Archive | House Tours

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

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


My LED Light Bulb Moment

LED light bulbs - eyeball accent lights in the tv room - Atticmag

Finding the right LED light bulb became an exercise in absurdity this week. I thought I understood new lighting tech.

Two of the ceiling lights in our TV room burned out a few days ago. And while that may sound like a domestic detail hardly worth noting, what with beheadings in the news and the ebola virus spreading, this one small event has taken on a larger significance. So I hope you will indulge me while I break today from talking about kitchen design or chair styles. I want to explore why changing a lightbulb now requires a 22-year investment, a magnifying glass to read the fine print, and an email to the electrician to be sure the house won’t burn down.… Continue Reading


Outdoor Stone Fireplaces

outdoor stone fireplaces - fireplace with steel awning in a wall - roche and roche via atticmag

This group of outdoor fireplaces offer unique stone looks and a few surprises.

This last month of summer has been cool, especially at night. So the weather has been perfect for sitting outdoors around a fireplace and the coming months will get better, one by one, straight through to Halloween. But some of the best examples of outdoor stone fireplaces come from western and southern climates where they are prime features of stunning landscaped exterior living spaces that can be used year-round.

Stone is key to fireplace architecture. The color, size, type and texture is critical to the character and style of any fireplace and there can be a surprising amount of variation.… Continue Reading


Dogtrot House Chic

Exterior view of an antebellum Georgia dogtrot house - gardenandgun via atticmag

On an impressive estate in Georgia, 19th C attached cabins are tastefully redecorated.

One fascinating American country home style is known as a dogtrot house. Somewhere between a camp and a cottage it’s a supremely rustic dwelling that borders on the primitive. A phenomenon of the pre-Civil War south, a breezeway house, as it is also known, consists of log cabins connected by a covered bridge or walkway that functions as a hall. Like some homes in tropical climates, living spaces are not fully connected and screens play an important role. This 1840s dogtrot was acquired in Kentucky and moved near Madison, Georgia where it was extensively rebuilt and decorated by the owners, a former utility and exec turned nurseryman and his wife, an interior designer.… Continue Reading


More Lake Camp in Maine

View from the back of the Maine Lake Camp - Atticmag

See the rest of the rustic family lake camp house in part two of our tour.

This week, I traveled (virtually) north to visit my friend Marsha’s idyllic summer cottage – called a camp. The first half of the Lake Camp house tour began with a view of the back entrance [also above] because that’s the scenic side.

But I also want to show what the house looks like in front – where the twig ‘Welcome’ sign hangs. I think it’s so charming.  And see those small windows? That’s the guest room, where I’ll take you shortly.

Inside, there’s a great room, with a hallway leading to the master bedroom, and a loft above.… Continue Reading


Lake Camp in Maine

lake camp cottage in Maine - Atticmag

A rustic lake camp cottage is low maintenance and designed for carefree summer family living.

The notion of “unplugging” in a house by a lake is one way to live a less frenetic life. What better place to do that than a lakeside home in Maine? There, my pal Marsha and her husband, Lin, renovated an old camp house.  “We love it here,” she told me by email (not everyone needs to disconnect completely). “I stay from Memorial Day to Labor Day with my husband coming back and forth using his vacation days. All my children and grandkids come in July.… Continue Reading