The World’s Hottest Winter Travel Destinations

Winter has wrapped a snowy white blanket around so many in the Northern Hemisphere, with spring still a very distant fantasy. Maybe it’s time to warm up your thoughts by planning to relax on a luxurious tropical island, adventure through a rainforest, or bask in the Southern Hemisphere’s summertime warmth.

Offering abundant sunshine and balmy temperatures, here are our picks for the best destination hot spots to beat the chill this winter, featuring some of our Leverage Partner cities:

MAUI, HAWAII
HOME OF THE WAILEA GROUP



From the scenic slopes to beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world, a visit to Maui recharges the senses.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
HOME OF ALLAM REAL ESTATE & BURNS AND BURNS


With more than 340 sunny days per year, escape to the “Land Down Under” from December through March to enjoy their gorgeous summer months.

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO
HOME OF TIMOTHY REAL ESTATE GROUP

Combining old world Spanish charm with modern amenities, this delightful town is home to humpback whales and sun-starved travelers in the winter.

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA
HOME OF PARTNERS TRUST REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE & ACQUISITIONS


Home to sandy beaches and Hollywood movie stars, this breathtaking coastal city captures panoramic ocean views from the surrounding mountains.

COSTA RICA
HOME OF PLANTACIÓN PROPERTIES

With beautiful beaches, exotic rain forests, and abundant wildlife, it’s easy to see why Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world.

MIAMI, FLORIDA
HOME OF TURNBERRY INTERNATIONAL REALTY AND SHELTON & STEWART REALTORS

Bask in the warm sun on South Beach, pamper yourself with a lavish spa treatment, or explore the eclectic art scene of this trendy Florida hot spot.

BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
HOME OF MAUNA KEA REALTY

Adventure awaits on the largest of the Hawaiian islands — hike in Volcanoes National Park or take a night dive with manta rays for the ultimate vacation experience.

Which of these travel destinations would you most like to spend the cold winter months?


Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

The World’s Hottest Winter Travel Destinations

Winter has wrapped a snowy white blanket around so many in the Northern Hemisphere, with spring still a very distant fantasy. Maybe it’s time to warm up your thoughts by planning to relax on a luxurious tropical island, adventure through a rainforest, or bask in the Southern Hemisphere’s summertime warmth.

Offering abundant sunshine and balmy temperatures, here are our picks for the best destination hot spots to beat the chill this winter, featuring some of our Leverage Partner cities:

MAUI, HAWAII
HOME OF THE WAILEA GROUP



From the scenic slopes to beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world, a visit to Maui recharges the senses.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
HOME OF ALLAM REAL ESTATE & BURNS AND BURNS


With more than 340 sunny days per year, escape to the “Land Down Under” from December through March to enjoy their gorgeous summer months.

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO
HOME OF TIMOTHY REAL ESTATE GROUP

Combining old world Spanish charm with modern amenities, this delightful town is home to humpback whales and sun-starved travelers in the winter.

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA
HOME OF PARTNERS TRUST REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE & ACQUISITIONS


Home to sandy beaches and Hollywood movie stars, this breathtaking coastal city captures panoramic ocean views from the surrounding mountains.

COSTA RICA
HOME OF PLANTACIÓN PROPERTIES

With beautiful beaches, exotic rain forests, and abundant wildlife, it’s easy to see why Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world.

MIAMI, FLORIDA
HOME OF TURNBERRY INTERNATIONAL REALTY AND SHELTON & STEWART REALTORS

Bask in the warm sun on South Beach, pamper yourself with a lavish spa treatment, or explore the eclectic art scene of this trendy Florida hot spot.

BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
HOME OF MAUNA KEA REALTY

Adventure awaits on the largest of the Hawaiian islands — hike in Volcanoes National Park or take a night dive with manta rays for the ultimate vacation experience.

Which of these travel destinations would you most like to spend the cold winter months?


Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

Xeriscaping: Sustainable Landscaping Design

In the more arid or drought-prone areas of the world, creating outdoor living spaces can pose quite a challenge. Enter xeriscaping: a drought-tolerant and beautiful way to implement native plants, hues and landscapes, in even the driest of climates.

Desert landscapes don’t have to be monochromatic–this cactus and succulent wall brings in color and creates a focal point.

Incorporating hearty, native plants that have adapted to the climate reduces the amount of water needed to sustain this garden vista.

The use of rocks in this xeriscaped creation adds the illusion of water flowing through the pots and path to create a zen-like flow.

This Palo Alto, CA front yard adds texture by utilizing blue and green-hued tumbled glass and buff-colored decomposed granite.

A tapestry of succulents replaces turf grass, complimenting southwestern stucco and Spanish tiles.

Water waste can be eliminated by confining plants, which need higher concentrations of water to their own containers.

Succulents add a pop of color to this outdoor kitchen and entertaining space.

