LISTENING TO JOSEPH COMMORATA DESCRIBE 5 TRAILSIDE PLACEis like witnessing a renowned sommelier elaborate on the subtle notes of a complex Bordeaux. Just as the sommelier appreciates the composition of a sophisticated wine, Commorata revels in the finer aspects of an exquisite home — and 5 Trailside Place is no ordinary home. The quintessential European estate is on the market in Saddle River, N.J., for $27.5 million. It’s approximately 20,000 square feet on 5 acres, which itself is unique; but add a plethora of Parisian artifacts and authentic Old World-style architecture and construction, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece. “What was previously planned was a house that would have sat in the front of the property in the shape of a box,” says Commorata, the co-owner of Commorata & Berardi, a custom design/build company based in Franklin Lakes, N.J. “We envisioned a house full of light with a long gallery through it. Light would filter through all of the rooms…A house that was designed specifically for the property, to take advantage of all the vistas.”
MASTER BUILDER F. O. BUCK DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS A FRUSTRATED ENGINEERwho is intrigued by Old World math. It was no surprise that in his most recent creation he added, subtracted and recalculated every step of the way. “I change things as I go to make the house the best way I can,” explains Buck. “The home’s a labor of love that has evolved.” Built into the mountainside in Paradise Valley, Ariz., the southern European-style home was inspired by its views of Camelback and Superstition and Mummy mountains, city lights and the Paradise Valley Country Club Golf Course. Listed for $15.5 million by Walt Danley of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the home showcases 134 separate view windows and doors. “Almost every window was either changed in height or width and moved to maximize the many spectacular views from each room,” says Buck. “A good example would be the master bedroom view windows. The original plan was for five windows.
After laying out the 50plus-foot exterior wall with a panoramic view, I could see that more window area was needed to maximize the view of Camelback Mountain. I added a sixth window and made them all larger. I wanted to frame the entire mountain as if it was a picture.” Continue reading
THE LOCATION MIGHT BE MINNESOTA but little more than a glimpse of this estate evokes quintessential waterfront. “This home could be airlifted to any number of places from the Hamptons to Nantucket, on fresh or salt water, and fit right in,” says Realtor Ellen DeHaven with Coldwell Banker Burnet.
But that first glance, that vision of the house just melting into the land with the water sparkling in the background, says the ideal setting is exactly where it is planted — on the tip of Bohn’s Point on Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka.
Such a timeless presence, rare in a residence barely 10 years old, is wonderful testimony to architect Robert Lund and to the forethought, attention to detail and meticulous planning that went into every facet. The owners originally purchased the 3-acre property with plans to refurbish an existing dwelling on the site but eventually realized it wasn’t feasible. However, living there for a few years gave them a deep appreciation for the setting and that experience informed many aspects of their future home, which they aptly dubbed Breezeway. Continue reading
The craftsmanship of this Tuscan mansion belies its Texas location.
IT MIGHT BE DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS, but Villa Serena feels like a Tuscan estate.
The 6,871-square-foot Mediterranean-style home is located in Frisco’s Starwood community, north of Dallas. From its tri-level pool to award-winning kitchen to activity rooms and wine grotto, the $1.95 million property is an ideal place to entertain friends, or simply relax.
“It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind estate,” says Christina White of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “It’s an elegant Italian villa design with the perfect blend of artistry and modern technology.”
Designed by renowned architect Ralph Bush and built in 2001, the estate includes six bedrooms, five and a half baths, two dining areas, a game room, and theater-style media room. A breezeway leads to separate guest quarters. Continue reading
IN GLENCOE, ILL., ALONG CHICAGO’S NORTH SHORE, on a quiet street where several homeowners have lived for decades, this architectural masterpiece stands behind a circular drive as an optical illusion of sorts. The symmetry and light of the stucco, limestone and slate residence convince any visitor of its recent construction, yet it was custombuilt 11 years ago.
“When you first look at the house, you think it is modern, but the feel of the house is not modern,” says the homeowner, an investor who has lived in the Chicago area since 1961.
As avid art collectors, he and his wife were consistently involved in the home’s design, making certain the final product would do justice to their varied collection of pieces, mostly by artists active from the 1920s to the 1950s. Continue reading
Hersini often starts by magnifying the effects of windows and natural light. For shades, she uses light fabrics or a solar shade such as MechoShade Systems, a sleek, translucent window covering that reduces glare while allowing residents to retain their outdoor view.
“Using translucent glass for internal doors and windows is another way of permitting the flow of light while also preserving privacy,” Hersini adds. She also recommends skylights and recessed ceiling lighting to add extra lights and ambiance. Contrasting wall and floor colorings also can add depth to a room.
“I like to use a splash of contrasting color on beams, overhangs or one wall unit without compromising the harmony and overall balance,” she says. “For example, I would use burnt orange paint on a section of a rectangular room with dark hardwood floors, and a lighter shade of gray walls and trimmings of deeper gray to bring the room together and to break the elongated form of the room.” Continue reading
Trish O’Neill was familiar with homes from the 1700s. Her 10 years in this Hawaiian “modern chic” Contemporary were a pleasant surprise.
DESPITE PREVIOUSLY LIVING in several historic homes constructed in the early 18th century, Trish and Michael O’Neill moved toward contemporary design when remodeling their house in the Makiki Heights section of Honolulu. The utah Real estate was a showplace — in more ways than one. The O’Neills’ 11,323-square-foot home, which sits on nearly 1.5 landscaped acres, incorporates Asian and Island influences in its design and offers views of Honolulu, the Pacific Ocean and nearby mountains.
The remodeling, which began in 2001 and took more than a year, was done by designer Greg Mills and contractor Darcy Builders. The home, listed by John Peterson of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, is on the market for $9.9 million. “We had always lived in old houses,” says Trish O’Neill. “Our first house was built in 1703 and the next one in 1710. It was a stretch for us to even think about moving into a contemporary house. But this is the most comfortable house we’ve ever lived in.
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