High End Real Estate: Wealth Doesn't Necessarily = Style

We know that money can't buy happiness. But, can it buy good taste? Don't count on it. Over the weekend I spent an embarrassingly long time perusing Homes of The Rich (it's addictive!), a website dedicated to real estate for the super rich around the world...

Among the hundreds of mansions and mega-mansions profiled, I struggled to find a home that I would want to buy--if I were a multi-millionaire, which I'm not. Sure, I wouldn't say no to a bigger lot, a pool, a top-of-the-line kitchen. But I was hardly green with envy looking at these obscenely huge homes, many of which are in the "bigger is better" United States. Apart from some of the high-concept modern homes and a smattering of historic castles, chateaus and homesteads, I found many of these mansions to be unimaginative, sloppily derivative and seriously ostentatious. Some are downright grotesque, with their grand salons, cathedral ceilings, Neo-Gothic archways, "sumptuous bed chambers", "regal guest quarters", and extras like "Malachite-hued lacquered paneling."

Have a look at the site and see if any of the homes jump out at you: Homes of The Rich

FIRST ROW
1. On the left is a Henderson, NV, home on sale for $5,995,000. On the right is a mansion in Bell Canyon, CA selling for $3,995,000.
2. The kitchen in the home of Lisa Vanderpump, a housewife on Bravo’s reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The mansion home in a guarded gated community in Beverly Hills, CA, is selling for $29,000,000.
3. Montecito, CA mansion for sale for $35,000,000.
4. The bathroom in a Kiawah Island, SC, home selling for $29,000,000.
5. This LEED-certified green mansion home in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago, IL, is $6,100,000.

SECOND ROW
6. This posh home in the Toorak suburb of Melbourne, Australia is $8,950,000.
7. This La Jolla, CA, home on a bluff above Torrey Pines beach originally listed at $39,000,000. It is now in foreclosure and selling for a mere $19,388,000.
8. This home in Greenwich, CT, is $13.950,000.

Images: Homes of The Rich