Ultimate Home Tour


10 ideal spaces by the world's leading designers.  Grand Turismo: technology makes Ford's supercar a virtual reality.  Also, Power Design: a bachelor's paradise in beverly hills and aboard Greg Norman's $70 million superyacht.

From This Issue

Ultimate Home Tour: A Great Estate

A significant residence does not simply burst onto the scene. It typically gestates for a year on the drawing boards, then takes two years to construct and yet another year to finalize the furnishings and landscaping. Building the perfect home takes time. Robb Report’s third annual Ultimate Home Tour required a shorter incubation period—and fewer […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Facade

When an adventurous client with an appetite for color teamed up with the architecture firm Shubin + Donaldson, the result was a vibrant home that stands proudly apart from its more traditional neighbors in Hope Ranch, the oceanfront enclave in Santa Barbara, Calif. “Our client was about to retire, and he wanted a contemporary structure […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Entrance

There is an enlightening aspect to entering the Atherton, Calif., residence created by Jim Olson. With garden views on each side, frameless windows that give way to doors, and subtle skylights overhead, all feelings of enclosure seem to disappear. “I wanted people to feel calm yet uplifted when they walked through the door,” says the […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Living Room

For a Georgian-style farmhouse turned country weekend home in Millbrook, Conn., Greg Jordan transformed a former ballroom into an antiques-filled living room. “The space used to be very feminine and was overwhelmed with pale colors. No one ever went in there,” the interior designer recalls. “So when the family decided to redecorate the space, they […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Dining Room

The original concept for the dining room, according to Joe Nahem of Fox-Nahem, was to create a calm and inviting atmosphere so that the 14-foot-tall ceiling would be less imposing. Located on the second floor of a seven-story Manhattan townhouse originally built by architect Stanford White, the dining room is an eclectic mix of vintage […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Kitchen

Barbara Ostrom’s obsession with originality is evident in this Shrewsbury, N.J., kitchen, where no inch was left untouched. “My kitchens never look like you went into a showroom and picked something out. They are never generic,” she says. “I always try to give them character and keep them from looking typical.” Everything Ostrom selected reflects […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Library

Penny Drue Baird transformed what was once a run-of-the-mill rectangular foyer into a grand entranceway and library. The designer removed the room’s harsh right angles, creating an oval-shaped space with concealed doors that open only when a secret lever is pulled. The room represents a major departure for the sedate Park Avenue apartment. “It’s traditional […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Home Theater

For best-selling author Dean Koontz and his wife, Gerda, attention to detail is everything. Their new residence overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with its flowing floor plan and natural materials, is a low-slung homage to Frank Lloyd Wright. Home theater design guru Theo Kalomirakis expanded on that purity of design in the couple’s Moonlight Theater. The […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Master Bedroom

“Sleeping in the master bedroom makes you feel like you’re in Palm Beach or Old Havana,” says Tom Riley of the Thomas Riley Artisans’ Guild. “The distressed beams in the ceiling give the room a character and age that you just don’t see anymore.” The Artisans’ Guild, which specializes in fine handcrafted woodwork, was responsible […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Master Bath

Pairing antique French with ancient Etruscan may seem an odd combination of styles, but George Constant managed to pull it off in the master bathroom of a house on the North Shore of Long Island. “It is actually much less unusual than you might think,” says the designer. “Etruscan is very similar to Italian, which, […]

Ultimate Home Tour: The Backyard

When your house sits on the beach, having a pool is often redundant. A fire pit to ward off the evening chill becomes a more practical, and dramatic, proposition. Enchanted with their beach location, the owners of a Malibu, Calif., house snapped up the adjacent lot with the intention of expanding not their home but […]

From the Editors: Power by Design

Men and women do think differently—at least about architecture. Or such has been the conclusion of our meditation on the subject for this month’s special section, Robb Report Home: Power Design. Though reflections upon the theme of gender tend to lead us down philosophical culs-de-sac, one might argue that, while women build for a variety […]

Home Electronics: Pure Gold

Remembering some of the best audio products of yesteryear can be particularly nostalgic: It is impossible to separate the machine from memories of the music it played. In the next few years, several audio brands will be marking milestone anniversaries, occasions that will celebrate collectible classics and category benchmarks, inspiring the type of reminiscing that […]

Robb Report Home: Carbon Layers

The carbon fiber and leather RL-CF1 chair ($14,000) came about thanks to the two McLaren F1s in Ralph Lauren’s personal car collection. As the fastest production car ever built (capable of 240 mph), the limited edition McLaren F1 owes its speed in large part to its lightweight carbon fiber chassis. “A perfect chair just looks […]

Robb Report Home: Art in the Garden

Your garden will become an outdoor gallery. Thanks to Janice Feldman of Janus et Cie, the Duchy Collection of outdoor furniture is now available in the U.S. Introduced last year in England, the collection is based on the garden furniture created for Highgrove, Prince Charles’ country house in Gloucestershire. Designed by Leon Krier and Stephen […]

