3 Hot Properties to Buy in Kuala Lumpur Right Now

Posted in What to Buy

There’s no denying the captivation of living in the modern and exotic city of Kuala Lumpur – the vibrant melting pot of heritage, cultures and cuisines — and now with relaxed Malaysian property policies in place, well that’s just the cherry on top. So whether you’re looking for a second home, retirement estate or investment asset, here are three hot properties on the market worth putting a down payment on.

Damansara Heights Villa

Seclusion and convenience might sound contradictory, but just outside downtown Kuala Lumpur is this luxurious hilltop mansion in the tranquil neighbourhood of Damansara Perdana offering just that. The 14,000 sq. ft. property offers stunning unobstructed hillside views both day and night. With five bedrooms, fitness studio, pool room, theatre room, and maid’s quarter this home is perfect for those looking for privacy while still being in close proximity to the city. US$6.33 million | luxuryestate.com

Modern Industrial Mansion in Damansara

Also located in the district of Damansara is this unmissable industrial-style mansion. Using glass, dark wood and steel as core materials, the home is designed to float within a valley and let in as much natural light as possible. The modern one-of-a-kind home spanning 13,000 sq. ft. comes with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a roof deck, zen garden, art gallery, outdoor pool, spacious balcony and home theatre. US$3.5 million | luxuryestate.com

Embassy Row Manor

If space is what you’re after, look no further. This 5-storey home is spread across 17,840 sq. ft. and includes 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, an outdoor pool, open deck and 12 parking spaces. Located in the Embassy Row area right in the heart of KL, you can enjoy exquisite views of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers within the city on one side, while facing the Royal Selangor Golf Club on the other. US$9.69 million | luxuryestate.com

Staff Writer

Get Into the Olympic Spirit at This New Tokyo Property

Posted in Sponsored Content

At the centre of Tokyo’s Olympics-inspired redevelopment, BRANZ Atago Toranomon offers sophisticated contemporary living in a stellar location.

The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will provide an extraordinary opportunity for the Japanese capital. In particular, the city’s property market is set to get a boost with the launch of the Greater Tokyo Redevelopment, which will transform central Tokyo with a number of new developments and infrastructure — and right at the heart of it is BRANZ Atago Toranomon.

The new development, from List Sotheby’s International Realty and Tokyu Land Corporation, occupies a prime location in Toranomon 3 Chome, part of one of the Japanese government’s six National Strategic Special Zones. It enjoys unparalleled public transport links: Kamiyacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya line is just a two-minute walk away and Onarimon station just seven minutes, while the new Toranomon Hills Station will open in 2020. Surrounding districts include the business centres of Ginza, Shinbashi and Akasaka, diplomatic quarter Azabu and cultural melting pot Roppongi.

Standing 17 storeys tall, BRANZ Atago Toranomon offers residences featuring 13 different floor plans. With a backdrop that combines the bustling and urban with the tranquil and bucolic, it has been designed according to a philosophy that blends the best of both, the use of sophisticated tiled surfaces dovetailing with an entrance hall, lobby and courtyard feature a that form an oasis of natural calm.

An unrivalled specialist in luxury residential property, List Sotheby’s International Realty is the equally prestigious property division of the world-famous auction house. It boasts a network of about 1,000 offices in more than 70 countries, including Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. The company represents the very finest in luxury properties around the world — a portfolio into which BRANZ Atago Toranomon fits perfectly.

Staff Writer

6 Luxury Properties to Purchase in Hong Kong Right Now

Posted in What to Buy

Whether a townhouse by the seaside or a penthouse on The Peak, Hong Kong boasts a number of desirable luxury properties. Below, we round up six prestigious residences to consider if you’re house hunting in Hong Kong.


Conveniently located in the heart of Discovery Bay, the new Poggibonsi offers stunning sea views, striking architectural design and a choice of layouts from studios to four-bedroom residences. Its three towers, with a total of 196 units, sit on a hill above the bays of Yi Pak Wan and Sam Pak Wan and provide views extending from Discovery College to Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Disneyland. Inside, each luxurious unit has been designed to maximise natural light and comes equipped with premium fixtures and appliances from leading brands such as De Dietrich. poggibonsi.com.hk

Mont Rouge

Kerry Properties’ latest prestigious residential development at Beacon Hill is a private sanctuary nestled among natural greenery at 9 Lung Kui Road. Mont Rouge comprises five villas, 14 detached houses and two towers with 26 apartments. Unit sizes range from 1,700 to 7,100 square feet. Its elevated hillside location provides spectacular south-facing views of Kowloon Peninsula, Victoria Harbour and The Peak, while Festival Walk and Kowloon Tong MTR station are just 10 minutes’ travel time away.

