A Modern Masterpiece: A Village of One’s Own

Designed by Hugh Newell Jacobsen, this estate in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania, sits on a sloping hillside, nearly invisible from the road.

The main home is grand without being grandiose, a quiet elegance that offers multiple experiences. Features within include two entertainment patios, a two-story library, four bedrooms, three full and 1 half baths, and a private office in the master suite. There are many fine details throughout, including five wood-burning fireplaces, a circular staircase, a custom light tower in the foyer. granite countertops and a kitchen island. 

As one turns down a pea-gravel drive past a series of perfectly placed pines and hemlocks, a sharp 120-degree turn to the west reveals a remarkable village-like cluster of five buildings on the left with the barn across the drive. From the moment you turn down the drive, there is a sense of calm discovery. “Good architecture doesn’t really over-power its surroundings, it makes the site look better,” said Jacobsen.

The property is listed by J. Scott Laughlin of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox and Roach for $1.295 million. 

     

This editorial originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of

Unique Homes Magazine. Click here to see more.

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Live the Island Life on Panama’s Isla Saboga

In the exclusive El Encanto development on Isla Saboga, Panama, this home has stunning views of the jungle, ocean and beach.

“This home in the beautiful Las Perlas Archipelago in Panama is perfect for a couple looking to get away from it all,” says listing agent Stephanie Villarreal of Your Panama Real Estate Connection. “Life on the island is very relaxed and the expansive deck on the main level provides a perfect space to enjoy endless views.

The total indoor and outdoor area is approximately 2,700 square feet (or 250 square meters) on three levels. The three-bedroom, two-full- and one-half bath is equipped with all the modern amenities.

“The house is meticulously maintained by the present owner and comes equipped with top-quality furnishings,” says Villarreal. “Attention to detail is evident throughout starting from the custom kitchen cabinets imported from Italy to the screened dining room and sitting area which is perfect to enjoy the gorgeous sunsets.  

The home, listed for $629,000 USD, is ready for immediate occupancy and the property is located only 35 miles from Panama City (next to Contadora Island) and is easily reached in under 2 hours by ferry from Panama City, or only 20 minutes by airplane to Isla Contadora and then a short 10-minute boat ride to Isla Saboga.

“Perhaps one of the most unique features of the property is that there are many mature trees including mango, papaya, coconut and plantain,” says Villarreal. “The ease of having tropical fruit at your doorstep is definitely a plus — not to mention that being on a tropical island, you are steps away from the beautiful beach and can relax in the clear Pacific waters or try your luck fishing.”

For more information on this property, please visit www.yourpanamaconnection.com

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Salt of the Earth

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the pink himalayan salt blocks, salt spa visitors are encouraged to focus on their breathing as they embrace the benefits of the salt-infused air. 

Dry salt therapy, or halotherapy, is a practice that originated centuries ago in the natural salt mines of Eastern Europe. Dry salt therapy is thought to provide an array of health benefits, helping with stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as skin conditions, arthritis and asthma.

“People are seeking more natural and alternative ways to feel better and relieve pain,” says Maryann Corcoran, co-owner of the Corcova Salt Spa in Genesee County, Michigan. “They are tired of taking pills and getting little or no relief and often additional ailments due to the side eff ects from their medication.”

 

 

Royal Salt Cave & Spa. Photo by Rafal K Gdowski. 

“With medications you have to worry about side effects and short- or long-term effects on the body, but with salt therapy, there’s none of that. It’s simply a healing process that also throws relaxation into the mix,” adds Izabela Przybyla, founder and owner of the Royal Salt Cave & Spa in Frankfort, Illinois.

 

A man-made salt cave reproduces the climate of a natural salt mine. Surfaces are covered with layers of himalayan salt and saline aerosol is
dispersed into the room to create a space that feels authentic. 

“The salt cave is climate-con-trolled to recreate a micro-climate as if you were within a salt mine,” says Shannon Coppola, founder of Montauk Salt Cave in New York City. “Salt is super sensitive to heat and humidity. There is a very intricate climate-control system to ensure that the air is always moving and super clean to maximize the benefits.”

Chairs, whether recliners or loungers, are added for comfort and relaxation, while dim lighting is used to recreate a true cave-like experience.

One of the most well-known salt mines is the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland, which draws tourists from around the world. It was also the fi rst location to off er salt-related health treatments. In the 1830s, Dr. Feliks Boczkowsk began off ering salt baths when he began to notice the surprisingly good health of the local salt miners.

Mei Leung, a holistic healer at Montauk Salt Cave, uses Reiki and sound to help visitors feel calm and balanced. Photo by Mike Vitelli.

The historic Wieliczka Salt Mine began offering salt-related health treatments in Poland as early as 1830. Photo by Ryszard Tatomir. 

United States spa owners draw inspiration from Wieliczka Salt Mine, which has played a pivotal role in the rise of halotherapy. Cheryl Krouse and Jim Fittante, owners of the Samana Salt Spa in Lewiston, New York, traveled to Poland to gain a deeper understanding of the ancient form of wellness therapy. “We were able to see firsthand how the Wellness Center in the salt mine has been operating since the late 1800s,” explains Krouse.

Another notable salt mine in Eastern Europe is the Salt Mine Berchtesgaden, which is the oldest active salt mine in Germany. The mine attracts visitors, who are able to tour the mine and learn of its history while taking in views of the natural salt. “Enjoy the underground, starting with a train ride. Go down two long slides (which were used by mine workers in former times), take a raft ride over a mystic salt lake, and see traces of colored salt in the rocks,” says Peter Botzleiner-Reber, tourism manager for Salt Mine Berchtesgaden.

