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Real Estate Porn: Santorini Edition

6 Nov

Santorini is definitely on my short list for dream vacation spots. This gorgeous R.E.P. is actually a 9-room hotel that is perfect for a romantic getaway. 

Magic is in the details at Astarte Suites, beginning with the twinkling Swarovski stones that adorn the ceiling above each suite’s Jacuzzi pool, ending with the personalized service each guest enjoys. Surrounded by soothing shades of white and stone, guests are sure to find bliss here. During their precious down time, guests can relax and unwind next to Astarte’s stunning turquoise infinity swimming pool, which overlooks the Aegean Sea’s tranquil blue waters and nearby rocky cliffs. Leisure and cultural options abound nearby, such as in Akrotiri, an ancient city buried and preserved by volcanic ash-known as the Pompeii of the Greek islands-and at Red Beach and White Beach, the ultimate locales for a spectacular day of fun in the sun.”

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How do you say “absolutely gorgeous!” in Greek?


My Spinster Apartment

3 Nov

If I end up all alone with nothing but my cats and dozens of nieces and nephews to keep me company (wait let’s be real. That “if” should be a “when”), this is what my apartment will look like!

Very cute, clean, and feminine!

Real Estate Porn: Sydney Edition

3 Nov

G’day mates! This little beauty features a gorgeous pool and an even better view of the land down under!

Again this is pretty modern for me. I think when are architects mix modern lines with natural materials, I find it more tolerable. Here’s what the architects have to say about this one:

The building is a simple rectilinear form of concrete and masonry construction, carefully layered with timber battening and sandstone cladding to present a modern home with a focus on natural materials and clear design principles. The interior finishes incorporate American Oak timber floors to the living areas, Serena Grey honed stone floors to the circulation areas, Capricorn Walnut veneered joinery, white polyurethane cupboards, Raven Caesarstone island benchtops and Nero fossil stone slabs in the bathrooms to create a contemporary, sophisticated interior with a warm inviting feel. Energy saving options were adopted including an operable skylight over the central core allowing natural light and ventilation, timber slated screens provide sun control, concrete floors and roof to provide thermal mass and low E glazing to the external windows and doors.”

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Real Estate Porn: UK Edition

1 Nov

It only seems fitting that my first new post be a Real Estate Porn post. This particular house is a little too modern for my taste, but I decided it was post worthy because before it was a clean and shiny modern abode, it was a 15th century barn!

Here’s what the architect had to say:

“The bedroom block is stepped in across the width of the site to allow a visual link out into the rear garden from the dining space. The house was conceived as a separate sleeping block linked to the barn via a glazed entrance piece allowing the mass of the original barn to breathe. The retained structure of the barn has been revealed, with the internal space for living expressed as a single volume.

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New Traditional Design

22 Apr

I stumbled across an Apartment Therapy interview with designer Jeff Andrews about how he would define the new traditional style that is becoming increasingly popular with young people. He says new traditional design is for people want to live in an environment that is beautifully composed, while remaining livable and attainable. Sounds good (and looks good) to me! Check out examples of new traditional design below!

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Tips for Keeping Your Space Tidy

21 Apr

Whether you live in a house, an apartment, a dorm room, or your parents’ basement things get messy. Whether you live alone, with roommates, or with children things get messy. Mail, dishes, bills, laundry- they all pile up. I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. Even your friend whose apartment is ALWAYS spotless if probably guilty of it.

Because I come from a family that could probably headline the next season of hoarders, I am particularly conscious of clutter and mess. If my space is messy I get unbelievably stressed out (so basically I’m stressed out all the time… haha). Cleaning and tidying up is actually therapeutic for me. It assures me that I did not inherit the hoarder gene.

I’ve come across several blogs that have tips for keeping your space tidy. A lot of these are common sense things, things we heard our moms tell us (regardless of the example they themselves set), and things we know that we should do, but being a lover of lists- I thought it would be handy to aggregate a few of them that I’ve found particularly helpful into one place!

