Trending | Luxury Kitchen Design


The kitchen is the heart of the home. Designing the space where family and friends gather to refuel, reconnect and make memories is one of the most crucial aspects of any home design or renovation. Today’s top designers and decorators are putting an emphasis on creating a relaxing atmosphere while using quality materials, efficient design and state-of-the-art technology. “Modern design trends have turned kitchens from merely functional spaces to places for all family members to use and relax in,” says Michelle Wipperfurth, interior designer at Vertical Arts Architecture in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, who believes that planning your color scheme is the most important stop. “This will help you decide on the designs and materials you wish to use. It’s becoming fashionable to use neutral colors, textures and organic materials.”

Higher Quality, Better Efficiency

High-end kitchen design once went hand-in-hand with extravagant details, but the tide has turned. “Clients today are focusing less on ornamental decoration and more on higher quality materials for kitchen designs for efficiency, durability and functionality,” says Wendy Raizin of Raizin Design. “For example, I prefer to opt for open, industrial shelving when designing a modern kitchen with a relaxed feel. Why open doors when you can have everything in front of you to see and reach easily? Also, the design must consider ideal distances from appliance to counter for optimal functionality. The old school of thought in kitchen design was to create a cooking triangle. The new school: cooking stations (think foodie culture). This is ideal when more than one person is working in the kitchen at a time, which is usually the case.”

Once considered taboo in luxury kitchens, man-made materials are now gaining traction, according to Jamie Gold, Certified Kitchen Designer and the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work. “Years ago, you would expect to only find marble or granite topping luxury cabinets or underfoot,” she says. “Today it’s not uncommon to find engineered stone tops and rectified porcelain on the floor.  This is particularly true for kitchens that extend into outdoor living spaces, where tile provides for easier living.”

The New Pantry

Storage space remains a top priority, but the latest designs are shifting away from the traditional kitchen pantry. “The days of walk-in pantries are all but gone unless they can be created in a very sophisticated/clean way,” says Tampa, Florida architect David Balber. “I have done kitchens that when you look at them all you see are cabinets, but then you pull on one cabinet and it is actually a door that leads to a secret walk-in pantry — something like Batman would have!” he explains.  Balber’s latest designs have included the cabinet pantry, where the kitchen “looks like a bunch of cabinets, and then you pull on some of the cabinets and the entire wall pulls out exposing shelving for cereals, bread, cans, etc. – very sleek and easy to see all the food.”

Technology Rules

“Technology is always at the forefront of luxury kitchen design,” adds Darlene Molnar, a Washington, D.C.-based interior designer. “From super-quiet dishwashers to ovens you can operate with your phone,  convenience is key.” Molnar is also reporting an increase in requests for hot water dispensers, much like the pot-fillers that have been a staple in luxury kitchens for years. “Homeowners what anything that puts what you need at your fingertips more quickly!”

Historic Property: The James A. Blakeney House

9214 Blakeney Heath Road, Charlotte, North Carolina

This highly significant historic landmark, the James A. Blakeney house, has been completely renovated. The current owner added a saltwater pool and a recreational room above a three-car detached garage giving the home 11,00 square feet of additional heated living area. The Blakeney area is rapidly growing, and is in one of Charlotte’s most desired zip codes. A place of beauty, charm, and solace.


Equestrian Paradise: Sheik Island



 36225 Covington Road, Dade City, Florida

This equestrian facility was designed for the serious horseman. The gorgeous barn, designed by award-winning Blackburn Architects, focuses on light, adequate air flow, and safety of both horse and handler while being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This farm is centrally located between Tampa, Ocala, and Orlando in hilly, Dade City, FL. It is approximately 50 minutes to downtown Tampa.


Luxury Real Estate Headlines

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty.

2014_9_19_Cape Town_SAR 49 000 000 | Cape Town, South Africa | Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

Africans purchase for exactly the same reason as Europeans, because Cape Town is an exceptionally beautiful city with world-class food and services,” said Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

Decline in the Rand Helps Push Cape Town SalesThe New York Times

House of the Day: A Hong Kong RetreatThe Wall Street Journal

House of the Day: An English Manor in DallasThe Wall Street Journal

Florida Property Once Owned by Ivan Lendl Will List for $21.5 MillionThe Wall Street Journal

On the Market: Rhineland-Palatinate, GermanyArchitectural Digest

Smooth Jazz Meets Stormy DesignThe Wall Street Journal

House Hunting in … the Dominican RepublicThe New York Times

Home of the Day: Midcentury rambler in AltadenaThe Los Angeles Times

Unusual Sowden Residence in Los Feliz asking $4.875 millionThe Los Angeles Times

FHA Fees Are Holding Back First-Time HomebuyersAmerican Banker

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to Auction 3 PaintingsThe New York Times

Born in a MinuteSotheby’s

Spa and Wellness Trends

shutterstock_42786292 spa image

Spafinder Wellness has released its annual spa and wellness forecast, highlighting the latest industry trends. At the core of each trend is the principle of mindful living, the idea that every action we take should be done with intention. Mindful living breeds both a healthy mind and body, as this list illustrates:

Healthy Hotels

Gone are the days of luxury amenities being synonymous with excess. Today’s most exclusive hotels are putting the pursuit of health and wellness at the top of the hospitality list. From state-of-the-art fitness and spa offerings to healthy restaurant options, healthy hotels have become a megatrend.

Wired Wellness

Fitness trackers, online tools and mobile health apps make a healthy lifestyle easier than ever. While experts debate the pros and cons of constant connectivity, the convenience of a wired lifestyle for the fitness buff can’t be denied.

