PROPERTY – Luxury homes with high tech features

Article from FOCUS Magazine – Autumn 17 issue.

Demand for top of the range fixtures and fittings, with the technology to help create a hassle free environment, is increasing amongst luxury homeowners By Mary Wilson.

Octagon Fulham Development

ABOVE Bishops Row, Octagon’s latest development of nine large, luxury riverside townhouses in Fulham, south west London are very highly spec’d. All the four/five bedroom houses will be fully equipped with the most innovative technology from hidden in-ceiling cinema speakers which create a superb surround sound experience to Rako mood lighting.The 4,000 to 5,000 square feet homes will have either roof terraces or balconies overlooking the Thames, four to five bedrooms, four reception rooms, a TV den/cinema room, gym, wine room and a kitchen/breakfast/family room. The houses, which each have a walled garden, are on the market priced from £4.995 million. For further information please contact Octagon: 020 8481 7500, www.octagon.co.uk

When you buy a luxury newly built family house, not only do you expect to see top of the range fixtures and fittings and a high quality of materials throughout but also all the technology to make your life hassle free, whether at home or away.

Karl Matier, head of Savills’ Esher office says, “high tech features are definitely expected in multi-million pound new build houses. These include Quooker taps, top quality kitchens with all the gizmos, security and alarms. In multi, multi-million pound properties, buyers also want cinema rooms, spectacular games rooms and leisure suites”.

Security features are moving up to the top of the ‘must have’ list, depending on where the property is and who is buying it and a number of developers are putting in CCTV or the capacity for it so cameras can be added by the purchaser.

“If it’s an international buyer, who spends a lot of time out of the country, then security is a very important factor, especially as you can now download apps onto your phone and they can keep an eye on their home from afar” says Karl.

In Amberwood, a home which was built in Esher around 10 years ago, security features include electric shutters to all ground floor rooms, an alarm system and panic button. The seven bedroom 5,000 square feet house also has a Sonos sound system, kitchen with Miele appliances and Sub Zero fridge freezer and under floor heating to the ground and first floors. On the top floor is a smart TV room where you have stunning views over the Esher Cricket Club through the large corner atrium windows. With three reception rooms and an outdoor heated swimming pool, the house is on the market through Savills’ Esher office for £2.995 million.

Woodlands in Kingswood is an elegant 6,800 square feet new build home with state of the art features such as a home automation system by Control4, intelligent lighting designed by John Cullen, one the UK’s leading lighting designers, and under floor heating. The six bedroom house, with six bathrooms and six reception rooms is on the market for £3.5 million through Savills’ Reigate office.

And in Leys Road, Oxshott, there is a stunning seven bedroom house which has a fully equipped recording studio in addition to the state-of-the-art technical and security systems, cinema room, fabulous kitchen with double fridge, double freezer and Zip Hydrotap and leisure complex which includes a gym, 50 feet long swimming pool, steam room and sauna with a dramatic contemporary water feature at one end. Savills’ Cobham office is selling this 13,500 square feet property at a guide price of £6.9 million.

Octagon’s latest development of nine large, luxury riverside townhouses in Fulham, south west London are very highly spec’d. Angus McQuhae, senior land and sales director at Octagon says, “we’re forever updating the ‘standard’ tech specifications within our new homes, to ensure we’re keeping up with the rapid growth within the technology market. Our clients are buying luxury homes, so everything from the interior finishings to the inbuilt technology must continually meet that standard”.

All the four/five bedroom houses at Bishops Row will be fully equipped with the most innovative technology from hidden in-ceiling cinema speakers which create a superb surround sound experience to Rako mood lighting, which allows ‘scenes’ to be pre-set and stored. These ‘scenes’ can be selected when you enter or leave the property, so you don’t need to constantly change the lighting in every room. Most of the technology will be configured through a Control4 system, which also allows video and audio communication from the front gate to internal screens.