Mount Nicholson

Taking pride of place atop The Peak in the west of Hong Kong Island, Mount Nicholson is a gated community of 19 unique detached houses and 48 spacious apartment units with saleable areas that range from 4,186 to 9,950 square feet. The top-quality design and construction is the result of collaborations among world-leading architects and designers including Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Yabu Pushelberg, Wong & Ouyang and LWK + Partners. Amenities and services include a large-scale clubhouse, ballroom, theatre and SAS-trained security guards.

The Carmel

Situated against a lush hillside in Tai Lam, Wing Tai Properties’ townhouse project The Carmel comprises individual townhouses (most with private gardens and garages) as well as 130 residential units from studio to four-suite penthouses. Renowned landscape architect Jean Mus has created three spectacular vertical gardens that blend seamlessly with the development’s graceful design.

8 Deep Water Bay Drive

Luxury residential development 8 Deep Water Bay Drive is built along the contours of prestigious Shouson Hill. Typical apartments range from three to four en-suite bedroom units with saleable areas of 2,865 to 4,214 square feet, while the state-of-the-art clubhouse facilities include an interconnected 20-metre indoor pool and 25-metre outdoor pool. The private enclave also features a 22,000-square-foot garden.

Grand Homm

Unveiled in September, Goldin Group’s first luxury property development in Hong Kong, Grand Homm, aims to redefine opulence in the residential market. The Ho Man Tin project comprises six towers with a total of 401 spacious apartments, each accessed via a private lift lobby. The complex also features 284 parking spaces, a four-storey clubhouse and lush tropical landscaping. Amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, and an indoor clay tennis court.

Staff Writer

5 Winter Chalets to Snap Up for the Coming Ski Season

Posted in What to Buy

What could be better than checking out of your regular routine and checking in to a chic ski resort – an escape to an alpine residence with winter-wonderland views and 24-hour personal butler service? Whether you’re looking for a dual-season getaway (winter snow-carving and summer biking-hiking) or year-round powder, here are five luxury chalets the affluent outdoors enthusiast can consider adding to the real-estate portfolio. 

Chalet Going, Kitzbuhel 

This new property lies in the quaint Austrian village of Going in Kitzbuhel. It’s a charming luxury chalet with easy access to the 469km of ski pistes between The Hahnenkamm and Kitzbühel Horn, making it a dream come true for winter-sport enthusiasts. The modern four-bedroom Alpine style holiday home comes fully furnished with designer interiors and an open living, dining and kitchen layout, plus a private spa with sauna facilities and wine cellar, while superb views of the breathtaking Wilder Kaise mountains can be enjoyed through the panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows of the chalet. To give the owners peace of mind, a dedicated management team tends the property while it’s vacant. 

HK$37,380,000, investorsinproperty.com

Megève, Rhône Alpes

Right in the heart of Megève in this little-visited part of the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area is this magnificent seven-bedroom French chalet. The location itself is a huge attraction if fresh powder, deserted slopes and a tourist-free range is what you’re looking for. Bordering both Switzerland and Italy but retaining its French character, the town of Megève is a prime location for luxury chalet living, and this stylish ski-in ski-out villa is hot on the market with a focus on entertainment and relaxation. Ski right into the property to enjoy a welcoming sanctuary that includes a heated swimming pool, home theatre, gym, chef’s kitchen, wine cellar, heliport and garaging for a dozen cars.

HK$375,800,000, prestigeproperty.co.uk

Summit House, Aspen

Built atop Red Mountain and overlooking Aspen and all four of the American resort town’s ski zones, Summit House, with its expansive size, premier location, unsurpassed views and year-round snow on the slopes, is one of the most magnificent homes in Colorado. The 18,000-square-foot property includes seven bedrooms with accompanying bathrooms, open decks, an entertainment room, spa, hot tub and fireplaces throughout. The exclusive neighbourhood is just a short drive from Aspen’s services, upscale retail and dining, making it a versatile holiday destination for all. 

