An Eye for Detail: Perla Lichi Luxury Design

By Nicole Slaughter-Graham

Perla Lichi believes in the magic of destiny, and with a thriving, worldwide luxury interior design business, it’s easy to see why. Perla Lichi LUXURY designs for the elite in Africa, India, Dubai, the Middle East and the United States. But this thriving design business stems from humble beginnings—a true “American Dream” story. 

As a young woman, Lichi knew she wanted to design. “I wanted to be a fashion designer,” she stated. “I was always an artist.” A scholarship to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale led her to a career in interior design. In 1990, Lichi opened her own company in South Florida. “It was a small showroom in a shopping center,” she recalled. “It was just everyday design when we started.”

Lichi has many talents, but one in particular made her stand out and turned her single showroom into the global success that Perla Lichi LUXURY is today. “I believe detail is everything.” 

The company focuses on a well-rounded, holistic approach to design, by taking into account the space, the personality of the people living in the space, the location of the property and cultural elements. “I want to design exactly what fits the personality and lifestyle of the people living in the space.” Through this process, she’s able to create completely customized, luxurious designs for her clients. 

Two years ago, Lichi decided to share her approach and skills with the world, and she started Perla Lichi Institute, an online interior design tutorial. Most of the Perla Lichi Institute students are young women that wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to learn such a craft because of financial strain or cultural restraints. “I feel like I can make a difference in this world if I can help teach something to someone.”

The Florida-based design company, thanks to its innovative and passionate owner, sets the bar for custom, luxury design. You can learn more about the company at

Luxury Home Interiors by Perla Lichi

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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/24/2016 at 3:04 PM
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Be Inspired by Bella Collina

By Scott Kauffman

Peacefully situated 20 minutes outside of Orlando, Bella Collina is part of a country-like setting locals call South Lake County. Known for its rare rolling hills, lovely chain of lakes and coast-to-coast running and biking trails, this pocket of Florida is recognized worldwide for its endless wellness, fitness and sports-related attractions.

It’s a place where collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes train year round, and the U.S.A. Triathlon Association once used as a base for its national training center. Now, it’s where a limited number of families are calling home in Florida’s newest private golf and lakefront community.

What is so remarkable about Bella Collina is the sense of escape one gets in this 1,900-acre low-density development, yet it is just minutes from one of the most dynamic cities in the world.

Indeed, Bella Collina is more than a place to call home. It is a destination. That explains why more than 150 weddings are held each year at this picturesque resort-style community.

Bella Collina’s owners spared no expense in creating the ultimate private community, and the club’s 75,000-square-foot Italianate clubhouse is indicative of this commitment. Featuring dramatic barrel tile ceilings imported from Italy, intricate stonework custom crafted from Italian experts and a labyrinth of eye-pleasing plazas, fountains, terraces and woodwork, the award-winning clubhouse and its multiple dining venues and event space, spa and salon and private wine cellar, is truly reminiscent of Old-World architecture and charm.

Sitting atop one of Florida’s highest points, the iconic clubhouse gloriously watches over the Tuscan-inspired village below and private spring-fed Lake Siena and massive Lake Apopka. Meanwhile, between sparkling water views and the Orlando skyline in the horizon, a championship course by Hall of Famer Nick Faldo offers an inviting glimpse of golf just below the clubhouse veranda.

Besides Florida’s only course designed by Sir Nick Faldo, Har-Tru tennis courts, Sportivo Centro’s state-of-the-art health and fitness facility and world-class resort-style pool complex round out Bella Collina’s quintessential private club lifestyle.

Bella Collina

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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/24/2016 at 2:52 PM
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Holding the Key to the Keys

Few places on earth sing a siren song as sweet as the Florida Keys. Just ask Jo Ann Cook who visited from Maine for a week to escape the cold. She then came back to the Keys for a month, and then again for two months and then she decided to stay permanently. "That's how everyone gets here," she said with a laugh. 

Cook, the award-winning broker and owner of RE/MAX All Keys Real Estate has been selling real estate along the one-hundredmile chain for the last sixteen years, and she now has three offices between Key Largo and Key West.

