Big Gardens for Small Spaces

All photos courtesy Horticus Living.

Having a large collection of plants is amazing, but it can get a little crowded with our floor space disappearing pretty quickly. This is particularly true for city dwellers.

43 percent of Londoners live in a flat, the most of any region in the UK, promoting the move of our gardening skills to our balconies and our living rooms. With the mean average UK one-bedroom home being 46 square meters ( or 495 square feet), according to Riba, space is one of the issues these horticulturalists face.

By focusing on a desire to nurture carefully grown fauna, UK company Horticus Living has rethought the living wall, made it more flexible, and kept the practice of cultivation while keeping a minimalistic lifestyle.

Horticus is a modular living wall system that can grow in keeping with your botanical demands. You choose the size and layout according to your preference and it doesn’t have to be all plants either. Use an empty planter for mementoes or select from pods with different functions.

You can grow your living wall at your own pace. There is no need to get a lot of plants straight away to have the impact.

Horticus Living’s small kit consists of 1 powder coated steel frame and 3 terracotta planters and can add a touch of jungle to a bathroom, bring fresh herbs to a kitchen and a sense of calm to a living room. Planters are made from terracotta and can be lifted in and out of the frame. Even better, the planters can be watered from above through a grid of watering holes.

The combination of powder coated frame with terracotta brings a natural feel to interiors while offering a fantastic contrast to the greenery.

star property itself, this private estate offers incredible attention to detail and elegant interiors that exude sophistication.

Patrick Fogarty of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyers, German national Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero, who were eager to acquire this unique home. Fogarty says the home was on the market for less than a month and bought in under four.

Externally, the home is almost mysterious at first glance, as the long driveway affords complete privacy from the street. That mystery transitions into pure awe once the house is in full view, as Fogarty says the home’s proportions and classic design give it a grand feel that enhances with every meticulous detail. “The style is timeless rather than of the moment,” he says, adding that the overall aesthetic is tasteful yet opulent.

Built and developed by the seller, British property developers Ian and Richard Livingston, the estate greets visitors with a graceful motor court that features both trees and fountains. The front doors open to a striking grand entry with 30-foot ceilings and walls of marble, all opening up to a grand staircase and detailed floor plan. A strong yet beautiful harmony is felt in every room, from the dramatic kitchen to the tasteful master bedroom and baths. Interestingly, Fogarty notes that though “the home is grand in scale, [it] still manages to feel like a home.” Other features of this estate include a master wing, gym, theater, guesthouse, staff quarters and bocce court. The expansive backyard also boasts an ozone pool that highlights the perfect California indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

Only approximately five minutes from Rodeo Drive, the 8-bedroom, 11-bath home remarkably reflects a sense of tranquility and serenity, allowing the new owners to relax with complete privacy. The blend of rich landscaping and natural materials, such as stones, wood, steel, and brass, also enrich its character and depth, making it a true sanctuary.

Photos by Berlyn Photography 2019.

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

Sweet Sustainability

Some of the world’s finest hotels have accepted hundreds of thousands of new guests: honeybees that reflect a commitment to sustainability.

Dining Responsibly

Seafood challenges chefs and delights diners, but a world of rapidly depleting resources requires conscientious choices.

A Guide to the Michelin Guide

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce that both the hotel’s signature restaurants, the Italian Il Ristorante — Niko Romito and the Chinese Bao Li Xuan, have been awarded Michelin stars during the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2020 presentation ceremony.

The Beauty of Victoria

Privately nestled at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, this rare discovery awaits in Victoria, British Columbia’s Capital City on Beautiful Vancouver Island.

Contemporary Versatile Luxury in Massachusetts

This 2012 architect-designed, contemporary-style Colonial home is on coveted Farm Street in Dover, Massachusetts.

Dream Home in Illinois

This warm and inviting 1918, Georgian-style home will great you with modern elegance. Architectural detail and classic style await the future homeowner.

