Taking to the Hills: Alpine Abodes

Colorado Luxury Home
 
This time of year, it’s the beach homes that tend to get all of the attention, and while we often think of mountain homes as strictly cold weather destinations, they’re actually geared for four seasons of fun. From hiking and biking trails to fly fishing and white water rafting, there’s no end to the activities that mountains provide. Following are a few of our favorite alpine abodes that the whole family can enjoy 365 days a year.
 
Luxury Ski Home in ColoradoKnown as Podere, meaning “family homestead” in Tuscan dialect, this first home is an awe-inspiring estate in Edwards, Colorado. Poised on its own small mountain with 360° views of the Rockies, Podere brings together the best of modern and traditional luxury. The entire home can easily be controlled using a state-of-the-art Crestron system, juxtaposed with such details as a reclaimed fireplace from a 16th century Italian villa. Registering nearly 17,000 square feet of living space, the Tuscan-style residence is surrounded by more than ten miles of private hiking, riding, snowshoe and ATV trails.
 
Luxury Home Whistler, CanadaCool and contemporary, this next one is an unsurpassed luxury home in Whistler, Canada, set on the outskirts of a protected tree preserve. Taking full advantage of the mesmerizing scenery, its sleek design incorporates the natural landscape of the area – from large boulders and a waterfall located on the property to its dramatic mountain and lake views. The inside, of course, is simply deluxe, with a Control 4 smart home system, 120” Stewart screen in the media room and a host of unique architectural details.
 
Stowe, Vermont Luxury HomeRounding things out is a bucolic mountain property in Stowe, Vermont, known as Strawberry Hill Farm. The perfect country home to escape with family and friends, you’ll find a large swimming pond complete with a zip line, horse barn with plenty of room for riding across 190 acres and endless trails for hiking through the Green Mountains. There’s also a farmhouse dating back to the 1800’s, which has been extensively remodeled, and a 6,400 square foot main home with all of the expected modern luxuries, such as a media room, game area, wet bar and even a yoga/meditation suite. 
 
If these incredible mountain residences got you itching for more, check out the many luxury homes for sale in our Ski and Mountain section!

Three Noteworthy Works of Architecture

The Dowell Residence Seattle, Washington
 
Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” Touché. It is, after all, the only art form that we live in and project to the world as a larger than life expression of ourselves. The moment you enter a home of architectural significance, you can feel the aura, an inviting sense of comfort and harmony that is not easily created. As lovers of fine homes, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from around the world to share and appreciate these exceptional works of art.
 
Luxury Home Seattle, WashingtonEpitomizing mid-century Modern architecture in the Pacific Northwest, the Dowell Residence is a visually striking work by one of the region’s most renowned architects, Paul Hayden Kirk. Built in 1953, the home reflects the era of its origin, with sleek lines and complex textures, such as jagged chunks of Columbia Basin basalt and Japanese shoji screen walls. Yet, the Dowell Residence undeniably maintains a sense of timelessness that continues to be emulated today.
 
 
Lake Lugano Luxury HomeUnlike anything we’ve come across before, this unique contemporary home in Lugano, Switzerland captures open views of the pristine Lake Lugano and surrounding mountains through walls of glass. Designed by Jacopo Mascheroni, the U-shaped pavilion is a chic representation of contemporary architecture with a main living area above ground and three bedrooms below. Just 5 minutes from the Italian border, this stylish pad is the ultimate lake getaway.
 
 
Atlanta, Georgia Luxury HomeThis last home in Atlanta, Georgia takes us back to the Traditional style with a masterful design by noted architect Neel Reid, who’s had numerous works land on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1920s, it exhibits the grandeur that has become synonymous with the time period, boasting palatial 14 foot high ceilings in the main living areas and a jaw-dropping degree of detail and finish. The high-standards continue outside the home, where you’ll find a lovely limestone garden pavilion.
 
Looking for more properties with architectural appeal? Check out the many luxury homes for sale on Luxury Portfolio!
 

Unmatched Urban Mansions

Impeccable San Francisco Mansion in Pacific Heights

City dwellers appreciate the convenience of walking to everything, having all the metropolis has to offer just outside their door. In most cases, that door is connected to a multi-unit dwelling — single family homes are not abundant. Perhaps even rarer is a full-fledged mansion in the city. Take a peek at four magnificent manses that take urban living to a whole new level.

San Francisco Terrace with Breathtaking Views of Golden Gate BridgeLocated on one of the most desirable streets in Pacific Heights, this San Francisco stunner features some of the most postcard-worthy views in the city. Spanning four levels and 8,675 square feet, the four bedroom/six bathroom (plus one half-bath) home was originally designed by celebrated Bay Area architect, Louis M. Upton in 1912. Planted on an ideal corner lot, the classic Spanish-Italian Renaissance property is a feast for the eyes outside and inside.


