Luxury Living | Inside the Rock Spring Estate

“Rock Spring” stands as a brilliant example of meticulous restoration and exquisite care. With historic ownership records dating back to the original land grant to William Penn by King Charles II of England, the story is as enchanting as the property itself. Perched high above the Brandywine river and set high on the lot, away from the entrance’s stone gate house, this over five-bedroom estate overlooks the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley.

imagereader-aspx$4,300,000 USD | Montchanin, Delaware | Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

Francesca Rudin says she and her husband found it terribly dreary, with little light or notable architectural details to speak of when they bought it nearly fifteen years ago.

“Our goal was to bring it into the 21st century and to let in a lot of light because it was a dark house.  Architect Peter Zimmerman had a vision of how to do that, so now it’s a very bright and airy house,” Rudin recalls. Except it wasn’t an irrational dream, for in addition to having Zimmerman on their team and Rudin herself having a special eye for distinct interiors and art. The Rudins have renovated the estate “from top to bottom, the complete interior.”


Interestingly, it was during this time that Rudin says they came upon personal artifacts from the previous owners. The coolest object? An original Du Pont scale, discovered in the attic, that she and her husband then restored and embedded in their master bathroom. “The mechanism is in the wall, but you just stand on the bed of the scale, which is embedded in the floor.”


Prior to the Du Ponts, the property had at one point been owned by an Irish farmer. “My husband got the documentation on the property and it turned out that we’re the fifth owners since the King of England.”

Rudin’s design of the interior includes a vintage BMW motorcycle in her dining room. Some of her collectibles are found throughout the estate.


“The house is an expression of our personality,” she says, noting that while it’s sizable, it remains relatively formal.

“We live like a modern family. The decor is quirky in some ways; it’s not modern, but it’s transitional, style-wise, and I like to include low-brow and high-brow.  It’s very much a storyboard for our lives.”

Explore the historic Rock Spring Estate

brandywine_fine_properties_facebookWe would like to thank Carroll Laurence on behalf of Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty for supplying this feature.

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Third Week in October 2016

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


10.000.000€ EUR | Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

“The 9,146-square-foot villa, in a lush park of 4,000 square meters, has 12 bedrooms and 10 full bathrooms; is set over five floors, has two-car garage a and a parking lot for five further cars nearby.”

Channel Your Inner Hollywood Icon at this Italian Riviera Villa – Mansion Global

A Massive Castle in Colorado Seeks $17.5 Million – Wall Street Journal

For Sale: 7 Unique Homes in Hudson Valley – The Week

Sotheby’s International Realty Chief Talks Emerging Markets, Changing Millennial Tastes and More – Mansion Global

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Expands Presence in South Carolina – Sotheby’s International Realty

Home on Pebble Beach’s 18th Hole Seeks $25.75 Million – Wall Street Journal

Home of the Day: Making an Entrance in Beverly Crest – Los Angeles Times

For Sale: 6 Amazing Homes for $650,000 – The Week

The Great Lakes Escape – Wall Street Journal

Homes That Sold for $1.5 Million and Above – The New York Times

‘DWTS’s’ Mark Ballas Lists His Beverly Crest Home for Sale at $4.3 Million – Los Angeles Times

The Coolest Eco-Friendly Homes on the Market Right Now – Elle Decor

Lakeville, Conn.: A Norman Rockwell Kind of Place – Wall Street Journal

Edvard Munch’s ‘Girls’ May Fetch $50 Million at Sotheby’s Sale – Bloomberg

Art & Home | Arrive in Style


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso welcomes you through some of the most captivating home entrances from around the world.

Fine design is about the creation of memorable spaces, and when it comes to entrances, architects have one shot to get it right.

virginia$2,695,000 USD | Henrico, Virginia | The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty

 “An entrance is the starting point from which everything begins to unfold,” says Chris Whitehead, managing director of Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty in Dubai. It “dictates the way the property talks to visitors,” he adds. “The feeling generated in the entrance echoes throughout the house.”

dubaiPrice Upon Request | Emirates Hills, Dubai | Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty

The power of that initial perception can feel like the difference between a welcome mat and a red carpet arrival. 

