From the 16th to early 20th centuries, European settlers took the architecture of the baroque and neoclassical styles of their motherlands to the distant corners of the world. In South America, the Spanish and Portuguese left their mark. On the African continent, French, Dutch, and British influences spread from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Cape of Good Hope. In North America and Australia, as elsewhere, French and British settlers adapted local materials and Old World styles to suit their climates, which have evolved into regional variants still distinctive today. The elegant homes in this Luxury Defined collection capture this diversity.
Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia
One of the finest properties in Australia’s Southern Highlands, Mandalay is a magnificent 190-acre estate modeled after a prominent circa-1900 British Colonial-style mansion in Singapore. A sweeping driveway, nearly a mile long, leads to the palatial residence. At the entrance, a hall with a turned-timber staircase leads to grand reception rooms with 13-foot ceilings, antique fireplaces, and ornate finishes. The luxurious appointments include seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, a Provençal-inspired kitchen, study, 3,800-bottle wine cellar, and a sauna. The grounds are a testament to classic English landscape design and include a walled rose garden, vegetable garden, orchard, as well as a tennis court and sweeping lawns with space to land a helicopter.
Lake Conroe, a private, gated community just outside Houston, Texas, is the setting for this elegant three-story mansion. The brick façade features a stately columned portico, dormer and Palladian windows, and a second-story veranda, which are characteristic of the Southern Colonial style of the United States. The 6,300-square-foot residence and its nearly half-acre grounds are enclosed by a six-foot-high brick wall ensuring complete privacy. The interiors combine authentic architectural details with contemporary appointments. Among the highlights are four en suite bedrooms, a newly remodeled kitchen, a media room, and an elevator. The property also includes two garages, a workshop, waterfall pool, and summer kitchen.
French Colonial Palace
This French Colonial palace overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar in Tangier, was the former estate of Chilean artist Claudio Bravo (1936-2011). The villa and its enchanting 7.4-acre gardens were the inspiration for some of Bravo’s most influential hyperrealist paintings. Inside, much of the furniture which featured in his celebrated still life works as well as his art studio—including the jars for his paintbrushes—remain untouched. The living spaces are expansive: The main residence and several unique dwellings offer 23,680 square feet of living space with 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The gardens are a private sanctuary, graced with statuary, fountains, and two swimming pools.
Spanish Colonial Cottage
This Spanish-Colonial-inspired cottage has an equally alluring location in Lunahuaná, a scenic Peruvian town on the banks of the Rio Cañete, some 113 miles south of Lima. The house offers nearly 10,000 square feet of living space with a large living room with fireplace, dining room, huge kitchen, and a terrace with panoramic views of the valley. The master bedroom and five bedrooms suites each have a terrace overlooking the valley. Further accommodations include two guest bedrooms in the main house and two bedrooms in the adjacent staff house. The lush gardens include a pool and huge dining patio equipped with a barbecue, wood-fired oven, and paella burner for alfresco entertaining.
Cape Dutch-Style Homestead
Cape Town, South Africa
This magnificent Cape Dutch-style homestead has a breathtaking pastoral setting in South Africa’s Constantia Valley. The main house is appointed with high ceilings, wood floors, sash windows, decorative fireplaces, and refined finishes. Among the appointments are reception and family rooms, a huge gourmet kitchen, and four en suite bedrooms. The estate has a private and secure setting amid gated grounds featuring manicured gardens with a a poolside cottage and staff house, and outstanding recreational options: a resort-style pool, tennis court, and equestrian facilities, all within a prized setting bordering the famous Groot Constantia wine estate.