Editor’s note: ‘Tis the season – not only to celebrate the year’s end, but to look back at highlights of the past 12 months and start thinking about what we hope the coming year will bring. This week on Porchlight, we’ll reminisce about some of 2016’s bright spots, and help you get ready to greet 2017.
These real estate highlights aren’t always outrageously large or extravagant homes – sometimes they feature carefully kept crimson curtains from 1969, and other times they’re a converted YMCA.
Check out 10 of the most outrageous listings that hit the market in 2016.
A California mansion as abstract art
No need to buy art for this Newport Beach home – it’s a work of art in itself. While the high ceilings and wide-planked oak floors are typical of a high-end home, not much else is. In one room you’ll find multi-colored deer heads and surrealist plates hanging on the wall, while another features jungle-themed wallpaper and a bright green, ’70s-style dining table.
The groovy home last decorated in 1969
It’s hard to believe that the decor in this Palm Springs home isn’t just the byproduct of a retro lover with lots of decorating resources, but in fact, the original decor from when the home was built and decorated in 1969. The two families who have owned the home since 1969 took painstaking care to carefully preserve the jewel-themed decor. Highlights of the home include a pink-and-red master suite with fuchsia carpet, colorful wallpaper throughout, and a giant terrazzo bathtub in the middle of the master bath.
The YMCA loft
In a city where space is a commodity, this former YMCA turned 7,000-square-foot boutique condo in Chelsea is even more of a hot property. While you might be drawn by the history of the club – after all, Andy Warhol, Edward Albee, Al Pacino and many other famous individuals were once members here – you’ll stay for the condo’s jaw-dropping 25-foot-long marble counter and 29-foot-high ceilings.
A stone castle in Yonkers
This 1880s country house turned New York castle has more to to boast than just its gorgeous facade. The residence was once known as an epic celebrity party spot. More recently, the castle received an impressive face-lift that included restoring 18th-century hand-carved French Rococo panels that were hidden underneath paint, and new additions including central air conditioning and a slate-and-copper roof. And, as if the house weren’t already unique enough, it also includes a marble terrace, a chapel, and an octagonal ballroom with terrific views of the Hudson River.
The Brooklyn brownstone with ‘Girls’ history
If this home looks familiar, that’s because of its appearances on television shows such as “Girls” and “Saturday Night Live,” as well as in commercials and print magazines. The last owner meticulously restored the original detail of the 1860s house and included new touches, like a custom-commissioned chandelier reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution, when the house was built. The Brooklyn residence’s other claims to fame include a chef’s kitchen, 10 bathrooms, and a basement with its own entrance.
An art house in New Orleans
Located in the French Quarter, this home from 1820 captures the creative, funky vibe of New Orleans. The mural-covered walls add color and spunk to the inside of the home, while world-famous jazz clubs and restaurants await just outside the doors of this desirable historic home. In the kitchen, each hand-painted cabinet features work from a different artist, while the backyard houses a bathtub fountain, a pond, and a solarium overlooking a garden.
A candy-colored mid-century throwback
This retro throwback fits right in among the lively array of houses in the famous Disney Streets neighborhood of Dallas. However, not many of them have as much color as this ’50s style home does. A turquoise doorway greets you and leads you inside, where an assortment of different-sized pendant lamps hang overhead, vintage pink appliances dominate in the Formica countertopped kitchen, and the bright orange chairs in the dining room match the walls.
A three-pavilion home connected by a pool
Grab your bathing suit – this mid-century modern home is best toured by swimming the 90-foot lap pool that connects the three pavilions comprising this unique property. The home design follows the contours of the surrounding palm trees, and houses one of the finest palm gardens in South Florida, in addition to a lagoon, waterfall, sauna and a cabana shower room for added luxury. A lap in the pool will take you from the living room pavilion to the dining pavilion, to end at the bedroom pavilion.
The 267-year-old tavern home
Originally built as a tavern and inn for traveling stagecoaches, this 18-century home still has some secrets from its old days. The open floor plan and above average-height ceilings in the home are surprisingly advanced for when the property was built, but many other aspects of the antique home have been well preserved to maintain its historic charm. While the home no longer serves as an inn, you can still entertain guests in the best-kept secret of the house: the incredible stone tavern in the daylight basement.
A Tuscan villa on Hilton Head
Have you ever gone somewhere on vacation and wanted to take a piece of the place back home with you? This Tuscan-style villa on Hilton Head is inspired by the original owner’s vacation to Italy. It comes complete with native touches, like lemon and fig trees on the grounds, and a 1,200-bottle wine cellar to house all your Italian wines. However, the family also added some touches of their own: the home is located on the edge of a private beach, a gorgorgeous lap pool overlooks the Intercoastal Waterway, and the wood beams in the home were pulled from the nearby Savannah River.
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