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What the Next Generation of Affluent Consumers Wants from Luxury Brands

We’re witnessing the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history. The luxury market is being reshaped by the emergence of new luxury consumers, ones who are acutely aware of being sold to,  skeptical of traditional marketing tactics, and dismissive of volume as an indicator of wealth. Millennials and their buying habits are more acute than any generation before them—bringing new challenges to the luxury space.

I spoke about this recently with Forbes, but throughout my career, as I’ve moved from education to fashion, and now to luxury real estate, I’ve seen how successful brand connection comes from strong storytelling. This audience spends an average of five hours online each day, so they’re already bombarded with brand messaging. We want their loyalty and business, but first we need their attention. This is how we’re earning it.

Heritage and Evolution

For a generation that values authenticity, the stories behind the products have never been more important. Brands must prove investment in quality and craftsmanship. The Sotheby’s brand has a 270-year history—and we extend this directly to our clients.

Because of the Sotheby’s auction heritage, both established and emerging affluent consumers view association with the brand—working with a Sotheby’s International Realty agent, for example—as a benchmark of success. It’s certainly a differentiator that Sotheby’s once sold the library of Napoleon, but it comes down to how we frame that for a Millennial audience.

Brands like Burberry understand this well, balancing a storied history with contemporary brand posture. Burberry’s shift to social media platforms with inspiring, current brand ambassadors works to enhance, not detract from, the company’s prestigious 162-year legacy.

Digital Agility

Consumers want to know luxury brands are shifting to meet their individual needs, and see brands that don’t evolve as static or dated. Our core message really comes alive through new innovation, and in that respect, we’re more of a brand marketing organization. A cloud-based ad building tool allows our affiliates to access our unique design mold when creating advertising collateral. That means over 21,000 agents are able to seamlessly communicate our brand to global audiences while adding essential local lifestyle elements to really draw them in.

Millennials and their buying habits are more acute than any generation before them—bringing new challenges to the luxury space.

Digital media is perhaps the most significant way we can make meaningful connections with these consumers today: VR, 3D home tours, and high-definition photography all service their need for inspiration and transparency. Our video-centric digital approach follows Millennials’ natural discovery behavior. We’ll be pushing the envelope again at the end of February as we unveil augmented reality that’s the first of its kind in the real estate industry.

Our LIVE campaign approached property investment as a key component of the lifestyles of fascinating people. It speaks to the fact that a Sotheby’s International Realty home is a catalyst for the lives our audience seek. Our approach is not dissimilar from the Apple iPad campaign — one that has always stuck with me — with the tagline “this is what matters.”

It’s simple but powerful, appealing by focusing on the opportunities the product creates.

Detail-Driven Service

Emerging affluent consumers are spending more on experiences than personal goods—a trend that is only continuing to grow. Because of this, they reject brand braggadocio and baiting tactics, looking instead for a genuine connection with the brands they support. They’re also looking for bespoke service. Forming a relationship with Sotheby’s International Realty means entering a curated marketplace, with the finest properties handpicked by our sales associates. Our home collections prove we value our clients’ time by giving them refined options from the outset. This focus on localization and personalization is essential for an audience who’s come to expect it.

“this is what matters”

There is immeasurable value in forming connections with this audience, not only in a manner of wealth, but also in reinforcing the perception of the brand. In marrying our history of excellence with innovation and meaningful storytelling, we’ve created an entirely new roster of clients. Ones we hope to be with every step of the journey: from their first property to their retirement haven.

(Photo credit: Sotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan Brokerage)

Discover more about the Emerging Luxury Consumer

Kevin Thompson, chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC
Follow Kevin on LinkedIn


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Redefining Contemporary City Living

Buzz, energy, boundless choice – that’s the lure of city living. To be in the thick of culture, art, gastronomy, and community; to be in the midst of change and witness the spark of a collective idea; where some see a metropolis as a weighty undertaking, choosing to retreat to the calm refuge of the countryside instead, others revel in the unique energy and character of a city.

In destination cities especially, urban real estate never sleeps. Like the skyline, the best spots to live are constantly changing. New builds, new neighborhoods, and new routines continue to redefine contemporary city life, with unimaginable units stealing the show.

Paris, France

Paris Ouest Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Geoffrey Benoit for more information

The incredible Parisian city views from the rooftop terrace alone make this eighth arrondissement Champs-Elysées jewel one of the most coveted spots in the city. Note the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and sloping hills of Montmartre in the distance, all a beautiful backdrop to the vegetable garden and summer kitchen.

