Mediterranean Splendor with International Flair


In 1991 at the tender age of 23, Yuri Levitas came to the United States from his native Russia. He was young and looking for a fresh start in the land of opportunity, but he knew it would take hard work and vision to be a success, since he had no family connections in the states. Yuri’s commitment to hard work and a willingness to try things led him to a number of jobs in a variety of work environments, but it was his experience in the transportation industry that led him to take out a loan to purchase a small bus company that provided the community with moving services. His early success and hard work have led him into other ventures, including the import and export business and a busy schedule of world travel.

After marrying, Yuri wanted to move from Brooklyn to offer his growing family more space to stretch out in. His search led him to the New Dorp section of Staten Island. He purchased a newly constructed, approximately 1,200 square foot home from the builder and happily called it home until 2007. Yuri has a passion for design and construction and had always wanted to design and build his own family home. The search soon began for just the right location in the Light House Hill section of Staten Island. The Lighthouse Hill district received it’s moniker after the building of a 141 foot octagonal Staten Island Range Lighthouse in 1912 and is known for its rich history and natural beauty. After a bit of time searching, in 2008 Yuri found just the right piece of property on which to design and build his family’s dream home. The construction began mid-year in 2008 and took nearly 1½ years to complete before the family finally moved in.

The dramatic and classic Mediterranean home is a tribute to Yuri’s vision and inspiration. The meticulously detailed home is 9,000 square feet in size and features 6 bedrooms, 5½ baths as well as a private maid’s quarters. Once the family moved in, work continued with additional design and construction, including landscape work, patio, pool and outdoor play spaces. Yuri speaks highly of Staten Island as a place to live and raise a family. The Island’s proximity to New York City as well as Brooklyn is perfect for his business needs, and his son has benefited from the Island’s fine school system. The Island’s history, small town feel and natural beauty make this the perfect place for the Levitas family to call home.

 

 
 
The Levitas home is inspired by classic Mediterranean architecture and features meticulous attention to detail. The stucco exterior includes dramatic columns, iron scroll work rails, divided  light windows and a magnificent landscape plan that enhances the architecture without overwhelming it. The Levitas’ driveway features decorative pavers, adding a splash of color and  pattern that ties in nicely to the home’s overall color palette.
 
 
The Levitas’ backyard is all about family, friends and fun. Yuri and his wife like to entertain, and the overall design of their back yard offers many opportunities for sharing good times  together. The built-in pool is well used during the summer months and a fabulous basketball court and various comfort zones, nicely appointed with colorful outdoor furniture, offer various opportunities to enjoy the company of family and friends. A custom barbeque area is perfect for outdoor snacks or sharing an al-fresco meal together. Rows of Leland Cypress trees, which are known to be fast growers, have been planted to create a natural privacy screen. 

 


Yuri travels quite a bit on business and his import and export acumen allows him opportunities to import decorative items that are truly remarkable. The grand entry features glass (used throughout the home including the ornate front doors and glass transom) imported from Canada and iron work sandwiched between the panes of glass, making maintenance a non-issue. When it comes to interior design and furnishing, this grand home is truly an international affair, including furnishings and fixtures from around the world including Italy, Thailand, China, Canada and the United States among others. Porcelain tile floors and a main staircase with decorative iron railings are illuminated by an impressive crystal chandelier above.
 


 
The Levitas’ spacious gourmet kitchen is a gathering place for guests and family to enjoy Sunday brunch or prepare a large holiday meal. The impressive granite topped center island is a  perfect place to get comfy over coffee or tea and the Sunday paper. Custom cabinetry with antique painted finish and glaze create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The kitchen space opens up to an eat-in area which includes a table, upholstered cushioned seating and a beautiful fireplace. Natural light filters in when wanted through the large bank of windows with decorative drapery. Even the beloved family dog, Latoya, has no trouble getting comfortable in this kitchen space.

 
The Levitas’ living spaces are both opulent and comfortable, featuring wood and upholstered furnishings in various painted finishes and light upholstered fabrics. The interior finishes  shimmer and glimmer with silver and gold custom paint and window treatments. Almost all the furnishings were purchased with this home in mind. Sofas and coffee tables, art and sculptural  pieces, decorative ceramics and floral arrangements all have come from various international design shops and centers from all over the world. The impressive carved mantelpiece was  directly imported from India, and with its lions it makes a regal statement.

 
Excitement is in the details, and the Levitas home is rich in detail and ornamentation. Glass with iron scroll decorative elements, carved cabinet detailing and custom finished ceiling  moldings keep the eye and spirit stimulated. In this bedroom, color is once again provided mostly by furnishings and boldly chosen fabrics in rich hues and distinctive patterns. The  furnishings add a theatrical and classically inspired feel to the space, providing a sense of fantasy and luxury at the same time. 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Excitement is in the details, and the Levitas home is rich in detail and ornamentation. Glass with iron scroll decorative elements, carved cabinet detailing and custom finished ceiling  moldings keep the eye and spirit stimulated. In this bedroom, color is once again provided mostly by furnishings and boldly chosen fabrics in rich hues and distinctive patterns. The  furnishings add a theatrical and classically inspired feel to the space, providing a sense of fantasy and luxury at the same time.

 

 

 

 
 
Fun, games and comfort are never far from reach at the Levitas home. A fully appointed screening room with plush leather seating makes viewing classic films a joy.

 

Family and friends can enjoy a film after experiencing a private Russian bath, where natural wood walls and a special heating process provide super heat and super relaxation.

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16 Nov 2015


By Michael Berman
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