Ultimate Home Tour


A portfolio of extraordinary spaces. The Peninsula's $11 million Rolls-Royce fleet, plus Beijing's 10 best hotels and Audi's revved-up R8.

From This Issue

The Ultimate Home Tour: Children’s Room

For the 2006 Greystone Mansion Garden & Design Showcase, the participating designers were asked to decorate the home’s spaces in a manner that would suit the Doheny family, if members of that once-prominent Los Angeles clan were still living there. Each November for the past five years, the estate, which occupies 18.3 acres in Beverly […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Breakfast Room

“I often do a lot of hiring and firing in here,” interior designer Anouska Hempel says of the breakfast room in her Regency-style home in London’s Holland Park district. “From business meetings to entertaining with friends, this room has seen a lot of drama.”   The appearance of the stage for those dramas has changed over […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Her Study & His Library

HER STUDY For Patricia Bauman, being married to a jewelry designer has its advantages. John Landrum Bryant’s work accessorizes not only his wife’s fingers, wrists, and neck, but her study as well. “In addition to designing jewelry, I also design elements for the home,” Bryant says. “The home items are made with the same attention […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Wine Cellar

For Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, owner of Casa Lapostolle in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, winemaking is a delicate matter. “Wine is like an orchid,” says Lapostolle, the great-granddaughter of Grand Marnier founder Louis-Alexandre Marnier. “If you shake it too much, the flavors die. The best way to transport it is through gravity.” Lapostolle’s convictions are evident at […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Stables

For this family—two lawyers and their children—thousands of acres of private land north of Jackson, Miss., held endless possibilities. Among those that have been realized is Providence Hill Farm, a full-service equestrian operation on their land that offers boarding, training, and riding lessons. The facilities include a 36-stall stable, a European walking pen, paddocks, a […]

Home: Detail Man

Thirty-six years after founding his eponymous furniture company in his native Mexico, Alfonso Marina is overseeing a growth spurt. The 61-year-old designer’s daughters, Lucia and Isabel, recently added premium textiles to his furniture collection, which comprises some 450 pieces influenced by Mexican history and culture. They plan to introduce rugs and linens to the offerings […]

Contributors: Ultimate Rooms, Rides, and Reinventions

Finding the rooms for “The Ultimate Home Tour” is relatively easy, says Samantha Brooks, the feature’s author and chief compiler. The real challenge is securing the owners’ permission to present their homes in the magazine—to invite the public into their kitchens, living rooms, or bedrooms. “A lot of times the designers really want their work […]

From The Editors: Living in the Glass House

Philip Johnson intended his glass house—a 10-foot-tall, 32-foot-wide, 56-foot-long box with four transparent sides and no interior walls that was completed in 1949—to be “a viewing platform” that looked out on the landscape of his surrounding 47-acre property in New Canaan, Conn. The problem with such a design, his detractors pointed out, was that voyeurs […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Living Room

When working with a large home that has an open floor plan, a designer, if he is not careful, can create a living area that resembles a hotel lobby. “Spaces like this often start off very big and convention-center-like,” explains architect Guy Dreier, referring to this home, which is set on a 6.5-acre parcel on […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Theater

In the basement of this Los Angeles home, designer Marla Sher has created a theater that completely immerses you in Art Deco style from the moment you pass through the door—one of a set of two original, 1930s Edgar Brandt nickel doors from Paris—leading from the house’s ground level. Behind the door is a staircase […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Entryway

Peter Marino does not believe in buying off the rack, or at least not off the showroom floor. “I don’t walk furniture showrooms. I would much rather design something myself,” says the New York–based architect. “I like to involve different artists when I design things for a room. The variety of input creates something completely […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Kitchen

“I recently saw a statistic where MTV is losing more viewers to the Food Network than to any other channel,” says kitchen designer Matthew Quinn of Design Galleria. “It has become cool to cook. People are actually starting to use their kitchens, so you have to rethink the way they’re organized.” For this kitchen, part […]