Her home base is "smack in the middle," on Marathon Key, the epicenter of Keys bustle. There's an international airport serving corporate and private aircrafts, a hospital, a jewel of a marina, restaurants, inns and hotels and a true white sand beach, says Cook. Ferry service to Cuba is expected to begin in the near future. 

"People come here for proximity to world class fishing and diving," she says. "I can get home and be diving in half an hour." The dazzling coral reef—the third largest in the world—is just three miles off shore. 

Set on nearly two extraordinary palm-fringed acres, the property features a tranquility garden scented by oranges, limes and lemons, a 45,000 gallon swimming pool, spa, pool bar, cabana, lighted tennis court and a protected boat slip with deep water access to the ocean and the bay. 

The 8,300 square foot contemporary home, studded with cypress porches for a beachy Outer Banks feel, offers sensational entertaining areas, fabulous guest accommodations, gorgeous views and a see-through saltwater aquarium visible from multiple rooms. 

"Twenty people can stay here without seeing each other,” says Cook. She'll be happy to show you. 

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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/24/2016 at 2:43 PM
Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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Stunning Equestrian Facility in Central Florida

Sheik Island Farm is a beautiful and unique lakefront equestrian facility located near Tampa, Ocala, and Orlando offered by Kimberly Wilson of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. The farm was originally built as a show jumping training facility, but was designed to be useful for any discipline including dressage, hunter/jumper, polo, western disciplines, saddle seat, polo, and even breeding.  Set amongst moss draped Live Oaks, rolling hills, and perched between two lakes, the two barns are a stunning display of the melding between architectural beauty and functionality.

Designed for the serious horseman by award winning Blackburn Architects, the barns focus on natural light, adequate airflow, and safety of both horse and handler, while being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The main barn includes fifteen 14' x 14' stalls, one 14' x 16' foaling stall with an observation window leading to the wood paneled tack room, a feed room with custom pest resistant feed bins, a lab/multi-purpose room, two indoor wash racks, men's and women's bathrooms/changing rooms, a laundry room, hay and shavings storage, an equipment shop, a suite of offices, two huge storage rooms, and a three bedroom grooms apartment.  There is a 100’ x 200’ sand arena, a round pen, and multiple fenced pastures.

The second barn is an eight stall barn similar in style and detail, on a smaller scale. The cottage is three bedrooms with two bathrooms and is situated among a Florida Oak hammock. The home overlooks Buddy Lake with gorgeous views of the water and stunning Florida sunsets. 



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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/17/2016 at 12:37 PM
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Tampa Bay's Exquisite Equestrian Luxury

By Nicole Slaughter-Graham

Tucked away in the prestigious gated community of Citrus Green rests Copper Leaf Farm—an incredible, custom-built equestrian estate that boasts luxury in the most minute of details. Enjoy unparalleled privacy provided by a sprawling 7.63 acres and close proximity to some of the country’s most famous beaches thanks to the homes coveted Tampa Bay, Florida location.

The estate features a refined main home complete with three-car garage and a wealth of luxury details. “It’s so amazing that it’s hard to pick out a favorite feature,” says Engel & Volkers Realtor, Scott Ferguson. One of the most unique features is the glittering, solid copper gutter system and solid copper roofing on the turrets, which accentuate the stone accents and maple brown shutters that adorn the exterior.

Inside the home finds  four bedrooms, all of which include en-suite bathrooms finished with maple wood cabinets. The living room looks upon a gorgeous fireplace flanked by a natural-stone wall. The gourmet kitchen offers high-end appliances, exquisite Cohiba granite countertops and maple wood cabinetry. 

In the backyard, an inviting salt-water pool and spa, complete with outdoor kitchen, provide an inviting area for entertaining or sunbathing. In addition to the attached three-car garage is a detached building designed as a storage, garage or work area. The building can house up to seven additional vehicles. 

Most fascinating though, is the premium quality barn. Ferguson states the barn is, “finished in all the high-end materials used in the house. It’s spectacular.” The barn features nine spacious stalls and upstairs grooming quarters as well as an unprecedented full kitchen with living quarters and two full-sized bathrooms. 

