For several years, real estate developers in India have believed that large bedrooms and expensive Italian marble is all that is required in luxury homes. In a recent survey, we found that 13% of HNIs in Bangalore felt that luxury homes being built today are not very different from the ones built in the 1970s and 1980s.
I believe that luxury is not just in form, but in function as well. It is not only the sizes of bedrooms that matter. The sizes of living spaces, especially where residents can entertain guests, are perhaps more important than the sizes of bedrooms. So are the sizes of outdoor spaces (balconies/terraces), kitchen, utility, staff quarters, etc. We provide staff quarters of 220-260 square feet, whereas most developers provide just 50-80 square feet. Our balconies are 500-1000 square feet, whereas most developers provide just 60-150 square feet. Large luxury homes also need dedicated storage space to store old furniture, appliances, suitcases, etc.
Most ramps going to basements are just 11-12 feet wide. These are uncomfortable for people driving luxury cars or SUVs and taking a turn. We provide 16 feet wide one-way ramps in our luxury projects.
With each luxury home, we plan two mobike parking spots and two bicycle parking spots, apart from 3-4 car parking spots. We don’t see other developers doing this. That’s why we see staff mobikes parked in front of luxury villas in gated communities, or kids’ bicycles parked in lift lobbies of luxury apartment buildings.
Following international trends, we have now started giving full-height and full-length glass walls in all bedrooms and living rooms. This allows ample natural light and ventilation, instead of restricting this through small windows.
Little things like the number of power sockets in each room, concealed door stoppers, thermostatic shower mixers, night footlights, cockroach traps, kitchen sink garbage crushers, edge guards on basement columns, etc. also make a huge difference between the ordinary and the truly luxurious home.
Technology is fast changing. We will soon have high speed video/movie downloads available in India. Downloaded movies will have to be stored on a server. Are you going to walk over to the server area every time you want to watch a movie? Homes have to be pre-wired with CAT6 cables connected with Ethernet Ports in every room with a TV. This also allows you to view live images from security cameras strategically placed outside entry doors.
One of the most important factors in luxury homes is the quality and functionality of amenity spaces. We have seen scores of projects where the badminton court or TT room is smaller than regulation standards – would anyone like their kids’ to practice a sport on wrong-sized courts? Recognising the trend that more and more rich families in India are going in for pets, we are providing pet parks in all our luxury communities.