Toronto Rosedale Neighborhood Exceptional Property

Situated in South Rosedale, Toronto’s most coveted neighborhood, this impeccable seven bedroom/five bathroom estate is flooded with light and features lush, private gardens. Three levels of luxury restored and renovated to perfection, it’s a million miles from ordinary and just steps away from everything Yonge Street has to offer.

 


Showstopping Chicago Gold Coast MansionIn the Second City, we found a property that is second to none. This spectacular Gold Coast home in Chicago has been lovingly restored to its original 1891 glory and updated with state-of-the-art amenities, making it an absolute showstopper. With 12 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and well over 18,000 square feet of living space, this home features a sprawling English garden, elevator, five-car garage and a nicety that any winter-weary Chicagoan would appreciate, a walkway snow melt.

Enchanted Castle in the Bronx with amazing craftsmanship

Positioned on the second highest point in New York City, this French provincial 1926 castle has stormed into the 21st century with the most modern conveniences. Designed by distinguished architect Frank Forster, this unexpected architectural treasure is just a 15-minute taxi commute to Midtown Manhattan. With five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, the home features expansive rooms replete with charming details like beamed ceilings, leaded glass windows and wide-plank oak floors.


Want to learn more about living large in the big city? Explore the possibilities at Luxury Portfolio.

Check Out the Latest Luxury Portfolio Magazine!

Luxury Portfolio MagazineThe new edition of the Luxury Portfolio Magazine is now online! Click here or on the cover to the right for the latest in luxury living and the most extraordinary luxury properties in the world. We’re particularly excited to share this issue, which includes local insights from top markets in our Market Pulse, a Q&A with Million Dollar Decorators star Martyn Lawrence Bullard, an insider’s guide to the serene island of Mauritius and a look at exclusive penthouses from Vancouver to Paris. Among the featured properties you’ll find the historic Liongate Estate of Bel Air, California, a coastal getaway in the illustrious Spanish city of Marbella, a breathtaking villa in Vienna’s Noble District and more!
 
Be sure to pick up a copy of the Luxury Portfolio Magazine at bookstores throughout the US and Canada, next time you are in a First Class Airline Lounge or head out to an international newsstand in the 60+ countries where we are sold.
 
Read the press release to learn more.
 

Luxury Hotel Residences

Home at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler
 
Ever spend a night in a luxurious hotel and want to stay forever? For high-end home buyers today it’s not just a fantasy, as more and more hotels are offering lavish residences where you can get a massage, take a swim and enjoy some fine dining without leaving your building. Naturally, we found a few of such homes where you can pamper yourself to no end.
 
Four Seasons Residences Whistler This first residence at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler is the perfect place to come back to after a day on the slopes. You can soak your bones in the hot tub or get a relaxing rub down and order some room service while you recharge your battery at this exclusive alpine abode. As you’d expect, it’s first rate through and through, with three stone fireplaces, radiant heating, breathtaking mountain views and all the amenities the Four Seasons has to offer. 
 
Canyon Ranch Miami Beach ApartmentUp next is a tranquil retreat at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach. Unwind with picturesque ocean views and treat yourself to the myriad spa services at their 70,000 square foot wellness center. With everything from 40 daily yoga classes to six pools and a world-class restaurant all located on prime Miami beachfront, any stress in your life will surely melt away when you call this stunning apartment home.
 
 
Armani Residences Dubai
This last one is an ultra-chic pad at the Armani Residences in Dubai. Set in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the state-of-the-art home exhibits the sophisticated style of the fashion house that designed it. You’ll find a whole world inside the massive building, which holds multiple restaurants, a shopping mall and even a metro station. Of course, the Armani spa is simply divine. 
 
Looking for more lifestyle properties? There are plenty to choose from on Luxury Portfolio!
 

Clueing-In on Conservatories

Landmark Oak Park Home Features Gorgeous Conservatory

For most of us, our first introduction to homes featuring a conservatory was through a beloved board game, as in, “I suggest it was Mrs. Peacock in the conservatory with a candlestick.” Frankly, it’s no mystery at all as to why a conservatory is a welcome feature of a home.  We are going to “clue” you in on three homes that feature captivating conservatories.

Backyard view of Oak Park Landmark HomeOur detective work first took us to Oak Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, where we happened upon this architectural jewel and timeless landmark designed by famed Chicago architects Nimmons & Fellows. Built in 1909 and thoughtfully updated with every modern convenience, this four-bedroom/four bathroom (plus three half-bath) home is a tranquil oasis in a highly sought-after neighborhood.

Charming details like a checkerboard floor and intricate ironwork set the tone as soon as you enter this alluring home. Lush landscaping and an inviting pool set the perfect backdrop for the bright and airy conservatory. Other features include a well-appointed kitchen and separate guest house.

