Stories written by Judith Ritter
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A Handmade Home in Costa Rica

There is a well-known (though anonymous) quote, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Those words perfectly describe the personal philosophy that drove Dan Catalfumo to trade his life as a successful South Florida developer for one of relaxation surrounded by nature in a vacation dream home in Costa Rica. […]

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Style and Substance: Stephanie Odegard

The name Stephanie Odegard is quite simply linked with style, luxury and affluence. Her hand knotted rugs and home furnishings are known worldwide. And so is her commitment to human rights. For her entire adult life this celebrated designer has managed to seamlessly weave together a love of (and life among) beautiful things, a wildly […]

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Homes People

A Slice of Paradise at Tip of the Tail Villa

There was nothing in Glenn Garrard’s childhood that would predict that at age 50 he would hand build a six-bedroom Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home on a deserted tip of a small tropical island and moreover, complete it in a mere 7 months! Glenn, who grew up in a northern climate (Ontario, Canada), had not traveled […]

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Paradise Found in Costa Rica at Villa Mareas

Who hasn’t sat in bottleneck freeway traffic and fantasized about just getting away from it all?  Former Californian, Pilar Dalinger, admits she certainly was one of those daydreamers. The difference, however, between Pilar (and her husband Tim Davis) and other dreamers is simply that this enterprising couple made it happen. After years of travel for […]

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Building Dreams at Little Waters, Jamaica

Here is a happy (though sometimes challenging) story about how a couple’s decision to find a little house for themselves in a quieter part of Negril, turned into a six year project and a three thousand square foot villa on a rocky and almost inaccessible cliffside. “The real estate agent who showed us the land […]

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At One with Nature at Casa Nalum

When London residents, Milan-born Roberto Sidoti and his Mexican wife, Pia Hagerman started searching for an alternative to their intense London work lives, they imagined a small house by the sea somewhere in Mexico. What they ended up with was entirely different. Their cherished Casa Nalum is a large home that seems to almost float […]

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Masseria Pettolecchia in Puglia

A Perfect, Peaceful Retreat in Puglia

Giovanni DeBlasio was born in Fasano, a small town in Italy’s Puglia region. It’s an area dotted with ancient white-washed farmhouses, centuries-old olive trees on a backdrop of low lush hillsides that reach as far as the Adriatic Sea. It is a magic place, he says, but as an ambitious young boy growing up there, […]

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A Handmade Home in Naples, Florida

As a small child on shopping trips to town with his farmer dad, a young Wilbert Hamstra was more likely to lobby for treats like bits of lumber and nails than ice cream and candy. “I just always wanted to be a builder,” says the founder of the half-century old real estate development powerhouse, The […]