*** Today’s post is written and compiled by guest writer Kurt Jacobson. House Crazy Sarah is on vacation. Just kidding. She’s still here, working hard at her day job.
1. Oprah’s Hawaiian farmhouse
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey first began buying property in Hawaii on the advice of her personal trainer Bob Greene. Today, she is the proud owner of a former ranch-turned 21st century farmhouse on a moss-covered hillside on the east side of Maui in addition to several other parcels of land. In a blog for the Huffington Post last year, she said that the first morning she woke up in the house after working on its renovation for three years, her heart swelled with gratitude as she looked out of the window at the green meadow and the ocean just beyond it. For Oprah, the Maui farmhouse is her ‘sacred space’ and the one place she can always go to when she wants ‘stillness’. The US First Lady Michelle Obama reportedly celebrated her 50th birthday here this year.
Photos: Seen on Oprah.com
2. Armani’s Caribbean retreat
Famous Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is the proud owner of two gorgeous linked villas – Villa Flower and Villa Serene – on the scenic islands of Antigua. Entirely furnished with pieces from the Armani fashion line, this dramatic cliffside vacation home offers stunning views of the ocean from all the rooms and has several living and relaxation areas.
Would you, could you, live in a box? A significantly tilted box – suspended above the street?
Well some hip urban folks in Rotterdam in the Netherlands have been embracing the concept for several decades now. This cluster of cube homes was designed by architect Piet Blom in 1984 to address high density housing issues while allowing for sufficient space on ground level for pedestrian activities.
Each cube house is tilted at a 45 degree angle and perched upon a hexagon-shaped pylon. The entire cluster of cube homes is meant to represent a village within a city where “each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest.” [source]
A forest………. interesting.
Known officially as Kubuswoningen, there are 40 cube houses that make up the development.
On the eastern side of Italy’s Isle of Capri is an unusual house known as Casa Malaparte.
The design was conceived around the year 1937 by famed Italian architect Adalberto Libera. The client he prepared the plans for, however, rejected Libera’s drawings and fired him. The client – writer Curzio Malaparte – went on to build the house himself with the assistance of a local stonemason.
It would not be overly dramatic to say that this home was born of conflict. Architects can be cantankerous creatures. When they are paired with artistic clients who have a strong vision of their own, conflicts are inevitable.
Nonetheless, Casa Malaparte came into being and has been enchanting the waters of Gulf of Salerno for over 70 years now.
The structure is basically a masonry box with reverse pyramidal stairs leading up to the wide roof-top patio. The design alone is daring, but add in the fact that Casa Malaparte is perched precariously 32 meters above sea level on a drastic cliff, and you have one spectacular home.
Since I am up in Canada for the summer, I thought I’d take a closer look at the largest house in Canada. No Queen of Versailles bling-bling here – this sleek thing is way out in the Canadian wilderness.
The setting is pristine and remote but the house clocks in at more square feet that the American White House!
65,000 square feet to be exact – that’s the same size as Bill Gates’ house!
It is located near the town of Haileybury in north-eastern Ontario, along the shores of Lake Temiskaming.
(See map below)