This article first appeared in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of WGM.
There was a time many years ago when owning a color television was purely the domain of the privileged. Fast forward 50 years and it’s not uncommon for houses to boast their very own mini-cinema. Heated floorboards, spa baths and outdoor kitchens were once reserved for the “upper classes” but can now be found in millions of houses around the world.
So what do the world’s mega-rich have to do in order to impress these days? The Eagle has scoured the earth to find his favorite luxury home features – from the elegant “must haves” to the truly outrageous!
1. Walk in wardrobe.
Before we get to the more outlandish features around, it goes without saying that every luxury home should come with a giant walk in wardrobe in the main bedroom. At the very least, a walk in wardrobe provides much needed space to store and present your clothing options each morning, but why stop there?
Some of the best we’ve come across are as big as a small apartment, with accessories including island benches, television screens to watch the morning news while deciding what to wear and even a spa bath so you can step straight out of the water and into your wardrobe!
2. Wine cellar.
It is every wine lover’s dream to build their very own wine cellar – and we’re not talking about simply storing them in an empty closet.
Wine cellars have become a common feature of multi-million dollar homes in recent times and range from underground caverns that pay homage to old-school France to specially designated, temperature controlled rooms where thousands of bottles can be displayed at once.
But why stop there? For those really wanting to impress, we love the idea of a designated tasting table as the centre piece of the room – the perfect environment for entertaining guests.
3. Water slide.
It doesn’t matter how old you are – everyone loves a water slide. But if fighting the crowds at the local water park isn’t as appealing as it once was, why not install your very own slide at home?
Water slides are becoming an increasingly popular feature of today’s luxury homes and although most are relatively small in scale, there are a handful that utilize their spacious surrounds by stretching well over 100 metres in length.
We also like the idea of installing a slide in multi-storey houses that takes you from the top level, through the house and directly into the swimming pool below!
4. Private runway.
When it comes to outrageous excess, it’s hard to go past your own private runway built right on your doorstep. For obvious reasons, runways aren’t for everyone with the amount of space required the first major hurdle.
But if you can gain the necessary regulatory approvals and have plenty of land to spare, a private runway represents the ultimate convenience.
The world’s most famous private runway belongs to actor John Travolta. A certified pilot who regularly flies himself around the world, Travolta also owns five planes including a Qantas Boeing 707 fitted out with leather seats, tables and a bedroom.
His Florida home came already equipped with its 7,500 foot runway when he bought it in 2003 but he added a taxiway so he could quite literally park his planes in the backyard!
5. Car elevator.
Whether you’re too lazy to walk to the car each day or simply like showing off for the sake of showing off, an in-home car elevator might be for you.
The perfect solution for those living on uneven land or in multi-storey homes, a car elevator allows you to drive into your garage then sit back and relax while the entire garage floor travels skyward to take you to your destination – allowing you to step straight from the driver’s seat into your living room!
Our favorite is located in a cliff side house in Laguna Beach, California. Drive through a hidden garage door that would make Batman blush then have the elevator lift you and your car up and into the house’s entryway!