Developers of luxury buildings have long embraced “starchitects” to entice buyers to purchase units in unique and sometimes flamboyant buildings. Now these developers are embracing star designers to give the interiors of their luxury offerings the same panache as their buildings’ exteriors.

Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants, said, “Everybody’s looking at what everybody else is doing…(and what everybody’s doing) can be really nice and special and unique and not dissimilar to the other fives places you’ve just looked at.”

So what’s going on in these amenities war? Trending materials and finishes are exploding everywhere in hopes that affluent buyers will sign on the bottom line.

  1. Herringbone and Chevron Patterns
    1. Rather than dark-stained floors, think white oak flooring that is usually an engineered product with a wood veneer applied on top.
    2. Often, wood planks are installed in zigzag patterns known as herringbone or chevron rather than being installed lined up against one another.
      1. Chevron patterns have diagonal ends that create arrow-like points.
      2. Herringbone patterns cut the material ends at a right angle for a woven effect.
    3. Some designers use marble as well as wood.
    4. Designers who use wood are specifying extra-wide planks ranging from 3.25” to 7.5”.
    5. Whether white oak, wood or marble, all floors are honed to create a soft sheen.
  2. Marble is everywhere and Calacatta marble, quarried in Carrara Italy, is the go-to grey-veined marble of choice.
    1. Look for marble in bathrooms, kitchen counters and even stove hoods.
    2. The marble is honed to create a soft, not shiny, sheen, just like today’s flooring.
  3. Kitchen appliances are abundant.
    1. Think warming ovens, double dishwashers, wine refrigerators, built-in coffee machines, etc.
    2. European brands such as Miele, Bosch, Lacanche and Gaggeneau are considered to be the “crème de la crème.”
    3. Jonathan Miller told the New York Times’ Jane Margolies, “There’s something exotic about having a brand that most people haven’t heard of.”
  4. 10’ soaring ceilings are the new 9’ prewar ceilings.
    1. The problem – 10’ soaring ceilings can eat into a developer’s profit because fewer floors may be needed in order to accommodate those ceilings.
    2. Higher ceilings = fewer floors = fewer units = less profits.
  5. Art walls assume that lux buyers collect lux paintings, sculpture and photography.
    1. Sometimes art walls conflict with floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views.
  6. Smart tech to set room temperatures, lighting, etc. from a smartphone when the lux-unit owner is elsewhere in the world is a no-brainer.
  7. Radiant heat makes bathroom floors toasty.

 

Thanks to Julie Margolies of the New York Times for source data.

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