Category Archives: Unique Designs

lucid snead collage

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.





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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.


Discovering Martha’s Vineyard

It’s where the Obama family vacations. Since I’ve never had the opportunity to visit, to me it’s always been a mysterious place. So, when we were vacationing in Cape Cod we decided to take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard for one day. It actually reminded me somewhat of some of the lake communities in Northern Michigan. One big difference is the ocean of course. Another is it seems like every store and restaurant is in an adorable home. This one is Edgartown Books.

edgartown books exterior

I just loved their staircase that led to the youth section of the bookstore!bookstore stairs

You don’t have to go far on the island to find The Black Dog merchandise. You know how there is a Starbucks every few blocks in major cities? That is what it is like with The Black Dog on Martha’s Vineyard. Everywhere you look there is an opportunity to purchase a sweatshirt with the iconic black dog. But, I wanted to see the original tavern. Located in Vineyard Harbor, it became the island’s first year round restaurant when it opened in 1971.The Black Dog signOf course there are even more opportunities to buy Black Dog stuff when you walk to the tavern. Two quintessential East Coast buildings house The Black Dog retail stores. The Black Dog buildingsThe tavern was built by Captain Robert Douglas who decided it was time the islanders had a place to eat throughout the year. You can read more about the history here. It’s located right on the beach and has a great view of the harbor.The Black Dog water sideI loved all the cedar shingled buildings on Martha’s Vineyard. But, my favorite part? The clam chowder in a mug. I rarely eat clam chowder. I love it. But, the calories! I ate clam chowder four separate times on vacation and it was awesome!The Black Dog soupOkay back to the architecture and design! Even the run down buildings had character on Martha’s Vineyard. This one was right next door to the tavern and I thought it was charming.The Black Dog adjacent buildingIn the marina at Vineyard Haven, right outside the tavern, there was a massive yacht, named Vango. There were rumors around town that it’s Oprah Winfrey’s yacht and she parks it there for the summer. Another tourist asked the guard at the marina and he confirmed that it’s hers. yacht at martha's vineyard

I can’t say for sure that this is Oprah’s ride. But, whoever owns this yacht has lots of money! It even has a helicopter landing pad. You can see a little of the red helicopter in this picture. Unfortunately we couldn’t get too close. I found a link that shows the layout and interior of this super yacht. You can see it here. I also found a video of the helicopter landing on the yacht a few years back.

To learn more about Martha’s Vineyard go here. To read my blog post about Cape Cod go here.

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Brooklyn Clock Tower Penthouse

What time is it? Time to take a look at this spectacular clock tower triplex in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. In case you were wondering, DUMBO is an acronym for District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This home is the most expensive condo in Brooklyn. It’s priced to move at $18 million. Sounds funny until you take a look inside and consider this home was listed for $25 million just four years ago. Triplex Clock Condo 1What makes this home truly exceptional is that there are working clocks on four faces of the apartment. Each of the clocks is in its own 14-foot-high round window, offering amazing views! There is also a three-story glass elevator. It’s visible on the right-hand side of the image above. Triplex Clock Condo 2

Here is an exterior shot of the building, the home occupies the top three floors and the terrace at the very top.

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There is no need for art in this apartment, the clocks are like their own works for art. Lest you worry about the clocks showing different times, the four clocks are electronically synchronized to show exactly the same time. Triplex Clock Condo 4

Can you even imagine entertaining in this house? It’s breathtaking. The main floor has 16-foot ceilings, and is 3,000 square feet. Overall the home has 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and over 6,800 square feet.
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Wow! The view from this room shows both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge. I would imagine this is even more beautiful at night.Triplex Clock Condo 6

The kitchen was custom designed by Canova and has white lacquer cabinets, Pietra Cardosa sandstone and stainless steel countertops, and appliances by Gaggenau and Sub-Zero.

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Triplex Clock Condo 8This bathroom is a stunner! Every room in this house seems to have great views.Triplex Clock Condo 9  Triplex Clock Condo 11The terrace overlooks Manhattan’s Financial District. I’m so glad this place is for sale, otherwise I’d probably never get a peek inside!Triplex Clock Condo 10

To read a 2009 New York Times article about this property go here. To see a video go here. To see the listing go here.

Snow Range Cabin Profile

Snowy Range Cabin

Ever dream of selling all of your worldly possessions and downsizing to the mountains? Or looking for a remote getaway? Snowy Range Cabin in Centennial, Wyoming seems like a world away, yet it’s within the budget of many at just $89,900. Located just a mile from town and the Medicine Bow National Forest, this cabin offers both modern day conveniences and a recreational playground.

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It was built in 2002 and has one bedroom, a loft, one bathroom and a kitchen. There’s one catch, it’s just 288 square feet. So, you have to be ready to live simply and without a big group. Although the listing does claim the cabin can sleep four comfortably.

