In with the Old | Art & Home

The latest edition of Art & Home is here! From a 19th-century farmhouse in the Hamptons to a 1930s Paris mansion, five historic homes blend tradition with modern updates, finds Iyna Bort Caruso.

IMG_9339Art & Home—June/July 2015

Call it the surprise inside: historic residences retrofitted with modern interiors.

Homeowners may love the idea of properties that embrace the aesthetics of an earlier era, but they’re drawing the line at living a century-old lifestyle. Instead of tearing down, however, they’re taking up the challenge. They’re purging boxy rooms, awkward layouts and tiny closets and arriving at that sweet spot where the age of grace meets the age of technology.

In America, homes of historic value are generally pegged at 50 years or older by the National Register of Historic Places, although those are relative newcomers by international standards. It takes the skills of true artisans to modernize a centuries-old German castle, French château, English manor or Italian villa, and many governments offer homeowners subsidies for their efforts.

More than just age, historic homes embody the spirit of the times in which they were built with character-defining features that speak to who we were and how we lived.

“There’s an emotional connection to be had, for sure,” says Judson Henderson of Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty in Princeton, NJ. The earliest homes here date back to the 18th century. Some homeowners bring “today’s practicality and sensitivity to home renovations” while others go for a gut renovation. “Walk through the door and it’s starkly modern. You feel like you’re in a brand new house,” Henderson says.

Most makeovers are somewhere in between, using architectural elements as jumping-off points to maintain some sense of authenticity.

Interior Designer Sarah Barnard in Santa Monica, Calif., is a specialist in historic home design. In reshaping Victorian, Spanish Revival and Arts and Craft estates, she often takes a hybrid approach, “preserving a lot of the original architectural elements and melding them with uber contemporary strategies.”

Deciding which of those elements to keep or discard can be a struggle. Is it worth sacrificing what Barnard calls the “heartwarming little details that made the owner’s heart sing in the initial walk-through” for the larger benefits of functionality and design?  “There are always hard decisions to be made but when budget is not an issue, rehabilitating the old is always my first choice.”

People may yearn for vintage homes for different reasons, but one thing they have in common is “kindness,” observes Barnard. “You have to have a sympathetic soul to want to save an old building.”

Miami$2,995,000  USD | Miami Beach, Florida | ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Behind the Mediterranean facade and inviting courtyard, modern luxury meets the classic beauty of this 1929 home. Property features an open floor plan, added interior space, floating stairwell, Pecky Cypress vaulted ceiling, fireplace, charming/restored Cuban tile and hardwood flooring.

Hamptons$7,995,000 USD | Sagaponack, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Hampton Brokerage

Once the home of James Jones, author of “From Here to Eternity”, this 1860s Sagaponack farmhouse was built to capture the sunsets from one of the highest points south of the Montauk highway. Today the house has been renovated and merges the intimate spaces of a traditional home with the open, naturally lit spaces of a modern SOHO loft. In addition, this home incorporated the Crestron computer network, clean conscious building techniques and materials, active solar power, and geothermal heating and cooling to create one of the most advanced, healthy and sustainable homes in the Hamptons.

Princeton$7,900,000 USD |Princeton, New Jersey | Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

Stunningly transformed “Everlasting” rivals the toniest East Coast estates, yet is privately situated on 12 acres in Princeton. Under the eye of architect/designer Michael La Rocca, skilled artisans used materials of the highest caliber to expand, open and visually elevate the brick manor house and its grounds. The sleek central kitchen was cleverly planned with double islands to serve a single chef or a team of caterers.

Canada4 495 000$ CAD | Toronto, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Built in the early 1900’s, this spectacular and spacious home has been fully renovated with modern amenities and architectural elements including a high ceilinged study, and breathtaking 2 story glass-walled Great Room overlooking the verdant ravine lot and in ground pool and spa.

