Lake Forest, Illinois
6 bedrooms, 6 baths
15,000 square feet
Pedigree: Celebrated architect David Adler built this Tuscan-style lakeside villa in 1916. It is considered one of his finest residential estates, due to the classically symmetrical interiors, stately loggia, and stone-paved courtyard.
Property Values: The three acres feature an original sunken garden, conceived in collaboration with landscape designer Ralph Rodney Root, and direct access to a white-sand beach on Lake Michigan.
Talking Point: Watching over the grounds are statues of Neptune and the nine muses, among other mythical figures.
Contact: Coldwell Banker, 847-987-8517; coldwellbanker.com
From time to time I love indulging in the Architectural Digest feature “Homes for Sale Around the World.” Having lived in many houses myself (and naturally as a designer), I have a fascination with houses. Leave it to AD to feature some of the most glam, luxurious and decadent estates from around the world. Although I am not sure that purchasing a $50 million private island in the British Virgin Islands is in many of our realms of possibility, but, a girl or guy can dream, right? Check out some of the latest listings on “Homes for Sale Around the World.” Maybe AD will be coming to your block next!
Text and listing information courtesy of Architectural Digest.
Peapack, New Jersey
31 bedrooms, 14 baths
60,000 square feet
Pedigree: Designed by Carrère and Hastings, the venerable architecture firm behind the New York Public Library, this secluded Beaux Arts mansion was constructed in 1903 for financier C. Ledyard Blair. The house, which has undergone an incomplete restoration, still exudes Gilded Age grandeur thanks to bespoke mantels, elaborate moldings, and imported marble.
Property Values: The 34 acres feature Italianate gardens by James Lyle Greenleaf.
Talking Point: With its unique past—reclusive nuns owned the place for some 50 years—Blairsden, as the house is called, has long been the subject of local lore.
Contact: Turpin Realtors, 877-788-7746; turpinrealtors.com
4 bedrooms, 3 baths
4,300 square feet
Pedigree: In 1959 architect Rodney Walker, best known for his three contributions to the Case Study House Program, erected this hilltop retreat as his personal residence. Modeled after an equilateral triangle, the ethereal structure merges indoor and outdoor spaces using glass curtain walls and pointed overhangs.
Property Values: The three-and-a-half-acre plot, accessible by a winding private drive, enjoys sweeping views of the surrounding valley.
Talking Point: Vintage linoleum and wood surfaces and a paint-box color palette lend midcentury cool to the open floor plan.
Contact: Crosby Doe Associates, 310-428-6755; crosbydoe.com
British Virgin Islands
7 bedrooms, 8 baths
17,000 square feet
Pedigree: Natural beauty abounds on Buck Island, a 43-acre private haven boasting pristine beaches, protected coves, and coral reefs. Presiding over it is a contemporary masonry compound, comprising a main building, a satellite master suite, and three guesthouses.
Property Values: An infinity pool, a helipad, and a cabana dot the land, while two additional villas occupy a base on nearby Tortola.
Talking Point: A partially built bridge adds archaeological intrigue.
Contact: Smiths Gore, 284-494-2446; smithsgore.co.uk
7 bedrooms, 4 baths
7,530 square feet
Pedigree: Built in the late 19th century, this stucco-clad villa is perched on a superlative lot overlooking Lake Como, with views of the village of Bellagio on the opposite shore. Refined ornamentation, a grand scale, and neutral decor give an airy feel to the interiors, which have been restored by Milan-based architects Alberto Brugi and Elio Messi and are available furnished.
Property Values: The leafy seven-acre grounds include a gymnasium, a spa facility, a boathouse, and a pool.
Talking Point: A helipad allows for easy arrivals and quick departures.
Contact: Christie’s International Real Estate, 011-44-20-7389-2631; christiesrealestate.com
Hickory Creek, Texas
6 bedrooms, 6 baths
36,630 square feet
Pedigree: Just 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, this attention-grabbing mansion—built in 2002 for CellStar founder Alan Goldfield—continues to linger on the market despite huge price cuts. It was modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17th-century château that inspired Versailles, and overflows with baroque flourishes.
Property Values: Ninety acres with a lake, tennis courts, a pool, and a cabana.
Talking Point: Over-the-top amenities include a two-story Chanel-themed dressing suite, an indoor pool, a hair salon, a home theater, and a bowling alley.
Contact: Briggs Freeman, 214-350-0400; briggsfreeman.com