North Cottage in Norton Shores, Michigan

Stunning Lake Michgian views await with this waterfront cottage featuring three florors of renovations and miles of beach along the lake.

Beautiful Luxury in Rich, Historic Istanbul Turkey

Live among the rare Bosphorpus mansions in Istanbul, Turkey in this seven-bedroom, four-bath Andonaki twin mansion (built in 1890).

Majestic Luxury Living in the Bahamas

With 170 feet of beachfront and a 98-foot private dock, this 5-bedroom, 6-bath estate home sits on 1.5 acres on the longest natural beach on the northeast shore in Nassau, Bahamas. The majestic home greets all with a grand circular, brick-paved driveway with an electric gate.

Equestrian Escape in Edmond, Oklahoma

Majestic family estate on 18 acres in the gated equestrian addition of Qua Vadis in the Edmond city limits.

Ray Kroc’s California Ranch Hits the Market

The home of famed McDonald's founder Ray Croc hits the market in California. The ranch features many luxurious amenities and space to entertain.

Fairytale Setting in West Virginia

This exceptionally stylish and elegant home is in a private 6.8-acre wooded setting in Lewisburg, West Virginia, just minutes from downtown and the world-famous Greenbrier Resort.

Nature’s Lover Estate in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Showcasing a greenhouse, waterfall and koi pond, this approximately 22-acre mountain retreat in the Greenbrier Sporting Club at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is perfect for someone who enjoys nature.

The Legends of Ultimate Homes

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Personalized Pergolas

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FIABCI: A Network that Works

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Elite Agent: Tracy Allen

As an industry leader with 32 years of dedication, Tracy is honored to be the #1 Individual Sales Agent in Hawaii and #6 Individual Sales Agent in North America for Coldwell Banker Realty.

Elite Agent: Jeff Leonard

Meet our Elite 2021 Agent from Michigan! Jeff Leonard is featuring a private, gated property in Southwest Michigan that boasts a private lake.

Elite Agent: Kim Walker Chin

Coldwell Banker agent Kim Walker Chin has a 6th sense for finding the right home or investment for her clients. By keying in to her clients' wants and needs, she's able to help the greater Boston area of luxury buyers to find the home of their dreams, like this Cambridge real estate opportunity.

Elite Company: Churchill Properties

Churchill Properties is a full service residential real estate firm with a unique marketing and sales program that utilizes multiple media channels and promotional activities.

Custom Gulf-front Home in Casey Key, Florida up for Auction

With 123 feet of private beachfront away from the crowds in Casey Key, Florida, this home offers a place to get away from it all.

Featured Agent: Candice Rich of KW Domain Luxury Homes International

Candice Rich, a top-producing Realtor for Keller Williams Domain, is an accomplished business professional and a skilled negotiator.

A Triple Threat in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This Toronto, Ontario, Canada home features inviting outdoor spaces and is in a prime location across from the entrance of High Park and Grenadier Pond

A modern traditional masterpiece of privacy and perfection. An exquisite Mediterranean work of art and appeal. An elegant estate designed with soaring ceilings and refined finishes. Their common denominator? All located in the Lone Star state, and sold through Supreme Auctions, known for accelerating marketing for luxury real estate. See these exclusive sales below. 

Piney Woods Edge – Houston Texas

Piney Woods Edge is a modern traditional masterpiece of privacy and perfection showcasing pristine lines of modern architecture, and the impeccable mastery of Houston’s premier homebuilder, Randy Ratcliff. Each corner of this home is filled with exquisite detail and opulent features. Located in Piney Point Village within the prominent Houston suburbs of the highly desirable Memorial Villages communities, just minutes from the heart of Houston for both business and pleasure. 

Even though the property was located in a highly sought-after community called Piney Point Village in Houston, it lingered on the market for over two years with the listing agent doing all that was available to market the property to potential buyers with little to no activity. Supreme Auctions implemented our 45-day Accelerated Marketing Program which drove prospective buyers to take action.

