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Picture Perfect: 6 Homes Framed by Nature

Luxury Defined tours six homes in breathtaking natural landscapes

Even a rolling stone enjoys the hillside. For those of us who come to rest, the ideal luxury home seems almost part of the landscape, enhanced by the landforms around it. Luxury Defined presents its collection of deluxe homes that abide in harmony with the land: Choose among bayside bungalows woven into Rio’s Atlantic Forest; a bold, timbered ski lodge on a slope in Telluride; a Gothic manor house set among the rolling hills and deep forests of South West Scotland; and, a Tuscan country estate in fields and woods as lush and curated as a Grant Wood painting. Live at peace, in private comfort, with the world around you.

Mountain Village Retreat
Telluride, Colorado

Anchored on a lushly wooded hillside in Telluride, Colorado, overlooking the Mountain Village “core,” with ski access from the lower level, this exquisite residence offers serenity and privacy yet is close to the ski gondola and village amenities. The bold exterior, crafted from stone and timber, seamlessly integrates into its pristine alpine setting. The interior displays handcrafted details throughout: cherry cabinetry, trim, and doors; marble and flagstone floors; granite and travertine bathrooms; and a 2.5-story circular staircase, built from cherrywood and steel. The private quarters comprise five bedrooms (two are master suites) and eight bathrooms. The stellar array of amenities include a theater, family room with wet bar and fireplace, chef’s kitchen, an elevator to all floors, and a ski room that opens to the trail.

Appalachian Aerie
Murphy, North Carolina

This aerie is poised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, amid 137 forested acres, 2,650 feet above Lake Hiwassee. The stone and timber-clad main house encompasses over 4,500 square feet with six comfortable bedrooms and five full bathrooms. The flowing, open-plan living spaces are anchored by a great room featuring a two-story stone fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows that frame a breathtaking panorama of lake and mountains. The property is centrally located, near the historic town of Murphy, North Carolina, and WC Regional Airport, and two hours’ drive from Atlanta, Asheville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.

Tuscan Chianti Estate
San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Italy

Framed by the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, this magnificent estate, situated between Siena and Florence, encompasses more than 12 acres of land graced with cypress trees, an olive grove, vineyards, and forests. Dating from the 13th century, this historic treasure has been meticulously renovated by local artisans and today offers over 20,000 square feet of luxurious accommodations. There are two private villas, three apartments, a separate residence with four additional apartments, and a 17th-century chapel. The grounds are complemented by four beautiful formal gardens and three swimming pools surrounded by expansive terraces overlooking the Chianti Classico hills.

Island Idyll
Angra dos Reis, Brazil

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is the spectacular natural setting for this 32-acre private island in the bay of Angra dos Reis, on Rio de Janeiro’s southern coast. This sustainable tropical idyll offers 10,258 square feet of living spaces across several luxurious dwellings. The main house has an open-plan design with a family room, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen, wine cellar, billiards room, theater, sauna, and a pool deck facing the sea. Three beautiful bungalows, all with sea-view balconies, provide an additional five en suite bedrooms. Rounding out the outstanding amenities are three power generators, a boat dock with ramp, and a helipad, which offers convenient access to the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Hensol House
Mossdale, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland

An ancient landscape of forests, meadows, marshlands, lochs, and rivers set the scene for Hensol House, a stately, A-listed Gothic house in the heart of Kirkcudbrightshire in South West Scotland. The estate encompasses 1,068 acres, including a home farm, pastures, grasslands, commercial forestry, recreational woodland, and two miles of frontage on the River Dee and frontage on Loch Ken, which provide opportunities for field sports and fishing. The manor house has lovely river and lake views, 10 bedrooms, four bathrooms, elegant reception rooms, a conservatory, and lovely gardens. There are several additional dwellings: four cottages, a gate lodge, farmhouse, and a boat house on the shores of the loch.

Hydra, Greece

In the hills above the port, on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra, this distinguished 18th-century estate is a veritable paradise with cypress and olive trees, and resplendent gardens with bougainvillea and ivy, grapevines, and aromatic jasmine, which create a refreshing microclimate. Designed by Genovese architects for a Greek shipping dynasty, the stately main residence presents 8,000 square feet of luxurious living spaces. Among the grand period details are carved-wood ceilings, black marble floors, and ornate fireplaces. Other highlights include a salon, great room, and master suite with a domed bathroom, study, and terrace. The ground floor opens to a patio leading to a resort pool, private chapel, two guest-houses, and staff quarters.