Monday, March 27, 2017

BILL & MELINDA GATES SEATTLE HOMES

“XANADU 2.0” IS AWESOME

·       Costing $60MM, it took seven years to build; Bill Gates also bought several surrounding houses for about $14.4MM.  The home has 24 bathrooms. Annual property tax is over $1MM.

·       Pool measures 60’x17’ and has a fossil-motif floor and underwater music system.  Locker room has 4 showers and 2 baths. Dive into the pool and you can come up by an outdoor terrace, going under a glass wall. Fitness gym is 2500 sq ft;  trampoline room has 20’ ceiling.   There is an elevator, but if you are into fitness, set your fitbit and head up or down the 84 steps from the entrance to the ground floor.

·       1000 sq ft dining room seats 24. 150 people can be fed dinner or 200 can be at a cocktail party in the 2300 sq ft reception hall.  Guests receive a pin that interacts with room sensors and can change to your preference the temperature, music and lighting.  This was built in 1995.

·      Guest house has 1 bedroom, 1 bath and is 1900 sq ft.

·       The grounds include an artificial stream and wetland estuary stocked with salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout. The sand on the lake bank is imported from warmer sandier climates, perhaps Hawaii.

















Wednesday, August 17, 2016

5 Kitchen Design Trends to Take From PULTE'S Model Homes

5 Kitchen Design Trends to Take From Model Homes

The model homes of builders are known for showcasing the latest interior design trends in trying to appeal to home shoppers. So what’s trending when it comes to the kitchen?
PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team is merchandising about 425 model homes in 2016. The kitchen is a big area that gets a lot of the design team’s focus too.
“Today’s home buyers are willing to spend more in the kitchen – from energy-efficient appliances to quartz countertops,” says Janice Jones, PulteGroup’s national vice president of interior design. “We continuously conduct consumer focus groups to best understand what they want in their kitchens and are constantly refining our kitchen designs and its elements to ensure it delivers on functionality, creative design and easy maintenance across all our buyer groups.”
Jones cites five kitchen trends in 2016 that they are reflecting in many PulteGroup model homes lately. These trends also can serve as inspiration for home owners planning renovation projects or wanting ideas for easy updates, Jones notes.
1. Contrasting materials
Materials are getting mixed in the kitchen. Contrasting colors and styles are combined to create a more unique space. For example, mixed marbles and metals in a space can help highlight gray wood tones.

2. Decorative lighting
Bold and oversized lighting choices are popular choices. “Decorative lighting is key in the kitchen and adds dramatic flair as well as functionality to the kitchen, especially over the kitchen island,” according to PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team.
3. Transparency
Switch out some cabinet doors with glass doors. It can help you extend visual boundaries while also allowing home owners to display some of their favorite things and add more personalization to a space.


4. Storage
Home owners are always looking for more storage, especially in the kitchen. Double-stacked cabinets that extend to the ceiling can help maximize storage space.

5. More drawers, less doors
Having plenty of kitchen drawers can add more functionality in storage. Home owners are showing preferences toward more drawers over extra cabinets. Bold hardware can then added to the drawers to add more design appeal, PulteGroup says.

brought to you by MARILYN JACOBS, REALTOR
from REALTOR MAGAZINE

Sunday, May 8, 2016

WHAT does the name Steve Case mean to you? READ ON: Why corporate America needs to be more paranoid

In June 1983, I was at a crossroads. I was twenty-four years old and had spent a year working for Pizza Hut. And while I had a good time traveling the country and stuffing myself, the job was starting to get old. That summer I made a pros and cons list. I wrote down various career options — going to an established company, a startup, or a consulting firm — and ticked through the benefits and drawbacks of each possible move. 

First on my list were established tech companies such as Apple and Atari. Marketing positions at these companies would have provided the tech on-ramp I was seeking, but with big companies come internal politics and red tape. There were some pros to those jobs but also a whole lot of cons.
Co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of America Online (AOL)

