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When purchasing an older home, there are many things of course to consider. Asbestos is certainly one of them.

Used for more than a century as a form of building insulation and piping, homes more than approximately 30 years old have the potential to harbor asbestos. Exposure to asbestos fibers becomes a health concern when high levels are inhaled over a long period of time.

This doesn’t have to scare you off the purchase, as with increasing awareness and technology there are numerous alternatives and building materials which easily replace the need for asbestos.


Used in millions of homes, asbestos insulation can be a real problem for homeowners due to causing a variety of lung ailments, such as mesothelioma. Recent studies indicate that over 2,000 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States alone. With no mesothelioma cure, precautions are the best assurance.

Once the removal is complete, green insulation options should be given serious consideration, such as: Cellulose, Cotton Fiber and Lcynene. The United Nations Environmental Program states that the use of recycled building materials such as cotton fiber insulation can reduce energy use by 25 to 35 percent. The numbers continue to improve as more eco-friendly options become available. These asbestos alternatives allow for a clean, healthy home, free of health damaging materials.

Simon Turner

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THIS WEEK’S ARTICLES: Rainforest Living in Queensland; Raffles Residences Manila; Swarovski Bathroom Faucets; Chinese Property Taxes; US interest rates; Australian Banks on the Assault; The Malibu Home of Sting; The Rotating Bath Tub; The W New York…

We bring you the last installment for 2008 of our look at luxury property, design and concepts from Australia and around the world.  Your support throughout the year has made the MTLH blog the most viewed of its kind in Australia and contributed to Marquette Turner Luxury Homes being named as The World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old.  Not bad in just a year, and 2009 promises to be even bigger and better.  Thank you!

Please enjoy this week’s articles, or as always you can stay here and read the MTLH blog.

We wish you a fantastic & safe festive period.

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

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See our luxury homes showcased in Australia & Around The World


“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

One of the Laureates of the 2008 Rolex Awards, which rewards pioneering and enterprising individuals, is Elsa Zaldivar from Paraguay, a poor, landlocked country in the heart of South America, who has found a new use for an old vegetable.

Elsa has been a long-time advocate and helper to the poor whilst being environmentally conscious. She has uncovered a method to mix loofah – a cucumber-like vegetable that is dried to yield a scratchy sponge frequently used as an abrasive skin scrubber – with other vegetable matter such as husks from corn and Caranday palm trees. Mixing them with recycled plastic, strong, lightweight panels can be created. These panels can then be used to create furniture and construct houses, insulating them from temperature and noise.

As the design of the panels has been refined, improvements have meant lowering costs. The panels initially cost about US$6 per square metre to produce, however, the cost has already dropped to less than half that figure, making it competitive with existing construction materials, such as wood.

About 300,000 Paraguayan families do not have adequate housing.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read more articles on the Environment; or Awards; or Kiva (loans that change lives)

Encrusted with 220 carats of diamonds, the Gold & Diamond Chandelier has been created by London-based jewelry designer Solange Azagury-Partridge. It is made from delicate links suspended in arcs to form a pear shape that ends in a sharp point, reminiscent of the central medallions of ancient Persian rugs. The Chandelier is 18 caret white gold that has been blackened to create a smoky effect.

Whilst Solange Azagury-Partridge has had no formal training, this exquisite design be the self-confessed “diamond lover” will be the centerpiece of Sebastian + Barquet‘s exhibit at Design Miami.

Simon Turner

FYI: See related articles on Interior Design; Luxury furniture; and Lights

More information: Check out the featured sites: Solange Azagury-Partridge; Sebastian + Barquet; Design Miami.

Gruppo Treesse gives you a chance to order a custom bathtub. The default designs are simple and provide an excellent canvas that allows you to customize at your whim.

The Epoca, Epoca Egg, Nina, and New Classic Young designs allow touches such as Swarovski crystals, decorative designs, capitonne upholstery, all of which will seriously add an original and person touch.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read more articles on Bathtubs; Luxury Furniture; Swarovski Crystals and Interior Design

Designer Philip Plein clearly has the Midas Touch. He has created a living room set using several forms of gold – such as gold-plating, solid gold, or simply a manufactured shade. Plein’s set comprises of a royal nest with a sofa, a coffee table, an arm chair, a side table, lampshades, and cushions.

Whether it spells class and taste I’m not quite sure, but it’s certainly dazzling.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read more articles about Luxury Furniture, Interior Design, or Chairs

Japanese company Toyo has created D-Land, a kitchen-dining area that is sleek and sophisticated. Raised above the floor, the units have a stainless-glassy finish, with clean cut lines, and dazzling Swarovski crystals encrusted handles. The Marquette Turner Luxury Homes team has not encountered a kitchen quite like it – yet!

Simon Turner

FYI: Read other articles featuring Swarovski crystals, Kitchen’s and Furniture

TThe Hover Chair could be something straight out of Star Wars.

In fact, Keith Dixon, the creator of this lounger states that his inspiration came from the anti-gravity Land Speeder vehicles in the Star Wars films. Using powerful magnets to float in the air floating is indeed possible, but maybe the $9620 price tag may bring some back to Earth.

Simon Turner

FYI: See more articles on Luxury Furniture Ideas, Chairs, and Design

This futuristic bar, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, is not just any piece of furniture and definitely goes where no bar has gone before. Finished with a metallic surface, it’s sweeping lines certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the Starship Enterprise. Or, if that’s not such a possibility right now, you could no doubt find a place for it within your home.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read more articles on Luxury Furniture or Architects

If you are looking to refurnish your house and don’t mind the price tag, you may want to hold off on making any purchases. Good news. Calvin Klein has announced the launching of two designer furniture lines. The two lines are called ‘Calvin Klein’ and ‘The Curator Collection by Calvin Klein Home.’

