Just Listed: The Alexander Julian Estate

Alexander Julian's Colorful Connecticut Home

Reflective of his signature brand “Colours,” it’s no surprise that the home of iconic designer Alexander Julian is bright, lively and luxuriously un-stuffy. Tucked away on 30 private acres in Ridgefield, Connecticut, this ten-bedroom, seven bathroom (plus two half-bath) property makes the most of its sublime natural surroundings. Ponds, brooks, and meticulously landscaped greenery provide the perfect backdrop for this wonderfully whimsical Arts & Crafts home.

colorful rustic bathroom Alexander Julian EstateUshering the outdoors inside, the gracious dining room has floor-to-ceiling doors that open to the red brick terrace. A footed bathtub, soaring beamed ceilings, roughhewn floors and exquisite built-ins are just a few of the utterly charming details throughout the home; there are stylish surprises at every turn. If given only one word to describe this delightful dwelling: happy.

Other features of the property include a guest house, pool, pool house, tennis court, greenhouse and quite appropriately, a design studio. Click here to learn more about this exceptional home.

Musings from the Private Jet Journey

Four Seasons Private Jet
It’s daybreak on the Amazon River in Peru. Early morning light streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows of your suite aboard the Aria, a deluxe river cruise ship accommodating an exclusive 32 guests, and over the gentle rippling of its wake a Ringed Kingfisher calls in the distance. By tomorrow, a private jet will have taken you nearly 3,000 thousand miles away to relax over sunset cocktails at the legendary Posada de Mike Rapu on Easter Island in Polynesia. 
Abercrombie and Kent Private JetIt’s just another stop on upscale travel company Abercrombie & Kent’s 26 day Islands, Savannas & the Amazon excursion, culminating with a lavish evening at the Hotel Metropole in Monaco. Priced upwards of $80K, it’s not for everyone, but if you have the means to do so, these intimately-sized adventures are the most luxurious way to make a dent on that seemingly endless bucket list. "Travel by private jet allows guests to experience far more than they could on a conventional itinerary – and with greater ease and access," explains Abercrombie & Kent President Phil Otterson, "Our guests understand the value of this, which led to our 2014 Private Jet Africa and Around the World departures selling out in just weeks and generating long waiting lists." For the jet setter who doesn’t want to get bogged down by delays, transfers, long security lines and the like, private jet tours are a fast growing trend. Why? The short answer: because it’s hassle-free luxury and first class all the way. 
Four Seasons Private JetThe Four Seasons, for instance, is far from solely hotel operators anymore. In fact, the company now curates a number of full-service globetrotting expeditions where passengers can be transported by private jet to the iconic hotel brand’s various locations around the world. As Susan Helstab, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Four Seasons, recently shared, “In 2012, when we first introduced our Around the World by Private Jet experiences the response was overwhelmingly positive. The popularity and success of these early trips demonstrated the considerable opportunity and growth potential in the future of private jet travel, and encouraged us to look for new ways to evolve the experience.” 
That ultimately led to the recently unveiled Four Seasons Boeing 757, elegantly retrofitted for private travel with only 52 seats. The moment you step aboard it’s apparent that everything has been carefully orchestrated to provide a high-touch experience (they even equip each passenger with a near indestructible suitcase from luxury luggage brand RIMOWA), but that’s not what makes these trips worth shelling out the big bucks (ranging from $70–120K per person based on double occupancy). Rather, the unique offerings and VIP perks are what distinguish each voyage from your average vacation. How else would one get to enjoy a private dinner at the Manueline-style Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon one night and an evening at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan with backstage passes the next? On the Four Seasons Backstage with the Arts journey, travelers are treated to just that on a sixteen day cultural feast through six European cities.
Abercrombie and Kent Private JetNow, if you’re really looking to get off the beaten path, without compromising comfort of course, National Geographic is also in the luxury travel game and has put a few excursions together, as only Nat Geo could. The recently announced Human Journey: Tracing Legendary Peoples and Sacred Places with Dr. Spencer Wells promises the ultimate balance between luxury travel (they’ve got a customized Boeing 757 of their own) and exotic exploration. With stops at numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Mtskheta, Georgia, the cave temples of Dambulla in Sri Lanka and the churches at Lalibela, Ethiopia, it offers a level of grand adventure rarely possible traveling on your own, while maintaining a personal touch that’s far from being prodded along on a group vacation full of fanny packs and tourist manuals. In the neighborhood of $70k, these once-in-a-lifetime experiences allow you to truly delve into a foreign culture with a renowned team of experts to share their knowledge and insights on each destination. 
As they increase in popularity, there seems to be a private-jet tour tailored for every type of traveler: the history buff, the socialite, the adventurer, the beach bum and so on, with thrilling new itineraries created each year to meet the expectations of today’s jet setter. The continued growth signals one thing for sure: they’re well worth it.

