Design Ideas to Change the Way You Live

There are certain times each year where we are prone to reflection and goal setting. New Year’s Eve brings the inevitable resolutions, birthdays remind us of the preciousness of each year, career or personal milestones end one chapter and begin another. So, we set goals and expectations for ourselves, hoping and planning for more energy, more time to explore and create, better health and vitality, or even just the ability to detach.

The home is at the heart of this concept. We are a product not only of the people we surround ourselves with, but of the spaces that surround us too. Regardless of where you spend your days, your home is the one place that can reflect your best intentions back at you. In the same way minimalist design principles champion pause, design can change the way you live. These five ideas will help you find and reaffirm your plans and purpose each time you walk through the door.

Create a Sensory Reset

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty

Small design tweaks and the thoughtful placement of a few select accessories can help shift a space into a harmonious sanctuary. Add more reflective surfaces to extend natural light to every room and tune out life’s noise with a surround sound audio installation. A scent-memory connection can bring positive association to your space — use an aromatic diffuser to add a hint of calming eucalyptus or saje to the air. Careful planning and thoughtful palettes add a sense of meditation to the room.

Escape Without Travel

Kremmling, Colorado | Jack Wolfe – LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 

Privacy and a change of scenery are paramount when getting away from it all. However, for those times when schedules don’t allow for travel, the home can provide that much-needed retreat. Live by the credo “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Take advantage of streamlined storage solutions, unexpected built-ins and multi-functional furniture. Then, find your spot and turn it into your vision of an escape, be it a personal library with floor-to-ceiling shelving and a cozy a reading nook, a cafe-style spot with booth seating off the kitchen where you can drink wine and savor tapas, or a bathroom turned spa sanctuary with the addition of a steam shower and tropical plants.

Find a New Perspective

Shouson Hill, Hong Kong | Binoche Chan – List Sotheby’s International Realty 

Shake off stagnation with an injection of energy. But instead of a dramatic remodel or whole-home overhaul, refinish worn surfaces and revive lackluster palettes with a hit of color. That might mean swapping out white subway tiles for a brass backsplash or letting go of heirloom furniture to make way for contemporary pieces. And pillows, throws, and rugs offer an instant facelift, while a bold feature wall serves as an ever-present reminder of the positivity payoff from taking risks.

Make Space to Create

Midtown East, New York | Nikki Field – Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

Whether you’re working in an artistic field or extolling the virtues of logic, everyone deserves a space for creative release. Instead of taking a trip to write that novel, lay down a track, or paint a piece; why not transform an area of your home into a creative annex? Consider durable surfaces, soundproofing, directional lighting and scale to really bring your creative energy to life.

But don’t stop there, go the whole hog and convert your home into a curated self-made gallery. Long hallways and corridors offer the perfect canvas for artwork, so you can give new meaning to the term “produced in-house.”

Take Action Every Day

Mallorca, Spain | Simon Jensen – Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty 

Everything is easier when you’re in good health, and maintaining good health comes down to consistency. Having access to everything you need at home will set you up for success. Refresh the kitchen to make home cooking a priority; set up a home fitness area with enough space to move freely; indulge in tech innovations such as remote temperature or humidity control; and find a spot for rest and recovery. Remember to keep spaces streamlined and functional to ensure excuses are out of the equation.

Your home is as malleable and open to change as you are. No matter how many times you assess and reassess where you are and where you’re going, there are always design solutions to help you get there.

Top Photo: London, England | Shereen MalikUnited Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty 

Discover New & Notable homes from around the world on

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Second Week in February 2018

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

$4,900,000 USD | Maidens, Virginia | The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty

“The main entryway is flanked by marble columns and gilded Corinthian capitals, and opens onto a curved double staircase. There’s a colossal living room, a dining room that comfortably seats 10, a wood-paneled library, and a double-height ballroom that has a spiral wood staircase leading to an upper balcony.”

A Former Coal Baron’s Mansion is Up for Sale – Bloomberg Pursuits

Can this Billionaire’s Row Apartment Beat the Odds, Resell for $70 Million? – Forbes

Dream Homes: Five Tempting Properties for Sale in Tuscany – USA Today

Mel Gibson’s Onetime Connecticut Mansion Lists for $22.5 Million – Wall Street Journal

Home on Lake Tahoe Compound Featured in ‘Godfather II’ Asks $3.7 Million – Curbed

A Warm and Sophisticated Ski Home on the Slopes of Aspen Highlands – Mansion Global

This Bermuda-Inspired Beauty on 30A is an Entertainer’s Dream (and it’s for sale!) – Coastal Living

A Condé Nast ‘Cottage’ Asks $12.5 Million – Wall Street Journal

Home Where Jackie and John Kennedy First Met to Hit Market – Mansion Global

House Hunting in… Hong Kong – The New York Times

Former Baseball Star Jimmy Rollins Hits a Record Price with Mansion Purchase – Los Angeles Times

