We're sending you off for the weekend with something fabulous to think about: two gorgeous houses in the hills of Tuscany for the price of one! (It's ok—the lightheadedness you're experiencing is completely normal in this situation. It happened to us, too.)Located in the Massa-Carrara area northwest of Florence and close to the coast, each of the two restored homes has 2 beds/1 bath and are linked by shared courtyard and garden. Though each is built of stone and have fireplaces, stone floors, wood beams, and views to sigh over, one of the homes is actually a stone barn conversion. The way we see it, the $435K price tag gives you the option of sharing accomodations with family or friends without getting suffocated by them. Which is actually priceless. For more info/pics, go here immediately!
Friday, June 29, 2012
This magnificent pile of bricks is Vellore House, a historic Scottish home which was conceived as a farmhouse back in the 17th century, but revamped over the years. (Most notably by a Major with the Scotch Brigade who'd fought at Fort Vellore in India, and recreated the Fort when he returned home; thus, the arched windows, turrets, and battlements.) With 7 beds/4 baths, 6 reception rooms, plus library, music room, etc, there's more than enough space to accommodate even the largest family (say, Brad and Angie's), or perhaps turn it into an exclusive country hotel. Asking $1.54 million and located halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh in southern Scotland, the property's 3.6 acres includes terraces, mature gardens, a private drive, garage and workshops. All things considered, it's kind of a great deal, right? Take a closer look here
Thursday, June 28, 2012
There we were, thinking about how much we love an awesome church conversion and how we hadn't seen one in a while when, lo and behold, this stunner in Kentucky popped up. (Divine intervention?) Located in the small town of Anchorage, just outside of Louisville, this ravishing 3 bed/2.5 bath home was built in 1884 and used to known as the Hobbs Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. The interior is modern and bright, with vaulted ceilings, a massive stone fireplace and an open floor kitchen/dining/great room on the ground floor. While there aren't many obvious details that reference its past, a few remain intact, like the double gothic front doors and the lovely stained glass window in the master bath. $999K seems more than fair for something that will bring you so much peace and joy. To see more, go here
Even with temps soaring past 100 degrees, you'd probably be cool as a cucumber in this clean white Albuquerque contemporary. Just five years old and the recipient of an American Institute of Architects Design Award, the 4 bed/2.5 bath has a unique screened-in porch, floor-to-ceiling windows, wood-burning fireplace and a kitchen decked out with high end energy-efficient appliances. The $619K (just reduced from $679K!) price tag includes a separate guest house, 2 car garage courtyards, patios and a huge roof deck. With all those alabaster walls, we're thinking an art collector should snap this up (or someone who's really into white space). For more info/pics, go here
here and see if you agree.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Sometimes you look at a house and it's like falling in love: you want to stare at it, memorize everything about it, and fantasize about it. That's how we feel about this 1922 stunner in Los Angeles' hipper-than-thou Los Feliz area. Although it's been revamped from roof to foundation, the $2.89 million home's great bones lend depth and character to the modernization. The living areas are gorgeous (pale plastered walls, unvarnished wood floors, old iron stair rails), the baths divine (marble! giant soaking tubs! double sinks!), and the kitchen to die for (we'd like to set up a little bed in here and never leave). There are 4 beds/3.5 baths and 3800 square feet inside, and a new pool/spa, several patios/lounging areas, lawns and even changing rooms outside. This is one of those properties you have to see to believe, but fair warning: you're gonna fall in love. Look here
here for a closer look.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Just north of Chicago in Kenilworth, a very lovely (and normally very pricey: Forbes magazine ranked it as the second most affluent neighborhood in the U.S.) village, there's a bargain on the market. Priced at $499K, this 3 bed/2.5 bath was originally built in 1940, but has been been reworked into a bright, open contemporary with hardwood floors, painted beam ceilings, lots of windows and a sparkly new kitchen. There's a fireplace in the living room, a family room, finished basement, central air, garage, nice yard and a private deck off the master bedroom. The train into Chicago is within walking distance, as is the beach on Lake Michigan. We'd totally live here--how about you? Take a closer look here
Monday, June 25, 2012
Our love for Portland, Oregon, is already well-established, so you may have to fight (ie, arm-wrestle or sissy-slap) us for this extraordinarily lovely house. Built in 1959, the 3 bed/3 bath, 2700 square foot one level home has been lovingly restored and updated to perfection. Walls of glass with tree-filled views, soaring ceilings, wood-clad interior walls, clerestory windows, handsome new kitchen with custom cabinets and high-end stainless appliances, snazzy wood and steel staircase, landscaped side yard with patio—it's all here and it's all spectacular! And for $795K, it could all be yours. Or ours. For more info/pics, go here
