Monday, March 31, 2008

Venetian Islands Home Sold For $2,350,000

114 West Rivo Alto Drive Miami Beach Florida sold for $2,350,000

The Venetian Islands are very desirable to Miami home buyers, because of their beauty and central location on Miami Beach. A few days ago a fine Rivo Alto Island bayfront home sold for $2,350,000. The 2 story mediterranean home, located at 114 W. Rivo Alto Drive in Miami Beach is situated on a 10,500 square feet lot, with 60 feet of bayfront.

The home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and 3,305 square feet of living space. The sales price comes out to approximately $711 per square foot of interior living area, a decent price in this market for a home which needs renovation.

The Venetian Island home was on the market for sale at an asking price of $2,990,000, and stayed on the market for 144 days (almost 5 months) before closing, which took place on March 27.

Colourful kitchens united!!

Well, ask and you shall least amongst bloggers! I invited you to send me photos of your painted kitchen cabinetry , and I received some beauties!! There is obviously not a tidal wave of folks with painted cabinetry in hues other than white or cream, but I was happy to see that there are others, like me, who enjoy a little colour in the kitchen!! I have come to the realization that painting your cabinetry a definitive colour is not for the faint of takes a bit of guts, creativity and is definitely not for those who fear committment or for those who have imminent resale on the brain! To that point I can relate: we have sold a number of homes over the years and this is only my second kitchen with painted cabinets in a less neutral shade. The last one sold on the first showing, however, so if I ever sell this home, I am hopeful that my penchant for blue will not be a hindrance. Since I designed my present kitchen's colour scheme for the decorator in me, and not the stager, my fingers are crossed. After all, "it's only paint" as they say!!

kitchen photos (above and below) are from Mary at Little Red House

According to Mary: "You asked for pics of our painted cabinets. Here are a few. Mine are a sort of soft yellow, with an antique glaze on top."

Well, Mary, I think your kitchen looks straight out of a magazine and I'd wrestle you for that apron sink!! Your attention to detail is impeccable and all I can say is: perfection!!


This colourful kitchen belongs to B.J. from the blog, Sweet Nothings. She emailed me that she, too, had found inspiration from this Better Homes and Garden image:

...and had, in fact, used it as her inspiration for her own lovely kitchen. She sent me this photo montage to show the design process she went through to achieve the kitchen of her dreams. I love the red and cream and have had that particular Better Homes and Gardens photo in my inspiration scrapbook for years! B.J. nailed the look on the head and yet, managed to inject her own great style into the finished room!

Penny, from Lavender Hills Studio sent me this photo of her painted cabinetry.

In this case, it is not in her kitchen, but her bathroom...same difference, in my opinion. Look at the glorious, red antiquing treatment she gave to her vanity. Knowing Penny, I thought there might be a little mosaic action somewhere, but every artist knows which canvas best suits her! As for painted, mosaic perfection, check out this feast for the eyes...

Wouldn't this look pretty in my kitchen??!!

(photo: Lavendar Hill Studio )

A black kitchen is not for everyone, but this black kitchen definitely qualifies as gutsy and stylish. I love cream with black, and have done cream, antiqued cabinets combined with a black island in a previous home of ours. I loved it for its simplicity and timeless qualities, but I must confess, I am really enjoying experimenting with more unique colour schemes!

black kitchen photo: source unknown


This gorgeous kitchen belongs to my brother and sister-in-law. My jaw dropped when I laid eyes on it for the first time this past fall. My sil, Denise, describes the colour of her cabinetry as the peel of a fresh ginger root...and that describes it bang on! Her island is an olivey-green which contrasts beautifully with the earthy yellow shade of the cabinets. Theirs is the kitchen of their dreams!


Heather from Cottage Dreaming:

"I love painted cabinets. Mine are painted green with an antique wash (bottom half); and the upper half are cream with a wash."...Heather

I cannot believe the decorating talent out here in blogland. Honestly, who knew there was so much inspiration at one's fingertips? For those who (gasp!!) do not buy magazines...I reluctantly admit that there really is no need, if you are willing to do a little bit of blog searching. Just take a look at Heather's (from Cottage dreaming) kitchen. ~~Sigh~~Isn't this beautiful?? Her painted cabinetry reinforces my belief that it is a perfect alternative to traditional cabinetry finishes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One Of The World's Finest Homes

Although this blog is dedicated to informing readers about real estate in Miami, and other generally useful real estate information, there are times when a little deviation from the norm is interesting. This is one of those times.

One of the world’s finest homes is located in the U.K., and as there were videos made of the exterior and interior of this extraordinary residence, some readers of this blog may appreciate viewing a totally amazing home, albeit in another country. Situated on 58 acres, this is reportedly England's finest home. Enjoy the videos below.

My Little Helper...

