The 10 Coolest Houses of 2012

It's been less than a year since the Cool Houses Daily staff started our tireless search for the hottest properties in America, but we've already seen hundreds of incredible homes for sale from coast to coast. Narrowing them down to the best of the best was no easy task, but we managed to pick out 10 homes that are particularly outstanding. Our list is made up of houses that drew the most viewers, houses that were popular with our Facebook and Pinterest followers, and a couple of editors' favorites.

Without further ado, here are the 10 coolest houses featured on Cool Houses Daily this year.

#10: Mountaintop Chateau in Aspen, Colo.

A favorite with our Pinterest followers, this European-inspired mansion sits atop Aspen's exclusive Red Mountain. The home's spectacular stone patios offer unobstructed views of rolling mountains, towering aspen trees and downtown lights.

#9: Jaw-Dropping Oceanfront Estate

There's no shortage of incredible oceanfront properties in the scenic state of Hawaii, but this newly completed estate in Kamuela blew us away with its stunning location and spectacular outdoor entertaining areas. The property boasts more than 1,000 square feet of alfresco living space, including an infinity pool that almost looks like an extension of the surrounding ocean waters.

#8: 19th-Century Concert Hall Turned Hip Loft in NoHo

A favorite among the Cool Houses Daily staff, this dramatic loft served as one of New York City's most popular social halls from 1860 through the early 20th century. Known as Beethoven Hall, the home still contains many architectural details original to the building, including arched doorways, porthole windows and a stunning 32-foot ceiling.

#7: Backyard Water Park

Located about half an hour from exciting Las Vegas, this property in Boulder City, Nev., boasts a lazy river, a 20-foot diving pool, a water slide and a cave-like spa. Not to be outdone by your average water park, this 1.5-acre estate even has a theme: The meandering stone pathways, rustic cabins and working mill wheel all evoke an old mining town.

#6: Phenomenal Pool Featured on HGTV's Million Dollar Rooms

If you love ogling at the sensational spaces shown on HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms, then you'll love this home. Set just outside of Seattle on Mercer Island, Wash., the Japanese-inspired residence and its jaw-dropping pool were featured on the show earlier this year. The owners spent five years constructing the property's incredible pool wing, which features a 40,000-gallon pool, solid granite boulders, cascading waterfalls and lush plants.

#5: Adobe Villa With Romantic Pool

Our Facebook fans thought this European-style estate in Phoenix, Ariz., looked like something from a dream. Known as Il Segreto (or "The Secret" in Italian), the desert retreat's outdoor living spaces include a tranquil prayer garden, a rose garden, a secluded brick patio and a romantic pool with a classically inspired cabana. Inside, the residence offers four master suites, each with a private entrance, bathroom and courtyard.

#4: Malibu Home With Multimillion-Dollar Car Museum

This oceanfront property in California is impressive all around, equipped with a professional screening room, a top-of-the-line chef's kitchen and a 62-foot Italian mosaic glass-tiled pool. But nothing wowed us more than the estate’s one-of-a-kind auto museum. Designed to house the most prestigious vehicles in the world, this structure features sound-absorbent walls, Micron-level filtration and dehumidification systems and a thermally sealed envelope.

#3: For Twilight Fans: A Home Fit for a Cullen

For the premiere of Breaking Dawn Part 2 -- the final installment of the mega-hit Twilight saga -- we found a home on Orcas Island, Wash., that would satisfy the discerning tastes of our favorite vampire clan. Completed in 2011, this striking residence is dramatically cantilevered on the steep slopes of Buck Mountain. Inside, folding glass walls accentuate sweeping views of the San Juan Islands on one side of the home, serene moss-covered cliffs on the other.

#2: A Disney Fanatic's Dream Home

Our Facebook fans were totally enchanted by this abode in La Canada Flintridge, Calif. Known as Graystone Manor, the home was once owned by Walt Disney World designer Robert F. McDonnell, who spent decades transforming the place into a fairytale cottage reminiscent of the famous theme park.  As one might expect from a Disney-caliber designer, the attention to detail is outstanding: The leaded stained-glass windows, wrought iron hardware and elaborate woodwork all look like something out of Cinderella's castle.

#1: Private Island Paradise

Known as Little Bokelia Island, this piece of paradise off the coast of Florida isn't terribly far from Sarasota or Naples, but it feels like another world — a snapshot of Old Florida splendor. The $29.5 million price tag — while not exactly pocket change — buys an amazing list of amenities: a Spanish-style villa, a pool, a tennis court, pristine beaches, lagoons and nature trails, all spread over more than 100 acres.

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