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The Extraordinary Homes that Inspired Us in 2017

For those of us who work the social media pages for the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury®  program day in and day out, we have seen our fair share of Instagram-worthy residences this year. From elegant European style manors to slick contemporary masterpieces with just the right dose of drama, many of these high-styled homes have captured our imaginations with their warmth and beauty.

To close out 2017, we rounded up ten gorgeous homes that made an impression on us, whether it was for their grace, history or groundbreaking design. You’ll find there’s something for everyone in this curated collection. If you fancy yourself a modernist, there’s the Malibu Castle or the Aspen Abode. If you regard yourself as a classicist, there’s Woodland Manor near Boston or Swain’s Neck on Nantucket. If you simply like iconic design, we have you covered from Florida to California. But one thing is certain: Each one of these homes sparked our imaginations and touched our emotions this year — just as a fine property is supposed to do.

Woodland Manor

150 Woodland Road
Brookline, MA.
$90 Million

“Born from the desire for the ultimate privacy with city accessibility,” Woodland Manor takes its name from the tree-lined road it rests upon — but also the surrounding Brookline Country Club and Putterham Meadows Golf Course, and breathtaking tapestry of rolling lawns, ponds, sculpted rock outcrops and a horticultural encyclopedia of specimen plantings spanning its 14 acres. The Manor caught our attention for several reasons. The estate is located just five miles from central Boston, making it a rare breed of property that blends the beauty of nature with the closeness of city amenities. We were also inspired by its singular and flawless design, beginning with dramatic, curving Indiana limestone façade protecting 26,000 square feet of private space. As the listing description recounts, “the appearance of simplicity was the ultimate challenge” and yet it was clearly achieved through “creative architecture, sophisticated engineering and generations of the finest craftsmen.” It’s a thing of rare and pure beauty.

Malibu Castle

23800 Malibu Crest Dr
Malibu, CA, United States
$ 85,000,000

When the Malibu Castle by director, builder and designer Scott Gillen debuted over the summer, it was called “one of Malibu’s most significant new homes to come on the market,” due to the unobstructed views overlooking Malibu Colony, Surfrider Beach and Serra Retreat, and head-on views of the Santa Monica Bay and Catalina Island. The very first minute we set eyes on it, we were truly electrified. Gillen’s cinematic style of design draws you in immediately with a “glass Rubik’s Cube” visual effect: 10-foot tall teak windows look into the all-teak, 15,000-square-foot main house, where you can see the wine room and then beyond to the living room and 75-foot elevated infinity pool, with the ocean and Catalina Island off in the distance. It’s nothing short of “wow.”

Malibu Bluff Masterpiece

6962 Wildlife Rd
Malibu, CA
$ 81,500,000

This secluded modern masterpiece by renowned architect Edward R. Niles rises above the majestic bluffs of Point Dume, and captured our hearts and minds earlier this fall when it first debuted on the market. The experience of entering the gated private driveway and emerging into a magnificent rich green canopy of trees and flowers on the park-like grounds, and then discovering the stunning wood-and-glass residence was one we’ll never soon forget. From the voluminous spaces and indoor-outdoor qualities to the private beach access and spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline, there is no other word that adequately fits this home other than: “masterpiece.”  And the fact that it was the former home of The Tonight Show’s late host, Johnny Carson? Well, it’s only icing on the proverbial cake.

The Pond House

109 Willoughby Way
Aspen, CO.

The Pond House was featured on the Fall 2017 cover of Homes & Estates, and it’s been a source of our envy ever since. Designed by award-winning Poss Architecture and built by one of Aspen’s leading builders, the timeless mountain contemporary stunner has all of the trappings of a legacy property. The first signal is the privacy and acreage: it graces 2.5 private acres just off Red Mountain Road, and is surrounded by serene water and nature on all sides. Then there are the mesmerizing views extending from Aspen Mountain to the City of Aspen to all forms of water, whether it is the pond, waterfalls, stream hot tub or pool. And finally, there is the grand scale of the main house, which spans 11,437 square feet and manages to balance the privacy of bedroom suites with dramatic public areas and multiple outdoor spaces — perfect for entertaining family and friends for decades.

11 11 Skyhouse

11 11 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL.

