Going the Extra — Luxury Home Design

Luxury house owners are becoming increasingly clued up on what’s happening across the ocean. Some of the best design ideas from the United States are being imported by homeowners who commission designers to reproduce the interiors that they see online. If you want to try some up-market home renovations yourself, what ideas can you adapt from the US high-end market?

Add texture

Hotel designer Inge More is a great fan of adding texture to create a luxurious feel to a room. The key is in the contrast between textures: a smooth surface adjoined to a rough one, matt juxtaposed with shiny and soft with hard. Texture not only comes from surfaces, it can also be produced by light. You can manipulate light in your own room by using carefully positioned lamp shades. Look at some of the stunning new lampshade designs coming through this season, and consider making them the focus of a room.

Working on the kitchens

James Mohn sees a huge emphasis on kitchens at present. They really are your public face, for entertaining both formally and informally. Kitchen islands are bigger than ever, and incorporate many of the features seen in traditional kitchen layouts. Hidden dishwashers, refrigeration drawers, wine coolers and trash compactors all tuck away in the huge islands, leaving the rest of the kitchen streamlined and incredibly neat. Mohn approves of the emphasis on large kitchen appliances, saying that he had installed an Aga in a big loft in Manhattan.

Bringing it to the bathroom

Style is luxury, so if you have it, bring it to the party. Not everyone has the talent to realize a unique idea, so if you have design flair you’re already your own design consultant. Go mad in your bathroom. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as guests spend so little time in there. For you, a bold design adds a smile to every day. Subtle, natural colors are out. Bright and bold are in. Try lime-green walls studded with picture frames. Or why not paper the walls like designer Steven Gambrel, who used pages from an old book of flora and fauna to create a colorful Cabinet of Natural Curiosities’ Anything goes, which also contrasts nicely with your other luxury interiors.

The bathroom is one place in the house you can have fun with. Don’t take it too seriously. Nobody else will, so make your guests smile

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