By Alyssa Mammano
Luxury is always timeless in design, though style continues to evolve in a cyclical ebb and flow. As trends emerge with each passing year, some steadfast sentiments remain infallible while new progressions build upon those constants. This year, the juxtaposition of layers is an emergent interior design movement wherein varying textures, colors, prints, materials and even design styles are blended in a complementary fashion.
Monochromatic modern design is still widespread and aesthetically pleasing, though today’s affluent homeowners have begun to layer in differing bold colors, rich natural and inorganic textiles, plush fabrics and brazen patterns. Perhaps a warm-toned great room will be accented by grasscloth wall treatments, velvet seating and a stone coffee table. This method of mixture not only formulates depth and engagement to the eye, but also appeals to the sense of touch.
Variance in design styles speaks to a worldlier homeowner who identifies with multiple cultures and eras. For example, when Moroccan tiles are incorporated into the backsplash of a kitchen with shaker cabinets, the design style transforms from modern to more traditional. Add in live-edge countertops and juxtapose the look with a circular polished walnut table and the motif becomes more eclectic and complete.
This approach of discontinuity can also be achieved with same or similar hues in opposing fabrics such as leather, wool and faux fur. The depth formed by layering decorative pillows of this nature on an oversized couch emanates a warm and comfortable semblance. And while natural tones have been a staple as of late, the disruption of color with rich tones is also being accomplished with black.
Black is back in more ways than one. Exteriors painted in black create a romantic silhouette of the estate, while on the interior, the hue makes a dramatic statement. Black stainless-steel appliances are trending in today’s kitchens, complemented by black fixtures and hardware. Leather-like black stone makes a bold presentation on countertops, while new soft-touch black paint generates a velvet-like appearance on interior walls.
To counteract the pronounced impression of saturated colors is the furor of the metallic finish. Playing off of this sheen surface is custom lighting in tunable colors and vibrancies. Contrasting deep pigments with metal décor brightens the design and establishes interest. Silver touches construct a nautical theme, while gold and brass emit warmth. Lighting bounces off of these textures impacting how the composition reads to the human eye.
Speaking of custom lighting, it is not a new notion that luxury buyers desire unique pieces and this sentiment still rings true in this year’s interior design trends. Custom-built cabinetry, built-ins and furniture are a topic of discussion. So too are imported materials from small overseas manufacturers.
Every year, technological advancements are developed to make home life easier, and this year is certainly no exception. Automation has previously been introduced to control temperature, lighting and shades. Experts predict a more solid grasp on automation in the kitchen within the next few years.
Lutron and Crestron are some of the most comprehensive automation systems for adjustable lighting, shades, fans and temperature control. The integration of these solutions into more luxury homes is imminent, as affluent homeowners seek comfort and ease of operation.
Companies such as AmazonFresh, Peapod and FreshDirect have begun to delve into the realm of grocery delivery wherein customers can place orders through an app or online. Those who consume certain products regularly can also set up auto-ship of those items at set intervals. However, developers are working to remove the manual aspect of this process altogether.
The goal of technologies such as AmazonDash is to incorporate auto-detection when supplies are low and replenishment of those goods without the consumer ever having to lift a finger. WePlenish, a smart coffee system, detects when the device is low on inventory and automates the ordering process to ensure every morning begins with caffeine. This too is the directive for produce and poultry products.
Though this capability is still in the works for refrigerators, Samsung’s Family Hub™ allows homeowners to see inside the unit from anywhere with three built-in cameras. The technology can also be connected with a smartphone to operate via a screen on the door panel. Not only does the smart refrigerator make life easier, it also promotes family connectivity through shared calendars, memos and location sharing.
Video is another area that promotes connectivity and in which developments are underway. Each technology pillar has released its version of a virtual assistant: Amazon with the Echo, Google with the Home Hub, Facebook with the Portal and Apple with the HomePod. Among the plethora of ways each of these systems make home life more enjoyable, video calls are a priority.
Suddenly video screens are appearing on these devices, voice calling is made simpler and hands-free operation is implicit. Facebook’s new Portal+ even rotates as users move about the room with motion detection, ensuring truly touchless operation while carrying on a conversation without interruption.
Advancements in video play into home security, as well, with the introduction of technologies such as Ring, which captures video through the doorbell. Homeowners can see and communicate with visitors from anywhere through an app to allow delivery services or deter any unwelcome visitors.
High-rise condominiums have been an evolving solution to populous city living, drawing residents in with flashy accommodations and outlandish amenities. A rooftop landing for futuristic flying cars attracts luxury buyers to the PARAMOUNT Miami Worldcenter, whereas the Porsche Design Tower, also in Miami, lifts cars through its glass elevator to a private sky garage. These luxuries are unique and attractive, though one common theme rings true throughout most of today’s high-end condo residences: wellness.
The fast-paced and highly intense lifestyle of the high net-worth calls for a serene place to return home when the chaos of the day has subsided. Mental and physical health are of the utmost importance for condo owners who relish in amenities such as yoga studios, spas and exercise facilities. Speaking to the mounting necessity for relaxation and physical well-being, architects and builders are beginning to incorporate next-level health conscious accommodations into their designs.
Edgy architecture meets luxury living at 1030 Kings in West Hollywood, where a state-of-the-art yoga deck extends from the fitness center to the outdoors. Inside, developers partnered with Fitness Design Group to implement an inspiring fitness facility for cardio, strength training and additional exercise styles in a room encircled by floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and 360-degree views.
At the vertical village of One Manhattan Square, gardens are a centric focus to create a comfortable setting, which will include an adult treehouse, tea pavilion and stargazing observatory in addition to several relaxation areas. The theme of health-consciousness carries through indoors, where the ultimate wellness experience includes several sports courts, workout rooms, a golf simulator and a bowling alley.
London’s Belgravia boasts Chelsea Barracks, a collection of apartments and townhouses making a historical statement. Encompassed in this space is a palatial wellbeing facility more than 12,000 square feet in size, which hosts a spectrum of comprehensive wellness amenities. A 20-meter swimming pool is accompanied by separate vitality pools, restorative steam rooms and saunas for private relaxation.
These hotel-quality accommodations have provoked luxury hotels to offer primary residences with the same stature of service. In addition to welcoming temporary stays, brands such as the Four Seasons have resolved to extending standalone structures or supplementary rooms atop the building reserved for affluent buyers. Owners are granted the same services and amenities as are present within the resort.
Access to fitness facilities and wellness treatments, as well as room service and lobby attunements are likewise extended to permanent residents. Buyers may also have access to private amenities in conjunction with an array of hotel-level services. Preferential treatment is admitted to owners for dining services and hotel stays, in addition to limousine courtesies when traveling between a developer’s properties.