Comments : 40

Good morning, I feel like summers lazy, slower paced days are slipping away, and I am not liking that. The official event that tells me summers sweet days won’t last forever is when I start to see back to school supplies…..ugh! With the time, like an hour glass slowly fading away…I am suddenly craving more than ever a seriously relaxing getaway. As we are in the home stretch of building our house, that is highly unlikely (best I can hope for is a few days at the beach) so I am taking a virtual fantasy trip today….all the homes today are incredibly grand, the first house being in the Bahamas has me longing for a lazy, “do as I please” weekend, going there would suit me just fine, then we move onto two equally grand homes in their own right, and again with spaces so over the top…..a weekend there would be heaven. Come take a look…..

CA’LIZA BAHAMAS, I have always loved this home. This magnificent Island colonial home is named after the owners daughter, Eliza. This is just the epitome of understated Island sophistication. Just a glorious home with a soothing and pale palette to promise the most welcoming and relaxed ambiance. The open shutter windows to allow the island breezes are in every room with a large loggia off of the back facing the ocean. Does it get any dreamier than this? I think not!

Love the exterior, very tall but not imposing, of course the shutters add so much
Now this is what I call a loggia!

I love the tranquility of this space, I can see this being a cozy spot to indulge in a great book
What a view, will have my afternoon cocktail here, thank you!
Soft and tonal, neutral dining room
Love the kitchen too….
How about this bedroom? So chic….

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA Then we travel to the west coast and to gorgeous Newport Beach, perched high on the hill to take full advantage of the majestic water views, this rather opulent home is quite impressive. Though the interior furnishings do not reflect my personal style, and think they are overdone,  I am still wowed by this house and the exteriors and grounds/views are beyond incredible. With a few improvements and furniture changes here and there, this is and could be ones ultimate dream home. I would however want to live outside, I am just mesmerized by that setting.
You know with an entrance like this…something fabulos lies beyond!

Love an interior courtyard
Would want to do a redo here
Not a huge fan of red dining rooms, just my personal opinion
This is a cozy family room, I like the grays and soft tones
The kitchen looks really pretty and open, with big open doors and windows to the outside
A bathroom fit for a queen and as I typed this sure enough..there is a tiara over there!
Love the way this loggia is done…..overlooking the pool
Breathtaking don’t you think?
Oh the meals we would enjoy here…….this is where I would spend all my time
Quite spectacular…..perched way high up on the hill it takes full advanatage of the water views
Something about a house at dusk with all the lights on…its magical!
This is too much! I would go cross eyed, not sure if I should stare at the water view or the TV! (But I suppose I could get used to it, haha)
Oh and did I mention there is a dock and landing for your yacht? You do have one, don’t you?
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS. This older elegant estate home is an understated manor that has been lovingly restored and maintained. What I love here, is whether or not its your taste,that they stayed true to the integrity of the home when they undertook the renovation and followed through with equally appropriate decor. I think it happens to be quite beautiful and certainly very grand. The formal gardens are dreamy and overall this is a very special and stately home. Step inside!
Beautiful elegant and stately living room (love the wall color, a sand color)
Love this fabulous wide gallery/hallway off the main foyer
Updated fresh English style kitchen perfect for big get togethers!

Formal, wood paneled library for your reading pleasure
Don’t you love this hallway? I do!

Increidble formal Parterre gardens are a perfect setting for afternoon coffee

A beautiful pond filled with looks like Carp fish grace the beautiful gardens
Three incredible homes…any of which I would be thrilled to live in. I do love the first one for its light, airy but so sophisticated Island feel…then that second ones views and grounds are just out of this world not to mention that the entrance isn’t too shabby either, and last the understated elegance of the last one cannot be discounted, it is quietly fabulous. Do you have a favorite? Love to know! Have a great Sunday!


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Lauren on

The exterior and grounds of Newport are my favorite! I so miss our days living in California! However, the last one reminds me of when my husband was in Chicago for training with the Navy. When I would visit, we would often drive through the small towns outside of Chicago and I recall seeing many homes of this style, wondering what the interiors were like. Thanks for taking me back to those precious times with my hubby!

