Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Ashley’s Backyard

Our community has a Memorial Day parade where scouts, baseball players, characters, and other organizations celebrate by marching through the streets to the park. The route passes right by my friend Ashley’s house and she hosts a fun party in her charming yard.

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Ashley’s adorable yellow house is welcoming and festively decorated with American flags! While everyone was up close getting a look at the parade, I snuck a few shots of the space.

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She’s lived in her home about eight years and has done such a great job creating delightful areas throughout her large yard. The many trees offer privacy and respite from the sun. Conversation and dining areas are well planned, with plenty of places to sit.

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Doesn’t this seem like the best place to relax on a summer’s day? Just far enough from the house to feel like you’re getting away.

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A fire pit is great for cool summer nights and crisp fall days.

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Her wine bottle path is so much fun. Many of the bottles have special meaning, either hostess gifts, or wine they’ve bought on vacation.

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I love her enclosed porch area. So inviting! Small enough to be intimate, large enough to comfortably fit four.     ashley 8


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Happiness Down Under

What is the happiest place to live? No, it’s not Disney World. According to the Better Life Index, Australia topped the list for contentment. Book your ticket for the weekend and visit this open house to get your slice of satisfaction! Bring your money if you’re interested! There isn’t a listing price, it simply says–offers over $699,00. Other happy news is the conversion rate is close, with the US dollar slightly higher.

This home is located in Wellington Point, Queensland, an urban area with a seaside and village atmosphere. It’s just a short walk to restaurants and cafes, a train station, and schools. Nearby is Moreton Bay with boating, swimming, fishing and kayaking. The backyard is its own little paradise with an in-ground pool and palm trees.

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Here’s a daytime view from the deck, an area that is perfect for alfresco entertaining. This has got to be my favorite spot in this house! I am in love with their modern outdoor furniture. The light wicker with white/cream cushions is simply sublime.

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Through the deck is the bright kitchen that is open to another space, it looks like it may be a small seating area.

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Beyond that is dining room with seating for six. Many share their happiest moments at a table, surrounded by friends and family. This home offers both informal and formal dining spaces.

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The formal living room, or as they call it in Australia, the formal lounge, is decorated with a comfy slipcovered couch and some accent chairs.

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The listing calls this a media room, with a computer area and a leather sectional offering plenty of room to lounge and watch Louis CK or Game of Thrones. Yes I checked, looks like they’re watching many of the same shows we are!

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Here is even another room to hang! I like the glass display shelves in this room, many of their furnishings have an IKEA feel to them.

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The home has four bedrooms with ceiling fans and the master bedroom even has a private balcony.

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To read more about the happiness index in Australia visit here. To see more of the listing, visit here.


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Cottonwood Springs Ranch

Just twenty minutes from Downtown Durango, Colorado, in a private valley, you’ll find this exquisite ranch on 525-acres. It was recently reduced $3.25 million to its current price–$8.75 million. It’s ideally located in Colorado’s Banana Belt, which means over 300 sunny days a year. The property has meadows, pastures, numerous trails and aspen groves.

barn 15barn pondThe home includes a horse barn that is approximately 20,000 square feet, with 20 stalls. This working ranch has multiple business offices, ranch manager’s quarters and even employee showers!

barn 2barn 14Inside, the home has exposed wood trusses and adobe-style mud plaster. According to the sellers, the home is more ‘northern New Mexico’ than southwestern.

barn 4The homeowners have done a nice job of displaying their eclectic furnishings and French country antiques. The wood ceilings are amazing!

barn 3This looks like the perfect place to relax after a long day at the ranch! The main focal point is still the fireplace, but just swing the leather chairs around to chill out in front of the television.

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Here it is, my favorite room in this home! I’m a big fan of built-in bookcases, and these are really well done. Interesting display of their collections in the upper shelves. The puppet has the best seat in the house!

barn 6The gourmet chef’s kitchen has heated slate floors, granite countertops and a French country feel.

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To see many more images of this home and property, visit the real estate agents here and here. There is also a video here.