The Ultimate Home Tour: Billiard Room

Before Monique Lafia and Chris Arvin redesigned this Beverly Hills, Calif., billiard room, it was not exactly functional. “There was no room to shoot pool, and it would have been a less-than-ideal place to watch a movie,” says Arvin, noting how the pool table had been flanked by a film projector on one side and […]

Travel: Nailing It

Samuel So takes my right foot in his hands, rests it on a towel in his lap, and reaches for his knives. The pedicurist’s tools—six shiny blades and one long toothpick-shaped implement arranged side by side like scalpels in a surgical suite—seem excessive. However, a cup of fragrant Chinese tea, presented to me by a […]

Journeys: Belfast Rising

A leaden sky portends cold rain as old-fashioned London cabs—Belfast’s Black Taxis—sit parked along the Peace Wall with their motors running. Billy Scott, the self-styled “breakaway red commando,” stands out from his peers in his shiny oxblood-colored hack. A short, pale, dark-haired man with a quick sardonic smile, Scott surveys the razor wire along the […]

Journeys: Belfast Rising: Town & Country

Northern Ireland is small—about the size of Connecticut—and the countryside begins just a few miles from Belfast’s City Hall. Travelers have a choice of staying in the capital or visiting on day trips from one of the bucolic retreats outside of town. The Merchant Hotel Belfast: In an age of stripped-down modernism, the Merchant is […]

Feature: The Changing Face of Beijing

As if by magic, an actor’s mask changes from the face of a red, gold, and white tiger into the battle-ready visage of a painted warrior. The illusion—part of a performance by the Peking Opera to mark the opening of Beijing’s newest luxury hotel—is one of roughly 25 instantaneous transformations that the actor completes during […]

Feature: The Changing Face of Beijing: Beijing’s Best

By the time the torch ceremony commences the XXIX Olympiad in August 2008, China’s capital will be home to several upscale hotels. Following are our picks for the 10 most promising places to stay during the Games. THE RITZ-CARLTON BEIJING, FINANCIAL STREET Located in the heart of Beijing’s new $5.6 billion, Wall Street–inspired financial district, […]

Feature: The Changing Face of Beijing: Against the Wall

Beijing’s building projects—and the controversies they frequently entail—have not been confined to the city’s center. In 2002, about an hour north of the Forbidden City, Chinese real estate mogul Pan Shiyi opened a luxury resort on a 2,000-acre site along a stretch of the Great Wall. The project generated protests from preservationists, but rather than […]

The Collector: A Man and His Dog

  Its OwnerEdward Horswell is the director of London’s Sladmore Gallery, which specializes in sculptures from the late 19th and 20th centuries and has handled many of the animal depictions that Rembrandt Bugatti created. Among these is the 1904 statuette of a rearing elephant that Bugatti’s older brother, Ettore, adopted as a hood ornament for […]

Art: Art of Deception

Three years ago, Larry Charles learned how well he had mastered trompe l’oeil when he brought one of his works to a frame shop near his hometown of Peoria, Ariz. The style of painting takes its name from the French phrase meaning “fool the eye,” and Charles’ Don’t Erase, an oil-on-canvas depicting a chalkboard, did […]

Dining: Now You’re Cooking

Jing Tio opened Le Sanctuaire four years ago for a selfish but sensible reason. The 34-year-old Indonesian, an amateur chef who came to America in 1991 to study accounting at UCLA, started his business after discovering that no single shop in the greater Los Angeles area carried the quality and array of kitchen products that […]

Spirits: Pearls of Great Price

When high-end spirits producers release a limited-edition version of a product packaged in a costly crystal decanter, they often go to great lengths to explain how the spirit it contains (usually Cognac but, increasingly these days, Scotch as well) is, by dint of its rarity, worthy of so opulent a receptacle. And so one is […]

Golf: Blow-Dried Beauty

The prevailing trade winds blow from the northeast as head pro Hale Kelly steps to the 10th tee of the Temenos Golf Club on Anguilla. “You need to hit over there,” says Kelly, gesturing at a creek a good 30 yards beyond the fairway’s left edge. “The main element you have to deal with here […]

