Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

#23 - Topiary

#23 - Topiary

Snowy Garden Topiary
Price: $12,000 per night

Rich people love topiary. These artful and ornamental cut trees and shrubberies decorate the expansive estates of the wealthy. You may think it is the aesthetics that the rich love and while this is important, topiary acts to remind the help that they are worth less to their employers than the perfectly sculpted greenery they maintain around the garden. What is it about these living works of art that are so appealing to the upper class? Nothing says opulence like spending an average man’s salary on lawn ornaments that must be maintained by…well, an average man.

The popularity of topiary has ebbed and flowed throughout the centuries but it suffered a significant blow in the late nineties. The blame; Edward Scissorhands and while ice sculptures thrived and pirates have hardly been kept down by more recent Johnny Depp features, topiary has had to work hard to comeback. Only in the past five years has topiary redeemed itself as an in vogue passion of the wealthy. Sighted again in 2004 during New York City holiday party season, a “Big Bank” rented extravagant topiary displays for upwards of $12,000 for the evening. Not to be outdone, Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev reportedly paid over $40,000 for a bush that adorns his $70 million dollar London mansion. By the way, do not erroneously introduce billionaires; it can ruin a good party.

To ensure that you are capable of building superficial relationships with the fabulously rich around you, learn a few facts about this lavish garden accoutrement. Speak about Cneius Matius Calvena, the father of topiary, a former pal of Julius Caesar and the second unpronounceable name cited by SRPL today. Admonish Alexander Pope and his essay, Verdant Sculpture, published in the 18th century which ridiculed topiary as a useless art form; clearly a man deprived of a proper upbringing. Finally, educate yourself in Jacobethan architectural style and praise Elvason Castle for opening its private gardens to the public in 1850 hence reviving topiary throughout England. As a sidebar, the rich do not appreciate jokes around ‘trimming the bush’ or similar forms of low brow humour.

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

#16 - French Chateaus

#16 - French Chateaus

Prestige Property Group
Price: $74,730,000

People own houses; rich people own castles, mansions, penthouses and chateaux. Unlike private islands which are intended to keep visitors at a distance, chateaus are intended to showcase superior upbringing and lavish taste. While you may not own a chateau, ingratiating yourself with the über-rich can be expedited by comparing your host to the monarchs that first erected these fairy-tale structures. Europe and particularly France have a healthy sprinkling of these beautiful edifices in some of the most breathtaking settings meaning you can always find an extravagant piece of history to discuss. Rich people have no shame when it comes to acquaintances doting on them and their material possessions.

Consider the magnificent example of a French chateau currently for sale in the department of Jura in eastern France. The property is advertised as a 10 minute helicopter flight from Geneva sitting on 200 acres of walled opulence. The, yes this number is correct, 75,000 square feet of living space features a 1,200 sq ft entrance hall with a “monumental gothic staircase”. The five floor main building houses 34 bedrooms, a Napoleonic drawing room, Louis XVI apartment, Louis XV bedrooms, billiard room, private library and a square tower; damsel in distress not included. Other property features are stables and equestrian infrastructure, a gardener’s house, 19th century workshops that have been converted to sleep 30, courtyard, farm, walled garden, English design lawns, 2 lakes, cascades, grotto and a statue of Diane Chasseresse resembling the statue found at Fontainebleau – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and therefore not presently for sale.

Discussing these features will provide ample ammunition for small talk when discussing chateaus with your new found acquaintance. Their shared love of exclusive residences will make for delightful conversation. Keep in mind, referring to such opulent residences as “pleasant summer homes” is sure to win you respect and another appropriately aged scotch. Engage the right well-to-do land magnate and it may lead to an invitation to accompany them for a weekend tryst with unpasteurized cheese, champagne and fine port….c’est magnifique!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#12 - Private Libraries

#12 - Private Libraries

Kinsey Marable & Co.
Price: $7,300,000

Rich people love private libraries but this does not mean rich people love to read. A home with a private library says that you are cultured, you are educated and you have deep knowledge on a myriad of topics. It also says that you do not like to mingle with people in public libraries because they cannot afford to buy books. Presumably, Andrew Carnegie would be torn.

Building a private library is not to be taken lightly. Rich people commission library consultants to design and stock bookshelves with titles that reflect the owner’s interests and personality. Dealers like Kinsey Marable & Co will acquire scores of literary works, catalogue and furnish the space announcing to guests that you are a sophisticated individual with impeccable taste regardless of whether you ever crack the spine on a single acquisition in your home.

Finally, one simply must apply for membership with the Private Libraries Association based in the hamlet of Middlesex with satellite offices located in the USA, Canada and Australia. Members receive The Private Library quarterly, mailings relating to their areas of collecting interest and members may attend the Annual General Meeting held in London. Perhaps you will rub elbows with Oprah or other celebrities with private libraries of their own!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#11 - Private Islands

#11 - Private Islands

Emerald Cay, Turks & Caicos
Price: $75,000,000

Stuff rich people love includes private islands and the cache this affords them among their colleagues. This is typically not because they are reclusive, although Howard Hughes comes to mind, it is their disdain for the classes beneath them that fuels a desire for opulent solitude. The exclusivity of a private island provides a reprieve from the riff raff that they tolerate on a day-to-day basis; this naturally does not include the maids, cooks, drivers or concierge services.

Private islands separate the rich from commoners, locals and tourists at their preferred Caribbean destination. Nothing dampens a life of luxury and 24 hour a day pampering than having to step over woebegone partiers that still excrete rum from the prior evening at the Aura nightclub.

If you have the means to partake in the luxury of a private island, you can enjoy a 30,000 sq. ft. mansion which boasts 10 elegant bedrooms, 2 guest quarters, 40 foot high living room ceiling, 3 floor library, home theatre, wine cellar, infinity edge pools, turtle pool bar and first class marina. Should you require a trip to the mainland…use the private swing bridge.

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#3 - Celebrity Homes

#3 - Celebrity Homes

Sudler Sotheby’s Realty
Price: US $2,300,000

Befriending rich people can be difficult even when you live in the same neighborhood. The good news…rich people love to swap stories about the celebrities that have sauntered across their high sheen mahogany flooring. Has Clooney parked his Tesla in your garage, has Warren Buffett joined you for high tea on the family veranda? Subtly hint about the celebrities that have owned, have visited or have worked in your most recent real estate acquisition and build credibility faster than sharing a box of Altadis’ Behike cigars. More impressive still, own homes that have played central roles in iconic American cinematography.

For a paltry $2.3M, a Chicago resident will soon live in the home made famous by the 1986 classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Enjoy hosting the local Ferrari Club meeting in 5,300sq.feet of sleek steel and glass poised above the ravine at 370 Beech St in Highland Park. Naturally, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California is not included but the stunning garage is the perfect place to showcase your stylish taste in fine automobiles.

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: