There’s a confession I feel I should make. I have a secret guilty pleasure.
I really enjoy looking at other people’s homes.
When I was younger I would look at the “castle” section of the encyclopedia just to admire the gorgeous photographs of even lovelier living spaces. I hesitate to call them “houses”, due to their truly excessive sizes and decorations.
These days, I’ll often take the longer way home just to detour through wealthy neighborhoods. Whenever I visit a friend’s home I’ll almost always wander off – with permission, of course. I just love admiring the pictures, decor, and layout of different spaces.
It’s not that I’m jealous of what other people have. With the exception of a foolish week-long stint in grad school, I’ve always been quite happy with where I live.
But seeing or visiting another space gives your mind room to imagine, room to breathe and be free. It breaks you out of your daily mold and the thought patterns that you’re so accustomed to in your own place.
So what better way to get the chance to do this than to go on a tour of homes?
It’s a much more respectable and accepted method of getting inside big beautiful homes than stealing or stalking. And Atlanta has got some great tours all over the city!
I think 2 of the best tours around this time of year are the Virginia Highlands tour of homes and the Grant Park Candlelight tour. There are plenty of others, though, and not just around Christmas. Spring is also a popular time for home tours.
My husband and I went to the Virginia Highlands tour of homes a few weekends ago. It was a blast. Every house had a different food vendor on site, and their offerings were all delicious. My favorite was a rustic grilled cheese sandwich from Murphy’s – a bit hard to top the lobster bisque from the 2014 tour, but still pretty much to die for.
Aside from the delicious food, it’s just so much fun to experience first hand the character of so many people so different from myself.
One house was completely torn down and rebuilt as a masterpiece of modernity and simplicity. Another, owned by a marine biologist, had at least 2 dozen octopus “statement pieces” of art – including one in the drain of the guest shower!
A few of the homes’ gardens left a bigger impression than the house itself. They were absolute oases of peace, beauty and tranquility. One residence was even featured in the Marvel movie “Ant Man.” This seemed fitting, because at least one of the children was obviously a huge fan, judging by the number of framed comic books they had hanging on the bedroom walls.
Home tours can be a little bit pricier – between $20-$30 per person, depending on the tour. But for a fun afternoon with a friend or significant other, it’s a really unique way to get out; I would definitely recommend it!
What other tours of homes would you recommend in your area?