“I’ve known about salt therapy my whole life, since I’m originally from Poland. Salt caves have been popular in Europe for more than 70 years,” says Przybyla, who has seen the trend grow in the U.S. in recent years. “There’s no doubt in my mind that salt therapy is on the rise simply because it’s relaxing and beneficial to your health.”

Salt Mine Berchtesgaden is home to two long slides, which are surrounded by salt and were once used by mine workers. Photo by Georg Grainer Fotografie, courtesy of Salt Mine Berchtesgaden, Südwestdeutche Salzwerke AG. 

The salt used in halotherapy is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial, according to Shannon Coppola. To fully take advantage of its ben-efits, Coppola suggests a 30- to 60-minute session in a salt cave at least once a week — preferably two times a week.

While most salt therapy sessions are a solo experience, Montauk Salt Cave also offers guided sessions with experienced healers. The healers elevate the typical salt cave experience — whether it’s promoting peace and tranquility through the use of tarot cards and astrology, a meditative soundscape, or Reiki therapy.

Luxury developments and real estate properties are also experimenting with the benefits of halotherapy. “There has been an increase in awareness of the benefits of halotherapy and in turn a rise in demand for locations to off er it,” says Alison Howland, vice president of wellness programs and resourcing at Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences in Riviera Beach, Florida.

The luxury development will soon debut its inhalation halotherapy chamber, which will off er residents the opportunity to experience salt therapy from the comfort of their homes. “The concept of luxury is changing. No longer is standardized luxury acceptable. Personalized luxury is the new standard,” says Howland of the develop-ment’s decision to open the salt chamber.

For luxury spa owners, the choice to open a salt cave is often much more personal.

“My daughter was my biggest inspiration for opening this business,” says Przybyla. “She struggles with asthma and severe allergies, which tend to act up a lot seasonally. I wanted to help get her healthier in a natural way.”

Coppola echoes a similar message. “Ultimately, our inspiration for opening the spa was our son,” she says. Coppalo and her husband discovered salt therapy in 2014 when searching for a cure for their son’s respiratory issues. “We had tried everything under the sun — nebulizers, chambers, adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, Flonase, Nasonex, and more. A friend suggested salt therapy. After one session, he slept through the night for the first time at 4 and a half years old,” says Coppola.

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Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

By Jessica Ganga and Marlene Ridgway

North Cyprus 

“With 300 days of sunshine,  golden beaches, friendly people, and stunning countryside, it’s no wonder that many visitors seriously consider buying property in North Cyprus,” explains Aylin Pelin Onar, Broker/Owner and Global Luxury Ambassador of Coldwell Banker Maximum.

Cyprus consists of 480 miles of stunning coastline, attracting buyers from all over the world. ©iStockPhoto.com / Mindstorm-Inc.

As the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus boasts 480 miles of coastline, citrus groves, gorgeous beaches and has a capital growth average of 20 to 40 percent annually over the past three years, making it a prime opportunity for luxury buyers, according to Onar. There’s also a certain mystery surrounding the island that is appealing. “It’s no surprise that according to legend, Julius Caesar gave the island to Cleopatra as a token of his love.”

 

With the highest-priced listing in the area being an $8 million, 150,000-square-meter villa built on a private hill, it’s clear that there is an expanding demand for luxury properties. “Our market is growing due to improving local and international economic conditions,” says Onar. Situated between three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the location has contributed to the growing international market. “We are receiving clients from Turkey, Russia, Scandinavian countries, the Middle East, England, Israel and Australia,” notes Onar.

 

With the continuing development of new constructions and homes, the luxury market is expected to keep expanding to sustain the demand. Up and coming areas such as East of Kyrenia can provide the 5-star accommodations that luxury buyers now expect, including social facilities such as gym centers, spas, pools, and high security. “East of Kyrenia is the shining star, especially with its seafront luxury sites. The natural beauty, beautiful beaches, amazing mountain views, 18-hole international golf course, and 5-star hotels with casinos are the attraction points of this area,” says Onar.

Aylin Pelin Onar

Aylin Pelin Onar

Broker/Owner, Global Luxury Ambassador

Coldwell Banker Maximum

AylinPelin.Onar@CB.com.TR

www.MaximumVelver.com

Page 30

Luxury properties in Esentepe, Kyrenia, North Cyprus embrace the island’s natural beauty, such as this home with gorgeous ocean views that sold recently for $900,000 USD. Photo courtesy of Sadi Yolgecen.

Recently sold for $7.7 million USD in Kyrenia, North Cyprus, this house examplifies the ultra-luxury listings available. Photo courtesy of Sadi Yolegecen.

Canada

With its diverse landscape and abundance of land, Canada is an ideal location for luxury buyers seeking a new place to call home. Of Canada’s many cities, Toronto is one that is family friendly and among the safest in the country. “People see Canada as a safe place to invest their money and raise their family. Toronto is the biggest city in the country and the financial centre of the country,” says Barry Cohen, Broker at RE/MAX Realtron Barry Cohen Homes Inc., Brokerage in Toronto.

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto has grown to be a rich metropolis with no shortage of things to do. “It’s a very cosmopolitan, multicultural city,” says Susan Macarz, Broker at RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage. Toronto boasts picturesque parks and playgrounds, country clubs, a theater district and nightclubs, to only name a few. Toronto also features some of the best schools in the country, attracting families seeking to provide their children with a top-notch education, according to Macarz.

Toronto, the largest city in Canada. ©iStockPhoto.com / PGIAM. 

