Monthly Archive: February 2016

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Final Week in February 2016

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.


Price Upon Request | Sydney, Australia | Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty

“A 19th-century house with more than 2,700 sq metres of living space, including nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There is also a temperature-controlled wine cellar, gym and outdoor pool.”

In the Limelight: Five Homes for Sale with Movie Connections – Financial Times

3 Frank Lloyd Wright Houses You Can Buy Right Now – Architectural Digest

A Broadway Producer’s San Antonio Penthouse – Wall Street Journal

Home of the Day: Ocean View Penthouse in Marina del Ray – Los Angeles Times

Listing of the Day: A Sedona Ranch Among the Red Rocks – Mansion Global

Elaborate Fort Lauderdale Mansion Seeks $40 Million – Wall Street Journal

Sotheby’s International Realty Network Reports Significant Gains for 2015 – Sotheby’s International Realty

Elle Decor, Sotheby’s International Realty Align to Enhance Knowledge via Native Content – Luxury Daily

Listing of the Day: A 19th-Century Estate Restored – Mansion Global

This $4 Million Modern Apartment is the Highest Home in Northern California – Architectural Digest

$16.8 Million for a West Village Condo With Views – The New York Times

San Francisco: Bubble Fears Fail to Curb Rush to Build New Condos – Financial Times

How London’s Bridges Became Property’s Must-Have – The Telegraph

Strong Dollar Deals: Where to Find International Property Bargains – Mansion Global

Super Tuesday States Outperform Nation’s Housing Growth – Wall Street Journal

Sotheby’s Hong Kong to Auction Rare, Museum Quality Ming Furniture – Blouin ArtInfo

The post Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Final Week in February 2016 appeared first on Sotheby’s International Realty | Blog.


Finest & Rarest Wines Featuring Ornellaia Archivio Storico

This weekend on Saturday, February 27th at 10 AM EST, Sotheby’s New York will hold it’s February wine auction coinciding with the launch of Ornellaia Archivio Storico, a release of mature vintages for auction direct from Ornellaia. Vintages include 1994 to 2001, 2004 and 2006 in formats from bottle to Imperial. In addition, Sotheby’s will be exclusively offering ten lots of the inaugural Ornellaia Bianco 2013.


“We are delighted to launch Ornellaia’s new ‘Archive Storico’ collection through a series of auctions in New York, London and Hong Kong in the first half of 2016, with New York being the first of the three sales,” says Sotheby’s in a recent blog announcing the event. “Ornellaia is a wine of our time, a contemporary legend that has been a privilege to follow as it was created, developed and as it soared to success. From its inception in 1985, it translated this stunning part of Tuscany into liquid form, bottles that would entrance wine lovers round the world, truly emblematic of this extraordinary region of Bolgheri.”


Browse some of the available lots at the upcoming auction below!

219N09468_XXXXXOrnellaia Archivio Storico 2006 | Estimate 1,100 — 1,900 USD


Chateau Margaux 1996 | Estimate 3,800 — 5,000 USD


Chateau Haut Brion 1989 | Estimate 5,000 — 7,000 USD

Be sure to explore all of the auction’s offerings on

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Celebrating Cinema | From the Screen to the Streets

With the Sundance Film Festival coming to a close last month and the 2016 Oscars this coming weekend, the movies that are critically resonating most this year portray an undeniable realism. From Best Picture frontrunners Spotlight and The Revenant, to Sundance favorite The Birth of a Nation, it would indicate that true stories are where filmmakers are putting their focus.

Yet the 2015 (and early 2016) Cineplex had its share of colossal moments of grandeur and escapism for the masses. Jurassic World broke the opening weekend box office record in June, followed swiftly by Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattering that record again the week before Christmas. Despite Star Wars using every modern digital technique to bring the story to life, the filmmakers made a conscious (and heavily promoted) decision to ground the movie in realism by using 35 mm film instead of digital, using on-set animatronic creatures and costumes, and, just as imperatively, shooting on location to bring the many worlds of the galaxy far, far away back to audiences just like George Lucas first did in 1977.