High Tech Boom Leads Bay Area Prices to Soar – Mansion Global

Alpine Ski Chalet with the Stamp of European Royalty Beckons Hong Kong Investors – South China Morning Post

The Power of Home: New Story Builds Shelter and Second Chances – RISMedia

10 Ultimate Waterfront Homes We’re Coveting Now – Elle Decor

Sotheby’s Set to Auction Rare, Flawless 102-Carat White Diamond in LondonThe Japan Times

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

Discover luxury homes from around the world on

New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | February 2018

From a Baroque-style penthouse in Israel to a private island in the Bahamas, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale feature homes from some of the world’s finest locales.

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

This grand, Baroque-style penthouse resides in the enduring Sea One – a post-modern tower ideally located on Tel Aviv beach, designed by Harald Klein. Guests and residents will enjoy outstanding accommodation, pool and wellness facilities overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, an exclusive gourmet restaurant, grand lobby with bar and management service of the highest standard.

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Andrew Ernemann and Craig Morris for more information

This state-of-the-art home in downtown Aspen offers over 18,000 square-feet of living space with smart home automation throughout. The home features three tennis courts that transform into skating rinks in the winter, a home theater, and a bowling alley/shooting range among its many amenities.

List Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact Tersa Lau for more information

This elegant three-level home in Pokfulam, Hong Kong offers a rooftop terrace, garden, and balconies. Two of the home’s three en-suite bedrooms feature incredible private balconies, and rooftop terrace enjoys sprawling views of the sea, with exquisite space for alfresco dining.

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty ­| Contact Michael Lawler for more information

Offering unparalleled views of Doubloon Bay, this contemporary home in Naples, Florida features a one-of-a-kind floating European White Oak staircase, floor-to-ceiling glass, hand-selected Calcutta Marble flooring, and all-glass wine room. Situated on the north side of Admiralty Point, the property is eligible for Port Royal Club membership.

Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty | Contact George Damianos for more information

Whale Cay is a private island located in the fishing paradise of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. Situated between the Bahama Banks and the tongue of the ocean, the Berry Islands have long attracted visitors who enjoy fishing and boating, with great proximity to Florida and only 30 miles north of Nassau. The Island is primed for residential development, with more than 570 acres included in this listing. There are 12 miles of shoreline and 13 white sandy beaches totaling seven miles.

Discover New & Notable homes from around the world on

Sotheby’s | Ru Ware – Rare as the Stars at Dawn

Ru ware, from the imperial court of the Song dynasty, has achieved almost mythical status over the last 1,000 years. Experience its understated beauty and learn about its exceptional rarity in our short film. Song – Important Chinese Ceramics from the Le Cong Tang Collection takes place in Hong Kong on 3 October.

Discover more about Sotheby’s on the Extraordinary Living blog

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Last Week in March 2017

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


$3,500,000 USD | Oceanside, California | Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

“Elegant and distinctly Southern Californian, this gorgeous 1960 home by pioneering female architect Edla Muir perches atop the Fire Mountain neighborhood of Oceanside, the third largest city in San Diego County.”

Gorgeous 1960 Home by Pioneering Female Architect Asks $3.5M in San Diego – Curbed

Renovated Townhouse in Boston’s Back Bay Seeks $15.75 Million – Wall Street Journal

6 Idyllic Homes for Horse Lovers – The Week

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Welcomes List Sotheby’s International Realty in Hong Kong – Sotheby’s International Realty

Billionaire Trader Stanley Druckenmiller Lists Connecticut Estate for $31.5 Million – Wall Street Journal

A Recently Renovated Barcelona Apartment in the Center of it All – Mansion Global

Estate Makes the Most of its Spectacular Carpinteria Setting – Los Angeles Times

7 Amazing Homes in Seattle – The Week

House Hunting in… Munich – The New York Times

Second-Home Prices Slide – Barrons

Luxury Homeowners Build Rooms to Show Off Their Favorite Trophies – Wall Street Journal

Mexico City’s Polanco Boasts Art, Parks and Some Seriously Upscale Shopping – Mansion Global

Locust Valley: A Quiet Burg with Good Schools and Elite Clubs – The New York Times

10 Ultimate Waterfront Homes We’re Coveting Now – Elle Decor

An Emerald with a History Goes to Auction – The New York Times

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Welcomes List Sotheby’s International Realty in Hong Kong


Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that it has signed an agreement with List International Realty Limited, which owns List Sotheby’s International Realty, to now represent the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand in Hong Kong. The firm will be led by President and CEO, Hisashi Kitami, who also leads List Sotheby’s International Realty operations in Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, and Singapore.

