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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My favorite historic home

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I am waiting for permission from a blogger to feature their blog on my site. In the mean time, I would love to share some pictures of my favorite historic home, Old Westbury Gardens. Old Westbury Gardens is the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps (1874-1958), heir to a U.S. steel fortune. It has been open to the public for tours since 1959.

The home is located at 71 Old Westbury Road, in Old Westbury, New York.
According to Wikipedia the home is in the Charles II style, and has twenty-three rooms. The homes gardens, which it is most famous for, span 160 acres.
the stately front facade, courtesy of Historic Houses.

The beautiful garden facade, courtesy of Best of Long Island.

More on this home later, but I wanted to post something to hold you over until I get permission from a blogger to do my next post.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Buckhead renovation... for the worst

Recently, while scouring the Atlanta real estate listings, I came across a home that I instantly recognized. An old favorite of mine, that I had seen years ago.

The beautiful 1920's Spanish home as I remembered it. I loved how dignified it looked with the towering trees. Photo courtesy of

And now the home in the real estate listing:
The home is definitely different. I'm not a fan of what they did to the stucco, but it only gets worse from here.

These next pictures are beyond words, in a bad way.

This almost makes me sad, to think that every room of this home was stripped of its history and replaced by gaudy, over the top details that, to be honest, make me want to throw up.

This is something I need the Atlanta residents' opinions on: Did you notice this home being renovated? How does the house look in person? Personally, I think the owners absolutely ruined a beautiful home.

The owner happens to be notorious real estate developer Lee Najjar. I do not like to gossip, and this is a home design blog, not the tabloids, so instead of gossiping, I suggest a quick google of his name. You will most likely find out more then you would want to know about this man.
To each his own I guess.

Photos courtesy of Homes of the Rich

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Famous A. Hays Town House, and its location!

This home has been floating around the internet for the past few years, bouncing around from blog to blog. When I fist saw it on Things That Inspire, I was instantly captivated by its beauty, and excited that A. Hays Town had finally got recognition in the blog world. Being originally from Baton Rouge, he was the first architect I had ever heard of, and definitely who inspired my love for architecture. He was such a big influence on my family, in fact, that the last three houses I have lived in have been designed in his infamous style. Many bloggers have asked the question "Where is this house?" In their posts, and, after a little digging, I have found out!

I am almost embarrassed that I was not aware of the location earlier. I am a diehard LSU fan, and since I have a sister and five cousins currently enrolled there, and the fact that we have season tickets to the football games, I find myself in Baton Rouge at least once every two weeks. Near campus there is a beautiful street named Highland Road. Many Antebellum mansions, charming french country cottages, and a few exclusive country clubs can be found along the street. Many of A. Hays Town's work can be found on Highland Road, such as this beautiful house:Okay, now to the location of the home! The back of the home faces Highland Road, though it is invisible from the street. By using Bing Maps, however, you can clearly see the home. In the search bar, type in 6294 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Going to bird's eye view will give you a clear view of the home, which is at the corner of Highland and Nelson Drive. By using Google Maps, you can go to street view (the yellow person on top of the zoom bar) and see that the driveway is to the side of the house, on Nelson Drive, and that the home either forms an "L" or "T" shape with a three car carport. (hard to tell with all of the trees blocking the view.) I can't find the front door, but the front does not feel as formal as the back does.

On the other side of the home from the driveway, there is a charming walled pool with a good sized cabana, and beyond that , a vegetable garden. I can imagine with all the privacy of the lot, that one could truly feel as if they were in France here.

Well thats all I have so far! When I head back to BR I will drive by the home to see if I can get any good pictures.

P.S. for all you football fans, the home Nick Saban lived in while he coached at LSU is across the street, one house to the left with the very green grass and circular drive, but more on his house later!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Walk Around Fairhope

As I have said in previous posts, I am fortunate enough to live in Fairhope, Alabama, a small town on the shores of Mobile Bay. Fairhope was founded as a utopian single tax colony, and soon became a favorite summer haven for artists and intellectuals. Here are just a few of the famous names who have resided here: Jimmy Buffet, winston Groom (author of Forest Gump), and Fannie Flagg. The city was named on of the top fifty places to retire in The New York Times, and the best small town by Southern Living magazine.

The beautiful Fairhope Pier

If you have not yet visited Fairhope, I highly suggest you make a trip. In the spring, the city hosts the Arts and Crafts Festival, where artisans from across the country showcase their work. Last year, it attracted over 250,000 visitors. If you take the trip, I suggest staying at the Grand Hotel Marriot, a local landmark that has been around since 1847.

The Fairhope clock, another local landmark.

Many of the buildings in downtown fairhope are historic, but quite a few were built recently.
This building, The Lyons Share Art Gallery, was a beutiful design by the local architect firm Walcott Adams Vernuille. The owners reside on the second floor. Photo courtesy of Walcott Adams Vernuille

Walcott Adams Vernuille's office; a modern take on west indies architecture. Photo courtesy of Walcott Adams Vernuille

A charming store front. Notice the iron balcony, a detail very prevalent downtown. Also designed by Walcott Adams Vernuille.
Another downtown building in the final stages of construction. Once again, notice the iron balconies.