Toronto’s real estate market is diverse and continuously changing. “What’s happening is that there is very little land left in Toronto, so what people do is they buy big properties with an older house on it and they tear it down because they are buying it for land value,” says Macarz … Another trend that Macarz noted was the increase of townhomes and condominiums in the area, specifically Central Toronto, adding to the variety. “What I’m finding more often now is … there’s townhomes that are being built along the major streets. These townhomes start at about $1.5 million CAD and up,” says Macarz. Tall high-rises are being built that feature luxurious condominiums that have sizeable square footage, according to Macarz.

Along with urban-styled living spaces, Toronto is home to spectacular estates and mansions. According to Macarz, luxury buyers can find homes priced from about $4 million CAD to $30 million CAD. The most expensive listing in Toronto is located in the Bridle Path area, on the market for $32 million CAD by Cohen’s team. “It’s a magnificent multi-generational estate with a completely separate two story in-law apartment with its own entrance, elevator, and garage,” says Cohen. The 35,000-square-foot home also features an indoor pool and tennis courts.

Overall, both Macarz and Cohen made clear that Toronto is a premier location for people seeking to find their dream home.

In the St. Andrew-Windfields area of Toronto, elegance and contemporary blend in this listing recently sold for $7.1 million CAD by the Barry Cohen Team. Photo courtesy of Barry Cohen.

Barry Cohen

Barry Cohen

Broker, RE/MAX Realtron, Barry Cohen Homes Inc. Brokerage

Susan Macarz

Susan Macarz

Broker, RE/MAX Ultimate, Realty Inc. Brokerage

This editorial appeared in the Unique Homes Global ’19 Issue.

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The Ways to Wellness

With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to swing into health and wellness. Envisioning and reflecting on your health goals is a breeze when your home supports and sustains your best self. Wellness themed homes are the perfect balance between comfort and functionality, blurring the lines between a relaxing, replenishing vacation and a regular Thursday night.

Christie’s International Real Estate showcases five beautiful home retreats that are sure to make returning home after a long day as anticipated as jetting off to a luxurious retreat. 

Contemporary Mountain Retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Nestled en route to the Santa Fe Ski Basin and miles of hiking/biking trails, this home makes wellness a top priority. Melt stress away in the private spa with a professional-grade gym and indoor hydrotherapy SwimEx pool, and wind down after a long day in the patio hot tub.

Shangri-La on Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island

This idyllic waterfront estate was crafted for the outdoor enthusiast and molded for relaxation. Enjoy a sunset walk along the private beach, or evening swim in the heated infinity pool. A serene koi pond invites quiet meditation and reflection. Taking it easy at this quiet seaside retreat is a beach-lover’s dream come true.

Alhambra-Inspired Palace in Marrakesh, Morocco

Nestled in the Palmeraie oasis, this home features designs in the tradition of ancient Moorish baths, and includes an authentic hammam, beautiful relaxation area, a spa, and lounges. Outdoors, guests and residents can relax in the rose and vegetable gardens, a pool area with pool house, or tennis court.

Hot Spring Estate in Ashigarashimo-Gun, Japan

This home is set in one of Japan’s ancient hot spring resorts, Yugawara. The home’s lavish spa amenities include both indoor and outdoor onsen (hot spring) baths, celebrating Yugawara’s rich history as a prominent hot spring, and providing the utmost relaxation.

River Oaks Estate in Houston, Texas

This estate offers ample opportunity for both fitness and relaxation. Achieve healthy eating goals in the custom-designed chef’s kitchen, and exercise in the professionally equipped gym and sauna housed on the top floor. Outside, a pool, tennis court, and practice golf course make fitness and wellness goals a reality. 

Photos and featured image courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate 

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The Abundance of Aspen

Maroon Bells ASPEN / COLORADO 

Photo: Vkoulampet / wikimedia commons

Originally named for the abundance of aspen trees in the area, Aspen’s abundance has grown exponentially in terms of luxury, from fine restaurants and world-renowned ski resorts to some of the most artistic and culturally stimulating experiences. These aspects and more are appealing to buyers and continue to shape Aspen’s diverse, high-end lifestyle.

Though the market is plentiful with a large inventory of luxury property options, the Aspen market is finite due to local and state development rules that restrict building in certain areas of the town, according to Craig Morris of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty. “Supply and demand are always in favor of our sellers,” he says, but adds that what people want is nearly always achievable. These demands result in an interesting balance of both classic, historic homes with original architecture, and newer construction primarily built on “teardown” properties.

This interweaving of old and new structures is special to Aspen, says Carrie Wells of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate, as it further adds to the character of the town and continues to bring in affluent buyers seeking luxury amenities. She notes that particularly in downtown Aspen, the “core,” new residential developments are not permitted and current properties have become more valuable. Wells, and other agents like Robert Ritchie of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, say buyers have grown to cultivate lifestyles in Aspen to fit their own needs. Bespoke estates are either renovated internally, increasing their worth, or new homes are being built more beautiful and upscale than the last. Though Aspen seems to be constantly changing, Ritchie says changes help “shine it up” and ultimately makes the town look good.

And truly, “looking good” is an understatement when considering the luxury and culture that exist in every corner of the city. From an exclusive G650 club and top-rated restaurants to a variety of world-class ski resorts and outdoor amenities, Aspen’s elite can find their true home in a place like this. Whether you hit the slopes or visit the Aspen Music Festival every year, Aspen is a place that can fit any lifestyle, which to buyers is often a priority. “We live in our own little fantasy world and people often suggest that living here is not ‘the real world,’” Morris says. “It’s the ‘real world’ to those that decide to put living and lifestyle at the top of their list, and when they do, they never look back.” 

