Why new generation home buyers prefer contemporary design
As someone who works in the field of luxury real estate, I have had the privilege and the pleasure of visiting some truly spectacular homes across the world. It never ceases to amaze me just how much care homeowners put into interior design and into crafting a space that is as good to look at as it is comfortable to live in. Of course, there are the occasional misfires where I find myself wondering just what was going through their heads, but for the most part, the homes I come across are simply breathtaking. This is especially true of a city like Dubai, where design and aesthetics are essential aspects of any property.
Dubai’s design aesthetic is especially unique, in large part due to the multicultural population as well as the wide age range of home buyers. On one end of the spectrum, you have the long-time expats who moved to the city decades ago and have raised their families here. On the other, there are the new arrivals, the young couples and budding families who are starting to establish new lives for themselves. Each demographic brings with it a different perspective and way of life, which is ultimately showcased through the design of their homes, whether they are lavish penthouses in the heart of the city or stately villas in suburban neighbourhoods.
While the Mediterranean and coastal European aesthetic of areas such as Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Golf Estates are much preferred by older residents and families with a higher median age, the newer generation of homeowners is more interested in contemporary design. Newly built neighbourhoods such as District One, Hillside in Jumeirah Golf Estates, Sidra in Dubai Hills and Tilal Al Ghaf are characterised by sleek lines, stark silhouettes and neutral palettes. After all, the home buyers of today are part of the iPhone generation, raised on the concept of ‘less is more’ when it comes to aesthetics.
The Apple store is the quintessential example of that. Visiting an Apple store is a unique experience because of its unconventional design, stripping every element we would expect of a retail outlet to its barest form. This creates a space that is clutter-free and a smoother flow between the various areas of the store, thus enhancing the experience. The same principle can be seen in contemporary villas, using a style that is austere without being too minimalistic. This again serves to remove clutter, making each room feel much larger and more relaxing.
Another clever design element in Apple’s stores is the use of floor-to-ceiling glass. The lack of a door or storefront not only gives the store a distinct look, but also creates an open environment that invites passersby to walk inside. Extensive use of glass is perhaps the most common trend that I have come across in the newer homes that I have visited. Floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors are increasingly common features and are standard components of newly built villas, resulting in a sense of light and space that can make the cosiest home feel like a mansion.
Indeed, one may notice that on a square foot basis, the new villas are perhaps a bit smaller than long-established homes such as the ones in Emirates Hills or Arabian Ranches yet the space feels larger because of the seamless border that connects the interior of the home to the outdoors.
There is some concern that all that glass will lead to overheated villas, especially during Dubai’s balmy summers. However, this is not a frivolous choice made for simply for the sake of aesthetic appeal. Advances in fenestration technology and particularly the use of argon gas between window panes have helped to increase energy efficiency.
Ultimately, the market speaks for itself. Contemporary neighbourhoods such as District One, Sidra at Dubai Hills, Hillside at Jumeriah Golf Estates and Tilal Al Ghaf have seen robust sales, with many of the homes selling within weeks of launch. This shows the strength of the design, among other factors, and suggests the direction in which Dubai is headed.
This contemporary modern aesthetic is a symbol of Dubai’s design evolution and forms a part of what will be this city’s future.
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