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Non Committal

Yesterday I may have come across as a little… wound up. Well I still am, but I’m also trying to relax so we can make a clear headed decision. This weekend it seemed we may have two houses to choose from, and then we had one. And then we flip flopped back to the other one. And now we have neither? Who knows… maybe tomorrow we’ll be back to considering both.

The problem is that Austin is suffering from growing pains. Excellent schools are probably being closed due to budgetary constraints. New schools may be built elsewhere.

Traffic has been rerouted to flow through neighborhoods we like, and a giant highway flyover may be constructed right behind one of the houses we fell in love with. Or maybe it won’t. Should we gamble?

Thanks for listening, dudes. And for chiming in with your comments. Can I just tell you that I’m emotionally drained?

Right now this is all I dream of. Curling up in a fluffy white cloud and reading a classic novel — perhaps some Anna Karenina — would definitely put things into perspective for me.

At least none of the houses we’re considering are near a train.

[Head Over Heels]

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How Not To Stage a Home

The recession is in full swing and real estate has taken a plunge, so that means if you want to sell your home, it’s gotta look good. And by “good” I mean clean, updated within the context of the neighborhood, and not crazy over personalized. I am not talking perfection, people. So this past weekend when we attended a few open houses, I was a wee bit shocked to encounter this, ahem, diamond in the rough. Cute neighborhood, lovely yard, and acres of square footage, but I knew as soon as we walked through the door and were asked to remove our shoes (so as not to sully the 20 year old carpet) that things were amiss…

Master bedroom.

Not a kid’s room.

The only redeeming room in the house was the Big Cat Room. This one’s for you, Karly.

Apologies for the crappy phone pictures, but I had to shoot fast for fear of discovery. My only regret is that I didn’t get a shot of the Navajo room, but then you may already have had more than you can take. It’s probably for the best.

Now, lest you think I’m a heartless asshole who hates pillows and stuffed puppies and crocheted coozies on zombie dolls, I’m really not. What you do on your own time is your business, but don’t expect for everyone else to think sleeping under a giant plastic clam shell is chic. Buyers are nigh incapable of seeing past such things — even me, and I’ve waded through mounds of rat turds while home shopping and still thought, “hmmmm… this has potential.”

Oh, and by the way, this home is priced higher than this one, which is surely proof that the housing market is on wack on crack.

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Did HGTV Finally Get it Right?

Are any of you watching Selling New York?

It kind of gives me heart palpitations every time they walk into a $24,000,000 property. I also love that there is no cat fighting.


Oh, but HGTV could have more pictures on their site. Or make them easy to find if they are there.

Continue discussing.

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Do any of you need a house or an extra $500,000?

Recently Erin and I have been contacted by a few people who are running contests for artists.  We normally don’t post these sorts of things but when the winner of one of the contests is awarded a house (yes, you read that right) we had to look twice.

Win a house? Yes. Seriously.  I didn’t believe it at first and read the fine print with extra care, waiting to find the words “nigeria” and “bank account.”  Thankfully, both terms were omitted and, instead I got “park city, Utah mansion” “lovely art-loving couple” and “send us your art for submission.”

 Oh, who wants to read my blabber when you can just watch here for yourself:

If your boss raised an eyebrow at all the noise coming from your office and you had to stop the video, here’s a summary:

It’s been our longtime dream to start a foundation. About a year ago we decided to sell our dream home in Park City, UT for the funds to start The DO Tank. You’ve probably heard, the market is slow so we had to think outside the box to try and make our dream come true. The 200 Story Home was born!

The contest is called “The 200 Story Home” as we are collecting 19,000 “stories” in the form of written stories, photographs, collages, scrapbooking, poems, etc. We’ll narrow it down to the top 200 entries and our panel of judges will pick the grand prize winner who will pick a charity to receive $50,000 and win our home or half a million dollars in cash! Every piece of art will be on our site after the contest closes. We also created some awesome Early Bird prizes: Mini Coopers, Harley Davidsons and cash…it is possible that one person could win 12 Harleys or 6 Minis! (We are giving another $50,000 to our favorite charities.)

Here are some photos of the home up for grabs.  Remember, winner gets choice of the house or $500,000. 

Oh, I miss the cold weather so much living here in Austin, I think I could get used to having a second, snow-covered home.

Ok, normally, I would take the $500,000 cash (did you catch that the winner gets their choice between the house and $500,000) but that in-door heated pool could tip the scales.

Interested?  Here are the rulz:

  • Tickets are $100. Each ticket is good for one art entry into the contest. THE ART CAN BE SUBMITTED AFTER (LONG AFTER) YOU HAVE BOUGHT YOUR TICKET. Please enter early so you are eligible for Early Bird Prizes.
  • An art entry is anything 8 1/2″ x 11″ x 1/4″ in size or smaller and relates thematically to “home.” It can be a photograph, poem, scrapbook, collage, mosaic, story or a photo of something larger like a sculpture, a quilt or a cake! NOTE: We cannot accept submissions electronically/via email.
  • We’ll narrow the entries down to the top 200 and the panel of judges will pick the Grand Prize Winner.
  • The Grand Prize is our home in Park City or $500,000 in cash.
  • The 199 runner-ups will each receive $500 in cash.
  • The Grand Prize Winner will get to pick a charity to receive $50,000 in cash.
  • The top 200 entries will be published in an ebook or bound book and we plan to take them on a traveling art exhibition.

Be sure to consult the Official RULES and the FAQs for all the details 


I know it sounds insane, but I strongly encourage any artists among our readers to look into this.  You can see the entire site here:  200 Story Home

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The Singleton Residence

Friends, my favorite little distraction is keeping me from doing much work. Or sleeping, or eating, or doing anything even vaguely productive, for that matter. So today’s post is a quickie home tour of Vidal Sassoon’s 1959 Richard Neutra designed home. Named The Singleton Residence, it’s on the market for a mere $14, 995, 000. I thought about rounding that up to $15 million, but the “995” made me laugh — that pricing strategy ain’t tricking no one, Vidal. Because it obviously costs major money to live in a house with a name. Or we could all name our houses something aspirational and pretend to live the high life. I shall call my home Rancho Cucamonga. I know it’s a town, bitches, but I like it.

So, back to the Singleton Residence, and its 5 acres of Bel Air goodness.

singleton residence richard neutra

singleton residence richard neutra

Ah, so fresh and pretty with its manicured grounds and splashy pool and white white white.

singleton residence richard neutra

singleton residence richard neutra

singleton residence richard neutra

Yes it’s so mid century, so age appropriate. Except for this:

singleton residence richard neutra

WTF??? This is a giant stinky tail hanging off the place where a person normally sleeps. And that slasher painting over the headboard is not restful. This does not make me say, “ooo la la,” Sassoon.

singleton residence richard neutra

Someone agreed with me.

singleton residence richard neutra

El zebra muete’s final resting place is much less offensive.

That’s it for today, folks, but tune in for next week’s Round Top report and maybe — just maybe — an update on my dining room crisis. Things are moving at a snail’s pace round here, but my mother in law is coming to help out for the weekend and I’m looking forward to getting a few things done. Or sleeping…

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