You’ve resolved to build or remodel a luxury home this year. You’ve picked out your location, and you have some ideas in mind. If you haven’t already found an architect or contractor, now is the time to start looking—and committing to your project.
Most contractors want an architect to already have plans drawn up before they sign on. Some contractors may make recommendations for good architects, or you may know one already by reputation. Always check their credentials and make sure they’re reputable and have experience in designing luxury homes.
When you meet with the architect, have some design ideas already in mind. Maybe you’ve taken pictures of a friend’s home, or maybe you’ve been looking through home and design magazines. These can help give your architect a good idea of what you want. Consulting with a home designer may also be beneficial—these designers can help you develop your vision and even make recommendations on putting your team together. Keep in mind the design elements won’t be put into play until after much of the structure of your luxury home is already in place. Your architect won’t need to know if you want tile versus wood or plush carpet. Your architect will need to know if you want an open floor plan.
But when designing your luxury home, and especially if you have an eye toward resale, you want to make sure you include the following:
The big en suite bedroom. And not just big—you want to hear an echo. Airy, well-lit spaces are luxury home buyers’ number one request. Do you plan to spend a lot of time in the bedroom? Think about how your property is situated. Do you prefer privacy or a view? You’ll want to utilize the view where you’ll be spending most of your time. If that’s in the bedroom, a bay window with a reading bench is a bonus design touch.
For the en suite bathroom, always go with more, especially to increase the value of your luxury home. In fact, instead of thinking bathroom, think “spa retreat.” The shower itself should be a showstopper, the shower cubicle either coved, open, whatever you want, but it should be very large. Large enough to fit a recording studio for all those high notes you’ll hit when singing your ‘80s hair band covers.
Closets—or dressing rooms? Both, since your luxury closet should be the size of a room. The closet space should be airy, big, and have enough room to walk around in. Keep in mind that a closet or dressing room may seem big in the plans, but once the builders install the shelving and any dressers, the space will be greatly reduced. Make sure the architect plans accordingly.
Have as many additional bedrooms and guest rooms as space allows. While theoretically this may attract more out of town visitors for extended stays than you want, luxury homes should be able to house a small athletic team or camera crew. And the rooms should have enough space to entice the guests to stay in there (especially if you prefer a quiet house to yourself). Every room should have more than enough closet space, even if it’s where you end up ditching your own vacation or winter clothes. A luxury home should never run out of storage space. Consider closets large enough to have built-in dressers to allow for more space in the actual room.
A celebrity chef kitchen. Even if you eat out every night or only consume smoothies, your luxury home needs to have a top-of-the-line kitchen. The open-versus-closed floor plan is entirely up to you, but the size needs to be massive, with plenty of counter space and room for seating more people than actually live there. (Unless that camera crew moves in with you, in which case, you should have just enough.) If you’re a semi-pro chef, at least according to Instagram, then also consider how much time you’ll be spending in your massive luxury home kitchen. Maybe you’ll want to position that where there is a view, or have it extend into the dining area so you and your guests can both enjoy any outside
scenery available. Remember also that Instagram loves natural light, so have plenty of that in your celebrity chef kitchen.
While you’re at it: Add a wine cellar. If you don’t drink wine, someone will. The space will get used, and you’ll thank yourself if you decide to sell your luxury home.
That’s entertainment: Beyond the cave. Entertainment rooms are redefined in the luxury home. Think home theaters, and not just a movie room. Maybe your film crew wants to review dailies, or maybe you want to be the forever host of your friends’ Oscar viewing party. Or perhaps you want a music room (or an in-home studio so you can finally become a star on You Tube). Maybe you need a space for your antique Atari collection.
Your outside space is also a room. Consider terraces, living area perches that capitalize on the natural features and layout of the property. Pools are generally considered must-haves, so decide if you want an infinity pool if you have a spot on a cliff overlooking the ocean, or if you want a meandering water feature throughout the property, or if you want to swim power laps like an Olympian. Make sure there are spaces for sitting and lounging, and don’t forget the extras, like that nice tennis or volleyball court.
An elevator? Really? One of the perks of having a luxury home is that you can put in all the extras you want. But this isn’t just about validating excess: if this is a home that you plan to grow old in, ease of access is essential. If you have a sprawling, multi-level home, many stairs may become a problem.
But to keep in shape until then: Design an indoor gym. Sure, you may play tennis on your backyard court or swim laps in your Olympic-sized pool, but an indoor gym is one of those added details that take a home from ordinary to extraordinary. Maybe you want to be very daring and make your indoor gym into a basketball court or a bowling alley (some people call that a workout), or have an indoor pool. Just don’t forget the sauna.
These perks are important, but they can be tailored to suit your lifestyle as well. If you want some practical advice, remember that luxury homes are anything but practical (though that doesn’t mean they can’t be efficient). Your luxury home can be your literal castle.
Next month, we’ll take a closer look at the luxury home construction timeline and what to expect during that process.
To get started on your luxury home build or remodel project for 2017, or for any questions about the luxury home design and building process, contact us for expertise at www.murfeyconstruction.com.