Jane Kilpatrick Schott on

Okay, so just my two cents, but I think that the scale of the furniture is so off in the first house. The saving grace is the Bahama shutters, I can’t imagine cluttering up the windows with an overdone treatment. Fans are just so wrong in size in the loggia. Of course the coffee tables are LOADED with so much stuff your couldn’t enjoy a drink in a chair in the living room.
No risks taken in the dining room I must say. Thank goodness they had interesting wall treatments.
House #2
Very Italian on the outside, but lord it looks like a hotel lobby. You would have to scream at each other to have a conversation. I am speechless on the dining room…a bad dream. this house I would live in the pool house and close up the house.
House #3
So boring! What are those transoms above the LR windows? A gallery just lined with furniture. It’s the ceiling that makes this but the certainly did not do justice to the grace of the space. You can tell from the book shelves that this is not a serious library for a reader…it is a waiting room.
Glad they put chairs in the hallways….so long you would have to stop for a rest. Saving grace is the animal pattern rug. And what are those horrible bulb ceiling lights?
I would rather sleep outside in any of these homes instead of living with the interiors.

Wendi @ Classic Chic Home on

It was a difficult decision, but I’ve finally settled on the home in the Bahamas. Please have it packaged and sent to me by priority post!
Thanks for the mini virtual vacation, Tina!

Lisa on

Wow so many beauties. Don’t agree at all with above poster about the scale of first home, but thats what makes the world go round, haha! I personally love everything about it, the fact that it is so understated is what appeals to me.
Second one, like you said the interiors are not my taste either and I would revamp all furnishings however those grounds left me speechless, pure heaven!
Third house, reminds me a lot of the big old gracious homes around here (CT) very stately and understated, LOVE the living room hallways and kitchen, its all so grand but at last not a house i could live in with my three young kids under 12, i would need roller skates to get around..but it was fun to look and drool! Thank you!

Anonymous on

Give me the house of #1 and the grounds and view of #2. I will be a happy camper. GORGEOUS!

Greet on

Dear Tina,

All of them wonderful houses!! Amazing! Where do you find all these pictures!! I love all 3 of them, but honestly the first one ‘Eliza’ has kept my breath away!! Love the exterior as well as the interior of this house!! I go back looking at it , I can not keep my eyes of it!! Thank you so much for sharing all these beauties my friend!
I wish you a wonderful Sunday!!

Castles Crowns and Cottages on

Oh Tina,

THANK YOU for inviting me into these worlds of beautiful dreams. I do NOT know which is my favorite, but the LIGHT INTERIORS really hug me and woo me in. I find peace in such surroundings. THEN THERE IS NEWPORT BEACH….well, being a California girl, born and raised, NPB is near and dear to my heart. That has to be one of the loveliest gardens and pools I have seen all summer long.

HAVE A DREAMY DAY and being a teacher, I am NOT jumping for joy that tomorrow is AUGUST 1!!!!

LOVE Anita

Debby on

Gorgeous… love the first one. I think they feel more like resorts than homes… can you imagine? What would you do with all that space?! Have a fabulous Sunday. xo

kathi on

Hi there
The pool with the flat screen TV really got me………..

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. on

Love the first one inside and out. All the neutral tones and slip- covered furniture beg you to come in and sit with your feet curled up under you. You certainly do a good job finding all these amazing homes. I hope you enjoy your Sunday. Mona

Sharon (Roses and Rust) on

The first house has the kind of effortlessly beautiful interiors that I find so appealing whereas the second house is trying a bit too hard, although the kitchen is lovely. The grounds of no2, however, are simply amazing. Perhaps they should have got their landscaper to have a go at their interiors :). Lovely Sunday viewing! Thank-you. x Sharon

Adrienne on

If it makes you feel any better, we haven’t had a vacation since last October and there is nothing on the horizon for quite some time.

I like the last house best…of course, they are all three gorgeous.

Happy Sunday, friend! xo, A

Emily on

Disagree with the anyone not loving the first house, the simplicity is so appealing to me. I love the gardens of the last home. Great tour today Tina.

The French Hutch

pretty pink tulips on

What a wonderful virtual vacation! I love the feeling of walking into a beautiful space!

