The Ultimate Ski Home

Publisher's Showcase from the duPont Registry
Gallery of Fine Homes 

One would expect the extraordinary from the CEO of Dreamworks, the film studio that brought us Shrek, Madagascar, and the Lion King. The Park City residence of Jeffrey Katzenberg does not disappoint.

"It is the ultimate ski home," says Paul Benson of Sotheby's International Realty, who is handling the sale of the $20.5 million Park City, Utah property.

On two lots within the prestigious Bald Eagle community, the home was designed by Rick Otto and Charles Gwathmey with interiors by Naomi Leff, whose celebrity clientele includes Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani and was built by renowned hotel developer New Star, a true dream team.

"They set out to build a home with a cabin feel -- a true family trap," says Benson.

A 14,100 square foot rustic lodge, with 7 bedrooms, 10 baths, and multiple entertaining spaces flowing beautifully from one to another, including a living room with 30-foot windows offering shimmering views of the silver rush town.

"It shows like an art gallery," says Benson, but one where you "want to jump on a sofa and enjoy a fire."

This is a house you want to be snowed into, he says, with a resort-style entertainment center on the lower level that includes an indoor pool, sauna, spa, gym, and game room. An 80" LED TV allows for private film screenings and a ski room with a bar that walks right out onto the slopes.
Should you emerge, three of the world's best ski areas are outside the door along with a dozen world class golf resorts and exceptional restaurants and shopping -- as expected from a town that attracts thousands of glitterati to the Sundance Film Festival and counts Mitt Romney and Katherine Heigl as part-time residents.

The town is enjoying a latter day silver rush, with home sales-- and prices -- climbing.

"The Olympics put us on the map," says Benson. "Sundance keeps us there."

With consistently sunny days and a lung-building altitude, the town remains a training paradise for Olympic-level athletes. "We have the lowest percentage of body fat in the U.S." Benson laughs.

It increasingly attracts buyers from the United Kingdom, France, China, Mexico, even Russia, says Benson, who markets properties around the world. In one recent month he ran magazine ads in 7 countries.

The strategy has paid off. With a client list that reads like an international who's who, Benson was named one of the country's top agents by the Wall Street Journal and is Utah's top broker, selling over 100 homes and over $100 million in volume in 2011 and 2012.

"It was," he says modestly, "a pretty good year."


How Does Your Sunroom Grow?
by Stephanie Cavanaugh
For the Wall St Journal's OWN Magazine - September 2012

Molly and Michael Metzler sleep under glass. Their bedroom opens to a domed conservatory with marble floors and a panoramic view that skips across 15 acres of garden and grounds to the lapping shore of Delaware's Nanticoke River. 

From the boudoir one also sees a free-standing conservatory nestled in a woodsy setting and echoing the style of the 5,000 square foot main house.  Molly Metzler originally wanted a simple greenhouse, but the project grew, as these things do, into a mahogany-lined, cupola-topped jewel-box, with windows set in bronze. 

"It's much too nice to be a greenhouse," she says of the single-room building that features a sitting area with a fireplace, a wet bar, and an in-ground spa for splashing amid hibiscus flowers and banana trees in the middle of January. 

 "It's just a place for my husband and me. We don't even let my son out there," then adds with a laugh, "He's 21. You don't want one of those in your spa." 

It's June in January
Fooling mother nature is a great part of the allure of green houses, conservatories, and orangeries. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there are differences between these structures.

Greenhouses, which are generally detached from the house, are designed for the propagation of plants, with heating and lighting controls to create the optimum environment for your eupatoria and fritillaria. 

Conservatories are usually attached to the house and allow the harmonious cohabitation of plants and brunch.   

The orangerie is a cousin to both.  Originally designed to grow citrus trees in climates too chilly to sustain them outdoors, they are generally defined by a two-tiered roof that allows headroom for trees. 

There is, however, considerable overlap among the three forms. A conservatory might have a domed roof and an orangerie a flat one, with no glassing at all. A greenhouse can be used for reading as well as raising flowers and plants. 

"We've done greenhouses that incorporated relaxation rooms with tables and chairs," says Rob Suman, president of Creative Conservatories, which is based in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.  "They're all glass structures, of course, and very similar."  

To be frank (which is nice), he adds that whatever we call them, what we're talking about is building magnificently ornamented sunrooms.  Rooms that will become, as he puts it, "the jewel of the house."  

Having been given Suman's absolution, and to simplify matters, we'll dispense with the distinctions and simply call all of these glass rooms conservatories, since that is their ultimate function: to conserve plants. 

From Pool Houses to Pied-à-terres

Cooking up a Kitchen in Miniature

From the Wall St. Journal's OWN magazine

In an age of McMansions, where kitchens the size of houses leap over granite counters to gobble up great rooms (no wonder we're pudgy,) small kitchens are enjoying a renaissance.  And we mean small.
Frequently used as accessory kitchens in basements, master bedrooms and guest quarters, petite facilities that feature minimal cooking and cooling capabilities are also enjoying a vogue in small apartments, where such needs are minimal and entertaining space is at a premium. 
What's out there will suit anyone's style from fanciful to fantastic.
Chris Madden's Beekman Place Pied-a-Terre
"You don't need to have a monster kitchen," says Chris Madden. "I once spent five days cooking in the galley kitchen of a boat, sailing from Bermuda to Montauk."