In our most recent market report, Engel & Völkers identified the changing definition of luxury as a common theme to follow in 2018, which includes re-evaluating what amenities and design details are important to a new segment of homebuyers compared to generations past.
Anita Springate-Renaud, license partner at Engel & Völkers Toronto Central, is finding that many home searchers are currently looking for “technology-based luxuries.” She explained, “Toronto’s booming start-up economy has brought a lot of talent to the city. I see many busy homebuyers who want the technologies they work with reflected at home. These professionals don’t have a lot of time on their hands and appreciate the convenience of automation.”
Anita reported ease of living is being prioritized over square footage for buyers, which in effect, translates to a renewed interest in dedicated leisure spaces, natural materials and convenient amenities. Sunlight, brightness, organic elements and open concept spaces are more and more accepted to balance out increased tech integration.
Top 10 Home Design Trends
1. Programmable heating
Smart technologies get to know users and adapt algorithms based on behavior, meaning lighting and thermostat settings can “learn” a homeowner’s routine. Users can reduce the costs of their electricity bills by looking for certified energy-saving homes.
2. Reclaimed wood
The design world is taking steps toward incorporating natural elements and textured, worn-in materials such as reclaimed wood with cerused finishes to make spaces feel warmer and more authentic, as opposed to using harder finishes such as stainless steel.
Anita said, “One of the biggest trends I see in new builds are lighter stains used on hardwood floors, fireplace mantels and coffee tables. The lighter untreated wood is an authentic, natural material and removes the industrial feeling homebuyers get when touring neutral-toned, minimalist spaces.”
3. Teen lounges
Say goodbye to the traditional family game room. Tech-forward teen lounges are outfitted with soundproofed walls, movie theatres, guitars, pianos, game consoles and virtual reality systems.
People are running busy lives and want to feel safe in their homes. Luxury properties are coming equipped with newer security technologies allowing residents to lock their doors remotely and monitor visitors using video surveillance. “Safety is a luxury anywhere and homebuyers want to feel assured their property and family are secure. I find there is increased desire for smart home technologies and security cameras, so residents feel at ease when busy doing activities outside or inside of the home,” explained Anita.
5. Next-level wellness centers
Business professionals need a one-stop shop where they can have their gym, spa treatments and massage therapy all under one roof. Anita said, “I see many busy homebuyers who want the convenience of having all they need under one roof in luxury condo buildings. This trend is growing in popularity as more millennials move out of their parents’ homes and into downtown condominiums.”
6. Art Deco
The Art Deco design style is standing the test of time and re-emerging. Current homebuyers are in favor of using angular light fixtures, brushed metals and rich geometric textiles in place of once-popular, high-polished finishes that now feel mass-produced.
7. Saturated colors
Pantone’s 2018 color of the year is ultra violet, and much like the soft millennial pink which came before it, you can be sure it’ll be incorporated into many design choices. However, unlike its predecessor, similarly rich hues such as emerald green, royal blue and bright mustard can provide complementary pops of color instead of creating a monochromatic wash. Anita advised, “If you’re considering putting your home on the market, work in tandem with a broker who is up-to-date on design trends. At Engel & Völkers, we pride ourselves on our creative eye and knowledge of trends to provide the best advice on home design.”
8. Resort-style pools
The sky is the limit for condominium developers who are taking traditional amenities to the top floor. Instagram-worthy infinity pools seem to flow onto the Toronto Landscape below, offering an amazing view for all residents, not just the penthouse.
9. Complete closets
Step into your own personal color-coordinated closet boutique showcasing all your items on display. Dwelling over what to wear in the morning ends with oversized closets that can handle any shoe, jacket or dress collection.
10. Practical parking
Arguably the most daunting aspect involved with living downtown is finding parking. Luckily, this is simplified with drive-in elevators for efficient storage of summer vehicles and driveways with porte-cocheres separating properties from busy city streets.