“We integrate this particular system due to its very simple controls, which will help the owner manage the house lighting, heating, motorised blinds, and CCTV systems. It can be expanded even further to embrace multi-room audio, should the client be interested” says Angus. The 4,000 to 5,000 square feet homes will have either roof terraces or balconies overlooking the Thames, four to five bedrooms, four reception rooms, a TV den/cinema room, gym, wine room and a kitchen/breakfast/family room. The houses, which each have a walled garden, go on the market in November, priced from £4.995 million.

Octagon Willowbank

ABOVE Octagon’s Willowbank is a spacious and impressive 5 bedroom, 5 reception room house located on the prestigious Oxshott Way Estate in Cobham. The drawing and dining rooms back onto the perfectly landscaped garden, which approaches 0.5 acres in size. The property is on the market at a guide price of £4.35 million through selling agents Boyce Thornton: 01932 868448, www.boycethornton.co.uk; www.octagon.co.uk

Willowbank, Octagon’s spacious and impressive five bedroom, five reception room home has launched. Located on the prestigious Oxshott Way Estate in Cobham, the property sits behind an electronic gated entrance with a forecourt and double garage for parking. Both the drawing and dining rooms back onto the perfectly landscaped garden, which approaches 0.5 acres in size. The property is on the market at a guide price of £4.35 million through Boyce Thornton.

Leading retirement developer, Beechcroft, is currently creating two new, luxurious, over 55s developments in Surrey. “Our Surrey developments are excellent examples of Beechcroft’s commitment to creating homes with plenty of living space but fewer bedrooms than one would expect in a family home of a similar size. Each new home is energy-efficient and easy to maintain whilst each development provides an estate management service,” comments Holly Foreman, sales director for Beechcroft.

The Farthings in Leatherhead comprises a collection of two and three-bedroom apartments and houses with allocated parking and plenty of outside space including terraces, balconies, roof terraces or private gardens. A selection of two and three-bedroom apartments are currently available with prices from £495,000 for a two-bedroom, second floor apartment with private balcony.

White Lion Place, in the heart of Cobham, is an exclusive gated development of 30 two, three and four-bedroom houses, apartments and duplexes which are the result of Beechcroft’s careful conversion of the former Grade II listed White Lion along with brand new buildings. At White Lion Place, prices currently start from £685,000 for a three-bedroom apartment with a private balcony, through to £1.2 million and £1.02 million for a three-bedroom, three-storey house with study, terrace and balcony. A stunning four-bedroom duplex apartment with two Juliet balconies and a private roof terrace is also on the market at £1.05 million. Show homes are open at both developments and further details are available on the website at www.beechcroft.co.uk

“Our discerning clients are usually well-versed when it comes to technology within their homes so as a developer, we need to continue to be one step ahead” says David Rich-Jones, CEO of Richstone Properties. “The company continually reviews what is coming to the marketplace to decide which products and systems will work best in our homes. Clients should expect to be able to control their homes from a tablet or phone to enable energy efficiency and security. Having lights turn on and off periodically creates a greater sense of security whilst away on business trips or holidays, and far more effective and easy to use than a light switch timer”.

Richstone’s latest house is Langdale House in Roehampton Gate, SW15. This six bedroom house, which also has a one bedroom self-contained staff suite and integral garage, has a home cinema, fully-equipped gym, temperature controlled wine cellar and second kitchen. It has a Lutron Homeworks QS lighting control system, 8-zone music system and advanced Banham security system. With solar thermal panels, air source heat pump and automatic irrigation system in the landscaped garden, the house is being sold by Knight Frank’s Richmond office for £7.5 million.

Hunters Lodge in Cobham is an impressive brand new 9,400 square feet mansion and according to the agent, Knight Frank, ‘is one of the finest homes to be built on one of Cobham’s most prestigious private estates – Oxshott Way Estate’. It is set back from the road behind two sets of electric gates with a sweeping in and out driveway. On the ground floor, there is a home office and a cinema/media room and the bespoke custom made, hand painted, kitchen/breakfast room is by Orca design with Miele appliances and two large Fisher Paykel fridge/ freezers. The seven bedroom house is on the market for £5.95 million through Knight Frank’s Cobham office.

