Promoting the Art of Luxury Living on Florida’s Gulf Coast


On November 12th, after the last gavel had fallen and a final tally was taken, $853 million dollars of fine art had been sold in a single night at Christie’s Fine Art Auction House in Manhattan.

“The Hottest Two Weeks Ever in Art History”
For the fourth consecutive time since May 2013 the renowned 248-year-old auction house had set a new single-sale record for post-war and contemporary art.  Additionally, the sale set 11 new world records; with three works selling for over $50 million, 23 more for over $10 million and 69 for over $1 million.  Top honors for the highest priced sale went to the late artist Andy Warhol for his 1963 painting of Elvis Presley.  Triple Elvis, as the work is entitled, sold for nearly $82 million.  Move over Mona Lisa, “The King” is in the house.

When all was said and done, the Christie’s sale represented nearly half of the $2 billion in fine art sold at various auctions throughout New York in what the Wall Street Journal called “the hottest two weeks ever in art history.”  Moreover, a buyer from the sale expressed that the quality of the art on the Christie’s auction block was particularly “epic.”

“Epic,” as it turns out, is a good word to describe the next high-profile event in the world of fine art.  Less than two weeks from now, the focus of international art collectors will shift from New York to Miami Beach where Art Miami will officially kick-off that city’s 25th edition of Art Week.  (more…)

Featured Property: A Country Story in Myakka River Trail

800 N River Rd_N5900194_02This Venice home for sale conjures the feeling of classic southern charm. One look at its Old Florida style and you’ll swear you are hearing the sound of a distant banjo, tasting an ice cold lemonade, and feeling a country breeze against your skin. (more…)

Weekend Forecast: Sandy with a Chance of Chalk

With a weather outlook of sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s, we’d take any excuse to be outside this weekend. Lucky for us, there are two exceptional outdoor art and culture to choose from: the Sarasota Chalk Festival and the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sandsculpting Competition.

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MSC Foundation: Lending a Hand to Young and Old

Sun Fiesta parade. Photo courtesy

Sun Fiesta parade. Photo courtesy

With the holidays approaching, we feel a renewed sense of how important it is to give to others.  At Michael Saunders & Company, our agents and staff are giving year-round to the MSC Foundation.  Voluntarily donating a portion of their real estate commissions or contributing throughout the year, the people at MSC aim to make a difference in the communities where we live and work.  From scholarships to suppers, two of the organizations that have benefited from the MSC Foundation are the Women’s Sertoma Club of Venice and Englewood Meals on Wheels. (more…)


Visioning the Bayfront for Generations to Come

vanwezel2010_2In 1968, the opening of Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall helped the city realize its ambitious vision of becoming Florida’s premier destination for the arts and culture.  Now nearly 50 years later, a group of engaged local citizens and organizations—calling itself Bayfront 20:20—has begun a series of public conversations to articulate a long-term master plan for re-investing in Sarasota’s Bayfront that will help keep that same vision alive for generations to come.

Keeping the Vision Alive
Bayfront 20:20’s self-imposed mandate is to make the absolute best use of the Bayfront with an eye toward establishing a cultural and economic legacy for the region while continuing to ensure open and public access to the waterfront.  Such ease of access to our Bayfront, cultural institutions and open spaces is a significant point of differentiation that distinguishes Sarasota from other Florida communities. (more…)


10 Sure Ways to Kick-Off Season in Boca Grande

web site 202 copy-BocaGrande_DaleAnnWith the beginning of season upon us, Boca Grande residents know how to celebrate their surroundings in style. Here is a list of the upcoming must-do moments:

Sunday Shrimp-day: Visit Whidden’s Marina and purchase shrimp right off the boat! You can enjoy a fresh helping of the crustaceans on most Sundays.

Annual Blessing of the Animals: On November 9th, the general public is invited to an ecumenical Blessing of the Animals in celebration of the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Bring your pets at 4:00pm to the croquet courts of the Gasparilla Inn & Club.

Royal Palm Players: Get your season tickets for the Royal Palm Players, the favorite island theater now celebrating their 25th anniversary! The season opens with “12 Angry Jurors” November 13 – 16. (more…)

23 About Me: An International Annette

23LogoAt Michael Saunders & Company, we know that the next buyer for your property is as likely to come from outside the United States as from within. For this reason, we maintain some of the most powerful brokerage alliances worldwide in real estate.