Indoors, three floors play host to an incredible master with its own balcony, a cozy living room, and walk-in fitness studio; open plan kitchen and dining room; plus additional bedrooms for inevitable visitors.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Shelly Belzer-Shmelzer for more information

Soft skies, sandy tones and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea are offset by the sharp contemporary interior of Sea One Tower. One of the most adventurous additions to the Tel Aviv skyline, Sea One combines all the amenities of a five-star hotel with the privacy of a permanent residence. Three lavish bedrooms, a generous living room with striking staircase, and custom kitchen will be hard to leave, even with the beachfront just an elevator ride away.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin Sotheby’s International Realty | Click here for more information

Incredible modern design and a sweeping open concept bring out the beauty of this stunning Berlin loft. While the building itself dates back to 1911, the refreshed interior is decidedly minimalist, stacked with design greats: beautiful baths by Antonio Lupi, floors by Schotten & Hansen, Miele kitchen fixtures, as well as Salvatori sandstone.

Floor-to-ceiling windows invite light across strategically hung art and long-table dinners. Should you wish to briefly leave this fine flat, shops and international culinary choices dot the Charlottenburg streets below.

Riga, Latvia

Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Liga Abolina for more information

Sleek uncomplicated living arrives via the Club Central Residence in Riga’s Old Town. Modern architecture with hints of historic building tradition make it a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

The grand, three-meter-high ceilings, eco-friendly wood flooring and designer tiling complement a contemporary, sleek layout. A private British-style club, available exclusively for residents and their guests, adds another interior to your space here. Top it off with white-glove concierge service and a charming, historic locale for a true taste of the Latvian lifestyle.

Los Angeles, USA

Sotheby’s International Realty – Pasadena Brokerage | Contact Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg for more information

Industrial-chic sensibilities, loft living, and an unusually playful past collide in this one-of-a-kind toy factory conversion, located in the heart of Los Angeles’s arts district.

Designer Andrea Michaelson turned up the dial on the building’s industrial heritage, offering a playground for metals, woods and textured glass, only occasionally restrained by the thoughtful antique fixtures and warm accents. A high-end kitchen is a jungle of reflections, offering ample room to both prepare and entertain across the open-concept dining space.

Respite from nights at local hotspots comes in many forms: soaking in the Japanese soaker tub, spa like cleansing under the dual Pulse shower, or even unwinding in the rooftop pool.

New York, USA

Sotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan Brokerage | Contact Contact Brad Ingalls, Mara Flash Blum, Kevin B. Brown, and Nikki Field for more information

The Crown Penthouse at 212 Fifth Avenue isn’t pulling any punches. At over 10,000 square-feet of living space, this Manhattan marvel is nearing legendary status. Along with 5,700 square-feet of terrace space, captivatingly-designed rooms provide views of the city’s iconic skyline; the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, and World Trade Center illuminate the night sky.

Inside, the details are equally impressive: an incredible bronze staircase commands the foyer, gallery-sized walls welcome curated artwork, and a marble and glass library fireplace steals words. Smart home technologies and top-of-the-line finishes plus 24-hour door and concierge service—all indications that you’ve arrived.

When you’re ready to settle into a complex, urban landscape and revel in all that your favorite metropolis has to offer, it’s reassuring to know that a choice sanctuary still lies in wait.

Top Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty – Pasadena Brokerage

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A Sunday in Barcelona

R.M. Nunes / Shutterstock

Whether you spend the day exploring local art and architecture, browsing market stops, or indulging in culinary delights, there’s no denying the seventh and final day of the week is reserved for discovery as a ritual. This Sunday, we explore the best of Barcelona.

The Catalan capital is part architecture hub, part art epicenter, and part urban attraction. With a handful of sandy beaches on its eastern perimeter, it’s easy to see why tourists won’t stop flocking and buyers won’t stop settling. As Enric Salvia, broker at Barcelona Sotheby’s International Realty puts it, “Barcelona on Sunday is relaxing. The city moves a little slower, there’s fewer cars and families and friends have the chance to just walk around, enjoying (the) good weather. Sunday means Mediterranean food with no rush and no obligations.”
 Barcelona & Costa Brava Sotheby’s International Realty

So where do you call your home base for Sunday wanders? An elegant four-bedroom corner apartment in Right Eixample Derecho will do nicely. High ceilings add a spacious feeling while letting light flood in—ideal for art aficionados.

Barcelona & Costa Brava Sotheby’s International Realty

Or perhaps a modernist apartment with Roman motif detailing in the same neighborhood. Spacious rooms, including a chapel room, mirror room, and library are second only to a fantastic terrace with beautiful city views.
 Barcelona & Costa Brava Sotheby’s International Realty

Step into another contemporary gem with an unmatched urban garden and outdoor pool in the heart of Gracia. Sustainable design and incredible materials make this property a standout in the city. The roof terrace is the spot to end your Sunday, overlooking the city with a drink in hand.

