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