One of my favorite hobbies is flipping through local galleries on Zillow, or Realtor, or Redfin. I treat it kind of like a mental vacation. For a few minutes, I can imagine myself living in a home that’s well beyond my means. Waking up in a master bedroom where the sunrise streams through a wall of windows. Popping into the sauna in the en suite bathroom. Vegging out on a sofa that really should have its own zip code.
Inevitably, my fantasy follows a predictable path. I walk into the impressive kitchen and piece together some breakfast. Brew coffee. Then I head for the neighboring patio or deck so that I can savor it all among the chirping birds and manicured backyard.
I have a hunch why I do this: I’ve long believed the first moments of the day make the deepest impressions. That’s not to say your fate is sealed by breakfast, only that how those early hours play out can go a long way toward shaping your embrace of what follows.
In turn, I tend to covet the kitchen and outdoor living area above all else in these galleries. I could be lukewarm on the first couple dozen images and then land on a shot of a bright white kitchen with large windows, exposed brick, and an island that looks like a thousand conversations have been had around it and I’m sold. Or a modest fieldstone patio that’s shaded by tons of greenery and secluded from the rest of the world.
I sense I’m not alone, in part because the Doylestown, PA-based Bucks Beautiful hosts a self-guided tour each year that plays to this specific interest. This year’s kitchen and garden tour will be held June 12, from 11 AM to 4 PM, rain or shine. It’ll be the first since 2019, because of the pandemic. You can buy tickets here.
Six homes across the relentlessly charming Doylestown Borough will be featured. For an idea of what to expect, go here to check out photos from recent tours. Rest assured, you’ll be inspired.
If you’re not familiar with Bucks Beautiful, you probably know its work without realizing it. For the last 30 years, the nonprofit has helped facilitate many of the outdoor beautification projects around Bucks County, especially in and around Doylestown Borough. Its RePlant Bucks initiative, launched in 2018, aims to plant 10,000 new trees across the county in an effort to counteract the many trees that have been lost to disease and storm damage.