I’m frequently reminded that I’m difficult to buy gifts for. My wife explains to me how easy it is to buy for women and she’s refusing to fill my drawers with even more t-shirts. I disagree. Guys are easy to buy for, but when it comes to gifts for the home, things get a little more dicey.
Any guy that has a woman in his house may have to defer to the lady when it comes to what elements are seen in the home. That is if they want to keep the piece under their roof. However, in the holiday spirit I’m offering up some simple home-related gift options for those looking to give a little something different to guy in their home this year.
This Sunday, the always colorful and amusingly eccentric Russell Brand will host the annual MTV Movie Awards. While the awards season that bring us classy and restrained shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes are all about tuxes, ball gowns and cinematic excellence; the MTV Movie Awards is usually more like the frat party you always wanted to go to. The movies change but you can always expect a loose and less formal atmosphere, questionable fashion choices, over-the-top but funny jokes, great (and some not so great) music and a host of A-List celebs. What makes the MTV Movie Awards gratifying for the everyday fan of movies are the not so conventional categories they dish out the ‘golden popcorn’ for. I’m much more interested in the year’s “best fight” or “best hero” than I am in sound editing or orchestral composition (sorry Oscars).
In the spirit of the MTV Movie Awards, the team here at Coldwell Banker has convened behind closed doors and decided on five “Movie Home of the Year Nominees” from 2011 films that were nominated by MTV for some award or another. Rest assured that the homes nominated below exhibit excellence in the area of looking awesome. From sprawling tropical getaways to ultra-modern residences in California, this year’s nominees are all beacons of architectural ingenuity and beauty. Vote for your choice of “Best Home” below or tweet @coldwellbnkr with your selection by 12 noon EST this Sunday!
Bridesmaids Nominated Home: Helen’s (Rose Byrne) home where Lillian (Maya Rudolph) had her Bridal Shower. If you’ve seen the film you’ll remember this is where Annie (Kristen Wiig) had her melt down and started to throw dirt inside of the chocolate fondue fountain. This ultra-private stately mansion almost defies description. It features fantastic landscaping, a mile long driveway, the finest appliances, endless rooms and an obscene amount of land in the back. European elegance at its finest. (Photo Credit: Seeing-Stars)
Crazy, Stupid, Love Nominated Home: Jacob Palmer’s (Ryan Gosling) ultra-modern and chic bachelor pad. Jacob is all about dressing sharply and looking as cool as humanly possible. So it’s no surprise that his residence was just as stunning as his choice in suits. This architectural wonder sits perilously on a cliff overlooking downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley and gives new meaning to “living on the edge.” The home features floor to ceiling glass throughout the entire residence, a guest house, an infinity pool, stainless steel appliances and a view that would make any A-List celeb swoon. (Photo Credit: Architectural Record)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 Nominated Home: The romantic beach house that Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) escape to on their honeymoon. Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this rustic dream home is perfectly surrounded by crisp blue water and picturesque mountains all around. The home features private beach access and a boat slip, real wood throughout, a bridge that leads to the honeymoon suite and of course all the privacy you or any other vampire would want and need. (Photo Credit: Hooked on Houses)
Thor Nominated Home: The Royal Palace of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his family in Asgard. You’ll recognize Asgard as the small world about the size of the United States that Thor was banished from in the movie by his father King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). The impressive home seems to be adorned in gold throughout and also features shiny metallic walls. The home features magnificent views of multiple moons and although quite far away and remote it offers an accessible bridge (Rainbow Bridge) that allows you to travel easily to other worlds and dimensions…making it easy to stay in touch with friends. (Photo Credit: IGN)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nominated Home: The slick European home of Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgard) on the Vanger island somehwere in Sweden. The bold masterpiece of a home was front and center during the film’s climactic scene between Mikael (Daniel Craig) and Martin. The home features warm architectural design, harmonious with its surrounding landscape and plush with ingenious amenities like sliding glass walls, radiant heating, stone and hardwood. The glass exterior allows for panoramic views of mountains and water. (Photo Credit: Curbed)
The Avengers Mansion. Photo credit: 606studios.com
The Avengers is possibly the biggest movie of the summer if not the year. It’s the first time this many super heroes are appearing in the same movie after many of them have previously had their own story lines showcased in individual blockbuster films. Plus, it’s directed by one of my favorite writer/director, Joss Whedon. While Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Captain America and Nick Fury take to the silver screen we wanted to take a look at the place Earth’s Mightiest Heroes call home: Avengers Mansion.