here and see if you agree.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Because we're sweating out this hideous East Coast heatwave, thoughts turned to cooler climes and places we'd rather be, so naturally we ended up in Europe and decided to make a day of it. Our first destination is in the increasingly cool town of Hammenhog in southeast Sweden, where lots of young professionals are opening design shops and businesses. Priced at $427K (inexpensive for this country), this revamped 1930 farmhouse has been magically transformed into a sleek, white 3 bed/2 bath contemporary with polished concrete floors, radiant heat, a wine cellar, plus huge glass windows and doors to bring in views of the garden and surrounding green. There's also a spacious second floor loft that can be turned into anything you like. Say, guest quarters? For us? Take a closer look here
If you've ever experienced the pleasure of wandering around Tuscany, then you know that it's a place you want to return to again and again. So, if you have a couple million lying about ($7.7, to be exact), maybe you should just make a commitment and buy this stunning 96 acre estate near San Gimignano. The main villa, only a tad over 100 years old, has 7 beds/5 baths with soaring, wood-beamed ceilings, an entrance-making marble staircase, and exquisite antique furnishings throughout (included). With views over the surrounding hills and towers of nearby San Gimignano, the grounds include a pool, formal gardens, several patios, olive groves, two cottages and a 200 year old chapel, complete with frescoes and pews. Because you'll be giving thanks a lot if you're lucky enough to live here. For more info/pics, go here
Truth be told, we've never been to Wales, though we're dying to, especially to see Hay-on-Wye (famously described as "the town of books") and Portmeirion (a town designed entirely in the style of an Italian village). So this house is sort of an exercise in armchair travels and quite a lovely one at that: Tan-y-Ffridd Cottage (Welsh has some craaaazy spellings) is a rambling 4 bed/2 bath cottage dating back to the 17th century. Gorgeously updated, the $889K property has huge fireplaces, exposed beams, a new conservatory with views of the garden and valley, music room, orchard, pond and several outbuildings including a 2 bed apartment. Wales just looks better all the time. Take a closer look here
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Who would've guessed that this striking modern house started off as a 1953 mid-century? In St. Paul, Minnesota's very green, very friendly Highland Park nabe, this gut-renovated (it's owner is an architect) 2 bed/1 full/2 half home has a bold, stylish design. Just look at the aqua-toned bathroom tiles, interior second floor glass walls, the airy open-floor plan, that nifty staircase—even the yolk-colored window frames are sure-handed and inspired. The finishes are all high end (Gaggenau, Dornbracht, Sub-Zero), the outdoor spaces beautifully done, and the price? A very reasonable $449K. Take a closer look here
Today's splurge is a grand, gorgeous gem of house, located in Spain's lush Andalusian region, a stone's throw from the Mediterranean. Priced at $5.5 million, the elegant 5 bed/6 bath home sits behind private gates and has a polished, warm feel with high ceilings, tile and wood floors, and huge fireplaces. Most of the rooms haven been designed in pale tones that both soothe and provide a backdrop for the architecture and views beyond. The exterior spaces are spectacular to say the least: an internal courtyard, landscaped gardens, patios, and a magnificent pool. There's a separate apartment for the staff. (Duh.) Mountains on one side, the Costa Del Sol on the other. Trust us: it will never get any better than this. To see more—and we demand that you do!—go here
Halfway between Sausalito and Sonoma, close to the North Bay, Novato is one of the picturesque towns located in the rolling hills of California's Marin County. Sitting on one of those very hills in the Black Point nabe, this $699K 4 bed/2.5 bath home brings the surrounding beauty indoors via large windows and glass doors. The wood floors-wood ceilings combo provides a dramatic punch to the 1977 structure, which has an open floor plan, substantial fireplace, and a tastefully redone kitchen. Take in the views from the huge deck, zone out in the hot tub (hey, it's Marin County—it's, like, a law to have one) take a hike, swing a club at Stonetree Golf Club, or kayak in the nearby Bay. Yeah, life could be pretty awesome if this was your home. For more info/pics, go here
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
