ABOUT

IMG_0238Hi there, and thanks for stopping by. I’m the Cara in casaCARA. I’ve been a professional writer/editor all my adult life, writing about interior and furniture design, architecture, real estate, antiques, gardens, and travel. Over the years, my work has been published in many national magazines and newspapers (find links to some of the more recent articles and posts here). I’ve been a New York Times columnist and contributing editor at Metropolitan Home, Art & Antiques, and Art + Auction. These days, I contribute most actively to Architectural Record, Brownstoner.com, 1stdibs.com, Luxe Interiors + Design, and New York/Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. I’m also the author of several design books, notably Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.

I collect old houses. In Brooklyn, I am part-owner of an 1830s brick row house in Boerum Hill and an 1850s mews house in Cobble Hill. My Philadelphia properties are an 1810 former parsonage in Queen Village and an 1840s double trinity in South Kensington. The four buildings have a total of ten rental units, so I know a thing or two about being a landlord. I’ve also owned a 1930s cottage on 20 acres in northern Dutchess County, N.Y., since 2002, so I know a thing or two about deer-resistant gardening.

At present, I divide my time between a rustic-modern house in Springs (East Hampton), N.Y., which I bought in March 2013 and am currently working on, and a rented pied-a-terre in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

I welcome any and all comments on this blog, and I’ll entertain questions on anything related to vintage architecture, investing in real estate, managing rental property, interior design or gardening. You can email me at caramia447[at]gmail[dot]com, and I hope you will.

Please note: I am NOT a real estate broker, nor do I have any financial interest in the sale of any property mentioned on this blog. I just like spreading the word about unique, historic properties and what I believe are solid investment opportunities.

14 Responses to ABOUT

  1. Porch Days says:

    I have never heard of anyone collecting old houses but more power to you! Sounds like you really enjoy them.

  2. Tara Dillard says:

    I toured gardens in a tiny village in the Cotswolds many years ago. One woman owned most of the village. After WWII she serially bought buildings, fixed them, rented them. It was her livelyhood. What a delight to discover you, another woman, doing the same thing.

    Wish I knew the English woman’s name, alas. Recently discovered she passed away of great old age. What a difference she made to many people.

    Love your site.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  3. rochelle says:

    Cara – your blog is one of the most enjoyable I have found in a while….great work! I mentioned you and your site at my own site today….looking forward to more. – best – Rochelle

  4. Susan Byron says:

    Hi Cara, do you know your name means friend in Irish? Anamcara’s are soul mates? I am a friend of Eileen Abramovitch, she’s my partners Mjs first cousin here in Ireland. I too have been involved in feature writing & interior design for many years now having ‘collected’ several interesting houses over the years. Currently renovating ‘un vieil presbytere’ in France which has turned into a right old love affair, you would probably adore mooching around the brocantes there seeing how well you did with the cane suite on your porch. We are coming over to help Eileen with her new home in the Hamptons in September give it a little international flavour? cheers Susan Byron

  5. Eric says:

    you are my hero. No really! Between the amount of properties you own, their locations, and their beauty, maybe one day I’ll catch up to you.

  6. c21mm says:

    Cara, Your blog is absolutely beautiful. In fact it made such an impact on me that I added it to our blogroll at c21mmblog.com. Your blog has inspired me to install larger pictures at our site, and focus on some really beautiful homes that are for sale in Northern California. Would love it if you would add us to ‘Blogs I Like’. Thanks for your consideration, Lynn Albro

  7. cara says:

    hi Lynn, thanks for reaching out. Glad you like my blog. My blogroll is reserved for blogs I’ve been reading for a long time or that are a very close fit with mine. However, if you would like to send me links to any special vintage properties you have on the market, I’d consider doing a blog post about one or more of them, with links back to your site of course. If there’s a house with an interesting backstory, so much the better – but the main thing is that the house be OLD and out of the ordinary. In fact, I’d welcome a little West Coast input!

  8. Allan Chin says:

    Hi Cara, I just found your blog through Curbed, and I love it. Collecting houses is very sensible, I think, and although I’m already a bit of an oldster, I’m still an aspiring collector/investor, hoping to build a modest portfolio eventually here and there around the world. With my mother I already own an old Carnegie Hill co-op, and a not-so-old cottage in Nova Scotia. Right now I’m researching “cheap old houses” in Bulgaria, and I believe this corner of Eastern Europe has nowhere to go but up after the Euro crises get sorted out. I like to learn all I can from real people owning real property having to deal with real issues. I look forward to reading many more of your posts. Thanks, Allan

  9. cara says:

    hi Allan, welcome. You are far more adventurous than I, geographically. I’m working within a 110 mile radius of NYC! But I’m up to owning 6 properties (never sold a one) and moving forward on a 7th. They’re all rented out, except the one I live in, and it works very well for me. Glad you found my blog. Good luck with your real estate ventures, and keep in touch.

  10. Patricia says:

    Hi Cara, I was wondering which Philadelphia neighborhoods you would look into today for investing. I develop homes in South Jersey , mostly small cottages in small towns and would love to venture into Philly and become a landlord.

  11. cara says:

    hi Patricia, that’s an easy question. Kensington! Particularly what’s called South or Old(e) Kensington, the area that borders Northern Liberties (Girard Ave) on the south and Fishtown (Frankford Ave) on the east. It’s hotter than hot. They have converted and are continuing to develop several of the huge old textile mills into apartments, and the whole neighborhood is taking a turn for the better. I have owned a small row house in that section for five or six years, and it amazes me to witness the improvement of the area month by month. Keep me posted on your activities; I am curious to see photos of these cottages you’ve developed.

  12. artemis718 says:

    Just been tipped off about your blog and am looking forward to your posts. I’m totally with you on Maidstone Beach – what an overlooked and delightful place. Potentially rivaled, however, by Gerard Point.

  13. cara says:

    hi, Artemis, welcome. Gerard is spectacular too!

  14. Marianne Davies says:

    Love your blog. Just came across it not too long ago. Wish I had started what you were able to accomplish long ago. I love that cottage you just sold. I could live there. I cannot wait to see what changes you will make in your new home. It looks like a great piece of property.

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