Warm Contemporary Elegance in Niagara On The Lake, Canada | Video House Tour

The early 1900′s Craftsman style exterior of this lakeside home was sympathetically restored and enhanced, while the interiors have been completely transformed to create a calming, comfortable and soothing residence. Dramatic windows on all sides provide abundant natural light from all directions creating a constantly changing ambiance. Spacious backyard and patio spaces make this home ideal for entertaining.

1 395 000 $ CAD | Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario | Canada Sotheby’s International Realty

Living in The British Virgin Islands: Sun, Sea and Stability

From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2014 Caribbean Edition

The history of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the stuff of epic tales. Norman Island, at the southern tip of the chain, is said to be the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Nearby caves once hid riches plundered by pirates. The ocean floor is a graveyard for sunken ships.

Yesteryear’s swashbucklers are today’s sailors and divers. The sheltered waters of the BVI’s Sir Francis Drake Channel attract wind-chasing yachters, and the exotic marine world draws divers from all corners of the globe.

BVI 2$7,775,000 USD | Tortola, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

More than 60 islands and cays make up the BVI. Less than a third are inhabited and those that are have managed to avoid the kind of overdevelopment seen in some parts of the Caribbean. BVIslanders, as the locals are called, are protective of their resources, and it shows in the pristine beaches, sapphire waters and palm-treed skyline. There are no high rises or casinos. For crowds, look elsewhere.

Tortola is the largest and the most populated island in the chain–which isn’t saying much in a territory with a total population of fewer than 30,000. Across the Channel lies Virgin Gorda, a secluded destination of yacht clubs and exclusive resorts ideal for those who value privacy. One of the BVI’s most famous sites is here: The Baths, a geological wonder of granite boulders that forms pools, grottos and swim-through caves. More adventurous types head to get-away-from-it islands like Jost Van Dyke, Great Camanoe and Anegada, which is the only coral island in the BVI’s volcanic chain. Divers love it here. The Caribbean’s largest barrier reef surrounds it, which explains old shipwrecks on the sea floor. It’s a virtual amusement park for underwater explorations.

BVI 1

$2,750,000 USD | Tortola, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

The architecture of the BVI is in keeping with traditional Caribbean style. Residences are typically concrete construction with wide verandas, high ceilings and bright colors. The incorporation of pergolas, lush landscaping and local stone and woods softens the hard edges of the concrete. The choicest homes accentuate a sense of place. “If a home has a Caribbean Sea view with a vanishing-edge pool, everything else is forgiven,” says Dietmar Lichota, sales agent with BVI Sotheby’s International Realty in Tortola Lichota.

The vacation market is a consistent one: slow yet steady. Many international investors scout the second-home market on buying trips of the Caribbean. For those who decide to purchase in the BVI, economic and political stability is a big reason. Although self-governing, the BVI is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. “You’re looking at $750,000 minimum to buy here–not an inconsiderable amount to invest in a foreign country thousands of miles from where you live,” says Lichota. “The stability pretty well guarantees it’s a safe place to invest.”

Virgin Gorda BVIPrice Upon Request | Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Article provided by Iyna Caruso exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

Discover More Island Escapes in the British Virgin Islands >

2015 Color of the Year | Marsala

Pantone Marsala

Last week, Pantone®, the global color authority announced PANTONE® 18-1438 Marsala as the color of the year for 2015.

According to Pantone, Marsala can be viewed as a unifying element, a full-bodied color that is strong enough to be used alone as a statement color, or as an accent to other complementary colors like blues, greens, off-whites and browns.

Marsala is a seductive shade that exudes warmth and comfort in its surroundings, thus when incorporating this color into a room design, Pantone recommends it be considered for textured surfaces such as rugs and furniture. Both hearty and nurturing, Marsala is also a great color to accent in the kitchen and dining areas.

Explore places and spaces with hues inspired by Marsala.

Montana Window Marsala$2,548,000 USD | Bigfork, Montana | Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty

This lakeside estate has the feeling of a cozy lodge getaway. Sitting on its own private lake frontage, the home has its own boat dock, wine room and exercise room. Marsala hues are laced throughout each room in the home from paint to décor. Additional warmth comes from details such as exposed beams and accent lanterns.

North Carolina Dining Marsala$2,899,999 USD | Banner Elk, North Carolina | Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty

The South Beach Summit embodies the casual elegance of a mountain home. Floor to ceiling windows offer endless mountain range views and capture the sun as it both rises and set, connecting with nature in many rooms of the home. Use of marsala hues in the home complement the blues and greens of the outdoors.