Catina Hollow – Dallas Texas

Catina Hollow is an exquisite Mediterranean work of art that will dazzle you with its serene setting and abundant appeal. Designed with distinguished architectural elements and refined finishes throughout, this outstanding property is positioned in one of the premier estate neighborhoods in Dallas within the highly sought after Preston Hollow Community. Located a brief 15 minutes from Dallas Love Field Airport and downtown Dallas with all that the city has to offer. 

The property was on the market for about a year and not stimulating any new buyer activity. With summer fast approaching, which is not the best time of year to sell in Dallas, plus the fact that the seller had already purchased another home, they chose an expedited sale with Supreme Auctions. 

Starwood Creek Manor – Frisco Texas

Privately nestled on over an acre, Starwood Creek Manor is an impeccable Traditional estate designed with soaring ceilings and refined finishes throughout. Located within the gated Starwood Community, this exquisite home is positioned overlooking the creek and walking paths with access to the Community amenities. Situated within 25-minutes away from DFW International Airport. 

The property was on the market for a little under a year, during which it received only seven viewings. The listing agent conducted three months of research as to which auction company to select, she contacted Supreme Auctions.

All photos courtesy Supreme Auctions.

With this new year comes change, especially when it comes to home interiors. As 2019 comes to an end, we are looking at trends for 2020 and how our sense of style is bound to change.

From playing with both bold and neutral palettes to prioritizing minimalism and living clutter free, it’s time to celebrate the new year with a new aesthetic. With advice provided by top brands like Alexander Joseph, Pantone, and others, ring in the new year with these expert design tips! 

The Bold and the Neutral

As people are becoming more daring when it comes to designing their living space, the use of vibrant home accessories will no doubt be seen far more. Bold colors, such as jewel tones, are a feature of design that we believe will be used increasingly in the new year.

Popular colors that we will be seeing more of include dark red, olive green and classic blue. Classic Blue has been chosen as Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020. This color is ideal for interiors as it symbolises trust, confidence and intelligence among other things. 

One of the most common concerns of using bold colors is that it will be overpowering. To help ensure a balanced color scheme, try using a few different colors that complement each other well. This helps to make more of a statement as opposed to a room full of just one color. 

If your decorating style is more neutral, there are ways you can add warmth and character to your room, without using color. Using a neutral colour palette doesn’t mean plain and dull, and there are plenty of ways to add even more to a simple design. 

Use texture, patterns and layers to add depth to you room. If you have a beige seat, use a fur or knitted blanket for layering, and with cushions, add a pattern, or detailing, such as tassels or fringe, to make the area stand out more.

Plants can also be used as the perfect accessory. Not only do they look aesthetically pleasing, but they are also beneficial to your health. Adding plants gives you a reason to let in more natural light, a great way to boost happiness within any space.

Top photo courtesy Satara Australia. Bottom photo courtesy Alexander Joseph.

Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes have always been popular in the interior design world. Patterns and shapes are found everywhere, from walls and floors to prints and fabrics – no matter where you shop, there will always be something with a geometric print on it. 

An appealing feature of geometric shapes is its diversity. There are so many different possibilities with patterns, colors, shapes and designs. For a funky and unique look, you can use bold colors and a thick-lined pattern on your walls. If you want to stick to a simpler and more traditional interior, patterned cushions work well.

Photo courtesy Wallsauce.com

Vegan Home Décor

Home decor and furnishings are one of the more forgotten about areas when it comes to switching to vegan for the first time, with options from many high end boutiques and manufacturers. Although going to a well-known store may be your first option when buying new home goods, there are many small brands/companies who sell from larger retailers, such as Etsy, who have created new and unique products, due to the increasing demand of having vegan/animal-friendly goods.

It’s not only individuals who have started to switch to a more animal-friendly way of living, as large companies have also made the change. Bentley Motors have recently announced that they will be offering vegan leather in their vehicles, a decision inspired by the increase in veganism in LA and Hollywood. Luxury brand Alexander Joseph will also be using a vegan leather to create bespoke lampshades for their new limited-edition cordless lamps.