Robb Report Home: The Enlightened Bachelor

We want total control over our lighting options at home—and will need it with 16 million color lighting combinations. The Vos Pad, which belongs to Marcel Jean Vos, is an apartment in Chelsea that the designer has turned into a light laboratory. What better antidote to London’s gray winter skies than rooms that pulsate with […]

Robb Report Home: Fusion to the Core

To Troy Adams, the word fusion is more than a marketing ploy for serving spring rolls with sauerkraut. For his latest FusionDesign kitchen, unveiled at his Pacific Design Center showroom, he has appropriated the best elements from Italy, Germany, Asia, and America and rolled them into a culinary whole. Cultural stereotypes, in the best sense […]

Back Page: Pillow Talk

Revisiting the bedrooms from a January 1987 article titled “Sleeping Beauties” to compare them with some bedrooms featured more recently confirms our suspicion: For better or worse, the swinging bachelor of that era has settled into adulthood and embraced all of its trappings.  Set in loft apartments located in converted factory or warehouse spaces and […]

Front Runners: Home to Roost

All nine of the Fabergé imperial Easter eggs from the Forbes Collection have ended up in one basket—in Russia, from whence they originated. Sotheby’s New York was planning to host an auction in April featuring the eggs as well as 180 other Fabergé pieces from the Forbes Collection. However, in early February Victor Vekselberg, a […]

From the Robb Cellar: April 2004

Beaulieu Vineyard 2000 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon Despite its otherworldly name, Clone 6 remains one of a handful of limited-production, single-vineyard wines from Napa Valley to blend quality with consistency—a trait that has defined Beaulieu Vineyard creations since 1900, when Georges de Latour resuscitated winemaking in Napa’s Rutherford region after a devastating phylloxera epidemic. Latour […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke April 2004

  Macanudo Vintage 1997Macanudo, the best-selling cigar in the United States, is known for being mellow and mild, but the extraordinary Vintage 1997, made from Dominican and Mexican filler wrapped in a Mexican binder, delivers a surprisingly full-bodied, complex flavor. The cigar, named for the exceptional Connecticut shade wrapper leaf harvest of the same year, […]

Dining: Sea Fare Sublime

From Nantucket town, the commercial center of this small, contentedly inconspicuous island that sits off the coast of Massachusetts, it is a pleasant nine-mile drive to Topper’s, the Wauwinet inn’s relaxed yet sophisticated restaurant. Although the land route offers enchanting views of the harbor, the more nautical-minded should head for Straight Wharf and settle into […]

Wine: A Year to Remember

For a vintage port, the most rare and coveted of fortified wines, the path to market is fraught with foul weather and red tape. After a cold and rainy winter, a dry spring, and a long, hot summer extending into early fall, the grapevines struggling on the harsh granite slopes along Portugal’s Douro River produce […]

Smoke: Coming on Strong

Not long after Graycliff Cigar Co. introduced the Crystal in 2000, some smokers complained that it was so strong that it was nearly hallucinogenic. Enrico Garzaroli, the company’s president, heeded their requests to tone down the blend, but after a new, milder Crystal was released, negative feedback poured in from connoisseurs demanding a fuller, more […]

Symposium: Barging through Burgundy

Up ahead, the vista widened as the canal opened into Burgundy’s Saône River. “Gently, monsieur. Gently,” the pilot advised as he surrendered the helm to his passenger, who nodded. “This will be a piece of cake,” the passenger thought, for the barge was moving a mere 5 mph. On the foredeck, his three companions looked […]

FrontRunners: Exclusive Club

“People want the best cars, the best watches,” says Robert Bettinardi, founder of Bettinardi Golf (708.802. 7400, http://www.bettinardi.com). “We make the finest putters in the world.” There is no question that Bettinardi makes some of the most expensive putters in the world. The Tinley Park, Ill., company’s new 44 Magnum, a limited edition club that […]

FrontRunners: Rail Realism

The new offering from Lionel (www.lionel.com)  evokes the past while incorporating the latest digital technology. Far from a toy, the model Southern Pacific AC-9 ($1,500) is an O gauge (one-quarter inch represents a foot) replication of the huge and powerful original built in the 1920s through the 1950s. The 32¼-inch-long die-cast AC-9 model features detailed piping, builder’s plaques, […]

Sport: Peak Experience

Some 150 miles northwest of Banff, 9,000 feet up in the Adamant Mountains of British Columbia, I am sitting on a boulder the size of an SUV at the edge of a glacier. A weather front is moving through, and although it is still early September, the temperature drops quickly in the late afternoon here. […]

Wheels: Gran Illusion

Three Ford Motor Co. test-drivers, car guys who burn rubber and inhale exhaust fumes for a living, are mesmerized by the image on an 8-inch LCD screen. Tom Chapman, chassis systems supervisor, is a Level 4 driver, a designation that Ford bestows only to employees with the greatest amount of driving experience and training. (Only […]

