Why Aren’t You Living in a 200-Year-Old Farmhouse Down By the River?

These five homes have only gotten better with age

February 14, 2017 9:00 am

What do the swankiest homes for sale on planet earth look like? And where are they? And how much do they cost?

Even if you — like us — are not planning on buying one this week, beholding them is a great exercise in motivation. So we’re teaming up with our friends at Brick & Wonder to bring you a weekly collection of architect-designed properties currently on the market.

This week, we thumbed through their collection of historic homes. Most of our favorites are 100 years old or more — though you wouldn’t be able to tell from just looking. 

Derby House (3 images)

Derby House in Glendale, California

The Derby House — designed by Frank Lloyd Wright together with his son and completed in 1926 — is on the National Register of Historic Places,  and probably the most architecturally significant listing on Brick & Wonder at the moment. Set in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, the massive structure’s facade has an unusual style of blocking that casts light about like a kaleidoscope. The interior is just as striking: the master suite has two-story high ceilings and its own loft.

Farmhouse (3 images)

Floating Farmhouse in Eldred, New York

The Floating Farmhouse in the Catskills is over 200 years old, but thanks to the renovations of Tom Givone it may have another 200 to go. The home designer found the building in a state of disrepair (before and after photos here), and did a complete renovation that preserved the historic look while adding in some welcomed upgrades (heated concrete floors and a skyscraper glass wall in the kitchen, among others). The house serves as a vacation rental and wedding site, but what you do with it is up to you.

Gotland (3 images)

18th Century Country House in Gotland, Sweden

This traditional seaside country home dates back to 1770, when winters were longer, colder and altogether less cozy. Modern upgrades now fill the space, from the marble and wood floors, to the luxury baths and showers, to the spacious bedrooms.

Nola House (3 images)

Central Hall Cottage in New Orleans, Louisiana

This circa-1850 Greek revival-style home won the 2016 Renovation of the Year by New Orleans Home and Lifestyles. With five bedrooms, six bathrooms, English gardens, a pool and a guest house, there’s nothing missing here except you.

John Lee House (3 images)

John Lee House in New Canaan, Connecticut

The John Lee House is the youngest of the bunch, but it is culturally significant for its designer and unique construction. John Black Lee was a modernist architect who designed the property for himself, and he built it directly into the hills above the banks of the SIlvermine River. You enter through the skylight in an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings. The entire home is naturally lit and wrapped by a cantilevered patio that takes you over the river and into the trees themselves.

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