Monday, November 15, 2010

Grande Champagne

Of course I'm of the belief that champagne is always 'Grande' but this lot really does take the cake!

Keeping with our Provincial French theme, I thought what better home to feature than this 11th Century property in The Cognac Vineyards, a truly picture perfect locale straight from a story book.

Not surprisingly, the home is currently run as a hotel, with it's 11 en-suited bedrooms (and planning for 11 more) this would be the perfect weekend getaway to the French countryside. Gloriously presented throughout and immaculately maintained outside while keeping true to the integrity and history of the property and it's location.

The current owners have ensured this home is light filled and luxurious! This bathroom is absolutely superb for the home, just perfect.

Simple, luxurious and spacious, what more could you want? Oh there is a pool too, so I think that's all bases covered- when can I move in?

The property is around 2 Hectares, with an option to buy the vineyards by a separate negotiation.  What a stunning view and lifestyle! This is what I imagine when I think of French country living!

The staircase if another slice of history the owners have so immaculately and lovingly restored. For a meager €1,802,000 this little slice of Provincial France can be all yours. Sipping home-made wine by the pool under the Tuscan French sun, throw in Oliver Martinez (yes he's French, not Italian...) and I'm there in a heartbeat.


Sources: Maxwell Storrie Baynes

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Perigord, France

The best thing about Christie's Great Estates are their affiliate websites. It takes hours to search for the Realtor in a little town an hour from Venice/Bordeaux/Bristol/wherever. Now, thanks to this link, I am able to find a whole new world of properties to ogle! I came across an Agent, Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes, who are selling a whole range of AH-mazing properties (which I will feature throughout the coming weeks), but today I want to show you 'Perigord'.

A true country cottage! This restored 17th century manor rests on 3.5 hectares of riverside grounds and parkland.

The main house features 4 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 9 bedrooms (7 with en suites) & 2 studies.

Attached to the main house is an annex containing 2 separate suites (perfect for a retreat or the parents)

 Even the poolhouse has a bedroom & bathroom! Summer day's in Bordeaux- if only!

I mostly posted this house because of the exterior, but this little room makes me think of french Lord of the Rings (I think it's just the round window...) the tiled flooring and stone walls against the heavenly soft cream drapes blowing in the summer afternoon breeze is so beautiful like an elf might just walk in...

These paddle boats are reminiscent of Jane Austen novels, girls in white dresses and men in morning suits, trying ever so hard not to capsize the boat! I could imagine a day of drinking wine and eating cheese (while some dashing man rows the boat of course!)

This is the first time I have seen a louis XV chair used in context rather than as a 'design element', don't get me wrong I love the Louis XV chair, it's just nice to see a classical home where I can imagine Marie Antionette spending her weekends!

What I love the most about this home is the whimsical nature. So many films come to mind; Wind in the Willows, Pride and Prejudice, Marie Antoinette, Lord of the Rings. This is worlds apart from the homes I am usually drawn to, but never the less, it is a home filled with character, history and adventure waiting to happen! Maybe that's why I love it so much- the promise of adventure!

What do you love about this house? Does it remind you of anything?

Sources: Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New York State living

When browsing the interweb this week I came across a little delight in the US Tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut- for those of you who don't know or aren't obsessed with American living). This particular gem is in New York State, now that just made my heart flutter! Doesn't it make you think of Charlotte Yorks' dreams of living 'upstate', pruned rosebushes, green-grass trimmed down to the millimeter, white picket fences and more bedrooms than Mr & Mrs Jones know what to do with??

This house doesn't quite fit the suburban dream (a la Desperate Housewives), it's more 'old money' than new. The exterior is an exquisite Georgian stone mansion, the interior is beautiful; from the mahogany library to the roof detailing but (yes there is a but), I can't help but think how I would decorate differently! I find the colour palette so uninviting and outdated, of course it is impractical to update every so often but a house of this caliber deserves the very best finishes and I don't think it's been done justice!

