What’s Old Is New Again: 5 Impressive Home Transformations

*Repost from Sotheby’s Extraordinary Living Blog. Click here for the original.

Whether a former barn or the onetime headquarters of a pharmaceutical company, these five homes have been carefully, stylishly altered and updated, respecting each building’s long, storied history while introducing architectural, aesthetic, and technological innovations.

Classic Hamptons Compound

Water Mill, New York | Harald GrantSotheby’s International Realty – Southampton Brokerage

On 2.8 acres on the banks of Mecox Bay, this early-20th-century Shingle-style home was painstakingly converted from a barn. Its light-flooded spaces include living and dining rooms, an eat-in kitchen, four bedrooms, and many delightful period details, from wide-plank wood floors to beadboard walls and sliding wood doors. The grounds feature a guesthouse, a pool, a tennis court with a viewing pavilion, a stone patio, an expansive lawn, a freestanding garage, and 112 feet of private water frontage with a dock and a waterfront cottage.

Magnolia Mansion Condominium

New York, New York | Mae H. BagaiSotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan Brokerage

Once a school showcasing prewar architecture, the lovely Magnolia Mansion Lofts building was transformed into a collection of modern condominiums in the 1980s. This 1,414-square-foot duplex features 14-foot ceilings, large south-facing windows, classic hardwood floors, living and dining areas, a sleek kitchen, and three serene bedrooms. Magnolia Mansion residents benefit from a shared courtyard garden with grills and tables, video intercoms, an elevator, and a full-time superintendent.

Chic Embarcadero Loft

San Francisco, California | Gregg LynnSotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

This stylish contemporary loft is among the luxurious residences created in the 1997 conversion of the offices, labs, and manufacturing warehouse of the Coffin-Redington Drug Company, a historic national landmark that dates to 1937. Renovated in 2020, this home boasts an easy flow; wonderful natural light; surfaces of concrete, walnut, and porcelain; audiovisual, security, climate-control, and soundproofing systems; motorized shades; and custom-outfitted closets. Residents share a sunny south-facing terrace on the penthouse level.

The Rosewood Farm Estate

Southampton, New York | Harald Grant & Bruce GrantSotheby’s International Realty – Southampton Brokerage

On the grounds of the original Southampton Riding and Hunt Club, this beautiful six-bedroom home was transformed from a historic barn by its current owner—a renowned architect and designer. The residence shares some 34 acres of glorious greenery with an impressive brick patio anchored by a fountain, a four-bedroom guesthouse, an infinity-edge pool, a pool house cleverly converted from a stable, a freestanding four-car garage, and dozens of mature trees.

SOMA Sophistication

San Francisco, California | Gregg LynnSotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

Formerly a historic 1920 warehouse, One South Park is a collection of sleek, sophisticated loft homes in the vibrant SOMA neighborhood. During the renovation, the team at LDP Architects carefully preserved such period elements as oversized Palladian windows and whimsical portions of railroad track. On the eastern side of the building, this elegant residence boasts soaring 12-foot ceilings, two bedrooms, a kitchen equipped with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, and a living room with nine-foot windows. Parking for a bicycle and one car is included.

Discover luxury homes for sale and rent around the world on sothebysrealty.com.

5 Islands You May Want To Move To This Year

*Repost from Sotheby’s Extraordinary Living Blog

If golden beaches, crystal clear bays, and tropical breezes are top-of-mind, turn mirages into reality with a taste of island living. Whether to serve as inspiration for permanent residency, or as a second property for easy vacationing, the homes found on these five coveted islands are the perfect getaways. 

Mallorca, Spain

Sandra CosioMallorca Sotheby’s International Realty

The largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca offers the finest aspects of Mediterranean living. From historic sites of Roman and Moorish influence, to beaches with dramatic cliffside backdrops, to the city of Palma’s delectable cuisine and vibrant nightlife, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy Mallorca, and this five-bedroom contemporary villa in Port d’Andratx is the ideal base for exploration. Close to the harbor and sailing club, this three-story home offers ocean vistas throughout, including from the expansive terrace with swimming pool. Indoors, amenities include a heated pool, sauna, spa, gym, wine cellar, and cinema for endless entertainment. 

