Lazy Sunday: Your 3 Favorite Houses

By Ann Shayne
September 13, 2020

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  • Ickburgh Road – do they mention that it’s walking distance to Wild and Woolly, London’s best yarn store? That has to be a selling point!

    • Exactly! Kay has had the luck to visit Wild and Woolly—I hope someday to get there myself.

  • That’s a rabbit hole and a half Ann! The houses are a bit out of my price range though.

    • Agree! It’s just interesting to see how people live.

  • You two need to stop with the great book recommendations and podcasts – there’s not enough hours in the day! But thank you, I’m listening to The Cooking Gene on my new daily (long drive, rather than pre-Covid train) commute to work right now. Next up is this one.

  • One of my favorite houses was not one I owned or lived in but visited frequently. A church member during my high school years renovated a small 19th century cozy cottage with small rooms. Th biggest was the kitchen and most awesome had a wee sitting area by the fireplace ! Sitting there with a cup
    of tea and looking at all the dried flowers hanging from the ceiling, I felt like I should pull out the knitting needles. This was in Blawenburg, NJ and I pray it’s at least a guest cottage. My next favorite homes are from Frank Lloyd Wright where—no surprise—the hearth was the centerpiece to his houses. I’m still looking for my hearth house.

    • How lovely to imagine that cup of tea.

  • Oooh, thank you for this post! A few years back while vacationing in Scotland, my husband drove us along dirt roads to the north pointy bit of Skye looking for a woman who raised her own sheep, spun and dyed the wool to sell in her wee shop attached to her house. I believe it was in Waternish. Anyway, her property looked very similar to your current header picture. And thank you for the podcast connection ❤️

    • What a trip. That sounds like such a perfect ramble.

  • You don’t read page 3 of the Sunday Real Estate section in the Times and dream of that perfect brownstone or apartment? (When one wins the lottery, that is ….)

    Perhaps we can all pretend we are Elizabeth Bennett upon seeing Pemberley for the first time …

    • I love parsing a floor plan.

  • Didn’t know about this podcast! I’m ‘in’! Thanks for the heads up!

  • I can’t limit myself to 3 fave houses. There is too much beauty in the world, particularly vis a vis architecture! But I will say that my own house is in the top 3, definitely. I spent a horrific amount of time, energy and money (it didn’t go smoothly) but the home I have now is one of my and my husband’s combined vision. It’s a Toronto Victorian row house. The front retains its original architectural features (and though this home was never fancy or rich, the details are beautiful). The back was demolished (it was falling down and not original) and remade with more light, taller ceilings. We had to fix the rubble foundation so we opted to go full on. My “sewga” room now has cathedral-like windows (if facing a suspect urban view). Basement was enlarged under the full house, which is no longer a sieve for the elements (our winters are long and hard). My fireplace is a great mitigator and the source of contant winter joy. I now have the hardscaped garden of my wildest imagination, which I designed with my husband on the back of a napkin one night at dinner. And the front was rebricked to match the interior common wall. Other than that, this 3 floor plus basement house is not an inch bigger than it was before, but it is so utterly pleasing and I am inestimably grateful that I had the privilege to recreate it. PS: Be under no illusion that it is perfect or complete, although it’s been ongoing for 4 years. I still haven’t decorated the living room or dining room. There’s practically no art on the walls and the basement is like a hoarder’s dream (natch we got rid of many things when we started, but somehow we need to do it once more). I choose to see perfection as a continuum!

    • Wow, what a project! Maybe progress is its own sort of perfection?

      • I’ve decided it has to be because otherwise I’m not succeeding and I hate to concede to failure 🙂

  • This goes perfectly with my new favorite tv binge – Escape to the Country. It’s like getting to tour the English countryside from my couch, and it’s been a nice escape during this time when we can’t travel anywhere.

  • Sigh… remember when a core tenet of the modernist movement was great design for the masses? Affordable beauty?

    • Thank you. I understand that real estate porn is extremely popular now, but I don’t know why I would volunteer to have my nose rubbed repeatedly in things that I would never be able to have. On the other hand, sometimes it’s interesting to see how my reaction to a thing is so much different from other people’s. The image of that place in Scotland at the top of this post gives me such a feeling of desolation and loneliness, I think someone would have to pay me to live there rather than the other way around.

      • Its always worth thinking what’s that going to be like with gales, no electricity poles out and having run out of library books1

  • So good – thanks! And it marches well with an article I just read in the NYT, about a man who photographs interiors:

  • Are you aware of the book House Lessons by Ericka Bauermeister? “a meditation on space and home”
    Thanks for the link to a modern house podcast. I look forward to lots of listening there.

    • Thanks for the heads up! I’ll go have a look.

  • I don’t know if I can do it. I sold the dreamhouse 3 years ago and I still want it back. I do not recommended ever living in the dream house because everything afterwards is not the dream house. Sigh. Maybe it will help inspire me to love the (truly deserving) current house more.

  • My second home was my favorite. Orange kitchen, super soft green in living room and dining room, everything fit, was well thought out, and I loved my front porch and fireplace. My house here in Texas is taking its time talking to us. There are a fair amount of yellow rooms, but a sand color is starting to announce itself. different state, different light, different aesthetic.

  • I’ll have to add this podcast to the list! I read 23 of the comments and did not see anyone recommend this website, Cabin Porn. Cabin Porn features cabins in remote places around the world that you just want to runaway too and escape!

  • Loved the de Waal interview; _Hare with Amber Eyes_ needs its own post (maybe it has one). And how did I not know that William Morris’s Red House was part of the National Trust, open to visitors?!

  • Oooh…..I’m an architect, so constantly obsessing over houses around the world. Another time suck, I fear — but oh so delicious!