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The Old Chapel

Ever dream of packing it up, moving to England and living in a renovated chapel? If so, this home is for you! The Old Chapel dates back to 1822, and it’s located in Saffron Walden in Essex England. Saffron Walden is a market town and it’s located 43 miles north of London.

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The home retains a number of period features and it can be yours for £725,000 or $1.1 million dollars. This home is surprisingly modern for something built in the early 1800s. There is a church nearby that dates back to the end of the 15th Century!

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The kitchen looks like it was recently updated and has a country feel to it. It has high ceilings, recessed lights, and soft green cupboards.

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The built-in pantry is a nice piece of furniture. The current homeowners must have young children that like to play in the kitchen!

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The traditional dining room is my favorite room in this house. The mismatched oak chairs and chandelier are simple and very appropriate for this period.

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Plenty of parking and beautiful landscaping!

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To view the listing visit here.


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Westchester Retreat

This country retreat mixes modern and rustic together perfectly. Designed by renowned architect Richard Meier in 1972, this unique home underwent a renovation in 2008. It’s located in Westchester County in Mount Kisco, New York. It’s much easier to live in glass houses when you have lots of land! This contemporary estate is nestled into almost 7 acres. This infinity pool with a cascading waterfall is simply stunning.

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Listed at $3.95 million some might consider it a value since it was just reduced $550,000. roaring 12

I’m a big fan of lots of windows and this property takes it to a whole new level. The framing is like a piece of modern art.

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The more contemporary section of the home is all-white with a two-story great room. Certainly this would be a great house for entertaining.
roaring 6Portions of the layout have a more intimate feel in this open floor plan. Although I do think this dining area would benefit from a chandelier.

roaring 7What a bathroom! I like the curved architecture and how the floating vanities fit into the design.

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This look like it’s the more rustic section of the room. With a wood ceiling, stone walls, and a wall of windows, this room is spacious and cozy.

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Here is my favorite room in the house! What a view of the awesome pool, the intimate conversation area looks like the perfect place to chat. This space would be even more beautiful when the trees are in bloom. Can you imagine the fall colors on this property?

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I do like how this bedroom has its own fireplace and two comfortable chairs surrounding it. It would be the perfect place to read in this special home.roaring 10To see the listing visit the realtor here, or visit the home one Zillow.

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Eagle Ridge

This gorgeous contemporary home is one of the six recipients of the 2013 Housing Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The awards are in their 13th year and they were established to “recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.”

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Can you even imagine calling this home? This room, and the view outside it, are sheer perfection. This island home is on Orcas Island, the biggest of Washington’s San Juan Islands.

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The design is simple and the kitchen, dining and living area are all open to each other, and to the outside.

eagle 4eagle 5According to the AIA, owner wanted the home to be highly efficient and it’s constructed of structural insulated panels. “This method allows for a faster construction time, less waste generation, tighter construction, and better insulation. All the windows and doors are designed to surpass energy code requirements, and all of the lighting is either LED or compact fluorescent to reduce energy consumption.

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To learn more about all of the winners visit the AIA here, or visit Curbed.

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Jenny from the Hamptons

I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block. Used to have a little, now I have a lot… Nobody can argue that she has a lot. J.Lo just purchased this Hamptons mansion for $10 million.

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It’s on three acres in Water Mill, a hamlet of Southampton. The style and finish is perfect East Coast and will offer lots of privacy in a secluded cul-de-sac. lopez 2This pool is amazing, perfect for swimming laps!
lopez 10Jennifer’s foyer for her new vacation pad is light, bright and inviting. Before it sold, this house was available for rent and used to pull in $425,000 for the summer.lopez 3The cottage life is all about comfort and a carefree attitude. With seating for six, this room looks like a perfect place to converse with friends and family. lopez 5 Here it is. My favorite room in J.Lo’s new Hamptons hideaway! This wraparound sofa must be custom for this room. What a perfect place to lounge with your loved ones. Once she personalizes it with some art on the walls, it will be simply amazing.lopez 6The living room is visible through the kitchen. The kitchen has a classic traditional feel, and continues the theme of light and bright.lopez 8

The glass-front refrigerators are beautiful. So much space!
lopez 4The home has eight bedrooms and 7-1/2 baths. Plenty of room for J.Lo’s twins and other guests. Although I’m not a fan of the bed placement in this room.
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To see the listing click here.

