I hope you are enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones.
The recent wildfires in Malibu and beyond and extensive devastation are hitting us all very hard. It’s a cause for reflection to be sure, and with the holiday season upon us, this is an ideal time to take a breather, be thankful for what we have and consider the world. It’s also a time to gather together with friends and family and, hopefully, appreciate one another and delight in each other’s company.
Finding clients a place that works right for their entertaining needs is part of my job. I’m always considering what buyers seek out and respond to in properties. These days, no matter the size of the home, people really seem to want a house that serves multiple purposes: as a retreat and also a space with flexibility to entertain and enjoy friends and family. In these turbulent times, ultra-nesting is a genuine desire and can be seen in the “hygge” lifestyle movement, where creating a warm, cozy and comfortable home atmosphere, one that invites companionship, is of essence.
Whether entertaining on a grand scale for a charity event, or to welcome a small group or to be wonderfully comfortable, these are some of the trends in home design that match buyers’ requirements.
Kitchens often come two ways. Number one is a beautiful show kitchen with a grand display work island/gathering area and the second is hidden behind doors where the work of caterers and chefs can happen. Although the open kitchen plan concept thrives, butler pantries are making a return, as people want a place for prep and storage away from view.
Basements are also in high demand. Unlike cold and functional East Coast or Midwest basements (where the furnace lives), Southern California basements can be spacious adult or children play areas outfitted with ping pong tables, wine cellars, and fully tricked out home theaters. Once premium sound and projection was a request only from film and TV executives and those in the entertainment business. Nowadays, an elaborate home theater with plush seating, soundproofing and a built-in gaming console are a must have for most buyers no matter their profession.
Another space in the typical home is also being revised and rethought to match lifestyles and entertaining needs. Formal living rooms are shrinking, as are dining rooms; in fact, dining rooms are transitioning to “dining areas” that can serve multiple purposes as library, office and on occasion, an actual eat-in space.
Outside the change has been ongoing: the installation of commercial grade outdoor kitchens, upscale video and sound systems, fire pits and a seamless connection of outdoors to indoors are continuing trends. Add in a hanging daybed for stargazing, a pizza oven and a strand of globe-shaped lights and you have a dream outdoor party space.