Category Archives: Real Estate

Traditional Charmer In The Berkshires

Today I’m headed back to realtor.com for more house hunting

in the Berkshires,

where I have deliberately turned away from my minimalist choices of days’ past

+ fallen for something a lot more traditional — this charmer:

berk cabin wide view

It looks like an original log home with a tasteful addition.

Here’s a closer look-see at the log portion.

berk cabin front porch back up

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

Red window sashes + door, twiggy porch details,

full + lush (“busy”) front landscaping, stone pathway, etc. etc.

berk cabin front porch close up

The stone pathway continues along the front of the addition at left,

where there are more twigs, in the form of this beautiful pergola!

berk cabin pergola

My first thoughts are, “How can I persuade G.O. to build something twiggy for our yard?”,

but then I ask myself,  a. “Isn’t that unnecessarily difficult?”

+ b. “Wouldn’t twig structures be too rustic for a Dutch colonial house?”

berk cabin twigs

Oh, well — let’s move on to yet more exterior snapshots.

My gosh, there’s even a screened-in room, my favorite thing, ever!

berk cabin front porch from bottom of hill

Of course, a pond:

berk cabin pond

And, in conclusion, the detached garage has an apartment upstairs,

the interior of which is fine but not so share-worthy:

berk cabin detached garage

Inside the house, the living room + stair case

look about as I’ve come to expect when I spy a log home online:

berk cabin stair

Sometimes log home interiors can skew a tad too WOODSY for my tastes ,

but I s’poze one could solve that issue by painting a few things

+ adding some contrasting wood tones.

berk cabin fireplace

I honestly don’t know what I ‘d do in here (yet!),

but I’d mull things over for a few months + decide, as is my way.

I would probably play off that beautiful stone fireplace

+ introduce some complementary blacks, grays + charcoal paint colors.

berk cabin fireplace

Since the fireplace backs up to the adjacent kitchen (love the red stove!) . . .

berk cabin red stove

. . . + I think I’d paint the lower cabinets black or charcoal gray,

replace the butcher block counter tops (too much wood!)

+ figure out something more “now” to do with the uppers:

berk cabin kitchen

Upstairs in the addition, one can see evidence that it’s probably post + beam:

berk cabin upstairs inside dormer

Isn’t this bathroom fantastic?

berk cabin bathroom

The homeowners added some gray tones with the marble,

the reclaimed wood back splash + vanity.

I love the shower in this room,

+ kudos to them for adding a darker wood tone medicine cabinet + vanity:

berk cabin bathroom shower

So that’s that!

Yes, I toyed with the idea of our traveling to the Berkshires for some fall leaf peeping,

but I fear we’ve waited too long this year.

We’re actually thinking of heading south, like maybe Tennessee,

so it’s time to see what’s for sale in Franklin!

Stay tuned!

canned ham at arbys


I Love This Minimalist House!

I’m back, house hunting in the Berkshires on realtor.com.

berkshires map

berk white house front

This house is so plain Jane, but it couldn’t appeal to me more!

I do love a white house, yes,

but it’s the details of this one that drew me in,

especially this modern trellis hung over a wall of windows:

berk white house outside

Love it!  Look at the wire cables!  How “NOW”!

And please.

A standing seam metal roof outside has to mean more awesomeness inside.

berk white house w detached garage

Let’s check it out to see if my theory is true

re: the exterior + interiors being equally groovy.

There’s that beautiful wall of windows we saw earlier:

berk white house sun room

My gosh.  What a beautiful space.

I would never leave!

berk white house sunroom view 2

While all-white’s not for me, it really works great in this house, don’t you think?

In the kitchen + dining area, they’ve exposed the original, rustic rafters + beams.

The texture they add, even after being painted white,

keeps things from being too sterile . . .

berk white house kitchen

. . . as do the natural wood dining table + brown leather chairs . . .

berk white house dining room

. . . + all those books!

I love the black floors + black cabinet handles + light fixture hardware.

berk white house dining room view 2

Okay.  Now we’re headed to sterile town (below), but still.

I’m a huge fan of the small exposed rafter, that day bed + the rolling table.

If it was my house, I’d add a colorful rug + artwork,

some pillows + window treatments.

berk white house day bed + rolling table

I am digging more nautical-style wire cables on the exterior staircase,

+ the deck is well-designed + very beautiful.

berk white house back deck

But wait. Here’s a question.

Why am I drawn to such minimalist houses

when ours is anything but?

This might prompt me to ask myself “is less more?” once again.

 


House Hunting In The Berkshires

One of my favorite past times is house hunting on the bozoputer,

via realtor.com — FUN FOR ME!

Since I’ve been longing to go leaf-peeping in the Berkshire Mountains

of western Massachusetts, I’ve been searching for houses there.

berkshires map

So many good ones! — But which listings garner my click for a closer look-see?