Crete, Greece

Despina LaouGreece Sotheby’s International Realty

Head to Crete, Greece’s biggest island, for sun, sand, and signature Greek dishes and drinks served at lively tavernas and cafes. This charming six-bedroom Villa Phaedra is the perfect property for Greek island living, with an elevated vantage offering Aegean Sea views, a heated outdoor infinity pool and surrounding gardens, and a private beach mere minutes away. Inside, natural finishes and eco-friendly materials—including marble, Cretan stone, and wood—complement cool tones to create an upscale and tranquil atmosphere, ideal for unwinding.

British Virgin Islands

Lu ValadeBritish Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

The Beach House—a precisely named villa on the eight-square-mile Virgin Gorda, the third largest island in the British Virgin Islands—provides an opportunity for effortless Caribbean living. The six-bedroom property is steps away from Oil Nut Bay’s turquoise waters and palm-tree lined white sand beaches. Fancy a bit of island exploration? Follow the trails in Little Fort National Park, hike to Gorda Peak, snorkel through coral reefs, or visit Spanish Town for excellent shopping and fresh seafood dining. 

Mahé, Seychelles

Tobias SchulzeCologne Sotheby’s International Realty

Twenty-seven bedrooms and bathrooms, 60,000 interior square feet, and almost 10 acres of natural coastline—this exquisite property on Mahé, the largest of Seychelles’ 115 archipelago islands, is the ultimate property for luxury vacationing and hosting. Bel Ombre is a Bali-inspired, secluded sanctuary featuring multiple natural stone swimming pools, a spa and wellness zone, chef-designed professional kitchen, and dramatic Indian Ocean views. It’s also surrounded by lush vegetation and is adjacent to Anse Majore National Park, where hiking and boating excursions lead to majestic wild beaches.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Chaiyuth BoonlertList Sotheby’s International Realty

You can’t get closer to the water than at Sea Sunset Pool Villa on Thailand’s Koh Samui island—a coveted location with infamous beaches and wildlife. In addition to sea panoramas that come with exquisite sunrises and sunsets, the four-storey contemporary home offers a private salt pool system, garden, and cinema. Activities are plentiful too, including yoga, cooking classes, scuba diving, boating, and even golf.

Escaping to tropical climates becomes even more enticing knowing that properties like these await on incredible islands. Whether it’s quintessential Caribbean beaches, vast Mediterranean views, private verdant oases, or endless activities, island living is waiting to be enjoyed. 

For island living that’s easily accessible, go inside a Turks and Caicos property with a private runway.

Trending Bedroom Paint Colors 2022

Your bedroom is your personal oasis. The right paint color can help create a serene environment ideal for unwinding at the end of the long day. Scroll down for dreamy hues that are trending in 2022.

Soothing Green

This comes as no surprise as the color green’s popularity has been rising in recent years. For the bedroom, you want to choose a soothing sage tone such as the one pictured above.

Natural Neutrals

Let’s be honest, neutrals are always trending. I particularly like sand tones that warm up a space and add a little more visual interest than a simple white.

Calming Blues

Blue is known for having a calming effect. I prefer the textured, cloudy blue featured above that helps keep the color and décor from looking to coastal (unless of course you’re by the water or just love coastal decor).

Lovely Lilacs

You have to be careful not to elicit teenage vibes when using lilac tones. The one photoed above is a bit muddy and on the gray scale. This keeps the look elevated and sophisticated.

Warm Whites

White is tried and true for a reason. When selecting the right shade of white for your bedroom, it’s wise to select warmer tones to make the space feel more cozy and less clinical.

If you’re updating the color scheme of your home because you’re considering a move, contact me and let’s discuss the ways I can help!

5 Tips for Empty-Nesters Considering Downsizing

Once the children fly the coop, empty-nesters find themselves in a position where they no longer need the space they once did in their child rearing years and consider downsizing. Once you have made the decision to downsize, it can be challenging to know what the next best move is for you. Here are 5 tips that can help guide you toward a destination.