One of the most exciting and exclusive ways for film fans to re-experience their favorite films are to visit those amazing locations themselves.

To Catch a Castle

FrancePrice Upon Request | Cannes, France | Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty

The opportunity to actually own a piece of cinematic history comes rarely.  Even rarer are those items and locations touched by the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Yet, nestled prominently on the French Riviera, the grand La Croix des Gardes in which the classic To Catch a Thief starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant was set is now for sale.

Do as the Romans Do

Italy3.900.000 € EUR | Rome, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Released just two years prior to the aforementioned Hitchcock classic is the quintessential romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, two actors who define the phrase Movie Star, Roman Holiday has become one of the finest examples of Hollywood’s golden age. Set throughout the romantic and historic local of Rome, Italy, the film employs classing framing techniques by combining staged interior sets, rear projection to simulate Rome’s street, and on-location photography, all with a delightful and enjoyable tone.

Where the Magic is Made

CaliforniaPrice Upon Request | Los Angeles, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – Sunset Strip Brokerage

If discussing classic Hollywood productions, the romanticism of European locales always come second to the capital of motion picture production – Los Angeles, California. The headquarters of every major (and most minor) production studios, the clear skies, modern culture and luxury living of LA have been the backdrops of hundreds of films. Of note is the 1997 film LA, Confidential. Winner of two Academy Awards and nominee for an additional seven, the Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger-starring crime drama makes impeccable use of the City of Angles in service of throwback noir tropes with modern filmmaking style.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

For children of the 80s and 90s, there is no more influential filmmaker than the late John Hughes. And when discussing the works of the writer and director of classics such as The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Uncle Buck, it should incontrovertibly include his portrayal of the city of Chicago, Illinois. Often set among its suburbs, John Hughes’ loving portrayal the Windy City is most notable in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a travelogue of Chicago’s exciting cultural sites.

Illinois$3,099,000 USD | Winnetka, Illinois | Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Also of note are his writing and producing credits on films not also directed by him. The Christmas classic Home Alone, written by Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, is yet another Chicago suburb-set picture. For those also looking to live steps away from film history, this gorgeous Nantucket-style home is down the literal street from the McAllister residence. Happily, the previous owners of this home were not victims of the infamous Wet Bandits, so any concerns of water damage are entirely unfounded.

Hope is a Good Thing

The ways in which movies are now experienced has drastically changed over the last several decades. From the advent of home video in the late 70s to the ubiquity of cable and premium TV, all the way to the adoption of DVD in the early 2000s and the recent evolution of on-demand streaming networks, the theater is becomes less and less essential to the cultural impact of modern films.

A quintessential example of this is the popularity of The Shawshank Redemption.

Released in 1994 and critically acclaimed at that time (it was nominated for Best Picture alongside Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction), it was a financial failure, garnering only a smattering of viewers in theaters. Yet over the years, through its VHS release and consistent scheduling on cable TV stations, The Shawshank Redemption became an absolute classic. As evidenced by its top spot on the IMDB Top Movies list, millions of home viewers experienced the final reunion of a freed Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

St. Croix$1,975,000 USD | St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands | United States Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Interestingly, that final location was not actually filmed on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Instead, the filmmakers ended their story on the white, sandy shores of St. Croix. Contrasting with the greys and browns of the prior two-plus hours we spent with the characters, it’s fair to forgive the filmmakers for the slight of hand given how blue and bright the waters of the Caribbean shine.