Colorado

Carrie Wells

Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate

970.948.6750

carrie@carriewells.com

www.CarrieWells.com

Page 54 & H&E 161

Colorado

Craig Morris

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

970.379.9795

craig.morris@sothebysrealty.com

CraigMorris.com

AspenSnowmassSIR.com

Pages 52-53

Colorado

Robert Ritchie

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

970.379.1500

Robert.Ritchie@sothebysrealty.com

AspenValues.com

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

One-of-a-Kind Residence on Lake St. Clair in Michigan

With approximately 445 feet of water frontage, this property is set on 4.3 acres in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan and showcases panoramic views of Lake St. Clair.

365 Days of Summer

Bring the outdoors in to create your space to enjoy a summer state of mind all year round.

Furniture Shopping Made Simple

MY Furniture, a luxury, high-quality furniture retailer, has made it easy for customers to enjoy furniture shopping without ever having to leave their homes.

Big Gardens for Small Spaces

By focusing on a desire to nurture carefully grown fauna, this company has rethought the living wall by making gardening easy for small spaces.

How To Make Your Home Sports-Friendly

Whether you’re looking to add a basketball or tennis court, or something more adventurous like a putting green, home golf simulator or bocce ball court, having the ability to play these sports while at home can provide countless hours of enjoyment.

Centered on the Earth

These three boutique travel companies offer sustainable yet luxurious opportunities to see — and even help save — the planet.

Salt of the Earth

Given the spike in natural wellness practices, man-made salt caves are popping up across America — promoting a wealth of health benefits.

The Spirit of Giving

Rolls-Royce auction raises over $2 million for children's hospital.

Selling Near the Stars

With neighbors including Sandra Bullock, Ricky Martin and Tony Pritzker, it’s no surprise this Beverly Hills estate recently sold for $42.75 million.

Footloose Fortunes

While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around and prompting change in real estate markets around the globe.

One-of-a-Kind Residence on Lake St. Clair in Michigan

With approximately 445 feet of water frontage, this property is set on 4.3 acres in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan and showcases panoramic views of Lake St. Clair.

You Have Arrived: Frank Aazami and the Private Client Group

The Private Client Group brand at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty has a passion for offering first-class service.

In the Heart of Key West

Listed by Ocean Sotheby's International Realty, this is your chance to buy a bit of Key West history, along with a unique house with serious celebrity status!

Rise to the Top

Subscribed to REAL TRENDS 500? This year, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate members were recognized more than 150 times in the REAL Trends 500. Find out more about these top agents!

A Modern Masterpiece: A Village of One’s Own

From the moment you turn down the drive, there is a sense of calm coming from this Pennsylvania home.

Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

In honor of our annual Global issue, we highlight areas not always thought of at the top of the luxury real estate list — but they should be.

Selling Near the Stars

With neighbors including Sandra Bullock, Ricky Martin and Tony Pritzker, it’s no surprise this Beverly Hills estate recently sold for $42.75 million.

The Abundance of Aspen

Aspen’s abundance has grown in terms of luxury, from fine restaurants, world-renowned ski resorts to some of the most culturally stimulating experiences.

Footloose Fortunes

While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around and prompting change in real estate markets around the globe.

A Castle in Tuscany

Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale is one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

Direct Oceanfront in Massachusetts

Sophistication abounds in this property, which has sweeping views over all of Plum Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

A Unique Country Sanctuary in Dublin Hill

Award-winning design-build firm SBP HOMES is bringing life to a six-residence development on private Dublin Hill Drive in a bucolic and convenient section of mid-country Greenwich.

Elegance, Luxury and Sophistication in Michigan

This captivating Michigan offering features luxury living indoors and out and can accommodate a guest house and/or boat house on Bay Harbor Lake.

Jump for Jubilado

From benefits for retirees and an assortment of visa options, to the sights and real estate options, there is much to see and experience in Panama.

ELITE 2020: Elegance Abounds in Massachusetts

This newly constructed Shingle-style home on coveted Smith's Point in Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts, is strategically set on 3-plus acres.

Elite 2020: Trusted in Marblehead

Heather and Mary (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Agents) are trustworthy negotiators offering a high level of service, integrity & trust.

A Peaceful Paradise

Tired of being cooped up working from home? Make your summer of 2020 as enjoyable as possible on peaceful Isle of Palms at this luxury rental paradise!

In the Heart of Key West

Listed by Ocean Sotheby's International Realty, this is your chance to buy a bit of Key West history, along with a unique house with serious celebrity status!

Centered on the Earth

These three boutique travel companies offer sustainable yet luxurious opportunities to see — and even help save — the planet.

Prestigious and Pristine Property in Portugal

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal offers Quinta de Lago, boasting some of the most spectacular and beautiful villas in the Algarve.
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Footloose Fortunes

©istockphoto.com / ClaudioVentrella

While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around the globe.

“The increasingly footloose nature of wealth.” That’s how global consultancy Knight Frank characterizes today’s trend in affluence. When it comes to real estate, all it takes is a quick look at the worldwide activity of major brands to see a clear illustration of this concept.

The locations of new affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty in recent months include Oklahoma City, Arkansas and Kansas, along with Cyprus, Slovakia and Qatar. Qatar is the second location in the Middle East for Sotheby’s. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has extended its reach to global hubs, partnering with major firms in Europe and the Middle East. Now, they count Berlin, London, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai and Frankfort in their network. Coldwell Banker has offices in 49 countries. Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, has affiliates in more than 70 countries.

“The fact that the world is becoming smaller and smaller, the speed of information flow, and travel contribute to people’s interest in owning properties elsewhere, both for Americans and foreign nationals,” explains Joyce Rey, executive director, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Markets may go through cycles and new partnerships emerge, but the foundation of global real estate hasn’t changed. “The luxury buyer understands that one of the best, if not the best, investments they can make is property,” explains Michael Jalbert, executive vice president, Global Field Operations for HSF Affiliates, the parent company of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Chatter regarding a potential recession might form a smokescreen, but wealth creation will continue to be a constant, according to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report, which forecasts a rise, over the next five years, of 22 percent in the number of individuals whose net worth exceeds $30 million, a group often classified as Ultra High Net Worth, UHNW. Over the next year, existing UHNW, especially in the U.S., expect their wealth to increase.

