As Plum Guide's Chief Home Critic, I get asked a lot what my favourite home is. Now, this question is of course impossible to answer – I mean, you wouldn’t say who your favourite child is, would you? I guess, if I was in a situation where I really, really had to choose though, it would be Leighton – as I don’t see him much at the moment and he is moving out soon. Sara on the other hand is a complete nightmare at the moment if I am honest, out late at night, never calls, uses our house like a bloody hotel, and don’t even get me started on Patrice… Ok, wow, well it seems I definitely CAN chose a favourite child. Very easily…
Homes are not as easy to pick a winner with though – so here is my top 12 for this month.
The Panther, BerlinPhysicists genuinely enjoy any excuse to lean back in their chair and smugly inform you that technically black is not a colour, and that it is, in fact “simply the absence of light”. Well ok, colour nerds, what oh what did the decorator of The Panther – Berlin’s stunning, predominantly black home ask for in the paint shop? “Can I have 100 litres of ‘the absence of visible light spectrum wavelengths’ please?” Ridiculous.
A house named after a sofa. A huge, comfortable, beautiful orange sofa – which also features a beautiful collection of 1960s and 1970s furniture. This house is gorgeous and is, of course, so much more than the basis of its name. On that note, in addition to the sofa and the home, ‘International Orange’ is the official colour of the Golden Gate Bridge. I guess the Orange Gate Bridge just didn’t have the right ring to it.
Raw sandstone walls can either look unfinished or completely amazing, luckily for you this Bauhaus building is most definitely the latter. With traces of its past, combined with state of the art fixtures, you’ll feel right at home here. As long as your home also happens to be a wonderfully appointed masterpiece like this.
With colours so vivid, bright and contrasting that they would give a David LaChapelle photo a run for its money, Maison Extravaganza feels like you are walking into an exhilarating abstract painting. Definitely one for fans of eclectic homes, with this rental you can feel like you are actually part of an art piece during your stay.
With exposed bricks throughout and a cavern styled bedroom, the Cosy Cavern is as close as you can come to living like a neanderthal… as long as that particular neanderthal had painstakingly renovated his cave to exacting, luxurious standards.
Perhaps you are looking for a rental in the heart of Barcelona, and your only requirement is a huge balcony? Or maybe beautiful stone walls are more what you are after? Neither of those? Would an incredible view across the city be more your style then? If you were looking to tick off just one of these things, then unfortunately Iron Coil won’t work for you - as it proudly features all three, and much more.
If you’ve always dreamed of the pirate life, setting sail across the Seven Seas in your dream boat with your trusty feathered friend sitting on your shoulder, then Prospect Palace isn’t quite what you are after. That said, it IS floating, it IS absolutely beautiful, and… you DO actually get a parrot as a house guest. He may not be the best company however, as at the time of writing the only words we are sure he knows are ‘bye’ and ‘bye’ which he says in quick succession when you leave.
Who left the Gaston? … No? Didn’t get that one? Ok, well to explain that was a little joke I made as Gaston sounds a bit like ‘gas on’. I guess that went right over your head. Oh well, I will keep this simple then – The Gaston is weird and wacky in all the right ways and is just great. Exposed beams, spiral staircase and a kitchen that oozes character. Just don’t leave the Gaston… Oh, I give up.
New York, New York – so good they named it twice. Well, whoever created The Imagined Life didn’t think that twice was nearly enough New York for them, as this place has a whopping THIRTY windows. I guess it would have been a much longer song if ol’ Blue Eyes had sung New York thirty times on every chorus.
I am speechless (I bet you wish I actually was). I really am. What is not to love about this place? I mean, if you HATE unobscured, perfectly picturesque, calming views of the Pacific Ocean from an immaculately appointed home that is based in the idyllic setting of Malibu, then perhaps, well perhaps you should search for homes called ‘Greenwich Meantime... in the winter’. Just look at those views. Speechless. Actually speechless. Ok, I really am speechless now.
But wow, those views…
This home in Rome (ooh, that rhymes…) will make you feel like you are actually staying inside the Pantheon. This is due to the extraordinarily stunning décor, which is, I’d imagine, like something you’d find the Pantheon itself. I mean, I haven’t actually been inside the Pantheon, but I have seen some pictures online, and to be honest, if I had to chose, I think I prefer this house. Oh, and if you do want to check out the real thing for yourself, you will find it easily – it is directly outside the front door.
The peregrine falcon is a majestic bird, with speeds of over 200mph and the ability to dive down, swoop up whatever prey it sees fit, and fly away with elegance and speed. The Peregrine however is not a bird of prey, although it is certainly high in the air, and bears a similar striking appearance. Sitting on the top floor, and taking up the entire footprint of the building, this home will take your breath away quicker than the falcon picks up his dinner.