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The lot is elevated and offers breathtaking views of the Snowy Range Mountains, Jelm Mountain, and Lake Hattie. The next owner will also have the opportunity to buy one or two of the adjacent lots.

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I love a little log cabin and this one is just perfect at 12’x24′. A well, septic, and electric, have already been installed. I would love to spend a weekend here! But, I do think I’d feel a little claustrophobic in that sleeping loft. That looks like some tight quarters.Snowy Range Cabin 3

The view through this window is amazing! The home is also located just four miles from Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area.

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To see more of this tiny house go here.

San Francisco Collage

San Francisco’s Most Expensive

This is one of those homes you can dream about if you win the lottery. Like one of the largest jackpots. At $30 million this is the most expensive listing in one of the most expensive places to live in the United States.Pacific Ave San Francisco 1

In the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco, this estate was built in 1894 and is Queen Anne style. The home has 13,500 square feet of living space, 7+ bedrooms and 7+ baths and sits on one of the largest lots in the city at .61 acres.Pacific Ave San Francisco 7My favorite part of this home, the garden solarium, is shown above. This room also has a koi pond!Pacific Ave San Francisco 21

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Pacific Ave San Francisco 23The listing says this home has hosted many fabulous events over the years. I can only imagine this solarium has seen its fair share of great gatherings!Pacific Ave San Francisco 3This home was designed by E. A. Hermann for Captain Hermann Meyer and his wife and eight children. More information about the history of this property can be found here. While I’m so not a fan of the decor, the details and rooms in this home are gorgeous. Pacific Ave San Francisco 9  Pacific Ave San Francisco 2So if you have $30 million dollars to buy a mansion in San Fran, you probably have some spare cash to remodel this kitchen. It’s in desperate need of some updating! Track lighting? I do like the commercial fan over the huge gas cooktops. I do like the layout of this room and how it’s open to a sitting area, breakfast seating, and has lots of windows!Pacific Ave San Francisco 11


Pacific Ave San Francisco 4Here is a part of the house I love just as it is. These built in bookshelves are gorgeous! Although I’d be willing to be the warm lighting on the books is from track lighting. Pacific Ave San Francisco 12The views from this home are crazy! Can you imagine working with a view like this? While I’d love it, it’d be hard to concentrate on work.Pacific Ave San Francisco 5The master bedroom has a fireplace, chandelier, master bathroom en suite and sitting area.  Pacific Ave San Francisco 13  Pacific Ave San Francisco 14Check out this picture window from the third floor’s workout room. Pacific Ave San Francisco 16  This massive estate has multiple terraces and outdoor spaces. What a great place to have your morning coffee and look out over the city.Pacific Ave San Francisco 6

If you’ve ever been to San Francisco you know that space is a premium and this home has lots of space! Pacific Ave San Francisco 19 I love this courtyard space, it looks like a perfect place to meditate.Pacific Ave San Francisco 18 Pacific Ave San Francisco 17

No this isn’t the county park, this is part of this property!Pacific Ave San Francisco 20To learn more about this property visit its website here.

holmby hills reserve collage

Holmby Hills Reserve

Actor Jeremy Renner is a house flipper. Who knew? But, this is no ordinary house flip. This home in the Hollywood Hills recently sold for $24 million, an increase of $17 million in just three years. The Reserve at Holmby Hills 1

The Reserve in Holmby Hills 2This estate has six-bedrooms, 11-baths, and 10,000-square-foot on two acres. Renner’s business partner is actor Kristoffer Winters. Together they’ve flipped more than 20 homes in the past 12 years.

The Reserve in Holmby Hills 3They were going for a 21st century Great Gatsby feel with this remodel and I think they’ve succeeded. This home is amazing.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 6

The Reserve in Holmby Hills 4 In addition to all of the art deco pieces, there is a lot of greenery in this home. They’ve carved out an interesting seating area behind the couch.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 5Here is my favorite room in the house. Can you even imagine entertaining here? That may be the most gorgeous home bar I’ve ever seen. More beautiful than a restaurant!

The Reserve in Holmby Hills 11 Usually with these homes, I try to give you just 1-2 images per room. But, these are all so beautiful I had a hard time cutting some of these out. Each picture shows something unique. This next shot gives you a good idea of the layout of this room.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 8But, how could I not include this? We get a good look at these amazing chairs. It kind of reminds me of Restoration Hardware’s Aviator Chair. They even have a similar couch. The movie star prints add to the old Hollywood glamour of this home.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 9  I love this room and the large windows overlooking the pool. There are lots of places to lounge and dine in this estate. This great room is open to the kitchen.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 14 The Reserve in Holmby Hills 13 The dining room is equally as gorgeous The floor to ceiling windows are so dramatic.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 12If you’re going to have a super glamourous Hollywood estate, you absolutely must have a screening room with red velvet curtains.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 17And of course it must open to the outdoors. Wow!The Reserve in Holmby Hills 18 Here is the backyard view that shows the windows that were visible in the great room and dining room.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 16 The terrace is begging to host an amazing outdoor party. I would imagine the square footage of this terrance is equal to an average size home.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 15  Next comes his and her bathrooms, and many bedrooms. The man of the house even has a barber chair in his home. Makes perfect sense. If you’re a super famous movie star, you can’t be bothered going to the salon to get your hair done.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 23 Her closet has marble in it. Interesting that they staged this area with fresh flowers and one item of lingerie. The Reserve in Holmby Hills 22 Can you even imagine doing your makeup here? Wow.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 21

