Monthly Archive: January 2017

10 Most Popular Properties of 2016

Millions of people visited homes all around the world on in 2016. Back by popular demand, we present the 10 most viewed properties from last year.

Number 10 – New York

10-NY$75,000,000 USD | Wainscott, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Hampton Brokerage

Built in 2000 and published in Architectural Digest, the house was designed by architect Francis Fleetwood with interior architecture by Brian O’Keefe and interior design by Marjorie Shushan. Built with steel frame construction, the house features a double-height entry hall, 200-year-old antique flooring and wide water views from almost every room. The property features five principal bedroom suites plus three additional bedrooms in a self-contained guest wing.

Number 9 – Switzerland

09-SwitzerlandPrice Upon Request | Geneva, Switzerland | Cardis Immobilier Sotheby’s International Realty

The unique property is remarkable for its absolute tranquility, unobstructed view of the Alps and the peak of Mont Blanc, and an exceptional impression of spaciousness. The eight-hectare plot includes a number of leisure areas such as a private nine-hole golf course, a pool with pool house, a tennis court, a bowling court, a playground area in the woods with chalet, a vegetable patch and access to large wooded areas.

Number 8 – Florida

08-Pumpkin Key$95,000,000 USD | Key Largo, Florida | Russell Post Sotheby’s International Realty

Pumpkin Key is an extraordinary private island totaling 26 acres in the tropics of Card Sound Bay located in the Florida Keys. Just 10 minutes by helicopter to Miami’s famous South Beach, the island currently features one main home with three bedrooms, two caretaker’s cottages, and a dock master’s apartment.

Number 7 – California

07-CA$125,000,000 USD | Montecito, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – Montecito – Coast Village Road Brokerage

The magnificent Rancho San Carlos is an approximately 237-acre estate property that, for nearly 100 years, has been under the ownership of one family. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a unique property of unprecedented grand scale, exceptional architecture, and prestigious historical significance. The sprawling hilltop Monterey Colonial manor was designed by noted architect Reginald Johnson in 1931.

Number 6 – New Jersey

06-NJ$48,880,000 USD | Alpine, New Jersey | Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

This gated estate is approximately 30,000 square-feet built of solid granite and steel infrastructure, with 12 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, indoor basketball court, movie theatre, 4000 bottle wine cellar, fitness center, three exquisite bars for entertaining, elevator, extraordinary details and ultimate privacy.

See the homes that topped last year’s list

Number 5 – New York

05-NY$50,000,000 USD | New York, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

This home is a five-story red brick and limestone mansion that stands as a superb example of Neo Georgian revival architecture in America. Prominently positioned on the very lovely and quiet, tree-lined block of 69th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, the residence has the good fortune of being situated amidst a number of architecturally noteworthy neighboring houses. Erected in 1881 by Charles Buek & Co. and then purchased in 1900 by Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt, the house was redesigned in 1929 for Edwin C. Jameson, a prominent insurance executive, and then finally acquired by the English-Speaking Union in 1956.

Number 4 – Cayman Islands

04-Cayman$39,950,000 USD | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands | Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Without doubt Castillo Caribe is one of the finest beachfront estate homes in the world offering every luxury for modern day life with all the lifestyle options one would expect from the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean. Although the Cayman Islands enjoy year-round sunshine and a temperate climate, this benefit is eclipsed in most people’s eyes by the Islands’ offshore status. The Cayman Islands are well known as a financial center on the world’s stage and provide the highest quality of lifestyle available in a tax neutral environment, making it very appealing to people of high net worth to seek residency here.

Number 3 – France

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

Belonging to a collection of exclusive and legendary properties on the French Riviera, the ‘Castle of la Croix des Gardes’ is at once the largest estate in the area, and unequivocally the most outstanding.’La Croix des Gardes’ is positioned just a few minutes from the port of Cannes and the ‘Palais des Festivals’, and proudly stands overlooking the historic region that resonates with the glorious 19th century heritage of the French Riviera.

Number 2 – Turks & Caicos

02-TCI$25,000,000 USD | Providenciales, Turks & Caicos | Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty

Turtle Tail Estate is a dynamic, spectacular compound to completely fall in love with and is without peer on Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. The newly completed estate combines the personalization of a custom home with the amenities of an ultra-luxury resort, elevated on a magnificent private over four-acre peninsula all its own.

Number 1 – New York

01-NY$70,000,000 USD | New York, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

This spectacular 14-room duplex apartment is situated high atop the prestigious Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue. Featuring a meticulous triple mint renovation and boasting extraordinary 360 degree views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, this elegant trophy residence is absolute perfection.