Barcelona & Costa Brava Sotheby’s International Realty

If classic Barcelona is more your style, slip into luxury in the Gothic Quarter. This bright, refurbished apartment faces the old port of the city and is equipped with all the trappings of modern living, including access to a rooftop pool.


Photo: Jerome PARIS / Shutterstock

Wherever you wake up Sunday morning, breakfast will be the first item on the itinerary. Markus Thoene, managing partner of Barcelona Sotheby’s International Realty, recommends dining alfresco. “Get up and enjoy a lovely brunch on one of the cozy terraces along beautiful Enric Granados street, located in the modernist heritage district of Eixample.”

One of our favorites: concept store-turned cafe Jaime Beriestain on Pau Claris—within walking distance in Eixample—and indulge in the incredible pastries. The atmosphere is of-the-moment, with plants throughout the space and an elegant bar taking center stage. (You’ll want to stop back in another time for dinner and one of the lauded bourbon cocktails.)

Follow your breakfast with a stroll through the historic, 70-acre Parc de la Ciutadella. With its gleaming monuments, ornate fountains and city zoo, you’ll forget you’re in one of Spain’s most populous cities.

Early Afternoon

When your appetite becomes unrelenting, refuel at Mercat Princesa, a magnetic marketplace brimming with 14th-century history (it was once a palace, in fact). With 17 different culinary spots to choose from, you’ll be able to satisfy a tapas, burger, or sushi craving in an instant.

With hearts and stomachs full from a morning well spent, set out for some shopping at El Born and Sant Pere, where shops range from au currant fashion to interesting gifts and decor.

Late Afternoon

Photo: csp / Shutterstock

Traverse from shops to stimulating art. Legendary Spanish painter Pablo Picasso has left an indelible mark on the country, and his dedicated museum provides real insight into his genius. It will be more than easy passing the afternoon looking at the 4,251 works that make up the museum’s permanent collection. Take a breather in between works by stopping in the museum’s beautiful courtyards.


From one inspiration to another: dinner. The colorful flavors of Spain are well represented in Barcelona restaurants and Lasarte is no exception. The 3-Michelin-starred spot, under the careful guidance of chef Martín Berasategui, lures even the most refined palates from across the globe. Each plate more beautiful than the last, these gastronomic works of art are brimming with aroma and flavor. The room itself is also something to behold, and a welcome continuation of Sunday refinement.

Dusk and After Dark

Photo: Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

The beauty of Barcelona is being able to step out onto a terrace even after the sun goes down (when the season allows, of course). The Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Terrat rooftop offers stunning 360-degree views of the city as well as a chance for an after-dinner digestif as the sun goes down.

Once you’ve had your fill of sky-high delights, head back down to ground level and over to Rambla de Catalunya in Eixample, lined with lush lime trees. While the sun may have set and picturesque street lights have come to life, the pedestrian traffic will remain steady, as friends and family come out for an evening stroll.

However you like to spend your Sundays, know that one spent in Barcelona will be full. As Barcelona Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate Alex Mompó puts it, “There is nothing like a lazy Sunday, but not while you are in Barcelona. There is just so much sun, so many great places, and so many beautiful buildings that I just can’t skip a stroll.” With a beautiful property in this shining Spanish city, you’ll have plenty of time to hit your Sunday stride.

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The Best of Asia’s Towering Luxury

The best of everything, within reach. That’s the promise of forward-thinking metropolitan cities the world over. Asia’s most incredible cities offer an inimitable slice of elevated taste and cosmopolitan buzz, not to mention a winning combination of extravagance, excellence, and excitement. High above cities packed with gleaming lights, unmatched dining, and invigorating views; sky-high towers of glass and light illuminate a path to premier luxury living spaces, floating above the world below.

The Orchard Residences, Singapore

List Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Donald NG for more information

Standing on the shoulders of luxury retail giants, the 54-storey Orchard Residences watch over southern Singapore’s Orchard Mall, a shopping destination as synonymous with elevated taste as Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, Paris’ Les Champs-Elysees, and London’s Bond Street. Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co. flagships are steps away.

At the Residences, amenities are lush, host to gardens, a swimming pool, clubhouse, tennis court, and a gym. Inside this 2,174-square-foot residence, panoramic views and designer-appointed furnishings await. A gourmet kitchen, dining room, and boutique ensuite bedroom feature top-of-the-line Italian Poliform wardrobes, German Poggenpohl kitchen details, and a sub-zero wine cooler.

The Westminster Terrace, Hong Kong

List Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Carman Sze-To for more information

Loft living with sea views of Approach Bay round out this tasteful, award-winning property at The Westminster Terrace in Hong Kong. Designed by acclaimed architect Paul Davis and finished by celebrated designer Koichiro Ikbeuchi, the elongated, linear layouts get a sharp contemporary dressing and wash of warm light from floor-to-ceiling windows. Elite finishes and appliances complement this high-living home base.

