Friday Fun: Country Homes in Ireland

I’ve discovered there are some beautiful country homes in Ireland as well that I might consider for my future reading/writing retreats… although they are somewhat more expensive than my beloved French chateau (and possibly slightly more rained upon?)

How about this little beauty, nestled among the hills in County Dublin? From MyHome.ie
This one in County Kildare has an indoor swimming pool – well, it would have to be indoors, wouldn’t it? From MyHome.ie
Needless to say, I much prefer a library, such as this mansion in Tipperary, from MyHome.ie
They all seem to have really endless grounds too, such as this one in County Wexford, also from MyHome.ie
Not all of them are for sale, you might have to be content to just visit some of them, converted into hotels, such as this one from the Irish Tourism Board.
This one reminds me of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Powerscourt House in Enniskerry, from Home Stratosphere.

Friday Fun: Back to Househunting in France

You all know my love of French chateaux – I think I may have featured almost every single one of them in past Friday Fun posts. But there are still beautiful houses left in France – the so-called ‘maisons de maitre’ (mansion, estate), which range from the modestly bourgeois to the magnificent. All of the below are for sale on the estate agents’ websites listed below.

  1. Normandy-type villa near Rouen, from Patrice Besse.

2. Classical style near Bordeaux, from Moulin.nl

3. This should be big enough for the entire family to come visit in Dordogne, from Anthouard Immobilier

4. I can never resist this fearful symmetry, in Lot et Garonne, from Legget Immobilier

5. This errs onto the chateau side of the spectrum, near Bernay, from Ivan Ballini Estates.

6. But I would be quietly content with this more modest endeavour, near Berry, from Terres & Demeures.

[I am not sure I will continue with Friday Fun though, as, in addition to it being resource hogging, this new formatting for the pictures and inability to add text directly is too much of a kerfaffle.]

Friday Fun: Mansions with Musical Links

Not that we need any excuse to show beautiful mansions or palaces, but, following the Canadian novel about musicians that I read earlier this week, I was inspired to find a bit of a musical theme to the following gorgeous pictures.

Chateau Vendeuvre in Normandy, still privately owned, does not really have any famous composer living here, but does have a rather annoying musical theme tune when you go the website.
The Sarkozy-Bruni household lives in this mansion. Carla Bruni of course was a model and singer before she became Madame Sarkozy.
The Chopin Museum in Warsaw is considerably grander than Chopin’s birthplace in the country manor house, where his father was a tutor. From muzeum.nifc.pl
Leith Hill Place in Surrey was a place where Vaughan Williams spent most of his childhood. It is currently being restored as a National Trust property. From nationaltrust.org.uk
The house of Robert and Clara Schumann in Leipzig, where they moved right after they married. The couple met in Leipzig too. From Leipzig.travel
The grandest privately-owned mansion in the United States, the Biltmore Estate, hosts annual summer music festivals. Still home to the descendents of the Vanderbilt family, from romanticasheville.com

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.