doesn't come cheap!), the home has stone and wood floors, gorgeous country kitchen with top notch appliances, new windows, laundry room, fireplace and a multitude of arched french doors leading outside—the better to take in those views and breathe in the garden's scents. You know you wanna look, so do it already here

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Down the Shore: Cape May, New Jersey

Resting on the southern tip of the Garden State, the seaside town of Cape May has been attracting families since the mid-19th century, mostly from Philadelphia, but from as far away as Ohio. Saved from the over-crowded modern sprawl that afflicts many beachfront areas, it's known for green, tree-lined streets and quaint Victorians, many of them transformed into B&B's and small hotels. This spacious 5 bed/3 bath cottage, built in 1898, is just a 2 minute stroll to both the shops and restaurants of Washington Street and the spectacular beach. Asking $799K, the 2550 square foot home has vintage charms like the covered front porch with porch swing and rocking chairs, high ceilings, hardwood floors and fireplace, along with updates like the new kitchen and a bath on each of the3 floors, and multi-zoned heat and a/c. There's a screened porch on the 2nd floor, a rear patio and an outdoor shower so you won't track sand inside. Just think: if you lived here already, tonight you'd be down at the beach with the rest of your neighbors watching "Field of Dreams" on a big outdoor screen. Cape May is that kind of town (ie, awesome)! See more of this beach house here