Miami’s 11 11 Skyhouse is one of those modernist masterpieces that doesn’t easily leave your mind. From the striking open-air design by Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron to the gardens by renowned landscape designer Raymond Jungles and its iconic status hovering seven stories above South Beach, the 5,200-square-foot penthouse shecks all of the boxes on our inspiring property list.  Released to market concurrent with Art Basel this year, 11 11 Skyhouse represents a new landscape for living, where the sanctuary of private shelter mix with open-air gallery spaces that can be used for parties, photo and film shoots, fashion shows, concerts and other social functions — all set against the cinema of 360-degree views.


Swain’s Neck

260 Polpis Rd
Nantucket, MA, United States
$ 35,000,000

Everything about Swain’s Neck oozes dreamy Nantucket charm. Starting with the acreage, the sweeping East Coast property encompasses over 63 acres of lush grasslands, wetlands and forests, with wide open swaths of picturesque panoramas. Idyllic, remote and tranquil are three words that come to mind. Could it be the perfect setting for a private family retreat? The shingle-style home provides the answer as it curves with the shoreline and offers ocean and Polpis Harbor views from all principal rooms. The architecture reveals many symbols of Nantucket’s Quaker, Colonial, farming and whaling heritage: wood shingles, multiple gables and dormers, farmer’s porches, porthole-like oculi and a farmhouse-like simplicity in design. Summer can’t come fast enough…

Tommy Hilfiger Estate

605 Ocean Blvd
Golden Beach, FL.
$ 25,900,000

Who could forget Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s fun Pop Art palette for Tommy Hilfiger and wife Dee’s Art Deco estate in Golden Beach?  The 14,075 square-foot interiors mix eclectic furnishings, an enviable art collection, crisp white walls and white-glass tiles, accentuated by a black marble central staircase — all covered in the Architectural Digest September 2014 issue. Added with the property’s enviable oceanfront location and oceanfront infinity pool, this piece of prime real estate is truly jaw-dropping. Color us impressed.


Hale Palekaiko

72 S Kalaheo Avenue
Kailua, HI.
$ 22,800,000

All it takes is one glimpse of this House of Paradise, and you’re instantly put under its spell. Set on Hawaii’s world-renowned Kailua Beach, this chic estate getaway by award-winning architect Peter Vincent, FAIA blends the best of Indo-Modern elements to create the ultimate tropical masterpiece. Relaxing, serene, welcoming — the materials, craftsmanship and space work in total harmony with each other. The four-bedroom main residence, the three-bedroom guest residence and stunning outdoor entertainment pavilion complete with poolside bar, kitchen and spa bathroom are all designed to bring you back to your favorite resort. You know how they say, “You won’t ever want to leave”? Hale Palekaiko makes it absolutely true.


Sam Hill Mansion

814 E Highland Dr
Seattle, WA
$ 15,000,000

“Escape the ordinary,” dares the listing description. Once you step foot inside the noted and historic Sam Hill Mansion, the dare becomes clear. Contemporary design blends seamlessly with historic touches — not an easy achievable union. Commissioned in 1910, the mansion is located on one of Seattle’s most beautiful tree-lined streets in the stately Harvard-Belmont Historic Landmark District. Rich detail and special attention given to the framing of unobstructed views of Lake Union, Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound add an immediate sense of depth and sophistication. A stunning rooftop terrace with two fireplaces and spa take advantage of its view position.

Minnewoc Estate

35308 Pabst Rd
Oconomowoc Lake, WI. 
$ 10,500,000

Minnewoc is another one of those rare estates that skillfully mixes old and new. Designed as a replica of Anne Boleyn’s castle built in 1892, the property has been thoughtfully and tastefully renovated in recent years, including a large addition in 2014. There are a few reasons why we kept returning again and again to this prized Lake Country estate. Gorgeous finishes and opulent details manage to root it in the past, while smart home technology and other modern touches bring it into the present. At 16,000 square feet, a home of this scale may have the tendency to feel voluminous — and yet the rooms feel intimate and comfortable, like a home should. Grand spaces still make entertaining easy. Beyond the residence itself, we also became captivated by the land: over 800 feet of pristine lake frontage and 7.2 acres — and a private island!



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The Extraordinary Homes that Inspired Us in 2017

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