One Location to Rule Them All

New ZealandPrice Upon Request | Queenstown, New Zealand | New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty

Thousands upon thousands of films have made their indelible mark on cinema by embracing exciting locations around the world, yet none have been able to use a single destination to bring the audience to another world entirely as The Lord of the Rings. Shot throughout the country of New Zealand over the course of half a decade, Peter Jackson and his fellow filmmakers utilized locations ranging from the frozen peaks of Centerbury, to the rolling hills of Matakana, to the lush rivers and forests of Wellington, and the soundstages located in Queenstown. So absolutely bound is New Zealand to the cinematic legacy of The Lord of the Rings that many landmarks from the films have been made permanent to support the $15 billion in annual tourism, allowing movie buffs and sightseers to go there and back again many times over.

This post was provided by guest contributor, Christian Russo, Senior Interactive Marketing Manager for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

Click here to see all of the posts in our Celebrating Cinema Series

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Toll Roads Open on Westbound 580

The new lanes will feature “near-continuous” access so drivers can enter and exit at almost any point instead of waiting for dedicated entry and exit zones.

Tolls will be charged on the new I-580 Toll/Express lane in the westbound direction starting at 5 a.m. Monday, following the beginning of tolls Friday on two eastbound lanes.

This will mark the completing the $55 million project designed to ease traffic congestion on the busy freeway.

The new lanes through the Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore corridor will give carpool drivers a chance to skirt heavy commute-hour traffic and, for solo drivers, the same opportunity for a fee.

The new lanes will feature “near-continuous” access so drivers can enter and exit at almost any point instead of waiting for dedicated entry and exit zones.

The lanes will be free for carpools, van-pools, clean-air vehicles, buses and motorcycles who use a new version of the FasTrak transponder, called a FasTrak Flex toll tag, and set the transponder to 2 or 3+. That will send a signal to overhead monitors not to charge that vehicle.

Solo drivers can also use the toll lanes, using their current FasTrack transponders or by setting the new ones to 1. They will be charged at the solo driver rate, which totals up to $9 for the full length in the eastbound direction and up to $13 in the westbound direction.

The new FasTrak Flex toll tags can be purchased at Costco, Safeway or Walgreens stores or online at

Operated by the Alameda County Transportation Commission and enforced by the California Highway Patrol, the express lanes feature two eastbound lanes and one westbound express lane through the Tri-Valley corridor between San Ramon Road/Foothill Road and Greenville Road. They will operate Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Drivers may enter or exit the express lanes anywhere there is “skip striping” but must not cross the portions of the express lanes where there are double white lines.

Drivers in the westbound express lane will need to exit the toll lane before Hacienda in order to access I-680.

A period of adjustment and associated delays are expected as drivers familiarize themselves with the new lanes. Ongoing testing is anticipated during the first weeks of operation. Speeds are expected to normalize as drivers adjust to the lanes.

“We understand that it might take time for drivers to become accustomed to the new lanes,” said Art Dao, executive director of the ACTC.

He added, “We are working on making this new facility operate as smoothly as possible and will make adjustments along the way to address real-time traffic conditions to make the corridor move more efficiently.”

by Jeb Bing / Pleasanton Weekly

Featured Image:

Art & Home | Stairways From Heaven


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso showcases homes with captivating and architecturally significant staircases from around the world.

Staircases are among the oldest architectural elements, conceived in function and, in the most dramatic cases, elevated to an art object.

gallietta-1356Price Upon Request | Como, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Their roles in literature and history are classic. Think the iconic staircase in Gone with the Wind, the red-carpeted staircase of the White House and the heart-shaped limestone staircase at Rosecliff, the great Gilded Age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Then there is the famed Tulip Stairs at the Queen’s House, the former royal villa in Greenwich, England. Its self-supporting spiral staircase reflects a brilliant harmony of mathematics and majesty.

?????hCopyright GDSPrice Upon Request | Lugano Carona, Switzerland | Fontana Sotheby’s International Realty

“Staircases add value,” says Diletta Giorgolo Spinola of Italy Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Florence, Rome, Milan and Como. “They are a status symbol. Throughout the ages, staircases have played an important role in giving a house a special style and elegance.”

