Five luxurious homes that provide the perfect backdrop for a variety of treasured art and objects.
Garages as showrooms. Museum-calibre sculpture gardens. Personal libraries with Dewey Decimal swagger. For some homeowners, a passion for cars, fine art or rare books extends beyond their treasures to the environments that showcase them.
J Kuper, principal broker at Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, sees it all the time: “Collections often reflect what individuals have been able to accomplish in their lives,” he says. Being surrounded by their art and objects is “a kind of reward.”
Thoughtful staging transforms these prizes into experiences. One home in Austin features an expansive art gallery with high ceilings to display the owner’s collection of large-scale paintings and sculptures. Acquisitions are often steeped in memories, and an extraordinary setting allows the stories behind each item to be told.
“Space, lighting and proportion are all of equal importance when showcasing any kind of art,” says Roger Ferris, a contemporary art collector and architect with offices in New York and Connecticut. A well-conceived home gallery sets up “an intimate dialogue,” he explains, and provides “opportunities to discover the art” as one moves through the space.
There is no question that viewing blue-chip art in a customised environment in your residence or sipping a rare vintage in the comfort of your own exquisite wine cellar elevates your enjoyment. And auto enthusiasts have been known to spend upwards of six figures on custom-built showrooms for their collectible cars with adjoining club rooms and full-time mechanics.
The true measure of whether a setting does its collection justice is simple: Does it make you happy? “Collectors can have horrible days,” says Benjamin Doller, Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s New York. “But when they come home and look at one of their paintings, it puts them in a wonderful mood.”
New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Newsday, among others.
This extraordinary palazzo has been exquisitely restored to the highest standards. Sensitively adapted for the modern family, the more than 1,115 square metres of living space includes an impressive marble entrance hall and a glass-enclosed courtyard that exposes all rooms to natural light. The wall of the main stairwell features carefully placed mirrors, so that paintings hung opposite are repeated in reverse, creating a dramatic effect.
Price Upon Request Property ID: M2KXM8 | sir.com
Malta Sotheby’s International Realty
Michael J. Zammit +356 9910 8070
This remarkable home on John’s Island Sound is an architectural masterpiece, beginning with double-front antique doors from a Civil War-era hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. The mirrored foyer leads into a great room in which a two-storey Chicago brick fireplace is capped by a six-panel skylight. The great room is flanked on both sides by six artistic etched-glass sliding doors, which open to two carpeted four-car garages.
$4,995,000 Property ID: X3H7YK | sir.com
Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty
Scott Carson +1 772 633 5945
Close to Austin’s contemporary art museum lies an estate designed to house an art collection of its own. Created for a collector with a love of architecture, the high ceilings and open spaces accommodate large statement pieces. The skylit, centrally-located gallery is visible from most rooms, and a two-storey atrium allows works to be viewed from above.
$1,599,000 Property ID: V34N94| sir.com
Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Susan Griffith +1 512 327 4800
Majestically perched 120 feet above the Atlantic Ocean on the South Shore of Martha’s Vineyard, the magnificent Chilmark House is an award-winning triumph of design and execution. This comfortable yet luxurious island retreat served as the White House’s 2013 summer home. Its panoramic ocean views, gracious skylights, huge windows and wonderful details are simply extraordinary. An art collector’s dream, this home offers abundant wall space to showcase art.
$19,125,000 Property ID: 5XVMBN | sir.com
Wallace & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty
+1 508 627 3313
Experience unparalleled privacy, unsurpassed quality and utmost security throughout this remarkable estate, which is nestled in the middle of more than 30 pristine acres and located only a ten-minute drive from San Antonio International Airport. This spectacular home, crafted with the finest materials, features bold custom displays for fine art and collectibles.
$17,500,000 Property ID: ZHE484 | sir.com
Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Binkan Cinaroglu +1 210 241 4550
Rick Kuper +1 210 240 8282