Owning a luxury home might be one of your aspirations. And even if you’re not interested in living like a celebrity in reality, it’s still fun to imagine what bells and whistles you’d add to your property if money was no object.
Here are just a few features that luxury homes offer which might make you more than a little bit jealous. So, read on if you want to sink into a fantasy world of opulence and excess that some people enjoy every day.
Indoor Swimming Pool
Installing a swimming pool that’s exposed to the elements is not entirely out of the question for people with a modest property. But creating a pool that you will be able to use all year round is more expensive and extravagant.
An indoor pool is the kind of thing that pop stars like Cheryl Cole have sought out in their homes in the past. They can vary in size and shape, either occupying separate buildings if there is enough space in the grounds or sitting in vast basement rooms in oversized urban pads.
Some big spenders even take things a step further by adding a separate steam room or full-on sauna to their indoor pool complex. This means they can expose themselves to the pore-cleansing power of water vapour and stay looking their best, whatever the seasonal shifts in weather outside.
Dedicated Cinema Room
Custom installed cinema rooms are another defining factor of luxury homes. They can bring movies to life with huge screens, high end projectors, surround sound and some seriously impressive seating.
For film fans who have deep pockets, there is so much tech available to make a cinema room a truly special space. From reclining chairs with built-in refrigeration capabilities to lighting which reacts to the on-screen effects, you can get an incredibly engaging experience which can’t be ruined by noisy audience members.
A truly A-List home cinema experience isn’t cheap; it’s estimated that actor George Clooney and his wife Amal paid around £100,000 to add one to their mansion in Berkshire. It has enough seats for 12 guests to kick back with some popcorn and catch up on the latest blockbusters or art house hits. This setup is very much in keeping with the luxury lifestyles that movie stars are famed for living.
The presence of a bowling lane has almost become a cliché of the homes of the rich and famous. For some reason it seems like such an outlandish idea; squeezing a hugely long, intricately automated system into a domestic premises. And unlike a cinema room that you can imagine being used regularly, just how often do celebs take their pins for a spin?
Of course, the practicality and usability of such a feature is beside the point. It’s all about showing that you can afford to have a bowling lane in your house, not about whether you can see yourself visiting it every evening.
For some people, a single lane isn’t enough. One $250 million super-mansion in the upmarket Los Angeles neighbourhood of Bel Air comes with a four lane alley, allowing several games to take place at once.
Another bonus of having a bowling alley at home, aside from the bragging rights, is that it means the owners don’t need to mix with members of the public. Famous people looking for a bit of peace and quiet can’t really be blamed for wanting to avoid a Friday night at their local family-friendly bowling alley.
Videogames are a phenomenon of modern culture and they have fans from every walk of life. This means that people with cash to splash and space in their homes can kit out an entire room for interactive entertainment.
It is not unusual for luxury homes belonging to those at the geekier end of the spectrum to include full sized arcade units, along with pinball machines and other coin-op games from years gone by. Real world arcades have all but disappeared, so keeping them alive at home is the only option.
The rise of virtual reality has also opened up new opportunities for home gaming experiences that only high rollers can really justify buying.
The Virtuix Omni system is a good example of this, providing full body VR which combines headsets, handheld controllers and floor-mounted platforms that let players enjoy full 360-degree freedom of movement. This kind of kit may be aimed at commercial operators, but that hasn’t stopped celebs from adopting the tech long before it is accessible to the average consumer.
If you feel like you’re missing out on some of the features that luxury homes offer, there are affordable equivalents in most cases – for example a DIY home cinema. So with a little bit of savvy shopping you can get a taste of the high life yourself.