1. Location

Have you always wanted to live by the ocean, in the mountains, a warmer climate? Maybe you love the hustle and bustle of city life or want to buy a smaller home in a community closer to children and grandchildren. Spend some time contemplating how you envision your future. It’s truly up to you at this stage.

2. Lifestyle 

This one goes hand-in-hand with location. Are you an outdoorsy type who loves a good hike or kayaking? Is culture and accessibility to restaurants, shops, and stores important to you? The type of lifestyle you seek will help determine which location will be right for you.

3. Space

Consider how much space you will actually need. Would a one bedroom suffice? Do you have extended family you would like to accommodate from time to time? Perhaps you don’t need the square footage you once did, but you would like a large outdoor space. Are you done with the maintenance of a big yard and ready for a luxury building where any maintenance is handled for you?

4. Layout

The majority of empty-nesters make the switch to one level living whether that’s a single-family home, townhouse, or condo. Open floor plans conducive to entertaining are also popular with this demographic.

5. Amenities 

Empty-nesters may be ready for less square footage, but they tend to still want some conveniences such as on-site garage parking. They may also be looking for luxury amenities, such as fitness center, media and club rooms for larger gatherings, and maybe even a pool and other.

While this next chapter can be very exciting, many clients say they just don’t know where to begin. It may seem overwhelming early on and even throughout the process, but I’ve guided many empty nesters through each stage. Please contact me to get started on your adventure of purchasing and owning your new home.

Most and Least Utilized Luxury Amenities

One of the most common decisions potential buyers in the city of Boston make is luxury building or brownstone. If you’ve made the decision to go with luxury building, you are now tasked with deciding which one is right for you. Most buildings have a plethora of amenities offered to their residents, but which ones get the most use and which ones can you live without?

Most Used

Outdoor Space

This is an obvious one. Since the pandemic, people are craving outdoor space be it private, common, roof deck or courtyard. These spaces are a favorite among luxury building residents.

Remote Work Spaces

Another pandemic-related anomaly. With the 40 hour work week shifting, we’re seeing more people working from home in some capacity. Your condo may work just fine for day-to-day, but for those calls and big meetings, it’s nice to have space available to suit your needs.

Playrooms

Playrooms help fill a gap for city dwellers who may not have the space for a large playroom for little ones. Keeping the mess out of your personal space is an added bonus!

Game Rooms

Rooms with billiard tables, foosball, and other adult games are usually buzzing with residents and their friends enjoying a few games after a long day of work and on the weekends.

Pool

This amenity, especially the indoor variety, tend to get the most use from families in the building. It’s a great way to burn some energy during the colder months.

Least Used

Screening Rooms

Most people will either watch the movie, big game or fight on their own televisions or at a point now where they feel comfortable returning to movie theaters.

Pet Grooming Stations

While pet parks are widely used by residents, most people prefer to take their pet elsewhere for their grooming needs vs. DIY.

Basketball Court

Most basketball lovers will join a league or gather with a few buddies outside or at a club; they are not necessarily taking advantage of the court in their building.

Complimentary Breakfast

Before, but especially since the pandemic, most buildings have stopped offering this service as it’s costly and an immense waste when the food gets left behind.

Golf Simulators

These sound really cool, but as I was researching this post, article after article unanimously declared golf simulators the most overrated amenity available in luxury buildings.

If you’re looking to learn more about luxury buildings in Boston, contact me and let’s set up a consultation!

5 Influential Women in Real Estate

Barbara Corcoran

Most people know Barbara Corcoran for her role as an investor on Shark Tank, but her background and story is inspirational. This New Jersey native had humble beginnings as the second of ten children in a working class home. She borrowed $1,000 and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years Barbara would parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business, building the largest and best-known brand in the business.

Dorcas Helfant

Dorcas was the first female president of the National Association of Realtors. She elected to the office in 1992 and was also the first woman to serve as the president of her state association. Her service to others in her profession included a key merger of her own real estate firm with other Caldwell Banker firms that provided “an effective career track for our associates.”

Ebby Halliday

Any woman who started and owned a business in the late 1930’s was almost by definition a trailblazer, but Ebby was not satisfied with owning her own hat boutique. She easily transitioned to residential real estate and dominated the Dallas market for decades. She credited her success to simple hard work and caring about the needs of others.

