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House & Garden Tours
Get design and remodeling ideas for your home or apartment
With spring weather not firmly entrenched around the nation, the house and garden tour season is getting into gear, providing an excellent opportunity to get style ideas for your own house or apartment.
Tours of Renovated Homes
When many people think of house tours, they immediately envision well-known homes of historic or architectural significance, like the White House or Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut or The Octagon House in San Francisco — sites with a mostly unchanged, museum-like quality. However, the best renovation, decorating, and furnishing ideas often come from houses, townhomes, and apartments that have undergone extensive renovation or remodeling, giving them a more up-to-date look that might be more in line with current tastes.
In Brooklyn, New York, for instance, the Park Slope House Tours includes many buildings with 19th-century exteriors but updated interiors that range widely in approach, from the Victorian to the highly contemporary to the eco-friendly. Like many tours, the Brooklyn series is run by a local historical society, and many tours of new and renovated homes around the nation are organized by the American Institute of Architects, such as those offered by the San Francisco and Seattle AIA chapters.
Virtual House & Garden Tours
Taking a broader view of house tours, walking, driving, or bicycling is not necessary in these Internet days, and even overseas house tours are available online, like Buckingham Palace and other homes of the British monarchy. On the website that you’re on now, for instance, Bob Vila takes you through several house and garden tours, such as a “green” apartment in the South Bronx and Frederick Law Olmstead’s house in the Boston area. And you can also find house tours on YouTube.com, including celebrity homes, such as the Versace house in Florida and several Hollywood homes (though film or video quality can vary widely). And on a very practical level, virtual tours are often available on homes for sale.
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