Extraordinary Properties from Maui to Cambridge

Extraordinary Properties from Maui to Cambridge

Bringing the outdoors in creates a relaxing, grounded space that truly feels like home
Bringing the outdoors in creates a relaxing, grounded space that truly feels like home

W hen home and nature intersect, the results can be whimsical, wondrous and sometimes even majestic – and it’s always transformative.

A growing focus on biophilic design, a discipline that specialises in the relationship between a home and its surroundings, is both inspired by nature and a celebration of it. Embracing the abundance of the environment – natural light, fresh air and an earthy colour palette – anchors a home in a way that makes it feel aligned with its habitat, without intruding on the landscape.

“People respond well to having that indoor-outdoor relationship,” says John Potter, architect and partner at Morgante Wilson Architects in Evanston, Illinois. “There’s something primordial about being close to nature. It helps people relax, makes them more reflective and I think it slows life down.”

On Maui, Hawaii, a contemporary estate in the sought-after Kapalua Resort embodies a true “sense of place,” says Courtney M Brown of Island Sotheby’s International Realty. Kapalua Resort, a collection of luxury residential and condominium communities, is situated on a former pineapple plantation surrounded by more than 20,000 acres that extend from the Pacific Ocean to the West Maui Mountains. According to Brown, the developers wanted the resort to blend with its surroundings. “The vision was so precise that the colour for the roof tiles was matched to the colour of an interior leaf of a pineapple crown so that one would just see the greenery and not the development,” she says.

"A growing focus on biophilic design, a discipline that specialises in the relationship between a home and its surroundings, is both inspired by nature and a celebration of it."

The home itself surrounds a courtyard with floor-to-ceiling windows that have views of landscaped tropical gardens filled with bromeliads, ferns and birds of paradise. The living room features pocketing glass doors that open toward the ocean. “The home doesn’t stand in discord, but rather in harmony, bringing the interior and outdoors together seamlessly,” Brown says.

While some homes are great observers of nature, others are rooted in it. Or, rather, off it, dangling precariously from cliffs and mountains. In urban spaces, the way to get closer to nature is by going up, using roof decks and “living” walls – also known as vertical gardens – as design opportunities.

As market demand shows, it’s clear that blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors is not a trend, but a movement. “Homeowners are no longer thinking about how they used to live but how they want to live,” says Potter. “It’s every architect’s dream to be part of that transformation.”

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

From the moment you enter this home, across a bridge through a tropical landscaped courtyard, the views of the Pacific Ocean and the outer island of Molokai begin to unfold. The great room features soaring ceilings and pocket doors that open to the expansive lanai and infinity edge pool with a beach shelf and spa. The inner courtyard has floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors that open the chef’s kitchen to an outdoor bar where you can entertain while enjoying Maui’s spectacular sunsets.


Property ID: 766FRW
Island Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtney M Brown +1 808 250 0210

Salisbury, Connecticut

The property, built to recall the Adirondack “Great Camps” of the Gilded Age, resides on a rare double lot on Twin Lakes with 220ft of sandy beach. The stone and slate-roofed house takes advantage of views over the lake to Bear Mountain, with expansive windows on the lake-facing side. The patio has a covered gazebo, a life-size chess set and an outdoor fireplace, and leads out to an infinity edge spa with sunset views.


Property ID: FDPRNF
William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty
Patricia Best +1 860 307 0591
David Mallison +1 860 459 5273

Scottsdale, Arizona

Nestled in the cactus-strewn landscape of the high Sonoran desert, this unique home proves that artistic creativity and functional living coexist. The storefront door opens to a central courtyard situated on a peninsula between two arroyos. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls surround the courtyard and blend the indoors and outdoors seamlessly without compromising privacy or security. With all its artistic details, the home is designed for quiet solitude but will accommodate memorable desert extravaganzas with enchanting experiences for many.


Property ID: SN6FTZ
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
Dan Wolski +1 480 266 7557

Newport Coast, CA

This hilltop estate is prominently positioned on a private front-row lot behind the prestigious second gates of Crystal Cove. Northern Italian architecture is accentuated by nearly 175 linear ft in front, and about 200 linear ft in back, of ocean and rolling hillside views. No expense was spared in creating this undeniable showpiece that offers over 22,000 sq ft of living space featuring numerous covered loggias, terraces, open-air courtyards and a 3,000 sq ft 15-car garage.


Property ID: DD3XS2
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty
John Cain +1 714 655 8940

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Casa Sur is an exclusive beachfront home in the Pedregal community in Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur, Mexico. The community’s distinctive architectural style, while flexible and inclusive, is noteworthy for incorporating the natural topography and arresting seascape to the overall plan. One of Casa Sur’s many outstanding features is the floor-to-ceiling window in the living room that opens entirely to create an ample indoor-outdoor living area. It is a front-row seat to humpback whale watching and turtle hatchling releases on the beach.


Property ID: Y6HZHP
Los Cabos Sotheby's International Realty
Gabriela Velazquez +52 624 141 6762

Southwest Ranches, Florida

Enjoy an equestrian paradise on this finely manicured 7.5 acre estate in Southwest Ranches, complete with its own lagoon and native trees. The property comes with a plethora of outdoor entertainment areas, including a tennis court, soccer pitch, a state-of-the-art sand equestrian rink, infinity edge pool and 10 large horse stalls. Two separate pergolas built with designer Michael Penalis come complete with an outdoor kitchen including a hibachi grill, pizza oven, wine fridge and barbecue.


Property ID: 5LWVXX
ONE Sotheby's International Realty
Chad Bishop +1 517 819 4989

Floating Boulder, Maine

This 6,500 sq ft award-winning three-season retreat and sanctuary is carefully fitted into nature. This 119-acre parcel is part of a much larger approximately 483-acre “kingdom property”, which is defined by stunning topography and geologic formations, including two mountains, spectacular cliffs, mature forest canopy and a mile-and-a-half of private water frontage on one of Maine’s clearest and deepest lakes. The shoreline provides a private cove for swimming, canoeing and kayaking. Includes multiple potential building sites for creating a compound on prime parcels of equal appeal.


Property ID: YZ69C5
Legacy Properties, Sotheby's International Realty
Elizabeth Banwell +1 207 780 8900

Cambridge, Massachusetts

“Garden House” is a mystery to behold. You can’t see it from the street, and you wouldn't even know it was there unless you were invited in. At the end of a pretty garden path in the middle of Cambridgeport stands a unique wood-framed cedar-clad structure that has a quietness about it, and is as much a sanctuary as a house. Designed and built in 2015 by world-renowned designer Sebastian Mariscal for himself and his family, Garden House carefully blends the inside spaces with the natural world. Both the living and dining rooms transition seamlessly through mahogany and glass doors to an integral lush patio. There is a sanctuary garden within the primary suite, a walled patio in the lower level suite and a breakfast patio off the kitchen: over 1,300 sq ft of outdoor living space in all.


Property ID: VHKRH4
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty
The May Group
+1 617 429 3188

Sotheby’s Magazine

About the Author

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top