Hot Springs

While the idea of hot springs dates back to Roman times, thermal springs are literally and figuratively hotter than ever this year. The therapeutic benefits are undeniably, and new hot springs are being developed around the world.

Suspending Gravity

The floating trend is indeed “rising,” as a global craze for aerial and anti-gravity classes and yoga are taking flight. Anti-gravity treadmills are among the most popular pieces of new equipment this year.

Ferocious Fitness

Unlike the term, the key to ferocious fitness is fun. This trend is highlighted by themed marathons, mud runs and athletes competing for either their personal best or semi-professional status. Group training and high-intensity workouts are fueling this trend.

Natural Beauty Meets Social Media

Could the era of faux beauty and air-brushing be behind us? Perhaps so, considering the trend of focusing on nude, natural, low-risk products in the “selfie” age.


Scent has always been an important component of any spa experience, but wellness gurus are using aromatherapy more and more in the treatment of pain, depression, insomnia, and other physical and mental ailments.

Wellness Retreats

The economic upturn has reignited interest in the destination spa industry. More and more people are traveling to do a vacation spa experience. In addition, more urban spas are popping up for city dwellers who want a getaway while close to home.

Death and Spas

While it may seem dark, this wellness trend is actually the light at the end of grief’s tunnel. Spa offerings are now included in hospital, hospice and assisted-living settings, as a therapy to deal with life’s transitions.

Surprising Spa Destinations

This trend is fueled by wellness enthusiasts who are seeking new, exotic locations. While Thailand or Turks and Caicos have always been popular spa destinations, savvy spa-goers are trekking to more indigenous locations. Nicaragua’s luxury Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa resort is one such example of a recent hot spot once considered off the beaten path.



Historic Residence: Fairfield Estate

7430 Landis Road, Winnsboro, South Carolina

Fairfield Estate is a stunning property, c1774, with over 280 acres including the Main House, Kitchen House and numerous other buildings as well as stunning terraced gardens, hunting land and timber. The home is listed on the Nat’l Register of Historic Places. The original Kitchen has been renovated into a guest house. The pool is flanked by beautiful stone buildings with a bath house and cabana. The acreage is heavily wooded and the estate includes a fully outfitted stone hunting cabin.

Finest and Rarest Wines | Sotheby's

Finest and Rarest Wines
Including Henri Jayer Magnums from
the Exceptional Cellar of James H. Clark &
The Romanée Conti Superlot

The latest offering of the world’s best wines are available to aficionados around the globe simply registering online. Learn more about Sotheby’s Wine here.



The sale will be held on 4 October (Saturday) at Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. A total of 778 lots will be offered in a single day, estimated at HK$35 – 53 Million / US$4.5 – 6.7 Million.

This highly-focused wine sale will feature a wealth of top-notch Burgundies, led by an historic Henri Jayer collection and the Romanée-Conti Superlot. Given their small productions, Burgundies have been in ever-growing demand globally. The Burgundy lots make up over 40% of the total number of lots available in this sale and account for approximately 70% of the value, making the sale a noteworthy occasion for Burgundy lovers in Asia and beyond.

The auction starts with a magnificent selection of Henri Jayer magnums from the exceptional cellar of James H. Clark, founder of Netscape Communications Corporation.This collection of 66 magnums in 19 lots is estimated at HK$5.9 – 8.8 million / US$750,000 – 1.12 million. Of the 66 magnums offered, 19 are the extremely rare Vosne-Romanée, Cros Parantoux 1990.

The second feature of this auction is the 114-bottle Romanée-Conti Superlot of 19 consecutive vintages (6 bottles per vintage from 1992 to 2010) estimated at HK$12 – 20 million / US$1.5 – 2.5 million, making it the most valuable wine auction lot ever offered.

Champagne, rare Whiskies and California wines from best vintages in multiple formats will be available as well, offering wine collectors tantalising varieties from the fine Burgundies and Bordeaux.

To view other Hong Kong sales, please visit our dedicated AUTUMN SALES 2014 page

First Look: Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon

Sotheby’s will offer a curated selection of important fine art from the distinguished collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon in a dedicated evening auction on 10 November. Ranging from 17th-century still lifes through to masterpieces of the 20th century, the incredible breadth and depth of Mrs. Mellon’s fine art reveals her ultimate connoisseurship, and an approach to collecting across styles and genres that is increasingly rare. View the video below, and click here for more information.
Sotheby’s is honoured to offer Property from the Collection of Mrs Paul Mellon, a series of auctions in November offering over 2,000 individual items acquired over a lifetime. Join us for a first look.

Buffalo Run, Tarpon Springs

Magnificent Mediterranean 16 acre estate consisting of a main residence with 21,000 square feet under roof, a guest house with 6200 square feet under roof, and a gated boardwalk leading to 11 miles of riding trails. Aesthetics, precision and ultimate craftsmanship are evident in every square inch of this home; not only is it beautiful, but it is an experience in the latest trends in luxury home construction. Nine bedrooms, 13 full baths and four half baths. Featuring a resort water park purported to be the largest residential pool in Florida with 14 tumbling waterfalls and a lazy river, a 1200 bottle capacity sunken wine cellar and a unique entertaining wing. The Village comprises a movie house with marquee, a pub, a poker and cigar room, loft style music lounge, an ice-cream shop and a book store/library. Plus, a six-car motor court, a 300kw generator, a private entrance gatehouse, a gym containing full circuit fitness equipment and an attached spa with a choice of sauna or steam room. The features and amenities of this extraordinary property are exquisite, and endless.