Front Runners: Bali High

While vacationing in the idyllic islands of Indonesia, Carolyn Tyler (805.965.4445, http://www.carolyntyler.com), like many travelers, fell in love with Bali’s natural beauty, culture, and artisanal heritage. However, unlike most tourists, Tyler soon packed her belongings and moved to Bali to pursue a career designing jewelry that would reflect her new surroundings. Among her signature designs […]

Wardrobe: Roman Forum

The row of display windows punctuating the block-long facade of the Davide Cenci store in Rome provides much more than a preview of the classic men’s suits, supple leather outerwear, and sportswear featured within. The oversize windows that encircle the 16th-century building reflect how the business has grown steadily over the years, along with its […]

Jewelry: In Living Color

When Peggy Guinness visited Brazil 20 years ago, she was awestruck by the country’s colorful and mesmerizing gemstones. On a whim, the free-spirited designer moved to São Paulo, where she spent the next decade exploring gem mines, acquiring rough stones, and discovering local gem cutters and artisans, whom she enlisted to create her one-of-a-kind pieces. […]

Feature: Extending the Lines

Jochen Benzinger’s atelier in Pforzheim, Germany, a sunlit room filled with intricate antique rose engine machines, is more reminiscent of a museum than a workshop. But such an atmosphere seems appropriate, for this is where the 42-year-old artisan practices the dying craft of guilloche. The rose engines Benzinger uses to perform this engraving technique are […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Motor City Menace

At the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, when Chrysler wheeled out its 500 hp Tomahawk motorcycle, it created a dilemma: How could the carmaker match such a spectacle at future shows? This year, the answer arrived in the form of the ME Four-Twelve, a supercar prototype with computer-projected performance numbers that are […]

Front Runners: Six Appeal

Most automakers wait a year or longer before releasing the convertible follow-up to a new coupe, but BMW (www.bmwusa.com) is not so patient. Barely three months after introducing the 645Ci, the company’s revived sport-tuned coupe, the Munich manufacturer unveiled its $75,000 drop-top version of the 2004 6 Series, which is available this spring. The convertible […]

Front Runners: Super Sedan

Though they will have to wait until the end of this year or the beginning of 2005, fans of Audi (www.audiusa.com) can expect a 12-cylinder version of the flagship A8L sedan in the United States. The 6-liter A8L, which Audi expects will compete for customers with the V-12 BMW 760Li and Mercedes-Benz S600, boasts a […]

Front Runners: Deutschland Diesel

The Porsche Cayenne is shrinking, and its sibling, the Volkswagen Touareg, is growing. Porsche will release a downsized, V-6 version of its SUV before year’s end, a move sure to further distress Porsche purists still bemoaning what they perceive as the carmaker’s 8-cylinder concession to soccer moms. Meanwhile, Volkswagen (www.vw.com), which teamed with Porsche to […]

Motorcycles: That 70’s Show

Accompanied by a questionnaire asking the Ducatisti for their comments, photos of three Ducati prototypes appeared without notice on the company’s web site last October. “We had tremendous feedback immediately,” says Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America. “We wanted to know how much interest is out there in classically inspired high-performance sportbikes, and the […]

Autos: Inside Scoop

Push a particular button on the Lexus LS430’s navigation system, and miniature flags of Japan, China, and France appear on a map on the car’s 7-inch touchscreen. The icons, situated among equally small images of steaming coffee cups and fish heads, represent the Japanese, Chinese, and French restaurants—along with cafés and seafood eateries—located within a […]

Boating: Reopen for Business

It should have been the best of times for NorthCoast Yachts, a Tacoma, Wash., shipyard that had, over the previous two decades, launched 15 yachts ranging from 70 to 130 feet. In 2002, the company completed three of the most striking vessels it had ever built: the 128-foot Lady Val, the 92-foot Tanahoa, and the […]

Aircraft: XLS Excellence

In 2001, when Cessna began considering a new midsize aircraft to replace its Citation Excel, which it had introduced in 1998, the objective was evolution rather than revolution. After all, the seven-passenger Citation was, at the time, one of the best-selling jets in its class because of its speed, relatively low maintenance costs, reliability, and […]

Robb Report Home: Boy’s Toy

“This is a yacht of extremes—127 meters, 200 million euros . . . a serious piece of kit,” counsels yacht broker Jamie Edmiston in a clipped English accent. (For those on this side of the pond, that translates to 416 feet and about $250 million.) Brits are renowned for keeping their emotions in check, but […]

Wings & Water: Antigua Roadshow

As with Oscar night, the Heisman Trophy presentation, and the presidential election, a certain amount of campaigning precedes the Nicholson Antigua Charter Yacht Show, a weeklong event that is the world’s largest industry-members-only charter boat show. From San Juan, Puerto Rico, it is only about an hour’s flight to Antigua, where the show occupies three […]