Category: Real Estate

Luxurious High End Art

With the luxury marketplace doing better than ever, high-end luxury design and real estate is flourishing. Apartments at the top, that is, luxe type custom residences, are finding buyers who consider now a very good time to invest. It may not be the “Coliseum,” but the size of many of these homes come close. And, the price is right. A bit more room for price negotiation, an available international buyer, and accessible quality tradesmen, all make this a very amenable time to buy, renovate, design, and decorate.

As Randy Lombard of Elliman, real estate expert and advisor, notes, “the luxury market is definitely picking up as buyers’ confidence has been bolstered by the rising stock market and the stabilization of the real estate market in NYC.”

So what makes a particular property so valuable an investment other than location, location, location? The desired avenues, the preferred buildings, the amount of space, and the right amenities all contribute to the make-up of the high-end apartment cites. And, what makes that property so enviable, so marketable? Starting with a 3 to 5MM+ price tag, these luxe homes are differently outfitted. As Randy astutely observes “High-end buyers don’t have the same desire to live in a “pret-a-vivre” property that is ready to be occupied. They tend towards wanting a larger footprint, one with more specific needs and amenities. As such they are willing to invest in combining rooms and doing construction. They tend to invest in the smaller details that make a home their own imprint.” This customization about which Ana speaks is at the heart of architecture and design. It is the pruning, attention to detail, and quality workmanship that differentiates the luxe home from any other. And, it is here, where the inherent value of good design plays an essential role.

From a design point of view, four outstanding aspects contribute to a property’s luxe character. They are: a great master plan, an inviting entry foyer, a state of the art kitchen, and knock-out bathrooms. It’s the packaging, the fine materials, and the design innovation that counts.master PlanTo begin, a great master plan illustrates “flow,” the seductive movement of circulation within and through space. As David Estreich of David Estreich, Architects suggests, “The plan dictates a well-fitting relationship between rooms, incorporating a seamless integration of architecture and decoration.” Like the bespoke suit, walking through a luxe home feels right. It is an elegant movement that glides one though each room, while taking in the grace and largesse of a space. It’s not the size or style that matters; it’s the overall composition, and how the rooms interplay. Once the plan is created, the selection of furniture and finishes takes reign. Understated elegance is the cornerstone of luxe design. It is subtle commentary couched in classic simplicity. With no one element overriding the next, the furnishings play in harmony, creating a balance and order to each room. Silk velvets, whose colors change with the time of day and feel like sable, clothe sofas and chairs. Shimmering (though not shocking) silks outfitted with pearls coyly frame windows. Barely noticeable, they highlight the view beyond. Custom-made silver stranded carpets cushion ones feet. Lights radiate from behind hidden sources, creating subtly illuminating auras. Ceilings dip and drop, walls curve and float, and floors shine like planes of glass. It is bespoke design.

Entry Foyer

Perhaps, the most overlooked yet most important room of the Luxe home is the Entry Foyer. This oftentimes ignored area sets the tone and feeling for the entire residence. It is one’s first and lasting impression upon entering and leaving their home. And, it is here where one is made to feel either welcomed or disoriented. It sets the prelude of what’s to follow. Whether small or large, foyers are grand areas. They express the largesse of space from which other rooms radiate. In creating this special area, the architect / designer carves out space perhaps from an adjoining closet, existing gallery, or nondescript assigned area. In addition, ceilings can be dropped or raised or both. Lighting can be installed, cove or decorative, giving it a special aura. Walls can be moved, shaped to create circular, cubed, or differently configured spaces. Niches can be added to enhance the foyer’s suggestive aspects. Floor patterns move, similarly defining the area, whether it be through the elegance of a black and white marble floor or the warmth of intricately inlaid woods. Here, thickly clad venetian plaster may adorn the walls, against which works of art are visually highlighted. The use of glass block or sandblasted glass can be especially inviting as it allows the passage of light to penetrate the space, while being suggestive of what lies beyond.