France33.000.000 € EUR | Paris, France | Paris Ouest Sotheby’s International Realty

This magnificent, ultra-rare historic Paris mansion dating from the 1930s has recently undergone a complete renovation and now offers sleek open spaces with a contemporary edge whilst at the same time carefully preserving its architectural heritage.

New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Newsday, among others.

View the digital version of this issue here: Art & Home June/July 2015

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New and Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | November 2014

From a wine country home in California to a palatial residence on the outskirts of Moscow, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale showcases exquisite lifestyles from around the globe.

St Helena_California$28,000,000 USD | St. Helena, California | Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty

California- Created with the concept of a private, exquisite and exclusive resort, this compound offers an extraordinary blend of amenity, location and attention to detail. Ideally located between Napa, Yountville and downtown St. Helena, the home is minutes from world-class Napa wineries. With an approximately 10,000 square foot main residence, two guest suites and private staff apartment, the home also includes a 1,700-bottle wine cellar, gym, steam room and sauna, and elevator. Outdoor entertaining areas include a view-side terrace with covered outdoor kitchen and sparkling infinity pool, all embracing the unsurpassed view of the richly verdant Napa Valley.

Moscow_Russia5 347 618 885 RUB | Moscow, Russia | Moscow Sotheby’s International Realty

Russia- Hidden by a thick pine forest, this palatial home is part of the Nikolino villa settlement just outside Moscow. The exterior of the home is that of European aristocracy, while the interior resembles barocco palatial design. The nine bedroom home is complete with its own spa including, massage room, sauna, lounge and two swimming pools. The villa is surrounded by acres of ponds, pedestrian pathways and recreation meadows.

Miami_Florida$25,000,000 USD | Miami, Florida | ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Florida- This oceanfront penthouse is located on the prestigious Fisher Island in Miami. With high ceilings and a sweeping terrace, the spacious top floor home as endless unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean. The five bedroom home has direct beach access, a separate master wing and state of the art appliances and systems throughout.

Costa Del Sol_Spain18.000.000 € EUR | Costa Del Sol, Spain | Kristina Szekely Sotheby’s International Realty

Spain- Located in southern Spain, this beach front residence has magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea and all along the coastline with mountains in the backdrop. The six bedroom home was originally built in the 1970’s but has been completely updated, featuring marble floors, hand painted ceilings and murals and intricate moldings throughout. The home also features a rooftop terrace providing 360 degree views, an elevator, an outdoor pool as well as indoor pool and spa and a home cinema.

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: First Week in August 2014

2014_8_8_Miami Florida Headlines

$11,400,000 USD  | Miami, Florida | ONE  Sotheby’s International Realty

Florida is also a popular destination because there is no individual state income tax—a fact that attracts buyers from New York and elsewhere,” says Elena Bluntzer with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami.

Where the CEOs Live – The Wall Street Journal

House of the Day: Living History in AustraliaThe Wall Street Journal

House of the Day: A Philippine Home Fit for a StarThe Wall Street Journal

House of the Day: Views and Service in SeattleThe Wall Street Journal

On the Market: A Storied Stone Manor in Majorca Architectural Digest

On the Market: A Modern East Hampton HomeArchitectural Digest

On the Market: A Stately Victorian in Newport, Rhode IslandArchitectural Digest

How Important Is a Perfect Lawn When You’re Selling Your Home? The New York Times

Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb sells home in Silver LakeLos Angeles Times

Alexander Haig’s Palm Beach Home Sells for $8.75 MillionThe Wall Street Journal

Sotheby’s to auction part of L.A. gallerist Joni Gordon’s collectionLos Angeles Times

Living on the World’s Best Beaches

Sandy shores and picturesque scenes make-up Travel + Leisure‘s first-ever Best Beach on Earth survey. From people-watching to seclusion to wildlife viewing, the list of 30 blissful beaches has something for every interest.

Want to own your own slice of paradise?  Here are four homes located on one of these acclaimed beaches.

