November 28, 2012

Pasadena House Lust

Lust and envy are ugly, bottom-feeder emotions, but on a beautiful Sunday morning walk through tony South Pasadena I was wallowing in them both.

Oh, pretty Pasadena. Oh, pretty pretty million-dollar houses. (Two million, five, ten million, easy.)

It reminded me of a funny, quick memoir I read a couple years back: Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, by Meghan Daum.
 As someone who grew up in rental houses and apartments, who moved several times before the age of 12 (and some of those moves meant crashing in my grandparents' spare bedrooms), I understand house lust very well. It's a primal thing with me.  The white picket fence goes way beyond metaphor.

Anyway. Let's take a stroll, shall we? As I wrote yesterday, we stayed at the Bissel House, and the homes here are north and west of that location near Orange Grove Blvd. in South Pasadena -- an area appropriately nicknamed "Millionaire's Row." Go figure.

Loved this low slung modern house -- with great succulent landscaping.

I suppose one must give the gate code to the staff, too?
We actually got to tour through this home, which was open for an estate sale. It was old, old, old and falling apart, but lord it was cool to walk through. There were elaborate fireplaces in almost every room:

One of my favorites, I think because of that big wide porch:
I would totally "settle" for this more modest ranch, too:

My favorite older-house style is Monterey Colonial, and here's an example. I can totally picture myself up there with a coffee and good book on the upper balcony, smelling the orange blossoms....
We agreed this would make for an awesome Halloween house:
Sigh. So there you have it. Since we live in a cookie cutter housing development, with an HOA ensuring that all the homes stay within the same tones of beige, I think what I lust after most, even more than the awesome house, is simply a charming, walkable neighborhood.
(And the awesome old house.)  Oh, life would be perfect.  I understand that my house lust is a spiralling sinkhole, and it's the same as my favorite bumper sticker quote: "No Matter Where You Go, There You Are." Yeah, I get that. Still.

Oh, Pasadena!


  1. Oh, my! Those are beautiful!! I have so much house envy (especially after Pinning) it's not even funny :)

    1. Hi Amy! Oh, Pinterest is a whole other can of worms, for sure!

  2. Hi Kelly,

    I live in Culver City and whenever I head to the Rose Bowl flea market, I come home with way more mansion envy than shabby chic furniture or distressed hardware boxes!! :) Just wanted to drop in here and say hello since we are neighbors and to let you know that I love Neko Case (I've seen her at the Greek - she is so cool) and Waylon Jennings too!!! Have a great day!


    1. Liz, "mansion envy!" Yep, that's the word for it.

      I also saw Neko Case at the Greek...maybe at the same show. It was a couple of years ago. And anyone who likes Waylon is good people in my book. ;-) Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for commenting! :)

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