A Tour Through Cottage Country | Coveted Lakeside Properties

“Cottage Country” means something different depending on the continent, but from Yorkshire to Muskoka, luxury cottages are less quaint cabin, more palatial retreat. Each one is surrounded by natural beauty and equipped with premium getaway amenities: private pools, wine cellars with tasting rooms, deep water boathouses, and so on. And despite the opulent trappings, each retains a certain charm: warm wood walls and ceilings, grounds dotted with wildflowers, plenty of fireside seating, and conveniently located nearby villages. Here are some of the most coveted lakeside properties in Canada and England, two countries with strong cottage sensibilities.

Stonecroft Manor, Erin, Ontario


Janice Williams & Amalia BekermanSotheby’s International Realty Canada

Historic charm and lodge detailing run through this country estate that dates back to the mid-19th century. With over 95 acres to explore, plus ample space for entertaining, Stonecroft Manor offers the comforts of a high-end bed and breakfast tucked away in the country, with the added perk of having the house all to yourself. Open a bottle in the wine grotto, wander past the spring-fed ponds, or take a dip in the refreshing outdoor pool before retiring to this Celtic-influenced four-bedroom country treasure.

A Coveted Lakehouse, Muskoka, Ontario


Ross Halloran & Roger KolbucSotheby’s International Realty Canada

Bask in incomparable Lake Muskoka views from the deck, stone terrace, patio, or boathouse roof of this lakehouse gem. At the waterfront, a two-story boathouse will wow any water sports enthusiasts, while 315 feet of southern exposure shoreline will impress beachcombers and loungers alike. Inside, warm pine paneling and considered country touches add layers of comfort to this breezy vacation spot. Sunset after sunset, the vistas from this cottage will never get old.

Capel Manor, Dorking, England


John FisherUnited Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

Famed garden designer Gertrude Jekyll put her painterly touch to the formal gardens at this 13th-century Dorking manor. Walk alongside the wildflowers towards the heated pool for a dip or take your ease in one of several secluded seating areas. Further explore the property’s 14 acres to discover pristine lawns and a sheltered stream, and rest from your adventures in one of the eight elegantly restored bedrooms. Contemporary upgrades include oak flooring and limestone, wall and window finishings, and modern bath fittings, making this estate the perfect home away from home.

Haverland, Hunstville, Ontario

canadian cottage

Megan McLeodSotheby’s International Realty Canada

Named for the historic inn this sweeping property once served, Haverland is a modern-day lodge in every sense. Greeting visitors with a field of lupins and just under five acres of wandering room, the 204 feet of private natural frontage and 5,200-foot timber frame of this lakeside bungalow make it one of the most coveted in cottage country. Take in 180-degree views, prep for a casual fireside meal in classic Adirondack chairs, or set off in a canoe for a late afternoon paddle from your private dock—the infrared sauna will be waiting for you when you get back.

Pachesham Park, Oxshott, England

classic cottages

John FisherUnited Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

A modern and elegant escape boasting a 100-acre golf course, expansive parkland, and lake access, this luxury property in Pachesham Park gives lucky cottagers over 6,500 square feet of space to relax. No amenity has been left unchecked—an integrated music system, porcelain tiling, American walnut floors, manicured lawns, Zoffany designer wallpaper, and Miele appliances add present-day convenience to this traditional home. Stroll the gardens or host a bocce tournament on the lawn at this quintessential English abode.

Studwell Lodge, Droxford, England


John FisherUnited Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

Rose gardens, ponds, a tennis court, and beautiful woodland stretch across Studwell Lodge’s well-appointed grounds. A Georgian home with Victorian appointments, this cottage is steeped in military history—Napoleonic tunnels included. Over four floors and 8,924 square feet, charming wallpapers, elegant shutters, an abundance of light, and open fireplaces work to welcome visitors to this modern refuge.

Part pastoral and part urbane, these idyllic properties in the glens and lakesides of England and its commonwealth cousin are a testament to the draw of English and Canadian cottage countries.

Looking for a summer cottage? We’re here to help.






5 Reasons to Experience Tulip Time

If you have never made your way to Holland, Michigan for their annual Tulip Time festival, this should be your year. Among the nine-day celebration of the city’s rich Dutch heritage comes blooming bulbs, eclectic parades, timeless events, and we can pretty much guarantee more klompen than you ever thought you’d see.

In case that didn’t provide you with enough hype, Tulip Time has been named one of the Best Small-Town Festivals by Reader’s Digest, and was recognized as USA Today’s 2016 Best Flower Festival. 