South Beach, Miami

south beach luxury penthouse for sale

$25,000,000 USD / Miami Beach, Florida / ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Über chic South Beach penthouse with a private rooftop deck, double walk-in glass wine rooms and the latest SAVANT home technology. The fabulous driftwood-inspired color palette is surrounded by 270? ocean and beach views. This spectacular home is the only penthouse in SOBE with movie theatre.

Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas

Pink Sands Beach Bahamas

$7,500,000 USD / Harbour Island, Bahamas / Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Perched  above the famous Pink Sands Beach, a coveted 3-mile long beach, is a 2-acre family compound known as Driftwood Beach House. The compound includes a main house with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and stunning sea views, a separate guest apartment, abundant covered and open terraces and an idyllic beachside cabana perfect for lounging in the gentle sea breeze.

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii

Kamuela Luxury homes for sale

$3,795,000 USD / Kamuela, Hawaii, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty

Located with easy access to Hapuna Beach, this lovely town home has endless ocean views perfect for gorgeous sunsets and seasonal whale watching. Ownership privileges at Kauna’oa include a private par 3 practice golf course, an exercise pavilion, individual wine storage lockers and an on-site residential concierge.

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands 

seven mile beach homes for sale grand cayman

$750,000 USD / Grand Cayman Island / Grand Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Plantana, Grand Cayman is located on the Seven Mile Beach. The most sought after beachfront location in the Caribbean.

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Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Second Week in June 2013

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

jim carrey sells malibu beach house

Jim Carrey sells Malibu beach house for $13.4 million - Los Angeles Times

Actor-comedian Jim Carrey has sold his gated Malibu Colony retreat for $13.4 million. The two-story contemporary beach house features an open plan living room, family room, dining room and kitchen that lead to an ocean-facing deck. Janelle Friedman of Sotheby’s International Realty in Pacific Palisades was the listing agent.

New homes still getting bigger - USA TODAY

Billy Joel’s Miami Beach House Sells For $13.75 Million (PHOTOS)Huffington Post

Piece of Mount Vernon [Virginia] for $25 MillionWall Street Journal

[Interview] Ross McCredie, President, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada - BC Business

Turn up the heat: Luxury Miami condo buildings make even bigger wavesNew York Post

Enlightened Space in New JerseyWSJ House of the Day

Daily Delight: Frank Lloyd Wright Brandes HouseHGTV / Design Happens Blog

Green Street Victorian blends 19th Century finishes with modern comfortsSan Franscico Chronicle

Living in: TuscanyBBC Travel

London art market woos ‘uber-collectors’ to buoy summer salesChicago Tribune

£50 million spent at Russian art auctionsThe Telegraph


sotheby's international realty global networking event 2013

Seen & Heard: Highlights from last week’s Global Networking Event

Live From L.A! Sotheby’s International Realty Global Networking Event 2013Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty, Denver, Colorado

Video Highlights from the 2013 Global Networking Event in LA!Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Dallas Metro

GNE Unites More Than 1,400 Of The World’s Top Real Estate Brokers; Spotlights Pacific Northwest - Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, Seattle, Washington

Sotheby’s International Realty Global Networking EventCoastal Sotheby’s International Realty, South Florida

Global Networking Event- Los Angeles 2013ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, Miami, Florida

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Last Week in May 2013

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

A-rod sells miami mansion

A-Rod Sells Miami Mansion for $30 MillionSotheby’s International Realty

Mayi de la Vega and Arlene Susy Dunand of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty – South Florida’s real estate firm that dominates the ultra luxury home market – today announced that they represented baseball icon Alex Rodriguez in the sale of his $30 million estate.