And, I’m with you…I’ve been seeing Back to School ads and I’m thinking…not yet!!!!

Enjoy these last few weeks of sun and fun!
xo Elizabeth

Susie @ Maddie's Nest on

Funny, the Wall Street Journal did a feature on secluded Bahamian Islands this weekend and it reminded me that my cousins own an island over there and I really need to get out and visit but I am scared to get on a small plane now that I have kids. They have restored an old house on the island and are developing it as an investment….they had to start from scratch….it has really been an interesting process to watch. So, I’d have to stay in that first beauty so I can boat over for a visit and then return to luxury πŸ™‚ Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Victoria on

Hi, Tina,
All I can say is WOW. The home in the Bahamas, with a few tweaks to the interior decor, is spectacular. Who could be unhappy about that view? The Newport house has fantastic gardens, and while I wouldn’t turn it down, the last house is not my favorite of the three. Thank you for sharing these beautiful images.

Donna in Potomac on

Using the process of elimination, # 3 will have to go because I need a view. Newport Beach has the view, but my practical side says it’s too excessive in size, and all those Roman busts keep reminding me of the Fall of the Roman Empire :). The Bahamas win because I have a fondness for anything British Colonial and anything with rum in it, plus that private(?)stretch of white sandy beach says, Come and stay awile!

Acquired Objects on

While I love the exterior of the house in the Bahamas the interior reminds me more of a hotel rather then a home. My favorite would be the home in Illinois with its quiet elegance.

Funny but I’ve been seeing back to school commercials since July, why must all these retailers push everything so fast and not let us enjoy the moment?

Enjoy your Sunday and day off!


haha! You’re “cross eyed”! Anyway I loved each home!! OMgosh!!! Breathtaking views, gorgeous pools and patios, loved the kitchen in the Bahamas home..beautiful! This was fun Tina!

Barbara@HausDesign on

Wow, I see what you mean about loving the exterior of the Newport house and not so much on the interior! The heads with the plants growing out of them in the dining room?!? Looks like a very expensive chia-pet…I try to never be mean with comments but that is definitely not good. πŸ™‚ I LOVE the exterior though – the lanterns and doorway, the courtyard, pool area, etc…absolutely stunning!

Sizzle and Zoom on

It’s a non-brainer for me. I just move down the street(freeway) and to Newport Beach California and I’m still home but with the ocean view and don’t forget the dock for my yacht.

Carla@DesignintheWoods on

Such gorgeous houses! I love that view in the Bahamas and the tv at the pool is just so luxurious!

Kathysue on

Tina you always show us the grand and gorgeous. I would be satisfied just living on a lounge chair by the pool with the view, not the one with the TV, just the gorgeous view. It is fun seeing how others live!!! Thank you for all your image gathering you are a master at this. I love my visits here!! Happy Sunday,

Love Where You LIve on

I guess I’m more of the Bahamas type. Very grand homes. And is that dining room really red?! It’s a rather strange color. Maybe rose? Oh well…off track there….Thanks for the daydreams. At least on this side of the mountain. Happy Sunday.

Anonymous on

To above poster Jane, unless you live in an 18th century castle decorated to perfection you came off mighty judgemental! My word, you don’t mince words do you? I thought the idea of comments is to “play nice”. I found the above comment really harsh and I am sorry but I had to speak up, as I can’t help but think others were thinking the same thing.
Now onto the houses….#1 for the outside, love the shutters the swaying plams and the understated elegance, #2 wins hands down for the outside pool, views and exterior spaces and #3 I really like the interiors, yes they are old world and to some stuffy but being a real traditionalist through and through this interior most appeals to me and reminds me on a much larger scale of my childhood home in Birmingham. I enjoyed everything about this post, and that pool with the TV? UNREAL….my kids would never come out:-)

Staci Edwards on

Stunning images!
{I have added a list of books to my post today for you}

Susan on

I love the look of the Lake Forest home, but wouldn’t say no to the others. I think if I was going to live in the Bahamas, I would definitely want a more simple beach “cottage”, rather than a house that would take so much maintenance!