J_Hill_Thomas_Labon_stairs_bridge_1033$8,900,000 USD | Park City, Utah | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Staircases define the character of a home and set the tone for the interior design to come. In estates of distinction they can be the unexpected focal point, expressing power by their twists and turns. They long ago stopped being simply an answer to an age-old challenge, getting from point A on one level to point B on another. They are a showcase of innovation and ingenuity.

View More:$17,000,000 USD | Big Sky, Montana | Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty

Winding, curved, spiral, helical, flared, twin and seemingly gravity-defying are among the countless options and variations. Staircases are complex affairs. All parts need to interact structurally. Building codes ensure aesthetic considerations do not eclipse safety and functionality concerns.

NOTE we think this is a unique perspective[2]Price Upon Request | Paradise Island, Bahamas | Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

While the evolution of technology has helped to turn staircases into architectural stars, they can function beyond visual showpieces. They can be experiential. Custom builder Ted Visnic of Visnic Homes in Rockville, Maryland, says some homeowners, for instance, ask that staircases be “tucked around a corner so you discover them, if you will.” Others request staircases be framed by a bank of windows to “wash the homeowners in natural light” as they ascend and descend the stairs, Visnic adds.

South Barrington, Illinois Property id# FEVX6M_staircase$6,900,000 USD | South Barrington, Illinois | Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Shape, materials and finishes dictate pricing. One of Visnic’s current residential projects is an estate in which the staircase cost upwards of $120,000–not bad for a scene-stealing work of art.

Explore the last edition of Art & Home here!

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Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Third Week in February 2016

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.

Montana$11,995,000 USD | Whitefish, Montana | Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty

“Situated in a secluded alcove on the northeastern shore of Whitefish Lake, the lodge, now known as Golden Bear Ranch, was fully remodelled in 2015. The home, akin to a romantic alpine log cabin, is now equipped with turn-of-the-century amenities such as a stainless-steel kitchen, fitness centre, two wet bars and a large wine room.”

Property of the Week: Julia Roberts’ 1990s Home – Billionaire

A $11.9 Million Stone Colonial House in Connecticut Has Magnificent Details at Every Turn – Architectural Digest

$18.87 Million for a Greenwich Village Penthouse – The New York Times

Sotheby’s International Realty Further Expands Brand Presence in Australia – Sotheby’s International Realty

Swanky Addresses: Homes for Sale in Prestigious Locations – Financial Times

Sussex, England Lures Celebrity Home Buyers – Wall Street Journal

A Cape Cod-style House on 29 Beautiful Acres is on the Market for $22.5 Million – Architectural Digest

One-time Montecito Home of ‘Monty Pyton’s’ John Cleese for Sale for $8.25 Million – Los Angeles Times

Listing of the Day: A Lakefront Dwelling with a Two-story Waterfall – Mansion Global

Walk-through: Lavish Lounging in Los Gatos – SF Gate

$895,000 Homes in New York State, Texas and Salt Lake City – The New York Times

Sotheby’s London to Show Rare Jewelry Sketches for First Time in Public – Blouin ArtInfo

Erdem Teams up with Sotheby’s for a Contemporary Art Sale – Harper’s Bazaar

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Active Lifestyles | Sports Homes

From high intensity games of hockey and basketball to therapeutic putting greens, sports can be an integral part of leading an active lifestyle.  Discover exclusive homes with extraordinary sports amenities.

Sports Home 1 - IL

$18,775,000 USD | Barrington Hills, Illinois | Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Illinois – An expansive 30,000-square-foot mansion situated on over 70 acres of land, this estate in Barrington Hills, Illinois is highlighted by a college-regulation sized basketball court.  The court includes two official scoreboards as well as badminton, volleyball and batting cage setup capabilities.  In addition, there is a commercial-grade workout facility, game room, full-size English Pub with wine cellar, multi-car garage, outdoor pool, private massage room and a custom dog bath in the rear entry.  The home was built in 2004 and has eight bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and four half-bathrooms.

