Desired Destination: Gloucestershire {The Badminton Estate, Calcot Manor, Sudeley Castle}

23/12/2011 § 6 Comments

The Great Hall at the Badminton Estate.

After finding photos of the Beaufort Hunt in 1949, I immediately wanted to see the sprawling estate that I noticed was peeking around the edges.  The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort live at the Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire, England, two hours west of London.  One look at the Great Hall (pictured above) and I knew I was in love…and in urgent need of a hop across the pond to visit Gloucestershire.

Thus, Gloucestershire is my first Desired Destination feature.

It turns out the Duke lets some of the Estate’s cottages periodically. 
If I moved, would you come and visit me?

Badminton Church, built by the 5th Duke in 1785.

The east front.

The clock tower.

The stables.

And yes, the Badminton Estate is where the sport takes its name, although it isn’t known why, as the sport actually traces its roots back to mid-18th century India and the bored British officers stationed there.  The present-day Badminton is open for special events, garden tours, and The Badminton Shoot, but is probably best known now for hosting the annual Badminton Horse Trials in May.  I would love to be there for the prestigious three-day event.

The Badminton Estate
South Gloucestershire
Tel:  +44 (0) 1454 218 203

After a long day knocking about Badminton, I would check into Calcot Manor, a 35-room country house hotel set on 220 acres of meadowland that was established in the 1300s.  Thoroughly modernized while remaining true to the storied heritage of the home, Calcot Manor also boasts one of the best spas in the UK, the Calcot Spa.  It is simply gorgeous and would be a perfect home base for my relaxing minibreak in the British countryside.

Calcot Manor
Near Tetbury
Tel: +44 (0) 1666 890 391

I’d also make a point to visit Sudeley Castle, best known as the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last and surviving wife.  With a long history that dates back to the tenth century, the Castle fell into disrepair after the Civil War and remained that way until its rescue in 1837 by brothers John and William Dent — of the fine accessories and glovemaking Dents, from Worcester — and its subsequent restoration.  The Castle has remained a Dent family home since that time, and was opened up to the public in 1969.  During this year’s season (1 April through 28 October, 2012) visitors can wander on their own through the gardens and inside the Castle’s original 15th century west wing, as well as take in a number of exhibitions.  Offered on a more limited basis are guided tours through the Castle apartments where the family currently resides.  Also of note this year at the Castle is the Queen Katherine Parr Quincentenary, marking 500 years since her birth.

Sudeley Castle
GL54 5JD
Tel: +44 (0) 1242 602 308

Images via Badminton House and Calcot Manor.

Real Property Lust: Revival

14/12/2011 § Leave a comment

Built in 1925, this farmhouse in Österlen, Sweden sat quietly rotting until it was bought in 2000 by its current owner.  Initial plans called for a serious overhaul, but as the new owner took stock of the little house, she realized all it needed was a good scrubbing and some fresh air.  I love how it turned out, especially the surfaces of the walls and floors — gorgeous.  I also love the old Range Rover, and if you added a horse or two, I’d be apt to lose my head.

If you’d like to read more about this darling house, hop over to Skona Hem.

Real Property Lust: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

26/10/2011 § Leave a comment

There were plenty of things to love about this Spanish-style California ranch home belonging to supermodel Tatjana Patitz: the endless light, the double high living room ceiling (Patitz actually knocked out a floor to make way for it), dark wood and white walls, gleaming concrete floors, the horse stables that are on the two acres of land that surround the house, the ocean views, the jumble of mismatched furnishings…

What sealed the deal was the bedroom.

This is a place to disappear for hours.  For days.
In. Love.

All images via House to Home.

Real Property Lust: Parisian Dream

26/09/2011 § 3 Comments

Come away with me to Le Marais?

We could be artists, you and I?  Or intellectuals?

We can sit on our chevron floors and discuss Sartre.  Or Duras.
You know how I love Duras, Cherie…

You can sit in your chair and roll your eyes at Le Monde,
while I laze on the bed like a Siamese cat…

…or perhaps draw.

I shall read to you in bed…

and you will cook for me…

…while I fill your glass with wine, and your lips with my kisses.

There will be no time…

Only Paris.

All images via Designsponge.

Real Property Lust: 16 West 12th Street

21/09/2011 § 2 Comments

Yours Truly could definitely be tempted to move a bit uptown for a pretty Greenwich Village perch like this one.  Anyone want to go halfsies on a cool $21 mil?  I mean, it does come equipped with a library and a fitness center.  Think of all the money you’ll save on overdue books and gym memberships!