Calvin Klein spells class, so expect to see some tasteful furniture. The look is clean, subtle and modern. Nothing complicated, simply class! The full collection will be showcased in late October.

Christine Watson

Putting your property on the market poses two very personal concerns:

  1. invasion of privacy: that your personal life will be on show;
  2. theft: your personal effects are prey to any “prospective” buyers

De-clutter your property before placing it on the market for sale: this is my first tip of advice for those vendors concerned with their privacy being publicised to the world.

To some it means removing everything from bench tops, cupboards and shelves and to others it means keeping the home clean, neat and tidy.  But how do you protect your privacy and hide your personals?

Your home generally depicts your personal life, showing your taste in furnishings, colours, art, antiques and family photographs. Is opening your home to the public an invasion of your privacy?  Absolutely!

The experience of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes shows that people buy the home that “ticks most of the boxes”.  When selling your home, you should take the distractions away so the buyer can concentrate solely on looking at your home.

Furthermore, we are not great advocates of open for inspections in a troubled market and it is important to appreciate that household contents insurance does not cover the loss of personal effects during a viewing of a property.  Remove the opportunity for theft and protect yourself as if you were a celebrity like Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise and Hugh Jackman.

Selling your home can be stressful enough without the concern that someone is taking an interest in your personal life and possessions.

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes we will not allow anyone to view your home without showing their photo identification.  If someone objects they are not respecting your home and are not serious about buying the property. Only a Luxury agency can truly protect your privacy.

Christine Watson

There is a wide difference between a Home Theatre and the Home Theatre System.

For $US300,000 First Impressions Themed Theatres Inc. will produce for you a custom-designed home theatre: the floor vibrates, there are concealed bass absorbers, crystal blue LED lighting, motorized, red velvet armchairs including granite drink holders and condiment trays.

Great for a rainy day inside, great company and never-ending movies!

Simon Turner

Italian designer Eduardo Carlino has developed the Hi-Can system, a technological masterpiece integrated within a luxurious canopy bed.


The Hi-Can has a high-fidelity sound system, supporting all media types, together with a video projector which can act as a television or computer screen. Whilst you may be ecstatic or horrified at the idea of never having to leave your bed to work, rest or play, you can take a breath: so far this is just a concept awaiting the production go-ahead.




Simon Turner

A fireplace that can be taken anywhere, the ideal comforter, and suitable for pretty much every occasion and location, however, perhaps as a carry-on item for aircraft passengers is not the most practical or legal option, but you get the concept I’m sure.

Available from Radius Design this year’s hottest accessory (pun-intended) is available for the coolest people for €998,00.

Simon Turner

Presented by Italian designer Moroso, designer Ron Arad has produced the Do Lo Res, which is a sequence of square and rectangular sofas of varying heights.

A contemporary design, perhaps borrowing from a virtual, pixilated world, this limited edition couch will soon begin production.

Simon Turner

Marketed by the amazing designers at Porsche Design as the kitchen for men, the Porsche Design Poggenpohl luxury kitchen sets new benchmarks (no pun intended) in every respect.

With a sleek, clean design matched with uncompromising, and unapologetic cutting-edge appliances from Miele this latest prestige from the sports car designers also features the very best quality materials.

The drawers and cupboards use electronic mechanisms that make opening them simply by the touch of the finger. Models vary to suit every clients needs, and I have no doubt that despite the marketing to men, this offering will appeal to an equal number of women.

Integrated appliances include convection, microwave and steam ovens, glass-top stove, and an automatic coffee and espresso machine. How much for such customized work? The starting price is a cool $US75,000.

Simon Turner

‘The Cosmo’, is a hydro-bath that allows your mind and body to relax whilst jet’s massage you in front of your favourite television show.

Di Vapor has created this luxurious necessity with a 17″ touch-sensitive control panel that allows you to control both the spa and the TV. The nine bubble jets, seven hydro-jets, six back massage jets, underwater lights, and video input are amongst the many features of the Cosmo that can be yours for $US4500.

Simon Turner

A bed is not simply a practical piece of furniture. For those that like to sleep comfortably and wake up with a glow, the luxurious Hot Bed, hand-crafted with stained glass and stainless steel, is available for $US10,500. A good night’s sleep may seem somewhat costly at first glance, but it’s a small price to pay given both is functionality and quality of build.

Simon Turner

For the lovers of luxury bathrooms this collection of sleek, leather skinned bathtubs have options of black metal, toffee metal and chocolate gold for the outer shell, with a choice of gloss or matt finishings.

The first image shows the Stone One collection with an approximate cost of $US16,146.

The second bathtub collection is the Neo Baroqu, with an approximate cost of $US13,196.

Simon Turner

The ‘Cabernet Couch’ has been made by combining a vintage corduroy futon mattress resting upon 33 empty Cabernet jugs that emit a neon glow.


This is yet another addition to Californian winemaker Carlo Rossi Vineyard’s “Jug Simple” collection which also includes other furniture and object d’art such as a Chardonnay Chandelier (also with 33 jugs), a Burgundy Bookshelf (with 28 jugs), and the Paisano Plasma TV Stand.


Christine Watson

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