Home builders in NSW are in high demand at the moment, and nowhere more than in the state’s capital; when it comes to cutting-edge residential architects Sydney is undoubtedly a hot spot, making it a cornucopia of opportunities as well as something of a gladiatorial arena in terms of competition. The resulting energy arguably makes the waterside city the heartland of Australia’s real estate craze. Living rooms and backyards across Sydney thrum with property chat, from the difficulty of getting a first step on the ladder, to the excitement inspired by top-end waterside luxury homes.
Indeed, and perhaps not surprisingly, it’s at the upper end of the market where the heat is rising. According to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index, Sydney has shot from tenth place to number three in the world for luxury property sales since the last quarter. The index also reported Australia as overall front runner with the highest average annual increase in luxury residential values to June this year.
So what does this mean in terms of demand from high end clients for luxury custom homes, and how home builders in NSW are meeting that demand?
What’s trending for Sydney builders?
Ask any Sydney builder specialising in luxury abodes what’s trending and the answer will be conclusive. High-end clients are looking for out of the ordinary specimens of residential architecture and interior design in which exterior and interior are seamlessly integrated and executed. Aside from outstanding views and exclusive location and orientation, other must-haves include premium materials, from rare imported stone to custom poured concrete. Current luxury home design trends for 2015 indicate that top end interior designers are gravitating towards the luxuriant sheen of polished metals, used in different rooms throughout the home. Other popular materials used for the fixtures and furniture in luxury homes include exotic timbers and marbles, particularly white marble.
As discussed in previous posts, six star hotel grade bedrooms complete with ambient music, and subsidiary recreational areas such as meditation/exercise zones or libraries, are regarded as a ‘given’ by clients appointing luxury home builders in Sydney. Bathrooms, usually regarded as an ensuite ‘essential’ for most bedrooms, continue to play an important role as key selling points for luxury residences, with walk in showers, in particular the latest trend of steam showers, increasingly taking precedence over previous ‘winners’ such as spa baths and saunas. In terms of bathroom colour, grey is a leading hue in 2015, replacing white in many instances, where homeowners are seeking a more directional tone for their colour scheme.
The luxury kitchen continues to be regarded as the heart of the home, with stainless steel appliances, including industrial grade coffee machines, steam ovens, fridges and warming or cooling drawers often being specified along with custom cabinets and luxury bench tops. Islands continue to be a staple in luxury kitchens, while butler’s pantries are increasingly in demand. Current trends in demand for the ultimate luxury home also include the luxury wine cellar, according to home builders in Sydney, with anecdotal evidence suggesting top end wine consumption and its accoutrements are the ultimate hallmark of ‘making it’ in today’s high-end real estate market. Reports indicate it has become increasingly popular to have a climate-controlled wine cellar, while for homes worth hitting the $5 million mark, it is almost compulsory. Many luxury custom homes now feature a wine storage space or built-in wine fridges and displays covering an entire wall.
Another key trend, particularly for the Sydney market where the summer months reign supreme, is the notion of inside out living, meaning outdoor kitchens and bathrooms are currently soaring in popularity. Even in luxury homes where these aren’t specified, an emphasis on smooth transitions from indoors to outdoors is often key. The result is that many homes, particularly those designed in a contemporary architectural style, feature outsized automated doors that can ‘disappear’ at the touch of a button, freeing up residents to the glories of a stunning view and unlimited fresh air.
As the final touches to the ultimate luxury homes, residential architects in Sydney are reporting strong demand for bespoke sculptures and artworks, as well as cutting edge technology that can turn a living room into a cinema or a dining room into an exclusive eatery catering to hundreds. Swimming pools, tennis courts and other ‘essentials’ usually complete the picture.
What sets the best Sydney builders apart?
To ensure high end clients get the million dollar home of their dreams, many are turning towards tried and tested practitioners in that area, says Michael Milosevic of Felton Constructions. He says that occupying a specific and clearly defined area of the market has been a key to his company’s success.