Photo courtesy Alexander Joseph.

Clutter Free Homes

A minimalist look is increasingly popular, as people are choosing to have a clean-cut home, rather than a heavily decorated one. With minimalism comes the ideals of staying organized and free of clutter, a task that people find either a joy or a challenge. Whichever one you are, there are always ways to make it easier to have a tidy home.

Make the most of the space you have! If you have a small surface area, use the height of the room. Tall storage is a great way to save space in any room. Clothes rails can be pulled down, small ladders can be secretly stored and using a good method of putting the items you use the least in the harder to reach places, are all great ways of optimizing your space.

Having a place for your belongings gives you a tidy home, and therefore a tidy mind. Knowing where your items are gives someone peace of mind when searching for things in their home. It is well known that a tidy environment has a positive impact on the mind, including significantly reducing stress. After all, a clean house is a clean mind.

Photo courtesy Chaplins Furniture.

Sustainability Without Sacrifice

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Q&A with Chris Goddard of HGTV’s Design Star

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Completing the Collection

From smartphones to staying at home, the way we experience art has metamorphosed. Now, we’re getting an inside look at entire collections, and it’s easy and accessible.

Car-Free Communities

Long commutes, congested traffic routes, parking fees, and pollution have all encouraged a whole new way of thinking when it comes to cars — car-free communities. These communities are designed for those looking to reconnect with the outdoors and spend less time stuck in traffic.

Glass Ceilings: Designed to be Broken

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Personalized Pergolas

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‘Keep Things Sophisticated’

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ASPIRE House Princeton — Boy’s Bedroom

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ASPIRE House Princeton — The Dining Room

The ASPIRE House Princeton series continues with the paradise-themed dining room! The room sweeps people off their feet to a tropical getaway.

ASPIRE House Princeton — The Master Suite

This zen master suite is the perfect space to unwind or start the day, with an impressive master bath, spacious walk-in closet, and distinguished furnishings.

Aquatic Accomodations

For those who view an oceanfront resort as a compromise, a global collection of hotels offers a much closer relationship to the sea.

Experts Report: Park City

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Sustainability Without Sacrifice

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The Transition

Of all the changes brought on by the pandemic, what is here to stay?

Mindful Drinking

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Q&A with Chris Goddard of HGTV’s Design Star

Chris Goddard credits his appearance on HGTV’s Design Star for reigniting his passion.

The Legends of Ultimate Homes

As we take a look at this year's Ultimate Homes magazine, we also look back at the exceptional properties and agents who have been a part of the annual celebration of the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

Dazzling Diamonds

Vanleles Diamonds offers a variety of jewelry styles, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, each crafted by skilled jewelry makers.

Completing the Collection

From smartphones to staying at home, the way we experience art has metamorphosed. Now, we’re getting an inside look at entire collections, and it’s easy and accessible.

Car-Free Communities

Long commutes, congested traffic routes, parking fees, and pollution have all encouraged a whole new way of thinking when it comes to cars — car-free communities. These communities are designed for those looking to reconnect with the outdoors and spend less time stuck in traffic.

The Transition

Of all the changes brought on by the pandemic, what is here to stay?

The Legends of Ultimate Homes

As we take a look at this year's Ultimate Homes magazine, we also look back at the exceptional properties and agents who have been a part of the annual celebration of the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

Car-Free Communities

Long commutes, congested traffic routes, parking fees, and pollution have all encouraged a whole new way of thinking when it comes to cars — car-free communities. These communities are designed for those looking to reconnect with the outdoors and spend less time stuck in traffic.

FIABCI: A Network that Works

One thing to know about the FIABCI network, the U.S. chapter of the International Real Estate Federation; it works

H&E Undercover with Craig Hogan and Gilles Rais

Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, goes undercover — literally — with South Florida real estate star Gilles Rais for our first-ever reveal of the Homes & Estates cover property.