All bedrooms feature generous ensuites; the master adorned with a dressing area and work space as well. Outside, a spacious balcony with water views offers a tranquil reprieve from the bustle of the city beneath.

Mandarin Building, Hong Kong

List Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Binoche Chan for more information

Fantastic artistic details are peppered throughout this original four-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong’s Mandarin Building. Every architectural element, from the concrete walls with warm sconces to the studio-loft style pillars reinforce the traditional-modern collision of the Core Central neighbourhood. Fresh French-styling adds unrivaled taste to the interiors, while a 3,500-square-foot terrace offers tranquil garden reflection for that essential morning meditation.

The Palace, Beijing, China

Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty 

All the trappings of a modern mansion sit sky-high in The Palace in China’s capital city. Three bedrooms with regal detailing set the tone, and opulence continues through living and dining areas that feature impressive ceiling recesses and chandelier-style lighting.  A clean, inviting chef’s kitchen feels at home in the 4,058-square-feet of living space, where floor-to-ceiling windows light up each room and offer a picturesque frame for sparkling lights after dusk.

A Better Tomorrow, Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan Sotheby’s International Realty

Grounded and contemporary minimalism meets elevated and ornate luxury at A Better Tomorrow in Taipei. A steel build with premium Japanese dampers, this tower offers sound peace of mind in a fast-paced city. The south-facing, open plan apartment plays host to a chic kitchen and welcomes warm daylight and end-of-day reflection in addition to large gatherings and the humming energy of the cosmopolitan Da’an district.

The understated cubist design continues though the ample facilities and communal spaces, an homage to a neighborhood overflowing with high-quality dining options, galleries, and parks. Here, Taipei’s wealth of cultural curiosities are never more than a few steps away.

Unmatched living at breathtaking heights—both an enticing addition to and welcome retreat from these bustling cities.

Top Photo: List Sotheby’s International Realty

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The Collector’s Edition | Wine Cellars


Corkscrews, glasses, and decanters are all elegant, essential tools for wine-tasting; but for the true oenophile, nothing beats the holy grail of a unique, well-stocked wine cellar. Ready to impress guests—and yourself—in your own private tasting room? Here, we present six homes to house your wine collection.

Telluride, Colorado, United States

Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Bill Fandel for more information

There’s no quintessential après ski indulgence as beloved as a drink after a long day on the slopes. Paradiso in Telluride is an incredible contemporary home with an unbeatable mountain setting. The property includes a beautiful reflective pond, indulgent master and guest suites, and cozy living areas with impressive fireplaces, indoor and out. Grab a bottle from the glass wine cellar and cook something up in the Bulthaup-designed chef’s kitchen.

Sainte-Marthe, Quebec, Canada

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada | Contact Bea Jarzynska for more information

Unmatched equestrian pursuits rule this stately Quebec home just 45 minutes from downtown Montreal. Over 50 acres of manicured grounds offer plenty of room to ride. Inside, classic architectural detailing outlines every room. Between the luxe master suite (with its huge dressing room) and inviting common areas, there’s plenty of room to enjoy a post-ride Riesling in the inviting warmth of the wood-clad wine cellar.

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Samir Jhina for more information

Between the helipad and two-story pool house to the tennis court and heated pool, you’ll have plenty of reasons to open a bottle or two and relax at this grand South African estate. Marble flooring, detailed crown molding and cornice designs, one-of-a-kind finishing, and sweeping cherry wood set a tone of royal repose throughout.

The bar offers plenty of working space for arranging charcuterie boards to pair with your pinot noir, and landscaped fountains provide the perfect accompaniment to soak in the flavors of a South African Chenin blanc. 

São Paulo, Brazil

Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Julio Cesar Rodrigues for more information

Good friends, good wine, good life—that’s the positive motto setting the tone at this lively apartment in Itaim, São Paulo. Quirky design choices and a fantastic location near Brigadeiro Faria Lima Avenue and Pinheiros Club make this home the choice spot for those seeking easy access to the warmth, food, and joie de vivre of Brazil. Pairs well with a spicy red blend.

Kampa Island, Prague, Czech Republic 

Czech Republic Sotheby’s International Realty

The perfect palate cleanser: a historic, full-bodied house on Prague’s Kampa Island has undergone a clean, fantastic reconstruction. The character of the property has been maintained, with the original cellar now converted into an impressive, chic wine cellar. Stash bottles for an end-of-day sip after exploring the legendary Lennon Wall, neighboring Grand Priory Palace, and nearby French embassy.

