Glowing Rocks for Luxury Homes

December 7, 2012

by Roberta Murphy Leave it to Italian designers to create the ultimate in luxury rocks for sexy lightscaping around the home. These remarkable lighted rocks by Oluce look as if they might have been swiped from the lawn of a distant planet. In reality, though, they were created by Italian designers Marta Laudani and Marco Romanelli with Massimo Noceto. Made from weather-tested polyethelene, these lighted Oluce stones glow with the…


The Luxury of Multi-Generational Living

by Roberta Murphy More and more, we are receiving requests for homes in San Diego that will accommodate all living generations in a family.  It’s an emerging trend and one which might grab the attention of builders in years to come. Much of the recent regrouping of families, thanks to a dismal economy, comes from boomerang kids. There are estimates that over 50 percent of recent college grads are returning…

May 3, 2011

25 Most Expensive Zip Codes

by Roberta Murphy There may be lots of dismal news about the real estate economy, but there is still lots of interest in the luxury home market–and curiosity about the most expensive zip codes for median home prices.  Ever on top of these things, has compiled a list of the top 500 zip codes in the country and which certainly reach beyond the dominating states of California and New…

September 30, 2010

The Luxury of a $170.00 Sandwich

Years ago, Chef Madelyn in Big Bear Lake offered a $99 peanut butter and jelly sandwich picnic–paired with a bottle of Dom Perignon. It was a relative bargain, considering cost of the wine. It also caused more than a few chuckles among pilots who flew in and out of the little Big Bear Airport, where her restaurant was located. In London, though, BBC TV chef Martin Blunos has crafted a…

September 11, 2010

How About a Free MIT Education?

by Roberta Murphy Sometimes we stumble across unexpected treasures, including articles written a couple of years ago. This one is too rich not to share again: A Free MIT Education. Thanks to a web-based electronic publishing initiative, this incredible opportunity from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is being generously funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and MIT with support of the Ab Initio…

September 11, 2010

Wine Barrel Flooring: The Luxury of Recycling

by Roberta Murphy Most of us appreciate the earthy luxury of a true wine cellar and also see the value of repurposed materials emerging as elements in our homes. But how about a slice from the best of both worlds and have rich wood flooring crafted from old California wine barrels? I’ve seen serving trays and other novelties emerge from wine barrel tops, but hardwood flooring from the actual wine…

September 7, 2010

Adieu to McMansions?

by Roberta Murphy A couple of years ago we were buzzing about the possibility of Slumburbias–where Baby Boomers were abandoning cul de sacs, suburbs and the McMansions battled for a decade ago. Instead, they wanted something smaller, something in a walkable neighborhood, something that didn’t require 100 square feet devoted to lawn mowers, clippers and tools. They still long for the freedom to lock and go, the freedom to travel,…

August 21, 2010

Seeking New Orleans Bed and Breakfast or Inn

by Roberta Murphy We are making reservations now to attend the National Association of Realtors NAR NARDIGRAS, which will logically be held in New Orleans, November 4 through November 8.  We are arriving a couple of days early to attend a two day Cyberprofessional meeting and will spend the balance of our time in unspecified meetings–but will additionally be taking photos and reviewing lodging, restaurants and local “catches.” Time will…

July 31, 2010

The Luxury of….Schools in Afghanistan

Luxury properties and lifestyles are of interest for many of us, but there are times when necessities are the greatest and most compelling luxury of all. And the kids in Afghanistan desperately need our help. Many schools throughout the country have been destroyed and teachers have been executed–resulting in a literacy rate that is one of the lowest in the world. Some American soldiers, cooperating with locals, are assisting in…

July 13, 2010

Most Expensive Cities in the World

by Roberta Murphy It’s interesting to study living costs in the most expensive cities in the world–at least as tabulated for 2009. According to Mercers, who tabulate these statistics for expatriate living, the 10 most expensive cities (based on housing, food, entertainment, clothing and transportation) are: 1. Tokyo 2. Osaka 3. Moscow 4. Geneva 5. Hong Kong 6. Zurich 7. Copenhagen 8. New York 9. Beijing 10. Singapore Mercer’s, in…

June 7, 2010