Sports Home 2 - BC

7 988 000$ CAD | British Columbia, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

British Columbia – With two gated entrances, this private property is boasts a five-hole golf putting green in the backyard and is extensively landscaped.  An entertainer’s paradise, the home also includes a basketball court, recreation area with media, card and billiards room, indoor pool, spa and fitness room and seven-car showcase garage.  The home has six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, three half bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, caterer’s galley kitchen, formal dining area with attached wine room, breakfast nook, home theater with wet bar and library.  Also a smart home, the property features a fully-automated Creston© system.

Sports Home 3 - Belgium

Price Upon Request | West Flanders, Belgium | Brussels Sotheby’s International Realty

Belgium – Situated on over 13 hectacres of land, this equestrian property in West Flanders consists of a main house, guest house, horse stables, trainer’s house, caretaker’s house and two studios.  The 3,540-square-meter stables include a carousel with guest lounge, solarium and 70 boxes with a cleaning.  The main house is secluded, yet overlooks the property’s 24 enclosed meadows and four outdoor courts.

Sports Home 4 - ID

$11,000,000 USD | Ketchum, Idaho | Sun Valley Sotheby’s International Realty

Idaho – A 15,900-square-foot estate in Ketchum, Idaho, this grand residence includes a regulation-sized bowling alley.  A fully-functioning bowling arena, the alley additionally features raised seating and computer scoring capabilities.  The nine-bedroom, 13-bathroom mansion has a top-of-the-line kitchen with Viking, Miele and SubZero appliances as well as copper farmhouse sinks, butler’s kitchen, wet bar with wine storage, game room and home theater.  The property is nestled mountainside on 13 acres of land.

Sports Home 5 - Can

5,400,000$ CAD | Quebec, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec

Quebec – A custom-built modern home, the property is a sports haven and features an indoor ice rink ideal for hockey practice, a gym and a full-sized sports court with volleyball, tennis, basketball and soccer capabilities.  With six bedrooms, the home also includes a two-story wine cellar, home theater, elevator, outdoor barbecue and pool with waterfall.

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Sotheby’s International Realty Further Expands Brand Presence in Australia


Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced the brand’s expansion into the remaining Australian states, including South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory, with the formation of South Australia Sotheby’s International Realty.

Led by Principal Scott Bowie, South Australia Sotheby’s International Realty will provide luxury residential real estate services throughout the state. The company’s first real estate office is planned to open in Adelaide in the coming months, adjacent to Sotheby’s Australia Auction House regional representative office. This proximity will provide a unique and marketable synergy in the city.  Additional offices are planned for Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory over the next 18 months.

“Expanding across the Australian territories drives forward our commitment to providing access to the exclusive real estate services offered through the Sotheby’s International Realty® network in luxury destinations around the world,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Australia has witnessed a growing interest from international buyers and our brand presence will be further established in Australia for the ever-changing needs of homebuyers.”

With the addition of this firm, Sotheby’s International Realty now has five independently owned and operated member companies in Australia including Melbourne Sotheby’s International Realty, Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty, Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty and Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty.

“The states of South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory are awakening to worldwide demand for its luxury lifestyle and residential properties,” said Bowie.  “We are excited to be a part of the Sotheby’s International Realty network as we present the wineries and vineyards of South Australia, the mining mansions along the Swan River in Perth, cattle stations in the Northern Territory and the antiquity of early settlement Tasmania, to the world. With access to the remarkable Sotheby’s International Realty marketing, we look forward to the opportunity to share our story on a global platform.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 18,000 sales associates located in approximately 825 offices in 61 countries and territories worldwide.  South Australia Sotheby’s International Realty listings will be marketed on the global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

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Celebrating Cinema | Luxury Home Theaters

Whether its the nostalgic cultural significance, the smells and sounds of the popcorn popping in the lobby or the crystal clear picture and booming surround sound, nothing compares to the experience of enjoying a film in a theater. That being said, with the latest state-of-the-art technology, designers and architects have captured pieces of the theater experience and brought them into the home. Reclining leather chairs, high definition projectors and professional surround sound define these extraordinary private cinemas. Let’s explore some exclusive home theaters from around the world!