“Being able to front up and demonstrate to clients a proven track record in a very niche area such as luxury residential architecture and construction is critical to be able to compete in this market,” he says, adding that the fact that the Sydney builder operates in a highly specialised area of the market makes it easy to create efficiencies and economies of scale that other firms might not be able to offer.
“We’re also able to draw on years of experience in this market,meaning that we can confidently cover all aspects of the design and building scheme, while keeping our clients fully involved at every stage of the process.”
“We’re perfectionists with an almost obsessive attention to detail concerning every aspect of the house externally to the intricate details internally, as well as a high level of quality craftsmanship.”
“And our interior design expertise is just as important as the creation of the overall architecture of each home,” he adds. “We’re able to walk clients through all the internal details of their home, from colour schemes, to flooring, kitchen tiles or bathroom tapware.”
Award winning residential architects Sydney
Such attention to detail has paid dividends for the Sydney builder. Alongside numerous testimonials from satisfied clients, the company has also been recognised by industry.
In over two decades of operation, Felton Constructions has consistently taken out industry accolades for its achievements in luxury residential design. In the last decade just some examples of these awards include:
2008-2009: HIA-CSR NSW Housing Awards – the ‘Logic’ project.
Winner Residential Building Designer of the Year In Australia
Winner Greensmart Energy Efficiency
Winner Best Display Home over $350,000 in NSW.
Winner Display Home of the Year in NSW
2006-2007: HIA Housing Awards, for the ‘Sandhurst’ project.
Winner Best Display home over $200,000 in NSW
More recently, Felton Constructions achieved success at the 2013 HIA CSR NSW Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards, taking out the award for the HIA NSW Display Home over $450,00 category (partnered by Beacon Lighting), the Bathroom in a Display Home category (partnered by Caroma) and the Kitchen in a Display Home category (partnered by Smeg Australia) for their Bella Vista Waters project.
Hailing the Sydney builder’s achievements on the presentation night, judges in the awards program commented:
“The quality of the construction in this Display Home was faultless and there was a fantastic use of natural light and ventilation. Some stand out features of this home were the grand entrance, curved staircase and soft colours. The rooms were beautifully proportioned and the use of finishes well-defined spaces, giving this home a real sense of style. The main living areas integrated well with the outdoor space”.
“This bathroom project was faultless when it comes to quality of workmanship. The bathroom was well proportioned and had a great layout with all services being well hidden. Tucked in behind the vanity wall, on either side, is the walk in toilet.”
“The kitchen was visually exciting with a fantastic level of finishes. The kitchen was visible from many rooms of the house and had good symmetry and detailing, which complemented the overall ambience and style of the home. The Calcutta marble bench-top, huge amount of storage and splash backs were impressive design features. This kitchen had all the latest appliances and really stands out from the rest.”
HIA’s NSW Executive Director, David Bare commented:
“It is encouraging to see that in challenging market conditions HIA’s builders and designers have maintained their commitment to excellence. The high standard of entries shows that support for these awards has yet again been remarkable. Each year the bar is raised higher making the judging process all the more difficult.”
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) is the leading industry association in the Australian residential building sector, supporting the businesses and interests of builders, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, building professionals and business partners. The association’s showcase awards are a major calendar highlight for homebuilders in NSW, recognising and rewarding excellence in housing innovation, material selection, design, construction and services to the residential building industry.
Felton Constructions’ Michael Milosevic says such awards are one of the company’s proudest achievements, not least because they provide clients with a proven measure of the company’s expertise.
“We’re extremely proud of our achievements in awards programs such as that of the Housing Industry Association. They’re an unmatched benchmark against which we can continue to measure our success. At the same time, they’re also a demonstrable index by which our clients are able to gauge our abilities and in a sense this is what matters most. For homeowners looking for a Sydney builder specialising in luxury residences, the awards give our customers confidence; and ultimately that’s what matters most to us.”