Caesarea, Israel

Israel Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Shelly Belzer-Smelzer for more information

Consider this stone wine cellar the fantastic, lingering note of this full-bodied estate in Israel. Gold leaf inlay ceilings and moldings, commissioned chandeliers, a private elevator, and in-floor heating make the 25-person dining room, 10 bedrooms, and grand master bedroom—not to mention the rest of this 1620-square-meter, four-story mansion—a standout in function and design. Enjoy a glass of your finest with guests as you take in the panoramic views and sunsets over the Mediterranean Sea.

When choosing the perfect pairing for the modern collector, it ultimately comes down to preference; but each of these stunning properties offers its own distinct style and complex, unique finish.

From New Jersey to Sydney, discover luxury homes with world-class wine cellars on sothebysrealty.com

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Transform Your Space: Curating Art for Your Home

Your home serves as the outward expression of your inner-self, something of a vessel for your spirit. To capture that essence, clear structure, a thoughtful palette, and ambient lighting hold key roles; but it’s what you display in this space that makes it unique. Curating art for this blank slate is what makes a home uniquely yours.

Perhaps you’re a strategist, focusing on pieces with a kind of visual mathematical precision; maybe you’re a minimalist, preferring one or two bespoke pieces where the light hits them just so; or it could be that you’re a bona fide enthusiast, peppering your dwelling with an eclectic mix of oils and photography, not to mention a strategically-placed sculpture or two.

If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to art, you’re in luck—the home itself is one the best starting points when looking for curation clues. After all, everything from the white quartz of kitchen counters to industrial-chic finishing touches can inform your art collection. Consider your abode a look book for inspiration, and transform it from blank slate to bespoke gallery. No gallery-white walls necessary.

Identify Your Taste

ONE Sotheby’s International Realty – Contact Alexa Iacovelli for more information

Some things in life speak to you, and you alone, and that can lead to feeling torn between aesthetic aspirations and authentic representation when decorating your home. In theory, you may love the idea of sharp, mod looks and lines, but in practice, find yourself choosing bold colors and organic shapes.

The same can be true of art curation. You may admire the broken grid gallery walls in a recent issue of Wallpaper*, yet in a gallery, you’re drawn to a single, enveloping piece commanding the space. Instead of trying to conform to an idea of what should be into your home, consider what instinctually draws you in.

Focus on Mood

Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty – Contact Leigh Williamson for more information

How do you want to feel when you walk into a room? Elated? Relaxed? Inspired? Just as you took great care in finding a home with an infinity pool to end your days on a mellow note, equal attention should be given when seeking poolside art to complement it. Perhaps the wave-like quality of a smooth marble sculpture reminds you of peaceful shores, or maybe the mirrored shards of a mixed-media piece in the library help shift your focus to self-reflection.

You can embrace, amplify, or transform moods with the right curated collection. Art can shape not only how a room looks, but also how it makes you feel.

Play Matchmaker

Sotheby’s International Realty – Montecito Brokerage – Contact Suzanne Perkins for more information

You have this room in your house that’s truly magnetic. When friends and family are introduced, they immediately get it. There’s something about the way the furniture frames the window, or textures you’ve added throughout—it simply works. Now you just need to add some final polish by finding that perfect finishing touch.

When you’re searching for new pieces to fit the bill, bring mementos of your favorite rooms with you—think photos, fabrics, swatches, or even small hardware. Trained in the art of curation, gallery directors can help create an encompassing artistic voice for your space from similar textures, colors, or cues. Sometimes the smallest slice of similarity is a match worth marrying.

Frame it Right

Sotheby’s International Realty – Wine Country – East Napa Street Brokerage – Contact Ginger Martin and Gregg Lynn for more information

Framing your new favorite piece isn’t simply about the physical frame. In fact, your burgeoning collection may not require wall mounting at all—it’s about how it works within the space. Great arrangements draw in the eye and invite it to explore nearby, but they continually loop you back to a focal point.

Decide what you want the focal point in your room to be. It doesn’t have to be the art, but it could be a breathtaking view, elegant handcrafted side table, or even a prominent lighting fixture. Wherever you want your eye to start and finish, frame it with complementary—but not overpowering—furnishings and works, so you keep coming back to your favorite spot.

However you decide to curate for your inner-sanctum, let it reflect your personality and show yet another side to how you love to live.

Opening image: Israel Sotheby’s International Realty – Contact Shelly Belzer-Shmelzer for more information

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Pastoral Living | 4 Modern Farmhouses

We often associate rural living with simplicity, quiet, and escape. The notion of farmhouse living conjures images of a small home perched atop a hill, overlooking acres of grassy pastures while horses or other livestock roam the open fields.