I’ve been away from blogs for the past few weeks, so I’m just catching up – I have to see what you’ve been up to with your house over the next couple of days.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday evening, and a great week!

tcb on

Another beautiful post! I believe the last two photos of the Newport Beach House are actually of a house on Mercer Island in Washington. I believe it is for sale, as a matter of fact.

Mel@georgicapond on

I love the house in Illinois, reminds me of English country house, and that kitchen is great. However, the view from the second house is breathtaking, although could do without that huge TV taking away from the view. I do love the built in cupboard in the first bedroom, with that sensational coral paint on the inside and that fretwork style detail on the front. Fab.

Fashion-isha on

Reading these comments make me realize how we all have such different tastes and that’s ok! It’s what makes the world go round. I LOVE the Newport Beach house it’s beyond gorgeous…I’m an East Coaster with a fantasy love affair with all things California! I’ve never lived there and I know I probably will never but I know I belong there! My fantasy of it is just perfection. Thanks for that fabulous virtual tour!

under spanish moss on

Dear Tina,

What a loaded question…Do we have a favorite? Eliza takes us away! What splendor and beauty of a pale palette in the Bahamas. Just breathtaking! However, due that we may need a get away during hurricane season we would head to Newport Beach and enjoy the amazing gardens, landscape, and of course the perfect climate. Thank you for such an inspiring post. It was a feast for the eyes and soul.

Hopefully you got some rest this weekend. Somehow though, with all the construction we doubt it. Maybe you can just relax with a glass of wine tonight! God Bless!

Renee and Angela

Elizabeth on

I love the Lake Forest house and the fact that the restoration is true to the bones of the house. All of the photos are fAbulous. Have a great week.

Christine on

Love the vibe of the Bahamian, love the location of the NB home as that is my neighborhood! I agree on the thought that the statuary is all superfluous, Fall of the Roman Empire, indeed. Like the feel of the landscaping, though.
I’d agree that the last 2 pics of NB are somewhere else. No islands or conifers like that here. Darn!

Karen T. on

I love the kitchen & views of the 1st home. The 2nd home, I’m really loving the bathroom, loggia, pool house/guest house, and boat dock views. I love the manor style of the 3rd home. And also, the beautiful lobby, kitchen floors, and formal gardens.

quintessence on

I’m liking the outdoor spaces (except for that TV)! I could definitely spend some time in one of those lounge chairs.

Veronica on

Now I have no idea which one to choose this time roud Tina as I love them all! The first house is wonderful and someone had some harsh comments above on some of these homes! I just want to say that homes are not meant to be text book cases and should be what people love and feel good in and what reflects their style and dreams! The rule books are quite simply for the rulemakers who mostly feel insecure to reflect their own personal style! Now you know me and a loggia! As I have dubbed your Porch! Only thing that is a no no to me would Be that tv blocking the view!! some amazing images here and I am saving a few for future droolings!


'LUSH' on

The dining room of the Bahamas home is very unique! And, I loooovvvvveee the pool area and its view in the California home! I love the kitchen in the Illinois home, best of all! And, the grounds are pretty lush too. In my dreams, each of these belong to me! They fit my personality and dream lifestyles perfectly.

Carlin Camp on

dock and landing for your yacht? Got me on the water squirting up in pool. I have always LOVED that in pools & park puddle things LOVED. Threatened to put water throwers (dont know name on our sidewalk) NEXT…Parterre gardens
IF I could have the perfect spot. Would be reflecting pool with squirt thingys in my Parterre garden.Tossed in…tons of family, friends, kids & dogs……..and cupcakes or something!With glitter & bubbles. PERFECT for me:)

e47d879c-cedb-11e1-ad42-000bcdcb471e on

Hello…as a life-long resident of Newport Beach and Newport Coast, I can tell you that the last two photos claiming to be Newport Beach are, in-fact, not! Plus, it is impossible to have a pool overlooking the ocean at the elevation in the early photos, then to show a pool at the same house down at what appears to be “lake level”. Besides the fact that there are no pine tree lined shores of Newport Beach, CA. And, there are certainly no pine tree-filled islands off the shores of any house in Newport Beach. The last two photos claiming to be Newport Beach are certainly not!

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