Well, this house initially attracted me because it’s painted black,

which is a thing now.

berkshire black house outside

That, plus those butterfly chairs on the front deck,

the stylish French doors + landscaping

all made me think that the interior would be stylish + updated.

Let’s go inside now + see if that’s so,

starting with everybody’s favorite — the kitchen —

which I am guessing is in the center front, where the box window is located.

berkshire black house window seat

Isn’t that window ledge as charming as all get-out?

The traditionalist in me loves that old brick red cupboard, too.

See how it plays nicely with the mid-century lamp + chest next to it?

I love the mix of old + new!

Just to the left is the rather modest kitchen work space:

berkshire black house kitchen

say modest, but look closely; it’s really quite stylish.

First of all, I’m a fan of that island!

It looks like it’s an old, re-purposed piece of furniture, which I love.

Those pendants bring in more mid-century style.

Our parents built a house in ’64-ish, + we had the same lights in our kitchen.

berkshire black house kitchen view 2

The floating shelves are chic, as is that awesome red range (want!)

Notice the lower, marble-top cabinet to the right.

It makes me think that a serious baker lives here,

who uses that surface for rolling out dough + kneading bread + such.

The living room is just beyond.

Notice how the white walls + light gray woodwork (my favorites!)

flow through from the kitchen to here:

berkshire black house couch

The ledge which spans the entire wall of windows is a nice design feature,

+ notice how uncluttered it is (at least for the real estate photos, anyway.)

I think there are some serious minimalists who live here!

The beams, wide wood plank floor, wood stove, rug + couch are delightful,

as are the built-ins opposite.

berkshire black house book cases

Betcha there’s a TV hidden away, + look at all the books,

which brings us to a fun factoid about my realtor.com hobby.

When you’re me, it’s fun to guess what the homeowners are like.

I think these might be artists; check out the painting

in what looks like a basement bonus room:

berkshire black house basement with art

If they’re not artists, they’re certainly Artsy,

which accurately describes the Berkshires — that’s why I want to move there.

Back to the house.

The bedrooms are very plain Jane + stylish:

berkshire black house bedroom

Okay.  This is definitely the room of a kid with Artsy parents,

because where are all the plastic electronic toys!?

berkshire black house kid room

Check out the child’s name on that banner.

Maybe they’re European!

Now that I think about it, the simple + spare decor does look Scandinavian.

Here’s a view from the back.

The detached garage’s been painted the same monochromatic black as the house.

berkshire black house detached garage

Look at their yummy mix of plants in their yard — I love the Japanese maples.

berkshire black house buddha

There are lots of Buddhas in Berkshires houses, I noticed.

Stay tuned; I’ll share another + guess what the homeowners are like — tomorrow.

 

 


A Waterfront Saltbox House For Sale

Our late, great mom used to hop up + do household chores

during the commercials on Wheel of Fortune.

Talk about multi-tasking!

Anyway, here she is, with our dad,

sitting on the deck of the riverfront farmhouse

that we built in or around the year 2000.

doris and bob on kay's deck

So.  I honor her multi-tasking legacy by looking at houses on the bozoputer

while watching Cardinals baseball games on TV!

clydesdales at ballpark

Sadly, all the local houses on realtor.com were a tad boring,

so I looked in Wilmington, IL, (where our riverfront house was located.)

You might not think I would dig this house (below), but I do.

I’ve always loved a house with the chimney in front.

Is that weird?

chimney house exterior

The asking price’s been lowered to $149,900.

That garage door needs to be more plain Jane

+ painted a color instead of white,

+ you just know Joanna Gaines would remove the 80’s arch window topper.

How about adding a more “now” transom, instead?

Omigosh, the pastels in that room!

Pass me the white paint + get out of my way!

But back to the porch.

I also want those posts to be fatter — + maybe in pairs on either side, like here.

porch posts 2

Yes, of course I’d also love a standing seam metal roof, too!

  • * * * * *

Now let’s discuss the interior, starting with this 2-story living room:

chimney house living room with fireplace

Okay.  I really like that stone, + the hardwood floor is good, too.

I super love the vaulted ceiling.

Can we put some wood planks up there + say goodbye to the track lighting?

 We really need to beef up the mantel + add tons of woodwork, too.

chimney house living room with fireplace

Most importantly, though — that bad (more 80’s!) deck stair railing must go!

I think I’m in the mood for something in wood + iron, instead.

Check out the wainscoting surrounding this beautiful staircase!

stairs with iron

Back to my house.  Here’s a view from the second story.

chimney house living room from above

Now let’s look at a house with a similar 2-story living room.

I’m loving the wood + iron stair railing combination again,

+ speaking of Joanna Gaines — look at that shiplap!

staircase of black with shiplap

The kitchen looks about like what you’d expect.

