My friend Pilar recently posted a question: what would your dream home be like? So for fun, I spent an hour over dinner coming up with a sketch of an awesome residence together with some notes on its special features.
Here are my thoughts.
Entry to the house is via a large gate framed with palm trees. The gate opens to a straight driveway lined by palm trees. To the left and right of the driveway is a lake populated with swans and ducks. The straight portion of the driveway leads to a circular portion with a fountain in the center. There are four exits off the circular road. One exit leads to the guest house. Another exit leads to a good-sized garage connected to the main house. Another exit leads to the front door of the main house. The last exit leads to the servant quarters. Vibe: Refreshing.
The house itself is Mediterranean style, two levels, sunny and breezy throughout. It has a beautiful ocean view. Vibe: Tropical.
The front door has palm trees to either side and is lit by torches with flickering flames. The entrance hall has high ceilings, a dramatic sweeping asymmetric staircase, a modern crystal chandelier, and a few spotlit modern sculptures. Vibe: Elegant.
The living room has large expanses of glass with a great view of the pool area and the ocean. Tropical fish tanks are built into the walls, and one contains jellyfish bathed in cool ultraviolet light. There is a modern fireplace for chilly nights. Vibe: Inspiring.
The pool has both an indoor and an outdoor part which can be separated by a large glass panel when the weather is cold. The pool is an infinity design, with water overflowing over the top and cascading off the sides. There is a diving board, water slide, jacuzzi, hammock area, and plenty of grass and flowers. The guest house shares the pool area with the main house. Vibe: Playful.
The library has plenty of space for books, a few comfy chairs, a grandfather clock, an old-fashioned fireplace, and a well-hidden computer console. Vibe: Cozy.
The master bedroom has a glass ceiling that is opaque by default but can be turned transparent to allow for star gazing. There's a modern tall four-poster bed with delicate gauze drapes. There's a patio with a pool/ocean view and a staircase that leads down to the pool. Vibe: Sensual.
The master bathroom has separate his-and-her areas with their own sink and closet, as well as a large shared walk-thru shower. The shower includes ceiling-mounted faucets to provide a rainfall-like effect. Vibe: Practical.
For fun, there are several secret passageways and hiding spaces. Where are they? I'm not going to tell you! Vibe: Secretive.
The security system provides visual and auditory access to most places in the house, and is password-accessable from any web browser. Better keep that password safe! Vibe: 007.
The various rooms in the house are sometimes linked in unusual and innovative ways that indicate that the architect was thinking in three dimensions instead of two. Vibe: Creative.
My guess is that a house like this would cost between 3 and 10 million dollars depending on its location. Here's a link to a house that is similar to what I have in mind.
For the record, I spend very little time thinking about this kind of luxury, and it doesn't even make it into my top 10 list of things I want in life. That being said, I bet it would be a lot of fun!