paltrow martin collage

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lautner Malibu Estate

Nothing says conscious uncoupling like unloading $14 million dollars on a John Lautner masterpiece just before announcing you’re calling it quits. Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin are separating after ten years of marriage. But, that hasn’t stopped them from scooping up this gorgeous Malibu pad.

paltrow outdoor space

I wouldn’t call my feelings for Paltrow love/hate, because I don’t feel that strongly about her. But, I definitely have a like/dislike thing going for her. On one hand I respect her talent, her grace, her conviction and dedication to mindful eating and exercise. But, she is so damned arrogant. I also can’t say I blame her, she’s got a lot going for her. But, it is annoying. I was bummed to hear that her and her rocker husband were calling it quits. But, she is far too pretentious to call it a separation. Instead it’s a conscious uncoupling. Oh boy.

So, since she will be all over the media this week, I thought what better time than to look at her latest purchase, a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 3,650 square foot private gated estate in Malibu, called The Garwood Estate.

paltrow living room

The fact that their marriage was struggling didn’t sway this power duo from buying this home and one possible reason is that it’s rare that a John Lautner designed home hits the market. Scott Garner, House of the Day columnist for Curbed National said that it’s hard to imagine Los Angeles and Palm Springs without his influential designs.

“His iconic, forward-looking homes have set the standard for modern residential architecture, creating a style that’s instantly recognizable and distinctly Southern Californian.”

paltrow dining space paltrow kitchen 3

Take a closer look at this kitchen island. I’m hoping they have their buddies Jay-Z and Beyonce over and they break into the surfboard rap from Drunk in Love. Even better if B gets on the island to dance and sing!

paltrow kitchen 2

Take a look at the wall of windows above the kitchen cupboards. I absolutely love that. Even better is the view through the bedroom window!

paltrow bedroom 2

While the home is beautiful, the outdoor spaces are really spectacular. This outdoor staircase has a mystical feel to it.

paltrow outdoor stairs

paltrow outdoor space 4

paltrow outdoor space 3

To take a look at even more images of The Garwood Residence go here and see the listing here. And, since I’m a bit of a romantic, I hope they consciously recouple and live happily ever after here. The End.


Mountain Chateau of Olympians

Okay I’m using the term Olympians in the headline lightly here. Mad respect to the athletes with both natural ability and the dedication to train long hours. But, this cross country skiing couple’s story isn’t quite like that. They’ve been accused of buying their way into the Sochi Olympics. A wealthy middle-aged husband and wife allegedly bought citizenship to Dominica and created an Olympic team for the Caribbean Island. You can read more about it here.

But, also according to sources, they’re selling their amazing mountain chateau in Big Sky, Montana. With 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, and 12,368 square feet there is plenty of space to store their cross country skis. And, unlike citizenship in Dominica, which costs as much as a small outdated ranch in an outlying suburb, this massive mountain estate costs a cool $20 million! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?mountain_chateau_003 But, oh those views! According to the listing the Rocky Mountain ski home is “located directly on alpine and Nordic trails, providing unparalleled ski access in a secluded environment surrounded by pines.”


The log home used both Douglas fir and Cedar timbers. I love how open this massive kitchen is and how they worked the cabinetry around the windows.


The custom woodwork is gorgeous! I’d be curious to know how many fireplaces this home has. As I clicked through the images I noticed fireplaces in living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms.mountain_chateau_012

Here is a closer look at the curved staircase. I’ve never been a fan of a curved staircase. But, this one is so right.mountain_chateau_013

Not a fan of this stone heavy dining room. But, I do love dining near the fireplace after a long winter’s day.mountain_chateau_011

This is much more my scene. How comfortable does this bar area look? A perfect place to grab a quick cocktail.

Montana Chateau bar

Here is a close up of more of the custom woodwork in the home.Montana woodwork

And finally, if you’re buying a massive skiing chateau in Big Sky, it really is more about the outdoors. This may be the place to hide in this home. Hot tubbing Montana style.montana hot tub

And, there is this adorable outbuilding which looks like a guest home. Wouldn’t it be fun to spend time in the big house and then retreat to this private oasis? mountain_chateau_001

To see more images of the home go here or here.

budget luxe

Luxe on a Moderate Budget

Lately, I’ve been attracted to the modern luxe look. A little contemporary, a little glam. Rich velvets, upholstered headboards, shiny surfaces. So much to love. While this look doesn’t really fit with my home, or my lifestyle. I put together a budget luxe look I love!

velvet chair

The Hudson Swoop chair is slate velvet is only $149 at Target, on sale from $199. Click here to see. I’m a huge fan of the Target accent chairs.velvet settee

Also at Target, the Hudson settee is only $237, down from $279. This piece would look great in a bedroom, living room, or large front entry. Click here.

velvet bed target

This Brompton Tufted Wingback Velvet Bed from Target is $675 for a King size. The four reviews on the website are favorable and there is even a customer image. Gorgeous! It looks a little like the upholstered bed we currently have, I’ll share pictures later.