Custom Gulf-front Home in Casey Key, Florida up for Auction

With 123 feet of private beachfront away from the crowds in Casey Key, Florida, this home offers a place to get away from it all.

Under Pressure

On Unique Homes' first exclusive virtual panel, real estate agents discussed how the real estate markets of America endured (and continue to endure) through the turbulence that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused.

Under Pressure

During the mid-year height of the Covid-19 pandemic, real estate agents comment on how the market stood, and in some cases prevailed, under enormous pressure.

New, Charming Community in Brick Township, New Jersey

With three stunning models designed by Arya Properties, Pioneer Estates can be where families can call "home."

A Peaceful Haven in New Hampshire

Custom-built elegance can be found in this immaculate log home in the desired Tuttlebrook Log Home neighborhood.

Falper Vetro Integrated Cabinet Glass Top Basin. All photos courtesy Rogerseller.

‘Green’ design and products have historically found their classification in the product features themselves and not necessarily in the processes behind the production, or the facilities that produce them.

But that’s beginning to change, with more emphasis given to the green cogs that keep the green machine going.

Luckily, you don’t have to go green with envy at what others are doing; below, we’ve listed several firms working to contribute to the green movement.

Claybrook

Utilizing recycled marble that is a by-product of its mosaic tile workshop, Claybrook’s MarbleForm bathware is manufactured in a low impact, emission-free production process, using environmentally sustainable products, materials and manufacturing methods wherever possible.

With a unique wet polishing method, which incorporates water, the method is healthier, cleaner and safer, the result is a finer and smoother texture for a superior finish.

Apart from the fact that these pieces are made from recycled by-products, the actual products themselves can be recycled too.

 

At right: Claybrook Skye Bath

Catalano

“Think Green” is the motto of Catalano, who has been pursuing sustainability and respect for the environment at all stages of its production cycle for years. The firm prides itself in using pure raw materials without any risk of toxicity, while cutting-edge technology has resulted in a new generation of products with reduced thicknesses that require less material.

Catalano pays great attention to environmental efficiency and operating conditions of machinery as well; the installation of solar panels at the production plant generates 1,625,000 KWh – about a quarter of its total energy requirements.

Catalano’s plant is characterized by a low-noise impact and features a closed-loop wastewater recycling system, while the production processes facilitate the maximum reduction of volatile fumes and pollutants released into the atmosphere. But its green efforts don’t stop there. 

When it comes to its products, Catalano is constantly innovating to ensure it stays at the forefront of technology and its impact on product design. For example, the company’s revolutionary glazing method, Cataglaze+, actively kills bacteria through Silver Titanium technology, eliminates the stagnation of water and reduces the amount of cleaning detergents and water required. The visibly superior aesthetic also guarantees anti-yellowing over time.

 

At left: Catalano Zero 55 Basin

Falper

Utilizing only natural materials, Falper recycles all of its manufacturing waste.

Each timber panel is certified ecological and all the wood finishes are entirely water-based.

Scratches and breaks are easily restored on the surfaces of bathtubs and washbasins, reducing the need to replace items, while they are also completely recyclable.

 

At right: Falper Quattro Zero Caldera bath

Fantini

At its core, Fantini is all about water. Since 2012, its “100 Fontane: Fantini for Africa” project has succeeded in bringing clean water to 25,000 people in Masango, Burundi, through the construction of 12 collection wells, 27km of aqueducts and 100 water outlets.

Fantini products also adhere to the most stringent standards to safeguard consumer health. Its products are certified Lead free (containing less than 0.25 percent) whilst they’re also utilizing more stainless steel across all of its collections. A compact and solid material, stainless steel offers the highest resistance to corrosion and is particularly hard-wearing and durable, facilitating maximum hygiene. In addition, it’s also an eco-friendly and recyclable material.

 

At left: Fantini Mare Basin Mixer

Sustainability Without Sacrifice

Hoping to be more sustainable in 2022? Introducing luxury handbags that leave their mark on the fashion industry without damaging the environment.