Entrance halls convey the character and attitude of a residence and the people who live in it.  They can exude boldness, quietude, history, hospitality, strength or drama. They are also portals with mood-altering capacity to affect one’s outlook and signal a sense of anticipation by offering a hint of what’s to come. 

colorado$8,999,000 USD | Sedalia, Colorado | LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

“When someone opens the door and walks into a space that is inspirational, has great proportion and incorporates beautiful materials, you don’t know why you love it but those are the elements you savor,” says Nancy Ruddy, co-founder and managing principal of the architectural firm CetraRuddy in New York and a 2015 inductee into the Interior Design Hall of Fame. “Those are the things that make a space memorable.” 

southhampton$39,500,000 USD | Southampton, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – South Hampton Brokerage

A grand entrance is more than a matter of soaring ceilings. Today’s foyers are warmer, more nurturing and embracing with a greater interplay of natural materials like stone and wood. Art is more prominent, too. The entrance of one of Whitehead’s most memorable estate listings features sculptures set in an infinity edge reflecting pool. 

new-york$3,395,000 USD | West Harrison, New York | Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty

Ruddy frequently incorporates her clients’ art in entryways calling them ideal spaces to showcase an art collection and project one’s personality. “As one client told us, ‘I never tire of coming into my home. There’s something amazing when you open the door.’ That’s what we call poetry.”

Article provided by Iyna Bort Caruso exclusively for Art & Home

Discover more in October’s issue of ART & HOME

Video of the Week: Striking Waterfront Home in Adelaide, Australia

$5,700,000 AUD | Adelaide, Australia | South Australia Sotheby’s International Realty

A home that embodies entertainment on a grand scale with the sea as your stage, this waterfront marvel is powerfully composed of exteriors and glistening interiors that echo the reflection of its seductive seascape. The scope of architectural bravery invested here sets a new benchmark in design, embracing a daring blend of industrial strength and poetic curves. The striking façade makes a strong first impression and invites you inside; crossing the floating glass bridge, a cascading chandelier interjects the tri-level staircase, revealing a carefully layered masterpiece of multi-dimensional, family functionality.

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Expands Presence in South Carolina


Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that the Tidelands Company in South Carolina has acquired local brokerages DeBordieu Colony Real Estate, Inc. and Prince George Sotheby’s International Realty, and the newly combined entity will now do business as Peace Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm is owned and operated by Hampton and Perry Peace, seasoned real estate professionals who have been in the business since 1993.  With this transaction, the Sotheby’s International Realty network will expand into the market of Horry County, while continuing to serve the luxury residential real estate markets in Pawleys Island, Georgetown and the private community of DeBordieu Colony.  Carol Jayroe and Phillip Lammonds, former owners of Prince George Sotheby’s International Realty, will remain with Peace Sotheby’s International Realty as sales associates.

“The coastal South Carolina towns in this market offer both timeless luxury homes and rich history,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “We are proud to welcome Hampton and Perry Peace and their team to our brand, and we appreciate how well their commitment to provide a high quality level of service to home buyers and sellers aligns with the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand.”

“We pride ourselves on providing a best-in-class experience which complements our passion for customer satisfaction,” said Hampton Peace, broker/owner Peace Sotheby’s International Realty. “We look forward to presenting our extraordinary properties to the global audience of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand.”

In addition to Peace Sotheby’s International Realty, the Sotheby’s International Realty network has three independently owned and operated member companies throughout the state including: Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty in Bluffton; Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty in Charleston; and Justin Winter Sotheby’s International Realty in Sunset.

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 19,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in approximately 850 offices in 65 countries and territories worldwide.  Peace 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.