Based in London, Mayfair International Realty helps our agents effectively connect with buyers throughout the United Kingdom. With their help, Gulf Coast properties are continuously featured “across the pond” – whether by word of mouth or within the pages of The Telegraph. (Here’s a recent article featuring an Englewood home for sale.)

Annette Reeve, Director of Mayfair International Realty

Annette Reeve, Director of Mayfair International Realty

Annette Reeve is the Director of Mayfair. She was recently in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte County personally previewing many area homes for sale. What’s more, she’ll be face-to-face with premium buyers across Europe this week at the Hurlingham Club, where she’ll help to showcase many of our luxury properties.

Annette is our latest participant in “23 About Me” and we just loved her uniquely British perspective. (Oh, and about lunch at Court in the sixteenth century…we’ll bring the roasted pheasant!)

Choose one: country estate, city penthouse or beachfront living?
Beachfront living

What is your favorite ice cream?

Favorite cuisine?  

What is the last book you read?
“The Glass Painter’s Daughter” by Rachel Hore (more…)

PINC.Sarasota: A Global Conference Comes to the Gulf Coast


A conference promoting People, Ideas, Nature, and Creativity (PINC) is making its American debut in Sarasota on November 6th.

For over fifteen years, PINC has been a stand-out event in the Netherlands, drawing crowds from all over the world. This year, it was Sarasota that drew PINC for its state-side introduction.

Similar in format to “TED Talks,” sixteen international speakers will share their stories and passion for innovation, inspiration, and creativity.

PINC’s founder, Oliver Van Lindonk, said that the community’s cultural and innovative qualities, along with an entrepreneurial spirit, were the perfect fit to launch their gathering in North America. PINC’s vision is to “establish our city, Sarasota, as the creative thought-leadership capital destination in the United States.” (more…)

Halloween: 16 Ways to Have Wicked Fun on Florida’s Gulf Coast

, Manatee and Charlotte Counties are packed with ways to celebrate Halloween over the next couple of weeks– from ghost hunting and haunted forests to petting zoos and pumpkin festivals. So, costumes and candy at the ready – here are 16 ways to have a spook-tacular Halloween:


1. Boo Fest Family Fun- On Friday, October 24, 2014, one of the most popular events of the year in Lakewood Ranch, the 9th Annual Boo Fest Halloween Festival, takes place at Lakewood Ranch Main Street. The event features trick or treating, a costume parade, a “lights on” haunted house and much more. Kick-off is at 6pm, and admission is free.

2. Haunting on the Harbor – The 5th Annual Smuggler’s Haunting on the Harbor Halloween Festival and Haunted House takes place October 24‐28 and 30‐31 at City Marketplace in downtown Punta Gorda. The downtown area will be transformed into an autumn showcase of pumpkin patches, hay rides, kid’s carnival games, fair food, live music, and the largest haunted house in Charlotte County. More information can be found by clicking HERE.

3. A Ghost Expedition – Historic Spanish Point will host its Ghost Hunting Tours on October 24, with three chances (6:30, 7:30 & 8:30 pm) to investigate on foot the ghostly happenings of the 30-acre outdoor museum. Then, on October 31, the point will host a spooky Victorian Funeral at Mary’s Chapel. For information and tickets, visit HERE.

4. Haunted Woods – Embark on a haunted trail through Oscar Scherer State Park on October 24 and 25, with frightening tours that wind through the woods. There will also be fun, family-friendly activities on the Trick-or-Treat Trail. For tickets and more information, call 941.483.5956. (more…)

Show Us Life Through Your Lens!


One of the most enjoyable things about selling homes in Southwest Florida is that we seldom have to “sell” our market. Once buyers have seen our communities and soaked-up a bit of their lifestyles, the region all but sells itself. All that necessarily remains is finding the right home to match their ideal lifestyle.

What’s Your Way of Life?
The qualities that make for an ideal Gulf Coast “lifestyle” are definitely in the eye of the beholder. My idea of the perfect lifestyle may be totally different from yours. Fortunately, for those who have yet to face the choice, there are so many lifestyle options available in Southwest Florida that we have made exploring them pictorially one of the most important new features of the new…)

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