What makes a “Luxury Home” Luxurious in Today’s Market?

Sarah Richardson
Founder and CEO, Tru Realty


The words ‘luxury living’ tends to conjure up images of lavish dining rooms, grand entrances, and over-the-top decor. These are features some might look for, but in today’s day and age, there’s a lot more variety in what makes up a luxury home. The basic concept of what defines a luxury home still applies, but the amenities one can expect to find have skyrocketed.

Every market is different, but it’s generally expected that luxury homes are higher priced, sit in a prime location, and have a certain level of privacy from surrounding neighbors. Many come equipped with a home security system or smart home technology to make every day living safer and easier. These concepts are the foundation of a luxury home.

Previous notions of what made a luxury home luxurious centered around ‘bigger is better.’ The larger the home, the more extravagant it is. Nowadays, luxury isn’t necessarily dependent upon square footage. More diversified buyers are entering the marketplace and many of these buyers look at the utility or functionality of living space over the size and sheer square footage. Some of the more traditional functional spaces include a movie theater, home gym, or game room. Most deluxe amenities are custom built for each space. Home theaters are generally built in the basement where homeowners will receive the ‘movie theater experience’ in total darkness. These rooms come complete with everything from oversized comfy leather seats and an overhead projector to popcorn machines and soda fountains. A home gym can be as simple as a treadmill and a handful of weights, or so complex that even your personal trainer never wants to leave. A game room is another example of an opportunity for extravagance. Based on homeowner interest, a game room can feature just about any game you can think of – board games, darts, pool/air hockey table, or even a collection of pinball machines and arcade games. In rooms that are large enough, many homeowners have an oversized shuffleboard custom designed on the floor, or an entire authentic bowling alley built in.

For many, owning a luxury home is centered around entertaining guests. Whether the owners enjoy cooking or hiring a professional chef for their gatherings, the kitchen is a great opportunity to build functionally and expensively, with large center islands, deep pantries and butler’s stations. Depending on the climate, many of these kitchens spill over to the outdoors (often with large panel sliding glass doors), creating the ultimate open-concept entertainment area. Guests could enjoy a dip in the pool – indoor or outdoor – and then take a trip down to explore the wine cellar. Golf enthusiasts will also insist on adding indoor and outdoor features like a putting green or putt-putt course wherever possible.

When the entertaining is done, luxury homeowners keep some special places in the home to themselves to enjoy after the guests have left. They’ll relax in an oversized bathroom with his and hers vanities, change into something more comfortable in the large dressing room, and take a session in the sauna to unwind from the evening. Other private areas might include a library, study, or home office.

The size, price and location of a home are only the surface-level ways to identify a luxury property. Home life is customized for those who can afford luxury living, which holds a different meaning for different people. Whether a homeowner desires a secret bookcase stairwell, a five-car garage, or a home gallery – there’s no limit anymore when it comes to amenities.