Monday, September 1, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: A Philip Johnson Original!

This is the kind of property that makes the blood rush to our head and spots appear before our eyes! But first, a thimble of history: when the group of architects known as The Harvard Five decided to set up shop in affluent New Canaan, Connecticut, the town's identity as a center of modern design was cemented. The group's most celebrated member (with apologies to Marcel Breuer), the late great Philip Johnson—famed for many buildings, but none more so than his own residence, the Glass House—designed this remarkably well preserved 3 bed/3 bath contemporary in 1954. The Wiley Speculative House, just a stone's throw from the Country Club of New Canaan, possesses a modest but perfectly liveable 2250 square feet with hardwood and tile floors, updated kitchen, 2 fireplaces and those view-framing floor to ceilings windows favored by Johnson. The $1.575 asking price includes what looks like a separate studio or workshop with a covered hot tub area (?), a garage and 2.5 acres of glorious green privacy. All of which makes it a good deal and worthy of your attention, so take a closer look here

Friday, August 29, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Bella Casa in Umbria

Repeat after us: Tuscany is fine, but Umbria is sublime! Dotted with hill towns, this central region of Italy is the only one that neither borders another country or has a coastline. Perched high on a hill near the centuries old city of Spoleto and priced around $382K, this 1400 square foot home looks exactly the way we've always dreamed our Italia getaway would: high ceilings, glazed terracotta floors, large fireplace, and huge arched glass doors that lead out to covered porches, patios, sparkling pool and to-sigh-for views. If you ever could bear to leave the grounds (there's also a a sweet enclosed garden with olive trees), ancient Umbrian cities like Perugia, Assisi, and Todi are all a short drive away. While we ruminate on whether you might have to arm wrestle us for this one (it is our dreamhouse, after all), you should take a closer look at it here

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Splurge of the Day: High Style in the Hamptons

Once home to endless fields of potatoes, the Hamptons village of Sagaponack is now a summer haven to the rich and famous like Jimmy Fallon, Billy Joel, even the chairman of Goldman Sachs (the unfortunately named Lloyd Blankfein). One of the priciest places in the entire country, it's also much more laid back than, say, East Hampton or Bridgehampton, or just about any other 'hampton, though the trendy hotspots of those locations are just a short drive away. Hidden away on nearly 3 acres in north Sagaponack, this glorious 5800 square foot 5 bed/6.5 bath compound was designed by esteemed architects Hariri & Hariri, Iranian-born sisters (female architects are about as common as female movie directors, ie, very rare) now based in New York. Highlights of the 10 year old home include floor to ceiling windows, airy open floor plan, swanky kitchen and baths, gym with sauna, high tech screening room, guest house, tennis court, pool...the list just goes on and on. The price for this dazzling jewel? $4.95 million—which is kind of a deal in these parts! See more of it here

The Thursday Thaw: Deco Delight Down Miami Way

We're cuckoo for any and all things art deco, especially when it comes to residential buildings, so its despite its modest design, this 4 bed/4 bath home north of downtown Miami has us crushing hard. Built in 1938, the 2700 square foot house takes full advantage of the Florida sunshine by filling each room with multiple windows and glass-paneled doors, and shows its deco style via things like the porthole window on the front exterior, the geometric design on the living room fireplace, and especially the striking zig-zaggy doorway arches throughout. Besides the blond wood and marble floors, master suite with separate dressing room, updated kitchen and baths, and fenced yard, the $549K price tag includes quick access to beautiful Biscayne Bay (it's literally steps away) and marvelous Miami Shores Country Club (with an 18 hole golf course, 9 tennis courts and a clubhouse that serves a great weekend brunch). We invite you to see more of the latest object of our affection here

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Idyll, Wild: Deep in the Idaho Forest

This property is so crazy-beautiful that we had to breathe into a paper bag, lie on the floor and engage in some vigorous chanting when we first saw it. Located in the northern reaches of the great state of Idaho near the tiny (less than 100 souls) town of Hope, this nearly 3000 square foot 2 bed/2.5 bath home comes with 72 acres of glorious nature to enjoy, not to mention things like herb-, vegetable-, flower- and Japanese gardens, multi-level koi pond with waterfalls, and numerous terraces and patios. There's also a 60 foot indoor lap pool—cuz going for a swim when everyone else is skiing is pretty awesome!—artist studio, guest house, wine cellar and ginormous greenhouse. Surrounded by lush forests of ponderosa pine, red cedar, and douglas fir, the home has spectacular views of 148 square mile Lake Pend Oreille, home to everything from rainbow trout to largemouth bass. All things considered, we've come to think of the $3.9 million asking price as downright reasonable. See if you agree—take a closer look at it all here

