Nature by Design: 5 Eco-Friendly Homes Built with Locally Sourced Materials

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Photo courtesy of Christies International Real EstateSurrounded by 2

This year’s Earth Day theme: “Invest In Our Planet,” focused on nature-based solutions “to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems.” These solutions aim at enhancing well-being and biodiversity while adapting to society’s needs. One such measure is sustainable architecture and design. By using locally sourced materials and resource-efficient practices to build our homes, we can lower human impact on the environment. The interplay between the built and natural environment also nurtures a sense of place—a feeling of belonging and identity with our surroundings. Herewith, inspired by this year’s Earth Day theme, we present a collection of luxurious, sustainable homes that are, quite literally, at one with nature by design.

Surrounded by 2,000 acres of wilderness in Montana’s Madison Valley, this timber-framed home embraces nature inside and out.

This classic log home is nestled amid 2,000 acres of native pine forests and mountain meadows in the private Sun West Ranch community in Montana’s Madison Valley. The 6,465-square-foot interior abounds with natural finishes throughout, such as reclaimed wood floors and timber beams. Custom lighting and radiant heat add warmth, while floor-to-ceiling windows frame the views of the Madison River and the Madison Range. The great room has a monumental fieldstone fireplace, hardwood floors, a wood-beamed cathedral ceiling and a wall of glass with a front-row view of the mountains. Further along is the formal dining room, chef’s kitchen with butler’s pantry and a delightful hearth room. There are three bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms, including two primary suites. The lower level is dedicated to leisure and entertaining, with a full bar, media lounge, wine room with tasting area, office and workout room. There’s also a two-car garage with a workshop. Sun West Ranch is tailored for the outdoor lifestyle. Residents have access to 1,600 wilderness acres for horse riding, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and fishing on the Madison River. Yellowstone National Park is 40 miles away.

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Local stone lends character and an Earth-friendly ethos to this idyllic private estate in the Côte d’Azur countryside.

This idyllic country refuge encompasses nearly 65 secluded acres in the Var backcountry of the Côte d’Azur. Built entirely of local stone, the estate’s two dwellings have nine bedrooms and more than 10,764 square feet of living space. The rustic stone exterior’s oversize windows hint at the large, light-filled interior spaces finished and accented in contemporary country style. The 15-room compound is set within private parkland and Mediterranean gardens, with terraced landscaping that frames the swimming pool. The main house, with shaded verandas and balconies, extends to 7,535 square feet, with open-plan living spaces and multiple fireplaces. An office, intercom, security system and a spacious garage are further amenities. The picturesque hillside village of Fayence is 2.5 miles away.

Stargazer in Mykonos, Greece

This beachfront estate on the island of Mykonos is built from local stone to mirror the dramatic Cycladic landscape.

 Image caption: This beachfront estate on the island of Mykonos is built from local stone to mirror the dramatic Cycladic landscape.

This enchanting waterfront villa on the island of Mykonos is at one with the ancient landscape. Privately situated on a promontory on the Agios Lazaros peninsula, the property, aptly named Stargazer, appears suspended between sea and sky. The villa is built from local stone to echo the cliffside setting. Extending to more than 11,500 square feet, the stylish, fully furnished living spaces feature marble finishes, wood floors, decorative stone arches and a dramatic domed ceiling. The home is currently configured as two dwellings, offering seven bedroom suites, a gym, sauna and steam rooms, three staff rooms, and a separate studio. The landscaped grounds include several stone terraces and an open-air kitchen with views of the island of Delos. Carved steps rise from a private dock on the Aegean Sea. Nearby are the beaches of Santa Marina and Psarou and the glitz and glamour of Mykonos Town.

This contemporary lake house in northern Patagonia is built in harmony with the cypress and coihue forest that surrounds it.

Crafted entirely from native wood and stone, this lakefront home is perfectly integrated into its forested setting in northern Patagonia. Stone walls enclose 7,642 square feet of living space across three levels. All rooms have cypress floors, including the library, with cypress paneling and a lenga-wood door. Walls of glass capture the vista of Lake Gutiérrez in the living room, adjacent dining room and primary suite, which has a wood-burning fireplace and a private balcony. Further along is a gourmet kitchen with a lenga wood-beamed ceiling and polished stone counters. A wall of glass separates the indoor pool on the lower level from the outdoor pool. A connecting door opens to a magnificent deck and lush lakeside gardens planted with fruit and nut trees. The property comes with access to Arelauquen Golf & Country Club’s championship golf course and polo club.

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Villa Sea View in Portobello, Sardinia, Italy

Set within a charming Italian resort, Villa Sea View was built with traditional materials that lend it an air of authenticity.

Villa Sea View is a property of outstanding natural beauty in a private residential park in Portobello di Gallura, Sardinia. The multi-level residence features stucco, tile and stonework designed by local craftsmen, whose timeworn fabrication techniques enhance the home’s connection with the region’s culture and landscape. The main level includes a dining room, gourmet kitchen and light-filled living room with a fireplace and walls of windows framing the spectacular sea and sunset views. There are two main suites, one on the lower level and one on the upper level to take in the vistas of Bocce de Bonifacio views. There are several terraces, interconnected on all levels via outdoor stairs, offering panoramic views of the Emerald Coast. The outdoor spaces are a continuation of the living spaces. Paths lead out to the gardens, a swimming pool, three outdoor showers, verdant lawns and a petanque court. The resort’s shops, restaurants and amenities are just steps away, and the seaside town of Aglientu beckons with its Galluran charm.

This article was originally published on Luxury Defined by Christie’s International Real Estate.


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