The Life Aquatic | Ocean’s Call


Former United States President John F. Kennedy once said, “We are tied to the ocean – and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.” With that in mind, this week’s installment of the Life Aquatic takes explores our bond with the earth’s massive bodies of water and takes us back to the ocean. From French Polynesia to Hawaii, come with us around the world as we discover extraordinary ocean front homes around the world.

frenchpoly250000000 XPF | Haapiti, French Polynesia | French Polynesia Sotheby’s International Realty

This magnificent property overlooks the lagoon and revels in shades of magical blue. The villa is located in the heart of a small subdivision, the one and only of its kind in a private and secure lot. The architecture is inspired by lifestyle in Polynesia, alternating between living spaces with large terraces and gardens. The harmony of tastefully selected materials, exotic wood and stone, is bonds the home with the surrounding landscape.

canada8 250 000 $ CAD | Victoria, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

This home is sited on a commanding viewpoint, a rocky headland consisting of 1.79 acres of idyllic ocean side living in one of Victoria’s premier suburbs. Masterfully designed by the region’s preeminent designer, Jim Grieve, the 6,638-square-foot home hugs the shoreline and features unsurpassed craftsmanship and comfort, fit for a modern lifestyle. Every room is framed by magnificent mountain and ocean vistas. The open plan layout was designed with an artist’s eye for balance and superior detailing. A perfect gathering point for friends and family, the heart of the home is the deluxe kitchen with top of the line appliances. The glass-enclosed dining room makes entertaining a delight. The home flows effortlessly from the exquisite interior to the sheltered patio and fire pit overlooking the Salish Sea. Moonrises and sunrises are a spectacular backdrop to a contemporary way of life.

hawaii$2,950,000 USD | Kamuela, Hawaii | MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty

This property is as close to the ocean as one can be, and its classic, well-kept cottage evokes images of old Hawaii. The lush landscaping includes many mature mango trees and citrus varieties; all of which surround the property providing privacy as well as comfort. With 100 feet of ocean frontage, enjoy sunsets all year round and easy access to the Pacific for exceptional snorkeling/diving, kayaking, surfing and wintertime whale watching. Additionally, the property includes a swimming pool and paddle tennis court.

portugal12.500.000 € EUR | Albufeira, Portugal | Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty

This is an exceptional six-bedroom luxurious ocean front property located in a tranquil, suburban setting in Albufeira. The home boasts magnificent views of the Atlantic and over the Algarvian coastline from almost every room. Imagine yourself in this retreat surrounded by family and friends for holidays and amazing getaways, as the ample living space coupled with the extraordinary outdoor patios and verandas provide unique gathering places with plenty of privacy. Every en suite bedroom is oversized and inviting. The well-equipped indoor and outdoor kitchens provide you with plenty of dining options. Finished to the highest standard, every detail has been perfected to offer you the most outstanding experience.

Discover more Waterfront properties on

Discover The Life Aquatic Series

Sotheby’s Auction House | Bowie/Collector Evening Highlights


On November 10th, Sotheby’s London’s even auction of Bowie/Collector will feature the most important pieces from the late-artist’s collection. Will less than a month to go until the event, let’s preview some of the works available for sale later next month.

bowiepartone_highlights_1Francis Picabia, Mendica, 1929-30. Estimate £600,000–800,000

bowiepartone_highlights_3Henry Moore, Family Group, 1944. Estimate £250,000–350,000

db-glimpse-1Jean-Michel Basquiat, Air Power, 1984. Estimate £2,500,000–3,500,000

Learn more about Bowie/Collector

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Second Week in October 2016

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


CHF 10’400’000 CHF | St Moritz, Switzerland | St. Moritz Sotheby’s International Realty

“This 300 year-old house, designed in the traditional style of the Engadine region in the Swiss Alps, has just undergone a three-year-long renovation and is now equipped with a Balthaupt kitchen full of Gaggenau and Siemens appliances.”

What a $10 Million Ski Chalet Looks Like at Three Major Global Resorts – Bloomberg

Tuscany’s Vineyard Homes – Wall Street Journal

This Legendary Lakefront Tahoe Estate Once Belonged to Howard Hughes – Mansion Global

Sotheby’s International Realty Beats Zillow and to 3D – Inman News

East of Geneva, a Chateau with an Aristocratic Past – The New York Times

Five Properties for Sale with Extraordinary Pools – Financial Times

The Key from Ben Franklin’s Kite Experiment Opened this Front Door – New York Post

3 Extraordinary Eco-Friendly Homes for Sale Right Now – Architectural Digest

For Sale: 7 Beautiful Homes in Delaware – The Week

A Montana Ranch with the Rustic Appeal of an Elevated Cabin in the Woods – Mansion Global