Also included is a covered, lit 80x150 layered and leveled riding arena and multiple green pastures for grazing and riding. The esteemed Citrus Green community offers horse trails that span the entire 400-acre community.


Scott Ferguson, Realtor at Engel & Volkers


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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/17/2016 at 11:46 AM
Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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Equestrian and Ranch Properties- Asheville, North Carolina

While the beauty of experiencing four seasons is enticing, the peaks of summer and winter are not for everyone. For those of us who desire a more mild seasonal experience, Asheville, North Carolina is a city unmatched in both beauty and climate.

Named the “#1 City to Live In” by Good Morning America and the “#7 Food City in the Country” by Food Network, Asheville’s booming downtown area can rival that of any major city. However, it’s the seamless blending of the metropolitan atmosphere and the surrounding mountain landscape that truly makes Asheville unique. 

With its numerous horseback riding trails and Tyron International Equestrian Center & Resort, Asheville is marked as an enticing location to partake in the equestrian way of life. Billy Taylor, Luxury Broker with Beverly-Hanks & Associates Realtors, has many incredible listings, but the home located at 707 Dink Cannon is truly a cowboy’s dream. 

The 3,776-square-foot home sits on a working horse and cattle ranch complete with rotational grazing pastures. The residence is a perfect mountain getaway, situated in the heart of Western North Carolina’s well-known peaks. The property is also suited as the perfect legacy ranch and is conveniently located halfway between Ashville and Charlotte.  

Another one of Billy’s listings located at 145 White Pine Drive, is located in perhaps the most coveted of areas.The stunning 41+ acre property is a short 15 minute drive from Asheville’s downtown, but tucked just far enough into the forest, the location offers unparalleled privacy. In true Asheville fashion, this property is also horse friendly. 

The equestrian charm, mild weather and the authentic downtown, give people many reasons to enjoy this picturesque city. But the sheer beauty of the forests and mountain backdrops as they reflect the changing of the seasons truly makes life in Asheville unbeatable. 

Beverly-Hanks & Associates

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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/17/2016 at 11:31 AM
Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty Recognizes Abbe / Mullinnix as Top Team in 2015

(SARASOTA, FL) - The Abbe-Mullinnix team has been recognized as the Number One Sales Professional Team for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty for the Sarasota/Manatee region. The team ranked #9 overall in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty network of 41 offices and over 1,750 Sales Professionals.

 The team has also been named to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ esteemed Chairman’s Circle-Platinum for 2015.   This award is presented to the top one percent of the network’s 42,000 sales professionals. Betty Mullinnix and Steve Abbe feel that the most important aspect of these honors is the fact that it recognizes their achievement of their team’s goal, to assist their customers by successfully facilitating their real estate transactions, and hence helping each buyer and seller they work with to meet their own personal goals. 

Joining Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty in late 2013, the team works from the Palmer Ranch Branch Office located on South Tamiami Trail. Mullinnix, Associate Broker, and Abbe, a PGA Golf Professional have nearly a half century of combined real estate experience.  Consistently ranked in the Top 1% of area Realtors® they list and sell in all areas and price ranges. However, the team’s specialty is golf properties, and no other Realtor® sells more golf properties in the area than Abbe-Mullinnix.  For more information on the team, please visit

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty is a full-service brokerage servicing 17 counties throughout Florida and is a wholly owned subsidiary of WCI Communities, Inc. It is a franchise member of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.  The company is the 5th largest brokerage in the nation among the affiliate Network brokers and offers residential and commercial services, seasonal rentals, property management, REO & Foreclosures, corporate relocations, referral services, title, insurance, home service plans, and personal concierge services.  BHHS Florida Realty is the #1 Fundraiser for The Sunshine Kids having raised over $3.1 million. The Palmer Ranch / Sarasota Branch Office is located at 7231 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231.

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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/17/2016 at 8:45 AM
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An Oceanfront Retreat in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida

Ponte Verda Beach, a golf resort community located 18 miles southeast of downtown Jacksonville and just a few miles north of historic St. Augustine, is home of The Players Championship golf tournament and offers beautiful beaches with fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating and surfing.

