Thursday, April 21, 2011

A New Farmhouse

Located in Maryland, this is one of the best examples of a new house made to look old I have ever seen. A sense of rambling elegance is certainly evident with this Federal Style farmhouse. The house seems to have simple additions made over the years that stressed function over formality. 

Master Bedrooms on the ground floor are certainly becoming popular, however, the placement of this one behind the kitchen is somewhat questionable. How can the rumble of the washer and the beeping of the microwave create a quiet and still master suite?
This house displays a wonderful crispness. With its white walls, warm and inviting wood floors, as well as the plethora of windows make it exceptionally light and bright.
This transom window is perfectly placed! While the exterior may seem choppy, the interior spaces allow for easy and informal living.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Updated California Style

Located near Newport Beach's Back Bay, this home creates an ideal environment within a cookie cutter neighborhood. 
Behind the tall, white walls is the very California friendly front yard. My favorite part of the whole composition is the use of decomposed granite as the main ground cover. While an emerald turf may be the picture most people hold as the ideal, the native and potted garden elements add plenty of style and finesse to the landscape. Decomposed granite also enables the foreground to be used as a bocce ball court, which is always a fun game!
While animal print may not be my favorite fabric, the heavy yet light beams and the rock surrounding the fireplace sets this room apart.
This kitchen is sleek and functional; the large window, open shelves, and unique pendant light add to the light and breezy casual chicness of this kitchen.

A splendid milieu of old and new reside both in and outside of this house. From the Monterrey inspired overhanging porch to the stainless appliances, this home has that ever elusive quality - a highly developed sense of taste.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The latest Laguna Beach home to hit the market is a 32 million dollar contemporary craftsman stunner. One of only a handful of houses that can call the Montage Laguna Beach home, 33 Shreve takes the cake. I have always loved the simple and graceful lines of craftsman and their arts and crafts style English cousins, yet this new infusion piques my interest. Modernity is inevitable, yet can easily be datable since "modern" architecture is constantly evolving.

The disappearing doors caught my fancy immediately. Indoor and outdoor life should easily commingle in Orange County, especially at a seaside resort.

The cool and harsh modern lines are tempered by the rich woods and walls of glass. The most striking part of the composition are the garage doors; they are PERFECT.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wallace Neff 1968

Circa 1968, this Wallace Neff home embodies his traditional style while still looking towards the future.
The large, blank facade is classic Neff. This style harkens his massive, sprawling Pasadena estates from the 20's and 30's. This home also has a massive pitched roof that first mad its appearance post World War II in Neff's work. The rich beams further the ties to the past, just as the walls of windows provide a glimpse into the homes of the future.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The English Tradition

Maybe it is just the romantic inside me, but when I think of England, I think of lush green hillsides dotted by stone cottages and the occasional Palladian masterpiece. After doing some real estate searching I have come to the realization that architecture has progressed in the British Isles; some might say this is for the better, while to others this is a cause of much chagrin.
Obviously the 80's are alive and well in this kitchen. I think I can see Daryl Hannah hiding in the corner.

This property boasts a view "to London." I cannot seem to find a skyline in this picture but I must say it is a wonderful view. Perhaps the view is meant to draw our attention away from the garish interior that does not reflect the traditional English craftsmanship. Money untempered by time can only create one thing: homes like this.

It is a pity to lose an architectural heritage that formed out of the Pax Britannica; let us look upon some homes that have not fallen to the new fads.
Whether rambling or perfectly proportioned, the homes of England belong to the land. They are part of their landscape and meld with it as one. If only these ancient traditions could be carried on today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sea Crest

Located in the Sea Crest neighborhood of the guard gated community Crystal Cove (which really means 'I drive a Hummer and a black Mercedes with black rims, black leather, and tinted windows') this tract home provides a breath of fresh air as it sets itself apart from its neighbors.
The "Versailles" pattern travertine, or should I say travertine in general is very 2005. Whenever I see it I think of the Real Housewives of Orange County - a little dry and very tired looking. What about some beautiful terra cotta as seen here? It's the same old terra cotta but in provincial patterns!

Let us note the glass fronted refrigerator; I would prefer arranging the food inside to having a wall of stainless steel any day of the week.

There is ONE reason I remember this house and it is because of it's flooring. The stark white walls allow you to enjoy the unique stain and because this house is on the wrong side of the street to enjoy a full ocean view, the flooring provides a nice distraction and bring your eye to the rear canyon view.

Another reason this house is special is because of it's massive second story terrace! This house is a perfect example of how proper massing is important. This house is vary large as it is approximately 5,517 square feet, but from the street it seems much more manageable. The plan is long, low, and lean - perfect for taking advantage of the cool coastal breezes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Mullet House

They say that there is only a finite number of real stories in the world and new meets old is one of them. Traditional design elements bring a grounding effect to a home while many people want to follow the latest and greatest trend. In 2008, Hamptons Cottages and Gardens Magazine brought us their latest idea house in Sagaponack, New York.
This home was originally a 3,000 square foot farmhouse built 150 years ago. This home was very traditional, however in its 2008 facelift the traditional facade was given a modern addition. Can you say business in the front and party in the back?
I apologize for the poor quality of some of these pictures but HC&G does not seem to understand the phrase "share with others."
I'm a front porch kind of guy; it's just nice to be sociable out doors.
I seem to have played down my floor plan obsession on here, but rest assured that more are sure to come!

I can just imagine receiving people in this home and just throwing open all the doors of the great room and just having people trickle in and out as they please. This house will always be easily connected with the outdoors with the expanses of glass and sliding doors. Anyone up for a Hamptons road trip yet?