When Rey began her career in the 1970s, foreign buyers were a rarity, especially in Southern California. Today, she says, the percentage of foreign buyers purchasing ultra-luxury properties, those priced above $20 million, has remained pretty steady. “Usually it waffles between about 20 percent to 25 percent. And that hasn’t changed over the years.” For the first nine months of 2019, foreign buyers accounted for 31 percent of purchases of $20-million plus residences in Los Angeles’ tony west side.

Rey was one of the first to reach outside U.S. borders to forge connections. After the increase of Japanese buyers in 1980s, she traveled to Japan to meet one-on-one with agents and potential buyers. “I feel if a quarter of your buying population is foreign, you should be reaching out to the foreign market,” she says.

Bob Hurwitz, founder and president of the Hurwitz James Company (HJC), was also on the leading edge of the global outreach. “In the early 90s, I recognized that the buyers for my highest-priced properties were more and more often originating from overseas. This was actually before the Internet was even a reality for marketing purposes. As a result, I started focusing a significant percentage of my marketing to exposing my listings here in the states to affluent foreign buyers.” He also created a network of HJC representatives to promote his listings overseas. Currently, Hurwitz represents nearly $3 billion in luxury properties and developments worldwide.

Even those who work in the global arena today are occasionally surprised by the geographic diversity of investors and buyers. “One stat that recently jumped out at me is Aruba is home to 90-plus nationalities and ethnic groups, which I thought was fascinating,” shares Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International. “One of our affiliates there also pointed out that many of their buyers are coming from India.”

And this isn’t an isolated instance. Indian buyers are cropping up in many other primary and second-home locations, including Portugal. Among foreign buyers in the U.S., India ranks third after China and Canada. India is expected to lead the five-year growth in Asia’s ultra-high net worth population with a 39 percent increase, followed by the Philippines (38 percent) and China (35 percent).

Increasingly, the ultra-wealthy are not necessarily tied to one country or one region. Approximately, 26 percent plan to emigrate in the next year. Already, more than a third hold a second passport and 22 percent plan to buy outside their country of residence, according to Knight Frank.

However, 2018 saw only a marginal increase (0.8 percent) in the size of the ultra-wealthy population, which Wealth X describes as a “marked slowdown” from the year earlier. The combined net worth of the ultra-wealthy declined 1.7 percent, the first annual fall in three years, according to Wealth X. However, it’s important to view these changes in context, because 2017 saw dynamic wealth creation with double-digit growth in the number of ultra-wealthy and impressive gains in asset markets.

The global outlook this year is nuanced. Rising interest rates and the end of quantitative easing means we are reaching the end of super-charged returns on everything from classic cars to art and property, according to Knight Frank. Government policies continue to transition as some countries seek to attract wealth, with a record number offering citizenship and residency through policies regarding investment, while others restrict outflows of capital. Others, including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK will continue to make it more difficult for wealthy non-residents to purchase properties.

Looking ahead, expectations are for slower price growth in key markets. But, as with any correction, a shift in values is an opportunity to which buyers respond, something that is already happening in London, where agents see a potential turnaround, particularly for higher-priced properties, underway.

“London’s general property market has experienced a slowdown and fall in housing prices. That said, the luxury property market is certainly bottoming out and we are experiencing buyers returning to the market, which is demonstrated by our revenues being up 146 percent year on year,” says Martin Bikhit, managing director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.

“Given all the uncertainty of Brexit, values in London have come down significantly. It’s a buyers’ market,” says Jalbert.

The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to sterling makes the value equation even more appealing. “American buyers have been able to take advantage of savings up to 45 percent compared to the 2014 peak of the market. U.S. buyers believe that the market is going to spike post-Brexit and there is now an opportunity to buy competitively. Indeed, this is illustrated by the fact that American hedge funder Ken Griffin was the buyer behind two of London’s most expensive property transactions within the past year,” according to Bikhit, who calls this surge a “pre-Brexit boom.”

Hurwitz sees luxury penthouses in many traditional hot markets, including London, as good opportunities for buyers, since those prices have seen a big decline. Other recommendations in Europe include France as well as Tuscany, which, he says, has an appeal that transcends the strictly financial. “Finding something totally renovated in an authentic manner is key.”

A flat or pied-à-terre in Paris has become a rite of passage for Americans, says Anton, noting reports of particular interest coming from Silicon Valley. Paris is one of the bright spots in Europe, placing third on Knight Frank’s list of the

fastest-growing luxury markets.

“France and Italy are still two of our top locations and our offices are expanding in numbers and experiencing a very solid claim in the market,” says Craig Hogan, vice president, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Berlin is Europe’s rising star. It has topped Urban Land Institute’s list of markets to watch in Europe for four years in a row, and currently ranks second after Madrid on rankings of the fastest-growing luxury real estate markets. Luxury residential here is a small but vibrant niche, with the number of privately owned apartments selling above 1 million euros growing by 17.5 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Stefan Schulze, COO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rubina Real Estate, says, “If Berlin succeeds in further expanding its potential in scientific and culture fields and remains one of the influential centers in Europe, it can be deemed certain that not only the number of premium new development projects but also the quality of luxury real estate will continue to grow sharply.”

Global Buyers in the U.S.

