Archive for the ‘Luxury Home Design’ Category


Outdoor Living Space – The New Luxury Item

September 25, 2008

One of the hottest trends we are seeing in Florida is the extension of the home into the outdoors. The new must-have for the luxury homeowner is an outdoor space with pool, fire pit, sofa, pillows, pergolas, and state-of-the art grilling centers. These are now top selling features in upscale homes. Fireplace in the back yard? Not a problem. More and more home buyers are looking for a place to hang out in the fantastic Florida climate and enjoy the day late into the night. I think the high stressed and hard-working homeowners want to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest and the new outdoor living room is just the answer.

When you are thinking back yard…it’s not just a screened pool anymore. It’s a fireplace, a waterfall, a lounge area. It’s so much more. It’s totally zen and a spa-like retreat for the work weary.

Modern backyard landscape design takes the traditional, simple lawn and extends the enjoyable living space of your home into the natural appeal of the outdoors. Today’s outdoor living spaces incorporate all the elements of indoor living, from purposeful living areas to detailed accents, to create a true estate home that is enjoyable throughout.

Creating an outdoor ambience is critical and should compliment your home design and style. It should be a place to entertain, relax and to bond. Look for this trend to continue well into the next few years.

It’s extending home life into the outdoors.


Be It Ever so Humble…it’s HOME

August 6, 2008

by Linda Hutchinson

There’s no place like home but let’s face it – when it comes to luxury homes, no one is eating humble pie. Most people now think of home as the place where homeowners can strut their stuff.

Home is the new place to show off. With the advent of designer show homes and the popularity of HGTV we have created a sub-culture of decorating wanna-bees who go over the top with the latest in design and luxury touches.

When was the last new home you saw that did not include (a) stainless steel appliances (b) bowl bathroom sinks (c) Mediterranean exterior (d) all of the above. The amazing thing is a lack of originality and the fact that too much is not too much. In a time where the economy is tanking…excess is in. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “The rich are different from you and me.”

Humble pie? I don’t think so. It’s home style – supersized!


Wine Storage Tips From Sotheby’s Wine Auction Experts

September 18, 2007

Whether it’s a toasty chardonnay with salmon, a bold cabernet sauvignon with grilled steak or a smooth merlot with roast lamb, we often take great pains to pair our favorite wines with the ideal gourmet cuisine.

To ensure a wine’s fine qualities, homebuyers are increasingly seeking homes with wine storage facilities. Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, as a premier provider of luxury real estate in Central Florida, has experienced a growing trend towards homes with distinctive wine storage facilities. This luxury real estate firm offers many extraordinary homes offering such features.

According to Jamie Ritchie, senior vice president of Sotheby’s Auction House wine department, we may be making great strides in wine and food pairings, but we are not taking the time to properly store our favorite drop. Ritchie recommends making the most of preferred wine selections by storing them in the appropriate conditions. Wine aromas will intensify, colors will deepen and flavors will enhance the taste of the most scrumptious of fare.

For optimum taste and enjoyment of wine treasures, Ritchie suggests the following storage tips for all types of wine stored for more than a couple of months:

Maintain temperature-

The ideal temperature for wine storage is a constant 55 degrees. If the wine is too warm, it will mature too quickly and the flavor will decline. If the wine is too cold, the complexity of the flavors becomes dull and flat. Storing wine at the ideal temperature will allow it to reach and maintain peak aromas and intensity.

Rest it on its side-

Bottles must rest on their side for the wine to maintain contact with the cork. This keeps the cork moist, preventing air from getting into the bottle and oxidizing the wine.

Keep it still-

Ensure that wines are in a vibration-free location. Store them away from the boiler room or areas of high traffic in the home. Keeping the wine static will enable the naturally forming sediments in the bottle to fall away and ensure a clean and clear-tasting pour when it comes time for serving.

Turn out the lights-

Store wines in the darkest room in the house, preferably in a cellar or a dark closet. Light will prematurely age a bottle of wine and potentially ruin the flavor.

According to Ritchie, the single biggest mistake that wine enthusiasts make is to store their wines in the kitchen. “Unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled storage unit, the kitchen, including the refrigerator, is the worst place to store wine,” Ritchie said. “The refrigerator is too cold, and the kitchen is an environment of frequent changes in light and temperature as well as extreme traffic and movement – all conditions to avoid in proper wine storage.”

Considering that wine cellars are found in only select luxury homes, finding such estates means working with the right real estate firm that specializes in extraordinary properties.

Linda Hutchinson proudly represents the Seller of just such a home. This extraordinary property offers a brand new nearly 5,000 square foot home, under construction, in downtown Orlando that will be one of the few homes in the Central Florida region with a full basement that features a wine storage facility ensuring proper care for an expensive wine collection. Please review the information (on this blog) for the listing at 335 N. Hyer Street in Downtown Orlando. This estate home is priced at $1,800,000. More information on this home can be found here.

In addition to the firm’s main office in Orlando, Florida, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, also operates offices in Dr. Phillips, Windermere, Heathrow, Winter Park and Ormond Beach. Additional information is available at, as well as at