Art & Home | Imagination to Innovation


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso takes us to the forefront of design and innovation.

There are architects who design homes. And then there are visionaries who rethink the very definition of what a home is and how it should be experienced. 

Utah$6,700,000 USD | Park City, Utah | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

In certain circles, innovative architecture is a boundary-pushing test of one-upmanship. Architects are juxtaposing styles and exaggerating silhouettes to create what seems like newly invented forms. They’re embracing the element of surprise and a hint of playfulness. 

Texas$5,995,000 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

To be successful, however, innovative design has to do more than break with the past. It has to be functional. It is the architect’s responsibility to create designs that better the lives of the people who inhabit the home, says Dan Brunn, a Los AngelesCalifornia-based architect whose residences have incorporated pivoting walls to display (or conceal) artwork and zig zag-shaped balconies. Bringing shapes and spaces together, capturing volume and light, framing views and choreographing floor plans so that “forms comes alive” are the attributes of great architecture, Brunn says.   

Germany3.500.000 € EUR | Saxony, Germany | Berlin Sotheby’s International Realty

In areas like Scottsdale, Arizona, some luxury home buyers are shifting away from traditional Tuscan and Southwest Territorial styles. They’re opting for statement-making properties with striking contemporary lines that “contrast with our Sonoran Desert, yet balance with its natural setting in terms of aesthetics,” says Deems Dickinson, president and principal broker of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale. A custom home located on the 17th fairway of the prestigious Mirabel Golf Club community, for instance, is a remarkable example of modern architecture that stands out in the openness of the desert surroundings. The home features an indoor atrium with a bamboo garden, a floating staircase and windows that extend from the floor to ceiling and beyond, becoming full-length skylights. 

Arizona$4,490,000 USD | Scottsdale, Arizona | Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Architecture that challenges conventions has the power to turn heads. But architecture that’s fueled by transformational design has the power to turn homes into instant landmarks.

Alabama$3,275,000 USD | Orange Beach, Alabama | Kaiser Sotheby’s International Realty

See homes from around the world in previous editions of Art & Home

Art & Home | Living History


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso takes us through homes steeped in history from around the world.

When considering exquisite luxury goods—paintings, sculpture, even fabrics, furniture and wine—we think of personal, highly curated items that make our living spaces distinctive and enhance the ambient experience of a particular home. In some cases, however, the home itself is the oeuvre d’art.

canada1 760 000 $ CAD | Victoria, British Columbia | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

In the art world, older isn’t always better, but revered older works do carry additional prominence, specifically the prestige of age and history that newer art hopes to acquire with time. Similarly, as beautiful homes and estates begin to acquire the patina that only decades or even centuries can bring, they take on an unmatched nobility and grandeur.

texas$2,500,000 USD | Round Rock, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s a certain class of buyer and homeowner—patrons, if you will—that places a premium on properties graced by time. To them, living in a historic residence is akin to living within a famous piece of art.

At the cross streets of Luxury Real Estate and Fine Art, discover more in previous editions of Art & Home

“The discerning, affluent buyers in our marketplace want a sense of history, or a certain provenance in a historic home that doesn’t exist in a new house,” says Michael Rankin, Managing Partner at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington D.C.

washington$6,250,000 USD | Washington, DC | TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

In addition to a notable pedigree, what buyers are looking for in older homes is character, and in particular preserved character. These individuals are typically knowledgeable about architectural periods and have a refined sense for authenticity. They demand the grand scale and proportion associated with previous eras—high ceilings, formal living rooms with entrance halls, double parlors with fireplaces—but also original features like restored trim work and molding; staircases with handcrafted balusters and banisters; and original hardware and wide-plank flooring. Kitchens and bathrooms may be updated, but otherwise the home should showcase the year and environment in which it was built.

finland2.750.000 € | Finland | Snellman Sotheby’s International Realty

“The people that buy an historic estate do so because they truly want to be the next steward of an architectural masterpiece,” Rankin explains. “They embrace the history and cherish the responsibility of being the caretaker of the home. In fact, they consider that undertaking a privilege.”

True, restoring and preserving an historic property can be a major endeavor, but for the right person it’s much more than labor—it’s a labor of love.