Never the less this house impresses and leaves us all dreaming and salivating! Although this 20,000 ft home in New Town, Chappaqua looks old school, it was actually built in 2004 (by people with an amazing eye for historical architecture!).

I just adore the outdoor pool area, oh the parties I would have in that summer house!

The home boasts 6 Bedrooms, 9 baths and 3 half baths (why so many??), including living and dining rooms there are an impressive 20 rooms all up!

Love this room- hate that carpet!

Does anyone actually live in this room? Bed centered and drapes that remind me of a nursing home!

They have an indoor & outdoor basketball court AND a tennis court. Not to mention the media room, lake, cellar and of course the two story library I've already mentioned.

I would paint this entire room cream, including the roof and exposed beams.

Why green? Why? This shade, alongside the grey bench-tops just screams bad taste!

again with the green, please people!

This final shot reminds me of a Stepford wives home...a bit eerie out there on 87 acres!

While it is nice to see people experiment with colour in a beige type of neighbourhood, I feel that the choices have detracted from artworks, features and detailing which are paramount to a house such as this in retaining it's stature as a stately home!

With an asking price of $27,500,000 the buyer can expect monthly mortgage payments of just under $150,000 (More than the annual salary of 99% of the population). I cannot even comprehend being in a position to consider this house for purchase! It's fun to real estate stalk though!

Sources: New York Times, Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Island Life

India Hicks is one lucky lady.

Although she was born into a very priveliged British family (Her father, David Nightingale Hicks, a renound interior designer), is Prince Charles cousin and served as Princess Diana's bridesmaid, India has paved her way as a successful model, author, entreprenuer and most recently- property guru.

India and her partner David Flint Wood, own and run a handful of luxury holiday rentals on the islands in the Bahamas, all of which she designed, decorated and styled.

Out of 'The Cricket Pavillion', 'The Guest House' and 'The Kings Treat', I would have to say I wouldn't really mind! Each of the houses are designed to allow the seaside breeze filter through, they are uncluttered and spaceous yet delightfully luxurious.

"The house, built in 1999 by local carpenters and craftsmen in the style of an old Caribbean plantation house, is set on the hill, in a grove of coconut trees. The forty-foot long verandas overlook both the pink sand beach and the ocean to the east and the bay to the west."

There are four bedrooms (2 king size upstairs and 2 twins downstairs) all with wooden four-poster beds, air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. There is a dining room, sitting room, kitchen and laundry. Don't forget the private path to the beach. Paradise anyone?

Although these photo's are all from 'The Guest House', I can assure you they are all equally charming, exotic and summery in their own right. The bright white walls accented with dark wood furniture and fittings is quintessential of Bahamian design, which personally I believe has been executed so perfectly due to Hicks' precise yet eccentric eye for detail.

For over $9000 a week, split with 7 other friends it would be an amazing, luxurious retreat away from the daily grind- luckily for Hicks, this is her daily grind!

Sources: Hibiscus Hill Harbour Island, India Hicks- Island living

Coastal Living Idea House

Some Houses I like to keep to myself, but what would be the fun in that? Although the decorating is perhaps not exacting of my taste, the design certainly is!

So there is a US magazine called 'Coastal Living' and each year they design, build and decorate a house, incorporating the coastal trends for that year- great idea huh! Wouldn't mind doing that job every year.

So this is the 2007 Ideas House which was built in a new 'Boating community' in North Carolina, which seriously reminds me of 'The Truman Show' Movie (check out the River Dunes website and you'll get my drift...) Something about the house just creeps me out a little

Unfortunately the Coastal Living site no longer has much info about the house, it was sold in 2008 and burnt down in the US summer of this year. All I know is that the house was designed by architectural firm, Historical Concepts, who specialise in 'Traditional Place Making' (as per their website, which, FYI, features several other AMAZING homes). So I guess you will just have to enjoy the photo's like I did...

Some Summer House That Is...

Wall Panel detailing, bookshelf encased windows...heaven!

Addicted to the semi open-plan areas which are light, bright and airy!

seriously, WOW.

