By staff February 1, 2008


Once only appropriate above huge, stuffy, Old World dining rooms, the new generation of crystal chandeliers—available at Franklin Lighting on Lockwood Ridge Road—has undergone an edgy, urban restyling. Today’s elevated lighting features look as good in a sleek condo as they do in a traditional home. The entire chandelier has been redesigned. Even the chains and ceiling canopies sport unexpected touches like crystal drops and ornate iron scrolls. The new styles are available in a variety of colors and finishes, including a vintage silverleaf finish with crystal gems in amethyst, tourmaline, aquamarine and clear-diamond colors, or a variegated gold-leaf finish with multicolored crystal gems of citrine, carnelian, brown and amber colors.


The latest in the ever-evolving spa-like bathroom experience can be found at Hill’s Showcase of Designer Plumbing: audiotherapy, which treats the ears and soothes the mind while the body relaxes in the tub. Audiotherapy is the next logical step in therapeutic home spas, after aromatherapy, which calms and energizes through scent; thermotherapy, which utilizes heat to stimulate the body’s functions and activate the sweating process; and light therapy, which helps synchronize your internal clock.

Audiotherapy is designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain and promote physical rehabilitation. MTI, a leader in this technology, has found a way to integrate an audio system in the baths it produces. The new tuneful tubs, called Stereo H2O, feature speakers that are applied to the shell’s exterior near the waterline and integrated into the tub structure. Sound is evenly distributed throughout the entire environment, surrounding the bather with invigorating or relaxing sounds or music of choice. You may never want to leave your bathroom again.


For a refreshing take on traditional European furnishings, Robb & Stucky introduces Paloma, a Spanish-inspired collection reinvented with a bleached wood finish. “Paloma is a great fit for the popular Tuscan architecture of homes along Florida’s Gulf Coast,” says Kris Kolar, vice president of interior design for Robb & Stucky Interiors. “This collection, when paired with dark, traditional hand-carved pieces, creates an intriguing design.” The all-inclusive collection features more than 20 products for the bedroom, living and dining room. A Robb & Stucky original design, Paloma is available exclusively at Robb & Stucky Interiors.


Often the decision to sell your home isn’t based on a need to relocate. You may just want a new look, even a new living environment that complements your evolving lifestyle. Raymond Boorstein & Associates can help you achieve that look by analyzing your existing living spaces, lifestyle and personal preferences to develop plans that will satisfy your wants and needs, all within a pre-determined budget.

Even during the current real estate market malaise, there’s a way to get that immediate change in setting without trying to pull off a sale. Reallocation of your home space—either through furniture placement, remodeling or refurbishing on any scale—can give a new living pattern to a home, and grant your lifestyle a new lease. Raymond Boorstein & Associates works within a variety of price ranges to suit any needs.


And what do you do with your old furniture after you’ve reinvented your home’s look? House of Lords can either sell or consign all the things you no longer want: furniture, collectibles, china, glassware, jewelry, pictures and more. Having operated from its present site for nine years, House of Lords has kept up with antique shoppers’ changing demands throughout the last decade, while establishing a relationship with the community that ensures a steady stream of top-notch items. Nowadays, buyers tired of mass-produced imports are looking for quality, and they can find that here. Whether you’re moving to Sarasota or leaving it, downsizing or selling an estate, House of Lords can be of great help.


John Cannon Homes has gotten proactive with the building slowdown. The Sarasota homebuilder recently expanded into the remodeling arena, where its 20 years of experience in full-service construction will be applied toward redoing homes and businesses in Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties. Services span the gamut from custom design through the final product, all by a team of professionals experienced in a range of construction, from homes to hotels. Already off to a good start, the John Cannon remodeling division has completed projects on multimillion-dollar homes in Lakewood Ranch and Lake Shore. The company’s design/build specialty translates easily to remodeling, according to president John Cannon, so now it can offer clients a newer home at their old address.


The housing market may have some people flummoxed, but the Sarasota Association of Realtors believes real estate remains a smart choice for buyers who loved the Sarasota environment. Like blue chip stocks, well-priced homes in resort-style destinations are always in demand and appreciate solidly over the long term—even while being lived in, loved and enjoyed.

Corrected prices in every segment of the market now add up to incredible buying opportunities in the real estate market of 2008, says the SAR. With a great selection of homes and today’s low interest rates, many prospective buyers who were once on the fence have now decided that waiting any longer is too big a gamble.


Michael Saunders & Company is betting on international interest in Florida real estate by partnering with EREN, the European Real Estate Network. EREN is an amalgam of 20 real estate companies representing high-end real estate across 10 continental European countries.

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