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Should anything else be required or desired, Beninati reminds us that he lives right next door—sort of like a super, if you can say that about a man who controls a real estate portfolio valued at $4.5 billion. ("Sort of," says Beninati, with a smile.) For more information about the Lake Carrington Estate, call Mariellen Carpentieri of Antares (888-504-2025).
Design Within Reach in Litchfield
Rural, northwestern Connecticut has housing stock as sophisticated as Fairfield County's. There are cute cottages, mind-blowing castles and everything in between. Here are two notable properties for sale, from low to high:
That '70s Showhouse
Perfect for the sophisticate who steers clear of all things "quaint," "charming" and "antique," this mod pad was built in 1970 on 4.7 secluded acres in Lakeville. Renovated just prior to its listing—a condition known as a "spec flip" in real estate parlance—the property has updated interiors so its new owners will be spared the 30-something-year-old shag carpeting and other authentic but unappealing decor. At 2,000 square feet, the chic, compact home has a lofty feel: the new kitchen (Miele and Viking appliances) opens onto the dining and living spaces, which are dominated by a floor-to-ceiling fieldstone hearth. The master suite is on the main floor and includes a terrific new bathroom with spa amenities and a private terrace. There are two additional bedrooms and a total of two full bathrooms (and one half bath), including a sauna. It's listed with Andrew Gates of Sotheby's International Realty in Salisbury (860-435-5924).
Designer Eric Cohler's Country Retreat
Called the "mix master" of the design world by insiders, Eric Cohler specializes in historic preservation with a twist: he blends antiques with modern pieces, a talent he put on display at the prestigious Kips Bay Decorator Show House last spring.