Cute little country kitchen, that french blue is gorgeous!

Hanging Beds, seriously cool. Also love the wallpaper and matching curtains

Favourite Room of the house; the windows, the ceiling paneling, the shelf with the green bottles (killer to dust)

Adore outdoor fans- useless but chic

White Picket Fence & Bicycle. suburban perfection.

So what do you think?
Little bit creepy and alot fantastic?
What do you think of matching wallpaper and curtains? Chic or shabby?

Sources: Coastal Living, River Dunes, Historical Concepts

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You say Versace, I say Versachay

Firstly, My other blog La Dolce Vita, where I just wrote a blog about Spring Fashion 2011 (and is generally filled with awesomeness- even though it's only a baby like this one!)

Secondly, as promised, I found some real rippers when it came to my search for a gaudy house. But really I think this one takes the cake...

Some may think of Versace as the King of luxury, others may not give two hoots as to Versace (or va-sa-chay as the perfume girl said to me the other week...) is/was/does/lives. But I digress, this is worth a looksie purely for the 'really?' factor...

Once upon a time (in the 1930's to be precise) there was a beautiful home in Miami Beach, Florida owned by a Alden Freeman/ It was built as a homage to the oldest existing house in the Western Hemisphere 'Alcazar De Colon'. Seriously Beautiful.

Marvelous Exterior

In the 90's Gianni Versace purchased the property, restoring and (um) embellishing it. The couturier was fatally shot in this very home in 1997 on the entry steps upon his return from his morning walk.

The family sold the home to a Barton G. Weiss who turned the home into a hotel so that, for the right price, everyone can have a little bit of Versace.

Aviary Suite

The hotel features 10 suites, most of which come with DOUBLE KING BED (I had to put that in caps so you knew you weren't reading it wrong...)

Shexshy lounge

Personal butler per suite, marble toilet (only 3 in the entire world...), 12 person shower room and observatory


I have heard that out of the pools million mosaic tiles, some are 24karat gold...

Very Versace

It is said that when Gianni died his sister, Donatella, couldn't handle the grief that the house brought upon her and she sold the house and contents to the current owner- but took the 24Karat toilet seat.

Donatella's Room, lovely mustard velvet blanket

A sad story and sad taste. Even sadder that people pay thousands in membership just to pay a few more thousand to stay there the night.

Each to their own, but can think of a few ways I would have decorated differently.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Corterre Parc

Corterre Parc

Several months ago I came across this magnificent residence in the Sunday property guide, in my regular house trawling I came across the property again over the weekend. Not surprisingly, it is still on the market. Although the house encapsulates the diverse and stunning architectural history of Australia, there just isn't a large enough niche market to guarantee these homes will achieve their worth. Generally these kind of homes are owned by the one family for decades until perhaps it eventually has to be sold for estate purposes.

Never-the-less, the home is immaculate, luxurious and divine and It would be a crime not to share these images with you...

Entry Gates at Dusk

Situated on a 70 acre estate, Corterre Parc boasts views to the Blue Mountains and Sydney's Centerpoint Tower. Nestled in the Southern Highlands, an area famous for golf, equestrian activities, beautiful gardens and 'cute little shops'. This area is posh country and the homes go hand in hand with that notion.

Formal Dining

This home includes all the creature comforts as well as some extra luxuries (which really do come standard these days on premium properties), 7 elegant and spacious living areas designed for both entertaining on a grand scale to cuddling up fireside in winter.

Living Area

Double Catering Kitchen, 4 Bedroom Suites and a 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Guest Apartment.


Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, Barns, Garaging, Workshops and Landscaped Gardens

Fabulous Outdoor Fireplace

This Estate speaks for itself through it's history and design- there is no need for fancy and elaborate interiors. What a wonderful property for a family; horseriding, adventures, parties. Whoever purchases this home will have a little slice of heaven!

Tomorrow- Luxury Gone wrong!!!


Sources: Drew Lindsay Real Estate , Real Estate