Florida$14,900,000 USD | Tarpon Springs, Florida | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

Located thirty minutes from Tampa International Airport, this magnificent Mediterranean estate encompasses a main residence, a guest house and a gated boardwalk leading to 11 miles of riding trails. Massive iron doors open onto the foyer showcasing elegant groin-vaulted ceiling arches up 26 feet high. The lower walls of the foyer are made of pre-cast stone blocks and set the tone of age and grandeur while the upper half has a silky Venetian plaster finish featuring a unique stencil pattern. Travertine marble floors are used in most of the public areas of the ground floor to complete the old world effect. One of the many unique features of this family focused home is The Village, a whimsical entertaining wing comprising a movie house with marquee, a pub, a poker and cigar room, loft style music lounge, an ice-cream shop and a book store/library.

MallorcaPrice Upon Request | Mallorca, Spain | Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty

This bright mansion boasts countless different details; the ground floor features a unique entrance, impressive open plan high-tech kitchen with several dining areas, spacious living-room with fireplace, bar and billiard room with handcrafted Indian teak flooring, patio with fountain, office and access to terraces and garden from all rooms. The basement showcases a spectacular garage-museum with car lift and capacity for numerous vehicles along with a captivating cinema specially designed with comfortable sloping armchairs and the highest audiovisual technology.

South AfricaR 20 000 000 ZAR | Johannesburg, South Africa | Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

An architecturally innovative double story home, this residence offers practical living spaces and an overall air of elegance; the luxurious open-plan living areas flow to covered terraces and a swimming pool with Jacuzzi. Amenities include a superbly fitted gourmet kitchen, Swarovski chandeliers, marble floors, billiard room with cocktail area, home movie theatre, library/study and four garages.

Hawaii$24,980,000 USD | Kailua, Hawaii | Carvill Sotheby’s International Realty

210 Kalaheo is one of Oahu’s most significant beachfront estates and is unrivaled in size and quality of workmanship. Privately gated and set among tropical gardens, the three bedroom guest house leads to the grand entrance of the five bedroom main residence. The main living area is an estate unto itself, focused around the waterfall pool and entertainment cabana that opens to the main house. The Hawaiian lifestyle is punctuated by the indoor/outdoor space and masterful blending of lanais and interior living. This incredible waterfront home features a private theater, spa and security system among its offerings. Just beyond the great room, main kitchen, and master suites, lies world famous Kailua Beach, renowned for its white sand, water sports, and beautiful setting with offshore islands and Koolau mountains. Kailua is a thriving beach community with shops and restaurants that is 20 minutes from all of Honolulu’s amenities.

Canada11 988 000 $ CAD | Ontario, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

A celebration of artistic brilliance, state of the art technology and astounding attention to detail, this impressive 18,000 square foot residence is a rare and captivating find. Poised majestically on three private and expansive acres located in one of the most exclusive and highly coveted neighborhoods just minutes from the Mississauga golf and country club, this estate offers a games room that provides an inspired setting for truly seamless entertaining. Imagine gatherings both formal and informal in this spacious oak paneled space that boasts a full wet bar, home theater, gas fireplace, coffered ceilings and walk in temperature – controlled wine cellar.

Turks$11,800,000 USD | Turks & Caicos | Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty

Sapodilla Bay Estate is a one-of-a-kind nine-bedroom compound. The estate spans nearly 15,000 total square feet and includes a master pavilion and two guest pavilions, each with their own oceanfront terraces. The highly private estate is a rare large-scale property within the sought-after Sapodilla Bay area of Providenciales. The main house features a direct oceanfront living and great room centered by a large island kitchen, opening to the heated infinity pool with suspended daybed over the water’s edge. The terraces offer many opportunities for lounging and entertaining with a dramatic dining deck seating 14 only a few feet away from the turquoise waters. The estate also features a home theater, tennis courts and manicured gardens among its offerings.