Q&A with Chris Goddard of HGTV’s Design Star

Chris Goddard credits his appearance on HGTV’s Design Star for reigniting his passion.

Completing the Collection

From smartphones to staying at home, the way we experience art has metamorphosed. Now, we’re getting an inside look at entire collections, and it’s easy and accessible.

Car-Free Communities

Long commutes, congested traffic routes, parking fees, and pollution have all encouraged a whole new way of thinking when it comes to cars — car-free communities. These communities are designed for those looking to reconnect with the outdoors and spend less time stuck in traffic.

Glass Ceilings: Designed to be Broken

In the male-dominated field of architecture, the prominence of iconic women architects has inspired a new generation of pioneer females, but that path is still laden with roadblocks.

Personalized Pergolas

Customized pergolas bring the best of the indoors out — whether used as an airy yoga studio, home theater, or al fresco living space.

‘Keep Things Sophisticated’

We spoke with interior designer Marissa Stokes about her experiences in the industry and how her love of interior design has transformed her career so far.

ASPIRE House Princeton — Boy’s Bedroom

Designer Diane Durocher quoted “Adventure, curiosity and exploration are what opens young minds to infinite possibilities” as the inspiration for the boy’s bedroom in the home.

ASPIRE House Princeton — The Dining Room

The ASPIRE House Princeton series continues with the paradise-themed dining room! The room sweeps people off their feet to a tropical getaway.

ASPIRE House Princeton — The Master Suite

This zen master suite is the perfect space to unwind or start the day, with an impressive master bath, spacious walk-in closet, and distinguished furnishings.

Aquatic Accomodations

For those who view an oceanfront resort as a compromise, a global collection of hotels offers a much closer relationship to the sea.

Experts Report: Park City

Park City optimizes the outdoors, housing three of the best ski resorts in the world. However, skiing doesn’t fully encapsulate the essence of Park City.

Sustainability Without Sacrifice

Hoping to be more sustainable in 2022? Introducing luxury handbags that leave their mark on the fashion industry without damaging the environment.

The Transition

Of all the changes brought on by the pandemic, what is here to stay?

Mindful Drinking

A movement started across the pond is reshaping the relationship people have with alcohol, and starting new conversations about the topic.

Q&A with Chris Goddard of HGTV’s Design Star

Chris Goddard credits his appearance on HGTV’s Design Star for reigniting his passion.

The Legends of Ultimate Homes

As we take a look at this year's Ultimate Homes magazine, we also look back at the exceptional properties and agents who have been a part of the annual celebration of the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

Dazzling Diamonds

Vanleles Diamonds offers a variety of jewelry styles, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, each crafted by skilled jewelry makers.

Completing the Collection

From smartphones to staying at home, the way we experience art has metamorphosed. Now, we’re getting an inside look at entire collections, and it’s easy and accessible.

Car-Free Communities

Long commutes, congested traffic routes, parking fees, and pollution have all encouraged a whole new way of thinking when it comes to cars — car-free communities. These communities are designed for those looking to reconnect with the outdoors and spend less time stuck in traffic.

Fall is The Perfect Time to Take a Soak

Take the Chill Out With the first signs of Fall come the first slight chill in the air; many people love it but there is always that thought in the back of everyone’s mind that its just going to get colder. Bath designers have weighed in on trends in bathroom...

No Reserve Auction September — Exclusive Dallas Estate

Located in the sought-after rural city of Anna, Texas, Bodark Acres offers a wonderful relaxed quality of life.

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.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Jospeph

It seemed as if the interior designing industry has exhausted all of the various designs used in kitchens — until the new trend of all-black kitchens became the new fad and shifted the paradigm. Here’s how designers are getting into the trend and making blacked-out kitchens feel warm and inviting at the same time.