What Can $8 Million Buy You? 6 Bedrooms, 1 Golf BarnWashingtonian

SF high-rise condo has spacious floor plan, city views and hotel amenitiesSan Francisco Chronical

Silicon Valley historic home includes a secret roomNBC News

Malta Bene! Luxury house prices that can’t be beatenThe Telegraph

10 big, booming [US] citiesCNN Money

Suburbs Show New Life With Sunbelt Growth After Housing CrashBloomberg

Realogy picks 15 companies as finalists for innovation summitInman News

Sotheby’s to offer a first edition of The Great

A-Rod Sells Miami Mansion for $30 Million

Mayi de la Vega and Arlene Susy Dunand of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty – South Florida’s fastest growing luxury real estate firm that dominates the ultra luxury home market – today announced that they represented baseball icon Alex Rodriguez in the sale of his $30 million estate at 4358 North Bay Road in Miami Beach. The transaction closed on May 24, and was the highest sale price ever on the prestigious North Bay Road and one of the biggest sales on record in Miami Beach.

A-Rod Sells Miami Beach Mansion

“The demand for trophy homes worldwide, especially those contemporary in design, has never been greater,” said de la Vega, CEO and Founder/Estate Agent of  ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, which has more than 300 agents across South Florida catering to the discerning needs of celebrities, CEOs and the international elite. “Alex’s home, with its stunning all glass design, natural coral rock and sleek white oaks floors, is a shining example of the modern architectural style that is very much in vogue today among affluent buyers.”

The Miami Beach home, located on one of the city’s most desirable streets, North Bay Road, is a modern masterpiece with uninterrupted views of Miami’s skyline and Biscayne Bay, featuring two docks and 275 feet of water frontage. The gated estate offers 19,861 square feet of living space, including nine bedrooms, 11 full and two half bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and a four-car garage.

The home was custom built in 2011 by Rodriguez’s Newport Property Construction, Ltd., which specializes in luxury home and office space development, and features a home theater with surround sound throughout, covered terraces, a vanishing-edge heated pool, outdoor kitchen and rooftop deck, amidst lush landscaping and Zen gardens. A stand-alone gym and 3,000-square-foot sports room, sauna and steam room, and a separate guest house also grace the 48,160-square-foot property.

As the fastest growing luxury real estate brokerage firm in South Florida, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty has eight offices in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Aventura, Brickell and Key Biscayne, and has recruited more than 300 agents in just five years. In 2012, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty achieved sales of more than $1.3 billion and was involved in six of Miami-Dade County’s 10 largest transactions last year, which ranged from $13.8 million to $47 million. Led by CEO Mayi de la Vega, the firm realized a 30 percent growth year-over-year from 2011 and holds the majority market share of properties sold for over $1 million.

Source: ONE Sotheby’s International Realty via

5 Blissful Cold Weather Escapes

Azure water, white sandy beaches and tropical temperatures seem to become even more appealing in the cold weather months. That almost indescribable feeling of instant relaxation becomes palatable when first stepping off the plane into a tropical paradise. Knowing that miles away there is a whole other world of crystalline snowflakes and over-sized parkas is an intoxicating thought.

There is something special about a tropical destination that carries such power and when you own property in one of these locales, the feeling is all that much sweeter. If you’re yearning for a cold weather escape, these idyllic properties more than fit the bill.

Gouverneur, St. Barthelemy / Price Upon Request / St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

st. barth waterfront real estate

Designed by renowned architect Francois Pécard, this incredible hillside private compound in Gouverneur consists of three individual four bedroom villas each boasting panoramic sea views.

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10 Most Popular Properties of 2012

In 2012, there were over 7 million visits to, which led us to wonder what were the most popular properties last year. Here are the 10 most viewed properties on in 2012.

#1. Miami, Florida

Miami luxury real estate

ONE Sotheby’s International Realty / Miami Beach, Florida, USA / $38,000,000 USD

Stunning modern masterpiece with uninterrupted Biscayne Bay and skyline views minutes from South Beach on the island’s most coveted residential street.