Threshold Mirrored Modern Accent Table

How awesome would it be with the mirrored side table next to it? On clearance at Target for just $85!

bow frame

And this Kate Spade frame would look great on the table! It’s a little more expensive at Nordstrom for $50. But, this is so gorgeous it’d be $50 well spent. And, if you’ve never shopped at Nordstrom, the customer service is amazing and they always have free shipping!


And the last piece would be an amazing chandelier. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have a great selection. This one is just $227 from Lowe’s. Happy luxe shopping!

groundhog montage

Groundhog Day

It feels like Groundhog Day was weeks ago, or was it years ago? Hard to say. This winter where I live, everyday feels like Groundhog Day. I’m a huge fan of the 1993 Bill Murray movie and I had to share when I saw the home featured in the film is for sale. In the film it was billed as “The Cherry Street Inn,” but it’s really, “Royal Victorian Manor Bed and Breakfast.”groundhog 2The filming really took place at this home in Woodstock, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, about ten miles from Wisconsin. While it was alway gray and cold in Punxsutawney, these images were taken when it was sunny and they show a gorgeous exterior and lawn! Fans of the movie will surely recognize the view from the front door.groundhog 3

The 8-bedroom, 8-bathroom home was built in 1895 and boasts 5,815 square feet! The main dining area is where Phil would often give Mrs. Lancaster (proprietor of the bed and breakfast) a hard time.groundhog 4

Phil: Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?

Mrs. Lancaster: I don’t think so, but I could check with the kitchen.

I don’t recall every seeing the kitchen in the movie. But, it’s obviously been updated since then. I love the huge island with seating for four.

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If you’re interested in this home you could book a room and stay the night. Rooms start at just $145 a night. If you like what you see you could write a check for $985,000 and start a new life.groundhog 7groundhog 8groundhog 9To see more images and check out the listing click here.


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House of Mirrors

When you’re set in a beautiful landscape, why not reflect the natural surroundings? Lucid Stead is an art installation home in Joshua Tree, San Bernadino, California. The home is on desert land owned by the artist himself, Phillip K. Smith III. It was originally a shack dating back to the 1940’s.LouMora.LucidSteam.013

LouMora.LucidStead.004Part art project, part architecture, the home transforms throughout the day. In the daylight, it appears almost transparent as it reflects its surroundings. LouMora.LucidStead.002In the evening the structure’s door and windows change colors by LED lights controlled by computer. LouMora.LucidStead.005To see more of this gorgeous project go here.





disneys golden oak montage

Disney’s Golden Oak

Who wouldn’t want to live at the happiest place on earth? Living amongst Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Goofy on the property at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida may seem like a dream. But, it can be your reality! Golden Oak is a new community that will consist of 450 luxury homes in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.Silverbrook

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All of the homes are built with resort living in mind. According to the website: “Architectural styles include Tuscan, Spanish Revival, Venetian, Italianate, Dutch Colonial, Island Colonial and French Country. Features such as courtyards, balconies, terraces and loggias provide shared architectural themes while merging indoor and outdoor living spaces.”


disney great room

There are four neighborhoods within the community and several home plans to choose from. The homes start at approximately $1.7 million and can go as high as $7 million. With that price homeowners also get access to the Four Seasons Resort which will be a part of Golden Oak, Summerhouse their private clubhouse, and of course Walt Disney World.

disney bedroom

GO_Home_Lot-40-Living-Room-4028-06-©2011-Dan-Forer_optimizedThere are floor plans, lot maps, and virtual tours on their website for interested buyers, and the curious (like me). Many of the homes have traditional design. But, a few are more contemporary. I am in love with this bathroom with the skylights and gorgeous wood beams.

disney bathroom

This was another one of my favorite rooms I found while looking through some of the interior images. I like the dark wood beams with the lighter walls and furnishings, feels very British Colonial.