1) Put Something Back After You’re Done Using It

This is the lesson every parent tries (but ultimately fails at) teaching their child. But don’t punish yourself if you could never get the hand of it. Sure it takes some discipline and determination, but maybe there’s another reason for your bad behavior. Does the object in question need to be shoved into an already overstuffed closet? Does it live on top of a high shelf? Is there a specific reason you don’t put it away right away? If your answer is just laziness, buck up and get yourself a red bull or something. But if you can relate to the stuffed closet/high shelf dilemma, maybe it’s time to reconsider the organization of your space or at least where you keep the object in question, which leads to…

2) Keep things where you use them

Sounds like common sense, but keeping things in the most convenient place isn’t always what we do. Think about why you don’t put things away (see #1) and also think about the things you don’t do because gathering the necessary supplies is a chore. Or as things like this occur, realize your space may be in need of reorganization. Find a new place for your difficult objects to live and see if that makes life a little simpler…

3) Quality Over Quantity

Yes you could buy those $10.00 jeans from Forever 21 instead of the more expensive pair you really want, but how long are they going to last really? (BTW- 99% of my clothes come from Forever 21…) The same concept applies to your home. Instead of buying a half dozen sets of cheap sheets from Walmart, splurge a little and get two sets (one for the wash and one for the bed) that will last a lot longer, reduce clutter, and really give you bang for your buck! (This is definitely a concept my previously mentioned relatives need to grasp!)

4) Use a “landing strip”

This has been the single most helpful decluttering tip I’ve ever received. A landing strip is a small table or designated area near your front door that acts as a catch all when you walk in. It’s so easy to walk in and throw your keys and mail and who knows what else on the kitchen table and that’s where the clutter piles up. It’s not only a place to put down the mail and the keys, it’s also a launch pad where you can put stuff that you’re planning to take with you the next day. While this may seem to be more of an organizing tip rather than a cleaning tip, once I started using it, I found that it was much less likely that I was going to rip apart the apartment looking for my keys when I’m already running 10 minutes behind. I started out my day on the right foot, came home to a calm home and I felt relaxed. Since I put this into practice my landing strip has since been re-purposed as a TV stand and I am desperately searching for a new one that will function within my space.

Man + Candle = Mandle

20 Apr

Hey boys are you sick and tired of your home smelling like fresh cut hydrangea, Tahitian tiare flower, and pomegranate cider? Then you need a Mandle.

These candles burn the essence of masculinity and infuse your home with the macho stench of your choice. Options include:

Amsterdam (figure it out), Auto Shop, Campfire Smoke,  Dirt,  Gunpowder,  Kegger, Meat and Potatoes, Pizza, Bacon, Tailgate, and Wood Shop.

Take back your home and slather it in testosterone today!

(PS: I can think of several individuals that these would make great gifts for…)

Real Estate Porn: Costa Rican Edition Part II

31 Mar

This gorgeous home is called Villa Mayana and is located near Hermosa Beach in Costa Rica. It has 6 double bedrooms, 2 living rooms and 2 dining rooms and can accommodate up to 16 people. The lowest rental price per week (for 6 people) is $12,699.98.

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Here’s what the architect Enrique Barascout has to say about the project:

is a perfect hideaway of absolute privacy and comfort. The main entrance features a covered walkway over a 2.000 square foot reflecting pool of black volcanic candistone. Lined with columns of white palimanan sandstone, the walkways lead to the East and West bedroom suites which flank the great room, the villa‘s central focal point. Construction followed a deliberate theme of rustic simplicity through the selection of natural materials such as sandstone, bamboo and Cristobal wooden doors and flooring. The result is a blend of casual elegance and comfortable luxury.”

Real Estate Porn: Argentinian Edition

16 Feb

This is not my typical style at all! I do love modern design, but I also think there’s a point where modern becomes a little too geometric and minimalist for my taste. For some reason this home, which seems to fall into the geometric/minimalist category, still strikes me as beautiful and interesting. Also- those mountain views are gorgeous!!!

It looks like some kind of supervillain’s lair in a spy thriller!!!

Maybe I like it because the interiors remind me a little bit of Milwaukee’s own Brise Soleil (a.k.a. the Calatrava. Calatrava was the architect people, the Brise Soleil is what he named the building. Sigh.)

Great big open concept room- me likey! My favorite part is the stairs, not sure why. Maybe the natural stone/wood contrast?

Love the natural stone again and big soaking tub!

Designer Hotels

14 Feb

The world of design knows no limits. If you design beautiful clothing, there’s no good reason why you can’t also design a beautiful bedroom. This is the logic some hotels are following when they ask famous fashion designers to design their suites. See the works of Armani, Lacroix, Oscar de la Renta, Versace and Ralph Lauren below!

Oscar de la Renta- Puntacana, Dominican Republic


Donatella Versace- Queensland, Australia


Giorgio Armani- Dubai (This hotel is housed in Burj Khalifa- the tallest building in the world)


Christian Lacroix- Paris


Ralph Lauren- Montego Bay, Jamaica

Gorgeous right? So which designer would you want to design your bedroom?