Sunny With a Chance of Cannonballs

The headline is a reference to the fact that this home has a pool—get it?? Damn if we don't crack ourselves up sometimes! Anyhoo...this exceptionally bright 5500+ square foot home is a mere 22 minutes north of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in the thriving and affluent Sandy Springs area. Asking $769K, the 48 year old home has 5 beds, 4 full- and 2 half-baths and scads of the stylish details that make us drool: vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, rich wood and glazed brick flooring, boxwood ceiling, and a kitchen so large and luxe (Viking! Wolf! Fisher & Paykel!) that Top Chef could film episodes in it. Besides the pool, patios and gardens on a nearly one acre lot, the home is close to some top notch schools such as Heards Ferry Elementary and Riverwood International Charter School. We know what you're thinking: we're super funny and mad talented! (We concur.) Now take a closer look at the house here

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Glass Action: Modern Masterpiece North of Midtown

If you'd love a weekend getaway far from the madness of Manhattan, but aren't the type who craves a vintage farmhouse, come a little closer and get out your checkbook! Located about 120 miles north of Midtown in bucolic Columbia County, this sleek, slinky and nearly transparent u-shaped house floats on a 12+ acre parcel of gently rolling hills. Built in 2007 and designed by architect Michael Bell (a celebrated Professor of Architecture at Columbia University), the single story Binocular House is an ode to Philip Johnson's iconic Glass House. We love how the 2200 square foot 2 bed/2 bath home is loosely divided into 3 areas—living/dining room with kitchen, bedroom suites and study, breakfast room/another study and storage—that can be opened up with large opaque sliding doors. Pluses include a wood-burning fireplace, state of the art heat and insulation, cement and wood floors, high end appliances, and center atrium. $2.2 million puts your name on the deed. See more of this amazing property here

Out of the Past And On Point in Tulsa's Swan Lake

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Swan Lake community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, exudes the kind of charm that usually only exists in fictional locales. Filled with well-kept homes from the '20s and '30s, there's also a beauteous 4 acre park and lake populated with, yep, real swans, plus a lively neighborhood association that keep everything running nicely. In other words, we'd love to live here—in this very house, actually, just steps from Swan Lake. On the market for $379.9K, the 2450 square foot 3 bed/2.5 bath home—built in 1930—retains many original details (burnished wood floors, 2 fireplaces, pretty molding and trim, deep set windows) as well as comfy modern updates (baths and kitchen—note those handsome cabinets and fab toile wallpaper!). The landscaping is excellent, the backyard and patio great for entertaining, and we're kind of obsessed with the front door's terrific teal paint color (at long last, an alternative to red!). So while we head to Home Depot to peruse paint chips, you should take a closer look at the house here

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Rarity in Rochester, New York

Now this is the way to kick off the week: One of just 23 homes built in 16 states by the Alcoa corporation as a way of showing off their aluminum products, the Care Free house near Rochester, New York, has hit the market with an asking price of $379.9K. Built in 1957 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the 3 bed/2 bath home—which sits on a nicely landscaped acre—was designed by Charles Goodman, an architect best known for his post WWII designs in suburban Washington D.C. (fun fact: he also did a stint as the head architect at the U.S. Treasury Department). Aluminum was used in interesting ways throughout the 1900 square foot house including framing for sliding doors and windows, the roof and even exterior wall paneling. The most recent owners, who purchased it in 2007, performed a careful restoration and reno of the home, which has vaulted, dark wood clad ceilings, upgraded baths, floor-to-ceiling windows, pergola-covered patio, sunny courtyard/atrium and groovy carport. A true real estate gem, we command you to take a closer look at it  here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Friday: Say "Oui" to Southwestern France

As the listing agent isn't well-versed in English, we can't really tell you if this enchanting home in the Midi-Pyrenees region of southwestern France has 7 bedrooms (as the wording says) or if it's actually converted from an old school (sorta?), or whether it dates from the 13th or 17th centuries (both are in the description). What we can tell you, however, is that this charming property has 2400 square feet of living spaces that may or may not be divided into a main house and a cottage or two (we suspect the latter), with wood and tile floors, fireplaces, exposed beamed ceilings, and large windows, plus a quarter acre of wooded land (we see an above-ground pool and a tree house). Priced around $303K, the property is located near Gourdon, a scenic hill town built chock-full of  medieval honey-hued stone buildings on tiny, twisty lanes and several historic sites like massive 15th century St. Pierre church. This is the kind of property that makes us want to drink prodigious amounts of red wine, live on bread and cheese, drive a tiny car, and wear fabulous scarves. What will it inspire in you? See for yourself here