When considering the possibility of joining a marketing consulting firm in San Francisco, I noted that while it would be fun to work in Silicon Valley, I had three concerns: “stuffy, tough sell, don’t like consulting.” So that was a pass, too. 
Finally, there was CVC, the startup I ended up choosing. I saw a lot upside to going there: an exciting idea, promising technology, a chance to make a big impact in a growing market — and, best of all, the opportunity to work alongside and learn from entrepreneur Bill von Meister. I listed only one downside: “future uncertain.” 
Everything about the CVC job was up in the air, from my future role in the company to the future of the company itself. Of course, you know how the story ends (the company became AOL), but at the time this was a big concern. In a way, though, that uncertainty was as much a pro as it was a con. Sure, an uncertain future meant I could be out on the streets looking for a job in a few months’ time. But it also meant a chance to make my own destiny. A chance, as it turned out, to play a role in making the Internet a part of everyday life.
I’m often reminded of the famous newspaper ad Ernest Shackleton is said to have placed before his 1914 attempt to explore Antarctica: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” That’s the beauty of entrepreneurship, and that’s what drew me to CVC. 
The bottom line is that when I was twenty-four, I had no idea where my own “hazardous journey” would lead me. I didn’t know whether my stock options would even be worth the paper they were printed on. All I knew was that in the uncertainty lay immense challenges — and enormous opportunities. There was a boundless electronic frontier to explore, an online Antarctica filled with peril and possibility. And I knew that I needed to be a part of charting that uncertain future. 
When I think about what the world will look like thirty years from now and try to anticipate what problems we need to solve — to say nothing of the problems we face now — I see another uncertain future. But I also believe that, as in my case, this uncertainty isn’t a disadvantage. Once again, we’ve got a pro masquerading as a con. Once again, we have the opportunity — and, I believe, the obligation — to set a new course. Now we just have to think about what all of us — entrepreneurs, business leaders, government officials, everyday Americans with good ideas — can and must do to make sure we arrive there. 
Ride the wave
The Third Wave of the Internet is coming, the moment when the Internet transforms from something we interact with to something that interacts with everything around us. It will mean the rise of the Internet of Everything, where everything we do will be enabled by an Internet connection, much in the way it’s already enabled by electricity. 
This process will lead to the transformation of some of the industries that are vital to our daily lives, which will make the barriers to success higher, and the need to form partnerships much more central, as a way of building credibility, opening doors, and getting past industry gatekeepers. One such partner will likely be the government, which has an interest in regulating the industries most affected by the Third Wave.
Don’t confuse your views of government with the role of government, which can be either an impediment to progress or a driver of it, and which cannot be ignored. Much Third Wave innovation will come from impact entrepreneuring focused on building “profit plus purpose” companies that have a measurable impact on the world. And this innovation will be geographically dispersed, as the rest of the country (and the world) rises up to complement the innovation now occurring largely in a few places, such as Silicon Valley. The challenges in the Third Wave will be vexing, and as Thomas Edison reminds us, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” But if we rally together, and execute with precision, we can remain the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial nation.
So that’s my thesis, in a nutshell. Think of it as the CliffsNotes — or BuzzFeed — guide to the Third Wave. One more parting thought before I go. 

A message to corporate America 
To corporate leaders, it’s time to develop a perpetual sense of paranoia and curiosity. It’s time to both fear the future and seize its promise, to restlessly drive to master it, no matter what it holds. Regardless of where you and your company stand at the end of today, you can always wake up tomorrow to find that things have changed drastically. You jeopardize your position if you don’t strive to anticipate how it will change. 

Keep your finger on the pulse of technology, and consider what its beat might mean for your business. Take stock of trends. Resist the temptation to dismiss up-and-coming technologies. 
Empower your team to ask questions and, where no answers exist, to create new ones. Give them the space to innovate and experiment. Take more “shots on goal.” Allow more crazy ideas to bubble up, because the very best ideas often sound ridiculous when first proposed. Surely, executives at Marriott and Hilton would have thought that the idea of renting an air mattress or a room in an apartment was insane. But in 2015, seven years after starting, Airbnb was valued at $25 billion, making it worth more than either of the hospitality powerhouses, both of which have been around for more than half a century. And it’s not just about relative valuations: it’s also about sudden shifts in market dynamics. As Senator Marco Rubio has pointed out, Airbnb is now the largest hospitality provider, yet they don’t own a single hotel. Similarly, Uber is the largest transportation company, though they don’t own a single vehicle. And neither company existed a decade ago. 
Remember that disruption has broadened. Your competitors won’t just emerge from the low end of your industry. Increasingly, they’ll come from other industries, too. Apple wasn’t in the music business, nor was Google in the mobile phone business — until suddenly they were. So build a network in and around your company — and look for the opportunity in every direction.
The future belongs to those who endeavor to create it. That’s why we go into business — because we have a vision for the future that we want to see through. So don’t let temporary successes permanently blind your future ambitions.
You have the resources — human, capital, otherwise — to take on ambitious projects. And so you must decide — is it better to use those recourse to resist change or to drive it? 
And remember this: In the Third Wave, partnerships will become more important. You’ll have more opportunities in the next decade than you did in the past decade. So don’t just play defense, play offense. Don’t just defend, attack. But don’t go it alone. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” 

This post has been adapted and excerpted from Steve Case’s new book, “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future,” on sale now from Simon & Schuster. This article is from LINKED IN.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SO… how does your garden grow? Come on Mounts’ annual tour of gardens for some ideas and visual beauty

Self-paced tours will take place Saturday and Sunday



Eight garden tours are featured and one ticket will let you in both on Saturday and Sunday for the 12th Annual Connoisseurs Garden Tour, sponsored by Mounts Botanical Garden.