HK$309,600,000, sothebysrealty.com

Foxwood, Higashiyama Niseko

It’s no surprise that Japan’s Niseko has become an alpine hotspot for residents of Asia over the past decade. The Higashiyama area is a favourite for families, with the restaurants and amenities in Hirafu Village just 10 minutes away. Catering to this demographic is Foxwood, a new luxury property located in quieter part of Niseko near the new Banzai Chair ski lift, another convenience for those with children. The estate consists of seven individual homes ranging from three to five bedrooms complete with open dining and living spaces and underground parking. Nearby are hiking trails, golf courses and cycling paths for spring and summer excursions, and champagne powder snow for activities in the colder months of the year. 

Price on request, hokkaidotracksrealestate.com

Huntingford Lodge, Whistler 

Arguably the top-choice ski destination in North America (or even the world), Whistler is where alpine holidaying dreams are made. This newly built contemporary chalet is modern in design and practicality, with five en-suite bedrooms, an office den, media room, fully equipped gym and entertainment room. Bright and airy, the home enjoys a flood of natural light with its floor-to-ceiling windows and abundance of outdoor space that includes a patio, sun decks and a garden fitted with a hot tub — and it’s just moments away from the ski lifts of Whistler Village and Creekside. Winter skating at nearby Alta Lake is another popular winter pastime. A bonus for non-Canadian buyers is that the chalet is exempt from foreign buyer tax. 

HK$53,500,000, whistler4sale.ca

Staff Writer

6 Festive Décor Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home Over the Holidays

Posted in Interior Design

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to fill your home with all things merry. Whether you’re an advocate of the warm and rustic, sophisticated and elegant or the ritzy-glitzy aesthetic, your holiday decorations can always benefit from a little refresh. 
Embrace the spirit of the season and transform your home with our top 6 festive décor ideas below.

A Modern Fireplace

While a roaring fireplace isn’t a commonality on this side of the world, the warm fiery hues and crackling logs are a much-coveted component to winter holiday homes. While a traditional fireplace is not appropriate for skyscraper condominiums nor practical year-round, a (smoke-free, chimney-free) electric alternative may be the solution. Whether traditional and realistic or sleek and contemporary, the addition not only increases the value of a home, but it also acts as a deck for Christmas decorating.

Fruit-filled Garlands

Classically draped garlands above the mantle are like a page straight out of a Christmas storybook. Trade in the old traditions for a refresh with fresh cut pine and balsam. Personalise it to coordinate with the rest of your space with minimalistic natural accents like pinecones, fruit or holly accents, or weave in baubles, ribbon and fairy lights for a grand over-the-top feel. Placement at the entrance of rooms will create a more inviting atmosphere while along the headboard in the bedroom will bring some festive cheer to an often overlooked room.  

Delicious Scents

Winter spices, fresh pine, gingerbread, roasting chestnuts… regardless of the fragrance you associate Christmas with, you can instantly give your home a festive flair with luscious home scents. Doubling as stylish decorative pieces, holiday candles will get you in the festive mood by adding a little warmth and magical ambiance to any room. 

Decorative Dining

Festive feasting is the best way to bring people together. Give your dining table a Christmassy makeover with tabletop décor – from crystal glassware to ornamental napkin holders – with gold accents and season-specific adornments or even Christmas crackers to get the party started. Layering items at different heights is a clever trick to add depth and extravagance to the table setting. 

Festive Florals

Say it with flowers this holiday. Lighten up your living space with beautiful decorative blooms. Trade in the usual poinsettia for oxblood dahlias, safari sunset leucadendrons and sage which lends itself to rustic and boho feels, or turn to neutral tones of lush greens for a fresher and lighter approach to Christmas this year. 

Whimsical Ornaments

Whether hanging on a tree or sitting on the steps of your staircase, small curios are simple to integrate into the home. Nutcracker soldiers or shimmering baubles, decorative bowls and playful trinkets add an embellishment to otherwise open spaces. Before deciding on items, first determine an aesthetic with the help of a mood board so regardless the placement, a holistic ambiance can be achieved. 

Staff Writer

What You Need to Know About Vancouver’s New Oakridge Development

Posted in Sponsored Content

In case you didn’t already know, Westbank is one of the most progressive city-builders and developers of complex mixed-use urban environments. 