High End Art with Low End Budget

With the average home price rising drastically, and interest rates continually escalating, there has never been a better time to jump in quickly and purchase your first home. Unfortunately, getting into the market now means that you may be paying more than you budgeted, leaving you with no wiggle room to renovate your new-to-you home. If there are parts of your new home that you must change and you don’t have a big budget to do so, here are a few ideas that will help you keep a few dollars in your bank account.

Home renovation stores often carry premade cupboards and have overstock of hardwood flooring and tiles. If you choose the premade items, you will save a significant amount over custom ordering. Premade cupboards will not always look exactly how you want them to. For example, if you favor dark cupboards and the premades are blonde wood, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of saving the cash over getting the exact items you were looking for. A great alternative when saddled with cupboards that you don’t like? Stain or paint them. This works well with light wood, and using gel stain and high gloss paint can help you obtain the exact shade of cupboard you were looking for.

Any room can be improved by adding moldings, and at under $1 per square foot, this is a good, inexpensive investment you can use to make your walls stand out. If you have a tray ceiling, accent the light fixture with a molding as well. It will make your ceiling pop.

Mixing and matching high-end furniture items with low-end accessories can help you obtain a trendy look that will fool anyone. Most people starting out don’t have the budget to buy an expensive wood bed frame, but if you have an antique armoire given to you by your grandparents you can couple that with a self-made headboard and high quality bedding. The look will fool anyone into thinking you spent thousands on renovating your bedroom.

Bare walls will make your home look unlived in. Plan to fill up your walls space creatively. If you have a run of 8 x 10 prints that you’d like to display, choose oversized frames for them. The mat background will make the images stand out on the wall, and the larger frame size will take up more space.

If your couch comes from a discount home store, add some flash with expensive throw pillows and blankets. A cuddly cashmere or sheepskin blanket and some throw pillows with bling can really add to a plain, neutral couch. Choose bold colors like stripes or luxurious materials like velvet. Another area to add an expensive touch is your windows. Wooden blinds or pricey curtains really show their worth when framing your windows, and can translate as a touch of luxury in your room.

Decorating like you have unlimited funds is simple with some creative thinking and a little elbow grease. With an open mind, you can have the home of your dreams on almost any budget.

7 Simple Decorating Tricks to Get That High End art Look!

High end decorating can be achieved by anyone who wants it, no matter what the budget. Customizing the decor to fit your personality does not have to be tacky either like some would like you to think. Knowing what to keep neutral and where to kick it up a notch is essential to good design. Whether your budget is $500 or $5000, here is what you can do:

  1. Clear the space: Most people have everything they own in view. For some reason it makes them feel more prosperous. Big mistake! One of the processes of home staging is the de-cluttering process. I cannot stress the importance of clutter free spaces. Unless the wealthy homeowner is an eccentric, you will see purposefully place art and accessories that are beautiful to look at.
  2. Room identities: Each room in the home needs to make sense. Make sure that the catch-all rooms are emptied and an identity assigned to it be it hobby room or home office.
  3. Large oversized wall hangings and groupings: Be it tapestries or modern art, keep it large! If you have a collection of small fruit prints, clump them together to make on large square or rectangle. Remove small isolated pictures and photos if they cannot be grouped. Blank walls help traffic flow.
  4. Area rugs: Update your shared spaces with area rugs. Group your conversation seating toward the rug and add fresh flowers and sofa pillows in a color pulled from the area rug.
  5. Color scheme: As difficult as it is, staying with a color scheme is an important aspect of a professionally designed scheme. Keep your walls and major pieces of furniture simple, and then add your favorite colors in your pillows, art, and accessories. By doing this, it will cost you less to purchase and change out later and it is easier to figure out.
  6. Traffic flow: Leave plenty of space to move around all your rooms. Allow direct lines to enter and exit rooms.
  7. Mood lighting: Adding good lighting to every room in your house increases not only the visibility of each room and its function, but also makes being in those rooms a pleasure without really knowing why. The light fixtures do not need to be expensive to do the job…they just need to be in the right place and to get that high end look, add dimmer switches.