Dark cabinets and countertops not only add a beautiful composition to the space, but they actually make the room feel less blank and minimalistic. Ironically, the dark colors add a certain vibrance and texture to the space rather than washing it out. Utilize natural light with large floor-to-ceiling windows to give the black cabinets a hint of blue dark blue for a more colorful style. The sunlight on these cabinets keep they style modern and sleek without making it bland and boring.

Photo courtesy of Original BTC

Photo courtesy of Viva Lagoon

Another perfect way of styling blacked-out kitchens is adding gold accents. Not only do they add the perfect contrast, but they vary the textures used, making a refined and finished look. The reflective material of the gold cabinets create an open and war atmosphere.

Regardless, if a completely blacked-out kitchen isn’t your style, then look toward making a stark contrast between black and white. Not only does it create a striking composition, but it brings a unique flair that’s sure to be a conversation piece. The blacked-out island at the forefront of this otherwise white kitchen is a perfect example, and will make sure to invite people in.

Photo courtesy of PullCast

All photos courtesy Balcon Media Group.

No matter the destination, travel can often leave lasting impressions on visitors who want to experience new things. For those inclined to travel coast-to-coast, Trails of Indochina has become one of the most pioneering boutique tour operators in Southeast and East Asian countries. Having just marked its 20th anniversary, the firm continues to stay true to founder John Tue Nguyen’s approach to tourism by highlighting immersive experiences for a high-end audience. 

Hang En cave, Quang Binh province.

When Nguyen was a young boy growing up in Hue, Southeast Asia barely had a tourism industry. These days, the region ranks among the world’s most sought-after vacation destinations with travellers flocking from all corners of the globe to sample its diverse array of experiences: a compendium of offerings spanning everything from culinary-themed discoveries and rip-roaring adventure to idyllic honeymoons at bucket-list resorts.

“Since the start we’ve been focused on delivering unique tailored tours in Asia,” Nguyen says. “What sets us apart from other tour operators is that we really believe in developing exclusive products and aim to deliver those to our customers in the most personalized way possible.”

Nguyen has been widely credited for popularising unique trips and selecting endeavors that are unforgettable, from watching a master artisan weave kimonos in Kyoto and private lessons in Shodo, an ancient Japanese calligraphy style exemplifying his innovative approach.

Experiences — many of which are exclusive to Trails of Indochina — might include a master class on Hue’s imperial gastronomy with a recognized authority on the cuisine. Or an audience in Hanoi’s backstreets with one of the few remaining practitioners of Hang Trong, a traditional genre of Vietnamese woodblock printing.

Trails is the anchor to an organization that also includes Heritage Line (river cruises on Mekong, Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers), Indotrek (adventure travel) and Ancient Hue (a collection of beautifully realised traditional-style garden homes in Vietnam’s imperial capital Hue).

Heritage Line cruise to Myanmar.

Over the course of the past two decades, Trails of Indochina has notched several prestigious industry accolades at awards events such as the World Travel Awards and the Luxury Lifestyle Awards, and has expanded its destination portfolio to cover most of Asia.

“Today, travellers are more willing to explore and they have certain expectations. That’s why it’s just as important for us today as it was in the beginning to really learn, understand and to innovate with the ultimate goal of delivering unforgettable experiences to our travellers,” Nguyen says.

Imagine traveling to anywhere in the world for the most incredible, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Imagine experiencing the culture of the community that resides there, the thrill of seeing a new corner of the world, and the beauty of nature around you. Now imagine being able to give back in the process. Companies are sprouting up, giving individuals the opportunity to have an exceptional trip while giving back to the community they travel to.

Photos courtesy of Off Season Adventures

Off Season Adventures allows clients to travel to destinations such as Uganda, Tunisia, Ethiopia and more — all while being immersed in the communities they’re giving back to. Tanner C. Knorr, the owner and founder of Off Season Adventures, has always had a vision of giving back, saying that “if we all contribute just a little bit to the communities and environments while we’re traveling, the world would be a better place.”