Sport: South Beach Ball

What do you do between chukkas of a polo match when there are no divots to stomp back into place? At the Miami Beach Polo World Cup, where the matches are played on a sandy beach instead of a grassy field, you could dance: A DJ spins records during the intermissions between the matches’ seven-minute […]

Watches: Mentor Program

Kari Voutilainen studied for years at the finest watchmaking schools, including Tapiola near Helsinki, Finland, and WOSTEP in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where he later taught. Still, the 44-year-old Finn, one of the few independents producing watches almost entirely by hand, says he learned the most from his mentor, Charles Meylan, a fifth-generation watchmaker 43 years his […]

Wardrobe: Poetry Man

During a dinner in Shanghai last year, Silvano Lattanzi’s hosts, a group of Chinese clients, spontaneously began singing “O Sole Mio” as a tribute to the Italian bespoke shoemaker. But the chorus fell silent after only a few bars, when its members had sung all of the lyrics they knew. The serenade not only amused […]

Jewelry: The Divine Mrs. M.

In the inner circles of the rarefied jewelry realm, she is known simply as Mrs. M., a mysterious moniker that suits a fiercely competitive buyer and seller of some of the world’s most expensive jewels. But Alisa Moussaieff, an apparently gentle, grandmotherly figure in her mid-70s, does not look the part. Dressed in a simple […]

Time: Modern Maturity

Despite his self-assured demeanor, Max Büsser, one of Switzerland’s young watch entrepreneurs, has reason to worry. This became evident last summer, when Büsser was constructing his first Maximilian Büsser & Friends timepiece. A hiccup in the supply of critical movement components forced him to postpone the debut of the HM (Horological Machine) No. 1 by […]

Motorcycles: Hot to Handle

Yamaha’s YZF-R1 rarely has disappointed since beginning its fast-paced life nearly a decade ago. It might seem surprising then that the 2007 edition, priced at $11,700, represents such an extensive overhaul of last year’s model. Nevertheless, Yamaha asserts that it is giving riders what they want. “When asked which they [would] prefer, R1 riders put […]

Feature: Uncommon Courtesy

Get onto license bureau and trace that car,” Roger Moore—as British secret agent James Bond in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun—commands Mary Goodnight (played by Britt Ekland), a comely young associate from MI6, who has inadvertently blocked Bond’s taxi with her car. “AU 603, a green Rolls.”   “A green Rolls?” […]

Wheels: Ace of Eights

The thin, dry desert air over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway often resounds with the noise of F-22 Raptors and B-2 Spirits running war games out of nearby Nellis Air Force Base. However, on a recent balmy January day at the track, the source of the din—save for the intermittent raucous blat of a dragster […]

Aviation: A Simple Plan

Erik Lindbergh showed how far general aviation has progressed over the decades, when, five years ago, he retraced his grandfather’s most famous achievement, the world’s first solo transatlantic flight. The younger Lindbergh piloted a four-seat, single-engine Lancair Columbia 300 that he had modified to carry enough fuel to make the trip from New York to […]

Boating: Maine Event

Gunkholing. To landlubbers, the word may conjure up any number of inglorious images. But in boating parlance, it refers to the deeply satisfying pastime of cruising from one secluded anchorage to another, with only the suggestion of a plan. The beauty of gunkholing is that its practitioners can justify what essentially is a cruise to […]

Wings & Water: First Loves

Dick Sligh runs a finger along the prow of a 26-foot mahogany runabout. “I’ve been in love with these since I was a kid,” he murmurs. “I’ve owned fiberglass boats over the years, but I’ve never enjoyed them as much.” He squints at the hull a moment, then bends to rub away a smudge. “Everyone,” […]

Wings & Water: First Loves: Ferry Tale

During its heyday in the early 20th century, a wooden runabout named Wild Goose did a bustling business ferrying passengers around Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada. Wooden boats were a common sight on the lake then, and they still appear there every August, when the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation hosts its annual Lake Tahoe […]