Friday Fun: Homes to Tempt You in Britain

I’ve been doing so much property search abroad in the past few months that it’s high time I reminded myself that I am still here in the UK for the time being. And there are many fine (if rather unaffordable) properties on this island…

Suffolk retreat, what I imagine a vicarage should look like. From Prime Location.
Clathwaite Hall in Cumbria. From H.H. King website.
© Brian Young Architectural Photography for Bradley Hall in County Durham
Another picture-book Suffolk property, from David Burr.
Georgian manor house for sale in Lancashire, from rightmove.co.uk
Of course, you can’t mention Lancaster without mentioning York… This is Thorpe Hall in Yorkshire, likewise for sale, from countrylife.co.uk

Friday Fun: Pod or Shed?

If you don’t have enough rooms in your house, then these sheds (or, currently all the rage, ‘pods’ which you can just drop in your back garden) offer a real alternative for a home office or writing retreat.

Armadilla garden pod has all the mod cons, from Ideal Home.
A bit exposed: they might catch you napping instead of working… from Building Projects.
This Rolls Roycel of sheds is bigger than many a house… or garden. From Roomsoutdoor.co.uk
Inside a Fatpod from Archipod.com
Saw these simple pods at the University of Lancaster – study spaces for students to book. Great idea!
These floating pods at the University of York are intended more for meetings than individual study, but I could work in there for hours!
More like a conservatory extension than a shed, but I’ll take it. From cotemaison.fr

Friday Fun: Staircases to Heaven

You know by now how obsessed I am with beautiful hallways and staircases that entice you upstairs with the promise of heavenly delights to come…

Champagne and … is that pot to tempt you? From Archzine.fr
Bit of a mish-mash of wallpapers going on there, but that parquet is to die for! From Elle Decor.
Tiles and intricate metalwork – my idea of heaven! From maisonsybilles.canalblog.com
Perhaps a little too classical, but I love the colour here. From postcardsfromtheridge.com
Almost monochrome simplicity, from greigedesign.com
Last, but not least, this relatively unrestored chateau has a staircase in very good nick, from sfgirlbybay.com

Friday Fun: Mediterranean Inspiration

You don’t have to live in the Mediterranean to be inspired by its architecture and allowing the outdoors indoors.

Hobbit house and modern Med inspiration for this house in Africa, from designrulz.com
Like floating on your own island in the US, photo credit: Hardwood & Hemingway on Tumblr.
New Zealand house with restricted garden space, from NaturalHabitatsLandscapes.
Cape Town beauty from the 1960s, from contemporist.com
The plant life may be different, but what a holiday feeling for this Med inspired villa in Vancouver, from onekindesign.com
Even Russian oligarchs get inspired by the Mediterranean, photo credit: Roman Vlasov from photogrist.com

Friday Fun: Houses with Animals

I’ve never had any illusion that the farming life is idyllic. As a child, I saw far too many of my relatives working very hard to eke out a living as a farmer. But every now and then, I am overcome by the thought of having a beautiful house with some beautiful animals (of any description) in the background…

Cattle of course are a staple of farmhouses, as are the autumnal colours, from Yesterday Spaces.
Riding when you stay at this farm in Germany, from farmstayplanet.com
If you are really short on space, then a few hens make for ideal companionship, from gardenpicsandtips.com
Sheep for this more traditional farmhouse, from P.Base.
Geese are the perfect gatekeepers for your remote stone cottage, from Pinterest.

Friday Fun: Balcony Railings

I know this may not seem like the most absorbing topic in the world, but if I were an architect, I could write a book about balcony railings. They never cease to fascinate me. Sadly, most of them nowadays are quite boring – in fact, there is a shortage of balconies in general!

Well, we all know the French are masters of the beautiful wrought iron balconies, from Instagram.
Very different style – the American wooden beach house balconies. From justcallmegrace.tumblr.com
American northern style is very different – and can tell a whole story, from Lez Get Ideas.
Rough-hewn rustic look – or an imitation thereof, from Mountain Laurel Handrails.
Small is beautiful, but check out the heads in the corner, from Musafir.
For those of you who have an excess of green fingers, from nurserylive.com
Gorgeous Art Nouveau villa and balcony in Torino, from Flickr.
Last but not least, my favourite balcony of them all, from the Chateau de Voltaire in Ferney. Perhaps not as decorative as the others, but newly renovated and now bright pink, Voltaire’s study and its balcony have an incredible view over Lake Geneva, Mont Blanc and the Alps.

Friday Fun: More Money Than Sense

This time it’s all about excess: the mansions of the rich and powerful are sometimes more showy than practical, more dramatic rather than chic.

Said to be the most expensive house in the US, this house in Bel Air is on sale for $250 million. From Forbes.com
Sometimes it’s all about the waterfall in the garden… From modernnnhome.
How about your very own Versailles somewhere in the American West? From outstandingdecorworld.com
This one seems almost modest, in comparison. Where? You guessed it, also in the US. Trump’s excesses no longer seem quite so out of place, do they? From Wilderpublications.com
For those who prefer a faux olde worlde style, this is perhaps the kind of house you might imagine Gatsby opting for. From WP Home Design and Decoration.
Last but not least, how about building your own park and island for your castle? Chateau Artisan, photo credit Mike Salamanca, Masmedia Labs.