THE 2020S HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN, BUT IN THIS LUXURY DEFINED COLLECTION OF FINE HOMES, WE TURN THE CLOCK BACK 100 YEARS TO THE ROARING TWENTIES: A GOLDEN ERA OF OPULENT LIVING, JAZZ AGE EXUBERANCE, GLITZ, GLAMOUR, AND STYLE. GONE ARE THE SPEAKEASY, THE FLAPPER’S BEADED DRESSES AND CLOCHE HATS, THE COLLEGIATE “OXFORD BAG” TROUSERS, AND WASP-WAISTED SUITS. BUT THE ICONIC ARCHITECTURE OF, WHAT F. SCOTT FITZGERALD DUBBED, THE “AGE OF MIRACLES, THE AGE OF ART, AND THE AGE OF EXCESS” WILL NEVER GO OUT OF VOGUE. WHETHER THE STYLE IS ART DECO, MODERNE, BAUHAUS, NEO-GEORGIAN, SPANISH COLONIAL, OR MISSION REVIVAL, YOU WILL SEE SIMPLICITY AND RICHNESS OF DESIGN, CLEAN LINES, WARM-TONED PALETTES, LAVISH TEXTURES, AND VISUAL GRACE NOTES AS REFRESHING TO CONTEMPORARY TASTE AS THEY WERE TO THE GATSBYESQUE RESIDENTS OF THAT EXCESSIVE, OFTEN TURBULENT, BUT ULTIMATELY GLAMOROUS EPOCH OF THE 20TH CENTURY.
Mediterranean Revival Masterpiece in Redondo Beach, California (1928)
This Mediterranean Revival home in Redondo Beach has the provenance of a masterpiece—and glorious sea views. It was built in 1928 by Clifford Reid, visionary developer of the Hollywood Riviera, and noted architect/master planner Mark Daniels, who created a quintessentially California home. Here, artisans from around the world crafted lavish details: dazzling Italian floor tiles, hand-hewn beams, hand-painted ceilings, inlaid glass, iron work, woodcarvings, and hand-molded roof tiles. The property has been lovingly restored over the years to its 1920s opulence while upgrading the living systems to accommodate modern needs. The entrance sets the tone with a marble statue, original Italian tile flooring, hand-finished plaster walls simulating cut stone, and a Baccarat chandelier. The rooms offer original hand-made rugs, custom draperies and bedding, and antiques and a trove of bespoke furnishings curated over decades. The richness of design is evident in the library, living room, formal dining room, breakfast room, chef’s kitchen, and the enchanting sunroom. The half-acre grounds are composed of colorful flower beds, mature trees, verdant lawns, and a front garden graced with an 18th-century fountain imported from Florence.
Art Deco Mansion in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France (Mid-1920s)
This private mansion, built in the mid-1920s and thoughtfully renovated, has a private location, hidden among leafy grounds in the exclusive suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, just west of Paris. Its gorgeous Art Deco details remain beautifully intact: The foyer has a black and white tiled marble floor and a magnificent curved staircase. Other details include parquet and tiled floors, large windows, high ceilings, and antique fireplaces. There are five bedrooms, including a luxurious master suite, three bathrooms, a modern kitchen, formal dining room, several reception rooms—and an indoor swimming pool on the mezzanine level. The home opens to 500 square feet of sunny terraces. An elevator serves all floors, and there are two private parking spaces.
Palatial Villa in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal (1920s)
Póvoa de Varzim, a coastal city some 30 minutes from Porto, is the setting for this palatial Art Nouveau villa. Originally built in the 1920s, this heritage-protected, four-story residence underwent a partial restoration, repairing the roof and the striking façade. Many of the interior details also remain beautifully intact, including the grand staircase, hand-painted murals and frescoes, marble columns, solid wood floors, and decorative ceilings with antique chandeliers. The opulent, light-filled living reception rooms are ideal for entertaining on a grand or intimate scale. Many rooms open to a terrace or balcony, ideal for alfresco dining. The private grounds extend to nearly an acre.
Prewar Maisonette in New York, New York (1927)
Built in 1927, this elegant duplex maisonette in Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood combines the luxury of townhouse living with the white-glove services of a premier cooperative, including a full-time doorman and resident manager. The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom residence has its own street-level entrance. Exquisite woodwork is the star here: The hand-carved wood finishes throughout the house were designed by Dean Telfer, campus architect and professor of architectural history at Columbia University. That visual splendor begins at the entrance, where eye-catching high wood ceilings, oak parquet floors, and stained glass windows hint at the warm, elegant spaces awaiting within. Adjacent is the formal dining room, where large windows flood the space with light. Tiffany tile ornaments the living room’s cozy gas fireplace. The kitchen, completely renovated, features slab marble walls and counters and Viking appliances. A wooden staircase curves up to a landing with a storage closet and entrances to the three bedrooms, including the master suite with its opulent bathroom clad in breathtaking blue and green marble.
Villa Lieblein in Vienna, Austria (1924)
Villa Lieblein is a stately architectural gem reposing on a third of an acre of gardens in the prestigious villa district of Döbling, or Cottage Quarter, just 15 minutes’ drive from the historic heart of Vienna. Built in 1924 as a private home and later used as an embassy, this meticulously restored, heritage-protected residence offers 6,588 square feet of refined living space which blends the original architecture with luxurious modern details. Each room reflects fine attention to detail, with hardwood floors, hand-painted silk wallpaper, and stucco walls and ceilings a testament to past eras, while a wooden staircase with dramatic steps, and furniture from the Vienna Workshop emphasize timeless elegance and modern design. Adding to the home’s grandeur is an English-style garden designed by noted landscape architect Albert Esch.
The Wells Estate in Southbridge, Massachusetts (1927)
The Wells Estate evokes the Great Gatsby grandeur of the 1920s. The magnificent château-style manor was built in 1927 by John Wells, grandson of the founder of American Optical Inc. (a pioneering optical company whose classic pilot sunglasses went to the moon with Neil Armstrong). The 6,495-square-foot residence has a commanding setting on a private 10-acre pond, surrounded by more than 65 acres of wooded grounds. The interiors retain their original 1920s details: gothic archways, hand-carved wood and marble fireplaces, wainscoting, and coffered wood ceilings. The reception areas include a grand living room and a great room. There are seven bedrooms, six full and two half-bathrooms, a large kitchen, a recreation level with a wet bar, and an attic. A separate apartment is above the three-bay detached garage. The upper terrace features a pool. Stone steps lead down to the beach area and large dock on Wells Pond.