The Life Aquatic | 5 Homes With Architectural Water Features

Whether in the piazzas of Italy or the rushing falls of Niagara, water has the power to draw the eye and set a dramatic scene. From fountains to infinity pools to moats, water features also serve to augment our homes, and it’s the rare property that can’t be improved with the addition of aquatic art. Look to these five exceptional listings that lead by example, making the most of their grounds with architectural fixtures.

The Fountains, Great Neck, New York

Great Neck, New York | Irene SarrafDaniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

This eight-acre waterfront estate in Great Neck is a showstopper both indoors and out. While the property features three residences with a grand total of 18 bedrooms, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and an indoor pool, it’s the grounds that first capture the attention. Behind the main house, guests will find waterfront access complete with Manhattan-skyline views. And at the entrance, visitors can take in the row of majestic water fountains. Historically, fountains signaled a town’s successful water system and were considered celebratory, and that jubilence is captured here.  

A Lincoln Park Masterpiece, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois | Matt Leutheuser & Tim SalmJameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Offering urban seclusion and tranquility, this Lincoln Park property provides an oasis on the North Side of the Windy City. Though the interior is compelling in its own right, with 25,000 square feet of grand details and elaborate millwork, it’s the exterior spaces that bring the serenity home. The sound of rushing water has been shown to lower stress levels, and a stroll through these grounds will set anyone at perfect ease. Linger by the fountains and reflecting pool, and take in the view from the hand-forged garden pavilion surrounded by greenery.

A Residence Fit for Royalty in Caesarea, Israel

Caesarea, Israel | Shelly Belzer ShmelzerIsrael Sotheby’s International Realty

The resplendent interiors of this palatial Caesarea home are hinted at in its two architectural fountains: gilded Roman figures stand amongst spouting water, creating a sense of grandeur and scale that is continued within. The home offers Baroque and Rococo detailing, natural marble and onyx mosaics, a grand hall with crystal chandelier, and dedicated rooms for billiards, wine, and cinema. The indoor pool and chef’s kitchen will satisfy athletes and cooks alike, but you may find yourself drawn outdoors to watch the sun set over the property’s plashing water features. 

A Sophisticated Beachfront Villa in Queensland, Australia

Queensland, Australia | Barbara WolveridgeQueensland Sotheby’s International Realty

Proximity to water can promote relaxation, and this tasteful villa in Port Douglas has mastered the feeling. The villa’s three interconnected pavilions were designed to suit the tropical climate and exude contemporary elegance with Japanese black wood and high ceilings throughout. With retractable sliding walls, the space maximizes indoor/outdoor living by revealing a mineral swimming pool and a beautiful water feature brimming with fish and lily pads. And if it’s the sea you’re after, just head down the property’s private path to Four Mile Beach. 

A Historic Getaway in Lourmarin, France

Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur | Propriétés de Provence Sotheby’s International Realty

Elegant and classic, this 16th-century stone house is the former private estate of Betty and François Catroux. The glamorous couple maintained the home for three decades, François bringing his signature design style to the 10 acres of landscaped grounds that have since been featured in magazines around the world. The gardens and grounds feature Provençal details, complete with stone terraces shaded by pergolas, fields of lavender, ornamental ponds, and a swimming pool that blends perfectly into the landscape. This retreat is the pinnacle of countryside living, and offers the rare chance to own an iconic piece of French history.

As these five exceptional properties demonstrate, there are as many creative ways to integrate water into a home’s landscaping as there are water features to choose from. Regardless of your design style, a fountain, pool, pond, or moat can elevate your grounds and bring a welcome moment of beauty and peace to your surroundings.

Follow the sense of scale indoors with these homes with impressive atriums.

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