Continue reading this edition of Art & Home

Luxury Living | Stellar Staircases

As with life, sometimes the most interesting part of a home is not where you start or finish, but how you get there. Connecting living spaces in these four homes from around the world, expertly designed and crafted staircases take center stage as they take their home’s inhabitants on a journey from one floor to the next. Let’s explore these stellar staircases.

canada5 388 000 $ CAD | Montreal, Canada | Canada Sotheby’s International Realty

This one-of-a-kind modern home sits on a large lot backing onto a nature park. Located in a prestigious area of Ile Bizard, this home offers volleyball/tennis/basketball/soccer courts, spa, pool and an outdoor kitchen. Inside includes a gym, ice rink, private theater, pool table, ping pong, two-floor wine cellar, waterfall and much more among its amenities.

rhode-island$7,595,000 USD | Newport, Rhode Island | Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty

Unobstructed, breathtaking ocean and Lily Pond views entice from this exquisite, perfect-turnkey contemporary home. Fabulously unique, the residence features an interior bridge, which crosses the infinity pool. The bridge leads to separate guest quarters with fireplace and airy bedroom loft. The open concept living space provides wonderful flow among living room, kitchen, and dining room. Expertly crafted interior details include a sculptural spiral staircase, beautiful cabinetry, gourmet kitchen, and five distinct and lovely fireplaces. The private two-acre pond-front site is beautifully landscaped with a riverbed garden, meditation garden, and specimen trees including magnificent bald cypress and weeping beech.

Discover more incredible staircases in the exclusively themed piece in Art & Home

south-africaR 30 000 000 ZAR | Johannesburg, South Africa | Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

Designed by Ultra-Modern Architect Aurelio Cimato, perched on the Linksfield Ridge with never ending views to the horizon, this three-bedroom home features two studies and a library, two TV lounges/family room, a formal lounge, three entrance halls, state-of-the-art kitchen with SMEG appliances, separate scullery and laundry with AEG appliances, walk-in pantry and walk-in fridge/ cold room. Large wrap around balconies encircle the living area and offer a large covered patio with built in gas BBQ, wooden deck with seating area and heated rim flow pool.


texas$4,995,000 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Soaring Wings is the creation of one of Austin’s most visionary architects and the result of four years of work by some of the most talented craftsmen in Austin. Completed in 2007, the structure of Soaring Wings is constructed entirely of red iron on concrete piers sunk deep into rock. All the connections are joined with full penetration welds, the strongest type of connection and many times more costly than bolted connections. Soaring Wings was designed to accommodate small or grand entertaining and has served the current owners well as the backdrop for intimate family gatherings and large-scale charity events.

From Urban Retreats and Dining Rooms to Lord Richard Attenborough’s estate in the French Riviera, discover more in Luxury Living.

Art & Home | Sound Design


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso takes us through homes with harmonious music rooms in some of the most sought after locales around the world.

Some rooms beckon.

Libraries coax with books. Home theaters lure with entertainment. And music rooms summon with sound.

baltic$1,180,000 USD | Chester, Connecticut | William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty

For centuries in aristocratic circles, music rooms were de rigueur in large estates, part of a suite of specialized spaces dedicated to leisurely pursuits like billiards, dancing, even smoking. A dynamic musical life was a cultural imperative. People gathered to play–or simply to applaud those who did–in surroundings that often took their decorative cues from the great concert halls of the world.

north-carolina$2,199,950 | Charlotte, North Carolina | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

These days dedicated music rooms are rare, according to Frank de Biasi, a New York-based interior designer whose residential portfolio includes projects in Europe, America and the Middle East. Instruments are often integrated into studies or media rooms or treated as objets d’art that are elevated to statement pieces in living rooms, dining rooms and dens.

seattle$4,500,000 USD | Seattle, Washington | Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty

In residences where homeowners do carve out prime footage, the 21st century rebooted music room is about versatility as an entertainment and performance space. Rooms are being designed to accommodate multiple layouts. It could be an intimate cocktail party for 10 around the piano one night and a VIP guest performance for 100 the next with different configurations of chairs, sofas and banquettes to match the social event. De Biasi designed a music room that’s part fantasy, part lounge for a Palm Beach, Fla., client. Upholstered walls and dark stained finishes give it a nightclub feel. “When you walk in the room you just want a drink in your hand,” de Biasi says.

connecticutPrice Upon Request | Jurmala, Latvia | Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

Music is the legacy of a Corte Madera estate located about 10 miles north of San Francisco. The property, co-listed by Isobel Wiener and Danielle Chavanon of Sotheby’s International Realty in San Francisco, was once owned by legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. A subsequent owner hired architect Sim Van der Ryn to design a new residence on the 11-acre compound, one that’s come to be known as the Guitar House for the way a long corridor, reminiscent of the neck of a guitar, leads to a music room shaped like the instrument’s body. “The spirit of Bill Graham lives on,” says Wiener.

california$29,000,000 USD | Corte Madera, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

Adds Chavanon: “It’s memorable. The way the passion for music is expressed in the property absolutely gives it another dimension.”