This vibrant beach town is in the third wealthiest county of Florida, featuring A-rated schools and a plethora of activities that create the perfect environment for raising a family. 

Occupying 223 feet of oceanfront property is a magnificent estate home rising over the dunes.  The timeless design showcases the lush tropical setting complete with stunning views of the shoreline and marine life. Situated on two and a half acres, this 10,284-sq-ft home offers 6 bedrooms with en suites, a pool bath and upstairs and downstairs powder rooms, plus a four-car garage and motor court. 

Perfect for entertaining, the luxury estate features both indoor and outdoor gathering spaces that offer intimate and exciting settings for friends and family to enjoy. Take in the incredible ocean backdrop while entertaining guests poolside, whisk down the 45-foot jetted slide or sunbathe with your toes in the sand. Upstairs features four more bedrooms, a game room with bar area and additional family room. Wrap-around balconies, covered and open terraces and a private beach walkover allow for residents to take advantage of this fabulous oceanfront location. Offered at $9,200,000.

Walk indoors into a stunning two-story foyer where a seven-foot crystal chandelier and detailed crown molding open through Roman columns to a generous formal living room with spectacular ocean views and an inviting gas fireplace. In the dining room, a stunning freehanded painting adorns the walls and the gourmet kitchen features everything needed to fashion a world-class feast. The ground floor is completed with a bar area to the family room, custom designed craft room, cherry wood paneled office, sumptuous master retreat and guest suite.

Watson Realty Corp

Barbara Maple


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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/15/2016 at 4:58 PM
Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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Allure: Luxury Condominium Living on the River in Fort Myers, Florida

A The perfect sunset is one of life’s simplest pleasures.  All that is required are two basic elements: the sun, and a vantage point from where to admire it. At Allure—the new 32-story luxury condominium overlooking the wide, glimmering Caloosahatchee River in historic downtown Fort Myers—perfect sunsets are standard. Its two towers will be the most ambitious and luxurious residential development ever created in Fort Myers, Florida. Just a few miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, Allure will command the skyline from a vantage point at one of the city’s most scenic spots. On a daily basis, its expansive windows will frame a menagerie of yachts, sailing vessels and recreational boats coursing the waters. 

When complete, there will be 292 tower residences, ranging from one- to three-bedroom floor plans with some rather unique amenities. The Allure Your Senses Rooftop Garden featuring permanent installations by internationally acclaimed Colombian artist Edgardo Carmona will create a contemplative mood, along with its peaceful, landscaped riverfront promenade. Outdoor courts are planned for pickleball and bocce ball. A heated infinity-edge pool overlooking the river and boat slips, concierge services with convenient mail and receiving desk, and additional conveniences ensure the best in Florida living. And of course, the entire property is wired for the latest technology including WiFi, high-speed Internet and digital voice services.

Arriving at Allure, the porte-cochere entrance is enhanced by a stunning water feature, with private entrance elevators just beyond. Its tag line, “Irresistible,” only begins to describe the magnetic appeal of building amenities such as a two-story fitness room with men’s and women’s spa facilities with saunas and showers, and a private screening room with theater seating. Equally noteworthy is each residence’s features, ranging from natural-gas cooktops and ovens in chef-inspired kitchens, to magnificent sunrise-to-sunset views.

Allure offers a very attractive downtown lifestyle. Even though the building provides assigned covered garage parking with 24-hour controlled access, residents may rarely ever need to drive to their favorite destinations in this bustling riverfront neighborhood. They can stroll by foot, hop on a boat or trolley to bistros, cafes, theaters, galleries, museums, historic sites, botanical gardens and nightspots. Harborside Event Center and Florida Repertory Theater feature nationally recognized performers, and many of the city’s holiday celebrations take place in nearby Centennial Park. Cedar River at Fort Myers LLC is the owner and JAXI Builders Inc. is the builder.

Alure Sales Gallery
239-500-JAXI (5294)

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Posted by: Nicole Slaughter-Graham
Posted on: 3/15/2016 at 3:38 PM
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