Tracy Dodson

While women have been very successful in residential real estate, commercial real estate has been a much more difficult market. Only 35% of professionals in this sector are women, and virtually all of them work in property management. As vice president of brokerage and development at Lincoln Harris in Charlotte, N.C. Tracy is one of the pioneers in commercial real estate development.

Debra Cafaro

Debra has blazed a trail of success. She took over the helm at Ventas, a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in 1999, the firm was facing collapse. The sole tenant of the properties was bankrupt and had stopped paying rent. The firm had a market cap of $200 million and $1 billion in debt. In addition, there were claims of Medicare fraud.

Now, Debra is recognized for returning shareholder 3,981.3 % for the 16 years ended December 31, 2015. She is one of only 23 CEOs named by Harvard Business Review for four consecutive years and one of only two women on the 2017 list. This same year Forbes Magazine recognized her as among the 100 most powerful women in the world.

It feels good to be in such good company as a woman in real estate!

Spring Market Prep

It’s March – which means the spring market is upon us. If you’re thinking of selling your home this season, here are five quick tips to help you prep.

1. Give your entryway a facelift

Your entryway is similar to a first impression as it’s the first space potential buyers will see upon entering your home. Whether it’s small or grand, you want to make sure it communicates functionality and style. Some essentials include a place to sit and take your shoes off, hang your coat, and a table or shelf for “drop off” items.

2. Wash the windows

It’s been a long winter! Do a deep clean on both the inside, outside, and on those window sills. Clean and clear windows contribute to an overall clean vibe in your home.

3. Make small fixes

Touch up the paint, fix that wonky drawer in the kitchen, tighten up hardware, etc. You want to your home to be in the best shape possible before showings.

4. Declutter

Less is definitely more when it comes to prepping a house for sale. It’s the perfect opportunity to donate those gently used items you no longer use or wear. Since you’re considering a move, it may be a good time to rent a storage unit to keep any larger unnecessary items that are taking up valuable interior real estate!

5. Bring in the experts

The right realtor will be able to make recommendations, hire a stager, or connect you with the right people to assist with any minor or major home improvements/renovations, and guide you through the entire process from before your home hits the market through closing day and beyond!

If you’re considering a move, contact me and let’s discuss the ways I can help!

Top Second Home Locations Across the Country

Big Sky, Montana

A mountain lovers dream second home! There is best-in-class skiing in the winter and adventure via hiking, biking, and exploring the mountains in warmer weather. Big Sky is a vibrant town with restaurants, shops, and just a short drive to Yellowstone National Park.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs conjures up images of hot springs, Palm Trees, and depending on your age, Coachella and/or home of mid-century design. There are stylish hotels, excellent golf resorts, vintage boutiques, and fantastic restaurants. It’s easy to see why Palm Springs lands at the top of many second home destination lists.

Seaside, Oregon

This resort town in the Pacific Northwest is legendary. There’s the spectacular coastline, greenery, spectacular moments that all appear to have a gray filter thanks to the amount of rain in the area, but it adds to the beauty. The culture is often described as fun and laidback. If you’re looking for a different kind of coastal experience as an escape, I highly recommending looking into Seaside.

Ludlow, Vermont

Ludlow is the closest to home for us Bostonians; it’s also home to Okemo Mountain making it a fantastic ski destination. There are lots of bars and restaurants making it perfect for year round getaways.

Harbor Springs, Michigan

This charming waterfront community nestled into the Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. Residents here claim you can actually feel time slow down here – a welcomed change of pace from city life in the Northeast.

Key West, Florida

If you’re looking for a small town with tropical weather year round and plenty of activities, then you may want to consider Key West. Although Key West is a 3 hour drive from Miami, you will want to ensure proper planning as it is still island living making the cost of goods more expensive than on main land.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Sometimes called the west’s “most western town”, Scottsdale is definitely has an old cowboy vibe. More recently, it’s been referred to as the “Miami of the desert” thanks to the growing number of restaurants, nightclubs, and lounges around town. It’s also surrounded by ~200 golf courses. There is truly something for everyone here!