I don’t hate the cabinets, + there are plenty of them.

chimney house kitchen stove

Let’s say goodbye to the soffit, though, + move the refrigerator elsewhere.

Maybe here?

chimney house kitchen cabs

As far as the stove is concerned,

I want to make it more of a design focal point.

Exhibit A:

wall of stove statement

Man oh Manichewitz, do I love that custom range hood!

Also, I’m saying yes to the glass uppers flanking the hood,

+ I will never grow tired of subway tile back splashes

(although I think I said that once about early Americana*

+ eagle decor*, back in the 70’s!  HA!)

*Go ask your grandmother.

The bathrooms are, again, what I would expect.

chimney house bathroom

What the heck — let’s just go straight to some Fixer Upper bathrooms for ideas.

Since the vanity cabinet is perfectly fine, let’s slap a coat of gray paint on it

+ add a pretty gray + white marble vanity top, too.

bathroom of fixer upper gray

Don’t forget the crown molding!!!

Since I couldn’t possibly have a fiberglass shower surround in my dream world,

let’s choose white subway tiles — again.

bathroom of fixer upper shower

Ix-nay on the frilly shower curtain, but I never have been much of a girlie girl.

Out back, we have a nice, spacious deck, + look at all the trees!

chimney house deck

  Just say no to mold in a real estate photo, though!

Somebody needs some Clorox + a scrubby brush!

Anyway, surprise!

It looks as though there’s a pretty wonderful balcony upstairs!

chimney house deck with balconey

Let’s give the 80’s deck rails the heave-ho, shall we?

And look!

My new house is located right next to a body of water!

chimney house river

From the looks of that H20,

I think I’m going to need to stock up on the citronella candles,

but it is waterfront, which is usually a plus.

I did some research re: which waterfront we’re discussing,

+ I think that my house is located in a community called Shadow Lakes.

The “lakes” are actually former strip mines, believe it or not.

shadow lakes logo

In southern Illinois, there are still operational, underground coal mines,

but up north, they opted to just go in from the surface + dig out the coal.

Interesting.

Here’s one more photo of my house.

That roof line makes it look a little like a modern salt box house.

+ I’ve always liked fences like that, too!

chimney house yard

 

 

 

 


2 Houses, No Waiting

It’s time, once again, for us to head to my happy place– realtor.com.

Today I want to buy this house — or I should say housES?

This is the very rare listing for not 1 but 2 houses, both only $199,900!

Do the math!   What’s that, per house?

Whatever it is — let’s start here — The Brick Possible Story + A Half:

redbird-blog-brick-house-2

I’m smitten with that inset porch + the brick piers flanking the steps.

Those evergreens, however, have long outlived their usefulness,

+ let’s get real — awnings like that were never a good idea.

Check out the small-ish upstairs window, though:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-brick-house

One has to ask, Is there an upstairs?

I’m saying a little prayer that there is!  Here’s why:

attice-bedroom-wood-wall

Did you recognize those light fixtures from our living room?

+ + + + +

Next up, house #2 — The Small, 2-Porch, White Farmhouse:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-expterior

How adorable is that front porch?

Very.

But wait.  There’s more!

Porch #2:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-side-porch

I have to admit, I’ve always had a thing for the side porch.

Meanwhile, our G.O. has a thing for a spacious garage, like this one:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-garage

Please.  Look at that eagle.

In the dark ages, when I bought my very first house, eagles were a major thing.

Yes, I had one on the exterior + only about a 1,00 of them inside.

HA!  Embarrassing!

redbird-blog-jackson-st-garage

 But I digress.

What’s that charming outbuilding that I’m spying, out back?

How quickly can I turn it into the potting shed of my dreams?

Or chicken coop, if we were so inclined.  I don’t think we are.

+ + + + +

Now it’s time to have a look-see inside,

but disclaimer:  it’s not clear in which house these photos belong:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-woodwork

No, I think it’s the brick house, because the windows are the same.

Well, brick or no, they had me at all that natural woodwork,

+ the columns + built-in cabs., too?

Yes, please!

Looks like those cabs have leaded glass doors on both sides,

which I don’t think I’ve seen before.

Speaking of awesome built-ins, let’s head to the kitchen:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen-original-cabs

People.  What’s this I’m seeing that looks like an original butler’s pantry?

WOW — I would totally buy a house for just that one feature!

Sadly, it’s time for those replacement cabinets to be replaced, themselves:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen-2

It wouldn’t be any fun if I wasn’t able to design my own kitchen, would it?

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen

I’m practically salivating!  HA!

Time for one last room, the bath:

redbird-blog-bathroom

One’s first impulse might be to yank out that original sink,

but just say NO!

I would totally design the rest of the room around it!

Something along these lines:

tile-vintage-green-and-black-houzz

tile-vintage-black-and-white-bathroom

Yum!

While my creative juices are flowing,

methinks we’ll do a little drive-by of these 2 houses, later today.

