The Earth wobbles past its autumnal equinox, the daylight dwindles, and the north wind brings its first hints of winter. It’s enough to make you shiver. What better retreat than a luxurious, light-filled sunroom? And consider a few of the settings on offer for that sunny space: the girlhood summer home of Jackie Kennedy in the Hamptons; a sunbaked villa on a hill outside Athens; a splendid Tudor manor in the English countryside; and an airy, seaside manse on Dublin Bay. Let the winter come, then. It will find you basking in the light of the northern sun.
HILL COUNTRY RANCH
BOERNE, TEXASThis ranch estate outside San Antonio is the epitome of Texas Hill Country living. Situated on 116 tree-lined acres, the residence encompasses approximately 5,390 square feet of lavish entertaining areas and intimate retreats. Fine details, such as hardwood floors, elegant columns, and soaring ceilings are contrasted with luxury amenities. The gourmet kitchen boasts custom cabinetry, granite countertops and built-in appliances, while the adjoining dining room has a built-in buffet area and views of the surrounding landscape. The five bedrooms are highlighted by a master suite with vaulted ceiling, sitting room, and luxurious en suite bathroom. Housed in a separate, glass-enclosed building, the sunroom provides another perfect space for entertaining and is complemented by a pool and spa, and multiple outdoor gathering areas.
MAREZA, ATTICA, GREECEPerched on a hill outside Athens, this spectacular country estate enjoys commanding views over the surrounding landscape. The nearly 14,000-square-foot stone château’s architecture has echoes of French Provence. The villa features palatial reception and dining areas with numerous fireplaces and large windows which fill the interior with light. Additional rooms include eight bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a professionally-equipped kitchen with a fireplace, three staff rooms, a gymnasium, a sauna, a six-car garage, and many auxiliary rooms. The compound contains a separate, two-bedroom gardener's cottage, a chapel, a tennis court, swimming pool, and stable. The estate is fulfilled by 8.6 acres of lush gardens enhanced with classical fountains and sculptures.
NAVESINK RIVER ESTATE
MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEYThis stunning California-chic retreat is surrounded by views of nature, minutes from the Navesink River in New Jersey’s Monmouth County. The residence underwent a museum-quality restoration and renovation, styled for luxurious indoor-outdoor living. The gourmet, eat-in kitchen is equipped with elegant decor and all the latest appliances; it opens to a sunroom with French doors that lead out to beautiful brick veranda overlooking the grounds. Other exceptional appointments include an entertainment room, four bedrooms, four full and two half bathrooms, and a luxurious master suite with two private terraces, a spa-like marble bathroom, and expansive dressing area. Gated for privacy, the grounds host a separate guest apartment above a four-car garage and a poolside cabana with a full kitchen.
JOHN GAYS HOUSE
MAIDENHEAD, ENGLANDSituated on more than 20 acres of grounds, this English country house enjoys serenity and total privacy within 30 minutes of the capital. John Gays House dates from the Tudor period, with later Queen Anne, Georgian, and Victorian additions. The house is predominantly built of red brick with attractive sash fenestration under a tile roof. At the heart of the manor is a galleried entrance hall with magnificent period details, such as marble flooring, Brazilian mahogany paneled walls, and handsome oak beams. Situated between the dining room and the library, the conservatory is a sunlit sanctuary leading out to a pretty courtyard garden with fountain. Nearby, the fully fitted kitchen and breakfast room provide direct access to the mature gardens beyond. South of the house and gardens are the stables, manège and paddock, encircled by a 1-kilometer equestrian track.
EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK
Lasata, or “Place of Peace” was the girlhood summer home of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier—Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Situated on 7.15 acres, this American landmark was designed by noted architect Arthur C. Jackson in 1917 and impeccably restored in 2007. The 10-bedroom main house enjoys total privacy and a prized location in the village of East Hampton near Atlantic beaches. The living spaces are complemented by a beautiful sunroom, pool house, and terraces, a separate two-bedroom guest house, and three-car garage building. The bucolic grounds are enveloped by open lawns and mature trees including linden, London planes, cork, and American elm.
DALKEY, CO. DUBLIN, IRELANDThis magnificent castellated mansion on Dublin Bay has its own own private harbor complex complete with a tidal swimming pool, a working winch, entertainment terrace, and a peninsula-like platform at the sea's edge. Inniscorrig was built circa 1847 as a summer retreat by the renowned Dublin physician Sir Dominic Corrigan; his distinguished guests included British monarchs Edward VII and George V, whose visits were commemorated by a crown and star set into the patio terraces on either side of the entrance. The residence has since been updated and takes full advantage of its breathtaking maritime location. The conservatory looks out across the bay and leads to the waters edge. A series of Gothic arches protect a “secret garden” and enticingly frame the sea and island views. The large decked terrace off the seafront elevation leads to a lawn terrace and to the harbor terrace, sheltered from westerly winds.