Today’s modern farmhouses, however, take all the benefits of breathtaking landscape, vast natural surroundings, and wide-open spaces and marry them with the trappings of luxurious amenities, contemporary design, and plain-old good taste. These pastoral charmers are shining examples of just that.

Woodland, Utah, United States

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Warm, rustic design meets a penchant for adventure in this cabin-style property by award-winning architect Fred Babcock. Traditional American farmhouse features—a table by the hearth at the edge of the kitchen, a welcoming front porch, and provincial windows —receive an updated twist from details like the sturdy granite countertops and ambient outdoor lighting.

Stunning woodwork is present throughout, from the beams supporting the vaulted ceilings to inviting hardwood flooring passing throughout the common areas and seven bedrooms. Outside, an open pavilion plays host to a generous, circular fireplace with room for handmade chairs, a three-quarter acre pond is stocked with rainbow trout, and a 500-square-foot barn houses your prized sorrel with room to spare.

Contact Matt Mullin or Will Lange for more information

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty

Pastoral living isn’t constrained to rustic country style—proof of which is in the minimalist details and comfortable open rooms of this pavilion-style residence in New South Wales. The decor is earthy but lively, reflecting the spirit of the area and fluidity of its indoor-outdoor living.

A 25-meter mosaic-tiled pool is flanked by lush greenery and an outdoor cooking area, complete with wood fire pizza oven. Inside, the master suite steals the show, with its own walk-in courtyard and garden. Other modern trimmings to adore: a gourmet kitchen, impressive wine cellar, home theatre, and boat room, among others.

Contact Harriet France for more information

Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand

New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty

Let snow-capped mountains and scenic lake views turn up your expectations of farm living. Sitting within a solid 24 hectares, this New Zealand property is as private as it is picturesque. Inside the Sarah Scott–designed home, a ceiling of incredible truss-style wood radiates warmth throughout. The expansive open-concept main room is comprised of a sleek chef’s kitchen overlooking a cozy living area, complete with inviting fireplace.

The finishing touch? An organic wrap-around deck that brings the outdoors in to every room and with it, unrivaled vistas of the night sky.

Contact Craig Myles for more information

Texas, United States

Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

At this incredible Texas ranch, unrivalled stone columns and wood beams crisscross over 10,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space. With over 105 acres to call home, the property makes good use: two guest houses, a main barn, caretaker’s house, tennis court, fishing lake, and horse barn pepper its stunning grounds. (Definitely not the typical pasture land, although it has that too.)

Once known as “The Briarpatch”, the ranch has played host to parties and events attended by sports legends and the Hollywood elite, who often arrived via private plane or helicopter.

Contact Ron Marshall or Joyce Marshall for more information

Modern developments are changing the face of farm properties, bringing creative opportunities for the contemporary homeowner keen on the trappings of pastoral life without having to sacrifice creature comforts. And while these impressive estates may offer luxurious retreats miles from hectic city living, they also sit miles out of the ordinary.

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The Best of Island Living

Turquoise waters, breezy sea air, sun soaked beaches and lush greenery are part and parcel for the idyllic island jaunt, but there are tropical escapes, and then there are tropical escapes.

Once you decide to own a slice of paradise, the details of island living become that much more nuanced. It becomes about sun and shade cycles, open-air living, a welcome dose of privacy, and views whenever possible. Warm wood adds a beach-hut feel, sweeping white walls offset pops of topical color, and washed stones evoke nearby shorelines. Couple those trappings of good taste with resort-like amenities and you may never leave the island.

Castillo Caribe, Grand Cayman

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

The Caribbean’s year-round sunshine and bright culture are nearly eclipsed by the oceanfront majesty of this Cayman Island retreat.

Castillo Caribe’s boutique hotel–like features make it an unforgettable spot to retreat with friends. A grand front hall presents woven-style ceiling details, recessed lighting, and a sweeping wood staircase, all of which get a splash of the island’s natural elements via indoor palms and two-story floor-to-ceiling windows.

Here, classical features and decor outshine typical nods to beach living: a long table dining hall with elegant chandeliers, an expansive chef’s kitchen with multiple prep areas, and a master bedroom with beautiful wood ceiling inlay. Then there’s the wine cellar, games room, home theatre, gym, outdoor pool and private grotto. Cap that off with the Cayman Islands’ tax-neutral environment for the ultimate break from normalcy.

Makena, Maui

$26,995,000 USD | Makena, Hawaii | Island Sotheby’s International Realty

Look out across the endless Pacific Ocean from one of the most beautifully constructed, custom-detailed homes in Maui. Perched upon one acre of land, this 10,500-square-foot residence is an exemplary model of indoor-outdoor living.