From the perspective of foreign buyers in the U.S., Hurwitz says, the market has changed multiple times over the last few years, fueled by factors as diverse as the attitude and oversight of a foreign buyer’s own government regarding money leaving their country, to crushing economic changes in their country of origin, to U.S. government restrictions on shell companies buying, to various others. Hurwitz says, “I still believe the U.S. is a safe bet and I am telling my clients to buy here.”

During the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019, global purchases of U.S. properties fell sharply, with purchases declining by 36 percent. The dollar volume as well as the average price also declined. Rather than lack of interest from potential buyers, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cites what he calls “a confluence of factors — slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale.”

John Smaby, NAR president, adds, “There is still significant interest in U.S. properties across the globe, and the U.S. is still seen as a safe, secure place to invest.”

London

©istockphoto.com / _ultraforma_

Tuscany

©istockphoto.com / mammuth

Paris

©istockphoto.com / Givaga

Madrid

©istockphoto.com / SeanPavonePhoto

Global Bright Spots

Along with real estate professionals from over 27 countries, Stephanie Anton recently returned from her company’s international conference in Athens. “It was thrilling to hear and see firsthand about so many bright spots in the market,” she says, including places where property markets were hard hit by political and financial turmoil during the recession. “One that was particularly obvious was our host city itself. The optimism of the Greek people was palpable.”

Both Spain and Portugal are seeing an influx of buyers and a surge in sales. Both suffered during the recession and are experiencing a strong turnaround.

“I think there is a sentiment of Europeans kind of holding their breath and waiting to see what happens with Brexit. But yet, there are also bright spots and the bright spots are more of those second-home markets because they’re lifestyle purchases. And so people are less concerned about the economic impact of Brexit because of making decisions on purchasing second or third homes,” Anton observes.

Some of the strongest luxury markets this year have been in resort locales. San Miguel de Allende continues to rank at the top of best cities and second-home destinations. “Our typical luxury buyers are investors looking for properties to take advantage of the lucrative vacation rental market, or shopping for their second or third vacation homes,” says Nancy Howze, with CDR San Miguel.

“Upscale consumers tend to have a broad world view,” says Jalbert. “They understand markets and are attracted to a range of places. Buyers in different parts of Europe are looking for a weather change, so it’s no surprise to see the resurgences of locations along Costa Del Sol and Portugal.” Jalbert adds that almost 100 percent of the luxury transactions in their eight offices in Portugal are from buyers outside the country. “It’s just an incredibly enchanted place where they have beautiful properties, but where there has also been significant investment in infrastructure,” he says.

One thing that has remained constant across the globe is the attitude of the elite regarding buying. Some of the highest sales in the last year can be tracked to global buyers, according to Hogan. “They will spend the money but need to know it’s a wise decision.”

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

Featured Michigan Agent: Denise Bellore

Denise Bellore, associate broker at Keller Williams Paint Creek, has experienced firsthand the ebbs and flows of the real estate market. Learn more about her here!

You Have Arrived: Frank Aazami and the Private Client Group

The Private Client Group brand at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty has a passion for offering first-class service.

Elite 2020: Trusted in Marblehead

Heather and Mary (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Agents) are trustworthy negotiators offering a high level of service, integrity & trust.

Foxworth Realty: Luxury Real Estate in New York City

Foxworth Realty is like an artist’s palette when you need a primary, secondary or a weekend residence in New York City and the outer boroughs.

Elite 2020: Stars of Santa Fe

Listed by Sotheby's International Realty agent Darlene Streit, this star property situated in Las Campanas is a prized jewel in Santa Fe real estate.

Christine Aldrete Banks: Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

Introducing Unique Homes ELITE 2020 Agent, Christine Aldrete Banks and Spyglass On the Island, a luxury development in Corpus Christi, Texas

Susan Macarz: Providing Luxury to Toronto Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

Susan Macarz loves the extraordinary, which is why she provides nothing but exceptional service and results to her clients.

Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

In honor of our annual Global issue, we highlight areas not always thought of at the top of the luxury real estate list — but they should be.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Exceptional Luxury in Minnesota

With 500 feet of privately owned river frontage (with a dock) this stunning home in Minnesota overlooks the St. Croix River and is set on 17 acres.

Direct Oceanfront in Massachusetts

Sophistication abounds in this property, which has sweeping views over all of Plum Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

One-of-a-Kind Residence on Lake St. Clair in Michigan

With approximately 445 feet of water frontage, this property is set on 4.3 acres in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan and showcases panoramic views of Lake St. Clair.

A Unique Country Sanctuary in Dublin Hill

Award-winning design-build firm SBP HOMES is bringing life to a six-residence development on private Dublin Hill Drive in a bucolic and convenient section of mid-country Greenwich.

Elegance, Luxury and Sophistication in Michigan

This captivating Michigan offering features luxury living indoors and out and can accommodate a guest house and/or boat house on Bay Harbor Lake.

World-Class Retreat on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

This one-of-a-kind waterfront estate listed by Maxfield Real Estate boasts 710 feet of protected shoreline in Moultonborough New Hampshire and is the perfect home or getaway!

A Priceless Mount Rushmore View

Mount Rushmore is clearly visible from this amazing South Dakota home.

Finish This Castle in the Sky

Millennium, a property near Sturgis, South Dakota, is built to allow its owner to enjoy the best of times, while being prepared for the worst of times.

ELITE 2020: Custom Spring Lake Home in Michigan

This David Bos smart home estate epitomizes luxury and boasts five bedrooms, four full and two half baths, and over 9,000 square feet of living space.

ELITE 2020: Elegance Abounds in Massachusetts

This newly constructed Shingle-style home on coveted Smith's Point in Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts, is strategically set on 3-plus acres.

Rise to the Top

Subscribed to REAL TRENDS 500? This year, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate members were recognized more than 150 times in the REAL Trends 500. Find out more about these top agents!