Beechcroft Cobham

ABOVE & BELOW Beechcroft’s White Lion Place, in the heart of Cobham, is an exclusive gated development of newly-built and converted houses, apartments and duplexes. Prices currently start from £685,000 for a three-bedroom apartment with a private balcony, through to £1.2 million and £1.02 million for a three-bedroom, three-storey house with study, terrace and balcony. A stunning four-bedroom duplex apartment with two Juliet balconies and a private roof terrace is also on the market at £1.05 million The show home is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. For further information telephone 01932 588963, www.beechcroft.co.uk

Knight Frank’s country department is also marketing Blenheim House in Oxshott, an even larger house with 10,400 square feet brimming with high tech features. The property, which has been built by Churchill Properties, has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and seven reception rooms in which there are a number of state-of-the-art systems. Sam Turner of Knight Frank says “the demand for cutting edge, well-integrated, intelligent technology within new build homes has become incredibly important to high net worth purchasers. The ability to control systems such as lighting, heating, music and security surveillance from touch screen pads throughout the property, as well as being able to access and control it remotely from your mobile phone, is a priority for many buyers looking to purchase a home on one of the private estates in Surrey”. The house has Control4 all the way through which controls heating, lighting and music plus security cameras, the kitchen/breakfast room has fitted wine fridge, coffee machine, double oven and large built-in TV and in the leisure complex there is an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, cinema room and large gym area. The property is on the market for £5.25 million.

Spitfire Bespoke Homes is marketing Imperial Row, its latest development of four five-bedroom luxury houses in Ascot. Each house has its own gated entrance and features include kitchens by Lida Cucina with Miele appliances that include two electric ovens, a steam oven, wine chiller, water softener and Quooker Fusion twin tap. There is a hard wiring in place for a Rako lighting system, a security system and CCTV, underfloor wet heating system to all floors and CAT 6A cabling. Two houses remain for sale – the new show home, The Kensington, for £2.895 million and The Westminster for £2.85 million. Strutt & Parker and Savills are joint agents.

Larksmead in Sunningdale boasts state-of-the-art technology with underfloor heating throughout, Crestron mood lighting, wiring for multi-room audio, pre-wiring for a 6.1 surround sound system in the family/TV room, Cat 6 cabling and a BPT gate entry system. This six bedroom new mansion also has a huge master bedroom suite, the size of a large three bedroom flat, and access to Sunningdale golf course. The property is on the market for £6.35 million through Strutt & Parker’s Ascot office.

Jane Brabyn, head of the Ascot office, says, “people are still looking for everything in the way of high tech in our area and our typical buyer wants a turn key solution, so new builds are very popular. One thing that developers are doing more frequently is to put in the facility for remote control and security features, so buyers can add exactly what they require. Not everyone wants CCTV cameras or sophisticated programmable units”.

One house that does is Queens Acre in Ascot. The property has been wired for comprehensive lighting, sound and security that can be controlled remotely or from the central hub in the house if required. The six bedroom, six bathroom new build house has a bespoke kitchen from Tom Howley with Miele fridge, wine cooler and freezer, a Wolf dual fuel range cooker. It also has Lutron lighting and a Sonos sound system on every floor and is on the market for £3.5 million through Strutt & Parker.

The agent is also selling Maple House, which is in the village of Sunninghill. This six bedroom, six bathroom house has a stunning galleried reception hall, Nicholas Anthony designed Siematic kitchen, under-floor heating on the ground and first floors, CAT6 cabling, wiring for audio, a Mercury lighting system throughout the house and gardens and a Nuaire ventilation system, which is invaluable if you suffer from allergies. The property is also monitored by an alarm system with CCTV.
“The Mercury lighting system is quite complicated. You can control all the lighting from the front door, but you do need a lesson in how to operate it” says Jane. Another feature that Maple House has and which is a winner with purchasers, is a first floor laundry room. “This isn’t high tech, but it’s very useful and something that we are seeing more of in new homes” she says. Maple House is on the market for £2.95 million.