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Door closes on open-plan living

Lisa Allen12:00AM June 23, 2018


Lifestyle houses the latest rage


Chiara Clark helps daughter Finley roll out her pizza dough alongside her daughter Francesca, right, and son Fletcher in the kitchen at the family’s home in Delray Beach, Florida. Picture: Scott McIntyre for The Wall Street Journal

Homeowners are rediscovering the luxury of soaking tubs and the health benefits of incorporating a gym into the living room. Open-plan living is on the way out, private lifts are in and butler’s kitchens remain popular with cashed-up clients.

Multiple American-built Sub-Zero refrigerators costing upwards of $20,000 apiece and La Cornue’s signature Chateau cooker starting from $83,000 are also on the wish list of clients commissioning luxury kitchens.

Sydney architect Tony Chenchow, of Chenchow Little Architects, who designs $5 million waterfront mansions for clients in Mosman and Vaucluse, said today’s clients want lifestyle ­houses.

“Gyms are becoming very important because people are interested in their health, but gyms have to be integrated into the ­living areas, making the house like a resort with a health spa. Clients also want gyms that open up the views to the pool,” he says.

“It’s all about lifestyle and the gym is not separated from the rest of the house in a spare room.”

Home cinemas remain among the top 10 desires of mansion owners and there’s a move away from open plan design.

“Owners want rooms that can be shut off, that’s another trend we have noticed,” Chenchow says.

Founded in 1908, La Cornue will offer its signature hand-made Chateau cooker starting from $83,000.

“People want lap pools, and the pools are not just for kids, they are for adults too. They want to come home from work and do some laps. If there are two or more floors they want lifts, they are future proofing their house with a big ­investment.”

Chenchow says butler’s kitchens remain important. “There’s a show kitchen and a behind the scenes kitchen for people who have catered for parties in terms of luxury houses.”

Sydney designer Iain Halliday, who has been doing butler’s pantries for a long time, says they are now essential…

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