Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fantasy house hunt

Now our real house hunt is over, and we are unpacked and settled in, I can get back to a much more enjoyable kind of house hunt: the fantasy one. I get plenty of fodder from my jogs along the beach, but I also like to scour the pages of DIGS, the South Bay's freebie real estate rag.

It is an intoxicating blend of the desirable, and the pretentious. The cover says it all.
'Retraite elegant' indeed. Pretentious, moi?
For what it's worth that home on the cover is not in France, but according to the ad, it easily could be. Or at least 'anywhere from Marseille to St Charles Avenue to the Hill section of Manhattan Beach'. Last week's cover was a Napa farmhouse. Only not in Napa, but in Manhattan Beach.

See what I mean about the weird absence of a sense of place around here? I mean, you live in a great, beachy SoCal town - why would you want to imagine you live anywhere else?

Another thing I'm baffled and intrigued by is the Honor Roll of architects. This ad describes the home as being representative of some of the best architects in town: 'starting with Pat Killen to Nota to Starr then back to Killen then Lee to Meyer then back again to the architect of this home, Pat Killen'. Confused much? Me too. But I suspect if I keep up my readership of DIGS in a few months that sentence will make perfect sense and those names will be as familiar as a list of BBC news anchormen.

Let's take a closer look at one of these flights of fancy. This home was apparently inspired by a 'personal journey through the hills of Tuscany'. Quite often when I get back from a nice holiday I decide to build a house to remind me of it. It's more cumbersome than a photo album but oh, so much more evocative.
Check out this Old World styled pool table:
And this Tuscan gym:

Here's another winner. How convenient, to be able to park your car right there in the living room! Oh, wait, or is that just a really luxurious garage?
Now you can see why I love DIGS so much. It's part salivatory surf through beautiful homes, and part just pure goofiness. I'll know we've made it when I'm actually looking through it for somewhere we might really live. Till then, I'll keep dreaming of a home in the Tuscan hills, with space in the living room for a fast car.

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