Luxury Home Entertainment
Dance floors that turn into swimming pools are no longer a fantasy but a feat of hydraulic engineering. At certain exclusive London addresses, lucky guests can be dancing in the basement one minute, and diving in to the pool to cool off eight minutes later. But nowhere is the competition to stay on top of trends fiercer than in the world of home entertainment. The most affluent buyers today want the best and latest technology at their fingertips and are attracted to homes buzzing with state of the art gadgets and gizmos. According to luxury lifestyle magazine Sphere, television screens are currently everywhere in the houses of the super wealthy, from the shower to the walk-in wardrobe.
For developers, it’s hard to keep up as cinemas and sound systems can be upgraded twice a year by the manufacturer. If you’re cash rich but time poor, it’s useful to be able to run a bath while you’re driving home from work, so voice activation technology is another must-have in luxury properties, and that too is constantly evolving. Cinema rooms are now less formal than they once were, with rows of cinema seats being replaced by large sofas and beanbags so the space can also be used as a chill-out room. Buyers also expect to only speak the words “movie night” for the curtains to close, the lights to dim, and the TV and audio system to switch to cinema function. Leaving them free to pour a drink from the bar and open the popcorn.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to the budget for a home entertainment system. For music purists, Bang & Olufsen have created what they consider to be the world’s most advanced digital loudspeakers, their BeoLab 90 Ultimate loudspeakers have a price tag of a cool £67,000. And a state of the art home cinema that makes you feel in the centre of the on-screen action can easily cost anything up to £300,000, which includes acoustically treated décor. In other words, all the cabling is invisible, and the speakers are behind the plaster on the walls, giving the impression that the walls themselves are speaking to you. Which all sounds mind-blowing. Just don’t tell Alexa.