Custom wood detailing runs through every area, including the eight bedrooms. Rippling fountains keep relaxation dialed, and a home theater is at the ready when you need a break from the sun. Or maybe you’ll prefer to soak up that movie in the open night air—an outdoor theater rises from the pool deck.

The nearby pool house accommodates any additional guests, and the nearly 4000-square feet of deck is perfect for large celebrations and star-gazing alike.

Sentosa Cove, Singapore

$19,900,000 SGD | Singapore | List Sotheby’s International Realty

Incredible modern architecture defines this rare oceanfront residence in Singapore. The lure of a marina resort meets high residential integrity here—a marriage of raw wood, polished steel, fair-faced concrete, and tropical sea air.

Views of the water rush into grand rooms at the rear of the home, while front rooms face the waterway. Flow, light, and open space are abundant, as is indoor-outdoor living. A timber bridge intersects the main staircase, giving way to a covered terrace so you can comfortably enjoy the local climate out of the sun’s rays (a dip in the pool will also do nicely). Sliding and folding glass doors expand the living and dining spaces for breakfasts and dinners al fresco. Whether you’re upstairs in a private, inviting bedroom or taking in the tranquility of the courtyard, this Sentosa Cove stunner is open and alive.

Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda

$23,000,000 USD | Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Beachfront living just doesn’t get any better than this. Stunning local stonework, warm woods, Travertine marble, and sandy shades of upholstery line the rooms of the villas at Aquamare.

Three 8,000-square-foot villas, equipped with 30-foot vaulted ceilings and beautiful indoor-outdoor detailing—including hammock seating—can house up to 12 guests each. Each also has its own private waterfront infinity pool with clear views of Drake’s Channel and upscale beachside lounging. A manager’s villa is partnered with the property, making large celebrations and group gatherings easy.

Elevated island homes offer the ideal blend of private retreat and resort living, where tempos slow and lapping waves provide the soundtrack to your days—your own personal paradise.

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Designing the Perfect Minimalist Home

Silence is golden. So is subtlety. There is a fantastic mystery attached to minimalism. In real estate, this applies not only to a property, but to its owner as well. It could be that these contemporary home designs feel as though they are devoid of clues. Perhaps there are fewer pieces of statement-making art, or the sentimental treasures we collect over the years are hidden in shelving that requires a knowing push or pull where a knob might otherwise expose the secrets within.

Minimalism encourages reflection, thought, restraint, and smart conversation. This is especially true when it comes to designing an impressive minimalist home. Where so often there is a tendency to fill a space, clean, contemporary residences rely on the consideration of light patterns, conservation, and intuition, among other details.

Spacial Philosophy

$4,650,00 USD | Amagansett, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage

Finding an identity or philosophy for a new space can come about a few ways. It may be rooted in a historical or local context, maybe it stems from an entire culture—like Elysium, a “place of happiness”—or perhaps it comes from a design principle such as wabi-sabi, which encourages its subjects to embrace the beauty in imperfection (cracks, scratches, and a warm, visible wearing-out process are encouraged).

Deliberate Materials

Price Upon Request | Mykonos, Greece | Greece Sotheby’s International Realty

Time and again we hear of fine materials being sourced from all over the globe. While craftspeople and artisans are not easily centralized for our convenience, there is something to be said for going on a hunt for local, raw materials. It is an investment in time, which can be more rewarding than originally thought. If you do outsource, do your research and look for texture—this will add a richness to your space.

Natural Elements

8.800.000 € | Costa Den Blanes, Mallorca | Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty

Pay attention to when the light lands in your space and where. Take care not to uproot foliage unless absolutely necessary. Minimalism doesn’t necessarily speak to a starkness, but an interest in working with what is simplest. When it comes to landscape architecture, or even window treatments, that may mean leaving a towering oak exactly where it is. Working greenery into a recessed wall facade or interior courtyard is also welcome.

Spatial Focus

8.800.000 € | Costa Den Blanes, Mallorca | Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty

Eliminating distraction is paramount to clean spaces, and paring down display items allows time for eyes to rest, shoulders to drop, and guests to take in what is there. Not to say that one feature piece should steal the room, but rather that the items of visual interest displayed allow for pause.

Scale and Form

$10,000,000 USD | Jaffa, Israel | Israel Sotheby’s International Realty

Layout is a chief element in minimalist homes, even in small spaces (an apartment may be tall instead of wide or feature a loft bedroom). In larger spaces, flow is secondary to purpose-led rooms and circles back to philosophy. How are we living in our spaces? How much time do we spend there? What elevates these rooms, hallways, or yards? Light, sound, openness? Long hallways allow for more movement; the soft curve of a staircase brings in organic form; scattered floating shelves nod to a love of linear art.

Additional design direction may seem more obvious: with pared-back color and a love of neutrals, natural materials will shine. Carry this style throughout your space (metal accents, lighting design, fabric choices). In these simple spaces, distraction is gone; we tap back into ourselves.

