Archive | House Tours

Virtual tours of modern, historic and celebrity homes and their outdoor spaces.

Modern Outdoor Showers

modern outdoor showers - poolside deck shower with MGS stainless steel floor mounted CB406 shower against a wood plinth - MGS via Atticmag

Flat and square with an emphasis on their shapes and surfaces, modern outdoor showers are just a bit showy.

There’s something wonderfully elemental about showering outdoors on a hot, sunny day whether you’ve just taken a swim in a friend’s pool, or you’ve stripped down in the privacy of your own yard after working up a sweat in the garden. But this collection of modern outdoor showers suggests something a bit more formal — a level of luxury geared to impress and be used by guests. That’s not to say they are elaborate. Quite the opposite.

On an elaborately planked and planted deck, alongside an infinity pool, a towering 8-foot tall, wooden slab is the anchor for an supremely elegant outdoor shower [top].… Continue Reading

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Celebrity Kitchens Are Just Like Ours

celebrity kitchens - Tommy Mottola and Thalia’s white and stainless steel kitchen with pro ovens - AD via Atticmag

Are celebrity kitchens just like ours? The answer is yes, and why is something of a surprise.

When I saw these four celebrity kitchens in Architectural Digest I thought to myself: they re not especially formal, they have a variety of styles, and they were created according to the needs and wishes of the owners. That’s what makes them just like ours.

Take the all-white kitchen, with stainless steel accents, [top] in the Greenwich, Connecticut home of Mexican pop star Thalia and her Casablanca Records exec husband Tommy Mottola (Mariah Carey’s ex). With two small children and a love of entertaining, the expansive kitchen fits Thalia’s definition of informal luxury — “we cook, we eat, we have music,” the singer said. … Continue Reading

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Danish Coastal Cottage Style

coastal cottage - black painted exterior of Danish coastal cottage in typical black and white Gilleleje regional style - femina.dk via atticmag

An adorable coastal cottage, north of Copenhagen, lures me with a simple style that’s typically Danish.

I’ve often wondered why I see so many black and white interiors coming out of Scandinavia — notably the stunning kitchen with glossy black cabinets that I featured in my post Dark Kitchen Drama. Then last week,  I came across a modest coastal cottage in the Danish town of Gilleleje, within commuting distance to Copenhagen. All in black and white, it had a wonderfully graphic runner and curtains in a hallway near the kitchen. I included that photo in my post on Switching Up Black and White Stripes, then went back for a closer look.… Continue Reading

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Architectural Museum Garden

architectural museum garden - walkway approach to Robert Irwin designed garden at DIA Foundation, Beacon, NY - atticmag

Views of an architectural museum garden designed by a 20th century contemporary artist.

My passion for gardens was ignited last week with a visit to the DIA Art Foundation. A boutique modern art museum in New York’s Hudson Valley, DIA  Beacon opened in 2003 in a 300,000 square foot former Nabisco box printing factory overlooking the Hudson River. An architectural museum garden is relatively rare — especially one designed by an artist whose work is featured in that museum. But the commission went to Robert Irwin, a Los Angeles artist who I happened to know during my time as an art student at UCLA, my alma mater.… Continue Reading

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Holiday Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

holiday kitchen cleaning - cleaning the kitchen - cleaning-services via atticmag

Five pre-holiday kitchen cleaning must-dos. Five things that can wait. Plus some of my favorite kitchen cleaning products.

Families can get a little snoopy when they visit relatives especially during the holidays. Someone will open a kitchen drawer or a pantry cabinet and get a little judgmental about what they see. It rarely becomes a big deal but, as we all know, unless someone says “this is the cleanest kitchen I’ve ever seen,” a little offhand remark can sting. All this is on my mind since we’re having two family visits this week. And with Thanksgiving and Christmas in view, early Fall may be the best time to get the holiday kitchen cleaning list done so the house is ready for company quickly.… Continue Reading

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Long Barn Gardens

long barn gardens - Historic house in Sevenoaks Weald, Kent - period living via atticmag

In England, a historic home distinguished by its 20th century garden designers, has been taken on by a new generation.

From 1915 to 1930, British diplomat Harold Nicolson and his wife, the poet and writer Vita Sackville-West, lived on an eight acre property in Sevenoaks Weald, Kent, known as Long Barn. Sackville-West, who may be the most famous and revered gardener of the 20th century, also wrote an influential weekly gardening column for The Observer newspaper at the time.

But when it came to creating gardens, the couple worked as a team. And while they are best known for the monumental garden at Sissinghurst Castle, it was at Long Barn gardens where their distinctive style was developed.… Continue Reading

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