House Tour: A Restored 1800s French-Creole Cottage

Mar 16, 2011 by

House Tour: A Restored 1800s French-Creole Cottage

On the edge of Lake Martin in Louisiana exists a French-Creole cottage that takes you back in time, when the sounds you hear are water lapping and crickets chirping, without a note of urban hum. Maison Madeleine is a true work of restored art, a 1800s cottage that was moved and lovingly restored in its current place. Let’s allow the photos to tell the story, shall we?

Against the beautiful earthen walls, which were originally made of mud and Spanish moss, the entire porch exudes a gorgeous patina. If any home had a patina, it would be this one!

While the dining room may look original, it is a new add-on with impeccable attention paid to nostalgic detail, including a baking oven, a potager, and a cookpot over the fireplace.

In the original kitchen hearth, a French masonry stove utilizes charcoal to simmer. Le Creuset anyone?

The slightly exposed brick gives the wall such a warm, vibrant feel.

Inside this 18th-century-inspired outbuilding made of salvaged wood is the well pump. Who would have known?

The best part is that Maison Madeline can be yours – for a few nights – as it is currently being operated as a bed and breakfast!

read more

Peeking into Habitat 67 in Montreal

Apr 22, 2009 by


Habitat 67 holds much allure for architectural, history, and vintage enthusiasts such as myself, although most either hate it or love it.  Built for the ’67 Expo and designed by McGill University’s Moshe Sadie, Habitat 67 was a social experiment, architectural innovation, and art expression rolled into one.  Comprised of 354 cubes, nearly 150 homes are tucked between the majestic river, city lights, nature, and the sky.   While there are an abundance of photos of the exterior of Habitat 67, it is hard to find interior photos of this revolutionary architectural statement…until today!


During my search for vacation rentals in Montreal, I gravitated towards finding one for a several month stay in Habitat 67.  Lo and behold, I found one with gorgeous photos that give us a peek into the beauty and innovation of Habitat 67, inside and out.  I love how there is a wonderful nod to vintage, mid-century modern inspiration, yet the space still feels quite cutting-edge — which is quite an architectural feat.  My favorite is the final photo, where the beauty of Habitat 67 really shines in how it innovatively and inspirationally connects the building with unique viewpoints.   You can almost feel the rush of the river beneath you through the unique view in the concrete wall.






I’m keeping my fingers crossed about the availability of this vacation rental for my upcoming jaunt to Montreal!

read more

The beautiful vintage world of floating homes

Aug 20, 2008 by

Living in a floating home would be a dream come true for me — enjoying one’s life on the beautiful water, usually in a re-purposed vintage ship, train caboose, or medley of found materials!

My favorite American floating homes community is in Sausalito, a true artist’s haven.  Truly defining creativity, these artists have created amazing homes from the most creative resources.  Talk about re-purposed inspiration!  Here are some of my favorite re-purposed vintage digs:

The “Ark de Triumph” was created in 1907 when two arks were joined together to become a home.  I love the bedroom – how dreamy!  Its open beams are beautiful too – very Dutch and airy.

Next up in floating vintage inspiration is the “Train Wreck” home, crafted from a 1889 North Pacific Railway car, which is the foundation for the center of the house.  In fact, the dining room is housed in the Pullman Car – the details you can see in the wood paneling and authentic fixtures.

And the most eco-friendly, re-purposing inspirational home is “The Clamshell,” which was constructed using all recycled materials from shipyards, barns, fences, and even an arch from a church in the San Francisco mission district.  The loft ceiling was from a chicken house (I had no idea looking at the picture!), and the the stained glass door was recycled from a quirky store in the famous Haight Ashbury district.  How creative and fun!

read more

Inspirational Restored Vintage Hollywood Home

Aug 6, 2008 by

I spotted on Carolina Eclectic that the famous Hollywood glamor home of Cedric Gibbons and Dolores del Rio was recently restored for the producer Joe Roth.  I love seeing historic restorations, and it is always interesting to see how modern designers interpret their client’s personality into the old soul of historic homes.  I think designer Michael Smith did a lovely job fusing modern sensibility with a vintage touch.  I would have utilized more vintage elements, but I am, of course, biased :)

Here are some “old” and “new” images for your historical restoration delight!  The vintage images are from 1935 and courtsey of JAMD.

Cedric Gibbons Vintage Hollywood Restored Home

This is an outdoor/indoor sitting area that overlooks the tennis court.  I love areas that cause you to pause and question, “Am I indoors or outdoors?”

Cedric Gibbons Vintage Hollywood Restored Home

Yes, I’d like one of the bed/couch hybrid….so romantic!

Restored Hollywood Home

I like how this room feels contemporary, yet still utilizes many vintage and antique inspired elements.  That antique plane sculpture is so lovely and adds whimsy to the room.

Cedric Gibbons Vintage Hollywood Restored Home

Plants can truly make such a large difference in any room. My eye is instantly attracted to the greenery, instead of the furniture, which is a great testament to the power of green!

Cedric Gibbons Vintage Hollywood Restored Home’s Kitchen

If I had this kitchen, I may be inspired to really cook….yes world, modernity and vintage inspiration can really live in harmony!  The kitchen island and counter are so modern (which I normally don’t care too much for), yet the infusions of vintage accessories in the clock, framed dog artwork, hanging lamp pendants, and the chairs make this room really remarkable.

read more

How to transform a decrepit Bronx mansion into art

Feb 29, 2008 by

As a supporter of the National Trust, which is our philanthropy, I love seeing stories of historic homes being revitalized. On the flip side, whenever I see an old home that has been replaced by a McMansion, I feel that the construction companies have literally taken architectural white out, only to replace the beautiful poetry with monotonous print.

When I saw this beautiful Bronx 16 room mansion, which is being restored by the Deans family, I was elated! If you look at the bones of the home, they are intricate, delicate, and stunning.

Restored Bronx Mansion

The detailed interior paneling and paint are still amazingly intact, and the Deans plan to convert this stunning room into their master bedroom…and who can blame them?

Restored Bronx Mansion Bedroom

There is so much history in this beautiful Bronx mansion, and what is interesting is all of the personal relics left behind by its previous owners, including books, alcohol bottles, blueprints, typewriters, and even spittoons. It is vintage heaven!


Restored Bronx Mansion Fireplace

For the entire story and more stunning photos, visit the New York Times’ slideshow. Thanks Di for the find!

Related Posts with Thumbnails read more