The most expensive house in America

While Hubs and I are focusing on getting the most bang for our buck in our build, I thought I’d take a look at what’s on offer if the budget was unlimited – and came across the most expensive house in America that is currently on the market.

Introducing Gemini – the $195 million tropical compound. Yes, you heard that correctly. $195 million compound.

The estate listing calls it a 15.65 acre crown jewel tropical compound, and a once in a lifetime offering of one of the world’s truly great and rare estates.

So what does $195 million get you?

  • 1 x large, elegant yet invitingly formal coral-clad 12-bedroom main residence, comprising large wings on both the ocean and Intracoastal sides, joined by a unique and irreproducible 15 foot wide residential gallery
  • 1 x 7-bed, 7.5-bathroom guest house
  • 2 x 4-bed guest cottages
  • 1 x manager’s office with work spaces and garages
  • There’s also a bird sanctuary, a botanical garden, and a butterfly garden
  • If you’re into sport, the sports complex features a regulation tennis court, half basketball court, Robinson Crusoe-style tree house and playground, miniature golf course and large-scale model train
  • For the boaties, there’s a private beach and a pier, too.

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Sounds like…. a lot of maintenance. But I suppose, if you can afford the price tag, you can afford a couple of cleaners and groundkeepers!

It looks like it’s been on the market for at least a year, so who knows what it will actually sell for, and if it will actually sell. Let’s just hope it’s built to withstand the weather, with Hurricane Matthew bearing down in the next few days. My thoughts are with all those in the path of Matthew – some of my favourite cities in the world are going to be effected and I can only pray that they come out with minimal damage. I’m keeping a close eye on the weather reports and hoping for a miracle.

xx

Kitchen planning + weekend fun

Well we still haven’t signed a contract for the build, but hopefully we’re very close.

This weekend we decided to start kitchen shopping as we’ve got the option of going with our builder’s cabinet maker or a kitchen company of our choice. I’ve found 4 companies that we wanted to check out, 2 of which are on the Gold Coast (the other 2 in Brisbane) so Saturday morning we jumped in the car and headed for Burleigh Heads. It was great to chat with both sides of the process – one place we spoke to the owner and the actual builder himself, and the other place we chatted with a kitchen designer. We already know fairly certainly what we want, but it was good to know that what we’re looking for is possible to achieve! I won’t go in to details until we have the actual drawings and are further along in the process, but this is our inspiration picture (image from Marsh and Clark).

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After spending 2.5 hours talking kitchens, we were both over it and given it was such a beautiful day we decided to swing by the beachfront and see if we could get a carpark and go somewhere for lunch. Luckily we only did one lap of the esplanade when we found a park and it was right in front of the best beachfront spot at Burleigh!

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We thought we’d push our luck even further and see if we could get a table at Rick Shores, a Pan-Asian restaurant headed by renowned Melbourne chefs, and managed to score the last two spots at the casual bar! Lunch was amazing, the flavours were so fresh and there wasn’t a bite that didn’t taste great. We had:

  • Chicken Popcorn, Meyer Lemon, Spiced Salt
  • Beef Brisket Bao, Smoked Ssam Jang, Cucumber
  • Massaman Curry, Lamb Shank, Potato, Pickled Onion
  • Miso chocolate parfait, with milo, peanut butter and malt.

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The cocktails were pretty amazing too!

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On our way home, we dropped into the estate to see if there was any building progress anywhere. Two lots have their building pads being levelled, so it’s likely we’ll see some construction there in the next few weeks. We had a hilarious story while we were there: we found a little pool in the nature reserve between us and our neighbours. It looks like it could be about a metre deep and it had a fair bit of water in it. We were looking at it and said wouldn’t it be great if there were turtles living in it. We got back in our car and drove around a couple of the other streets and all of a sudden hubby put the breaks on and said “what’s that?”. We got out of the car, and there was a turtle sitting in the middle of the road! It was really hot and the poor thing looked distressed. We’re not sure how it got there, or why it was there – perhaps it crawled up from a nearby creek and got stuck once it climbed down the gutter. I told hubby to pick it up and we would take it back to our little pond. Well, the minute we walked towards it, it ran and hid in the shade under our car! Hubby had to get an umbrella out of the car and he managed to get it to climb into an insulated cooler bag we had. We put it in the car and raced back to our block and managed to get it into our little pool! It was so happy, it swam around, ducking deep into the water and then finding a little ledge to rest on. Who knows if it will stick around, but at least the poor thing didn’t die in the sun!

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We spent a lovely day today celebrating our friends birthdays. Such a great group of girls!

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Did you know that it is only 91 more sleeps til Christmas? Can you believe how fast this year has gone? Have a good week everyone!

New discoveries lately

Hey y’all! Life – it gets busy, doesn’t it? Well I’ve been out and about and spending time online and have a few new discoveries I wanted to share with you!