Need more reassurance that you need to pay Tulip Time a visit this year? Here are our Top 5 reasons to experience Holland’s Tulip Time festival.

1. The Tulips

If for nothing else, at least experience the blooms! The Holland, Michigan area boasts over 5 million tulips each spring. From city parks to downtown on 8th Street, and pretty much every street corner in between, these gorgeous flowers pepper the city. Take in their beauty and the bright colors woven throughout the already stunning Holland landscape.

2. The Parades

You haven’t seen a community parade until you’ve seen a Tulip Time parade! The Volksparade is donned the “People’s Parade” with marching bands, specialty floats, and “street scrubbers”. The Kinderparade features local school children dressed in traditional Dutch costumes. Finally, the Muziekparade has over 4,000 participants with the longest festival parade route, boasting lively music and entertainment all along the route.

3. The ArtTulip Time Parade

Whether attending a great concert, like The Beach Boys, or a hilarious River City Improv show, or just taking in the stunning pieces at the Art in Bloom exhibit, there is plenty of art and culture during Tulip Time. Some events may have a small fee for attending, but it’s always worth your while.

4. The Family Fun

Calling all thrill-seekers: you won’t want to miss out on the Tulip Time carnival! The ferris wheel towers over the Holland Civic Center’s North lot, while attractions aimed at younger kids are set up in the South lot. It’s guaranteed fun for even the most timid ride warrior.

5. The Food!

Our stomachs are already growling thinking about all of the food available during Tulip Time! Alongside some of Holland’s delicious year-round restaurants are vendors populating the city. From elephant ears to hot dogs to cotton candy and cinnamon rolls, this is a food-lover’s dream. Be sure to bring cash and take a bite out of some delicious Tulip TIme treats.

On your way to Tulip Time? Check out the festival’s full schedule so you don’t miss any of the fun.

In town for Tulip Time? Stop by our office, located right downtown Holland on 8th Street. We’d love to say hello while you’re here!


European Escapes | 6 Idyllic Waterfront Homes

Surrounded by vast and beautiful bodies of water – the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea – Europe’s waterways are a thing to behold. There’s the Alboran Sea, Balearic Sea, Bay of Biscay and North Atlantic Ocean flanking Spain’s shores; the Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Adriatic Seas giving Italy’s famous boot its fashion-forward shape; the chilly Celtic Sea, English Channel, and North Sea sweeping past France, the United KingdomBelgium, the NetherlandsGermany, and so forth. Suffice to say, this beloved continent has no shortage of impressive waterfronts, and in turn, no shortage of fantastic waterfront properties either—whether seaside or lakefront.

New Golden Mile, Spain, Alboran Sea

Spanish homes
Kristina Szekely – Kristina Szekely Sotheby’s International Realty

The stilted majesty of this contemporary beachfront property on the New Golden Mile is immediately obvious. The white exterior stands bright and powerful, a fitting complement to the Alboran Sea. Its stature may have something to do with the fact that the property is situated on a double plot, giving homeowners an opportunity to entertain, and then some. Fourteen bedrooms, large lounge areas indoor and out, extensive sea views, two swimming pools, and even a home spa all meet the design criteria of relaxed and artistic. A steadfast vessel, indeed.

Navarino Dunes Beachfront II, Greece, Mediterranean Sea

waterfront homes

 Stephanie Michalopoulou – Greece Sotheby’s International Realty

Rich in amenities and blessed with abundant sea views, this six-bedroom beachfront villa in southwest Peloponnese, Greece is part of a limited collection of resort homes. As part of the Navarino Dunes resort, owners enjoy two golf courses, and Anazoe spa, 24-hour security, concierge service, and more than 20 dining venue options.

On property, the splendor is innate. Ample natural light floods in through entryways, adding to an already seamless indoor-outdoor living set-up: two large wings with a sea-view master and three additional en-suite bedrooms in one end of the home, and a living room, impressive kitchen, dining room, and elevator in another. The outdoor spaces are as inviting and comfortable as the indoor, and you’ll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from the sea-salt air.

Villa Casa nel Porto, Positano, Italy, Tyrrhenian Sea


Sabrina Majello – Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Casa nel Porto, perched in breathtaking Positano, easily encompasses verdant cliff-side living and traditional Italian charm. Privacy is the ultimate winner here, with the villa shrouded by incredible natural rock and lush local flora. Divided into two units, the house is of two minds, but one soul. The main house has a traditional side, with vaulted ceilings, earthy stone, and hand-painted doors. Each room leads to a gorgeous garden with an unbeatable outdoor dining area. The second unit is a quadruple studio–style layout, each with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and large private terrace. A beautiful place to enjoy the waves with friends and family.

