Articles by

Deidre Woollard

For me, marketing is a creative pursuit, combining the power of art and compelling communication with the world of data and metrics. I began my career in marketing working on the advertising end of several magazines before embracing the internet. As the founding editor of Luxist.com (later part of AOL.com), I worked for seven years on the vanguard of luxury websites during the rise of blogging, helped to fuel the trend for luxury real estate blogging and 'home of the day' coverage. Later as the community manager for realtor.com I interviewed and profiled hundreds of real estate agents and developed a profound appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into each home purchase and sale. As a real estate publicist I've achieved placement for agents and properties in Architectural Digest, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Curbed, and more. I am passionate about the intersection of branding, marketing, and writing, something I've been able to pass on while teaching at UCIrvine Extension in their Digital Journalism program. In my spare time, you can find me under a tree reading on my iPad.

09/05/16 12:30pm

 

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California’s coastline has certain towns, as well known as prime wine varietals, with names that have become shorthand for wealth, luxury, golden light fading into soft rose at twilight, and sparkling off the water in the heat of the day. Montecito has drawn celebrities for decades, but what lures Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and a bevy of executives to Santa Barbara County?

Montecito’s unique position provides a host of microclimates, and some of the most prized real estate isn’t along the coast. Instead it’s above East Valley Road, where a combination of gentle breezes, warm sunshine, and ocean views provide an idyllic setting. In this area you will find the most extravagant estates often boasting exemplary gardens.

Montecito’s reputation as a garden paradise began at the end of the 19th century as the East Coast wealthy began to seek out the restorative effects of a Southern California winter.

A modern example that has a similar appeal to some the George Washington Smith homes in the areas is 710 Picacho Lane. The home was built in 1996 and has been created for modern living with commanding ocean and mountain views.

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08/26/16 12:10pm

5656 SOuth Shore Blvd Wellington Florida

With the news that Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs purchased an estate in Wellington, Florida for $15.3 million in cash across the street from Bill Gates’ equestrian estate, the town of Wellington, Fla., made national headlines. Wellington, a town of approximately 60,000 around 15 miles east of tony West Palm Beach has become a nexus of wealth and power due to one factor: horses and the people who ride them for show. Jobs and Gates, it just so happens, each sired a daughter with a love of and talent for show riding.

The news of the Jobs’ purchase came fast on the heels of June reports that Bill Gates had purchased what nearly amounted to a whole street in Wellington, simply to provide privacy. Gossip Extra detailed how Gates spent approximately $37 million in Wellington.

But why is this place so attractive to the moneyed elite?

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08/16/16 5:37pm

 

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Spend any time in suburban Florida and you’ll see a lot of gated communities. It can seem as if the entire state lies secluded behind guard gates staffed by cheerful folks with clipboards and magic powers to allow or deny entry.

The true luxury in these communities is two-fold: privacy and amenities. Lush green space abounds and it seems that lawns and trees are always in a constant state of being trimmed and tended to. Amenities can be as simple as a community clubhouse and pool or range to a full-service country club. Even at the country club level, there are country clubs, and then there are the kind of clubs where service is delivered at an elevated level.

This brings us to The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., a spot that has drawn everyone from Celine Dion to Michael Jordan. The area seems to have a particular lure for golfers. Jack Nicklaus designed The Bear’s Club in 1999, creating a majestic and challenging 18-hole golf course and a community over 401 acres. The community is less than two miles from the ocean and within easy striking distance of the tony shops of West Palm Beach.

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07/13/16 12:14pm

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It’s no surprise that Hawaii captures the imagination of people dreaming of a getaway. Tropical breezes, the deep blue Pacific, technicolor sunsets, and lush greenery set the stage for a dream vacation or the ultimate home away from home.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International have announced the winners of the HGTV Ultimate House Hunt, a month-long online contest held on HGTV.com each year.

The contest highlights exceptional homes from across the globe in eight exciting categories: Waterfront Homes, Master Retreats, International Homes, Living Large in Small Spaces, Bringing The Outside In, Kids’ Spaces, Classic Living and Making an Entrance. All featured homes are represented by members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International. Consumers vote for their favorite, and a winner is chosen at the end.

This year, Hawaii cleaned up, winning honors in three categories as well as the overall winner. Massachusetts homes won in two categories, as did Florida homes and the International award winner is located in Lugano, Switzerland.

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03/17/15 5:07pm
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Photo: Carriage Properties

Charleston South Carolina has been having a moment lately, but then again, when hasn’t it been a desirable spot? It’s consistently been ranked as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 25 Cities In the World and was ranked as the best city in the United States by Travel + Leisure in 2014. What makes Charleston such a great place to visit or live? It’s a potent mix of history, beauty, great weather, and world-class cuisine.

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Photo: Carriage Properties

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03/13/15 12:55pm

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It’s time to start thinking of your trip to the beach! A prime ocean view is a bit of an obligation. Given the price of oceanview property, which of course, they aren’t making any more of, the onus is on the builder and architect to craft a home that is both livable and delivers on the promise of a jaw-dropping vista.

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Jerusalem Road in Cohasset on Massachusetts’ South Shore has many homes that capture the classic look of a New England estate. Cohasset is a charming seaside town that offers many of the benefits of nearby Cape Cod but without as much of the tourist traffic (and no long wait to cross the bridge). This home, freshly built this year by Patrick Ahearn Architect and Fabrizio Construction, is a custom collaboration on a shingle style masterpiece with ocean views from 15 of 19 rooms!

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03/03/15 3:23pm
Photo: Timothy Real Estate Group

Photo: Timothy Real Estate Group

Situated down the coast from the touristy and yet convenient Mexican beach city of Puerto Vallerta is Villa Kismet. This angular architecture with a stunning infinity pool is located in the Sierra del Mar at Los Arcos community.  This gated oceanfront community is located 15 minutes south of downtown Puerto Vallarta on the southern shores of Banderas Bay and has a private beach. Community amenities include a private beach club with a palapa lounge, snack bar, sunning terrace, swimming pool, jacuzzi, gym, wi-fi, and business center as well as beach services such as chaise lounges, umbrellas, towels, food and beverage service, ocean kayaks and snorkeling equipment.

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02/23/15 5:24pm
Photo: Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate

Photo: Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate

High Point, North Carolina is currently famed for being the furniture capital of the United States, bringing furniture designers from around the globe in for the High Point Market two times a year. High Point, though, like many other Southern towns, was also built on textiles and tobacco.

Hillbrook, was built for textile baron Comer Covington (he and his wife  Elizabeth Harriss Covington, were the founders of Harrris-Covington Mills) in 1930 and is considered one of renowned architect Luther Lashmit’s preeminent works. Lashmit, of the firm Northrup & O’Brien, was the architect behind other notable North Carolina homes such as  Graylyn Mansion (built for an RJ Reynolds president) and Adamsleigh (another grand home built for a textile titan). The home has alternately been described as a Norman Tudor and, in archival materials at the NCSU libraries as a Cotswold Tudor.

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