Wednesday, January 9, 2013


THANK YOU! My business is entirely based on referrals. By God's grace it was a banner year because of your kindness in passing along my name and reputation. Of the dozens of transactions this past year below are my ten favorites.... not in any particular order.






AT HOME WITH LANCE

AT HOME WITH LANCE WILLIAMS:  London Calling!  If you haven't visited Tampa's Oxford Exchange, it's a MUST see!   Take a tour with this video and then make a trip downtown!
http://youtu.be/SVQYA7IIa3k  OH WHAT A LIFE!    


ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL

AT HOME WITH LANCE WILLIAMS isn't just about selling real estate, it's about sharing the stories in our community that make our lives here that much richer.ENJOY THIS ONE CALLED "ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL" http://youtu.be/OWRoBofFR4A And when it comes to sharing the story of your home, what could be better than a mini movie that romances the home? OH WHAT A LIFE!


http://youtu.be/OWRoBofFR4A

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AN ISLAND STATE OF MIND

Bermuda...Men in jackets and Bermuda shorts, squeaky clean pastel- hued houses hanging above soft pink beaches, cocktails on some swanky terrace with British accents or wannabe Brits from the Hamptonsaffecting British accents.. Actually Bermuda did not begin life as a British colony.... it was discovered by a Spaniard, Juan de Bermúdez ... and remained occupied only by wild pigs until the Brits settled it in 1609, making it the oldest and most populous remaining British overseas territory. But enough about history.... after all, isn't it all about architecture? You can rent the pink villa below for $1000/night.... not bad considering it's two hundred bucks a night to stay in a suite in Tallahassee!  And the villa comes with pool, four bedrooms and a killer view of the Atlantic Ocean.

But you don't have to hop a G4 to catch the charm and romance of Bermuda Colonial arcitecture.   Growing up in Miami we were mesmerized by Arvida's development of a dreamscape called Gables Estates..... handsome stuccoed mansions mimicking their British Island cousins, dotting manmade canals leading out to Biscayne Bay.
In Tampa, Culbreath Isles was Joe Byars' and George Thompson's transplanted Bermudan paradise. 
The style has its roots back in 18th cent. England... When the Georges... the kings, I, II, III and IV reigned over a realm where the sun Never set and brilliant architects like Sir Christopher Wren gave country houses tall pitched roofs, stoccoed walls, tall windows and elegantly restrained ornamet.   Naturally British Colonists exported the style to the islands, giving it a more laid back look.... those tall windows welcomed the ocean  breezes, cold stone floors gave the sun a brush off and those tall tiled roofs provided plenty of distance between you and the midday heat.
I recently sold a Bermuda Colonial in Beach Park Isles that had been converted to a pastiche of Spanish and Georgian architecture.   My buyers realized making it great again was too much trouble and razed the place.... in this case, not a bad idea.... however, there's a lovely Joe Byars original I have for sale that gets you the best of Culbreath Isles minus the 1 in front of six zeroes.
The beautifully tailored lines of 4903 Estrella are the perfect American
translation of the style:  The pale stucco walls, the beautiful oval window above the entrance, the stately rooflines.   It's a classic center foyer traditional just steps to the water with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a pool terrace fit for a cocktail soiree with people affecting any kind of accent they like. Like wat you see?  Take a look inside with my exclusive video story: ...   http://www.prestonfarley.com/videos/4903_estrella.html     OH WHAT A LIFE!

 



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BACK TO THE FUTURE

"CLASSIC MID-CENTURY CONTEMPORARY".  It's all the rage in t.v. shows ("Mademen, "Pan Am"), commercials (any number of them will feature a sleek, low slung house in the background, or a living room filled with Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe furniture sharing space with some mock Picassos and Braques), and movies (The Help... though it's more mid-century history than mid-century contemporary.
You know the look... you either love it or loathe it.  My wife, Amy and I happen to get weak in the knees over it.   Like the classic California Mid-Century... we'll call them Mid-Cens just above..... Is that the bomb!
Or the one to the right... the way all the rooms open out to that long, flat pool... Below, is a MidCen Amy and I fell in love with in Tampa...
Mercifully, it didn't work out for us to buy it... the new owners have spent a fortune on the place.

 The whole idea is borrowed from Spain and its tradition of security and making the most of the climate.   These houses "turn their backs" to the street... In Spain that was for protection.... But once inside.... (see pics right and  below).... there's an intentional blurring of the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.

It's the most relaxing way to live, and those large open spaces are fantastic for entertaining.
Now, I've got a confession.... I HATE it when people fill up those fabulous spaces with bleak, blonde Scandanavian furniture.   The best way to show off those spaces is to blend the sinuous lines of a great French chest or chair with the right angles of the arhitecture.  Juxtapose the striking lines of a Mies Barcelona chair with the neo-classical stance of a Regency cabinet.
I've actually had the pleasure of listing only one delightful MidCen home... The one just below.  The
carport is the dead give-away.. its called a Brise Soleil (sun break).... those stacked, open concrete blocks that allow the breezes to blow through, but provide a screen against the sun and a little privacy.  The other tell-tale signs are Terazzo floors... ahttp://www.prestonfarley.com/videos/3116_lemon.htmln ingenous Italian invention to keep the house cool... and laminate display areas that look like exotic woods. You can enjoy more of the house on this link:  http://www.prestonfarley.com/videos/3116_lemon.html

I have a theory about why MidCens are making a comeback.  There seems to be a longing for "more simple times". A reflection of the "urban luxury" aesthetic where the economy defines design: less is more, roccoco's got a go-go, black shiny vinyl is cool, sliding glass doors are hot, chintz is not.  People are tired of lots of boxy rooms they don't use... In MidCens there are no rooms "off limits"... they easily flow for entertining and can serve multiple puroses... AND, with the judicious use of screening, outdoor rooms just expand the space.

They aren' for everyone, but they are as much a part of our history as
the great bungalows of Hyde Park
or the Spanish Gems in Beach Park,  and ought to be loved and
preserved.    OH WHAT A LIFE!