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Then and Now: Shifts in Luxury Home Trends

While certain aspects of luxury living are timeless (gorgeous views, stately historical architecture), today’s high-end Philadelphia home looks decidedly different than those purchased 20 to 30 years ago.

As the needs of the luxury buyer shift, so do the design schemes and features that set truly deluxe properties apart from their ordinary counterparts.

Understanding trends in luxury home design will help prepare you for purchasing a high-end property that’s best equipped to hold or increase in value over the years to come.

The Rise of the “At Home” Celebrity Chef

For centuries, a consistent sign of power and wealth was the ability to employ staff to serve your every need. But in 2017, even the most affluent delight in preparing their very own gastronomical chefs-d'oeuvre. From busy professionals to television personalities to elite sports stars, the upper crust take time out of their jam-packed schedules to cook. And to cook well.

Hence the ascent of the gourmet kitchen.

In traditional luxury homes the kitchen was a hidden fortress. A work zone meant to be veiled away from distinguished residents. Today, large, bright gourmet kitchens are at the forefront of what attracts a high-end buyer.

But contemporary luxury buyers expect the best of everything.

To be afforded a kitchen fit for Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck or star-studded Philadelphia chefs like Marc Vetri or Nicholas Elmi means top-shelf commercial grade appliances and gadgetry—and a setting reminiscent of the finest restaurant in town.

The New Rules of Technology: Tech Rules

It’s hard to imagine that there was once a time that a formal dining room and an opulent fireside parlor would be the defining characteristics of any home built to entertain. In 2017, it wouldn’t be unheard of in even the poshest of circles to invite guests over to watch a movie in a state-of-the-art home theater.

It’s not that triple-distilled Scotch, imported cigars and fine art no longer matter or have less meaning. Rather, there’s been a new emphasis on the in-home movie experience so that massive screens and booming surround sound matter more. Or at least just as much.

Bringing the Indoors Out

While outdoor living is far from a new trend, the value given to exemplary outdoor spaces has peaked.

Instead of the balcony or veranda being reserved for the dog days of summer, outside areas are converted into true outdoor living rooms. Complete with all the necessary comforts for year-round use.

It’s not unheard of for luxury properties to feature multiple outdoor gathering places. One covered for inclement weather and one open to the sky for soaking up the sun.

Wet bars. Fireplaces. High-end patio arrangements. Radiant heating. Even fully equipped outdoor kitchens. The technology exists for bringing the indoors out and so today’s buyer expects to have this option when shopping a high-end home.