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The Best of Europe’s Wine Region

Any oenophile worth their decanter will have plenty to say about European grapes. Some will favor the inky purples of a Tuscan blend, noting hints of chocolate, violet and brambleberry; some look to Germany for a refreshing and snappy Riesling with its tight citrus finish; others may opt for the downy, fruity notes of Greece’s Agiorgitiko vines; and more than a few will praise France for its mastery of Champagne, finding honeyed, rich flavors layered over complex and vibrant notes in an Ambonnay Grand Cru Brut.

These vines are polished, studied, authentic. And while any wine aficionado may open a long list in Paris, Berlin, Athens, or Rome and know just the bottle (or two) for any occasion, a real devotee will call the vineyards of these classical countries their own backyard.

Montepulciano, Italy

18.000.000 € | Montepulciano, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

If owning a vineyard is the dream, this is the place to realize it. Sun-soaked grapes and rolling hills are just the right finishing notes for this incredible wine estate in the heart of Tuscany. Its green kingdom includes 84 hectares of vineyards, olive groves, sunflower fields, Italian woods and fertile land, including 14 hectares of Nobile vineyards, two hectares of Vigneto Rosso di Montepulciano grapes, and 20 hectares destined for IGT Toscano status.

The property also features a proud 1756-square-meter wine cellar to house and age your collection. Elsewhere, traditional Italian styling reigns. The main villa on the hill radiates warmth and relaxation from the fine wood detailing and internal courtyard accessible from every area of the house. Soak in 360-degree views of the estate from a studio in the tower, or take a relaxing walk across six hectares of garden. Friends and family will find their own Italian retreat in the guesthouse or annex.

Hessen, Germany


Price Upon Request | Hessen Germany | Peters & Peters Sotheby’s International Realty

Stately European elegance meets modern German detailing in this Frankfurt-adjacent villa. Situated on the bank of the Rhine, this 1012-square-meter space features gentle nods to its 1870-1871 roots in notched crown moulding and delicate chandeliers.

Upgrades from an early millennium renovation include granite, sandstone and parquet flooring, a beautiful chef’s kitchen with Miele and Gaggenau appliances, and a truly fantastic wine cellar. The nearby coach house has also been fully renovated and split into three units, so guests can stay for a lengthy tasting and all the region has to offer. Elsewhere on the property, mature trees and charming flowerbeds play neighbor to recreational treats like the tennis court and heated pool, not to mention the fully-equipped vineyard with pump house, garden irrigation system, and Rhine water usage rights.

Uzes, France 

Price Upon Request | Uzes, France | Uzes Sotheby’s International Realty

A magnificent chateau just north of Uzes marries all the pomp and circumstance of the 14th century with modern-day pleasures. Should fellow wine lovers wish to stay with you in the heart of Provence, a private airstrip provides easy access. A tour of the romantic gardens and reflective pool offer a natural refresh after the flight in. Grand reception rooms offer an unforgettable welcome to the 900-square-meter main house, which features 14 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a professional kitchen, and open conservatory.

The property also hosts severals barns, a guest house, pool house, and caretaker’s house, making it ideal for large parties. If having your own private paradise isn’t enough, perhaps producing your own organic olive oil from the grounds’ 1400 olive trees (and using the property’s own mill) will be. Just the setting for a summer salad and a glass of rosé.

Siena, Italy

6.750.000 € | Siena, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

With this five-star Tuscan estate, you’ll discover more than just a home. Nestled amongst its 1,700 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and orchards are original dwellings, an 18th-century castle turned 41-suite hotel, and a boutique luxury resort and residence club.

The private three-bedroom Tuscan home features a sunny terrace, solarium and swimming pool, while fine finishings complement the contemporary living area. It’s made even more impressive by an illuminated wine cube, ready to house your curated local collection. Open a bottle and gaze across stunning landscapes as the Tuscan sun sets over nearby San Gimignano.

Argolida, Greece

6.500.000 € | Argolida, Greece | Greece Sotheby’s International Realty

The exclusive Aman Residences offer a slice of heaven on the Argosaronic Gulf. This four-bedroom villa features views of the nearby island of Spetses, beautiful modern interior design, and full access to the resort’s facilities and services, including dining services crafted to match any palate

The Amanzoe Beach Club is just an eight-minute drive from the resort, where all-day dips in the turquoise waters are best chased with alfresco dining in the Restaurant at Amanzoe. Dip into the wine list then head to the spa for a refreshing end to the evening.

Whether you’re after a good vintage villa or the modern undercurrents of a full-finish property, the serenity of Europe’s wine region is something to uncork, breathe in, and savor.

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