A private garden on Chilean Avenue, filled with orchids and other colorful plants, and the public Pan’s Garden at 386 Hibiscus Avenue in Palm Beach are among the eight featured gardens.  Pan’s garden features over 300 native Florida plant species.  Pan’s Garden was founded in 1994 by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

Tickets are $25 and include a brochure with descriptions of each garden. Tours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.  Purchase tickets in advance at several locations including the Mounts gift shop and office, 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach; Uncle Bim’s Garden Center, 926 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach; and Amelia’s Smarty Plants, 1515 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth.


For details, call 561-233-1757 or visit Mounts.org.  For information about the Preservation Foundation go to http://www.palmbeachpreservation.org/.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'!




Designs for the construction of a “timeless” 9,000 sq ft one-story contemporary house passed the approval of the Palm Beach Architectural Commission.  The ¾ acre lot at 430 North Lake Way 115’ of ICW waterfront.  The forthcoming long lean house with a flat roof will cover 2/3 of the lot at 430 North Lake Way.  A straight-lined entablature with horizontal quartzite panels from Spain will define the roof line.  The fa├žade will feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows with rear windows and doors positioned to maximize the water views.



Before approval was issued, there was much discussion about the planned for 12’ privacy hedge, typical of Palm Beach landscaping.  The landscape architect said the hedge would only be broken in two places to accommodate the 12’ driveway.  Some Commissioners felt that would block views of the architecture and the landscape architect said it would mimic similar neighborhood landscaping.  He was asked to revise the hedge design so passersby could see the architecture.  Only one Commissioner objected to the architecture, the rest were in favor of the design.



In past years there has been much controversy over building contemporary-style houses with some feeling these homes will change the architectural fabric of the area.
A local architect told the board that “Palm Beach has a long history of really great but limited modern architecture."  Most commissioners heartily embraced the design, one Commissioner, an architect, said that, “This is truly another gem that we will have here…I am happy to support you.”



One next door property is Mediterranean, the other is Key West and one Commissioner objected to the house being “too dissimilar” from the others.  None of the neighbors objected to the design and one actively supported it.  One Commissioner said that she did not see “any continuity” in the immediate area anyway.”  The new owner is a former Goldman Sachs executive who retired recently as co-head of global mergers and acquisitions, and is now a partner in another investment bank, Centerview Partners.  The couple paid $15.66mm for the property a few months after he resigned.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND CONSERVATIVE RABBI COLLABORATE TO BUILD UNIQUE BETH SHOLOM SYNAGOGUE


 

In response to Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen’s letter describing his vision for a simple, modern synagogue that could hold up to 1500 people, Frank Lloyd Write responded, “Dear Rabbi Cohen, I would like to talk to you concerning your project.”  Thus began a six year collaboration between the Rabbi and the world famous Architect that led to the beautiful sanctuary above in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.



Rabbi Cohen said in his request, cost would be $500,000, there would be no windows but the glass roof and rotunda would let in light.  Walls would have acoustic treatment.  Included would be classrooms, meeting rooms and storage rooms, all to be air-conditioned.  Sketches of his ideas were included.  Wright’s goal was to have congregants walk in and feel “as if they were resting in the hands of God.” The gentle slope of the horseshoe formation achieved the goal of seeing others around you no matter where you were seated rather than the backs of heads and profiles. On bright sunny days when a cloud passes overhead, the room darkens, at sunset the room turns gold, and when the sky is blue, you see blue.



This is the only synagogue that Wright ever designed.  Many of his textures, colors and geometric motifs such as triangles and hexagons are repeated thruout the structure, creating a powerful design unity.  Modern materials were used including concrete, steel and glass, finished with gold tones of bronze and desert sand, using Wrights signature red, and matte silver aluminum.




The building was dedicated on September 20, 1959, five months after Wright’s death.  Shortly thereafter both the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation singled out Beth Sholom Synagogue as one of the seventeen Wright buildings most worthy of preservation. Later an elevator was added, restrooms were upgraded and sidewalks were widened.  Visitors can watch a 20-minute documentary narrated by Leonard Nimoy and study exhibits.  Tours are suspended when events are held such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals.  No tours are given on Saturdays or Jewish holidays.  School continues thruout the year.  The vegetable garden grows food for the food pantry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DINED LAST NIGHT ON A FRESH ARTICHOKE THAT I BOILED, ADDED BUTTER DIP TO, AND IT WAS DELICIOUS


NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Rich source of fibre
Low in calories and fat
Excellent source of folic acid
Moderate source of Vitamins C and K
#7 on USDA's Top 20 Antioxidant-rich foods