Now in the movie, Stark Tower acts as the headquarters to the Avengers and in the comics it’s also known as Avengers Tower, but the actual home for the Avengers is located at 721 5th Avenue in New York City and is known as Avengers Mansion. As is often the case in comic books, this home had a real life inspiration. The creator of the Avengers along with many other Marvel heroes, Stan Lee, used to walk past this enormous mansion in New York called the Frick Collection and houses a very prestigious collection of art and furniture. This museum spans a New York City block and Stan Lee saw this as the perfect model for a home to contain the likes of Thor & the Incredible Hulk.
In comic book lore, Avengers Mansion was originally owned by the Stark family until Tony Stark donated the home to the Avengers. The Stark family butler, Edwin Jarvis, was the caretaker for the home and also looked after the needs of each of the Avengers.
Photo Credit: Marvel Wiki
The exact square footage of the Mansion is under debate, but it is referred to as spanning an entire city block and is noted to have 3 floors above ground to go along with multiple basement levels. The main floor of the Mansion housed the library, dining room and living quarters for Edwin Jarvis. The second floor has 8 private bedrooms for any Avenger seeking a place to stay. The third floor was primarily a space for landing and taking off in any type of air transportation vehicle.
The underground levels of Avengers Mansion are the place where business gets done. The basement level was highlighted with training rooms, medical stations and a lovely cryogenic containment area should any Avengers need to be temporarily frozen until a remedy could be found for what ailed them. Sub-Basement Level 1 is home to the Assembly Room where planning meetings were held for their next mission. And of course Sub-Basement Level 2 was used for what us mere mortals use basements for: storage.
Just like any home, Avenger Mansion required some updating over time. Rooms were rearranged to accommodate new members or enhance security systems with the latest technology. In fact, in the early days of the Avengers, Thor and Iron Man pushed the entire mansion 35 feet back from Fifth Avenue to gain additional privacy.
It’s safe to say that if Avengers Mansion were on the market today it would have an astronomical asking price and potentially be the most security-enabled home in existence. Explore all the details of Avengers Mansion at Marvel Wikia.
If not Avengers Mansion, share your favorite super hero home in the comments.
“Here’s to pets…and all the things that make a house a home.”
Meet our big Blue Weimaraner, Thor (Nordic God of Thunder, his name when adopted), and our Shorthaired Pointer pup, Jager (“hunter” in German). They are two in a long line of dogs in my life since I was two years old, and they are an integral part of the value of our home for my wife and me.
Pets, whether they’re dogs, cats, or other, are special to so many of us and we couldn’t imagine a life without them. Their unconditional affection, eternal forgiveness (at least with dogs… I’m not so convinced about cats…sorry cat owners, but I’ve been there, too), and ability to make the day’s stress melt away with the wag of their tails renders them incredible companions and quasi therapists.
Now there are plenty of renters out there today with pets, but based on a recent experience I can once again confirm that pets and homeownership go together best. When moving from Florida to New Jersey 18 months ago, we originally intended to build, so we purchased a home site and went looking for a house to lease during construction. In search after search, whether online or in print, we were all too often faced with disappointing restrictions on pets. Periodically we’d find a landlord who would allow a “small” dog with a larger deposit down, but small doesn’t apply when you have two dogs with a combined weight just shy of 200 pounds.
Although we finally found a house to rent, I believe Thor and Jager knew something wasn’t right. This was temporary. This wasn’t home. We’re all creatures of routine, and relish our independence and privacy. We all prefer to set down roots and bask in the familiar.
And we could learn a thing or two from our pets. You see, over these last few years, they didn’t become obsessed with the latest newspaper articles on prices or ponder daily fluctuations in household equity. They were just concerned about whether dinner would be on time and which one of them would get the prime sleeping spot in front of a sun drenched window. A long-term perspective will eventually show they were the wiser.
Ultimately, we decided not to build, but instead purchased a charming older home on several acres where Thor and Jager can while away the hours scouting for anything furry that moves. And at the end of the day, they can curl up in front of the fireplace with the assurance of knowing they are finally home again. So can their dad…..
Take a look at the Coldwell Banker TV spot titled “Pets.”