Who’s Who Luxury Real Estate Retreat Announces World Record Holder As Keynote Speaker for Spring Retreat

Want to learn how to become the real estate industry's go-to professional? Ryan Avery is the expert you've been looking for.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

New Luxury Residence Begins Sales

Pendry Residences West Hollywood features stunning interiors and high-end amenities.

Stacy Gottula joins Celebrity Team Eklund-Gomes

Stacy Gottula, one of the premier luxury real estate brokers with the Agency, has officially redirected her career toward working with Eklund and Gomes.

Engel and Völkers Snell Announces New Partnership

Luxury real estate company, Engel & Völkers Snell Real Estate, recently announced its newest partnership with Lifestyle Asset Group, an exclusive vacation home company.

New report affirms the allure of a second home

Luxury Portfolio International's newest report discusses "The Allure of the Second Home" and how affluent buyers are showing interest in resort markets.

Chinowth and Cohen Realtors to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

With more than 65 years’ experience between them, Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, co-founders of Chinowth and Cohen Realtors, have proven to be leaders in the luxury real estate industry.

Home of Dean Martin for Sale

Totaling approximately 27,500 square feet, the massive concrete home with a modern museum-style aesthetic was completed in 1995, and has since replaced the longtime home Dean Martin originally purchased in the 1950s.

Renowned Chef Gastón Acurio is Joining Atlantis, Dubai, in 2020

One of the world’s leading Peruvian restaurants is announced as the latest culinary addition to The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, set to open late 2020.
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Travel in 2020

All photos courtesy Tourradar.com

Now that the holidays are over and business is back to usual, it’s time to get excited about where you’re traveling in 2020.

Unique Homes and Tourradar.com have rounded up all the buzziest destinations for the year ahead so you can start planning your next great adventure!

Costa Rica

If you’re hoping to reconnect with nature this year, Costa Rica is the answer. It’s where tropical backgrounds are the norm, as is exotic wildlife, robust coffee flavours and the relaxing wellness retreats waiting for travellers beachside.

Stroll across suspension bridges up in the forest canopy and find yourself completely and utterly face-to-face with Mother Nature while in the dreamy cloud forest region of the country in Monteverde. 90% of Costa Rica’s energy is created by renewable sources, and they’re on track to become one of the first carbon-neutral countries this year. Play your part by choosing to spend vacation time in a country that’s going above and beyond to make a difference to our global climate crisis.

Just in case activities like hiking volcanoes, surfing and zip-lining through lush hilltops isn’t your thing, Costa Rica is also home to cities tailor-made for an escape, from San Jose to Puerto Viego. While there’s something for everyone in Costa Rica, the natural beauty and jungle life definitely come first place.

Bhutan

It’s been a couple of years now that people have been talking about Bhutan and for good reason. The country proudly boasts a nearly untouched natural landscape that will stun even the most well-travelled among us. Already the world’s only carbon-negative country, taking a breath of fresh air means something entirely different in Bhutan.

Nestled tightly in the Himalayas, you’ll find plenty of mountain trails capable of delivering you some awe-inspiring views in Bhutan, like those of Paro Taktsang – also known as Tiger Nest – it’s an iconic sacred Buddhist monastery that sits cliffside. There’s also the chance to see ornate palaces from as far back as the 17th century and national parks that are home to rare and exotic wildlife like the Himalayan black bear and red panda.

If you’re hoping to make 2020 the year for some spiritual respite, a visit to the world’s real-life Shangri-La is in order. 

Ireland

Easily enjoyed in under a week, the Emerald Isle is full of pursuits that balance adventure, nature and history with ease. 

The only road trip you’ll need for 2020 is along the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500-kilometer route that you can tackle in parts during your first visit. Embrace the elements along this sprawling route and enjoy discovering small-town life, coastal landscapes and secluded beaches across the country.

The sooner you visit, the faster you can start conquering your resolutions. Just make sure your trip itinerary includes a stop at the Blarney Castle where the famed Blarney Stone is located. As the legend goes, those who hang upside down and lay their lips on the stone is bestowed the gift of gab, which will help to ensure you get everything you want and more out of 2020.

Argentina

Home to one of the world’s most impressive networks of waterfalls, Argentina is teeming with extraordinary natural wonders that put travellers in the centre of it all. For example, visitors to the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls can enjoy kilometres of trails that will take you in and out of lush forests and within arm’s reach of the waterfalls themselves. If you’re in search of something a little cooler, then Glaciar Perito Moreno will not disappoint. You can witness the soaring beauty of this glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. And thanks to the park’s extended network of steel catwalks and platforms, Perito Moreno is one of the world’s most impressive and accessible glaciers.

You want a city escape with fiery music, and experimental takes on classic dishes, Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, is an essential stop on your 2020 adventures. Argentinians know their way around beef, and their steaks will wow your tastebuds. You can end your night in Buenos Aires by visiting a tango bar and working off your dinner in a flurry of dance moves taught to you by local experts.

Looking to include world-class wine? Just head to Mendoza (Argentina’s wine country). You can learn how the grapes are grown and cared for in the thick of it all. We promise once you’re walking alongside the farmers, hearing their stories firsthand, a glass of Malbec will taste all the more satisfying.

 

 

Want to learn about other potential travel destinations? Visit Tourradar.com for more opportunities!

 

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Destinations of Interest: Panama

©istockphoto.com / SL_Photography

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Stephanie Villarreal, President and Realtor of Your Panama Real Estate Connection, says that one of the most unique aspects of the country is in their very name — connection. “Panama is very connected … amongst others, Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport is known as the ‘Hub of the Americas,’ making Panama very easy to get to,” she says. The connection also extends into a selling point, especially for American buyers, as Panama uses the U.S. dollar as its currency, unlike other Central and South American countries.