Garden parties. Hostess dresses. Gin cocktails.

Herringbone floors, j’adore.

A gorgeous blank canvas, ready to be decorated.

In. Love.

All images via Sotheby’s.

Real Property Lust: Massachusetts Beach House

08/09/2011 § 1 Comment

This is damned close to perfect…

Love the use of paint-by-numbers kits here.

A deft balancing of glam Hollywood Regency with beach shack antique chic (a la Nantucket by way of the tropics), and a liberal use of the colors white and turquoise?  I’m going to need whoever decorated this beach house in Massachusetts to remove themselves from my brain immediately…and of course from the house itself because I’ll be moving in.  Decided!

This picture is like a dream.
The colors, the map, the radio, the frame, the lamp.
Every time I look at it, something new appeals to me.

Driftwood mirror, driftwood on the table…

…driftwood lamp!

A little high on the kitsch, but we can fix that in no time…

All images via BHG.

Real Property Lust: Ledgemere

12/08/2011 § 5 Comments

I’ve always wanted a house with its own name.

This gorgeous waterfront home in West Bath, Maine is called Ledgemere.

In. Love.

Mint juleps and mosquito bites.  Playing gin on the porch in the moonlight….

Soft music.  Slow dances.  Laughter.  Kisses.

Sunburnt nose, sandy toes.

Swimming like a fish.

Steaming cups of coffee at dawn.

Can you not picture spending every last possible moment of summer at Ledgemere?  Would you not be counting down the minutes until you could leave the city and sit on her beautiful porch, taking in all that Maine has to offer?  Would you not try to figure out a way so that you never had to leave between Memorial Day and Labor Day?  Would you not also come when the weather got colder, so you could see her in her barren splendor?

Nope.  I’d do all of that.

While in my heart of hearts I know that Ledgemere is meant to be mine, I will wish well whoever actually does pick up this gorgeous property.  It is currently for sale.  If you happen to buy it, you will let me visit, yes?

Real Property Lust: Danish Station House

08/07/2011 § 1 Comment

There is a certain romance about trains, no?


Obsessing this morning over how a young Danish family has converted a train station built in 1901 in Ormslev, Denmark, into a simply gorgeous home.  Aside from the design choices I am usually drawn to — white walls, painted floors, mismatched chairs, patinaed surfaces, a dash of the modern, interesting vintage touches, a jumbled gallery space — I love how the couple kept some of the features from its former life as a station house: the ticket office, the safe and the waiting room bench.  While I sometimes have trouble with the conversion of public spaces into private spaces (most frequently the “church to house” conversion), this space pulls it off beautifully while retaining the romance of old-fashioned travel.

Waiting room bench.

Ticket window.

All images via Sköna hem

Real Property Lust: Vintage Rose

01/07/2011 § Leave a comment

I came across this great apartment in Sweden courtesy of Adorevintage, and I echo their endorsement of the sparing use of shades of pink to communicate femininity in this wonderfully vintage-feeling home.  I adore how this home — so lovingly filled by an amazing collector — is still full of light and manages to be airy.  Love the mismatched chairs, the gorgeously dense hallway gallery, the stuffed duck and impala, the painted floor in the kitchen and how it echoes the pattern of the bathroom floor, the ornate ceilings, and — of course — that kickass portrait of Mick Jagger.  I definitely want to meet whoever lives here.  I would force them to be my friend.  (Maybe they like Robyn as much as I do…?)

The view.

The building!

In addition, it appears this apartment is either for sale or rent (my Swedish is rather bad, apologies).  Anyone want to go halfsies?

All images via Bolaget.

Real Property Lust: Gelskov Gods

26/05/2011 § Leave a comment

While Gelskov Gods, a manor house on the island of Funen in Denmark, is a touch on the barren side for my taste — were this my manor house I’d  need some pictures on the walls, lots more fresh flowers, well-loved tsotchke and curiosities tucked into the corners, dozens of richly colored rugs strewn about, and (of course) a peacock or two — there is something about the stripped down surfaces and the masterful mixture of the classical, the baroque, the rococo and the modern that draws me in for hours.  Feminine without being precious, masculine without being overbearing, this is an aesthetic that I would love to immerse myself in.  Luckily, the couple who owns this beautiful home have added a bed and breakfast, gallery space and antique shop — so at least I don’t have to go doing any breaking and entering.  I’m unfamiliar with Danish law on the subject, but I have to assume it’s frowned upon…

Gelskov Gods
Gelskovvej 10
5750 Ringe
Tel.+45 26638094

Via: Home&Garden.

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