Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Good Weekend Home Tour

Happy first day of autumn! After a very hot weekend, we had some cool, cloudy days Monday and Tuesday, but today it's back up into the mid-70's, sunny and absolutely gorgeous! I have this week off to enjoy a "staycation." I have so much time I have to take before the end of the year, otherwise I'll lose it. Therefore, I'm taking a week of this month, a week off next month, and more time around the holidays.

Last weekend Paul and I enjoyed my favorite yearly home tour -- the perfect start to my week off.

Sorry, I only captured pictures of two of the homes on this year's home tour. With so many people coming and going, it's impossible to get photos without people in them -- and indoor photography is strictly prohibited. I understand why, but it's a shame because the homes this year were decorated so well. I would have loved to share them with you.

This house was particularly spectacular and was my husband's favorite. A new home, it boasts 4,925 square feet and is Gold LEED certified. Some of the highlights are a floating staircase made of what we think is walnut, a sleeping porch and a gorgeous yard with swimming pool and fire pit (photos below).

This next home is larger than it looks at 3,200 square feet. It is an older, restored home featuring 10-foot ceilings, a staircase made of 200-year-old wormy chestnut, banisters and newel posts from an 1800's farmhouse, and interior beveled glass windows. See the close-up shot of the front porch light fixture below. Isn't it great?

The following houses were not on the tour, but were homes we drove or walked by as we went from house to house on the tour.

I love the color of the house below; it's a nice shade of blue with a reddish door and it has great stonework around the front porch. I also like the arbor and the pitch of the roof over the front porch.

This next cottage is so charming with its arched doorway, stone insets and wood door. I love the stucco and beam detail over the front porch as well. The colors look lovely with the brick.

Another cute home ...

I think the next house is new, built in the style of a 20's bungalow. But I could be wrong. It might be an older home that was renovated. I like the colors, including the dark mullions on the windows.

Not all homes in this neighborhood are small, mind you. I gravitate toward the smaller, more charming bungalows and cottages; they're my favorites. But many of the old homes (and new ones) are huge, like this one.

There's also a lot of renovation going on. The house below is at the end of a very cute street, closer to the commercial area of the neighborhood. I'm glad to see this house being restored. It has a lot of potential. The bungalow below it, which is across the street from this house, is receiving an addition in the back.

After the home tour, Paul and I did some antique hunting, but left empty handed. It has been a while since I've had the urge to go antiquing. I've kind of lost the drive to collect things. Maybe that's because we've run out of places to display and store things. I've been more into paring down lately, getting rid of things we don't use. Nevertheless, it was fun to rummage around a huge antiques mall. Paul made me laugh several times, as he always does, trying on old ladies' hats and cracking jokes about some of the crazy things you see in antiques stores. It was fun.

Then, since we had worked up an appetite, we headed to a vegan restaurant we discovered back in July when I had to pick up Paul at the airport. The food is all vegan, mostly raw and can be made gluten-free (any of the sandwiches can be made with a collard leaf instead of their homemade bread). 

Paul had lasagna made with layers of crisp zucchini "noodles," sun-dried tomato sauce, mushrooms and cashew-basil cheese, served with a beautiful side salad. It was amazing! I enjoyed a living burrito, with sunflower seed refried beans, cauliflower rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, onion, tomato, sprouts and cashew sour cream wrapped in a collard leaf. On the side I had the broccoli Waldorf salad with apple, celery, walnuts, raisins, red onion and homemade cashew mayo. Both of our meals were amazing, full of flavor and very filling. I could eat like that every day. 

For dessert, Paul had the turtle cake made with Thai coconut, chocolate and cashews in a chocolate-pecan crust. I had the pudding made with Thai coconut and raw cacao, sweetened with maple syrup and topped with organic berries.

Mmmm, this is giving me a serious chocolate craving. I think I'll head into the kitchen to make a new dessert recipe: chocolate mousse (the non-vegan, not healthy kind). If it's a success, I'll post the recipe.


  1. What a wonderful day to share with your hubby!!

  2. I just love your house tours, Claudia! I would enjoy watching that bungalow being renovated. Such a fun date with your hubby, thanks for sharing!

  3. They're all so lovely but I think my favourite is the red brick house. And that chocolate dessert looks amazing!!

  4. I also enjoy your home tour posts! You live in such a lovely neighbourhood. I'm always in awe of the massive mature trees.

    I spent some time in SC, and I still remember my first visit - I had my driver and tour guide stop at every tree that struck my fancy. And my first cotton field? Well, slam on those brakes! I would have been on my hands and knees around that beautiful fire pit, admiring the perfect blades of grass. Awesome!

    Oh, more calories! I have spent the last 2 evening eating homemade fleur de sel caramel sauce straight out of the jar. Winter must be coming! That chocolate cake looks unbelievable!


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