Next are three bedrooms with access to the spectacular grounds. Again the furnishings remind me of Restoration Hardware. Probably even more expensive though. But, similar trunks can be found there.The Reserve in Holmby Hills 26 The Reserve in Holmby Hills 25 The Reserve in Holmby Hills 24

To read more about this house visit Variety, to see even more images of this house visit its website.

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Converted Church in Mount Kisco

This converted church in Mount Kisco, New York, looks more like a Thomas Kinkade painting then a residential home. While I’m not a fan of paintings of picturesque homes, I’d love to live in something this beautiful. What curb appeal! I would purposefully go somewhere every evening so I could return at dusk and see this setting. Converted Church 1The 2,772 square foot home was recently on the market for $549,900, but was pulled off last month. The structure was built in 1903 and it has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. It has stained glass windows, cathedral ceilings, 3 fireplaces and wide plank floors. Converted Church 3This layout shows the flow of the home. I’d be curious how they use the great hall since they already have a living room and family room. Converted Church 9So clearly this home needs a little updating. Someone needs to strip that wallpaper stat! But, I can see it has a brick fireplace in the dining area and the kitchen is pretty open to this room.Converted Church 4There is even more wallpaper to strip in the galley kitchen. It looks like they had to update the hardwoods in the kitchen. Such a pet peeve of mine, two different hardwoods in adjoining rooms!Converted Church 5The next two images are all bedroom shots. I like how the home has lot of curves, and fireplaces. I don’t like how much wallpaper is here! Someone really loved wallpaper. I like how these hardwoods are stained darker. These may be some of the widest plank hardwoods I’ve ever seen.Converted Church 6  Converted Church 7To see more images of this converted church home visit Zillow.


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Engine House No. 7

This converted firehouse in our nation’s capitol is hot! Engine House No. 7 was put into service in 1885. This home was an active fire station until the early 1970s. Then is was sold to a family that manufactures harpsichords.

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According to the listing, “since 1992, Engine House No. 7 has functioned as the home gallery, studio and residence for renowned sculpture-artist Craig Kraft.” 
firehouse warehouseArtist Craig Kraft is a neon light sculptor. His website says he is “one of only a handful of light artists in the world who bends his own glass and is respected for his ability to precisely manipulate the figure and light to capture his own artistic vision.”firehouse studioBesides getting to look at this cool house, it’s neat to see how the artist’s work is on display in his own home. These large statement pieces look great on the exposed brick.firehouse diningThe home has 6,267 square feet of space and still has many of the original details from the time it was a working firehouse including: wooden lockers, floors, exposed masonry and a brass fireman’s pole!

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There are three bedrooms, two baths, a loft space and other sleeping areas. Additionally there are two one-bedroom in-law apartments. firehouse kitchen
Even more artwork is visible on the landing of the stairs.

firehouse great room

The sink in this bathroom is fun, there is room for three!firehouse bathroom
The rooftop space is amazing! Engine House No. 7 is for sale for $2.65 million.firehouse roofTo visit the listing click here.
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Patterson Mansion

If you have a spare $26 million and a love for history, this home may be for you! This Washington D.C. mansion is not only prominently placed at 15 DuPont Circle, it is also the former residence of President and Mrs. Coolidge. dupont 2The marble and brick neoclassic Italianate style estate was built in 1901 and has 36,470 square feet. With four-stories, 16 bedrooms, 8 full baths and 7 half baths, you’ll never run out of space. The home was designed by renowned architect Stanford White for Robert and Nellie Patterson, who owned the Chicago Tribune. According to the home’s website, when planning the build, they requested “an impressive exterior and grand interiors suitable for entertaining on a large scale.”dupont 3They asked for grand interiors, and you can’t get much grander than this. The marble stairway leads to a landing with a marble fountain!dupont 4The main living areas in the Patterson Mansion are on the second level including the “paneled living room, gracious dining room and stunning ballroom complete with orchestra balcony.” dupont 6

dupont 5Can you imagine that this ballroom was a part of someone’s private home? dupont 7In 1927 the Patterson Mansion was the temporary home to President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge while the White House was being renovated. During this time they hosted Charles Lindbergh following his historic transatlantic flight. I’m sure Lindbergh received many accolades from dignitaries while socializing in this room!dupont 8It was on the front steps that Lindbergh addressed the crowds that gathered to get a peek at the popular aviator.

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To learn much more about this estate go here. To see the listing details go here.