Xeriscape gardens range from very minimal foliage with lots of stones, rocks and other silvery elements.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIY NETWORK, GARDEN DESIGN, POTTED STORE, SUNSET (1)(2)(3), DWELL/GROUNDWORK OFFICE, DESIGN SPONGE

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

Xeriscaping: Sustainable Landscaping Design

In the more arid or drought-prone areas of the world, creating outdoor living spaces can pose quite a challenge. Enter xeriscaping: a drought-tolerant and beautiful way to implement native plants, hues and landscapes, in even the driest of climates.

Desert landscapes don’t have to be monochromatic–this cactus and succulent wall brings in color and creates a focal point.

Incorporating hearty, native plants that have adapted to the climate reduces the amount of water needed to sustain this garden vista.

The use of rocks in this xeriscaped creation adds the illusion of water flowing through the pots and path to create a zen-like flow.

This Palo Alto, CA front yard adds texture by utilizing blue and green-hued tumbled glass and buff-colored decomposed granite.

A tapestry of succulents replaces turf grass, complimenting southwestern stucco and Spanish tiles.

Water waste can be eliminated by confining plants, which need higher concentrations of water to their own containers.

Succulents add a pop of color to this outdoor kitchen and entertaining space.

Xeriscape gardens range from very minimal foliage with lots of stones, rocks and other silvery elements.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIY NETWORK, GARDEN DESIGN, POTTED STORE, SUNSET (1)(2)(3), DWELL/GROUNDWORK OFFICE, DESIGN SPONGE

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

Home Improvement: True Colors

Nothing transforms a room as quickly and easily as a fresh coat of paint. Some of the world’s leading paint manufacturers recently introduced a fresh batch of colors, all in eco-friendly formulas.

FARROW & BALL PAPERS AND PAINT

The UK brand launched past fall, all created using the same age-old production methods that its factory in Dorset, England, has been employing since the company’s beginnings in 1946. The pigments – in bold shades like Yellow-cake – complement the ex-listing palette, which totals 132 interior and exterior finishes ($95–$126.50/ gallon), all of which have minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Last winter, Farrow & Ball also unveiled four new wallpaper patterns. Each is available in find colorways. The new additions are hand-crafted using real paint, giving them a uniquely tactile appearance.


SHERWIN-WILLIAMS ENHANCED HARMONY

Sherwin-Williams’ Enhanced Harmony (from $48.99/gallon) delivers great coverage and a durable finish that can withstand frequent washings. But it also does something people don’t expect from paint: Once it has dried, the paint’s odor-eliminating technology reduces ambient odors of organic origin, such as those from cooking, smoke, and pets. The result is a beautiful room that stays fresher, longer. Enhanced Harmony also contains antimicrobial agents to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint film.


BENJAMIN MOORE NATURA RENEW

Benjamin Moore’s new Natura Renew ($67.99/gallon) is an industry first. Made from a plant-based formula containing up to 40 percent bio-renewable materials, it has zero emissions and low odor but still goes on easily. Durable and washable, Natural Renew comes in thousands of colors with an eggshell and semi-gloss finish.

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

Home Improvement: True Colors

Nothing transforms a room as quickly and easily as a fresh coat of paint. Some of the world’s leading paint manufacturers recently introduced a fresh batch of colors, all in eco-friendly formulas.

FARROW & BALL PAPERS AND PAINT

The UK brand launched past fall, all created using the same age-old production methods that its factory in Dorset, England, has been employing since the company’s beginnings in 1946. The pigments – in bold shades like Yellow-cake – complement the ex-listing palette, which totals 132 interior and exterior finishes ($95–$126.50/ gallon), all of which have minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Last winter, Farrow & Ball also unveiled four new wallpaper patterns. Each is available in find colorways. The new additions are hand-crafted using real paint, giving them a uniquely tactile appearance.


SHERWIN-WILLIAMS ENHANCED HARMONY

Sherwin-Williams’ Enhanced Harmony (from $48.99/gallon) delivers great coverage and a durable finish that can withstand frequent washings. But it also does something people don’t expect from paint: Once it has dried, the paint’s odor-eliminating technology reduces ambient odors of organic origin, such as those from cooking, smoke, and pets. The result is a beautiful room that stays fresher, longer. Enhanced Harmony also contains antimicrobial agents to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint film.


BENJAMIN MOORE NATURA RENEW

Benjamin Moore’s new Natura Renew ($67.99/gallon) is an industry first. Made from a plant-based formula containing up to 40 percent bio-renewable materials, it has zero emissions and low odor but still goes on easily. Durable and washable, Natural Renew comes in thousands of colors with an eggshell and semi-gloss finish.

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

Decadent Dream Homes for 2017

2017: A year worthy of dream properties. From a castle on the hill, to secluded country estates and private panoramic oceanfront villas…whatever your fantasy may be, our Leverage Partners have you covered with these decadent dream homes.