Off Season Adventures is unwavering in its belief of making the communities its clients travel to a better place than before. Earlier this year, the company installed a solar panel water pump system in the village of Kakoi, located in Tanzania. Because of this work, 15,000 people now have access to clean drinking water.

Photo courtesy of Off Season Adventures

Photo courtesy of Elevate Destinations

Not only do these companies give back in considerable ways, but the extraordinary landscape of the destinations and the connections made with the communities that reside there are already reasons to book a trip. Dominique Callimanopulos, the founder and president of Elevate Destinations, believes the most rewarding aspect is simply the connections made between the travelers and the community members of the area. “It tends to be really an exchange, it’s not just one way,” she says. “I think the travelers get at least as much out of the exchange.”

She recommends Africa more so her clients than any other destination, as she describes it as “just like nowhere else. There are very few places you could see such amazing beauty of untouched landscape.” She emphasizes, however, that Elevate Destinations is not into “one-off” visits and investments — and that the company is deeply invested in long-term community development of the destinations clients travel to.

Photo courtesy of Elevate Destinations

For some companies, there is also a focus on the environmental impact of traveling to the provided destinations. andBeyond, a company dedicated to providing luxury travel with a deep focus on environmental sustainability, offers private tours of the stunning landscapes in Africa, South America and Asia. 

Photos courtesy of andBeyond

Clients are finding these trips to be evermore fulfilling and meaningful. Not only are they giving back to the communities they travel to, but there’s an underlying consensus — they get back even more in return.

By the end of 2023, the aromatherapy industry is expected to hit over $4.3 billion, as reported by Reuters. And with candles being the quintessential form of aromatherapy, luxury homeowners are making room for this new form of wellness. Here are ways in which artisans and craftsmen are using candles to elevate the wellness industry once again.

Decreasing stress is one of the top priorities for people in demanding careers — and everyone is turning to scented candles for a natural and easy remedy in creating the perfect escape from the pressures in the world. Heating and Plumbing’s wide variety of scented candles does just that. The “Herb Garden and Hops” candles generate a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Adding scented candles to various rooms in your home can help you relax and unwind after a busy day.

Photo courtesy of Heating & Plumbing

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading

Just in time for the holidays, make sure to include candles in your decorating process. They’re not only the top product in the wellness industry but, when styled right, can leave a festive impression. These scented candles from Garden Trading are the perfect design for the upcoming holiday season.

Buckley and Phillips Aromatics has also been one of the forerunners in the boost for candles in the wellness industry. With candles like these, decoration is key. Candle centerpieces work perfectly for the holiday or year-round decorations to brighten the atmosphere. Or, just have the candles by themselves for a simpler and more minimalist design. Either way, candles like these are sure to bring a calm and inviting mood to the space.

Photo courtesy of Buckley & Phillips Aromatics

For those who are looking to find more storage for their clothes and accessories, or those who simply want to elevate the style of their home, look toward making the dream walk-in closet. Not only can it be practical by offering ample storage, but it can also be a reflection of your style, so don’t forget to make it yours. Here’s how:

1. Sleek, Organized Design

When it’s completely organized, having all your clothes on display can add vibrant color and a beautiful composition to your walk-in closet. But practically, it can be a challenge to keep the storage space that organized all the time. So instead, look toward stained cabinets with a matte finish. Use gold to add a pop of color and a simple design for a sleek finish.

Photo courtesy of LUXXU Home

Photo courtesy of LUXXU Home

Photo courtesy of PullCast

Photo courtesy of Brabbu Designs

2. Not Just a Closet (seating, too!)

When you have the space, add in comfortable seating as well. Not only does it elevate the luxury-end of the design, but it functions well when changing or putting on shoes. Add a comfortable bench or chair for the same effect.

3. Effortless Impact

When designing a walk-in closet, there’s one word that’s a must: effortless. Whether it’s more monochrome or vibrant in color or more spacious or closed off, let the room be yours. Let it reflect your personal taste — both in fashion and design.

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture

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