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter - if only the weather had been as glorious as it was today! I think Spring officially began today - and very welcome it was too! Despite the wonderful weather, it's been all hands on deck here with preparations for our forthcoming website update, when there will be a huge amount of vintage stock and Man Made goodies added to the shop.

After enjoying a few hours in the sunshine, Dennis helped us select some fabrics for our bags and cushions and gave this lovely old 50s primula barkcloth a high five! (Perhaps that should be a 'high four'!!!)

But it all proved to be too much like hard work for him and he soon succumbed to the land of nod...

I hope you all have a lovely week!

Two Estates in Wakefield Estates Worth Previewing...

6564 Wakefalls Drive - Impressive showcase estate located in Wakefield Estates! Exclusive enclave of Wakefield Plantation is quiet and much sought after!Lengthy drive leads to circular in front of columned estate situated on heavily landscaped and wooded lot. Driveway is equipped with security alarm - Much privacy abounds. Open and flowing floorplan greets you at foyer with soaring ceilings, and open curved staircase. The kitchen has unblemished oak floors, granite countertops, cherry cabinetry, large work island with sink, double ovens, two dishwashers and double door pantry. Great breakfast bar area open to family room for informal mornings in addition to formal dining room. First floor master suite has private sitting area, 2 walk in closets and an elegant bath with elevated tub, and glass block shower with dual heads. Very private! The living room has soaring two story ceilings with coffered ceilings. Two story family room has stacked stone fireplace, plenty of windows and builtin bookshelves.Outdoor entertaining possibilities are endless with 3 decks overlooking prvate lawn. The third floor has billiard room, exercise room, wetbar, and media room. $1,294,900.00

6577 Wakefalls Drive - This grand manor estate is situated on a private 2 acre lot. Doug Perry Construction left no detail untouched and the unparalleled design is breathtaking! Double entry, arched doors lead you to a magnificent two-story foyer that soars and is just a hint of what is to come.....The informal family room with stone accents offers an oversized fireplace with detailed limestone mantel and surround as the focal point with each side flanked by builtin bookshelves. Eleven foot coffered ceilings add a dramatic flair. Epicurean kitchen is equipped with top of the line appliances, glass front cabinetry and massive center work island with sink. Breakfast bar with intimate pendant lighting can effortlessly accomodate up to 4. Master retreat with ensuite fireplace is located on the first floor accented with double trey ceilings and recessed lighting. Elegant ensuite bath is has oversized shower and immense tub perfect for relaxation. The second level offers 4 large bedrooms with walk in closets and full bath access, a bonus room and a loft/office/computer area with fireplace. A rear staircase conveniently accesses the second floor. Each bedroom on the second level has a sun deck or balcony.The third floor of this estate boasts approximately 900 square feet of walk-up attic storage. The english basement allows for multiple entertaining opportunities with a stacked stone fireplace with gas logs, home theatre, safe room, kitchen, wine cellar, study with walk in closet, designer Berber carpet, generous exercise room, Game room, second laundry room AND a sitting area. This estate also offers Putt Putt area under covered patio, ping pong area under covered patio, Brick and Stone exterior, paver sidewalk and so much more....... $2,100,000.00
For more information on either estate please feel free to give me a call! Virtual Tours on-line at Luxury Raleigh Homes

Friday, March 28, 2008

Me and Sindy...Sindy and me

I'm a Barbie a Barbie world, definitely. However, it wasn't always that way. Before I fell under Barbie's spell, I was a whole-hearted Sindy girl. As far as I can remember, I received my first Sindy doll in the early eighties, as a gift from my mum at Christmastime.
photo recreation: "me" receiving a Sindy treasure!!

This collection is not mine...but I wish it was!!

Sindy started out as a British girl, but "came to America" in the early eighties, via Marx toys, who took over for Pedigree. My Sindy was blond like me, and had rosebud lips, a realistic physique (Sindy was innocent, not sexy, like Barbie) and she looked to be shy like I was, so I immediately identified with her. From that first Sindy doll, my Sindy collection grew to include a kitchen sink where the water really came from the tap (via a pumping action); a stove (with burners that lit up and a rotisserie that revolved); a bedside table with attached, working lamp; a dining table and hutch that came filled with a silver service, cutlery, dishes, and glassware...even candelabra! My sister and I often received the same pieces for our collection, but sometimes Mum bought us different pieces, and we'd ooh and aah over one another's new furniture or accessory, secretly wishing it were our own.
My sister, Wendy, took better care of her pieces than I did (although I wasn't bad), so at the end of our childhood, I was dismayed that my dining table had become damaged over the years, but I was at a loss to get a new one. Lo and behold, I recently stumbled upon a "new" one at a vintage store and gleefully picked it up for the sweet price of $25.oo...not bad, considering the price on the box (from Kmart) shows the original cost as being $13.99 (some thirty years ago...oyy, that makes me feel old!!). The young girl in me feels restored Sindy collection is again intact, and I even lucked upon a new Sindy doll (albeit a brunette) for only $5!! I am a happy Sindy collector again, and the guilt I felt for damaging Sindy's table and chairs has been assuaged.