Enjoy xx

Globe West

I’ve started furniture dreaming lately, making plans for all the new pieces I am going to want to buy once we move into our home. I’ve found some great new companies, and fallen in love with some old favourites again too. While I love the furniture in Coco Republic, unfortunately my budget doesn’t stretch to the $13,000 dining tables. Globe West have some similar products at a better price point, so I’ve been doing some window shopping. How gorgeous is this Midnight Blue sofa!

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Flour & Bloom

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of supporting our local entrepreneurs. The concept of daily bunches of flowers has taken off over the last year and it’s so great to see small businesses popping up and delivering something new and creative. I’ve been a fan of Poco Posy and Poppy Rose for sometime, but another that I’ve recently discovered is Flour & Bloom. Their point of difference is that twice a week they offer a donut or cupcake with their flowers! I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful bunch from my husband this week. (P.S – if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, check out my cousin’s business – Daily Blooms!)

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The Malty Grain

On the topic of local entrepreneurs, hubby and I decided to try out The Malty Grain recently. Opened in the first half of 2016, The Malty Grain is a beer house that has been created by the team behind the acclaimed Beard and Brau Farmhouse Brewery. Malty Grain’s main focus is food and beer done well and by all accounts it has nailed the concept. Tuck into a great menu of tapas-style eats such as chicken wings, Spanish tortillas, croquettes and charcuterie with morsels sourced from local providores, and quaff some of the exceptional craft beer and cider on offer.

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ASOS

It’s been a while since I checked out ASOS and I don’t know why, but I jumped online the other day to check it out. Low and behold, they’re having their 70% off final clearance sale! It must be fate. I quickly snapped up four new dresses for the summer (free shipping and they were here in two days!) and am loving them. Sale still on, check it out!

We’ve settled! Now to get to contract stage…

So we settled on the land yesterday! After 10 long months we can finally say we actually own the land, yay! But now the hard work starts!

Hubby met with the builder during the week as we try to work towards our final building contract. While we don’t have to make complete final decisions, we do need to have a pretty certain idea of what style we want, so the different trades can quote on it. Hubby has a strong opinion on details such as windows, window frames, skirting boards and cornice, so I’m happy to leave him to make those decisions. But I have the strong opinion when it comes to the kitchen and bathrooms – these are actually my most favourite areas to work on, as there are so many elements to come together. And so the sketching begins!

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Yes, yes, I am by  no means an artist! But at least hubby understands my rough sketches and can do something with it (the toilet looks weird, but it is very specific – I only like completely flat backs that can go against the wall!).

But anyway, I digress. So now we’re at the stage of working out what cabinet style we want, so the cabinet maker can quote on it. What tiles we might want, so the tiler can quote on it. What shower, bath, toilet and vanity we want, so the builder can quote on it. Lots and lots of quotes!! So hubby and I have been trawling through our inspiration pictures and Pinterest, picking out our number 1 pictures that give a strong indicator of the style we want. Here’s a snapshot of our ensuite, laundry and kitchen inspiration (in order).

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Once we’ve put together the more detailed photos and requests, the builder thinks we should be at a point to sign a contract in the next two weeks, which is so exciting! Here’s hoping it all goes to plan!

Have a good weekend!

Could you live as a family of 6 in an RV? This family does!

Morning all! Yes, you read that header right – can you imagine in today’s world of bigger is better, living in an RV as a family of 6!?

I was reading an article in Country Living this morning about the Harger family who packed up their life in Orlando, Florida to volunteer in rural South Africa. Part of the big move included downsizing to a 28 square metre RV. This blew me away, as we live in a society that usually is about getting more space because we’ve got so much stuff. But this family have done just the opposite, and it’s incredible the amount of stuff they manage to store inside their home – including specialist equipment for one of their children who has a serious medical condition.

The mum, Heather Harger runs a blog called No Muck, and here’s a video tour she conducted of their RV. Check it out!!

I must say… guilty as charged, I’m still glad we’re building a 450 square metre home!

Have a good day everyone, it’s our settlement day tomorrow, woo hoo!

 

Pineapples: A symbol of the South

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Coin purse|Cushion|Tank top|Beach towel|Fedora|Tea towel| Keyring|Sculpture|Inflatable

While many a stylist has said the end of the Pineapple is near, I have to disagree. Yes, it has had a popular run as a pop item and sprung up every where, but it wasn’t until we spent time in the South recently that I actually understood the symbolism behind the Pineapple.

Placing a pineapple at the entrance of a home is a way of demonstrating hospitality and welcome. Traditionally, American sailors would place the pineapple outside of their door to show that they had safely returned. In Charleston, South Carolina, the woman hung the pineapple from the door to show that her husband had returned. You may recall the picture of the Pineapple fountain that we took during our time in Charleston.

As a result, I’ve been drawn to more and more Pineapple objects! Here are just a few that I like for every day, although I do have my eye on a beautiful pineapple sconce light for the front of our new house… might need to reconsider the budget though!