Despite the world’s ever-expanding global economy, a growing countercurrent extols the pleasures of living on a more intimate scale by shopping from local artisans rather than online, supporting restaurants that serve farm-to-table fare, and embracing what it means to live and work in a particular locale. When it comes to building or buying a home, many potential homeowners want to ensure that their new residence will be in sync with its environment. Toward this end, there is now a trend toward not only using locally sourced materials to build abodes that reflect the culture and landscape of their settings, but to reduce such structures’ carbon footprints so they also show respect for the local environment. These fine properties reveal how taking such steps can add significant value and character to any luxury residence.
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Crafted entirely from native wood and stone, this lakefront home is at one with its enchanting setting in a cypress and coihue forest in the heart of Patagonia. The interior offers 7,642 square feet of living space across three levels. All the floors in the main house have cypress floors, including the library with a lenga-wood door and cypress paneling. The living room has a breathtaking panorama of Lake Gutiérrez and a stone fireplace, as does the master suite. The kitchen features polished stone counters and lenga-wood beams. The living spaces lead out to a magnificent riverfront deck with a pool and an idyllic garden with several species of fruit and nut trees.
1920s Lakefront Retreat
Fishkill, New York
Commanding 99 acres in the New York Highlands, this historic estate features a 1924 mansion built from locally sourced fieldstone. Designed to capture stunning views across the five-acre, fully stocked Willow Lake, the residence features large reception rooms, two offices, and six bedrooms. A slate roof, leaded bubble glass arched windows and doors, American Chestnut wood trim, original wood floors, and arched stucco entry ways are among the preserved period details. Several additional buildings include a lakeside log cabin, stone-built gatehouse, cottage, lakeside gazebo, and a sawmill. Sweeping lawns, landscaped gardens with flagstone patios and beautiful willow and fruit trees add to the charm of this unique estate.
Splendor by the Sea
Local craftsmen using timeworn fabrication techniques and working in stucco, tile, and stonework contributed not only to the construction of Villa Sea View but to its connection with its region’s culture and landscape. Open living areas lead to expansive outdoor spaces that take full advantage of the property’s spectacular water views. Shops, restaurants, and a capacious outdoor swimming pool are all steps away, and the nearby seaside town beckons with its sun-soaked Mediterranean charm.Related: Discover how Eco-Friendly features can Combine for Ultimate Luxury
This hidden jewel with 55 linear feet of oceanfront in east Honolulu was designed by renowned mid-century modern architect George J. Wimberly, whose signature projects include the Sheraton Waikiki and Coco Palms Resort on Kauai. The home’s unique A-frame design is the ideal showcase for the fluid light-filled indoor-outdoor living spaces, accented with artistically crafted local materials such as lava rock and hardwood. The outdoor spaces are prime for the tropical lifestyle. The 40-foot pool features a beautiful Halekulani-inspired twin dolphin and orchid patterned floor. Steps away is a pristine sandy beach and the Pacific Ocean.
Saint James, Barbados
The design of this spacious three-bedroom villa reflects a compelling combination of traditional British colonial architecture and exotic elements from the Barbados landscape. Its airy interiors are accentuated by vaulted ceilings and rooms that open to the tropical breeze. Vibrant decor includes wicker furnishings, floral artwork, and brightly colored upholstery, all reflecting a deep Bajan influence that reinforces an idyllic sense of place. A covered veranda and shady porches offer reprieve from the Caribbean sunshine as well as places to relax and socialize by day or night. Full air conditioning, water views, and walk-in wardrobes are just a few of the luxury essentials found throughout this island getaway.