California Living Room Marsala$19,995,000 USD | Dana Point, California | HOM Sotheby’s International Realty

A landmark on the cove, this stately oceanfront residence captures 270-degree panoramas of the beach, fairways, ocean and sunsets. Designed for entertaining and ease of living, the home is surrounded by ocean view terraces, mature gardens and includes a plunge pool, an outdoor fireplace and kitchen.

Dallas Theater Marsala$19,500,000 USD | Dallas, Texas | Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

One of the most noted homes in Dallas, this stately gated estate exudes masterful design that is both elegant and liveable, with luxuries including a brick wine cellar, plush media room and multiple living areas. Warm and inviting, no detail was spared in the design of the home, making for a glamorous yet graceful lifestyle.

See spaces from 2014’s Color of the Year | Radiant Orchid >

West Indies Inspired Masterpiece in Wilmington, North Carolina | Video House Tour

This West Indies inspired masterpiece is set high on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. Old world architecture and precision craftsmanship can be found in every finish of this magnificent home designed by renowned architect Charles Dietsche.

$5,500,000 USD | Wilmington, North Carolina | Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty

Lake Travis Waterfront Villa in Spicewood, Texas | Video House Tour


Inspired by the renaissance of an old Italian village, Villa La Isla is perched overlooking the Lake Travis waterfront. Villa La Isla is an exceptional estate offering 2.89 acres of breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Travis and the Texas Hill County. The home is perfect for entertaining with abundant outdoor lounge spaces surrounding the infinity pool and a state of the art home movie theater.

$9,995,000 USD | Spicewood, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Travel Spotlight | Bliss in Belize

From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2014 Edition

Even among passport-worn globetrotters, Belize has been an under-the-radar destination, a playground for thrill-seekers who prefer traveling with a backpack to a set of monogrammed luggage.

No longer.

The country’s maturing tourism industry and some A-list heavyweights have helped amp up its profile. Director Francis Ford Coppola owns two luxury resorts here and Leonardo DiCaprio has a private island. Which is not to say that Belize has gone Hollywood. Despite dramatic infrastructure improvements, visitors from the U.S., Canada and Europe are still taken by Belize’s natural beauty and restrained development. The country’s tallest structure dates back more than a thousand years–a Mayan temple.

Belize tdek5v$1,995,000 USD | San Pedro Town, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Geography defines the Central American nation. Hundreds of cays and islands lie off its Caribbean coast, along with its most prominent natural asset, the world’s second largest barrier reef.

The region was once a great center of Mayan culture. Sacred temples, pyramids and monuments are open and accessible. Archeologists believe many ruins have yet to be discovered, which may explain why it’s possible to stumble upon a piece of ancient pottery.

These days, visitors can embrace Belizean life at all levels of interest, activity and creature comfort. Dive in the Great Blue Hole, a submarine sinkhole so massive it’s visible from space, or swim up to a pool bar for a fruity cocktail. Take a nighttime jungle tour of the world’s first jaguar preserve or relax dockside in a hammock under a glorious thatched-roof hut.

Belize j3edsh$1,295,000 USD | San Pedros Town, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Brittany McCann, an owner of Belize Sotheby’s International Realty on the island of Ambergris Caye, was first introduced to the country by her now-husband, Shane. Her first thought was: “Where are you taking me?” Her second: “Oh my god. This place is awesome.” Five years ago, the couple relocated from Houston, Texas.

“It’s an active lifestyle,” says McCann. “No one dresses up. And there’s a great community of people who live here from all over the world.”

And more coming every day. The influx is fueling residential construction, especially in the high end vacation market where demand for modern beach and riverfront villas as well as amenity-filled condominium developments is changing the housing landscape.

Just ask McCann’s parents, who bought a property during a visit and later built a vacation home. “They love it here, too,” she says.

Article provided by Iyna Caruso exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

Explore more homes in Belize >

Cozy Home Comforts

When the weather begins to get cooler, we naturally gravitate towards warm, cozy sanctuaries. A fireplace can turn a room into the ultimate indoor retreat for comfort and relaxation while a fire pit creates a warm gathering space for continued outdoor entertainment. Explore six stylish winter homes with inviting spaces centered around a source of warmth.

Connecticut$3,195,000 USD | Colebrook, Connecticut | William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty

Connecticut

Rock Hall in Connecticut was designed in 1912 by noted American architect Addison Cairns Mizner for Jerome Alexandre, scion of the Alexandre Steamship Company. Replete with original architectural details, the meticulously restored 10,000 square foot manor house is located on a 23 acre estate. The five bedroom home has a free form pool which adjoins a spa and stone pool house. A free-standing yoga studio, tennis court and Pétanque court are also located on the property.

