2005 Ultimate Home Tour


Driven by Genius. Leonardo da Vinci's 500-Year-Old Fiat

From This Issue

Robb Design Portfolio: Out of the Woods

A few miles from Joseph Walsh’s 19th-century-style studio in County Cork, Ireland, a forest of yew trees adorns the countryside. When searching for materials and inspiration for his furniture pieces, however, the designer prefers to immerse himself in the environs of his clients. The chaise longues he created for Park Hotel Kenmare’s Sámas spa in […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Facade

Like the shape of a car or the cut of a suit, the architecture of a home can be an extension of its owner. Commissioned by a husband and wife who work in the fields of science and business, respectively, this Southern California home by architectural designer Wallace Cunningham is intended as a structural portrait […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Entrance

Designer James Magni claims that in his 25 years as a designer, he has never seen an art collection as stunning as the one that belongs to his clients who own this Beverly Hills house. The owners, a retired industrialist and his wife, who is a trustee of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, wanted […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Living Room

Most people cannot remember the last time they set foot in their living room. Often conceived as a formal space for receiving company, it is usually ignored in favor of more functional, family-friendly spaces. “A lot of people come into my office and say that they want a living room for resale value, but they […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Dining Room

When her clients insisted on a table that would seat 24 people, interior designer Jennifer Garrigues doubted that she would be able to comply. “Then I was shopping in London and found the perfect antique table with exactly 24 chairs,” says Garrigues, who was born in England and is now based in Palm Beach, Fla., […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Kitchen

The only thing better than owning a brand-new custom home in Southern California is acquiring a historic residence designed by a master architect. Topping the ranks of the latter are the early-20th-century houses by Wallace Neff, best known for creating the estates of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and Katharine Hepburn. Kitchen designer […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Home Theater

Like many homeowners who want more than just big screens and great sound in their home theaters, the proprietors of this Windermere, Fla., house considered the work of industry leader Theo Kalomirakis. “We thought about consulting him for this project, but the husband is a technophile and the wife is a retired interior designer,” says […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Bedroom

At first glance, this penthouse bedroom appears to be a Park Avenue dream retreat. However, with 8,500 square feet of living space, the residence is hardly the kind of place available on the Upper East Side. “The husband is a real estate developer, and the family moved to Florida from New York,” says designer Greg […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Bath

Despite the 3,000 square feet of glass mosaic tile that was used to cover nearly every inch of this 500-square-foot bathroom, designer Charles Greenwood insists that it is not an overwhelming element. “People don’t walk in and say, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of tile.’ They walk in and say it’s like nothing they have ever […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Gym

The design of this Bel-Air, Calif., home gym, with its green suede walls, stainless steel columns, and dark-stained walnut wood floor, matches the modernist decor of the house at large. More significantly, the equipment—dumbbells, barbells, weight racks, and custom-built machines, which have been powder-coated brown and upholstered in matching Italian leather—complements the bachelor homeowner’s build. […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Cave

Although the idea of modern man attempting to build an ultimate cave may be rife with irony, the subterranean spaces that Bacchus Caves creates dispel the notion that something so primitive cannot be luxurious. Since 1997, Bacchus Caves owner David Provost has been tunneling into mountains to make way for not only wine cellars but […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Landscape

With its mountains, beaches, and wide-open spaces, Malibu attracts residents who want to be close to the city of Los Angeles, but not in it. However, even Eden had its serpent, and Malibu’s drawbacks are mud slides and wildfires. “There is a lot of water on the property, and the structures are all made out […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Garage

When his work hours were cutting deeply into his play time, a client of Guy Dreier’s came to the residential architect seeking a solution. “All my client did was work. Even in his vacation home, the room he spent the most time in was the office,” says Dreier, who has offices in Palm Desert, Calif., […]

From The Editors: Cultivating Ideals

Architecture as a practical solution exists simply to house people; its impractical purpose, however, is to house our ideals. The critical distinction between a building of significance and one simply of size is the presence of an organizing idea that permeates every line and angle, giving no quarter to superfluities that might dilute the purity […]

Home Electronics: Bright Idea

High-end audio manufacturers sometimes gnash their teeth at the mention of Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, or Armani. These brands are synonymous with luxury cars, watches, and clothing, yet all of the luxury audio marques remain obscure to everyone other than electronics enthusiasts—except, perhaps, for one company. B&W, also known as Bowers & Wilkins, may not be a […]

Appliances: Continental Connect

Long before expanding from Europe into North America, SieMatic was creating kitchen designs with international appeal. Founded as August Siekmann Möbelwerke by August Siekmann in 1929 in Löhne, Germany, the kitchen cabinetmaker made its world debut at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1960 under the guidance of Siekmann’s son, August-Wilhelm, who served as company chairman […]