Assembling a global design team worthy of the incredible opportunity Oakridge represents, Westbank is setting out to create a new municipal town centre in one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities, re-imagined by a team of architects and designers from Tokyo, Italy, New York, Paris, and Toronto. The team will attempt to create an entirely new kind of urban living: a centre for innovation, creativity, experience and culture, creating Oakridge — “Vancouver’s Cultural Hub”.

Each residential tower at Oakridge will be curated by a renowned design talent. At Oakridge, French designer Clémande Burgevin Blachman will curate completely furnished suites. Clémande’s unique sense of beauty, design, and style has been largely informed by her unusual upbringing.

Growing up travelling with her antique-dealer parents between rural France, Paris, and the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, Clémande’s life experience was eclectic, to say the least. Previously, she was called to New York to revamp the home division of Calvin Klein under the direction of creative renegade Raf Simons.

In her stunning design concepts for Oakridge, Clémande blended her continental sophistication with a spatial generosity and carefree creative freedom that perfectly befits the architecture and the project’s spectacular location in Vancouver’s new town centre.

About Oakridge

The new Oakridge will be an organic mosaic of residential space, indoor and outdoor retail experiences, public art, cultural performance spaces, collaborative workspace, civic institutions, and culinary experiences both grand and intimate, all surrounded and intertwined by a large multi-level public park. It will all be served by a dedicated low-carbon-fueled neighbourhood energy centre.

Staff Writer

8 Chic Furnishings to Spruce Up Your Home

Posted in Interior Design

Turn your home into a sophisticated haven with these fresh furnishings.

The LALA by Reda Amalou Design adds a sleek, graphic touch.

Toulemonde Bochart has your floor issues sorted.

Flexform meets function in the Ascanio occasional table.

Kohler’s Grid tap is the first of its kind made with 3D printing.

Cosy up to Galimberti Nino’s Camelia Cam 01A armchair.

Henrik Pedersen plus BoConcept equals chic minimalist lighting.

Go wild with Indigo Living’s Tribal Zen series.

Australian Greg Natale lends a vase his golden touch.

Staff Writer

A Look Inside Singapore’s Most Expensive Penthouse Ever

Posted in Posh Penthouses

There must be some serious money in vacuum cleaners and hair dryers because Sir James Dyson, founder of one the world’s most well-known eponymous brands, recently spent a jaw-dropping US$54.2 million on a massive penthouse in one of Singapore’s tallest buildings.

And if that’s not enough to make you gasp, here’s another nugget: The British billionaire actually saved a huge amount of money in the deal, since the apartment was listed for almost twice the amount at US$80 million — said to be the most expensive in Singapore. What’s more, since Dyson has permanent residence status there, he is not required to pay the high property taxes that most other foreigners purchasing property in Singapore would have needed to.

‘Most expensive’ is, however, not the penthouse’s only claim to fame; it is also the highest. Set within the exclusively luxurious Wallich Residence, which occupies the 39th to 64th floors of the sky-high Guoco Tower, the three-storey apartment is spread across the top 62nd to 64th floors. Sitting at almost 1,000 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking views over the city’s vast skyline and the glittering blue waters of Marina Bay.

Inside the expansive, 21,100-square-foot penthouse are five lavishly appointed bedrooms, six bathrooms, three half-baths, a pool, sky deck, Jacuzzi and a barbecue pit. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s even a 600-bottle wine cellar.

The exquisite marble flooring adds a touch of refined opulence. But it’s the floor-to-ceiling windows, in almost every room in the triplex apartment, that truly catch one’s attention as they present a sense of unadulterated openness, not only to the city below but also the skies above. One can only imagine the shimmering beauty of millions of stars at night as seen from such a vantage point.

While the stupendous sum for the apartment may seem exorbitant for some, for Dyson it’s certainly manageable. After all, his net worth currently stands at US$12.6 billion , as per the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, making him the 109th richest person on the planet. In 2018, after his company took in revenues of an astounding $1.4 billion, he was named the richest person in Britain, too. Which brings the famous phrase to mind: “If you have it, spend it!”

