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Luxury Living in the Neoclassical Style

Luxury Defined showcases six elegant homes inspired by the Neoclassical movement

Neoclassicism endures. It was the 19th century’s reaction to the baroque and rococo exuberance of the 18th, turning away from the playful, the organic, and fanciful, and toward the serene proportions that the archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome had put into the public mind. The architects were paying attention. Great buildings in Western Europe took on the order, symmetry—and restraint—of the Golden Ratio. Public buildings and magnificent private mansions enclosed palatial marble halls pillared with Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian columns, embellished with domes, colonnades, rotundas, and porticos. Nowhere was this “new” old style more embraced than in a young Republic, based on Athenian ideals, that sought to make its place in the world: Washington, DC, remains the high-water mark of American Neoclassical design. Here, Luxury Defined presents six elegant homes designed for living in grand, Neoclassical style.

Grand Palais in Yvelines, France

Built in 1900, this magnificent Neoclassical villa in the leafy suburbs of western Paris was inspired by Louis XVI’s Le Grand Trianon château at the Palace of Versailles.

This grand Neoclassical palais was inspired by Le Grand Trianon, Louis XVI’s “little palace of pink marble and porphyry, with marvelous gardens,” at the Palace of Versailles. Listed as a historical monument, the magnificent 21,537-square-foot residence in the beautiful Ibis Parc of Le Vésinet, just west of Paris, was built in 1900 by the shipowner Arthur Schweitzer. From 1908 until 1921, it was the home of French poet Robert de Montesquiou. In May 1940, General de Gaulle stayed at the estate en route to the Battle of France during World War II (a plaque mounted on the building commemorates the occasion). The façade features nine arched French windows flanked by Ionic pilasters of pink marble. The lavish interiors include multiple reception rooms, four bedroom suites, a cinema, playroom, squash court, gym, and lavish indoor pool. The ancillary dwellings comprise a four-bedroom guest house, a caretaker’s villa, staff accommodations, garages, and nearly two acres of immaculate formal grounds.

The Mills B. Lane House in Savannah, Georgia

A stately brick façade with Ionic columns and a graceful Swan's neck pediment are among the fine Neoclassical details of this grand mansion in Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District.

The Mills B. Lane House is one of Savannah’s finest historic homes. The grand Georgian Revival mansion faces Forsyth Park from its leafy setting in the city’s National Historic Landmark District. The magisterial three-story residence was built for Georgia banking magnate Mills B. Lane. The property was restored to its former grandeur but retains its ornate architectural details, from the stately brick façade, Ionic columns, and swan’s neck pediment to the wide verandahs and hand-crafted wrought iron fence—all of which were featured in the 2000 film The Legend of Bagger Vance (shot on location at the property). Spanish moss-clad oak trees and mature camellias add to the charm. The details continue inside with parquet floors, hand-painted wall murals, hand-carved plaster ceilings, original fireplaces, and crystal chandeliers. The contemporary updates include a wine cellar, theater, and a saltwater swimming pool in the rear gardens.

Villa Roth in Vienna, Austria

This magnificent Viennese villa was designed in the Imperial Neoclassical style by renowned Austrian architect Franz Roth.

If architecture is frozen music, this grand Neoclassical mansion in Vienna is set in waltz time. Villa Roth, built in 1796, is the last remaining private residence built by renowned architect Franz Roth, whose works include Vienna’s Raimund Theatre. After a complete restoration, the villa is in immaculate condition with four levels of luxurious living space. The magnificent façade, with its ornate pediment and Doric and Corinthian columns, remains beautifully intact. The interiors are contemporary, with white marble floors, decorative ceilings with crystal chandeliers, and bespoke furniture. There are four bedrooms, three full and three half bathrooms, and several reception rooms. Lavish modern amenities include a chic contemporary kitchen, wine cellar, sauna, and elevator. The grounds are enhanced with stone terraces, a swimming pool, and a two-car garage. The residence is in the city’s leafy 17th district, near castle Wilhelminenberg and the Vienna Woods.

Emsworth in Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Emsworth, a Georgian manor on 17 private acres in County Dublin, was designed by English architect James Gandon, whose works include the Custom House, the Four Courts, and King's Inns in Dublin.

Built in 1792, Emsworth was designed by Neoclassical architect James Gandon and has been magnificently restored. This Georgian manor in Malahide, County Dublin, resides within 17 acres of mature grounds, yet is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Dublin International Airport. The estate’s electric gates open to a long gravel driveway flanked by verdant lawns and woodland. At the forecourt, two feature pools reflect the house’s splendid façade. There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms, three reception rooms, a thoroughly modern kitchen, and a cinema room. The coach house, for guests or staff, has a large open plan living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The formal gardens and pleasure grounds are a private paradise graced with a walled orchard and beech trees, a tennis court, heated pool, zip line, running track, sports fields (for soccer, rugby, and Gaelic football), a leisure complex with an indoor pool and gym, and two oversized garages.

Ker Arvor in Newport, Rhode Island

Ker Arvor, on Newport’s famed Ocean Drive, was inspired by La Lanterne, Louis XVI’s hunting lodge at the Palace of Versailles.

An homage to La Lanterne, the 18th-century Neoclassical hunting lodge at the Palace of Versailles, Ker Arvor is a historic nine-acre estate in Newport, Rhode Island, built in 1933 by the New York architectural firm of Russell & Clinton. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house, named after the Breton word for seaside, has signature Louis XVI architectural elements: a U-shaped design built around a garden courtyard, a stucco and cobblestone paved façade, and a slate mansard roof. The property has undergone a museum quality restoration, including wallcoverings recreated from the originals and floors imported from France. The award-winning gardens are complemented by a barn and a swimming pool with pool house and sun terrace.

Oakdale in Woodbine, Maryland

Oakdale was the ancestral home of Maryland Governor Edwin Warfield. Built circa 1838, the Greek Revival architecture pays homage to the ancient temples of classical antiquity with its symmetrical form and stately Doric columns.

Oakdale, a circa-1838 estate in Woodbine, Maryland, is a beautifully preserved American Neoclassical mansion. The ancestral home of Maryland Governor Edwin Warfield, the house has been updated with contemporary style and finishes, including a masterly paint scheme in neutral tones. The 24-room, 9,500-square-foot manor’s original details include foot-thick brick walls, a monumental portico supported by four Doric columns, and the widow’s walk overlooking fields and woodland. Oakdale Hall, the addition built in 2005, provides an additional 8,870 square feet of space with an adjoining pool. The combined structures encompass 35 rooms, with 16 bedrooms and 10 full bathrooms, and, with the garage, for a total of 18,370 square feet of enclosed space. Outbuildings include the carriage house and gardener’s cottage residences, as well as a brick smokehouse, pond-side gazebo, and tool shed. A large three-level stable supports equestrian pursuits, supplemented by an additional barn, silo, equipment shed, two-acre spring-fed pond, and a stream.