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Perfect Pieds-à-Terre: 5 Second Homes in the City

A home away from home is a luxury, especially if it’s in one of the world’s most glamorous urban destinations

The charming French term pied-à-terre dates from the 19th century. For the French cavalryman, mettre pied-à-terre meant “dismount,” or, literally, “put foot to earth.” For many of us, the term has come to evoke images of knights errant and their medieval encampments, of hunters’ hasty shelters in the bush, of French voyageur trappers in the Great North Woods, setting foot-to-earth between portages of their canoes. The less romantic history is more about wealthy French countryside habitants getting a little place in town—especially if the town is Paris. This edition of Luxury Defined highlights the 21st century’s realization of the pied-à-terre: the luxury of a home away from home, a comfortable yet elegant apartment in the city for rest and respite after a hard day’s shopping or a night on the town.

Elegant Duplex in Mayfair, London

This elegant pied-à-terre is in the heart of Mayfair, between Grosvenor Square and Park Lane, and just a few minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and some of London’s finest shops and restaurants.

A fine Georgian building in London’s Mayfair is the setting for this elegant two-bedroom duplex apartment. The property underwent an impressive refurbishment yet retains its original architectural details. The color scheme pairs “eggshell cloud white” walls with dark French-polished solid wood floors. The ground floor includes a grand reception room with high ceilings and two large bay windows overlooking Park Street and opens to a Japanese-style terrace paved with gray marble slabs. The room also features an open-plan “Ghost Kitchen” by Fendi, including Gaggenau appliances, which can be closed off with a large library of handmade solid ebony wood. A wooden staircase with floor lighting rises from the lower-ground floor, which houses a cloakroom clad in Carrara marble and a double bedroom with an en suite bathroom, dressing area, and glass doors that open to a small patio (ensuring natural light throughout). The principal bedroom offers a spacious walk-in wardrobe and a large, spa-inspired bathroom also paneled with Carrara marble. Top-of-the-line amenities include smart-home automation, Lutron lighting, air conditioning, and underfloor heating in all marble flooring. The residence is on Park Street, between Grosvenor Square and Park Lane, a short walk from Hyde Park and Mayfair’s world-class restaurants and shops.

Fasano Fifth Avenue in New York, New York

Exclusivity is the word at Fasano Fifth Avenue, where exquisitely furnished interiors and excellent services create the height of contemporary luxury.

Fasano Fifth Avenue is a private club offering residences and clubhouse suites to members and a handful of local and international partners. The Fasano Club features Baretto New York, an intimate private dining space and cocktail bar conceptualized by Gero Fasano and designed by Thierry W. Despont. Residents can also enjoy the club’s curated services, which provide anything from priority reservations to lifestyle management. Boutique and bespoke, the four duplex residences at the Fasano, also decorated by Despont, are available for both long- and short-term stays starting at 30 days. All have grand salons with Juliet balconies with sweeping Central Park and Manhattan skyline views, park-facing primary suites, living rooms with fireplaces, 10-foot ceilings, and hand-laid oak floors. Kitchens are appointed with custom millwork cabinetry and Sub-Zero and Miele appliances, while primary bathrooms are finished in book-matched Calacatta marble with satin nickel Dornbracht fittings. Seven clubhouse suites are also available for customizable stays, with access to the hotel services, private dining, and curated amenities of Fasano Fifth Avenue.

PH6 at 2929 1st Avenue, Seattle, Washington

This luxurious duplex in Belltown has a direct view of the Space Needle and Puget Sound. The city’s top restaurants and trendy boutiques are moments away.

PH6 is a contemporary condominium designed by Garret Cord Werner Architects. This sleek, two-bedroom, two-bathroom home crowns a luxury high-rise in the heart of downtown Seattle, within blocks of the waterfront, Olympic Sculpture Park, and Seattle Center, and Pike Place Market. The light-filled living spaces feature 10-foot ceilings, honed-marble floors, and birds-eye maple built-ins. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame a front-row view of the Space Needle. There are four terraces and a private rooftop terrace (with a wet bar) to take in more show-stopping views of Puget Sound and the Olympic and Cascade Ranges. Residents have access to 24-hour concierge services, a fitness center, hot tub and sauna, conference room, business center, and clubroom.

Residence at Heron Castilho in Lisbon, Portugal

This contemporary pied-à-terre has a grand setting in a landmark building on Rua Braamcamp in central Lisbon. Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s most fashionable street, is a five-minute walk.

Heron Castilho is a magnificent building in the heart of Lisbon, minutes from Avenida da Liberdade, Príncipe Real, and Parque Eduardo VII. It was designed in 1921 by architect Manuel Joaquim Norte Júnior, one of Portugal’s greatest architects of the 20th century. His exuberant Art Nouveau façade encloses a thoroughly renovated contemporary interior for luxurious urban living. This elegant one-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment offers 910 square feet of turnkey living space with high ceilings, natural wood floors, decorative light fixtures, and marble finishes. The highlight is a sunny balcony with a view of Marquês de Pombal square. The residence includes all furnishings, appliances, as well as a parking space and storage space in the building.

Rue des Beaux Arts Residence in Paris, France

This Parisian pied-à-terre on fashionable Rue des Beaux Arts is steps from art galleries, boutiques, and bistros, and within a leisurely stroll of the Louvre and Eiffel Tower.

This one-bedroom residence is on the third floor of an elegant building on Rue des Beaux Arts in the chic 6th arrondissement of Paris. Built in 1926, the 614-square-foot apartment has been renovated in a contemporary style yet retains its Art Deco period details, including ornate ceilings, decorative walls, and oversized windows, which flood the space with light and offer views of the leafy gardens below. The living spaces include a beautiful reception/living room with a dining area, marble bar, and modern kitchen, as well as a bedroom suite and two shower rooms. The building includes an elevator and state-of-the-art security system. Steps away are the art galleries, boutiques, and bistros of Rue des Beaux Arts.