Staff Writer

Dolce & Gabbana’s Luxury Sicilian Villa Can Be Yours for US$7.3 Million

Posted in Holiday Homes

Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana are selling more than fashion these days. The duo’s Sicilian seafront villa is now up for sale for the eye-popping price of US$7.3 million. The electric and bold glamour of the iconic Italian brand is seen throughout this luxurious property; located on the island of Stromboli, it sits spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the blue expanse of the Mediterranean Sea and a 3,000-foot-high, oft-erupting volcano.

The villa, which has been owned by the partners since the mid-1990s, was once the setting for lavish parties hosting several A-list celebrities, including Madonna and Naomi Campbell. Surprisingly, it’s deceptively modest with a rustic vibe from its whitewashed façade and straight lines.

Surrounded by expansive terraces and lush gardens and trees, the property invites you to bask in the tropical beauty of its environs. The interior, however, is where the creative aesthetics of Dolce & Gabbana make a dazzling statement. According to Lionel Luxury Real Estate, who is responsible for this listing, the villa “has been renovated according to the style and taste of the two designers, who have furnished it with the same love and passion that they put into designing their clothes.”

Comprising three traditional Aeolian cottages that have been merged into a single entity, the 5,383-square-foot house has seven suites and nine bathrooms. Each suite boasts a colour theme, from sunshine yellow and turquoise blue to candy pink and neon green. Adding to the mesmerising impact of these shades are furnishings that include “unique pieces and fabrics from the fashion house combined with local handmade pieces, colourful hand-painted majolica tiles and lace curtains creating a unique aesthetic,” as described by the agency.

The living and dining areas are equally imaginative, featuring ornate chandeliers that form the central piece of wildly colourful rooms with walls that are adorned with an eclectic selection of art and numerous gold-painted antique cherubs.

Perhaps appropriately, this highly evocative space was used as the setting for a 2015 Dolce & Gabbana commercial starring Colin Farrell, for one of their fragrances.

And while there’s been much speculation behind the duo’s decision to sell this amazing property, nothing has come to the fore. One can only wonder if their losses as a result of the controversy surrounding their misguided China-based campaigns last year have anything to do with it.

In the meantime, interested buyers can look forward to sitting on the villa’s vast terrace, sipping on a fruity beverage, as the soft sea breeze of weaves through the swaying trees.

Staff Writer

The ‘Most Expensive Home on Earth’ Sold for 43% Below Asking Price

Posted in How the One Percent Live

Davide Campari-Milano SpA recently reached a preliminary agreement to sell the historic Villa Les Cedres on the French Riviera for 200 million euros (US$221 million) to an unspecified buyer for private use.

The villa was among the assets that the Italian distiller acquired with its 2016 purchase of Grand Marnier Group. The transaction is expected to close at the end of October, though there are conditions, including the departure from the house of one member of the family that controlled Grand Marnier, Campari said in a statement.

The price is below the 350 million euros at which the villa was listed through the real estate agent Savills. The company didn’t identify the buyer.

The family, called Marnier-Lapostolle, has owned Villa les Cedres in the French coastal town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat since the 1920s. Before that, the property was owned by King Leopold II of Belgium.

Surrounded by a 14-hectare (34.6-acre) botanical garden, the villa is on a peninsula that juts into the Mediterranean between Nice and Monaco. The town has long been home to the rich and famous, with homeowners over the years including Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Ferrero family of Nutella fame.

When Les Cedres is sold, the divestments planned after the Grand Marnier transaction will be “virtually complete,” Campari said in the statement.

Under the terms of the Grand Marnier acquisition, Campari will keep 80 million euros of the sale proceeds, with the rest being distributed to shareholders of the French drinks maker, most of whom are Marnier-Lapostolle family members.

Staff Writer

5 Kuala Lumpur-Based Interior Design Firms You Should Know

Posted in Designers to Know

These interior designers in Kuala Lumpur offer only the best solutions and strategies to create spaces that combine function with artistic outcomes.

Metrics Global

Metrics Global is a one-stop design and build firm that focuses on achieving impeccable results for clients by tailoring designs that are skilfully integrated with urban graphic arts, charming landscapes, iconic sculptures, thoughtful environmental details, sensuous interior concepts and meticulous 3D modelling.

One Roof Design

One Roof Design is an established team of experienced and dynamic professionals specializing in interior design, building/renovation, residential-and-commercial-product sourcing as well as purchasing and creative marketing services. The company provides a full range of creative services under one roof for residential and commercial projects.


