This Saturday I had the opportunity to tour the HGTV Green Home in Serenbe, Georgia.
The sweepstakes is actually over now. So unless you’ve already entered, your chance to win the house has come and gone. Like all of the sweepstakes and contests I deal with at work, I am thoroughly disqualified from winning any of these fabulous prizes. But I would sure as hell enter if I could.
I did receive these two free tickets through a little giveaway at work, but it was open to the public for tours as well (for $20 a pop!) I took lots of pictures though, so I thought I’d share some eye candy on the ol’ bloggy.
The first stop of our 30 minute semi-guided tour was a stop in the entry area mud room to don our carpet-protecting booties.
There was about 20 other people roaming through the house with us at the same time, so it was hard to take nice pictures without gawking Georgians all over the place.
This is the sleek kitchen/dining/living area that’s at the center of the house. This poor young husband, now $40 poorer, is being told all about the cabinetry of his wife’s dreams.
It was fun to actually see the house in person. On the TV specials and in the super wide angle pictures they post online, it’s hard to tell the actual scale of the house. This house was modest in scale, and all three bedrooms were quite tiny.
But all that extra space went into some truly fabulous bathrooms. This is one HALF of the shower in the master suite. There were two big ass shower heads on either side, with sparkly tiles from floor to ceiling. Picture this same thing right behind me.
(What’s up, Garnier Fructis product placement?)
And I’m totally in lust with this cabinet thing that’s also in the master bath. In the master bath. As in, there’s enough space in the bathroom for actual furniture.
Although tiny and with only a full sized bed, the master suite did have this delightful private patio area.
The house sort of wraps around a central patio. Opposite the master suite there’s something they’re calling a “Georgia Room” which is essentially a super-posh screened porch. If it wasn’t 95 degrees and humid out, this may have been more appealing that day.
They also tucked in another little room on this side that was staged as a TV/family room. I think it would be better served as an office because it was so small.
I’m not digging the orange walls, and I don’t need a reminder that LIFE is what’s going on in this room. However, I’m a super-huge-humongo fan of this shelving unit. I need it in my life somehow.
Eww, those orange walls are making me sick. Let’s get out of here.
Up on the second level there was a bright hallway lined on one side with a long desk filled with crafty supplies. On the other side was this great mirror made out of old street signs or something.
There is a bathroom, a (second) laundry area, and two bedrooms up on this level.
The kids’ room was fun because of this crazy loft space above the twin beds. And a bucket on a pulley. What kid doesn’t need a galvanized steel bucket on a pulley?
I did like the colors in this room a lot. And the upholstered bed frames are rad.
The other upstairs bedroom was rather small and lacking in lofts and buckets. But that duvet sure looks familiar, huh? It’s the West Elm Organic Chevron print that I’ve been eyeing. In fact most of the house is decorated with pieces from West Elm or Crate and Barrel, so there are plenty of familiar faces (i.e. things I see in catalogs and can’t afford).
The outside of the property was also quite nice. The decking is all composite material, and there’s no lawn at all. Lots of the plants are edible too, many rosemary and blueberry bushes used as landscaping.
Here’s a view of one of the outdoor spaces and the back of the home.
After our 30 minutes was up, we were kindly asked to leave the premises.
I was surprised at how much other stuff there was to see on a Saturday in lil’ ol’ Serenbe, GA. I guess I pictured this home being out in the middle of nowhere somewhere. But it’s nested in this idyllic little community (for rich people).
First, we moseyed down the block to another model home that they had set up full of Bosch appliances and completely decked out in Ballard Designs everything. It was packed with idiots who refused to pay $20 for a Green Home Tour, so I only snagged one picture.
This is one of the bedrooms that was staged with lots of appealing neutral textiles and very simple but lovely headboard treatments. (What’s with all these twin beds lately, by the way? Who wants to come to your house and sleep in a twin?)
So after spending an afternoon in Serenbe, my understanding is that in 2005-ish they found the final undeveloped tract of land in greater Atlanta. And… went ahead and developed it.
I guess the idea was to make it different from the other suburban sprawl towns by trying to re-create an actual urban environment. They created a downtown area with shops, restaurants, galleries, a playhouse, and an upscale inn. And many of the homes are within easy walking distance or bike ride. Just like living in a real city (but without the dangerous minorities!)
I think it’s ridiculous to pay $300k for a 2 bedroom cottage that’s 30 miles away from the actual city, and eight feet away from the neighbors next door. You still have to get in the car and drive 10 miles to get to the grocery store. And if you’re driving your Porche Cayenne back and forth from Atlanta everyday, you’ve all but abandoned the “green lifestyle” even if your house is LEED certified.
But enough of that. It’s totally cute and lovely for an afternoon visit. Really, it is!
All of these buildings are basically brand new. But they mixed the architectural styles in a pretty neat way so that some of them do look legitimately old and traditional.
There were a bunch of little shops, both kitschy and high-brow, but all very expensive. The only things I bought were some honey and olive oil from some vendors in the stables area (both equipped with iphone/ipad credit card machines).
Check this shit out. Some rocks glued onto a piece of felt. Yes, you do need four exclamation points, because this is a retarded price.
After a nice air-conditioned lunch, it was already almost 4 o’clock. (Did I mention this was just a day trip from Knoxville?)
I had visions of swinging by the Atlanta IKEA during this journey. Yeah, has anyone ever “swung by” IKEA for a visit of less than 5 hours sandwiched between Atlanta city traffic? No. They haven’t. So using our better judgement we headed back home.
All in all it was a neat little experience. For anyone in the Atlanta area it’s definitely worth a day trip to visit Serenbe. And for anyone anywhere, it’s definitely worth entering to win one of these HGTV houses. They’re sweet.