After such a long spell of not covering any celebrity homes, we're on a tear, but honestly, it's only because we like the houses or the celebrity. In this case, it's both: Ashley Judd (actress/activist/Harvard girl) and hubby Dario Franchitti (3 time Indy 500 winner) are selling their stately 200+ year old Georgian mansion in Scotland (despite his Italian name, Dario's a Scot). An hour from both Edinburgh, Rednock House is situated on 79 acres of private parkland and its 8 beds/8 baths has been restored to museum-quality standards. In addition to astounding views, the property includes walled gardens, a 4 bed farmhouse and an impressive stable built in 1827 that includes garages, storage, and a large party room in addition to stables. $5.9 million for such grandeur seems like a deal. See if you agree after taking a closer look here
Well, it used to be anyway: this one-of-a-kind-structure started life out as a barn back in 1838, but five years ago, it was converted into this chic, tres rustique home. Located in perenially groovy Woodstock, New York ('make love, not war' remains a great philosophy), the 5 bed/4.5 bath artist's residence has been updated for the 21st century, but still has the vintage elements we love: original beams, wide hardwood floors, and soaring ceilings containing multiple levels. On the market for $650K, we can't decide which we like better: the verdant 5.6 acres that surrounds the property, or the humongous two-story high fireplace complete with a custom-crafted pizza oven. Then again, who cares? You get both and so much more. See for yourself here
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
We're back in Pennsylvania's sublimely bucolic Bucks County, where the truly enchanting Twin Falls Cottage has hit the market for a quite reasonable $499K. Nestled into a heavily wooded hillside near Pipersville, the 1+ acre property has, you guessed it, two waterfalls to zen out to (and just think: if you're fighting with your partner, you can each sit in front of one til you calm down), plus a pond, patio, wooden walkways and screened gazebo, all surrounded by some of the lushest green imaginable. The 2 bed/2 bath circa-1921 home is just as special, with beamed ceilings, a huge stone fireplace, and great room with 3 windowed walls. What's that sound you hear? It could be the divine sound of the water falls, or it could be us hyperventilating over the utter coziness of it all. See more of it here
Actor Michael C. Hall, best known for his starring role as a serial killer (but only when they deserve it!) in Showtime's bloody hit Dexter, is letting go of his fabulous Los Angeles home. Priced at $1.99 million—inexpensive in terms of celebrity homes (ie, Ryan Seacrest just bought Ellen DeGeneres' house for $37 million)—the 4 bed/5 bath home was originally built in 1933, but revamped by mid-century architect Hal Levitt when he bought it in 1964 (he lived here until 2004). Flooded with light from huge picture windows with calming canyon views, the 3500+ square foot Outpost Estates home has high-end finishes throughout (just take a gander at the kitchen and baths) and makes great use of limited outdoor space. There's a sleek outdoor living room with built-in barbeque and firepit, plus a dining patio that hangs above the pool. This one's not gonna last long, so hurry and take a closer look here
Anna Lester was a Bavarian immigrant who came to the Tucson area as a young woman in the late 19th century and laid claim to several acres as a homesteader. She's a legend in the area she created, now Jefferson Park, where the homes she built still stand and now have historic status. This is one of hers: a 1921 craftsman bungalow with original details like double-hung windows, stone fireplace, hardwood floors, and a beautiful built-in breakfront in the dining room. Asking $370K, the 4 bed/2.5 bath has an updated kitchen that retains a vintage look with arts and crafts style painted cabinets and saltillo tile, plus a 2 car garage and covered patio on a large, shady lot. Feels like home, doesn't it? For more info/pics, go here
Monday, June 18, 2012
Edward Larrabee Barnes designed some fantastic structures: the Dallas Museum of Art, the IBM Building on Manhattan's Madison Avenue, and Minneapolis' renowned Walker Art Center, among many others. He also designed this seriously swell 1956 home in Chappaqua, New York, (home of the rich and famous like Ben Stiller, Vanessa Williams and the Clintons) on the market for $1.695 million. Surrounded by trees, the 6 bed/6 bath home has much to love, beginning with the private drive that leads up to the house, views of forest and water from every room, pool surrounded by exceptional landscaping, dock, and a separate cottage with kitchen/bath. Oh: we almost forgot to mention that it comes with 7.6 acres! (We'd get a few pygmy goats and go all Marie Antoinette-at-Petite-Trianon, but that's just us.) For more info/pics, go here
Beautifully situated on a bucolic 3 acre cul-de-sac lot in affluent Mountain Brook, in southeast Alabama just outside of Birmingham, this 1965 mid-century has been extensively revamped for modern life. The 3 bed/2.5 bath has a swanky new kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances, custom concrete counters, glass tile and double ovens, plus a a new master bath that was completed mere weeks ago. Priced at $469.9K, we're digging the open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, skylights, burnished wood floors, and especially the master bedroom's ginormous walk-in closet and wall of built-ins. Outside are several areas for dining and relaxing plus a 2 car garage with extra storage. Go here to see more and then get out your calculator and run the numbers.