According to Jessica, who has designed some of the most luxurious of homes in the southwest United States, the average luxury home in demand today is around 5,000 square feet. Contrast this with the 10,000 and 20,000 square feet so common in the luxury market in previous years. Large in-home gyms are out. Instead, many find it preferable to go to the gym and connect with friends and occasionally hit the stationary bike at home in a smaller workout area connected to the master bathroom. Cozy coffee bars equipped to make everyone’s favorite java drinks have replaced the oft-neglected wet bars. And private home theaters with rows of chairs lined up in front of a screen? Who wants to be quarantined in a formal little room just to watch a movie? Families these days enjoy their entertainment in the great room on Friday nights or on the screen in the kitchen on Tuesdays while they make pizza together in the brick oven.
Luxury is becoming more and more about sharing and connection. Open floor plans rule luxury home design currently, and the trend seems to have staying power. Rather than a formal dining room with double doors, a living room to one side, and a kitchen walled off from everyone, a common space is now all the rage. Each space is distinguished with varying ceiling heights, unique dimensional textures, and architectural nuances that express the essence of each area and function. It’s all connected and one. And the demand for this luxurious efficiency keeps quality standards high, resulting in homes that retain price tags well over a million dollars.
Homes in the luxury market are extravagant because they work well for each unique need and taste. No two homes are the same. After all, variety is the spice of luxury life. Yet they tend to follow similar principles. Barriers are removed, and outdoor living is just as much a part of the home experience as a dining room table. For example, some homes feature collapsible window walls allowing the barrier between the indoor and outdoor great rooms to literally disappear into the wall. Windows are now larger and fully functional to bring in all that fresh air and not just the beautiful sunlight. Even guest bungalows, or casitas as they’re called in the southwest, are no longer detached from the main house. While they offer all the amenities of a separate suite, they typically share a door with the main living space to ensure houseguests feel connected with their hosts.
Yet while sharing connected living space with the whole family is a beautiful thing, luxury home design trends respond to an abiding need for occasional solitude and sanctuary. Luxury architects like Jessica point out the splendid array of intimate touches available in each home design. Modern bathrooms, for example, may have a fireplace by the tub for some relaxing alone time as well as his and hers vanities and water closets for personal convenience. Master bedrooms may feature private outdoor sanctuaries complete with trellises and a fire trough discreetly set apart by low walls allowing for a touching view of the surrounding scenery.