Spectacular Great Falls Home Stunning WorkmanshipSecondly, we investigated a magnificent manor estate in Great Falls, Virginia. We uncovered so many impeccable details in this show-stopping home that it would be challenging to list them all. The millwork, the wall coverings, the tiling, the marble work — the craftsmanship and artistry are simply unmatched.

Tucked away in the lush Virginia countryside, yet only 30 minutes away from bustling Washington, D.C., this resplendent five bedroom/six bathroom (plus four half-bath) manse has not one but two conservatories; one adjacent to the family room, the other from the master suite. Other don’t-miss details of this spectacular property include six wood burning fireplaces, a four-car garage and a 1,300 square-foot apartment.

Architectural Gem in SummitLastly, we discovered an exquisite north side estate in Summit, New Jersey. This historic Colonial Revival mansion designed by noted architect John N. Cady is close to town yet offers total privacy. Set on over an acre of land, the property boasts an in-ground pool, spa and pool house.

Significant architectural details include leaded glass windows, ornamental moldings and coffered ceilings. The six-bedroom/four bathroom (plus two half-bath) home’s crowning touch is the conservatory which is adjacent to the open concept Christopher Peacock Refectory kitchen — any chef would marvel at its amenities. Anchored by a fieldstone fireplace, this convivial space beckons guests to relax and stay a while.

Looking for a home with an out-of-the ordinary conservatory? Inspect the possibilities at Luxury Portfolio.

Just Listed: Robert A.M. Stern-Designed Waterfront Estate

Rober A.M. Stern waterfront estate
 
A rare and significant waterfront estate designed by Robert A.M. Stern – one of the most celebrated living architects – has been listed by Luxury Portfolio affiliate Robert Paul Properties. Poised on 10 acres at the tip of a peninsula in Dartmouth, Massachusetts with over 1,500 feet of water frontage, the landmark property is on the market for $25 million.
 
Waterfront Estate on Buzzards Bay in Dartmouth, MassachusettsBuilt in 2007, the shingle style residence commands 270 degree views over Buzzards Bay and epitomizes Stern’s self-proclaimed “modern traditionalist” approach. A pair of prominent haystack gables and a lookout tower contribute to the exterior’s architectural appeal, while inside the eight bedroom home one will find such exciting amenities as bowling lanes and a bar shaped like the bow of a ship. Further exemplifying the nautical lifestyle which the estate caters to, a masterfully carved mantel piece in the living room is adorned with shells and mermaids, while tranquil shades of blue are evidenced throughout. Additionally, the property holds an oceanfront infinity-edge pool, deep water dock and spacious guesthouse. 
 
Click here for more information on this waterfront estate designed by Robert A.M. Stern! Stern was also the mastermind behind 15 Central Park West, the building in which Jeff Gordon’s recently sold apartment is located.

Taking a Look at Three World-Class Compounds

Luxury Estate in Parker Colorado
 
The term “compound” gets thrown around a bit in real estate and for good reason. It conjures up images of sprawling estates with numerous dwellings where multi-generational families can come together, but with enough space so as not to drive one crazy. The storied Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts perhaps best exemplifies the prestige of owning your own micro-village, but following are a few certified compounds that can certainly rival it.
 
Luxury Home in Parker, ColoradoLocated in Parker, Colorado, Serenity Ridge is a modern day castle in the Rocky Mountains and with over 43,500 square feet it’s the third largest private residence on the market in the United States. Used by the current owner for both family and corporate affairs, the 70 acre estate boasts 11 bedrooms, conference facilities and an entertainment floor complete with bowling lanes, movie theater, performing stage and dance floor. Escape to the massive pool area and you’ll find all the amenities of a professional spa, including a sauna, steam room and two fully-equipped locker rooms. Recently featured on the cover of Unique Homes, Serenity Ridge will be auctioned with no reserve September 27, 2014.
 
Luxury Villa in Uvita, Costa RicaFrom the Rockies to the rainforest, this next compound consists of three luxurious villas in Uvita, Costa Rica. Situated on 36 lush acres and surrounded by an additional 200 acres of preservation land, Mareas Villa enjoys sunset views over the Pacific Ocean, a yoga pavilion and glass-tiled infinity edge pool. With a total of 10 bedrooms throughout 18,000 square feet of living space, the refined accommodations are fit to hold groups of all sizes for the perfect tropical getaway. Venture through the grounds of Mareas Villa and you’ll find an assortment of exotic delights, from waterfalls and wildlife to mature fruit trees. 
 
Waterfront estate in Longboat Key, FloridaFinally, this last luxury compound, known as Ohana, is reminiscent of a Balinese resort set on the Gulf of Mexico. The beachfront estate in Longboat Key, Florida is poised on over two and a half acres and encompasses three separate pavilions connected by natural Hemingway coral stone walkways. Combining a low-key beach lifestyle with turnkey finish, Ohana’s design captures mesmerizing ocean views and affords year-round outdoor living. From the expansive open terrace with free-form pool one can dine al-fresco under a palm-thatched canopy or amble down to the white sand beach and azure waters. 
 
