[This is a guest post.]
Today’s most discerning homebuyers have their eyes set on city life. Living in the heart of a booming metropolis offers comfort and style as well as easy access to world-class services, restaurants, and cultural institutions. The metropolitan living trend is taking off, as evidenced in top-ranked “megacities” such as London, New York, and Singapore. Urban areas around the world are expanding as rapidly as luxury homeowners’ desires for perks like private green spaces and master bathrooms outfitted with imported marble. “Today’s buyer is looking for a mixture of old and new, period features combined with the most cutting-edge features,” says James Forbes of Strutt & Parker in London. “The desired look is far more homey and far less ‘hotel’ and impersonal.”
By offering everything from handcrafted fixtures to futuristic conveniences like electric car charging stations, developers of luxury residences are finding ways to keep up with the demands of their increasingly city-focused clientele. Here are the top five approaches urban developers are taking to turn up the luxe in city apartments and capture the attention of today’s most upscale buyers.
1. Keep it simple. Keeping it simple may sound like the opposite of driving an apartment’s luxe factor, but real estate experts claim otherwise. “We are definitely seeing a bit of a backlash against having too much technology in the home,” Forbes says. Easy-to-master upgrades that truly enhance a living space such as motorized blinds are far more desirable than complicated gadgets. For this reason, developers are focusing on the appliances and technology that home buyers really want and installing only the best. Quality over quantity is an applicable design concept in luxury homes too.
2. Pursue superior craftsmanship. From imported fixtures to sumptuous heated floors, the most luxurious homes remind the owner that elegance truly resides in the details. However, some details can quickly seem frivolous or overwhelming if they aren’t integrated into a residence in a natural manner. “Nowadays, high-net-worth individuals are far more interested in the use of high-quality materials when it comes to luxury inside their homes,” Forbes says. While wood, porcelain, and imported stone can add depth and interest to an interior, large-scale amenities like steam rooms, fitness centers, and personal screening rooms present additional opportunities to celebrate craftsmanship throughout a home.
3. Keep it convenient. It stands to reason that highly successful individuals often have the most demanding schedules. When nearly every hour of the day is taken up by appointments and meetings, modern conveniences become increasingly important. Among these home buyers, services like on-site dry cleaning, a 24-hour doorman, and personal concierges are highly valued, and savvy real estate developers understand the benefits of catering to such needs.
4. Promote green living. The demand for environmentally conscious residential options is at an all-time high, especially in larger cities. In response, some development firms have adopted green building methods to significantly reduce the negative impact of their projects on the surrounding environment. In Singapore, where gardens are a popular part of the landscape, the green living trend is being taken to new heights as personal outdoor spaces become the centerpieces of many luxury condominiums.
5. Get smart. As buildings continue to get “smarter,” so do the methods for illuminating their residences. In addition to installing solid-state lighting that uses LEDs rather than inefficient incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, developers are also moving to a new form of responsive lighting that reacts to the physical movements of a home’s inhabitants. This kind of lighting automatically adjusts to promote comfort as well as efficiency, ensuring that rooms are ideally lit based on a homeowner’s personal preferences. Trends in urban homes also point toward biometric lighting systems that can be programmed to recognize and react to weather conditions, the time of day, and other considerations.