09 Mar Top 5 Ways Luxury Home Buyers Customize Their New Homes
Spring is the most active season of the year for home construction, and that rule of thumb certainly holds true in the luxury home industry. As ice melts and flowers begin to bloom, attention shifts to building custom homes with the latest amenities to satisfy the high net-worth buyer.
Expectations of the luxury buyer
Luxury buyers have high expectations for their homes, as they often spend in excess of $1 million for them. They seek move-in ready homes with the latest upscale amenities for busy and active lifestyles. They want houses with a modern, clean design aesthetic, where ample natural lighting highlights simple elegance. Home automation systems, energy-saving appliances and other green elements serve as hallmarks of today’s luxury home.
And most importantly, luxury buyers want the ability to add their personal touch to make their home a showcase. Here are the top five areas in which luxury buyers customize their new homes.
High-end appliances, innovative storage and creating a showcase area for dinner parties with visiting chefs are all on the agenda for customized luxury kitchens this year. As recently as a few years ago, small and frequently used appliances remained on countertops for display. In today’s luxury kitchen, toasters, coffee makers and more reside in cleverly hidden spaces for an uncluttered, clean look with ample bare countertops.
And large appliances don’t take center stage, either. The focus in 2015 is on elegant custom countertops and cabinetry that conceals refrigerators and dishwashers to create clean visual lines.
Sustainable materials are front and center in the modern luxury kitchen. Eco-friendly components include:
- Convection ovens, which cook food 25 percent faster and use less energy.
- Pull-out recycling stations.
- Recycled, stone-chipped composite countertops.
- Top-and-bottom refrigerators and freezers, which use less energy than side-by-side models.
- Environmentally friendly bamboo flooring and backsplashes.
Luxury kitchens sport palettes of neutral browns, taupes, sands and creams. Used alongside high-end natural materials like metals, glass, wood and stone, natural colors create a serene setting that serves as a backdrop for customization with art or other special items.
Islands are a must in today’s luxury kitchen and often serve as the delineation point for the signature mixed-use large space. No longer subdivided into smaller rooms connected by hallways, today’s living rooms, family rooms and kitchens merge into one central, open space with access to natural light and ample seating. The kitchen island also provides additional workspace and storage, and it provides a central conversation area for guests.
Today’s luxury bathroom represents a true experience worthy of any spa, with many including ideas borrowed from some of the world’s best hotels. Doorless showers, mirrors with integrated TVs, frosted glass, floating vanities and more show up frequently in bathrooms in today’s luxury homes.
LED lighting is gaining popularity, with manufacturers installing the lights in the back of vanity mirrors to decrease glare and shadows. Wall and floor tiles may include LED nightlights, and toilets may have them built in as well. To save energy and provide another level of convenience, lighting typically is zoned on separate dimmers.
High-end finishes like cut glass, onyx and granite grace many luxury baths, and TVs are placed over the tub or in the water closet. Music may be streamed wirelessly to enhance the spa-like experience. Some homes now incorporate digital controls for music, color-therapy lighting in showers and tubs, water flow, temperature and more. Rain-shower heads provide pampering as well.
Spa-like appointments even extend to the unexpected, like massage tables, saunas and barber chairs. Homes in cold climates typically include heated towel racks and floors.
Large, walk-in showers and free-standing tubs have replaced whirlpool tubs in many luxury baths. Stone walls may separate bathroom areas. Trough sinks with wall-mounted faucets make the room feel even more like a commercial spa. Marble and hardware in warm hues of hand-polished brass, copper and bronze often are present. And not to be overlooked, spectacular views play a major role in many of today’s luxury baths.
With financially comfortable baby boomers retiring in droves and spending more time at home, the popularity of first-floor master suites is skyrocketing. And how sweet these suites are, often set up as self-sufficient apartments with their own mini coffee areas, refrigerators, large-screen TVs and other amenities that make the occupants want to stay a while.
The main-floor master suite provides accessibility as occupants of a home age. But it also provides distance — and accompanying solitude — from guest areas of the home. And many sport private patios or decks that provide a serene and peaceful retreat.
Clean lines, luxurious fabrics and ample natural light also mark the modern luxury master suite. Continuous wood floors often span both the master suite and the master bath. Upscale lighting typically is a focal point, including interesting chandeliers and recessed fixtures that use halogen bulbs to emulate daylight.
Outdoor living areas
Across the homebuilding industry, bringing the indoors out has become a trend over the past few years. But customized, luxury homes take outdoor living spaces to a new level. Luxury outdoor spaces include full kitchens for entertaining, water features like fountains, interesting lighting and more.
Many people prefer entertaining at home to going out, and they want a special space surrounded by nature for friends and family to gather. Outdoor areas of luxury homes often become an extension of indoor living spaces. With recent vast improvements in outdoor fabrics, an array of high-end, comfortable furniture is available for patios, decks and other spaces adjacent to luxury homes. Outdoor kitchens often include permanent islands with high-end features like burners, pizza ovens, refrigerators, sinks and built-in grills.
Home fitness centers
The ability to work out at home as well at a gym is a convenience that comes with many custom houses. Home gyms often rival top commercial fitness centers, with separate rooms for changing and spaces for personal fitness trainers to work. Top-end TVs and sound systems provide music and other required audio for a proper workout, while high-airflow rooms and special ventilation keep exercises cool and comfortable.
Home gyms in luxury houses typically are outfitted with an array of new equipment, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes and weight machines. Equipment often integrates with smartphone and wearable-tech apps for tracking time, duration, biomarkers and more.
For the custom home buyer, a house is more than just a place to hang your hat. It’s also a place to work out, entertain and rejuvenate conveniently and in peace. Today’s customized luxury home serves as a focal point of life and as a testament to success.
Builders Can Help
Talk to your custom home builder about your lifestyle, interests and what you feel your home needs are. They can help you not only select a perfect home plan, but customize it to meet your custom home design needs.