Five Wine Estates or Properties with Vineyards – Financial Times

Modern Farmhouses: California Wine Country’s New Must-Have Homes – Wall Street Journal

Beautiful Victorian Mansions for Sale Around the World – Architectural Digest

Flocking to the San Juan Islands – Mansion Global

House Hunting in… Spain – The New York Times

Wealthy Chinese Buyers are a Growing Force in U.S. Real Estate Markets – The Washington Post

It’s in the Numbers: Luck and Superstition Sell Luxury Real Estate – Mansion Global

Cartier ‘Sky Blue Diamond’ Ring Could Fetch $25 Million – Forbes

Architectural Spotlight | Cavalier Castles

Guarding walls, soaring turrets, large rooms and outbuildings help define castle architecture. Throughout both history and fiction, castles have housed royalty and hosts of dignitaries before being updated with modern amenities and passed on to future generations. Join us on a journey around the world as we discover castles in some of the most sought after locales.

germany5.796.000 € EUR | Hessen, Germany | Peters & Peters Sotheby’s International Realty

Medieval ambiance coupled with modern hotel facilities await you in the middle of the scenic World Heritage Site “Upper Middle Rhine Valley”. Freshly renovated, the impressive castle radiates the venerable splendor of bygone days. The great hall, a vaulted cellar, seminar rooms, the castle courtyard, a tower room, the castle chapel, a medieval skittle alley that is a protected historic feature and even its own registry office. The castle offers abundant space and rooms for every occasion amidst a one-of-a-kind ambiance.

idaho$3,400,000 USD | Boise, Idaho | Group One Sotheby’s International Realty

Live a fairy tale life of luxury in an extraordinary residence. Let your hair down as you sit on the rooftop turret overlooking the courtyard and foothills beyond. The best is yet to come with whole house geothermal radiant heat flooring, iron gated entrances, Idaho sandstone walls, portcullis, towers, and one of a kind everything you can imagine. Entertain with style at the rooftop terrace using torchlights, fire pit, hot tub, kitchen, bar area that seats 6 and a green house.

australiaPrice Upon Request | Melbourne, Australia | Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty

Perched high above Mornington Peninsula’s most exclusive enclave of luxury properties is a splendid apartment within the 9-acre Delgany Castle estate. Comprising three bedrooms, including a fine master suite with walk in robes secluded on the ground floor, two internal living areas, alfresco deck and oversized terrace ideal for hosting large parties. A full outdoor kitchen, bar, lounge and dining area embody the sky-high terrace which wraps around two bedrooms on the upper floor. Overlooking Portsea Golf Course, the endless vista hints at the serenity enjoyed by the original owner when the residence was built in 1923.

france7.350.000 € EUR | Centre, France | Orléans Sologne Sotheby’s International Realty

This castle in France, just over two hours from Paris via motorway is in the heart of the Loire Valley 15 minutes from Tours and 30 minutes from the Tours-val de Loire airport. The exceptional domain is composed of 1,112 acres, including an 18th century castle and large outbuildings. All of the structures have been completely restored along with the 15th century manor house. The domain’s grounds comprise an exquisite French-style garden, an orchard, 840 acres of forests and woodlands, 247 acres of meadows and two lakes. Additional amenities include a pool, cellar and kennels.

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Video of the Week: Romantic Downtown Home in Toronto, Canada

2 799 500 $ CAD | Ontario, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Enjoy the luxury downtown lifestyle on your own private double lot in the heart of Oakville. Renovated top to bottom in 2012, with uncompromising attention to detail and tradition, this magnificent four bedroom home blends the romantically-inspired Italianate architecture with an impressive new interior designed to excite today’s most discerning Buyers. A new interior speaks to impeccable taste for clean lines, organized built-ins and hidden storage. Delight to entertain in your new chef’s kitchen with Wolf oven, ICON Refrigerator-Freezer, massive island, decor lighting, solid quartz counters and extensive Miralis cabinetry. Indulge in four new spa-like bathrooms and a master suite designed to meet all your dreams.