Article provided by Iyna Bort Caruso exclusively for Art & Home

Discover more from this issue of Art & Home

Explore an impressive collection of extraordinary rooms and the luxury homes that surround them in previous installments of Art & Home.

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

Art & Home | Kitchen Culture


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso takes a bite out of Kitchen Culture and invites you to dine in some of the finest kitchens from around the world.

“Knock-your-socks-off gorgeous,” is how Jamie Gold, a San Diego, California-based certified kitchen designer and author of “New Kitchen Ideas That Work” describes kitchens at the top end of the market. “It’s about brand. It’s about impression. It’s what the neighbors are doing–only better.”

1701dakar-37$3,299,000 USD | Fort Worth, Texas | Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Today’s kitchens are swoon-worthy showplaces of good looks, high performance and sophisticated wizardry.

Mass market is out. Fresh design interpretations are in. As dominions of personal expression, kitchens are places homeowners put their signature and showcase their style with handcrafted cabinetry and bespoke fittings and finishes.

$8,500,000 USD | Telluride, Colorado | Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

A recent survey of more than 500 architecture firms by the American Institute of Architects reinforces the role of kitchens as the command center of the home, with a caliber of appliances and appointments that not only reflects homeowners’ tastes but also makes them and their guests feel good.

_dsc931111 400 000 ZŁ PLN | Gdansk, Poland | Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty

Sociability is the new word in luxury kitchens. It’s where life happens.

907-peacock-point-_18$2, 395,000 USD | Destin, Florida | Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

“The first place guests go is not the parlor or the living room anymore. It’s the kitchen island,” says Christian Vermast of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Toronto. These days, homeowners are spending less time at the stove but more time in the kitchen reading, lounging, watching TV and socializing. Some 60 percent of homeowners spend more than three hours a day in their kitchens, according to the 2016 Houzz Kitchen Trends survey. “I don’t think it has anything to do with cooking,” Vermast says. “It’s about ‘How do I project myself entertaining my family, my in-laws and my friends?’”

314palmerston-v2-print-276 250 000 $ CAD | Toronto, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Fifteen percent of those polled by Houzz spent more than $75,000 to create high end activity hubs that blur the borders of adjoining living spaces. The mantra is bigger, better and built-in with clean architectural detailing to conceal utility. That’s no surprise to Vermast who says buyers prefer open-concept kitchens with hidden appliances that blend in for more of a furniture-finished look. “We have gone from seeing kitchens as strictly utilitarian,” he says, “to very much an emotional lifestyle choice.”

Explore the entire issue of Art & Home here

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Second Week in July 2016

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


$1,650,000 USD | Harbour Island, Bahamas | Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

“Completed in 2014, the renovation succeeded in preserving as many 19th-century details as possible, using both new and repurposed materials, while adding on important 21st-century touches: a guest cottage with a bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room, as well as several technological updates.”

A Jewel Box in the Bahamas – Mansion Global

Comedian Kevin Nealon Lists Los Angeles Home for $5.3 Million – Wall Street Journal

10 Modern Homes that Get Luxe Mountain Living Right – Elle Decor

Debbie Reynolds’s $5 Million Pastoral California Ranch is for Sale – Architectural Digest

Five Houses with Super Garages for Supercars – Financial Times

Soak Up the Sun in Bristol, R.I. – Wall Street Journal

Rangers’ Josh Hamilton Puts His Texas Mansion Up for Sale – Los Angeles Times

Art & Home | Making a Splash – Sotheby’s International Realty

Tom Cruise’s 300-acre Colorado Compound for Sale –

Tyra Banks to Sell Los Angeles Home for $6.4 Million – Wall Street Journal 

On the Market: The Fernbrook Estate – Boston Magazine

Canada’s Luxury Market Shows No Signs of Cooling – Mansion Global

Sotheby’s London Holds Historic British Watch Auction – Forbes

Art & Home | Making a Splash


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso dives into the experience of owning a home with a world-class pool.