Palladio is an award-winning design consultancy with visionary designers at its heart. With 25 years of interior architecture experience, Palladio services all sectors of the interior architecture design industry including residential, hospitality, retail, government, education and corporate clients.

SQFT Space Design Management

Whether it’s a property show unit, corporate office, retail establishment or private residence, SQFT Space Design Management offers outstanding design and incredible value.

Turn Design Interior

Incorporated in 1998, Turn Design Interior is an established Malaysian company specialising in interior design for homes, condos, offices and more. To date, the company has been awarded many contracts from the government as well as from private sectors.

Staff Writer

Actress Kaley Cuoco’s L.A. Home Hits the Market for Just Under US$5 Million

Posted in What to Buy

Imagine sitting by the fire as you read the latest script for your sitcom or scroll through your millions of followers on Instagram. If you were actress Kaley Cuoco, of The Big Bang Theory, or Khloe Kardashian of, well, the Kardashians, this would be that fire and this would be your living room. After wrapping Big Bang earlier this year, Cuoco and husband Karl Cook have put the 7,977-square-foot LA home they acquired from Kardashian in 2014 on the market for US$4.895 million. The exceedingly private home is surrounded by thick hedges and features a gated entrance, six en-suite bedrooms, a two-storey foyer, swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and large car park.

Staff Writer

London’s High-End Property Market Is on the Rise Again

Posted in Market Report

London’s high-end real estate market is showing continuing signs of recovery, according to the latest property index from Coutts. Prime property prices in the city crept up again in the second quarter, leaving them 3.1% higher than they were at the end of last year, said the private bank and wealth manager in last week’s report. 

Helping to support prices is a lack of supply and increasing demand. Sales activity was up 21.4% in the second quarter compared to the previous three-month period. 

Despite the recent uptick, prime prices are still 14.5% lower than they were in 2014, making high-end properties in the city good value to buyers. But those same low prices are also discouraging sellers from listing their homes. The number of prime properties on the market in London is down 12.5% compared to the same period last year. 

“Fewer properties on offer means that competition can be intense among buyers for desirable properties when they come up, and it’s not surprising to see gazumping on the rise,” Katherine O’Shea, of Coutts real estate investment services, said in the report. 

Gazumping refers to the unfavorable practice of accepting a higher bid on a property at the last minute despite having already accepted a verbal offer. 

Prime supply has dropped most in the neighborhoods of Kensington, Notting Hill and Holland Park, where inventory across the three areas is down roughly 25% compared to the second quarter in 2018, the report said.  It’s up most in the neighborhoods of Kings Cross and Islington, where there has been an almost 15% increase in supply in the same time. 

Staff Writer

7 ‘Smart’ Ways to Make Your Home Smell Nice

Posted in Home Tech

Infusing your interiors with a fresh scent used to mean having to plug in or spray a cloying iteration or lighting a candle, which comes with its own set of safety hazards. Happily, home fragrance has come a long way. And thanks to Bluetooth compatibility and app control functions, today’s scenting is systematic — with features like timed spritzes, customisable strengths and aromas to evoke every ambience. Here are seven smart scent systems to spark your senses. 


Feeling beachy or craving a citrus spritz? The Moodo aroma diffuser (US$100) lets you customize your fragrance according to your mood. It connects over Wi-Fi and pairs with the Moodo app, which allows you to control the scent schedule remotely (afternoon lemon zest, anyone?) so you don’t waste the fragrance capsules when no one is home. Scent capsules come according to fragrance families (warm, citrus, floral, etc.) in packs of four. You can select from the app’s mixes or create your own signature blend. The device is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Siri Shortcuts and Google Assistant, so all you have to do is ask it for a specific smell and it will magically waft your way.


Much like music, scent can set the tone for your home. Vanilla or sandalwood signifies warm and cozy; citrus or lavender brings on the so fresh and so clean vibes. Due to the ease of the Aera Smart Diffuser (US$200) and its accompanying AeraForHome app, filling your space with its own aroma is as easy and safe as the touch of a screen. You can put your spray on a schedule—by time of day or day of the week, control its strength by room and monitor fragrance usage all on the app. Simply plug in your Aera, load a scent capsule and download the app to create an integrated system and a surround-scent experience.