Have a look at my childhood friend, Sindy, and all her decorative finery. The silver service even comes with the tiniest pat of butter in the silver butter dish. Does a toy come any better than that??

**If you are a Sindy fan, or simply want to find out more about Sindy, check out this great website:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Miami Beach Pending Sale $14,900,000

24 S. Hibiscus Drive, Miami Beach Florida on Hibiscus Island $14,900,000
A beautiful Miami Beach mediterranean estate located on Hibiscus Island, and priced at $14,900,000 is now listed as a pending sale on the Miami MLS. The home located at 24 S. Hibiscus Drive was first put on the market for sale in 2002 for an asking price of $11,900,000.

As more improvements were made to the property, the price was raised to $15,000,000 in 2003, and then to a whopping $19,000,000 in 2004, and $22,000,000 in 2005. Unable to sell the magnificent Hibiscus Island home during the Miami real estate boom days of 2004 and the first half of 2005, or when the market collapsed, the owner finally lowered the price to $14,900,000 in October 2007. Stay tuned to see if it closes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Miami Beach Mediterranean Estate $10,500,000

6431 Pinetree Drive Circle, Miami Beach Florida - Asking $10,500,000

Discretely located between Lagorce Island and Allison Island on Miami Beach, a beautiful mediterranean estate situated on a 20,815 square feet lot, and boasting 8,606 square feet of living space, with 8 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms, is for sale. The Miami Beach home was purchased in August 2006 for $3,800,000, and the new owner completely renovated this now gorgeous mediterranean enclave. Here is a before and after view. The stunning Miami Beach luxury home is presently listed in the Miami Beach MLS for $10,500,000.

A dash of colour in the kitchen...

I have painted kitchen cabinets. Apparently, I am in very good company. While browsing an English decor website, I stumbled upon the most beautiful kitchens with cabinetry painted in the freshest and prettiest of colours. Painted cabinetry is definitely gaining in popularity, however most homeowners "play it safe" and go for white or cream paint when selecting a finish. Some may add antiquing, but around these parts, I know of very few people who share my penchant for swathing their cabinetry in an actual colour. Who knew I'd have to cross the Atlantic to find kindred spirits...maybe it's within me to do this, given my heritage, but I'm willing to guess that there are a few like me on this side of the ocean who have stepped out of the confines of safety and painted their cabinetry glorious shades of colour. If so, I want to hear from you: send me your link to the photos of your kitchen and/or email me your photos (if you don't have a blog), and I will post all of your colourful kitchens later in the week.

I can't wait to see who shares my love of painted cabinets and who knows, maybe we'll encourage others to step out of their comfort zone. After all, our colourful kitchens certainly can't be accused of being cookie-cutter kitchens, can they??

Okay, a pink AGA range...ack!! I want one!!!!
Oh, and that pink cabinet...I'll have one of those, too!!
Look at this sea of pastel blue...heavenly, no?

I love this blue island...

Some green and yellow, too!! So pretty...

all above photos: House to

above photo: source unknownphoto:


...and then my blue kitchen...again...I really need to take some updated photos...

***edited to add: email me your photos at

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My makeover...

Well, what do you think?? I am so happy with the new look Shannon from Eight Crazy gave to my blog! I have been a fan of Shannon's creativity for quite a while now (have you seen the birthdays she throws her children??) and when I popped on over to her new design website after seeing this sweet bird/nest banner at Kim's, I knew I just had to make it mine!!

Poor Shannon, she was sooo patient with me and my "tweaking this" and "trying that" requests...well, I just hope she will still "take my calls" after this whole process!! So far, she hasn't blocked me from her blog, so hopefully I'm still "in" with her!! If you think your blog could use a facelift of its own, then head on over and see what she has available. She has also done custom designs for clients, so if it's a new look you want, then she's your gal!!

Thanks Shannon!!!! Shannon...??

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greener on the other side...

above photo:

above photo:

In this case, it's true...things really are greener on the other side of me. You see, after visiting Angela of Cottage Magpie and hearing of her challenge to post lovely images in green, I glanced around my home and realized there's not a whole lot of green goin' on! I guess I never noticed, but I did manage to round up a few images of my own and delved into my inspiration photos for some others. Hmmm, guess I just might have to look into "the other side" and inject some green into my home's colour palette!!
Green Hill...near me...
my very favourite of my few green things!

my mudroom lockers

green polka brighten up my camper!