Archive | House Tours

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

Fernando Caruncho Minimalist Gardens

fernando caruncho - an autumn garden with brillant maple leaf color behind the hedges - house & garden via atticmag

Reflecting pools, clipped hedges, olive trees and cypress are typical of the Fernando Caruncho style.

About five years ago I clipped a garden with exquisite fall color from a magazine and scanned the pages for reference. The only notes I made was the name of the landscape architect: Fernando Caruncho. Spain’s premier “gardener,” as Caruncho has referred to himself, is a “minimalist” whose landscapes are rooted in geometry. Reflecting pools, clipped hedges, olive trees and cypress are typical of the Fernando Caruncho style. Caruncho’s gardens are serene and ordered. Even when they are flamboyant maples blazing with color [top] behind a stepped, squared off hedge, the color is balanced by water and space.  … Continue Reading


Movie Maker’s Minimalist Mansion

minimalist mansion - The third floor master bedroom of film maker Michael Bay’s modern house in LA. has panoramic city views - Architectural Digest via Atticmag

Film director Michael Bay’s minimalist mansion offers panoramic views and palatial, sparely furnished rooms.

When someone builds a three-story, 30,000 square foot house (yes, 30K) on an eight acre lot overlooking Los Angeles, the result is designed for maximum effect. That’s the kind of space usually found in castles and châteaux though the exclusive Bel Air neighborhood is famed for its expansive private estates. The owner of the house, film director Michael Bay, is a hit movie maker whose credits include Armageddon and the Transformers. So it’s not unreasonable to expect a big budget house with a unique design, panoramic views, and 100% Hollywood features like a screening room and luxury prop museum/garage.… Continue Reading


Making Sense of Buying Bed Sheets

buying bed sheets - second skin fern green king bed sheet set - Atticmag

We spend a third of our lives asleep. That’s why buying bed sheets merits of our attention and a little research.

I’ve read at least six guides to buying bed sheets and all of them left me with more questions than answers. None gave specifics about how to choose high quality sheets. And savvy shoppers have wised up to the thread-count marketing game that suggests high thread count equals quality when, in fact, that’s no guarantee.

So for a long time I’ve been looking for a textile industry expert who can provide specifics about bed sheet quality. Why? Well, think about it: Based on hours we spend sleeping, bed linens arguably get heavier use — but often less buying scrutiny — than clothes, towels, sofas, cars or even computers.… Continue Reading


One Stunning Garden Bench

garden bench - Lutyens Thakeham teak bench - Kinglsey Bates via Atticmag

Large or small, modern or antique, a stunning garden bench enhances even the most beautiful outdoor space.

How wonderful it is to sit on a garden bench and enjoy being surrounded by the natural vegetation and blooms. Even the fabulous Scampston Hall Walled Garden in northern England was designed with special garden seating. A landscape architect knows which furniture is needed for a garden but, for the rest of us,  finding the right garden bench is akin to shopping for a living room sofa. Size, color, style and the overall look of a bench needs to align with the garden’s mood.… Continue Reading


7 Outdoor Home Décor Ideas

outdoor home décor ideas - whitewashed swinging Porch bed - Southern Living via Atticmag

Summer’s here — prime time for outdoor home décor projects to do yourself or hire out.

This year my outdoor home décor projects have been very modest because two long cold winters created so much work in the flowerbeds. But the rotting doors on our shed were replaced. Plus I found an hour to refresh my antique iron porch chair and umbrella stand with spray paint. But I’ve been busy looking around to see what else might be feasible. Apart from the bbq, our patio is bare.

#1 Swinging Porch Bed. My front porch is, unfortunately, not deep enough for a swinging porch bed like the whitewashed one [top] installed in the Southern Living Idea House.… Continue Reading


Scampston Hall Walled Garden

walled gardens - oval fountain in the Perennial meadow of the Scampston Estate Walled Garden - Undated Handout Photo of a Scampston Walled Garden - Photo Phil Tatler/

The Scampston Estate Walled Garden was designed in a modern style with woodland plants and ornamental grasses.

The walled garden at Scampston Hall is one of two must-see gardens in northern England. On the grounds of a Regency country house in Yorkshire, the house and garden has been in the hands of the same family for more than 300 years. Like many stately British homes, public tours of Scampston’s walled garden, as well as the house with its own formal gardens, are available to anyone planning summer travel in England. The house and gardens are open to the public from April to November (Tuesday through Sunday).… Continue Reading