Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Trip to Newport

A few years ago, I took an amazing trip to one of my favorite destinations in the country, Newport, Rhode Island. For those of you who have never been, I highly suggest going. Newport is a charming town that was once the favorite vacation spot for the rich and famous of the 19th and early 20th century. Because of this, there are many exquisite manor homes, but there are also just as many charming seaside cottages. Please excuse the bad photography, as I am not the best cameraman. The Breakers, no doubt one of the most famous homes in Newport. It has long been one of my favorite homes. It was built for the Vanderbilt family as a summer home between 1893 and 1895.

I would be happy living full time in this charming cottage, with ocean views, turn-of-the-century details, and tons of charm. Can you believe this was actually a playhouse for the Vanderbilt children?!

The grand rear facade, overlooking the Atlantic ocean.

The Elms, built by the Berwind family in 1901, was modeled after the French chateau d'asnieres near Paris. photo courtesy of Newport

Another Vanderbilt home, Marble House, was built in 1892. It was designed by famed architect Richard Morris Hunt, who also designed The Breakers and The Biltmore in Asheville, NC. photo courtesy of Newport

The beautiful Castle Hill Inn. Easily one of the charming hotels I have ever stayed in, Castle Hill should be on any one's short list of hotels if vacationing in Newport.

A beautiful oceanfront home. Sorry about how small it is, but I took the picture far away and this was the max zoom on my camera.

One of the many wonderful homes in Newport, this is easily one of my favorite houses ever. I love how simple and straightforward the architecture is. No frills, no fuss. The casement windows, limestone door surround, and twin chimneys are my favorite features.

Another of the grand mansions of Newport.

A charming Newport street-scape.

Newport Rhode Island has to be one of my favorite spots in the world. The town is quintessentially American, like a Norman Rockwell painting. The homes are awe-inspiring, and the accommodations are superb. If you have never been to Newport, I highly suggest it. It is definitely worth it. All images, unless otherwise noted, were taken my me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another great architecture firm; Barnes Vanze Architects

Since I am obsessed with architecture, I am often scouring the web for great architect firms. Recently, I came across a wonderful Washington D.C. based firm, Barnes Vanze Architects.

One of my favorite homes on their website, this charming french provincial cottage was designed to look much smaller from the street. From the back, it is much easier to get a true sense of the homes size.

Another one of my favorites is this European country estate in Potomac, MD.

This breath-taking Beaux Arts mansion was originally built in 1926, modeled after a palace built by Napoleon for his first wife, Josephine. After years of neglect, a young family purchased the home, and it was lovingly restored by Barnes Vanze.

Barnes Vanze also does interior design, and the interiors are just as beautiful as the homes, with impeccable attention to detail.

The work of Barnes Vanze Architects has been features in over 100 publications including Period Homes, Southern Living, House beautiful, and Southern Accents.

To see more, please visit their website.

All images courtesy of Barnes Vanze Architects

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fairhope Real Estate: my favorite homes for sale

For a small town in Alabama, fairhope has a thriving, albeit expensive, real estate market. Any home downtown, on the bay, and near the polo fields can run well over $1,000,000, which for a town of 12,000 people, is quite a hefty price tag. But judging by the massive influx of new residents the town has seen over the last few years, there are certainly people willing to pay the price to live in such a wonderful community.

House 1: This home is located in the posh Point Clear Polo Club. It was built by Bill Purvis, who is a well known local builder famous for his amazing craftsmanship, attention to detail, and beautiful designs.
This beautiful home is located on 7+ acres features 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths and 2 half baths, a four stall horse barn, and is currently listed a $2,295,000.

The library

The great room
I love the painted wood ceiling and the stone fireplace.

The formal dining room. The wide-plank floors are gorgeous.

This is one of the few kitchens with white cabinets and marble in Fairhope, I like the blue island.

The luxurious master bathroom.

This home has great views of the Point Clear Polo Fields,
as it sits right next to them. many other homes in the area have their own private
Polo fields.

See more photos and listing information here.

House 2: This newly built home is in the heart of downtown Fairhope and features 4 bedrooms, 4 1/2 bathrooms, a back alley garage, and views of the bay.
Front porches are very prevalent in Fairhope, especially with 2nd story balconies.

Though you can hardly see it, this view of Mobile Bay is the main reason
this house is so expensive.

Light interiors and high quality millwork seem to be the trend in Fairhope new builds.