Somebody grab the camera — stay tuned!


3 HOUSES 4 SALE

What’s more fun than looking at houses on realtor.com?

Nothing.

I’ve been looking this a.m. + now wish to share 3 houses I like.

Every single show on HGTV features 3 houses per episode, after all,

+ if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for my blog!

Let’s get started!

—–

HOUSE NUMBER 1

THE WOODSY ENGLISH CHARMER

2 bd, 2 ba — $163.500

This house has kind of an odd, designed-by-owner exterior,

which usually results in my shaming of the homeowners during the drive-by.

 Funny thing, though.  I like this!house-woodsy-front

That overhang at the front door is appealing,

+ I will soon replace the shingles with standing seam metal roofing.

Now, then.  Look at the charming walk way on the wooded, 1 acre property!

house-woodsy-deck-walk-way

Inside there is kind of a Hansel + Gretel vibe that I’m loving:

house-woodsy-fireplace

That room had me at exposed stone or brick + a fireplace.

Look at that sweet stool!  Where is Miss Muffet?!?

 (Calm down.  It probably doesn’t come with the house, but still.)

The kitchen doesn’t have a ton of cabinets, but it’s all so very charming.

house-woodsy-kitchen-with-pie-safe

And please.  Built-in bookcases with window seats?

Yes!  I would buy a house for those!

house-woodsy-library-bookcases

—–

HOUSE NUMBER 2

PLAIN JANE BUNGALOW

3 bd 1+ ba — $178.500

I am head-over-heels in love with that sunny, south-facing front porch,

but am not feeling the love for the bad siding.

house-bungalow-front

Bad siding just means I get to choose something more fun + appropriate.

Important disclaimer:

I would buy this or any other house that has this sort of eat-in nook:

house-bungalow-with-kitchen-nook

Those original kitchen cabs would stay + get a new paint job.

Notice, please, that the stacked uppers are very appealing + very now.

The scalloped trim at the window would have to go, though.

house-bungalow-kitchen-with-stacked-uppers

 I actually like the vintage-style, linoleum back splash

+ counter with the metal edge.

I would keep the design but do it in red or gray, instead.

  • – – – – –

HOUSE NUMBER 3

NEGLECTED CAPE COD

$219.00

This house is on the street that runs parallel to the river flowing past our town,

so I am guessing that the views from inside are pretty spectacular.

house-cape-cod-on-ill-st

Meanwhile, I really love the following exterior features:

those dormers, that cute front bump-out, + the bay window on the side!

I’m strangely on the fence about this pair of cupboards in the dining room, though:

house-cape-cod-on-ill-st-double-dining-cupboards

But what am I saying?

 They are obviously original to the house + are oozing with charm.

—-

  • This concludes my first real estate blog post.

Thanks for viewing!

If you want a link to any of the houses, let me know.




Houses To Save

Today I am multi-tasking by watching House Hunters on TV

while make-believe house hunting on realtor.com

Fun for me!

Let’s see what’s for sale in our town.

First up, here’s a house that we actually toured a few years ago.

redbird blog -- cape cod with large round window top

Hey, the 80’s called — they want their arch-topped window back!

I could see us living here,  because it reminds me of  a Cape Cod,

one of my favorite house styles.

See for yourself:

cape cod exterior

Hooked On Houses blog

cape cod bob vila exterior

Bob Vila online

redbird blog -- cape cod with large round window top

Okay, okay — so this is a bad 80’s Cape Cod.

How much fun would it be to bring an unloved house into this century?

But first, it needs to be asked:

WHAT WOULD CHIP + JOANNA DO?

chip and joanna

What a coincidence that one of their most recent projects

involved an 80’s house with arch-topped windows galore!

fixer upper white brick house before

Bye, bye windows!  Hello, 21st Century!

I was really floored at this major change.

No doubt I would have just tried to settle

+ make do with the existing windows.

(That never ends well, by the way.)

But wait, there’s more.

Here are a couple other houses in our town that I want to re-do.

This one’s a foreclosure:

redbird blog -- 2 story house on benton exterior

Please!  That bay alone makes me want this house!

I can’t imagine the prettiness that’s underneath all that naughty siding!

Speaking of naughty siding, imagine this house without it:

Iredbird blog-- 2 story house with eat in kitchen

And without its inappropriate casement windows + plastic shutters.

I’d buy it just for this charming breakfast nook:

redbird blog -- 2 story house with eat in kitchen

Adorable!

Oh, + I’ve always liked arches in old bathrooms, too:

red bird blog -- 2 story house w eat in kitchen bath

That arch is definitely a keeper, but those tiles would have to go.

In their place, let’s imagine something like this:

bathroom for blog

bathroom for the blog two

Thanks for house shopping with me!

Oh, the houses we’d save, if only we had all the money in the world!

 

 

 


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