Quebec2 689 000 $ CAD | Quebec, Canada | Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec

Canada

This private, contemporary ski-in, ski-out home in Canada is set on 11 acres and has spectacular views of Mont St-Sauveur. The open concept layout is excellent for entertaining with indoor and outdoor lounge areas, an indoor pool, bar, wine cellar and separate guest area.

Rhode Island$8,750,000 USD | Jamestown, Rhode Island | Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty

Rhode Island

This 8,000 square foot Rhode Island oceanfront estate sits on seven acres near the tip of Beavertail on the island of Jamestown, overlooking the Newport Harbor.  The home is designed to showcase views of the ocean and surrounding conservation land. Plentiful outdoor entertaining spaces include an oceanside stone terrace with kitchen, spa, colorful gardens and fire pit.

Colorado$6,925,000 USD | Beaver Creek, Colorado |Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty

Colorado

Hundreds of aspen trees envelope this beautiful Colorado ski-in home making it feel like your own private forest. With two masters, a media room and a wine room, this residence is the epitome of a true mountain home retreat. The home has a total of seven bedrooms, more than four fireplaces and an outdoor spa.

FrancePrice Upon Request | Megeve, France | Propriétés de Megève Sotheby’s International Realty

France

This seven bedroom, seven bathroom mountain chalet in France has panoramic views of the valley below. The ski-in, ski-out home is set on the slopes and has ample room for entertaining. In addition to many comfortable lounge areas around the home with fireplaces, the chalet also has a wine room, a spa room and indoor pool with hot tub.

California$10,500,000 USD | San Diego, California | Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

 California

This 10,000 square foot home sits on San Diego’s historic Point Loma Peninsula. The home was built to take advantage of the curvature of the land where it sits and benefit from 180 degree views of the ocean, bay, Shelter Island and Coronado. Vaulted open-beamed ceilings and floor to ceiling windows are carried throughout the home with many places for entertaining, including an outdoor patio with fire pit, pool and spa.

Belize | Market Spotlight

Belize$1,595,000 USD | Ambergris Caye, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

“Belize is an incredible market with so much opportunity, both in investment benefits as well as in the variety of landscapes offered. Belize is an English speaking country that offers foreigners the opportunity to hold title with a very affordable property tax system. There is also a very attractive system in place known as the Qualified Retired Persons Program. This allows for US and Canadian citizens who are over 45 to apply for many benefits including exemption from importation duties on personal effects for the first year in the country as well as exemption from importation duty on a personal vehicle every five years. Belize also offers lifestyles ranging from island living, rain forest and eco-living, to farm and ranch. The value obtained in this market is incredible. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand has already had an amazing effect here and will continue to do so. This brand is a vehicle which will push quality development forward in Belize. Our team in combination with the brand is taking the real estate market to the next level in regards to service and professionalism.”

– Brittany McCann, owner, Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand to Enter St. Martin

St MartinSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced Pierres Caraibes in St. Martin has joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand and now will do business as St. Martin Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm, which is owned by Lesley Reed, is located at Plaza Caraibes Bat A BP 144 Rue Kennedy, Marigot and 48 Rhine Road, Cupecoy, and is expected to open in November.

“St. Martin is a unique territory, with two countries, three currencies, three official languages and a multitude of cultures that spread over the 34 square miles of the island,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “This Caribbean gem is outlined by sandy beaches, hillside valleys and a steady tropical climate. We are proud to welcome Lesley Reed and her team to our network, combining the rich history of our brand with their experience of more than 26 years in the local luxury market.”

According to Reed, she looks forward to the worldwide reach the Sotheby’s International Realty brand offers. “We are thrilled to become part of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s exceptional global reach,” she said. “Our mission is to provide a customer experience dictated by our professionalism and commitment to quality. It is company standard to keep our customers’ interest in all decisions and we pride ourselves on the reputation we have built since 1999.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 720 offices in 52 countries and territories worldwide. St. Martin Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients 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.

Outdoors Are In

From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2014 Master Edition

Out is the new in.  Plush sofas, area rugs, stone fireplaces–for the past several years, traditional furnishings and design elements that were once relegated exclusively to interiors have been trickling to exteriors, with homeowners creating exquisite residential spaces under the skies for relaxation and entertaining.

