Laurel and Michael’s Victorian gothic haunted mansion on a hill

June 16 |

The front?

This is The Manor Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Built in 1896 as a luxury hotel, it's now a National Historic Site — and Laurel and Michael, an academic and a "headshrinker" respectively, have lived there for two and a half years.

The couple like the balance of it: they get to love their sconces, Ionic columns, and high ceilings while staying close to downtown Asheville. Because really, living in a house old enough to be your great-grandmother is no fun if it makes you FEEL left out of the younger crowd's world of music, cafes, and nightlife.

You'll never guess…

Common rooms are styled for both Michael and Laurel: heavy, ornate furniture and loads of gargoyles make them BOTH happy. In the bathrooms they get individual: Michael's has a pirate theme, Laurel's has mermaids.

Fluffer detail

Mother-of-pearl jewelry box

Every home has a challenge — and this building's challenge for occupants is rising to meet the sheer potential. Even though they've collected antiques for years, the remaining cheap-o grad school furniture they moved in with stuck out like a sore thumb in the Manor's grandeur.

Laurel's dressing table

There are always downsides about living in a rental, but Laurel and Michael are happy. "We're content to rent because we have yet to see a place for sale with anything like the Manor's style. Our lesson has been to reject the idea that we have to buy just for the sake of owning a place; inhabiting a world of crazy-Gothic-awesome means more to us."

By the guest room bed

Want to learn more about The Manor Inn? Indulge yourself here.

And finally, enjoy the rest of the decor porn!

  1. I swear: between the year this place was build (now amended to say 1896!) and "Sw" countries, this has not been my week for braininess.

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  2. So incredibly jealous of the gothic awesomeness right now!

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    • There are actually a pair of them! There wasn't room to feature *all* our gargoyles, but I tried to cram in as many as possible. :)

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  3. OH……MY……GOD!!! Its like someone broke into my head and made my dream house!! Am feeling immensely jealous right now! Sending the link to my husband now. Oh and hear hear for not feeling pressured into jumping on the property ladder!

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  4. Oh man, for a minute I thought they owned the whole thing!

    It looks *awesome* And that lion gargoyle! Ahh!

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    • HAHAHAHA! Man, I wish! Nope, we have one unit, meaning there's room for up to 34 Offbeat Homies as neighbors. Y'all come! :)

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      • Inorite? I was like, well, in this economy, being a millionaire with a mansion isn't typical so I *guess* it could be called offbeat…then I saw it was apartments. :P

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  5. typo alert! it says the SHINGING in the summary. should be the shining

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    • FYI, the Editz button at the bottom of the post will let you flag errors. :)

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      • Totally true (and thanks, Dina, for pimping Editz!!), but since the summary of the post only appears on the homepage, Editz doesn't work to offer fixes. Jessie, I'll fix this typo manually right now.

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  6. *swoon* I think that just about sums it up! I'm moving to America and getting me a unit/flat in The Manor Inn! Hehehe

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  7. Yay for preservation projects! And NC projects!

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