One of the great pleasures of working with so many wonderful architects and homeowners is that we get a real feel for the kinds of decisions people are making for their properties, and the latest luxury home trends that are emerging.
In recent years, there has been consistent movement towards new technology and green living (among other things), andso far 2017 has shown us that the very idea of luxury has changed - from the extravagant to the personal, the meaningful, the practical, and the minimal. Here are some of the latest luxury home trends.
The luxury home trend that has gained most momentum in recent years may be minimalism. This has been much discussed across design disciplines, but when it comes to the luxury home, minimalism is inspiring some of the most magnificent design choices.
Having grown in popularity alongside stylistic and lifestyle movements like ‘hygge’ (which was ironically declared the most annoying word of 2016...), minimalism rejects the traditional models of luxury as embodiments of extravagance.
Gone are the days of over-decoration, elaborate furnishings and fittings, and arguably unnecessary indulgences (up to a point at least - see ‘pet parlours’ at the end of this article). Instead, many luxury homeowners now have a real appreciation for subtlety. When it comes to design, their decisions focus more on functionality, intelligent use of space, and a refined sense of elegance.
We often see this firsthand - many of the architects and homeowners we work with really value discrete, minimal installations. Products like the Sky Frame embody this, but there has been a move towards generally minimal glazing. Sleek subtlety and refined designs are very much ‘in’.
The work we undertake with minimal glazing is also a visual reminder of how modern technology can reconcile the luxuries of the past with the luxury trends of today. The discrete framing and designs of many of our products mean that they are a popular choice for projects working with older, historic buildings.
The result is a seamless integration between the old and new, and a completely transformed space. They offer further proof that the luxury home trends of today can be applied to the extravagant designs of old in exciting and innovative ways.
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, and when it comes to modern luxury home trends, the kitchen very much remains a focal point. While things like islands and stylish functionality have been popular in recent years, there has been a move towards a kitchen space that is more communal and ‘performative’.
The huge surge in popularity of cooking TV shows and documentaries, as well as the rising star of fine-dining and Michelin-starred cooking, has led to many luxury homeowners being inspired to rethink their kitchen spaces with these central concepts in mind.
Walk-in fridges, industry standard ovens and farm-to-table elements are all making waves in the luxury kitchen industry. This space is increasingly becoming the source of theatrical entertainment for guests. More homeowners are now enjoying cooking and sharing their culinary undertakings with one another, and kitchen spaces themselves are now reflecting this.
In many ways, technology has always been central to emerging luxury home trends. As new innovations make exciting and previously impossible things achievable in the home, aspirational homeowners often seek to implement them into their living spaces. This is true of everything from glazing (hence our mantra of refusing to accept the impossible) to soft furnishings, but the biggest recent development has undoubtedly been the emergence of the smart home.
With the ‘Internet of Things’ growing in scope and relevance, it’s now possible to digitally integrate all kinds of aspects of the home. From remotely-controlled security alarms and cameras, lights and thermostats, to voice-activated personal home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home - smart homes are now a staple of the modern home market.
Many luxury homeowners and buyers are digital natives: comfortable using technology, and adapting to the latest cutting-edge digital wizardry. Smart home tech is no longer in an unstable, beta stage: it’s functionally viable.
Millennials, Gen Xers, and older counterparts alike are making full use of the increased accessibility it provides, and discovering how this technology can transform their luxury properties into a seamlessly controlled and maintained environment.
While the trends mentioned above are arguably some of the most significant and relevant of recent times, there are all kinds of other things that luxury homeowners are including in their properties. We thought it would be nice to give a few honourable mentions to some of the other, slightly more unusual luxury home trends:
- Submerging swimming pools
Swimming pools have always been the staple of a luxury home. They come in all sizes and shapes, and now, they even come submerged. It’s all very James Bond, with pools rising out of concealed floor panels at the push of a button. Luxury? Yes. Practical? We’ll let you be the judge.
- Pet Parlours
Apparently a simple wooden dog house isn’t enough to satiate the passions of the most self-indulgent pooches and pets.
Some homeowners are dedicating entire rooms to their furry friends, replete with goodies like luxury beds, toys and even underfloor heating. It might seem extravagant, but if you have the space to spare, why not? They’re a member of the family, after all…
- Wine rooms
Wine cellars are about as traditional as it gets when it comes to luxury home trends, but while it’s been fashionable in recent years to store bottles in modern wine fridges, more and more luxury homeowners are taking their wine collections more seriously - by dedicating entire rooms to their vintages.
In the vein of the more traditional wine cellars of yore, modern luxury wine rooms are artistic masterpieces of design in their own right (we know, we’ve built a few!), and are frequently a lasting example of elegance.
- Luxury relaxation spaces
Relaxation is an important part of any luxury home, and things like cinema and games rooms can often be found nestled away in the residences of the wealthy. While this is still the case (with advances like built-in WiFi-controlled speakers making these even more desirable), trends like wellness are inspiring luxury homeowners to opt for more health-based relaxation spaces.
Spas, saunas and gyms are increasingly the choice of such homeowners, who are finding ways of incorporating wellbeing into everything from their home design (with things like glass roofs providing plenty of health-boosting natural light) to their luxury additions.
The trends mentioned above are, of course, but a handful of the ways luxury home owners are making their properties their own. Our homes aren’t just a place we stay, or return to after a long day’s work; they’re an integral part of our lives. Our homes aren’t just a physical or material space; they have a ‘soul’. They’re the places where we build and share memories, where our children will grow up, and where our families develop.
It’s this idea that is most clearly at the heart of the current trends in luxury homes. Yes, many of these are indulgent and elegant, but they all pertain to one thing - that our homes should be as wonderful and unique as we are.