Golden Oak dining room

Outdoor spaces are a big part of this design and some of the pools, porches, and courtyards are amazing!goldenoak outdoor

There will be no chance homeowners and visitors will think they’re just at any other luxury neighborhood since bronze character sculptures will remind them. “Placed throughout our community are bronze statues of Ariel and friends as well as Bambi, Thumper and Flower. Future plans for the series include sculptures of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

bronze statues

To see more images including virtual tours of existing homes click here.

oprahs auction collage

Oprah’s Auction

Oprah Winfrey is auctioning lots of goodies from one of her massive homes! Her 23,000 square foot estate, that she has named “The Promised Land,” is located in Montecito, California and it is due for a major remodel. According to the L.A. Times, Oprah was motivated by designer Rose Tarlow who told her that her “this house has nothing to do with you.”

So, she has turned to Kaminski Auctions and on November 2nd they are auctioning 574 items including furniture, art, dolls, bikes, lighting, and so much more. I guess you could say she is getting rid of some things that are no longer her favorite things! I took a look at all the offerings and selected a few of my favorites.

This 19th Century English sea captain’s lap desk is estimated to sell for between $700- $1,200. You can see it here.

Oprah's Auction Captain's Lap DeskLooking for some library steps? Why not buy Oprah’s? The antique pine steps should go for between $1,000-$2,000. Take a look here.

Oprah's Auction Library Steps

This antique bench has a lift top seat for storage and would make a great addition to someone’s mudroom or foyer. Plus, you’d get to say that it’s from Oprah’s home! It should go for between $500-$800. Check it out here.

Oprah Winfrey's Auction English Bench

This antique steamer truck has so much character. They’re estimating it will go for between $300-$500. Check it out!

Oprah Auction Trunk

This French Art Deco Style bar is made from mahogany and cast aluminum and is valued at between $4,000-$6,000. See it closer here.

Oprah Auction French Bar

My husband has a small collection of antique radios, and I’d think it’s really cool if we had one of Oprah’s radios. I like the one on the left.

Oprah Auction Antique Radios

There is lots of interesting art, much of it signed and numbered. This one is called “Block Party” and it’s estimated to sell for between $300-$500.

Oprah's Auction Block Party Print

There is also lot of Oprah art. And by that I mean art and prints of the woman herself. Where else could you get an Oprah painting? See for yourself! It’s estimated that someone will pay between $250-$300 for this art!

Oprah Auctin PortraitI also found it interesting that there is a lot of workout equipment and machinery! Much of it is listed as property of Bob Greene, her trainer. I wonder if she has completely stopped working out? This dumbbell rack is fairly priced at $200-$400!

Oprah Auction Dumbell RackAnd finally, my favorite thing is the Japanese Tea House, this structure is approximately 14 feet x 14 feet and it could be yours! I want this is my backyard! It’s estimated at $10,000-$15,000. I have a feeling this will pull in a lot more cash. It’s super cool! Take a look!

Oprah Auction Japanese Tea House

Too see all the items with pictures click here. And happy shopping!

the detroit wallpaper co collage

The Detroit Wallpaper Co.

Ripping out wallpaper is a nasty job. When we moved in our Mid-Century rancher we thought we could tackle tearing out the wallpaper in the kitchen and bathrooms. We did begin the job. Before we knew it we were 20+ hours in, cursing with a steamer in one hand and a putty knife in the other. We hired it out. Earlier this year we had someone strip the wallpaper in our up-north vacation condo. Which is why I’m shocked that I’m beginning to appreciate wallpaper again. Somebody knock me on the head with a steamer. Quick.

I’ve been reading about The Detroit Wallpaper Co., a startup that prints custom wallpaper on demand. If you’re not from Detroit, you many not be aware of the creative and entrepreneurial thing going on here. But, there are lots of new, exciting things happening and this one in particular has great style!

Heather Gray Music WallpaperI especially like the music themed wallpaper. Someday we’d like to redo the basement and have an area dedicated to music with our drum set, guitars, amps, and keyboard. This wallpaper would be perfect there! But, what is really cool about this paper is you can customize it to fit your decor with a 60 color wallpaperThe next wallpaper, called Tapestack, is for the children of the 80’s, or those that appreciate vintage charm.tapestack_room_mockup_web

