How ‘Well’ Are Your Client’s Properties?
Luxury properties in London may not be faring particularly well price-wise right now, but what they promote in terms of lifestyle – with their gyms, pools and smart home technology – is getting higher and higher up on house seekers agendas. And it’s something that estate agents marketing smaller properties could certainly pick up on.
We’re talking about homes which offer both relaxation and stimulation. In other words “wellness.” It’s a buzzword which has been going around for a couple of years now in women’s mags and glossy newspaper supplements and its now being used to promote million pound properties in London and the South East. Big time.
How to develop property with ‘wellness’ in mind
Property advisers CBRE say developers of new builds – regardless of their size – must consider the ‘wellness’ equation. And that means taking into account the acoustics of a building, how ‘free flow’ its layout is and how much natural light the rooms offer. Then there is question of sustainability and the use of ‘green’ energy-saving technologies.
“People are more conscious of wellbeing far more than ever before and not just on a physical level. We want to live both physically and mentally in the best possible way,” Lisa Hollands, MD of Residential at UK-based CBRE told the Telegraph newspaper.
Based on ideas from the National Wellness Institute in America, as well as comfort and intellectual stimulation ‘wellness’ incorporates notions of emotional, social, spiritual and occupational health.
Interiors which are ‘unobtrusive’
In terms of interiors that means rooms which don’t close off the doors but rather inter-connect, and walls/ flooring and upholstery with natural and light palettes. Music, art works and plants should also be a part of this tranquil set up.
Properties which encourage ‘communal living’
Many luxury apartments in the capital currently tick all the ‘wellness’ boxes, especially those with on-site gym, pool and even residents’ lounge bar. The new South Quay Plaza in Canary Wharf devotes a whole floor to socialising, with a private dining room and outdoor terrace, for instance. There are also plans to hire a ‘community organiser’ in order to facilitate residents’ social lives.
And, of course, living in central London also gives residents access to creativity-stimulating art galleries and museums.
With more people living alone these days, there is much more of a need than ever before to combat loneliness and with ‘communal’ living residents can choose daily between interaction or their own company, depending on their mood at that particular time.
Wellness in the countryside
But ‘wellness’ isn’t just restricted to properties in busy and vibrant cities. Villages and small towns are, of course, better placed to promote certain aspects of this much-demanded concept, especially when it comes to tranquillity and appreciating nature. They also tend to be far more communal than big, anonymous cities.
Looking at property development as ‘people architecture’
Architect Jonathan Clarke, of Woods Bagot, believes ‘wellness’ is the new ‘sustainability,’ and goes on to describe his own designs as ‘people architecture.’
“The whole idea of wellness is sitting where sustainability was 10-15 years ago,” he said. “It should just be what we do in the same way that we should just be designing buildings that are best for the environment.”
He added: “We want to make people feel good about what they are buying into and that means thinking of the lifestyle they will have there – which is wellness.”
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