Furnishings: In-Line Design

Clients of Stephen Sills and James Huniford may recognize some of the pieces in Dwellings, the first collection of furniture and home furnishings from the owners of the Sills Huniford Associates interior design firm in New York City. “All of the ideas come from the classical, custom designs we’ve done over the years for ourselves, […]

FrontRunners: Cruising The Kimberley

Guests aboard orion, a new 106-passenger ship operated by Orion Expedition Cruises (+61.2.9033.8700, http://www.orioncruises.com.au), will enjoy an in-depth look at an out-of-the-way land during the vessel’s first voyage to the Kimberley in northwestern Australia. The Kimberley encompasses nearly 140,000 square miles of sparsely populated plateaus, rain forests, and steep-walled canyons, and the inaugural cruise to […]

FrontRunners: Friendly Takeover

Rodeos, bingo nights, and horseback rides are among the activities that prompt many families—often three generations at a time—to return every year to the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort (800.425.4725, http://www.alisal.com). Now, through the resort’s new Rent the Ranch program, extended families and other large groups can take over this 10,000-acre retreat in the hills […]

FrontRunners: Inn For The Long Haul

The Alex (212.867.5100, http://www.thealexhotel.com), a 33-story addition to midtown Manhattan’s landscape, straddles the line between hotel and apartment building. Sure, you can book a room for a single night, but for many guests, the apartment-style suites with gourmet kitchens, flat-panel LCD TVs, and digital audio systems serve as a sleek home away from home for […]

Travel: Sacred Silence

Free-associate with the word Venice, and likely responses will include gondoliers, canals, romance. A cynic might have different rejoinders: flooding, crowds, subpar restaurants. But most visitors to this island city would agree that it is a destination unlike any other—a sensory overload, especially for the eyes. Streets throb with throngs seduced by the panoply of […]

Home of a Renaissance

The people who designed the main entrance to La Pietra, a villa in Florence, Italy, obviously knew a thing or two about drama. Twin rows of cypress trees line the quarter-mile-long straight sliver of road that leads from the gate to the facade, creating the impression that the house, painted a radiant yellow, is peering […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

  Diablo Gran Fuego One might expect a cigar named after the devil to taste radically different from its peers—and Diablo does. Its heady mix of Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Connecticut leaves inside a spicy Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper helps make this cigar one of the most distinctive introductions from the past year. The Diablo box’s bright […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

  Rusack Anacapa Santa Ynez Valley 2002Santa Barbara County has not proven the ideal location to grow high-quality Bordeaux varietals—as many vintners who aggressively populated the region with these pedigreed vines had discovered by the early 1990s. While some good wines emerged from these labors, most have lacked the vibrancy and structure that characterize the […]

Art: Sporting Goods

Although he gained renown for his paintings of ballet dancers, Edgar Degas demonstrated equal skill portraying horse racing scenes. Quite familiar with Degas’ career, Greg Ladd, founder of the Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, Ky., spends a great deal of time cultivating artists who he believes should apply their considerable skills to creating sporting art. […]

Wine: Insider Tasting

Most visitors to napa valley have a single priority: tasting, and lots of it. John Thoreen, also known as the Wine Tutor, caters to a different crowd. His clients—oenophiles, collectors, and those seeking to expand their knowledge of northern California wines—visit the living rooms of prominent wine-country families, the otherwise off-limits cellars of top vintners, […]

Dining: Green Party

Run your fingers through the chocolate-colored soil of the Jones family’s Huron, Ohio, farm, and you will know you have hit pay dirt, or more accurately, dirt that pays. The soil is the medium in which the Joneses work, and they nurture it with the same care that they lavish on the vegetables and herbs […]

Spirits: A Many-Storied Bottle

An early account of the life of St. Patrick records that the men of Thuath-Mumhan, or Thomond, which is now Ireland’s County Clare, crossed the river Shannon to be baptized by the saint. From that shore, on a hill in County Limerick, St. Patrick blessed the principality—which borders the wind-whipped Atlantic Ocean on the west […]

FrontRunners: Golf Stream

Claiming more golf courses per square mile than any other place on earth, Bermuda has no need (or space) for an additional layout. Roger Rulewich, former chief designer for Robert Trent Jones, has delivered the next best thing with the Tucker’s Point Club (441.298.6915, http://www.tuckerspoint.com), a thorough redesign of the old Castle Harbour course.   […]

Golf: Mountain-High Hat Trick

The ice skates, sticks, jerseys, and trophies on display in the pro shop at the Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club in Victoria, B.C., serve as reminders that hockey is king in Canada. But with several new courses in the country, and the recent success of native son Mike Weir on the PGA Tour (including […]

Sport: Going with the Floe

The ceiling of dense, blue sea ice above us covers water that is a bone-chilling 28 degrees, and the end of the 60-foot yellow rope that connects my dive guide, Graham Dickson, and me to the surface has disappeared in the distance. Under the 4-foot-thick ice, the water of Lancaster Sound, off the north shore […]