Click here to see all of the posts in our Celebrating Cinema Series

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Luxury Lifestyles: Country Living

Teri and Gilbert Gonzalez love the big-time shopping, restaurants and famous music scene of Austin, Texas. But when it comes to where they want to lay their heads at night, the couple prefers the small-town charms of their historic community of Georgetown, a 31-mile ride away, at the edge of the Texas Hill Country.

“Georgetown has a beautiful square. It’s the hub of the town where everything happens,” says Teri. “Our lives here are built around engaging with the community. We know the shop owners. We know the restaurant owners. We know the winery owners. When we’re in Georgetown, we’re truly at home.”

drippingsprings$4,700,000 USD | Dripping Springs, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

The Gonzalezes eschew an either/or lifestyle. Instead, theirs incorporates the best of both worlds. “That’s the beauty of it,” she says. “Austin is right at our back door, very accessible. It’s a world-class city on so many levels, and that is a very desirable aspect of living in Georgetown.” For them, home is just far enough from the madding crowds, the traffic, the parking challenges and the “hassles that go with a big city.”

Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country “serve as ideal places for those who enjoy city amenities yet desire a more private and peaceful lifestyle,” says Austin-based Paula Paulette of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. “Austin is one of the fastest-growing, friendliest, innovative, fittest and fun cities in the United States. But with so much development, both in Austin and its surrounding counties, it has become crowded, inspiring families to look beyond the city limits.” She says places near cultural hotbeds like Blanco, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg and Spicewood, in addition to Georgetown, offer good value and a good quality of life.

Austin$1,799,999 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

In fact, the appeal of these complementary rural-urban desires is manifesting in a trend known as “rurbanism,” in which city renegades bring their urban sensibilities and preferences to the country.

While the number of people living in urban areas surpassed those living in rural areas only relatively recently–2009, according to a report by the United Nations, the desirability of country acreage continues to holds steady. Moreover, as people chase the finite resources of uncrowded spaces and undeveloped lands, many rural pockets are experiencing resurgences.

For some, the yearning for a rural spread is aspirational, the fulfillment of a childhood dream or a return to one’s roots. For others it is about connection, both to community and to the natural world, two factors that correlate strongly to high levels of personal satisfaction and well-being. One British study revealed country dwellers enjoy a better work-life balance than their urban counterparts.

It doesn’t take much convincing for one to see the joys–both big and small–to be found in an “accessible country” location where life moves at a more measured pace,   but cosmopolitan perks are always within grasp. The Provencal region of France is a quintessential example.

tourtour11.290.000 € EUR | Tourtour, France | Provence Verte Sotheby’s International Realty

“The authentic Provencal style of living” includes 300 sunny days a year and the “most stunning nature,” says Anne Marie Biermans of Provence Verte Sotheby’s International Realty in Tourtour, a medieval village overlooking vineyards and lavender fields.

tourtour2575.000 € EUR | Tourtour, France | Provence Verte Sotheby’s International Realty

Traditional country farmhouses and villas here check the list of international buyer demands for their authentic Provencal details like stone facades and tile roofs, panoramic views and gardens of olive, fig and almond trees. Life is an immersion of colors, flavors and aromas. “Most of our clients are very busy working people. They find here the tranquility they need so much. They really can relax and enjoy the Provencal way of living: walking in the morning to the little bakery to buy croissants. Having lunch outside on a terrace in the middle of the market square,” she says.  And yet major Mediterranean coastal cities are just an hour away. “Indeed we do have easy access to city attractions like shopping, theater, fancy restaurants and lovely hotels, but the biggest advantage is to be close to the airports in Nice, Toulon and Marseille. From there,” Biermans says, “you can reach the world.”

Article provided exclusively to Sotheby’s International Realty, LLC. by Iyna Bort Caruso

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