Laglio Estate, Como, Italy, Lake Como

Italian waterfront

Luca D’Angelo – Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

This bright and elegant estate house encompasses the taste of Italy’s Lake Como. The inland spot is treasured by well-known and discerning individuals the world over. Fantastic old-world touches, from exposed-beam ceilings to intricate inlays to chandelier-style lighting are paired well with modern amenities, including an indoor pool, home cinema, and fitness area with spa. From the green grounds to the sun-drenched outdoor terrace and refreshing outdoor pool, every element of this property feels like a well-earned retreat—one made even sweeter thanks to its beautiful lake views.

Frankfurt Villa, Germany, Rhine River

German homes for sale

Olivier Peters – Peters & Peters Sotheby’s International Realty

A stroll across the grounds of this vineyard villa offers view after view of the incredible Rhine River. Mature trees dot the grounds, some over a century old, while the subtle estate beckons. Inside, parquet and granite floors commingle with sandstone and ornamental plaster work. High ceilings make every stately room feel grand but homey. A library, tennis court, billiard room, and wine cellar top off the picturesque outdoor veranda, which welcomes sunlight and afternoon repose.

Moisionrannantie, Mikkeli, Finland, Annilanselkå Lake

sothebys international realty

Kenneth Katter – Snellman Sotheby’s International Realty

Bright and beachy modern architecture make this lakeside villa built for the Mikkeli Housing Fair truly a prize of a property. With three bedrooms and outfitted with a large terrace, this is a prime example of the streamlined comfort and taste for which modern Finnish design is known. Outside, a large balcony is outfitted with a jacuzzi for extra languid afternoons and evenings, and beyond, a private boat dock offers water-bound adventure. Inside, minimalism and purposeful living take center stage. An ideal retreat for those seeking simplicity.

The lure of waterfront homes is intrinsic—water is healing, calming, inspiring, and powerful, all at once. What better place to rest, revive, and reignite than a luxury retreat on the shoreline?

Looking for your perfect waterfront home? Let’s begin your search today.



Open House | A Bay Island Masterpiece

An aerial view of Sarasota’s 3799 Flamingo Avenue may have some mistaking the private property for a luxe boutique hotel. Pristine pathways, a long, looping driveway, and a private pier wrap the perimeter. Lush greenery lends a particular amount of privacy without obstructing the saltwater vistas of Roberts Bay. A generous stretch of infinity pool mirrors the teal-blue of the Gulf of Mexico – 700 waterfront feet of which are part of the property. Pyramid-style ridgelines protect the home’s treasured contents; fitting, considering its coveted location on the north end of Florida’s beloved Siesta Key.

An Immaculate Entry

extraordinary homes

A covered entrance with modern-tavern lighting and ambient outdoor spotlights provide quite the welcome. Near the front entryway, outdoor fire features are set in fountains—just two of many nods to the elements seen across the property. Through the double front doors, calming neutrals come alive in an array of texture, including raw-edged wood furniture, exposed beams, and floor-to-ceiling curtains in a subtle leaf pattern.

Rooms with a View

open concept living

Washes of air white walls and ceilings are grounded by exotic stone tables and floors. Textured wall coverings add depth to what may otherwise seem a breezy beach house, and intricate moldings ensure refinement is this Bay Island home’s defining characteristic. Every design detail and furnishing has been meticulously chosen by Miami interior design firm Moniomi and is included in the home’s sale.

Capitalize on the Indoor-Outdoor


Outdoor access is seamless, with high glass walls sliding aside to expand living spaces and let owners capitalize on indoor-outdoor entertaining. Inside, a floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar will surely impress every guest. Elsewhere, a wet bar lures in a crowd to watch the game under polished Beat Lights by renowned British designer Tom Dixon.

A Kitchen Made for Culinary Masterpieces

brilliant kitchens

Larger gatherings are easily serviced by a chef’s kitchen with more than enough prep space. Its striped stone counters and marble backsplash give a definitive clean look. Stainless steel appliances add a tone of professionalism.

A Sunset Backdrop

outdoor pool

Outside, resort-style living comes to life. The expansive decks are dotted with outdoor seating. The beautiful infinity pool includes a swim-up bar and recessed seating area with fire pit. An outdoor dining pavilion completes, with a living wall and stone sculpture.