Sevierville, Tennessee

Located in the Smoky Mountains and birthplace to Dolly Parton, Sevierville is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. There’s lot of outdoor adventures and places to explore or if you’re more into culture/education, there are institutes such as the Aviation museum and Titanic museum and more!

What is your ideal location for a second home? Let me know in the comments!

10 Must-Haves in Your New Construction Home

Building the home of your dreams is an amazing experience whether you’re building in the ‘burbs or you purchase a unit in a building and have the opportunity to customize your space to your taste. I put together a curated list of must-haves for new construction homes that are applicable in either the suburbs or the city. Keep reading for inspiration.

1. Custom Built-ins

Built-ins add weight and visual interest to your home in addition to their tremendous storage benefits paricularly when it comes to city living where you may want to maximize every inch of space.

2. Smart Technology

Start your oven, shut off your lights, turn down the heat, all from the convenience of your cell phone. It’s the future and it’s here now so why not incorporate it into your space?

3. Under Cabinet Outlets

Placing outlets under the cabinets helps to keep your backsplash looking clean and your countertops appear clutter-free without hanging wires.

4. Pull Out Cabinet

This is a great option for small spaces. You can pull out a cabinet to use as a cutting board or island if you’re entertaining guests and need more surface space.

5. Interior Garden

We’re all about blurring the lines between in and outdoors and we all find ourselves called closer to nature as a result of the pandemic. An interior garden can help improve the air quality in your home, plus it’s proven that even looking at a photo of a plant can increase serotonin in your brain.

6. Window Seat

A window seat is great use of space, whether in a bedroom, office or living room, to cozy up with book, a glass of wine or just to appreciate the outdoors from within. Window seats also work in breakfast nook for additional seating.

7. Room/Space for What You Love

Maybe you don’t have the extra room, but you can certainly combine a home office with a passion of yours or you can carve out a corner of your home as an art space, crafting, puzzles, library, gaming, whatever you are into!

8. Heated Floors

Even if you just have the budget to do this in your bathroom – DO IT! It feels amazing first thing in the morning or after a long day commuting home in the New England winter. Once you have a heated floor, you’ll never want to go with it. I have a heated bathroom floors and now it’s a must have in any future home!

9. Floor-to-ceiling Fireplace

Bringing your fireplace up to the ceiling with stone creates height and a dramatic visual. It really elevates the aesthetic of your space!

10. Wet Room

A wet room is where the shower floor is flush with the rest of the floor and all of the materials in the bathroom can sustain getting wet. They’re ultra trendy right now, but I believe they have staying power as they elicit such a luxurious and spa-like vibe.

Which of these would be a must-have in your new construction home? Let me know in the comments!

Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year: Veri Peri

To be honest, I was a little surprised at Pantone’s pick for COTY this time around. I thought the organization would follow the organic, earthy tones that have been steadily gaining popularity. I headed over to their site to read more about it. Pantone describes Veri Peri as “a new Pantone color whose courageous presence encourages personal inventiveness and creativity” and inspired by the digital world as interest in the metaverse and NFT artist community rise in popularity. You can read more about it here. Let’s take a look at ways you can incorporate this hue into your home.

Go All In

If you’re going to incorporate Very Peri into your home, why not paint a room or even the ceiling like in the photo example above. The periwinkle blue shade has red undertones that allow it to complement the browns, beiges, and golds that many of us already have in our home.

Add a Statement Piece

Adding a Very Peri colored chair or piece of furniture in your home is a fantastic way to show you’re design-savvy without fully committing to the hue as you would with paint.

Small Accessories

This is for those of us who want baby steps. A Veri Peri throw, pillows, rug, vase, etc. allows you to introduce the hue into your home. These are some of the most frequently swapped out items in a home so you’re commitment level is fairly low.

Paint Your Kitchen Island

Who doesn’t love an accent island? This shade works really well with the calming green, white tile backsplash, stainless steel, and warm-toned wood floors.

Update Your Artwork

Artwork is easy way to incorporate this color into your home without making a major investment depending on the piece you select. I like the way the photo above adds a punch of color, but stays with the modern organic style of the home.

Will you be incorporating Pantone’s Veri Peri into your home this season? Let me know in the comments!