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Colleen Kane

Special to CNBC.com

Colleen Kane is a writer for CNBC.com covering luxury and unusual real estate as well as travel and other topics. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Oxford American, Bust, Spin, the anthology Madonna and Me, and in many other publications. She created the urban exploration website Abandoned Baton Rouge and more recently set her camera sights on the ruins of Borscht Belt resorts.

Follow her on Twitter @colleenkane

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  • Off-Grid Getaways Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 | 4:29 PM ET
    The phrase “off the grid” is not yet universally understood. These days, when people say they’re traveling off-grid, they might mean they’re heading somewhere with spotty cell phone coverage. Others use the term even more inaccurately when they mean to say, “off the beaten path.” Off-grid actually means off the electricity grid: i.e., a location that is self-sustaining—it uses solar, wind, hydro or other means of power. But we thought “no Internet/other gadgets” and “secluded” were good qualific

    Off-grid doesn’t have to mean primitive. Although only one of the following destinations brags of having high thread-count sheets, most are still luxurious in scaled-down ways.

  • 15 Dream Machines for Auto Lovers Tuesday, 12 Apr 2011 | 4:59 PM ET
    Fantasy Cars

    For most mortals, super cars, high-performance specialty cars, and ultra-luxury vehicles are the stuff of fantasy. But for a lucky few they are an expensive reality.

  • Apartments, suites, and cottages added on to a main home as additional living space are nothing new. They can be created from attics, basements, garages, additions, existing space in the home, or as freestanding structures. Many call them in-laws, since they often house an elderly parent; if they're for renters (or illegally built), they're called outlaws; and those ever-colorful bureaucrats call them ADUs (accessory dwelling units). In these post-recessional times, however, the in-law suite has

    Click to see some clever examples of what happens when homeowners turn "this old house" into two homes.