And it’s not only the living room that has gone rogue.  The solitary, standard patio barbeque grill has been replaced with sophisticated, gourmet kitchens complete with pizza ovens, flat screen TVs and built-in espresso machines.  After cooking alfresco, homeowners wine and dine with family and friends under the stars and glittery chandeliers, followed by open-air movies or sports on pop-up screens.

KSG9V4 Thailand$2,750,000 USD | Koh Samui, Thailand | Hunter Sotheby’s International Realty

Nowadays “people don’t want to be confined to inside anymore,” says Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty in Montecito, CA.  They want the option to literally spread out—and to interact with nature with the same comfort and style that they enjoy indoors.

Indeed, when pros specializing in residential design were surveyed by the American Society of Landscape Architects to rate the popularity of outdoor design elements for 2014, kitchens and entertainment spaces were second most popular, at 92 percent (gardens and landscaped spaces came in first at 94.2 percent).

Of course, in certain parts, this indoor/outdoor approach to living isn’t new at all.  “This has been the lifestyle in Hawaii,” says Dodie MacArthur of MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  “Whatever activities you can do indoors you can do outdoors.”

KDQWM6 Montecito$12,900,000 USD | Montecito, California | Sotheby’s International Realty- Montecito-Coast Village Road

Surprisingly, that’s also now the mindset in areas that aren’t particularly warm year-round.  “Outdoor living is a really big trend here over the last couple of years,” says Andrew Ernemann, a broker associate at Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty.  Although they have a short warm weather season, Ernemann’s clients want to maximize their time outdoors when they stay in Aspen.

But the trend isn’t just about stepping out and reclining on a deck or patio.  It’s far grander than that.  “It’s about creating a personal destination.  People want the entire experience of the best resorts in the world, incorporated into their outdoor spaces and customized for their needs,” says MacArthur.

One of the best ways to achieve a seamless, organic flow with an open floor plan is by utilizing floor to ceiling sliding or swinging glass doors, suggests Perkins, “so the outside isn’t a secondary defined area, but more of a smooth transition from inside to outside.”

3299vb BarbadosPrice Upon Request | Saint James, Barbados | West Coast Villas Sotheby’s International Realty

When considering the creation of outdoor living spaces such as a dining room, living room and kitchen, do work with a landscape architect and/or interior designer with experience in indoor/outdoor living.  And Brooklyn-based designer Lyani Powers says that a good approach is to plan the entire project at once, taking into account basic necessities such as plumbing, heat and electricity, audio and visual equipment and wireless/internet connectivity.  There may also be structural additions, such as pergolas, loggias or lanais, for shade and protection.

There are outdoor living solutions for all types of climates, even rain and cold.  “Open but covered is the way to go,” says Krista Hunter of Hunter Sotheby’s International Realty in Thailand.  “Otherwise you run the risk of not being able to use your outdoor space for much of the time.”  In Aspen, some homeowners add roofs over their outdoor living rooms so they can still be utilized in the winter.

ZZSGLS Hawaii$11,950,000 USD | Hawi, Hawaii | MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty

Most outdoor areas typically feature recreational zones, which can include a hot tub and swimming pool.  But consider adding wow factors to enhance the outdoor experience:  a pool table, a life-size chess set, a putting green and a bocce ball court.   Take it a step further with a complete bar, which can connect visually to the nearby kitchen zone, where function is at a maximum with every state-of-the-art stainless steel appliance that’s incorporated in standard indoor kitchens, plus a variety of extras:  a hooded grill with a built-in fryer and smoker, a pizza oven, a rotisserie, a wine cooler, icemaker and wet bar, a cappuccino and espresso machine, and of course, ample storage space, work stations and countertops with stools for casual eating.

SY9BJT Colorado$20,000,000 USD | Woody Creek, Colorado | Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

Adjacent to the kitchen would be a dining zone.   For a cozy effect, cover it with a pergola and then hang a decadent chandelier over the table to set the mood at twilight.   After a fine meal, meander over to the living room zone.   If cool weather is a factor, think about including a heating system – which may range from traditional patio heaters to a built-in fireplace or radiant heat.  This space in particular should offer ample ambient lighting, entertainment in the form of audio and/or visual equipment designed specifically for the outdoors and comfortable seating (upholstered in outdoor fabrics, of course), area rugs and accessories, but do keep in mind one rule of thumb, stipulates HGTV and STYLE Network expert Kelly Edwards:  all of the exterior spaces must coordinate aesthetically with your interior décor, so that your home – inside and out– is cohesive and visually appealing.

Other than that, when going out, the sky’s the limit.

Article provided by Claudia Gryvatz Copquin exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

Browse our digital magazine featuring outdoor living spaces >