5 Can’t-Miss Luxury Events this Season

Monaco Yacht Show
The past few months have been high-season for jet-setting around the world, but if you don’t want the fun to end – fear not – for there are plenty more good times to be had. If you’re still looking for some excitement of the luxury variety, here are five of our favorite upcoming events around the world.
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week, September 12 – 16
For one week all eyes in the fashion world will be on London, as top luxury designers exhibit their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections. Expected highlights include the launching of Burberry’s new “Buy Now” tool on Twitter, allowing users to store their banking details and instantly purchase a product featured in a tweet, as well as white-hot model Cara Delevingne’s new campaign for Topshop.
Monaco Yacht Show, Sept 24 – 27
The ships will certainly be rolling in at Port Hercules, Monaco’s exclusive harbor, renowned for the mega-yachts that line the docks. The definitive event for the latest and greatest luxury maritime innovations, the Monaco Yacht Show will feature a fleet of 115 super-yachts in the glamorous setting of Monaco-Monte Carlo.
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, September 27 – October 5
If you don’t get your boating fix in Monaco, head to Saint-Tropez for the largest sailing regatta in the French Riviera. Priceless boats, modern and traditional, will take to the Bay of Saint Tropez to battle for the Rolex trophy in one of sailing’s most luxurious events.
Miami Art BaselMiami Art Basel, December 4 – 7
Two parts art, one part high-society, Miami Art Basel is the go-to event for international collectors, curators and enthusiasts of Modern and contemporary art. Featuring a variety of mediums, from painting and sculpture to film and installations, the exhibition will feature today’s biggest names and emerging stars in fabulous Miami Beach.
In its 11th year the Dubai International Film Festival is now the premier film event in the Middle East for filmmakers and cinephiles, alike. Viewers can expect a host of Oscar contenders, with last year’s lineup garnering 36 Academy Award nominations, including such titles as 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and The Great Beauty. 
These five are just a few of the exciting events to come this social season, but there are plenty more! What are you favorite upcoming events?

Serving-Up Luxury: Tennis Anyone?

jaw dropping Hope Ranch property

With the U.S. Open in full swing, we have a case of tennis fever. The only thing more fun than watching an action-packed match is playing on a tennis court of your own. We’ve decided to serve-up a few smashing properties that are all winners in our book.

Hope Ranch sea viewLocated in picture perfect Santa Barbara, this enchanting Hope Ranch property is California living at its very finest. With spectacular backdrops of the sea and mountains, the approximately 13-acre site spans two premier parcels. Encompassing over 13,000 square feet, the eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom (plus one partial bath) home is so ideal for entertaining that guests may never leave.

Beyond the sublime scenery, including a tranquil pond, this property offers a host of leisure activities. An equestrian’s delight, the property features horse stables with a riding ring. Prefer an activity with a little less giddy-up? Take a dip in one of two pools on the property. When you are ready to come out swinging, lace-up and hit the tennis court for a few sets.

Impeccable Cape Town MansionDon’t fault us for teasing you with another property. This palatial mansion in Constantia, Cape Town is a South African paradise that offers high drama and welcoming spaces. Upon entering through the wrought iron gates, you know you have arrived some place magnificent. The regal water feature and sprawling parking court set the tone for the many extraordinary amenities yet to be revealed.

The heart of the seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom home is the French, handcrafted chef’s kitchen with breakfast nook, showcasing the home’s second staircase as its centerpiece. After a hearty breakfast, what could be better than playing a few sets of tennis on either of the two grass tennis courts? Other highlights of this swoon-worthy property include a koi pond, under-floor heating and six automated garages.

Country Club Living in Lake ForestLastly we discovered country club living in Chicago’s North Shore hamlet, Lake Forest, Illinois. Designed by renowned architect, Harrie T. Lindeberg, this home has been lovingly restored to its original 1929 splendor. Positioned on more than two acres, this impressive seven-bedroom, six-bathroom (plus two partial bath) manse has the charm of yesteryear thoughtfully updated with every modern comfort today’s discerning homeowner would seek.

The three-story main residence encompasses over 12,000 square feet and includes posh perks like seven fireplaces, a wine room, a second floor family room and breakfast room. Additionally, the property features an attached coach house, in-ground pool and a tennis court set within perfectly maintained grounds.

Looking to score an exceptional property with a tennis court? You have the advantage utilizing Luxury Portfolio.

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.

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