Thursday, April 7, 2011

Home and away with Oprah...

I know, odd post title isn't it…. Especially when you consider its about neither the TV show nor the woman per se - but while we're on that...  I will (as usual) take you down a little side road :)  I find it fascinating that the Queen of TV induces such strong reactions in people. It's really quite amazing to behold.  Grown women cry and squeal in her presence (and at her presents!!  Hee hee) where as others cringe and spew forth a mountain of verbal disdain.  How can one woman be responsible for such strong and varied reactions?

I myself am a bit of a fence sitter when it comes to Oprah.  If the show is interesting enough, I'll watch it… but without a hot topic to hold my interest, I'm not really into watching the show just to see her.  Last year I bought a book called Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant … it’s a book about one woman's decision to accept Oprah's challenge to 'Live your best life' by pledging to do everything Oprah tells her (viewers) to do for a whole year!  I thought it sounded like a really intriguing experiment (especially because I know from experience that Oprah is always saying things like "you've got to try this" and "every woman needs a pair of these pants"!)  I wasn't expecting a lot, not being a die hard Oprah fan, but just thought it would be an interesting way to pass a few hours.  But actually, I was very pleasantly surprised!  I won't go into it too much (I'll let you read it if you're interested and form your own opinion) but I thought it was great - really easy to read and quite funny in parts.  I have since lent it to a friend of mine who is most definitely not an Oprah fan, and she also was surprised by how much she liked it - neither of us wanted the book to end!  Well, enough of the side road, time to get back on the highway :)

This post is actually really about Oprah's homes.  Some time ago, I saw a rerun of an old Oprah show with Nate Berkus and decided to go scouring her website for little tidbits of inspiration (since the only copy of the single Nate Berkus book that my library had has seemingly gone missing... if only they'd buy more!)  In the process, I somehow managed to subscribe myself to her emails about money and home.  Most of the time I don't read or click on the links from those emails (especially the money ones - way too depressing, that Suze Ormond has impossible standards in my opinion!), but in my recent week of quarantine, when Alex was momentarily engaged by Ratatouille (the movie, not the food!), I saw this...

I can't recall where, but I have seen photos of Oprah's Hawaii 'farmhouse' before and just about died of envy, so of course I clicked the link that said The perfect 21st-century Hawaiian farmhouse and the very first image I saw - well I swear it took my breath away.  I would do anything to visit this house.... (although I'm not really sure why there is a horse there... does he look out of place, or is it just me?)

Now myself, I barely need to look further - the above image is enough to sustain me for some time (isn't it just absolutely divine?) - well until I open my eyes and take in my own cluttered and half finished surrounds, at which point deep depression sets in - but its a nice bit of escapism, even if its only fleeting! :)  Moving onto some other photos from the article, the one thing that stands out with this (peeking over your shoulder through all the photos) is the view, it looks incredible.  And what better way to take it in than from the terrace off the master bedroom?  OK you can't actually see the view well in these photos... but I just loved these shots, so here they are!  The view out onto the terrace from Oprah's master bedroom

And then the terrace off the master bedroom itself

If this were her one house to get away from it all, I could grant her that - but this is just one of her many abodes... oh to have a choice!  Although if it were me, I don't think I'd ever leave this one!  But the other one that really caught my eye (and again, I've seen it before, although I can't quite recall where) is the 'Teahouse' which is located in Montecito, California...  I don't really think I could be in a place like this (I am just terrified of bees!) but it is very pretty

Apparently the Teahouse is where Oprah goes to restore her soul - no meetings, no music, just peace and quiet.  Sounds pretty good to me, and well, she's a very busy woman, even busier than me!  (Joke, people)...  So I get that she needs some rest and relaxation away from the world :)

The next house I took a look at is her Santa Barbara Guesthouse... and I have to say it didn't inspire the same emotion that the others did (for me anyway)...  Have a look at the article and tell me what you think, but it feels a bit too rich and overdone for me.  Still, it would be a boring world if we all liked the same thing!  Here are a couple of photos from this house that spoke to me....

And a couple that didn't (or had nasty things to say...)

I would appreciate your feedback here - does anyone like this study?  The whole curtains, wallpaper, lounge theme feels really overwhelming to me...  Am I alone?  With the curtains closed, that room would just be really full on!

Well, I'm told there are other houses (of course there are) owned by Ms Winfrey, and I'll probably catch up with those ones sooner or later, but I hope you've enjoyed these ones for now.

By the way, if you're a sucker for virtually touring houses (celebrity or no) then you really really need to check out the Hooked on Houses blog...  It is the most amazing blog.  Really.  Julie (blogger extraordinaire) frequently puts together such a plethora of photos and amazing houses to look at, I should only view it for short periods to avoid sensory overload (notice I said 'should'.... I don't actually practice what I preach because lets face it, how can you stop when it's sooooo much fun to look at?!)  Anyway, do yourself a favour, you won't regret it!  The very first post I read was about a house (that looked like something out of 'Hoarders') that had been staged to sell - absolutely incredible, check it out!  And while you're at it, have a look at these houses from Nancy Meyers' movies - I am going to do my own post about her one day because her movies are especially dear to my heart...  I loved her movies so much before I ever realised why... but that is a story for another day!

Thanks and bye for now :)

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