VERDANT HOUSE
Presented by: Harnish Properties

Superb Hamptons-style estate, proudly perched on two private manicured acres, features magical outdoor entertaining spaces and an interior designer’s finishing touch.

EARTHLY PARADISE RETREAT
Presented by: Partners Trust

An incomparable residential retreat perched on a secluded bluff top in Malibu, this earthly paradise offers an acre of immaculately restored coastal land.

CASTLE ON THE HILL
Presented by: Red Oak Realty

Bring your dreams to life with this castle on the hill, elegantly carved to showcase its spaciousness and exquisite design, while providing stunning vistas relaxing enough for the entire family.

FAIRWAYS NORTH #1 AT MAUNA KEA RESORT
Presented by: Mauna Kea Realty

Indulge in the enchanting waters of the elegantly designed lanai and the refreshing tropical breeze, while gazing upon majestic ocean views and your very own quaint waterfall grotto.

WATERFRONT VILLA CAP D’AIL
Presented by: Beauchamp Estates

Split over five levels of pure splendor, this luxurious villa offers 600 sq m of panoramic sea views over the beautiful Cap d’Ail bay on the French Riviera.

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

Home Design Trends: Black & White Style

It’s black & white: These two contrasting shades remain one of the most popular and enduring color combinations thanks to their adaptability to almost any decor style. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate this timeless look into modern spaces.

 

A simple coat of ebony paint can turn a tired wooden staircase into a stunning entryway feature.

Checkered flooring adds a retro pop to this bright white country kitchen.

Classic Victorian lines can be modernized by adding black accents to existing crown moulding and adding contemporary furniture in neutral hues.

Chandelier and recessed lighting help brighten rooms that can sometimes feel closed in with dark paint colors and wall treatments.

This classic black and white loft decor is juxtaposed with an exposed brick wall, giving the room an urban edge.

Take the black and white motif outdoors with a whimsical porcelain plate installation and pillows in mix-and-match patterns.

Heavy obsidian drapes add a hint of the dramatic to this luxurious boudoir.

Natural materials such as the marble, stone, and wood in this impressive entry are joined together with painted black and white accents.


PHOTOS COURTESY OF
BRIGHT BOLD & BEAUTIFUL, CANADIAN LIVING, THE NEST, HOUZZTHE DECORISTA, HUNTED INTERIOR, DESIGN POINT OF VIEW, 435 MAGAZINE

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

3 Home Decor Trends to Watch for in 2017

What will be en vogue in home décor and design in 2017? We’ve handpicked three of the latest style trends to be on the watch for in the New Year.


TEXTURE

Wooden headboards are so 2016. Add a hint texture and luxury to your bedroom with an upholstered headboard. Available in an array of styles, shapes, and sizes, it’s a staple in fine hotels around the world. So why not bring that opulence home with you?


COLOR

Behr releases a limited-edition collection of colors every year. For 2017, it’s divided into three palettes: comfortable, composed, and confident. And it’s all that, and more. Designed with you in mind, the collection includes soft pinks and yellows that will pair well with the guest bedroom along with shades of muted blues and grays perfectly suited for the kitchen. With names like “Life is a Peach,” “Wanderlust,” and “Jade Dragon,” there is a shade for any space you’re looking to revive.


BLUEPRINT

In today’s 24/7 digital age, your home should be an escape from the chaos. Having a place to detox from the hustle and bustle of the every day will be on trend in 2017. But even if you don’t have a private space or nook, you can apply this style to any room. Let the room breath by simplifying the layout, remove the technology, and incorporate natural materials like cork or plywood.

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com

3 Home Decor Trends to Watch for in 2017

What will be en vogue in home décor and design in 2017? We’ve handpicked three of the latest style trends to be on the watch for in the New Year.


TEXTURE

Wooden headboards are so 2016. Add a hint texture and luxury to your bedroom with an upholstered headboard. Available in an array of styles, shapes, and sizes, it’s a staple in fine hotels around the world. So why not bring that opulence home with you?


COLOR

Behr releases a limited-edition collection of colors every year. For 2017, it’s divided into three palettes: comfortable, composed, and confident. And it’s all that, and more. Designed with you in mind, the collection includes soft pinks and yellows that will pair well with the guest bedroom along with shades of muted blues and grays perfectly suited for the kitchen. With names like “Life is a Peach,” “Wanderlust,” and “Jade Dragon,” there is a shade for any space you’re looking to revive.


BLUEPRINT

In today’s 24/7 digital age, your home should be an escape from the chaos. Having a place to detox from the hustle and bustle of the every day will be on trend in 2017. But even if you don’t have a private space or nook, you can apply this style to any room. Let the room breath by simplifying the layout, remove the technology, and incorporate natural materials like cork or plywood.

Article originally appeared on LeverageRE.com