Discover luxury real estate from around the world on


Farm & Ranch | For the Equestrian


Winston Churchill once said, “no hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” With that in mind, our final installment of Farm & Ranch takes us around the world to properties exquisitely outfitted for the Equestrian lifestyle. Join us from England to Tennessee as we explore these uniquely outfitted, sprawling Farm & Ranch residences.

ukPrice Upon Request | Basingstoke, England | United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

This historic estate tells the story of the history of England; through its incarnation from Royal deer park, to hunting lodge, to grand aristocratic residence welcoming great political characters. It certainly has been touched by greatness throughout its many years. Hackwood Park enjoys stunning, uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside. The estate also includes a number of additional properties including a stable yard and coach house, two detached houses and two entrance lodges.

nv$59,000,000 USD | Zephyr Cove, Nevada | Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty

This rare, lakefront estate with panoramic Lake Tahoe views includes 378 lineal feet of sandy beach with a private pier, boat hoist, two boat buoys and close-up views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains to the West. The setting is ideal on 31 wooded acres of meadow, forest, stream and an aspen grove donning brilliant orange and gold fall colors. The equestrian facilities are located up away from the main lakefront home by the front entrance, boasting a barn with 15 stalls, indoor chicken coop, wash rack, grooming area and office. Paddocks off the stables lead to the open meadow with water rights for irrigation.

Explore rural luxury real estate from all over the world in the prior installments of this month’s Farm & Ranch series!

itPrice Upon Request | Siena, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Grand estate of over 1,000 hectares in the hills of the provinces of Siena and Grosseto. The property lies on three hills of pristine vegetation including, vineyards, cork trees, olive groves and meadows that follow the Natural Oasis of Basso Merse. Bordering the estate are the Terme di Petriolo. About 600 hectares are part of a famous reserve and within the estate are also nine farms, all of medieval origin.

tn$26,000,000 USD | Franklin, Tennessee | The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty

This spectacular plantation in the heart of Middle Tennessee is one of the finest properties available in America today. The exquisitely crafted 20,000-square-foot manor house sits majestically on nearly 700 of Williamson County’s finest acres. The one mile long drive up to the main house ambles through a stunning park-like landscape of old growth trees, creeks, rock outcropping and a glittering 12-acre pond. Outdoor amenities include an excellent eight stall equestrian center that is well appointed for all the rider’s needs.

Discover breathtaking Farm & Ranch homes on



Make a Difference for Pleasanton Festival set for Saturday

Find your volunteer match as dozens of nonprofits gather at library

Boy Scout leaders share the ways members can provide community service during last year’s Make a Difference for Pleasanton Festival. (Photo by Michelle Suski)

If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your life by helping others, check out the Make a Difference for Pleasanton Festival on Saturday.

Dozens of nonprofit groups will have tables set up with information about how adults, families and teens can connect with the community by volunteering. For students at Amador Valley, Foothill and Village high schools, it is a chance to learn more about how they can fulfill their graduation requirement for community service.

The event will be opened by Mayor Jerry Thorne at 10 a.m. and run until 2 p.m. in the Community Room at the Pleasanton library. The date was chosen for its proximity to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which has become a global service day, according to W. Ron Sutton, founder of Make a Difference, Today & Always.

Volunteer opportunities include preparing and serving meals to neighbors in need, driving elderly residents to medical appointments, comforting dogs and cats as they await their forever homes, helping newcomers learn English, teaching others about local history, writing letters to someone serving in the military, organizing sports events for Special Olympics, and more.

The festival is produced by the nonprofit Make a Difference, Today & Always and is co-sponsored by the city of Pleasanton, the Community of Character Collaborative, Tri-Valley Y, ACCUSPLIT Make A Difference Programs, and Karlsson & Lane Accounting Services.

Visitors will be encouraged to sign the “50/50 Pledge,” which states: “I pledge to spend at least 50 hours in community service, and to spend 50 more hours with my family in the next year.”

“We felt that people should make a commitment to community service on more than one day per year. That is why we came up with the ’50/50 Pledge’ and the slogan, ‘Get Connected, Stay Connected,'” Sutton said.

Volunteer Ken Mano of the Community of Character Collaborative created the website, which is updated to list the growing number of organizations who will be at the festival and has links to each group’s mission statement and volunteer needs.

Participating nonprofits

Exhibitors will include the following and more:

* ACCUSPLIT Make A Difference Programs

* Alameda County CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates)

* Alviso Adobe Community Park

* Amador Valley Quilters — Quilts of Valor Project

* Axis Community Health

* Boy Scouts of America

* City of Pleasanton (library)

* Community of Character Collaborative

* Hope Hospice

* Joni and Friends Bay Area


* Lynnewood United Methodist Church

* Museum On Main

* Open Heart Kitchen

* Paws in Need

* Pleasanton Military Families

* Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation

* Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley

* Special Olympics

* Sunflower Hill/Sunflower Gardens

* Tri-Valley Haven

* Tri-Valley Y

* Valley Children’s Museum

* Valley Humane Society

Find more info here

Luxury Living | Consumer Electronics Show 2017


Every January, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas brings us the latest in high-tech gadgetry and home automation; with our lives and our homes becoming more and more integrated with the digital world, the future of some of the peripherals we use every day is moving rapidly towards connectivity and smart technology.