“Hong Kong residents have a keen interest in luxury real estate and the territory also has a strong appeal to international buyers,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “Hong Kong is a key global market, and we are proud to be represented in this important region by Hisashi Kitami and his team.”

List Sotheby’s International Realty is set to open its first office in Hong Kong in the second half of 2017.  As previously announced, the firm also has plans to open in Bangkok, Thailand, within the next year.

“We have had a strong track record with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand and have since used this formula for success to expand into additional global markets,” said Kitami.  “At List Sotheby’s International Realty, we serve the needs of clientele who seek to diversify their real estate assets across locations internationally and we are committed to setting the industry standard for excellence.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 20,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in approximately 880 offices in 66 countries and territories worldwide. In 2016, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $95 billion USD.  List Sotheby’s International Realty listings will be marketed on the global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Second Week in August 2016

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


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

“The 5,200-square-foot house sits on just over an acre. There are four bedrooms in the main residence, in addition to a bedroom in the attached guest suite. There’s also a two-car garage with a workshop.”

In Alabama, a Contemporary Residence with Bayou Views – Mansion Global

A Horta House in Belgium with Art Nouveau Appeal – International New York Times

For Sale: 6 Cool Geometric Homes – The Week

A Modern Home Rises in Denver’s Cherry Creek Neighborhood – Mansion Global

For Ceilings, What a Difference a Foot Makes – Wall Street Journal

House Hunting in… Lima – The New York Times

Sneek Peek: This Villa in Goa Worth over $1 Million is Elegant, Luxurious and Even has an Infinity Pool – Business Insider India

In Suzhou, a Garden-style Home with a Modern Twist – Mansion Global

A Prized Location, with Culture, on French Riviera – International New York Times

Emmy-winning Director Paris Barclay Lists his Valley Village Home for Sale – Los Angeles Times

Want More Peace and Quiet? Move into these 10 Secluded Spaces – Elle Decor

Sotheby’s HK to Auction Unique Old and New World Wines this September – Blouin ArtInfo

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: First Week in August 2016

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

south africa

R 115 000 000 ZAR | Cape Town, South Africa | Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

“Situated in the hills above Cape Town, this modern mansion could be the ideal swallows retreat. With craggy mountains as its backdrop, the estate overlooks Table Mountain National Park. The view spans from Camps Bay to Cape Town.”

In South Africa, a Modern House with Three Swimming Pools – Mansion Global

Key Biscayne, Fla., Home Featured in ‘Miami Vice’ Movie Asks $39 Million – Wall Street Journal

The World’s Most Expensive Homes on the Market Now – Bloomberg Pursuits

Own a Rare 3-Story Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Illinois – Architectural Digest

Inner City Warehouses Lead Property’s High-End Industrial Revolution – Australian Financial Review

In New Jersey, a Modern Home Inspired by Two Bridges – Mansion Global

Going for Gold: Homes with Olympic Connections – Financial Times

Eva Langoria’s $1.4 Million Mediterranean-Style Villa is on the Market – Architectural Digest

A Tuscan Honeymoon Inspired the Design of this Tennessee Home – Mansion Global

How to Live on the Beach in New York City – New York Post

Luxury Homes on Hong Kong Island Offer Privacy and a Break from Rigors of City Life – South China Morning Post

10 Dream Penthouses that take City Dwelling to a Whole New Level – Elle Decor

Obama Presidential Library Could Bring Short-term Boost to Neighborhood Housing Prices – Mansion Global

House Hunting in… Gibraltar – The New York Times

When Buying a Home near Harvard is as Hard as Getting into Harvard – Financial Times

John Lennon’s Austin Princess to be Sold at Auction – Express

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Last Week in July 2016

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

$8,950,000 | Oakley, Utah | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty
Anchoring a secluded 114-acre ranch 20 miles outside of Park City, Utah, this rustic 2004 dwelling by architects Mark Rios and Kurt Dubbe takes its cues from the traditional farmhouses of the American West.

This $9 Million Ranch Marries Rustic Design and Luxury Amenities – Architectural Digest

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand releases Significant Sales Volume I | Issue II – Sotheby’s International Realty

A Connecticut Estate With a Sunken Garden and Secret Hideaway – The Wall Street Journal

Inside the most expensive homes for sale in the D.C. area – The Washington Post

Hong Kong developers seek to tempt ‘wait-and-see’ buyers – The Financial Times

Home of the Day: History and hospitality on Grand Avenue in Pasadena – The Los Angeles Times

A Family in Italy Decides to Part With Its Castle – The New York Times

America’s Most Expensive Homes For Sale Right Now – Forbes

Pending Home Sales Marginally Rise in June – National Association of Realtors

Chinese firm buys big stake in auction house Sotheby’s – CNN Money

Sotheby’s To Auction The Steven And Ann Ames Collection – ArtNews