The Pura (US$59) might look like an ordinary air freshener plug-in at first glance, but this intelligent gadget is equal parts scents and sensibility. It connects to your smart phone over Wi-Fi and gives you complete control of the fragrances it releases through an app. Each fragrance vial lasts 15 days. You can adjust the intensity, create scenting schedules and manage two different scents at the same time and even swap them. The device also doubles as a night light and lets you customize the color and brightness of the illumination.

Aromini Bluetooth

Perk up your pad by diffusing essential oils into the air with the AroMini Bluetooth (US$336). This isn’t your stick-in-oil variety. The high-tech device uses cold-air diffusion to release nanoparticles into the air to keep the scent (and its therapeutic benefits) concentrated, which helps you (and your home) reap the most from the aromas. Connecting it to your smartphone means you can conserve oil and energy by setting specific run times, control the intensity of the fragrance and make sure it’s being distributed evenly around your room. And it covers up to 1,000 square feet, so even if you’re at the opposite end of the room, you’ll still get the full effect.


If standard scents aren’t your thing, the CINQ smart fragrance diffuser (US$120) lets you be a master mixologist by giving you the tools to create 8,000 different varieties of unique fragrances. The connected device pairs with your smartphone and Alexa. By exploring the CINQ Studio App and providing feedback on 24 specific smells, the company will send you capsules on a monthly basis. The device fits five capsules at a time and you can adjust the strength of each one to create a scent that’s uniquely you, so there’s no chance of smell fatigue.

Scentee Machina

While it looks like an elegant set of oils on a tray, Scentee Machina (price TBC) is an AI-driven device that takes home fragrancing into the future. There are 14 different scents to choose from and they aren’t your basic sniffs. Think: chocolate, red wine, buttered toast. The diffuser holds four cartridges at a time, and you’ll get a new one every month. The controls are operated by your smartphone — you can turn them on and off, set timers and manipulate intensities all remotely. Not to mention, AI intelligence analyzes your favorite fragrances from your usage history and recommends custom scents.


If you need a morning lift or help de-stressing at night, the Pium smart diffuser (US$190) emits a scent to suit your mood based on the time of day. Morning is a dose of citrus and flowers; afternoon releases an aromatic and herbal blend; and nighttime offers an herbal and floral mix. The system can handle all three capsules simultaneously and allows you to manage the strength, schedule and power of the scents through the accompanying app. It’ll also tell you when your capsules are running on empty and lets you buy more through the app. Oh, and it pairs with Alexa and Google Assistant, so all you have to do is ask it to deploy a specific blend and you shall receive one — without even having to pick up your phone.

Staff Writer

Looking for Price Growth? Head to Paris, Berlin and Madrid

Posted in Market Report

Paris, Berlin and Madrid are forecast to lead luxury real estate price growth in 2019, according to a recent report from Knight Frank.

High-end homes in the three European cities are set to see prices rise 6% next year each, underpinned by their comparative value, the estate agency and property consultant said. 

“The normalisation of monetary policy, weaker economic growth and a fragile political landscape post-Brexit will influence demand, but the relative value of these cities remains a key driver,” said Kate Everett-Allen, partner of international residential research at Knight Frank, in the report.

Overall, prime price growth will be dampened in 2019, Knight Frank predicts.  Knight Frank analysed 15 major cities worldwide, and many are predicted to see prices stumped by freshly introduced property market regulations, the rising cost of financing, Brexit uncertainty and a high volume of new prime supply.

Markets that have had new financial regulations introduced this year, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, will see prices decline as buyers and developers adjust to new taxes. In Hong Kong, prices are predicted to fall by 10%, in Singapore they’re set to remain flat at 0%. 

Vancouver, which saw a 20% tax on foreign buyers and higher stamp duty introduced this year, is an exception, according to Knight Frank. Though ranked as the weakest prime market of 2018, Vancouver is expected to see prices rise 3% in the coming year as local buyers invest. 

In Sydney’s prime market, a lack of new supply is set to push prime prices up 2% next year. In London, where 2016’s changes to stamp duty have now been fully absorbed, prices are predicted to rise 1% as activity strengthens amid hopes for more political certainty following the U.K.’s departure from the European Union in October.

Staff Writer