Probably the only other white kitchen in Fairhope,
the normal kitchen trend in a new build around here seems to be pecky
cypress cabinets and dark granite. homes around here have cypress cabinets and dark granite.

See more photos and listing information here.

House 3: This unique Mediterranean bay front home is situated on two acres and features a guest house, wharf, pool, and boathouse. It is listed at $2,900,000 and has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2 half baths.

The front facade. I love the huge gas lantern.

The backyard features a terrace, pool, boathouse, and a wharf. Landscaping by Howard design studio.

The carriage house. I love the iron work over the garage doors.
The charming ivy covered guesthouse.
A close-up of the back facade. Most bay front homes treat the back facade as the true "front" as it can be seen by the many boats in the bay.

This has to be one of my favorite fireplaces ever. It goes perfectly with the house.
The gourmet kitchen. I love the stone hood.

Such great paneling! Very unexpected in a bathroom.

And finally, the amazing view of Mobile Bay.

See more pictures of the home and listing information here.

All images courtesy of Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A great new blog!

I'm sure many of you know all about it, but in case you don't, I feel the need to tell you about an amazing new blog called "The Enchanted Home" The author of the great new blog is chronicling her journey as she builds a beautiful, elegant manor home situated on eighteen acres of Long Island's "Gold Coast". Though the home is quite large, the owner and her arcxhitect have done an impeccible job adhering to classical architectural principles, and in turn the home, though still under construction, already appears to have been there forever.the side of the home. The room behind huge bay window is the breakfast room!

This is probably my favorite new blog, and it is definatly worth checking out!

All images are courtesy of The Enchanted home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

image courtesy of

I know I have not been the best at putting out new posts, but Thanksgiving was extremely hectic (my home was filled to the brim with 24 family members) and then in just a blink of an eye it was time to start preparing for Christmas. To add to the chaos, I had hip surgery last week and have been on crutches ever since. However, I do realize situations like these have not stopped many bloggers from conjuring up amazing, inspirational posts. I promise to try to update more often, with better post in 2011 (because let's be honest, I know I will be to lazy to put out another post before the new year.)

I just wanted to wish all of my detecated readers a very merry Christmas, filled with great memories you and your family will cherish forever, and a healthy, happy New Year. God Bless!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So Sorry

I am incredibly sorry about my lack of posting, but I have been incredibly busy this past month. I have many posts I am currently working on, so please, don't give up on this blog. To hold you over, here are some beautiful pictures I snapped while on a recent trip to Austria and Switzerland. enjoy!

the town of Lucerne, Switzerland:

Helbrun Palace in Salzburg, Austria:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Elegant Georgian Home

My two favorite home styles have always been georgian and French Country. I will go through phases where I really like one for a few years, then abandon it for the other. For the past year, I have been obsessed with the French Country style, so much so I almost forgot about Georgian architecture.

One day, while sorting through my inspiration files, I found this picture I had printed out. The beautiful Georgian home ignited in me my lost love for Georgian architecture, and I quickly went to the architect, Mark Finlay's, website to find more pictures of the home.

This is the beautiful shot in my inspiration files, I love its symmetrical facade, curved dormers, and the charming ivy creeping up the side. The amazing thing is, this is the back of the home!

After looking through the pictures on Finlay's website, the interior proved, unsurprisingly, as elegant as the exterior.

The welcoming foyer. Notice the beautiful moldings, a trademark of Finlay. I also like the warm colors, which, in my opinion, make the room feel warm and friendly instead of pretentious.

The formal living room. I love the fact that the furniture placement is symmetrical, echoing the symmetry found on the exterior and throughout the home.

The informal first floor Billiards room. This could've easily been made into a formal room, but I like the fact that the owners decided to make it family-friendly with the orange paint color and the license plate map.

The huge family room, perfect for a large party. It appears as if the Billiards room opens onto this room. I am assuming the rug is seagrass, which has been prevalent throughout the home.

A glimpse from the breakfast room into the charming kitchen. I like the tall cabinets and the contrast between the white cabinets and black countertops. A view from the other side of the breakfast room, into the keeping room. I like the visual interest created with the coffered ceiling. Stunning.

This is an extremely elegant home, inside and out. It has reminded me of my love for Georgian architecture. what is your favorite style?
To see more photos of the lovely home, click here.

All photos courtesy of Mark Finlay Architects, AIA.