🧑🏼🎨📚 Life of Leisure
This year, I didn’t make any New Years resolutions. It felt like too much to try to commit to something for an entire year, when I can barely commit to waking up without hitting the snooze button several times tomorrow morning. My only goal for myself has been to stop being Pandemic Fine™️.
One of the biggest things keeping me Pandemic Fine™️ is the state of the spaces in my house. So much of the house has been in limbo while we’ve been planning for renovations. We haven’t invested in making things better in the meantime… and that’s how I’ve been treating a lot of my life. So I’m working on making space both literally and figuratively for the things that are going to inject more joy and relaxation and creativity into my life.
Here are some of the homes for sale this week that have elicited similar feelings in me.
The Spanish Eclectic Estate
Location: 22 Roble Rd, Berkeley, CA 94705
List Price: $12,000,000
If I close my eyes and imagine the kind of retreat that a badass female artist or writer would live in, the McDuffie Estate is precisely what I see. It is an idyllic escape on almost an acre tucked away on a quiet street in Berkeley.
After falling into disrepair, this 1920s home was beautifully restored and renovated by Fisher Architecture about 10 years ago and given new life. You can read more about the renovation here. It’s easy to see why the current owners saw so much potential in the home. It has so many entrancing details. The most captivating place in the home has to be the living room with its high, patterned ceiling, elegantly carved details, built-in bookcases, and huge arched french doors that open to the garden.
I also love the dining room with its warm terracotta hue, dramatic arched ceiling, french doors, and beautifully maintained fireplace. This home has a wonderful mixture of old and new that draws out so much of the romance of the original details of the home while bringing a better balance to the secondary spaces. It has a timeless elegance with the modern additions rooted in the history of the home.
Even the grounds of this property are just as grand and transportive. It’s difficult to look out at the garden and remember: “ah yes, this is Berkeley.” You might just look up from your leisurely swim in the pool and think that you were in Seville.
The Georgian Manor
Location: 71 Old Tappan Rd, Locust Valley, NY 11560
List Price: $3,850,000
There’s something very Great Gatbsy about moving to Long Island to find a sense of freedom and identity while living in an ivy-covered brick manor house, but I love it.
This updated Georgian is the perfect Light Academia home. It has tons of light pouring in that makes the home feel cheery instead of stuffy, and it highlights the delicate details throughout.
The mixture of traditional and modern touches throughout makes the home feel quite dynamic to me. There are spaces that feel entirely modern or traditional and some that are blended together in interesting ways.
I love the living room with its dark wood paneling that is balanced by a round breakfast nook with oversized windows. It creates an atmosphere that would be just as inviting on a cold winter evening as on a warm summer day.
Overall it’s easy to imagine living a peaceful, contemplative life here filled with lots of reading and leisure, especially since the grounds of this 5-acre property also include a garden, pool, and tennis court.
The Contemporary Mansion
Location: 38 Mallard Lake Rd, Pound Ridge, NY 10576
List Price: $4,850,000
It’s easy to feel inspired with a home that is full of art and light, but this spacious contemporary home in upstate New York takes this to another level.
This house plays with volume and windows and shapes unlike just about any other house I’ve seen. There are very few rooms in the house that are just a rectangle. I find the secondary spaces in this house to be the most interesting and inspiring. This bedroom with the library wall and the recessed area for the bed might be my dream bedroom. I love that the bed is enveloped in windows but still private.
I’m especially enamored with the arched spaces in the home including this private library/office space and its voluminous mezzanine level counterpart, not to mention the indoor swimming pool!!
The Victorian House
Location: 18 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117
List Price: $1,995,000
Nothing washes away the dreariness of foggy San Francisco days like a pastel yellow Victorian. This nicely maintained home in the heart of Cole Valley has all of the charming details you’d expect from a Victorian.
I especially love the window seat overlooking the street from the master bedroom.
But what I really love about this home are the bits of unexpected color. While most of the home has been painted white inside, the kitchen is a bright shade of Frida Kahlo blue. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Victorian interiors weren’t white! And this bold shade of blue in a modern choice that brings back some personality.
Downstairs you’ll find a much warmer vibe, with wood ceilings and this cute little office nook with loads of natural light from a hodgepodge of different window styles including some stained glass. It almost feels like you’re sitting in the garden while you’re working.
Some other beautiful homes with inspiring workspaces:
For tips on how to make your home happier, I recommend reading this recent article from Quartz: https://qz.com/1959344/how-to-make-a-happy-home-according-to-science/
Funnily enough I also spotted 22 Roble Rd on a fantasy journey. But I always check Google Maps, and there it looks like a suburban home wedged tightly among other suburban homes, and near some busy highways. Also, It sold for $2m 10 years ago, and is tax assessed at $1.5m. Adding on another $10m for the renovation seems cheeky.
Oh my gosh, I got all of the feels seeing the Cole Valley listing. I used to walk by that house frequently when I lived down the street. 😍