Luxuries in Residential Design - What Defines Luxury?
Many people own it much better than others. In the world of residential design, this becomes especially evident. While the average indivdual today struggles to afford a property that costs $500k to construct, others spend $500k on their landscaping, home-theater, garage (or a single car because garage). I have labored on homes with garages that will accommodate well over 20 cars. Imagine, just to keep insurance on those vehicles could cost higher than a year's salary to the average Joe.
In the argument of what is excessive, I understand where both parties are coming from. As a residential designer, my job is to gather information about each client's dreams and desires to be able to create their ideal home. To most people, the best American architects luxuries of the rich are simply just excessive, but to the elite few, the cash they devote to their property is merely a drop in the bucket compared from what they may spend (and for instance this types of spending can be considered as modesty). Having been associated with residential design in Kelowna for higher than a decade I see it time and again. People come here to construct lakefront summer homes. Some might say "imagine the mortgage payment on that $5M cottage", but I say "what mortgage?" The elite doesn't over-extend themselves on their homes as numerous assume.
Some of the luxuries that clients are seeking include lavish entry porticoes such as for instance in this traditional luxury estate home outside Toronto, Canada. Others are looking to maximise their home's view by requesting long walls of glass that need special engineering considerations such as for instance in this modern home design in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles County. Others just don't blink at spending $7k on a toilet! Ultimately, the residential design wouldn't be what it's without such requests. It's the unique personality and tastes of individuals that produce each home unique.
Commonly, whole communities are made without the consideration for personality, only having been constructed with utility and expense in mind. Compare these modern neighborhoods to the cookie-cutter homes of past centuries and you might realize just how faceless and uninspiring these neighborhoods are.
This certainly, is not to imply that the luxuries of the super-rich are crucial to good design or enjoyable life. A good residential designer may make inspiring homes from a variety of popular building materials and conventional building methods. To the regard, good planning, an expression of flow and order, and working with the natural attributes of a building site can go a long way in developing a home that will stand the test of time and be enjoyable for decades to come. Further, residential design can be considered as a reasonable expenditure in the event that you realize that the design element of a property could cost significantly less than the expense of the fundamental framing package. A professional designer can even save money by working with the topography of the land, avoiding costly site-work.