I think it’d be fun to invite friends and family to leave their mark by offering them a sharpie and having them customize the mixed tapes, i.e. Sarah’s Super Summer Senior Year. yellow mixed tape with writing Record Shelf has great texture and a cool vibe! Detroit Wallpaper Co.’s products are eco-friendly and include recycled materials. They’re free of PVC, VOC, and vinyl. Plus, they’re Made in the USA.record_shelf_room_mockup_webrecord_shelf_sampleThere are lots of cool patterns and designs to choose from. In addition to the music styles I’ve shared, there are multiple collections, including one called Fabrics that has a tie-dye, paisley, plaid, and argyle pattern. My other personal favorite pays homage to the Motor City and it’s called Downtown Hub. It features hubcaps in a snake scale pattern!downtown_hub_room_mockup_webdowntown_hub_sample_1If you’re interested in wallpaper and know you can live with one of these great patterns for awhile (so you’re not peeling and scraping in a few years) check out Detroit Wallpaper Co. here.

my family room collage

Mid-Century Modern Record Console

I’m having so much fun posting about multi-million dollar homes that I’ve been neglecting sharing images of my humble abode! So, it’s time to go inside my family room. My 1962 ranch home has two separate living areas. The living room is right off the main entrance and the family room is at the far end of the house and offers a little more privacy. When we first moved in, this room was a great place for the kids to play and watch television. But, a few years ago we found a gorgeous piano at an estate sale and the whole room changed with it. piano corner twoAfter much debate we decided the television must go. This room still sees plenty of electronic use in the form of laptops and iPads. But, without the TV, it’s a great place to relax, read, and play music. Once the piano took over the corner we had to find a use for the media cabinet. Knowing how much we paid for the cabinet about 10-12 years before, I had a hard time walking away from this quality piece of furniture. So, hardcover books went on the shelves and we turned the television area into a liquor cabinet beforeBut, I felt like it was cluttered and heavy in the space across from the piano. Here is another image right after we emptied it and decided it had to go!family room before

I was on the lookout for a Mid-Century modern record console. I felt like the size and scale would work better there. But the ones that I found were ugly, ornate and in bad condition. While they were Mid-Century, they definitely weren’t modern! I was periodically checking the site for finds. Then I found it!

estate sale find 1

About ten miles from my home was a Clairtone record console in pristine condition. I’d never heard of the brand and I didn’t even know if it worked. But, at $250 it was far cheaper than the sideboards or consoles I’d been eyeing from Crate and Barrel or Room and Board. It was mine!

inside record consoleI especially love the woven wood detail that houses the speakers. I felt like this piece of furniture looks like something that would be designed today. The AM/FM radio and speakers work well. But, we have to replace the turntable.

woven wood v2

Now that there was going to be so much wall space, I had an opportunity to frame some art and family pictures. I bought some frames from Pottery Barn and laid them out on the floor to see how they’d look. Once I was happy with the arrangement it was time to put them on the wall.

frames on floor photo collage wallHere is the after with all the photo frames filled and the record console in place. Family room after

close up record consoleHere is another angle that shows it next to our big, old couch from La-Z-Boy. We talk about replacing that. But, it’s so darn comfortable! Soon it will find it’s way to the basement and will be replaced with something a little smaller. family room couch Across from that couch is a newer daybed from Crate and Barrel. Below are two pictures, one with the shades closed and one with them open. You’ll see the daybed is actually the world’s largest dog bed.daybed and piano

dog on daybedThe last picture shows the other end of the room with the wood burning fieldstone fireplace. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section!family room fireplace

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Richard Branson’s Private Island

Sir Richard Branson is super rich. Like so rich that he has his own 74-acre island named Necker Island. The main home, called the Great House, burned down two-years ago. You may remember that actress Kate Winslet saved Branson’s mother from the fire! Well he had it rebuilt and he’s back in business.Necker Island overheadThe exciting news is that us regular folks can stay there. Turns out the main house rents for $60,000 a day. Oh, never mind. But, we can dream can’t we?Great-House-Sea-View-82The island accommodates up to 30 guests. The great house has a huge master suite and a bunk room that sleeps six children. Other guests can stay in the six Bali houses that each have one bedroom and an en suite bathroom.Great-House-Main-Room-29_001Every view is amazing on Necker Island. This is called the Breakfast Room and it would be a perfect place to start your day! Great-House-Breakfast-15_001 Only a few times a year couples can rent a room instead of the whole island. During Celebration Weeks in September and October, you can rent just one room for a week. For $26,000 a week, a couple gets an all inclusive experience on Necker Island! Still way out of my budget. Darn it. Necker 10The bedrooms boast a traditional British Virgin Island vibe. Dark heavy wood paired with white linens looks cool and comfortable.Necker 3


neckerisland-gallery-beach_pavillion-largeOne thing that looks to be consistent on Necker Island is there are lots of places to lounge. This image is my favorite! It is absolutely gorgeous.1000x420Necker_beachside_1To see even more images of this island retreat go here.