While hundreds of products were announced at this year’s CES, let’s explore five that may be coming to your smart home in the future.

lg-refrigerator-tv-robot-ces-1LG’s InstaView Refrigerator | Starting at $4,599 USD

Last year’s CES introduced us to Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator and welcomed one of our most important appliances into the digital world. This year, LG upped the ante with their InstaView Door-In-Door model; the appliance features a panel that allows you a live look in to its contents through the door’s built-in LED panel along with full Amazon Alexa integration – this will allow you to play music as well as start a grocery list and place orders directly on Amazon’s marketplace through conversation with your refrigerator.

 lockYale NextTouch Wireless Locks | Price Undisclosed

Apple’s iOS is the software running the iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches you carry with you every day. Built into that software is HomeKit – Apple’s home automation tool that already integrates with lights and appliances in many smart homes. At CES, Yale displayed their new wireless lock mechanism which is designed to function seamlessly with your iOS devices and Apple’s HomeKit.

From the future to the past, rediscover technology from past CES events on the Extraordinary Living Blog

black-decker-null-hrBlack & Decker Smartech Robotic Vacuum | $400 USD

iRobot’s Roomba has long been the popular name in robotic vacuums, but recognized household appliance and tool manufacturer Black & Decker is throwing themselves into the fold. At the $400 USD price point, their Smartech model is less expensive than the Roomba, but remains competitive in its feature set, including a HEPA filter, 90 minutes of battery life, the ability to automatically detect whether it is on carpet or hardwood floors and offers iOS as well as Android apps.

tvLG’s OLED Signature W TV | Price Undisclosed

At only 2.57 millimeters thick, LG displayed a 77-inch OLED TV which impressively clung to the wall like a magnet – or – wallpaper. The TV removes the gap between the wall and itself, but requires the included Dolby Atmos soundbar for audio. For visuals, LG worked with Technicolor in order to provide a theater-accurate picture which correctly delivers Hollywood’s creative vision into your home.

smartcamSamsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1 Home Security System | Price Undisclosed

Securing your home and keeping your family and belongings safe is a high priority in many households; Samsung’s new system announced this past weekend intends to do just that. With both indoor and outdoor cameras 1080p and 720p resolutions respectively, this system’s aim is to offer a wide field of coverage in high-definition clarity.

See more from CES 2017 in Las Vegas



Architectural Spotlight | A Taste of Tuscany

Tuscan, or Tuscan-Inspired homes can be found all over the world, far from their origin in Italy’s Tuscany region. Outside, tile roofs, wrought-iron gates and fountains are among the instantly recognizable features of a Tuscan-style home, while inside, the often-impressive use of stone, warm earth tones, plaster walls and highly textured ceilings create an unmistakable old-world feel. In this Architectural Spotlight, join us as we travel from Italy to Mexico as we discover a taste of Tuscany.

italy2.900.000 € EUR | Siena, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Castelnuovo Berardenga lies the midst of Chianti Classico vineyards and olive groves with sweeping views over undulating Tuscan countryside towards Monte Amiata. The main Leopoldina country home and its guest house make a perfectly tranquil and private retreat. The 18th century home was renovated recently with many modern amenities such as underfloor heating and air conditioning. The property has a beautiful garden, a swimming pool, olive grove, vegetable garden and a four-car covered parking area.

florida$3,500,000 USD | Sorrento, Florida | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

Villa Zaffiro, located in the manned double-gated golf and country club community of Red Tail, received the renowned Aurora Award. Surrounded by impeccable Italian-style gardens, as you approach this estate, you will cross over a Venetian bridge surrounded by flowing water. The front door opens to an expansive foyer where the inside features a library reading room. Other include a potting room, theater and game room. A beautiful mahogany elevator makes this home easily accessible.

Explore luxury homes from around the world in the Tuscan style

california$7,950,000 USD | San Diego, California | Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

This magnificently detailed Tuscan-inspired estate is sited on a spectacular ridge overlooking Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Among its seemingly endless amenities, the home offers handsome walnut floors, bespoke stone walls, an elevator, gentleman’s library with sitting room above, billiard room, two room guest-suite, parking for six cars, pool, spa, putting green and large sand trap.

mexico$1,199,000 USD | Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico | Guadalajara Sotheby’s International Realty

This Tuscan-style lakefront residence overlooks Chapala Lake in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. With stunning views, surrounded by gardens, fountains and lush landscaping, it is a unique place to enjoy a peaceful contact with nature, encircled by beauty while also offering great privacy. An elegant two-story home with double height ceilings and a distinctly European architectural style, this property showcases truly old-world charm with stone, quarry, wood and wrought iron design elements.

From Georgian Colonials to Castles, discover previous installments of Architectural Spotlight