Leisure: Long Shots

Like magistrates presiding over an inquisition, a trio of auctioneers sit high on their perches at the back of the auditorium’s stage while a chestnut colt paces anxiously before them and about 300 horse owners, trainers, and other interested parties. All have gathered here this afternoon, the second day of the annual September Yearling Sale […]

Back Page: Horse Sense

Long before they unleash the beast on a track, engineers, through various mathematical equations, can calculate a racecar’s horsepower. As noted in “Long Shots” (page 147), determining a Thoroughbred’s performance capabilities before its racing career commences is a decidedly less precise science. Indeed, the formula for producing a Triple Crown winner remains as elusive as […]

Style: Genuine Articles

Most mornings, brothers Christoph and Georg Wellendorff walk together for about a mile along the winding, tree-lined streets of Pforzheim, Germany, to the headquarters of the Wellendorff jewelry company in the center of town. At noon, they stroll back to their respective homes to share a midday meal with their wives and young children, after […]

FrontRunners: Stage Presence

In 1998, designers Irina Dorofeeva and Maxim Voznessenski drew the curtain back on Jewellery Theatre (+7.095.775.4400, http://www.jewellerytheatre.com), the first Russian haute couture jewelry house since the Revolution. Their concept was to create an atelier based on a theatrical theme, where one-of-a-kind jewelry designs are displayed like characters in a dramatic production using showcases that emulate […]

Watches: Standard Issues

The Swiss are confident that they make the best watches in the world, but they cannot agree on how to prove it. In an attempt to eliminate the confusion created by competing performance standards—including those associated with the Geneva Seal, the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) chronometer certificate, and the Chronofiable durability test—manufacturers from […]

Wardrobe: Sock It to Me

When Chicago artist Gary Berger discovered Ovadafut’s fanciful men’s hosiery in a specialty store, he envisioned the colorful, patterned socks in a montage on his studio walls. Unfortunately, the store’s limited supply could not satisfy his whim, so he flew to New York, where he met with Vivek Nagrani, Ovadafut’s 33-year-old, Indian-born, American-raised owner, who […]

The Specialists

Rolf Schnyder, president and CEO of Ulysse Nardin, sounds like an expectant father when he describes the final touches being applied to his company’s new Royal Blue model. The brand’s latest achievement features a flying tourbillon that floats between movement plates made of transparent blue sapphire crystal rather than the usual solid metal. His enthusiasm […]

Frontrunners: Atomic Energizer

Powered by a 2-liter Honda engine, the Ariel Atom (www.arielmotor.co.uk) will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, faster than any sports car can. And because it weighs only 1,000 pounds—thanks to the absence of doors, a windscreen, and body panels—it offers better braking and cornering than, among others, the BMW M3, formerly […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Monarch’s Marque

Spain’s Alfonso XIII had a hankering for Hispano-Suizas. The king, who reigned from the time of his birth in 1886 to his exile in 1931, acquired his first model of the Spanish-financed, Swiss-engineered, and French-produced automobiles while he was a teenager. He eventually purchased nearly 30 of the vehicles, including the one shown here, the […]

FrontRunners: Sotheby’s At Speed

Among the lots at Sotheby’s (www.sothebys.com) May 23 auction at the Ferrari facility in Maranello, Italy, will be an F2004 that Michael Schumacher drove to victory five times during the 2004 Formula One circuit. The offering will mark the first time a car from the most recent F/1 season has been auctioned, and Sotheby’s estimates […]

Autos: Electrifying Efficiency

The 2006 Lexus RX 400h may be a greener version of the RX 330 SUV, but the carmaker recognizes that saving the planet is not the only concern of those who might drive the gas-electric hybrid. As Denny Clements, group vice president and general manager of the Lexus Division, noted—before letting us loose on the Big […]

The Last Gentlemen Racers

They race to few cheers before grandstands containing only a scattering of spectators—just friends and families. Speed Channel does not televise their heats and finals. They are perennial second bananas, auto racing’s repertory company, the warm-up acts for the headliners, the F/1 and GT drivers who have made it to The Show. They could also […]

Wheels: Driven by Genius

In 1478, at the age of 26, Leonardo da Vinci drafted illustrations of a curious and ingenious machine that would puzzle scholars, engineers, and designers for the next 500 years. The sketches of the invention—sometimes dubbed the “Leo-mobile” or the “da Vinci car”—appear in the Codex Atlanticus, a compilation of his documents and drawings. They […]

Aircraft: Closing the Gaps

When the FAA announced five years ago that it was planning to add more routes at higher flight levels by cutting in half the required vertical separation between aircraft—from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet—private aviation travelers seemed to be among the beneficiaries, along with the airlines and air traffic controllers. The additional routes would mean more […]