Monday, November 7, 2011

Future Home of Victorian Swag: Fallingwater

We at Victorian Swag do a pretty good job of celebrating the swagiest books, movies, music and people. Today I am launching a new series to celebrate some of the swagiest places in the world.  These are the houses, mansions, and chateaux that we secretly (or not so secretly) dream of inhabiting.  And since we are all for dreaming, we're going to go ahead and pretend that the Victorian Swag authors maintain a residence at each of these amazing places and rank them accordingly.

This first pick was a tough one.  But, then again, not really.  Frank Lloyd Wright has been my favorite architect since forever; so it is fitting that our first home be none other than his infamous Fallingwater, located in Bear Run Nature Reserve north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Completed in 1939 as a mountain retreat for the prominent Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann and their son Edgar jr, this house is as impressive as its surroundings and the family that commissioned it. It’s hard not to appreciate Fallingwater; not only for its general impressiveness but also for the details that make it worthy of being a Victorian Swag home.  Featuring three cantilevered floors, multiple open terraces, Wright-designed furniture, and a “plunge pool” beside the flowing river; the house is not only perfectly integrated with its surroundings, it is just plain cool.  I mean, seriously, it’s a house on top of a waterfall.   That being said, here are the official scores. 
Spacious Living Area, Perfect for Entertaining
Location: 7 – Northern Pennsylvania (although lovely) is not necessarily our first pick for vacation home.  But the house and immediate vicinity make up for it.
Landscape/Exterior: 8 – We really enjoy the harmony of the vertical and horizontal lines with the surrounding natural stone.  However, it’s the waterfall and mountain views that score all the points in this category.  We love to hike the trails around the house and sunbathe next to the creek in the summertime.
Interior: 7 – Points were only lost on the kitchen.  And really, for the 1930's, it isn’t half bad.  Otherwise, Wright’s trademark built-in furniture – like beautiful bookshelves to house our ENORMOUS personal libraries, comfortable benches on which to laze about, well-placed lamps, and gorgeous fireplace – is some of my favorite. 
Overall Design: 8 – Another high score; this time for the sheer amount of common sense that went into the design.  It’s a house meant for living, inside and out!  Windows give us plenty of lighting for lazy afternoons reading in the comfortable living spaces.  Outdoor living is emphasized as much as interior living and the flow of the design and its connection to the natural world around it make it a very comfortable space indeed. Download the floor plan here.  
Creativity/Originality: 10 – Fallingwater is one of a kind.  That’s why we live there. 
Party Hostability Factor: 8 – The multiple terraces, balconies and the open floor plan make parties easy and breezy.  Sweeping views, multiple conversation nooks (not to mention conversation pieces), and all-around amazingness make this an excellent place in which to host delightful dinner parties and our bi-annual cocktail soirées.  You should join us sometime.  
The Plunge Pool!


  1. Hmm... I never considered Victorian Swag headquarters to be anywhere other than a mansion, chateau, or swanky Parisian apartment. Can we have a house exclusively for fondue parties? ha

  2. This is one of our summer retreats, of course! As you can see by the scores, it really is the perfect party-hosting house. That's what put it over the edge and onto this very exclusive list. Don't worry, the chateaux and swanky flats are coming soon!

  3. It's pretty, but I think a bit too modern for me. Maybe I'm just old fashioned in my tastes?