If you have unlimited wealth, what would your home be like? What features and amenities would you install if money is not an issue, and you can have the world’s best architects and engineers work to bring your dream home to life? For sure, many of those features would be luxurious and expensive, and probably only the top 1% could afford them.
A quick look through architectural digests and websites dedicated to luxury houses would show you examples of home amenities that could cost five to six-dollar-figures to build. And while luxury is often associated with frivolity, many of those features are actually useful. Below are some examples.
3D Dolby Surround Sound Home Theater
We’re not just talking about Dolby’s range of home theater systems. We’re talking about a fully decked out home theater complete with executive seats and plush sofas, thick carpeting, soundproof walls, and a floor-to-ceiling projected screen.
Luxury Launches recently published a piece about celebrity home theaters. While their tastes in furniture, lighting, and overall interior design varied, they had several things in common.
- Ambiance lighting – Unlike in darkened cinemas where the only illumination you get once the movie starts is from the LED lights along the steps, chairs, and aisles, luxury home theaters have remote-controlled ambient lighting embedded in the walls and floors.
- Superior comfort – Movie theater seats are not the most comfortable (except perhaps the ones in director’s club cinemas). Homeowners with means easily remedy this by installing custom home theater seating. With their sufficiently firm padding, ergonomic structure, and soft leather, these premium seats give maximum comfort to every guest. Others, however, take Netflixin’ and chillin’ to the next level by buying daybeds, sectionals, ottomans, and other luxurious couch seats instead of the standard theater seats.
Why it makes sense: Ninety percent of people spend nearly 22 hours a day indoors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reveals that the average person spends 2.77 hours watching television every day. If you have the means to enhance your daily television watching and spend more time in front of the widescreen, you have every right to do so.
A hallmark of a rich man’s home, a wine cellar isn’t the easiest to build; but for people who are passionate about acquiring, aging, and displaying wine, it is a home feature that’s worth every penny.
The key feature of wine cellars is temperature control. Prolonged exposure to sunlight and fluctuations over six to seven degrees Fahrenheit can change wine’s flavor. To ensure that wine can last for months or even years, you need to store them long term in a temperature-controlled room.
Other key features of high-end wine cellars include:
- Display and storage shelving – You don’t just age wine in the cellar; you also display them there. It’s why architects design impressive shelving systems that allow owners to show off their collections and provide ample storage space for vintages that need a few more months or years before they’re ready for drinking.
- Finishes – Marble, hardwood, and stone are excellent choices for wine cellar finishing. They are luxurious and expensive, but they do get the work done. They are a high-end backdrop to equally precious vintages, plus they are built to endure pressure, extreme temperatures, and stay functional for decades.
- Backlighting – Wine cellars need mood lighting and practical lighting. Although not all cellars are underground, they all permit very little sunlight to enter because, again, they need to be temperature controlled.
Why it makes sense: Wine cellars bring a new dimension to a home and can make real estate properties more desirable to the upper class buyers. It can be a sound investment for those who want to earn profits from their real estate portfolios eventually. For wine enthusiasts, a home wine cellar saves them the expense and inconvenience of storing their collections at bonded storage services. They can access their wines anytime, and they’ll get to save more on wine purchases. They can buy young vintages in bulk and at a lower price, and then let the wine mature in their cellars.
A Fully-Equipped Home Gym
It’s one thing to have dumbells, a treadmill, or a Bowflex at home; it’s another thing entirely to have a full-fledged gym in your own house. Luxury homes that dedicate a significant amount of floor space for a gym would be able to accommodate several treadmills and Bowflexes, plus other heavy equipment for muscle building exercises. They’d also have extra amenities like:
- Shower and spa – Why traipse all the way to your bedroom across your sprawling property if you can have an adjacent shower and sauna? A satisfying soak in a hot tub would relax your muscles, while a cold bath would stimulate your senses and help you energize for the remainder of the day.
- Zen room – The gym is not only about lifting weights and sweating out toxins by dancing and doing other cardio exercises. A luxury gym would also have a quiet place where you or your guests could do yoga, meditate, and have a bit of quiet time. A zen room may be at odds with the sounds of clanking metal, rock music, and shouts of encouragement that are common in a gym, but it’s actually a sensible—and workable—addition to a luxury gym.
- Lap pool – Most luxury homes have swimming pools even if they don’t have a gym, and vice versa. However, adding a lap pool to a home gym would complete the picture. When you’re not in the mood for weightlifting or running, you can take some laps instead and use the gym’s amenities after.
- Gym coach, trainer, and nutritionist – What good would having a home gym be if you don’t have people who are qualified to guide you in using its amenities? It’s the height of luxury when a homeowner hires exercise and health professionals and trains in his or her own gym.
Why it makes sense: Nearly one-third of Americans make this New Year’s resolution: to hit the gym, control their eating, and work harder at keeping their bodies healthy. While it would cost less to sign up for a gym membership, you’d have to deal with the logistics of carrying a gym bag to work, looking for a parking space near your gym, waiting for your turn at the shower after you exercise, and enduring traffic on the way home. With a home gym, you won’t have to deal with all this hassle.
Minimalists and frugal homeowners would likely say that these luxurious home amenities are frivolous, not necessary, and therefore not worth the expense. There’s no denying, however, that they can give families immense satisfaction; and for some people, that’s a good enough reason to spend thousands of dollars for non-essentials.