My Dining Room

It’s small. At just 12×12 my dining room is open to the living room, and has another doorway with a pocket door into the kitchen. When we bought our house the wall, which now displays the wood mirror, was a wall of mirrors. While it wasn’t my taste, I now understand how much light it would’ve reflected into this small room.dining room 2

From the opposite direction you can see the dining room looks into the recessed living room. The tablecloth is Marimekko and is from Crate and Barrel. The table is from Ethan Allen, the large piece of art work was from Pier One.dining room 1The dining room has a large door wall that look out onto the deck.dining room 4

I recently got this fun print at an art fair. The artist uses book pages to create these fun tree collages.dining room 5


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Katy Perry’s Compound

This many not be the kind of home Katy Perry dreamed of as a teenager, but it’s the kind many dream of as an adult. The pop star just spent $11.3 Million on three adjoining pieces of property. I love, love, love this mid-century modern home in the Hollywood Hills. According to Zillow, this property was previously owned by Conan O’Brien’s bandleader Max Weinberg.

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I love the classic mid-century touches like the huge overhangs, straight lines, and wood trim.katy 3

There is so much that is right about this kitchen! I love the wall of windows over the sink and cabinetry. The giant island with cooktop, another sink, and lots of seating makes for a functional and comfortable space.katy 5

I like the curved sofa in the great room. The eating area in the window features a saarinen table and chairskaty 4

This area offers a wonderful opportunity to let the outside in. It looks like there are retractable doors in this space, making for great entertaining flow.katy 6

This bedroom offers the same idea, although I’m not sure what area this opens up into.katy 7

The outdoor entertaining space is abundant. Katy seems to have plenty of famous friends, and on-again off-again relationships with them. Depending on who she’s hanging out with, it’s easy to imagine Rihanna or John Mayer dining on this patio.katy 9 katy 8

To see more images of Perry’s new property visit Zillow.


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Ellen and Portia’s New Digs

We all know Ellen DeGeneres likes to dance. But did you know she is also an admitted fanatic of design? She loves to buy houses with her wife Portia de Rosssi and add their personal touch, often turning around and selling them to move onto the next one. Well they’ve done it again! They just purchased a 13-acre ocean-view estate in Montecito, California for $24.5 million, $2 million above asking price.

The Italian Villa was built in 1929 and has six bedrooms and nine fireplaces. This entry alcove is quite dramatic. First thing they should do is trim back the overgrown boxwoods impeding the walkway!

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I love a nice covered patio. The stonework and wood overhang almost has the essence of a Medieval palace.

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The outdoor dining area is to die for. Can you just imagine an evening dinner party with twinkle lights in the trees, candles lit on the table, cool tunes and the drinks flowing?ellen 7

Amazing views from the manicured lawn.ellen 11

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The living room is spacious and ornately decorated.Ellen 3

While I may not be the biggest fan of the Mediterranean style, this kitchen speaks to me. A great combination of modern design with rustic elements. I love the cabinetry with the wraparound marble countertops. The space is abundant, but it still feels intimate.ellen 6

This is identified as the music room. I read that Portia plays guitar in her spare time, this will be a great space to do that.ellen 5

The dining area is set up for a small group. But, there is plenty of room to bring in a larger table. Why bother when you have gorgeous weather in Southern California? My guess is much of the entertaining can be done outside.ellen 4

Ellen recently let ElleDecor into her Santa Monica ranch where her wife Portia keeps her horses, and Ellen has fun decorating the eight cabins! If that is any indication of work she’ll do here, I can’t wait to see the final outcome of this property. To see more images of their new home, check out the listing from Mitchell Morehart.