Now for some houses. Driving along the treelined streets of Fairhope, you never know what you are going to find!

This charming home, which us locals have dubbed simply "the castle house" is hidden just blocks away from downtown. The home was hand built with mostly recycled materials. This home was on a house tour a few years ago, but unfortunatly, you were unable to take pictures.

A shot of the castle's almost identical guest house:

Most larger homes are either on Mobile Bay, where lots, at the cheapest, are usually around two million, or in the Point Clear Polo Fields.
A beautiful plantation style estate in the Polo Fields. I love the gate!

Another large home in the polo fields, currently for sale. The house totals more than 9,000 square feet.

A beautiful bay-front home. The board-and-batten siding, working shutters, and front porch seem to be required for a home on the bay!

The homes downtown maybe a little smaller, but they are definitely just as beautiful.

A charming cottage right of Church Street. (one of the main streets in Fairhope)
Architecture by Walcott Adams Vernuille.

A historic home built in the 1930s. (I think) Recently renovated by, you guessed it, Walcott Adams Vernuille. No I did not purposely choose buildings by this firm, but their work is all over Fairhope. This lot itself is worth well over one million , because it is located on the bay bluffs. Mobile Bay is right across the street.

One of my favorite houses. I love the iron balcony and ivy covered columns.

This has to be my favorite home, which I used to pass daily. It is on an extremely large, private wooded lot. In the back, there is a beautiful pool and a pool house very similar in appearance to the main house.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Fairhope! More pictures to come!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A beautiful Spitzmiller and Norris design for sale

While looking through the homes for sale in Atlanta, (one of my favorite cities for beautiful houses) I was immediately struck by this beautiful home. After doing a little digging, I found out that that this home was renovated by the very famous architecture home Spitzmiller and Norris. The home is on the market for the small price of $6,950,000. The home is on almost five acres in the very desirable neighborhood of Buckhead. The home was originally built in 1929.

When you enter the foyer, you are greeted by a beautiful winding staircase. I love how you can see straight into the backyard!

The library is by far my favorite room in the house. I love the fireplace, and the paneling gives the room so much character. Even though the walls and furnishings are quite dark, the room seems to get plenty of light through the four windows.

The exquisite kitchen with white cabinets with a dark wood island. I love the marble countertops, but right now it seems Atlanta homebuilders are a little obsessed with them. Nine out of ten of the real estate listings I viewed had white cabinets and marble countertops in the kitchen. Could anyone who lives in the ATL tell me if this is true?

Three photos of the immaculately landscaped backyard. Landscaping by Graham Pittman.

The large, yet cozy family room. I could see my whole family gathering in this room for Christmas.

Another one of my favorite rooms is the elegant dining room:
My sister would LOVE the chair fabric! (light blue and brown are her favorite colors)

If I had the money, I would certainly look into this wonderful home!

See more photos of the home here.
All images couresy of

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anyone recognize this house?

While looking for inspiration in the London real estate listings (I'm in the process of designing my personal home) I stumbled upon a beautiful home for sale in a very desirable area of London. Built in the 1840's, the townhouse was absolutely beautiful, with a front courtyard, a second floor balcony with beautiful french doors, and classic black front door to the side, framed by a beautiful portico. The more and more I looked at the beautiful home, the more I knew I had seen it somewhere before. All of the sudden, the answer hit me, I knew just what house this was!
It is none other than the London residence from the Disney remake of "The Parent Trap"
The home can be yours for just £14,000,000. I've never been particularly fond of this movie, but somehow this home has stayed implanted in my memory. The interiors of the home are much different from the ones in the movie, and are quite disappointing. The home in the movie was warm and friendly, In reality, however the owners who renovated the home left it, in my opinion, cold and stark.

The warm, inviting foyer in the movie: I have to say I much prefer the set in the movie. The actual home is VERY white. Every room seems to be almost all white.

The layout is quite different in real life than in the movie, two. In the movie, to the right of the foyer was the living room, and behind that the dining room. Right of the living room was a library, and behind that presumably the kitchen. The movie set made it seem that the building was all one house, because of the floor plan, or that the home occupied the first and second floors, and there was a flat on the next two floors. Here are the floor plans of the townhouse in reality:

I know, in the movie, that Lindsey Lohan's character that lived in london (not sure of the name) drew a sketch of the floor plans to explain her house to the twin that lives in California. As much as I have tried, I can't find an image of them, though. If anyone has a picture of them, please e-mail them to me, thank you!

Overall, I have to say I am a little disappointed. The owners seemed to have stripped away all the beautiful detailing that I imagine must have been in such an old upper-class home. I wonder when, or if, this property will sell, since it has been sitting on the market for quite some time. Here is a link to the listing.

Images courtesy of Strutt and Parker estate agents