Looking for more world-class compounds? Be sure to check out the many available on Luxury Portfolio!
 

Stepping into the Spotlight: Phenomenal Floors

saint adele masterpiece quebec

Things are looking down at the moment; don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing. We decided to take a look at what’s happening under foot. Flooring can make a big impact in a room, and we’ve discovered a few places that get it just right. Come explore three exceptional homes from the ground up (no need to remove your shoes).

sainte adele interior wooden beamed living roomSet on a private island, this true masterpiece in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec maximizes its enchanting setting with countless windows throughout the home. Flooded with natural light, the space incorporates unexpected elements like raw quartz, stone, wooden beams, iron work and polymer cement epoxy floors.

The unique, high-gloss floors add character and drama to the space, a dwelling that is a brilliant display of contradictions — avant-garde, yet warm and inviting.  With three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, this home keeps things interesting at every turn with surprising angles, rich textures and up-to-the second amenities.

1848 London mansion exceptional period detailsAcross the pond, this majestic 1840 London Mansion was meticulously refurbished, retaining many of its original period features while adding super-modern conveniences. Set back from the street on a tree-lined driveway, this magnificent seven-bedroom property is five floors of full-blown fabulousness.

Replete with 19th century details, including ornate moldings and ironwork, the flooring throughout the 6,500 square-foot home is more captivating from one room to the next. The kitchen’s hardwood flooring features a herringbone pattern, a nod to the past while perfectly grounding its modern appliances. Hardwood flooring in the grand reception space has a rich baroque pattern that sets the tone for formal affairs. Other features of this show stopping manse include a patio garden, roof terrace and five-car garage.

elegant preston hollow estate perfect for entertainingLastly, take a Texas Two Step into this commanding Austin stone gated estate. Located in Dallas’ desirable Preston Hollow neighborhood, this three-bedroom/six-bathroom (plus two half bath) home boasts an expansive open floor plan designed for gracious and relaxed entertaining — both indoors and outdoors.

The convivial living room features floor-to-ceiling windows that flawlessly frame the lush landscaping on the property. From top to bottom the room is a winner; a beamed ceiling and a handsome quatrefoil patterned tile floor add depth and personality to the space, sure to make guests feel right at home. Other outstanding features of the property include a guest house with temperature controlled wine room and a picturesque in-ground pool.

Want to take a walk on the well-appointed side? Step inside Luxury Portfolio.
 

Fabulous Al Fresco Dining

Luxury Home in Tucson Arizona
 
In many parts of world it’s finally time to spend your days outside, be it at the beach or one of the various exciting events going on now, such as the World Cup or Tour de France. But you don’t have to go inside when the sun goes down and, frankly, one of our favorite parts is capping the day off with some al fresco dining in the transcendent evening light. With that in mind, we found a few extraordinary homes where you can unwind and enjoy your dinner in the great outdoors. 
 
Tucson Arizona Luxury EstateThis first home is a breathtaking contemporary estate in Tucson, Arizona with numerous terraces to take advantage of the warm desert air. The views are simply unbeatable, as the home sits behind the gates of the Ventana Canyon Mountain Estates and looks over the picture-perfect city. Whether you’re entertaining on a grand scale or hosting an intimate dinner party, the main terrace is the perfect place to take in a brilliant sunset with a glass of wine. The spectacular contemporary design also boasts a bridge walkway connecting the extensive outdoor spaces, which include a tiled pool and spa, rare cactus garden and covered indoor-outdoor bar.

Victorian Luxury Home in London

Located on one of Wandsworth Common’s premier streets, this magnificent Victorian home in London, UK continues the al fresco trend. The back of the home is outfitted with a substantial deck and garden, which receive ample sunlight throughout the day, as well as a patio with an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area. Abounding in privacy and greenery the backyard oasis is a rare luxury where you can relax with a gentle breeze as the day comes to an end in one of the world’s most exciting cities. Additionally, the home’s rooftop terrace is suited for entertaining with splendid garden views to take in the beautiful scenery. 
 
Tuscan Villa in Florence, ItalyOf course, we couldn’t talk about al fresco dining without including a Medicean villa in the Tuscan hillside. This magnificent home is set atop the most prestigious hill in Florence, Italy, just 10 km from the city center, with olive trees, a swimming pool and lush gardens throughout the grounds. The highlight, however, is a spacious terrace with a gazebo and ancient stone fountain where you can marvel at the surrounding hills, vineyards and historic villas as night falls over Tuscany. 
 
Looking for more luxury homes with al fresco dining? Check out the Luxury Portfolio Al Fresco LookBook on Pinterest! 
 

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