And for the waterfront lifestyle enthusiast, the property is equipped with a boat dock, lift, and paddleboard launch. A tackle room for fishing fanatics and a sports storage room, not to mention a garage space for over 10 cars, are great for weekend gatherings and tournaments hosted at home.

Relaxation’s Finest

The open master bedroom will do nicely when it’s time to retire. A seating area for late-night movie watching and boutique-style walk-in closet underscore the feeling that this is home. Similarly restful guest bedrooms, soaker tubs, lush greenery, and salt-water sea visible are from upstairs windows. Everything included, you may have a hard time convincing visitors that this isn’t, in fact, a vacation spot – despite all appearances to the contrary.


Ready to find your extraordinary property? Let’s begin your home-buying journey.

How to Sell a Home

Selling your home can feel like a large undertaking. From the preparations and potential home renovations to finding a proper Realtor®, it can feel like a daunting task. However, when you choose a reputable real estate agent with knowledge of the market, selling your home becomes a manageable process.

how to sell a homeSimplify the Sale

A Realtor® from Beacon Sotheby’s International Realty will be with you every step of the way in the sale of your home. Your real estate specialist will tour your home, grasping the intimate connection you have with it. Our marketing and office administration staff will weave these emotions into our luxury marketing collateral, assuring high-quality materials to impress potential buyers.

Value Proposition

Our Value Proposition is comprised of the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand heritage, our exclusive referral network, global marketing exposure, and exceptional service. These tools assure that our clients will benefit from sales with the greatest value, in the shortest time frame.

We break down the entire selling process in our How to Sell a Home video:

Seeking the right Realtor® to help sell your home? Contact us today.


How Art Staging Can Impact the Sale of Your Home

There is a perception paradox that sometimes exists within real estate: the idea that an empty minimalist home offers a blank slate for potential buyers to imagine their perfect home. While a small slice of the general population may have the unique vision to picture a space with cascading light features, warm and inviting furniture arrangements or eye-catching objets d’art, the majority of buyers look to experts in interior design for help. The truth is, the benefits of staging your home are extensive. Properly staged homes spend substantially less time on the market, routinely sell for more money, and frequently end up on must-see lists.

Now, how-to-stage-your-home lists are plenty, with most touching on curb appeal, making the most of challenging spaces, and striking that perfect balance between clean and lived-in, not to mention an emphasis on neutral, approachable decor. But, not all will mention the unparalleled impact of adding artwork—a fairly crucial element to a staging environment, since it can cue subconscious feelings and connections in buyers and create an emotional attachment to your space. Here’s how to use art staging to create allure and further impact the sale of your home.

Know Your Audience

This may not be the time to hang up a politically charged Basquiat or that powerful original Mapplethorpe. While it’s true that you never know someone’s particular tastes, erring on the side of caution is wise. Steer away from family photographs and images of people, leaning instead to abstract work, nature images and landscapes, and interpretive silhouettes or figurative renderings to appeal to a wider set of buyers.

Work With the Architecture

San Francisco Art

Corte Madera, California | Danielle Chavanon & Isobel Wiener – Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

Many homeowners have a tendency to hang art too high, which can mean people pass right by the work. The point is to have buyers pause in your space. To do that, they need to have a direct eye line to it. Follow the unspoken gallery rule of matching the center lines of your artwork if you have pieces close together. Most galleries will hang bigger works with ample space around them at 58-or-so inches off the ground. Use beaming, feature paint walls, and any kind of architectural framing as prime space for your artwork.

Complement the Decor

Dubai Art

Emirates Hills, Dubai | Leigh Williamson – Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty

Consider the mood for each room—is it a relaxed and inviting sitting area? A studious and productive study? A bright and buzzing kitchen? Color plays a very important role in home staging, with neutrals ruling in most cases. Don’t hesitate to mirror the punches of color found around your rooms in pillows or accessories.

Allow the Eye to Travel

South African homes for sale

Cape Town, South Africa | Brendan Miller – Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

How do you want buyers to feel leaving your home? While they will be evaluating many aspects of the property, your home may have extra appeal for a particular subset of buyers. Have a fantastic wine cellar to show off? An abstract work with a spiraling stroke pointing to it will let the eye bounce into the next beautiful space. Outdoor infinity pool a big draw? Complement its tone with pale blue washes on the walls in surrounding rooms or with striking outdoor sculptures.

Many buyers may not consider the art outright when viewing a home. However, creating a feeling of positivity, relaxation, and an overall inviting mood will stay with them longer than they realize. This will likely result in less selling time and more offers coming through your door.


Ready to sell? Give Beacon Sotheby’s International Realty a call: 269.673.7133.