Real Estate Porn: St. Barts Edition

10 Feb

This gorgeous villa is available as a rental on the island of St. Barts. The very modern vacation home has five bedrooms, a living room which opens onto the terrace and sunny deck, a wine cellar, a heated infinity pool, a water fall stone garden and it comes furnished with contemporary furniture. You can reserve just one room for as low as $2,142 per night, or the whole villa for $11,428 per night.

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Hot Trend in Interiors: Dramatic and Intense Floral Prints

10 Feb

Dramatic and intense floral prints are popping up everywhere- wallpaper, fabric, furniture, accessories, you name it!

These are some of my favs recently highlighted by apartment therapy!

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Real Estate Porn: Nicholas Cage Edition

28 Jan

I am so confused. How can a man who is such a terrible actor, who makes such awful awful movies, have this gorgeous of a house. He must have a decorator. If he had it his way his house would look like a trashy Hogwarts. Anyways, the home, located in Las Vegas and worth $8.9 million, features seven bedrooms, a home theater, an impressive spa, a gigantic pool, and a 16- car garage (Eleanor needs her breathing room!).

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Real Estate Porn: Hawaiian Edition

26 Jan

If it’s in Hawaii you know it’s got to be good! Of course this beauty has a pool and a view. It also has two master suites, six guest rooms, a media room, library, home office and separate caretaker’s quarters, a Jacuzzi, a yoga pavilion and an exercise room. All this and more for $23.8 million!

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Real Estate Porn: Montana Edition

25 Jan

This little beauty combines modern aesthetic with rustic materials. In my opinion a match made in heaven.

Here’s what the designers had to say:

“Although some would argue that the words rustic and modern should not belong in the same sentence, this modern rustic Montana home is proof that the two can coexist, beautifully. Ample use of wood and stone help the home blend nicely with the heavily wood lot. Bold geometry was carefully combined with traditional log home elements in a way that is sensitive to the environment. Sustainable materials were selected wherever possible. Soaring floor to ceiling glass like a movie screen, establish an intimate connection with the natural environment beyond.  Curved decks and balconies help soften the transition to the landscape while the extensive use of curved cable railings from Keuka Studios contribute to a unique personality.”

Skyline Curtains

25 Jan

These curtains designed by Cristian Zuzunaga are cute, colorful, and when pulled shut can almost look like a giant art piece. You could even steal the idea and make your own modeled after the city you live in. Me gusta mucho!

Real Estate Porn: Latvia Edition

21 Jan

This REP consists of strictly interiors, which is odd because usually all REP’s must have a view and pool. But these interesting and colorful (yet masculine) designs caught my eye. (Also I don’t think Latvia has much for views and pools).

“The (owner) is a bright and unusual personality, and likes adventures and traveling, but still appreciates home comfort. These factors made us create an interior brightly reflecting the personality of the owner and keeping the mysterious and intriguing environment of the location…Sharply thinking about planning design, we decided to fill our interior space with art objects and accessories, elegant and exotic decorations: glass column, bar, furniture with mirror elements, aquarium with reflection effect. We used the following materials: wood, glass, stainless steel, fur, natural stone. Our aim was to create a modern, comfortable, luxury interior design, which corresponded to the flat’s owner – a gentleman (an adventurer).”

Real Estate Porn: Austin Edition Part 2

20 Jan

Here’s another beautiful home in Austin, Texas (which I recently visited!). The nice water features are what caught my eye with this one.

From the architects:

The challenge was to develop a sensitive and inventive result out of a pre-existing condition. Through the use of glass, steel, detailing and light the home has been adaptively reinvented. Reflection, translucency, color and geometry conspire to bring natural light deep into the house. A new solarium, pool, and vegetative roof are tuned to interact with the natural context. Exterior materials and refined detailing of the roof structure give the volume clean lines and a bold presence, while abstracting the form of the original dormers and gable roof.

Not Your Mama’s Dining Room

19 Jan

I was just telling a friend how much I love the recent trend in dining room furniture that calls for soft or mismatched dining room chairs. No more straight backed, uncomfortable, boring wooden ones! (Of course this could be a case of an old trend finding a second wind… This kinda seems like something the hippies would do. I’m not 100% positive on that one though). I found these three picks at Apartment Therapy and love them!

Real Estate Porn: Australia Edition Part 3

19 Jan

I’ve written about amazing Australian houses once or twice before. Here’s the third chapter. There are two things the Aussies got right for sure- architecture and mittens!!!

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