Panama’s accessibility via air and sea helps to deepen its connections internationally. Because of this, according to Villarreal, the country’s diversity is far reaching, as many Americans, Canadians, Europeans and others have chosen Panama as their preferred retirement destination, or have purchased real estate and live either part-time or full-time in the country. A recent real estate trend in Panama also includes more international buyers, particularly from mainland China. “There are many well-known multinational corporations with regional headquarters in Panama City as well as embassies of many countries,” Villarreal notes.

Luckily for interested buyers, there is plenty of inventory in a range of property options. Villarreal and her brokerage work with listings in many regional areas with different unique characteristics, from highland properties and waterfront listings to island living options. Elegant Panama City apartments in luxury residential buildings are especially appealing, created by reputable architects and builders into “property masterpieces.”

These masterpieces continue to grow in number and variety. For example, the exclusive Santa Maria development in Panama City is being further developed — it boasts an 18-hole Nicklaus-design golf course, and the city’s historic district, Casco Viejo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Villarreal also mentions that there are several unique private island options with modern conveniences, including state-of-the-art marinas.

Panama

Stephanie Villarreal

President, Realtor

Your Panama Real Estate Connection

888.899.0019

info@yourpanamaconnection.com

www.YourPanamaConnection.com

Page 31

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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Luxury Living on the Lake

Vacation year-round with this one-of-a-kind, peninsular property on beautiful Lake St. Clair in Michigan.

On a unique .71 of an acre lot, the home is positioned to maximize waterfront lifestyle, where you can enjoy dazzling sunrises, fishing off your dock and watching the freighters float by in a tranquil environment.

This home, listed by Jeffery Alasina of Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel for $2 million, features an open ranch-style floor plan with four bedrooms, two-and-one half baths, two stone fireplaces, an attached indoor pool with bar and an attached covered boat house.

Featured Michigan Agent: Denise Bellore

Denise Bellore, associate broker at Keller Williams Paint Creek, has experienced firsthand the ebbs and flows of the real estate market. Learn more about her here!

You Have Arrived: Frank Aazami and the Private Client Group

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Elite 2020: Trusted in Marblehead

Heather and Mary (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Agents) are trustworthy negotiators offering a high level of service, integrity & trust.

Foxworth Realty: Luxury Real Estate in New York City

Foxworth Realty is like an artist’s palette when you need a primary, secondary or a weekend residence in New York City and the outer boroughs.

Elite 2020: Stars of Santa Fe

Listed by Sotheby's International Realty agent Darlene Streit, this star property situated in Las Campanas is a prized jewel in Santa Fe real estate.

Christine Aldrete Banks: Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

Introducing Unique Homes ELITE 2020 Agent, Christine Aldrete Banks and Spyglass On the Island, a luxury development in Corpus Christi, Texas

Susan Macarz: Providing Luxury to Toronto Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

Susan Macarz loves the extraordinary, which is why she provides nothing but exceptional service and results to her clients.

Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

In honor of our annual Global issue, we highlight areas not always thought of at the top of the luxury real estate list — but they should be.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Exceptional Luxury in Minnesota

With 500 feet of privately owned river frontage (with a dock) this stunning home in Minnesota overlooks the St. Croix River and is set on 17 acres.

Direct Oceanfront in Massachusetts

Sophistication abounds in this property, which has sweeping views over all of Plum Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

One-of-a-Kind Residence on Lake St. Clair in Michigan

With approximately 445 feet of water frontage, this property is set on 4.3 acres in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan and showcases panoramic views of Lake St. Clair.

A Unique Country Sanctuary in Dublin Hill

Award-winning design-build firm SBP HOMES is bringing life to a six-residence development on private Dublin Hill Drive in a bucolic and convenient section of mid-country Greenwich.

Elegance, Luxury and Sophistication in Michigan

This captivating Michigan offering features luxury living indoors and out and can accommodate a guest house and/or boat house on Bay Harbor Lake.

World-Class Retreat on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

This one-of-a-kind waterfront estate listed by Maxfield Real Estate boasts 710 feet of protected shoreline in Moultonborough New Hampshire and is the perfect home or getaway!

A Priceless Mount Rushmore View

Mount Rushmore is clearly visible from this amazing South Dakota home.

Finish This Castle in the Sky

Millennium, a property near Sturgis, South Dakota, is built to allow its owner to enjoy the best of times, while being prepared for the worst of times.

ELITE 2020: Custom Spring Lake Home in Michigan

This David Bos smart home estate epitomizes luxury and boasts five bedrooms, four full and two half baths, and over 9,000 square feet of living space.

ELITE 2020: Elegance Abounds in Massachusetts

This newly constructed Shingle-style home on coveted Smith's Point in Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts, is strategically set on 3-plus acres.

Big Gardens for Small Spaces

By focusing on a desire to nurture carefully grown fauna, this company has rethought the living wall by making gardening easy for small spaces.

How To Make Your Home Sports-Friendly

Whether you’re looking to add a basketball or tennis court, or something more adventurous like a putting green, home golf simulator or bocce ball court, having the ability to play these sports while at home can provide countless hours of enjoyment.

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Bedding for a Cause

The Good Sheet, a luxury bedding brand based in Tasmania, Australia partnered with non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, is planting five trees in its home state of Tasmania with every bedding set sold.

Modern Midwestern Makes

These two Midwestern brands, both with a reputation for timeless design, craftsmanship, and innovation, will debut a new collection in January 2020.

Concrete-Inspired Gift Guide

Looking for inspiration this holiday season? Check out this gift guide with an edge. These concrete-inspired items are perfect for your home or office and will stand the test of time to celebrate for years to come.
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