#2. Turkey 

mansion for sale Turkey

Turkey Sotheby’s International Realty / Rumelihisari, Turkey / $115,000,000 USD

This remarkable Mansion, located in Baltalimani, RumeliHisari was built in the second half of the 19th century by the famous French architect Alexandre Vallaury for Müsir Zeki Pasha, who was a minister during the ruling of Sultan Abdulhamit II.

#3.  St. Barth

Luxury Waterfront Real Estate St.Barth

St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty / St. Jean, St. Barthelemy

Poised on one of the island’s highest peaks, this striking and sensual 3 bedroom property affords the ultimate in privacy and luxury, combined with sweeping views of gorgeous St. Jean Bay.

#4. Old Saybrook, Connecticut  

Katherine Hepburn Estate Connecticut Waterfront Real Estate

William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty / Old Saybrook, Connecticut, USA / $30,000,000 USD

As the former estate of Katharine Hepburn, this historic home in Connecticut  is the centerpiece of a family compound with three deeded waterfront lots, each with its own sandy beach.

#5. Cayman Islands  

luxury homes for sale Grand Cayman Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty / Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands/ $39,995,000 USD

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.

#6. New York  

luxury penthouse new york city tribeca

Sotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan Brokerage / New York, New York, USA / $24,500,000 USD

Phenomenal finishes abound in this 5-story penthouse in the heart of TriBeCa.

#7. New York  

luxury apartments new york city

Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan / New York, New York, USA

Located in the architecturally acclaimed United Nations Plaza, this palatial 14 room New York City apartment is wrapped with floor to ceiling windows providing dazzling light and spectacular day and night views of the  New York City Skyline.

#8. France

mansions for sale french riviera

Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty  / Roquebrune Cap Martin, France / Price Upon Request

Constructed in 1905, the sumptuous villa Les Rochers is a private estate located on the French Riviera. Built in the Belle Époque style, there are subtle touches of Egyptian architecture, notably on the window frames and the original feature frieze which can be seen on the façade of the villa.

#9. Bahamas 


Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty  / Exuma Cays, Bahamas / $85,000,000 USD

This private island, located in the heart of the Exuma chain in the Central Bahamas offers the ultimate privacy and relaxation.

#10. Aspen, Colorado

ranches for sale aspen colorardo

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty  / Aspen, Colorado, USA / $31,900,000 USD

Located adjacent to the East Owl Creek Ranch subdivision, this 18,000 square foot Aspen estate is complete with the finest finishes, 100 year old hand hewn timbers, plaster walls, antiques and furnishings throughout.

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Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

Last week, the much anticipated 12th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach took place in South Florida.

According to Sotheby’s, Art Basel Miami Beach has quickly become the most important contemporary art event in America. Watch this exclusive Sotheby’s video with Tim Marlow, which recaps this year’s event and highlights some of the event’s best works.

Have you been inspired? Here are five beautiful Miami Beach homes ideal for displaying any one of the thousands of works of art exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Miami Beach, Florida, USA / $38,000,000 / ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

luxury real estate south beach miami

Just minutes from South Beach, this stunning waterfront home is located on the island’s most coveted residential street.  The contemporary, casual design with warm, organic materials including coral rock, white oak floors and Zen gardens make 20,000-plus square feet of oversized rooms feel like an intimate home.

Miami Beach, Florida, USA / $11,900,000 / ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Miami Beach luxury homes for sale

This contemporary waterfront home is located on the Venetian Islands in Biscayne Bay directly between Miami and Miami Beach. The home’s two-story sunken living room with sweeping skyline views is a perfect canvas for showcasing large-scale, contemporary works of art.

Miami Beach, Florida, USA / $2,950,000 / ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate

Classic and sophisticated, this Mediterranean-style home  in Miami Beach overlooks the La Gorce golf course.  The juxtaposition between the home’s 1930?s architectural details and contemporary art and furnishing creates a modern, yet comfortable vibe.

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