Tennessee$2,950,000 USD | Signal Mountain, Tennessee | Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty

In Spain, a signed painting by Pablo Picasso lies at the bottom of a pool. Picasso isn’t the only painter to use a pool as his canvas and fine artists aren’t the only ones to turn pools into works of art. Pool designers, of course, have their own creative muses, conjuring up escapist masterpieces.

Florida$3,695,000 USD | Longboat Key, Florida | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

Some pools are seemingly gravity defying–straddling buildings, suspended in mid-air and cantilevered over cliffs. Others reflect the passions of the homeowner. Fish-shaped, boat-shaped. The pool at the mid-century Palm Springs, California, home once owned by Frank Sinatra is famously piano-shaped.

Connecticut$75,000,000 USD | Stamford, Connecticut | Sotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

“People are using outdoor spaces more than ever. They’re willing to invest in pools because they see the value of them,” says Greg Darvin, owner of Pristine Pools in East Hampton, New York.

Bahamas$11,995,000 USD | Nassau, Bahamas | Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Resort-style living is in. Darvin says it’s not unusual for homeowners to model their private pools after a favorite hotel pool in Miami, Bali or the South of France. It’s Darvin’s job to scale the design to the property, adapt it to the climate and find that “sweet spot” between aesthetics and functionality.

On the Hawaiian island of Maui, Ron Silva of Island Sotheby’s International Realty says, “Most residences situate the pool with the ocean in the background so it’s one seamless look from the pool to the Pacific.” The most spectacular pools, he says, are typically those of second-home owners who gild them with extras like swim-up bars, fire bowls, rain walls and misting systems. “When people purchase their vacation home here, more often than not it’s a legacy property they plan on keeping in the family for several years for vacations and holidays. With that kind of  purchase, pools are extremely important for the lifestyle Maui has to offer,” Silva says.

Hawaii$19,975,000 USD | Wailea, Hawaii | Island Sotheby’s International Realty

One stunning example is a pool on a three-acre estate that draws inspiration from Maui itself with a “mauka to makai” theme. The infinity edge pool, lined with local lava rock, starts out toward the mauka or mountain side as a wading pool and rings the home, emptying into a larger 9 ½-deep pool on the makai or ocean side. The effect? A pool transformed into a theatrical stage.

Experience the latest issue of Art & Home

Art & Home | Nature’s Embrace


The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso reflects on private, peaceful and artfully designed gardens.

Extraordinary gardens share intimacies with the estates they embrace, delighting homeowners in ways that are both subtle and profound.

They are nothing if not personal. The palettes that captivate, the fragrances that enchant, the views that charm are singularly unique. Together these elements deliver a romanticized view of a small green universe to the point where the mere act of wandering through a garden can feel like a celebration of nature.

CostaRica$3,600,000 USD | San Jose, Costa Rica | Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty

“Each owner has a different relationship with their gardens,” says Elena Araya Callís of Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty, “but what they all have in common is that their beautiful gardens inspire them to enjoy more time outdoors and more time with nature.”

Outdoor living spaces have never been more prized. Even in climates with short summers, homeowners are making al fresco rooms a priority, according to a survey on design trends by the American Institute of Architects.

“We see gardens as an extended living area,” says landscape architect Enzo Enea. His firm, headquartered in Switzerland with a satellite office in Miami, Fl., is behind dozens of high profile landscaping projects around the world. In sculpting the landform, Enea intertwines the soul of a house with its surroundings. “The way in which an individual lives and interacts within the space” drives the design, he says. Patios are more like wings of a home that have been embellished by nature.

Nevada$23,900,000 USD | Incline Village, Nevada | Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty

Gardens take their cues from everywhere: light, movement, local landmarks, distant places and art. Formal European gardens famously draw from landscape paintings of the great masters. What’s more, the forms they take are no less diverse than those in interior design and architecture, from colorfully traditional to monochromatic modern and those that are culturally and geographically inspired. In the Costa Rica capital of San Jose, an Italian-style villa is ringed by classic formal gardens of mature trees, showy flowers and dreamy focal points like a reflecting pool designed to capture light, “especially during sunsets creating an idyllic setting,” says Callís.

Spain8.350.000 € EUR | Costa Del Sol, Spain | Kristina Szekely Sotheby’s International Realty

It is a garden, like all gardens, always in motion, sharing new stories by the season and sometimes by the footstep.

Explore the latest edition of Art & Home!

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 latest edition of Art & Home here!