These statement homes scream: ‘Look at me’
WHAT do you get when you join a C19th terracotta school house, a modern zinc covered townhouse and a Brooklyn accent? Why, a remarkable home of course.

There are double
height voids and gallery spaces and exposed beams aplenty at 81 Hanson Place,
Brooklyn, NY

Throw in the NYC
uber luxury of indoor parking and three private terraces and here is the ideal
home for the not-so-struggling artist in residence. The New York Daily News
espoused its charm as “The product of ingenuity, history and taste.” and then
calls it a ‘top townhouse’.

New Zealand
properties seem to have grasped the importance of the ‘back ground’ location.
Houses, in particular this five-bed Lake Hayes home (near Queenstown) is all
the more majestic thanks to the view of a distant mountain range.

The romantic
combination of schist stonework, broad timber accents and floor to ceiling
glass keep the alpine influences top of mind, while remaining cosy and
welcoming. The inside is clearly involved with the outside, and both are
improved by the Wendy Shacklock architecture.

Two wings (which
are not parallel, but rather splay out toward the entry) are joined by a glass
walled loggia, and within its arc one finds a superb native garden with a
central water feature that is breathtaking 24/7. In fact the grounds of this
Luxury Real Estate NZ listing are filled with herbaceous delights.

Again New
Zealand has come up with a contemporary and inspiring design, with strong links
to the earth.

Spanish mission
style never looked this good. Here on Buggy Whip Drive in Los Angeles is the
multi level vision of architect Rafael Manzano Martos, who has created a
magnificent melange of Spanish and Moorish sensibilities, and then coated them
in gilt. Seriously.

Check out the
tiles in the Hamam (read luxurious, underground, spa area). The workmanship is
frankly unbelievable, whether seen in the timber ceilings, those gold tiles or
the colonnade around the interior tennis court (which is up to US Open specs)
which converts to a ballroom.

As impossible as
it is to not be blown away by the inside pool, it is the main pool, with it’s
flawless view over LA, and richly romantic night time lighting that is the
evening scene stealer. The grounds are extensive and equestrian appropriate,
and the winding, tree lined drive that leads up to the arena sized forecourt
assures privacy. The Agency has just taken on the listing, which has been on
various books for a few years now.

If anyone can
sell it, Mauricio Umansky is the guy.