Something I've noticed in recent years is an uptick in very large, very highly spec'ed houses, no doubt spurred on by increasing land values which support an increase of investment in construction. Being passionate about residential architecture, it's always really interesting to me when I see a very high spec, detailed home go on the market rapidly after completion. It leaves me wondering if the home was always intended to be a project - and if not, what the considerations were that led to the decision to put the house on the market?
Why do these objectively beautiful homes end up changing hands so frequently? Are owners financially over-extended and living in a scenario where the cost outweighs the personal value and enjoyment generated? Has the process of construction been too taxing and tarred the experience of living in the house? Does the house look great but not feel like home?
For us, the process of making a home is intrinsically meaningful. The privilege it is to purchase land and then consciously craft a place of safety, peace, of "home", for your family, is never lost on us. It is truly remarkable opportunity for our clients and a joy for us to participate in.
In a world where consumption and excess are all too normalised, ideas of fashion, perceived "market pressures" and social status can easily sneak into a client's project brief, often without you realising.
If I asked you to think about a time when you felt really safe, what comes to mind? Where are you? Who are you with? What about the natural elements - does your memory feature sunlight, breeze or nature? What objects are nearby? Is there a view? More importantly - is it even the building, or its contents, that even accounts for your experience? When we imagine and create residential spaces, we are looking to create this kind of richness of experience.
Of course we all want to create aesthetically pleasing designs, but if our focus is completely on the aesthetic, opportunities are lost for the creation of spatial & experiential richness, as well as social & environmental connection.
For us, a truly luxurious home provides for heightened connections with nature, people and self.
Think sunshine on your back in winter, deep shade and gorgeous breezes in summer, a sense of expansive connection to the landscape around you. It's being able to welcome your family and friends generously and warmly into your home, while also being able to retreat, snuggle up and feel truly at ease, both alone and with your family. Having that sense of delight in your daily rituals and peaceful moments of pause. These are the things that truly indicate luxury, not a particular "must have" style of cabinetry, a trendy arched facade or brand of kitchenware. Don't get me wrong - we will always advocate for investing in quality - but to us those items are the bells and whistles, not the point.
There is nothing more luxurious than dappled light and the warmth of sunshine within your home, a completely private green outlook within an urban context, or the ability to design a home in which you can be completely at ease, completely yourself. Luxury is about the qualities we tailor to you and your family, as much as it is the quality of material. These kinds of nourishing qualities are what shift our experience from "a house" (even an impressive one) to "a home".