Home Trends: The Rise of Designer Developments
A trend that shows no signs of dying down, developers increasingly turn to interior designers to raise the value and saleability of exclusive units in luxury residential developments.
“Collaborations are always a popular choice in luxury developments, as in addition to stunning locations and multiple amenities, unique interior design and finishes maximise the offering and ensure an irreplaceable development”.
A living space overlooking a glimmering city skyline, a desirable location in the heart of a city, high-end amenities and privileges. These value-adding factors behind living in luxury residential developments can all have a huge impact on the saleability of a property, regardless of its geographical location.
Increasingly, another amenity that is sought after by many international developers and that continues to lend desirable results for residential sales is a name of a noted architect or interior designer attached to a project, lending it an additional air of exclusivity and prestige.
Developers of the latest crop of luxury residential properties increasingly seek to differentiate their developments by attracting clients with an allure of well-designed space that goes deeper than the bare bones of a residential structure, adding further integrity to already lucrative investments.
Building a Name
In demanding global property markets, where property appeal to a prospective buyer is key to landing a sale, developers turn to big name designers who will resonate with buyers. “Art, design and exquisite collectables are interlinked”, comments Charlie Walsh, Director, Sales, Lodha UK on the interconnectivity between a designer’s name and exclusive lifestyle. “Top fashion houses are increasingly partnering with five star hotels and hottest bars around the world to curate spaces. This has filtered down to residential, a trend which is likely to continue”.
Such is the case with properties like Lodha Fiorenza, Lodha Group’s luxury development in Mumbai, exclusively developed by Jade Jagger. In 2012, Lodha also partnered with Philippe Starck to design the residences of Lodha Evoq, a 63-storey tower in Mumbai’s New Cuffe Parade. For one of its latest projects, Lincoln Square – a new development in central London – Lodha UK collaborated with Patricia Urquiola, who put her signature stamp on many of the development’s amenities including the private club, library, dining room and billiards room.
Lodha UK handpicked Urquoila to seek the expertise of a world-class designer to create a range of distinctive living spaces that represented Urquoila’s signature style. Says Walsh, “When you visit the places that Urquiola has designed such as Il Sereno on Lake Como or the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, it is an incredible feeling. That is the effect we want to have on buyers at Lincoln Square, where Urquiola’s use of coloured glass, timber, marble and bronze metals has created something remarkable”.
Developers seeking to create buzz around their upcoming residential projects are benefitting from getting promotional clout from the names of famous designers. This is the strategy that was taken on by The Related Group, one of Florida’s most notable builders who signed on Karim Rashid as a designer for MyBrickell in Miami’s financial district. The Related made a deal to brand the building after Rashid’s name and, after the success of the project, applied the same strategy to other residential developments, including 690-unit Brickell Heights, with amenities designed by David Rockwell.
There is unique value to having a residence crafted by a designer to position a residential project as a one-of-a-kind investment. Property developers are enlisting interior designers to maximise the usage and layout of residential spaces and help prospective buyers to envisage themselves in a unit as befitting of a buyer’s lifestyle. While interiors and exteriors are often crafted by different parties, interior designers can help to create a harmony between the exterior architecture and interior spaces to ensure that a development is worth an investment.
This strategy paid off for The Riverwalk in Westminster, London— a duplex penthouse on the north bank of the River Thames by Ronson Capital Partners— that relied on several collaborations with noted design studios to create a series of distinctive apartments to set the development apart from other luxury developments and complement its riverside location.
Lisa Ronson, Commercial Director, Ronson Capital Partners, worked with luxury designers Fiona Barratt and Bowler James Brindley, with Lisa Ronson Home to design the elegant show apartments and Spinocchia Freund with Lisa Ronson Home to design the penthouse.
Enthusiastic about collaborations, Ronson welcomes the creative spirit that comes with working with interior design studios. In Ronson’s words, “Collaborations are always a popular choice in luxury developments, as in addition to stunning locations and multiple amenities, unique interior design and finishes maximise the offering and ensure an irreplaceable development”.
Buying into the Bespoke
Andrew Murray, founder of Belgravia-based design house Morpheus London that worked on a number of international projects in Monte Carlo, London and Singapore, attests to the notion that interior designers are invaluable in bringing professional and practical skills to a development project, including furniture supply and installation, sourcing artwork and dressing the space exquisitely to showcase the property to its maximum potential.
“The interior design scheme is one of the first things that any potential buyer will see when viewing a property and it is our job to create a beautiful and enticing space which in turn attracts buyers and creates sales desirability and a maximum return for the client”, says Murray. The craftsmanship and exclusivity of owning a one-of-a-kind residence provides an enticing allure of a living experience that captures the ideals of comfort, attention to detail and elegance.
A collaboration with a designer can ensure the highest levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail, elevating the property value and complementing other prized elements of a development for an all-round luxury package. A discerning interior designer can offer solutions that are customised to a buyer’s lifestyle and feel unique, straddling tradition and trends and respecting the neighbourhood context.
Buyers can appreciate residences that feel very personal and specific, like the duplexes at 155 E. 79th Street in New York, where developer Anbau Enterprises enlisted Andrew Sheinman, founder of Pembrooke & Ives, to design residential environments that put emphasis on high quality materials and felt customised to the buyers. For the interiors at Chelsea Island, Hadley Property Group worked with prominent practice Arney Fender Katsalidis, crafting interiors that showcased a modern take on traditional British craftsmanship to complement the development’s exclusive waterside destination at Chelsea Harbour.
Lending an air of exclusivity, the partnership with a design firm was part of Hadley Property Group’s strategy to unveil to potential buyers a vision of what life can be life in an exclusive waterfront neighbourhood. James Taylor, Group Director for Sales and Marketing at Hadley Property Group explains, “Collaborating with a renowned interior designer ensures that the utmost levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail are achieved, which is key for boosting the value proposition of a property, while setting a benchmark in terms of quality and craftsmanship”.