From the Experts: The Real Cost of Your Home's Little Luxuries

  • November 28, 2018

Each homeowner has a different take on what luxury piece they would want for their space. It can be as big as an Olympic sized pool or as personal as a bespoke statement piece. Whatever these little luxuries may be, one of the big questions that homeowners ask next is “How much will it cost me?” Whether you are a practical spender or a dream house daydreamer, knowing the budget is step one towards getting what you want. We speak to design experts about their respective specializations to get the real details on costing and planning for luxury home additions.
 
WATER FEATURES
Whether it’s a fountain or a water wall, water features add a sense of motion and relaxation to the outdoors. Indoors, little water features like a small bamboo fountain can bring tranquility and even act as a natural humidifier. It’s no wonder that this is one of the favorite additions for homeowners, especially those who have the space for them. Landscape architect Abby Abiol shares a few pointers on how to install water features in and around the home.
For those on a budget, Abby says that a minimum and safe budget to have is P30,000 for a small and simple waterfall. This goes up as the structure becomes bigger or has more details, so a full waterfall cascade can easily run up to six-digit figures. “It all depends on the materials chosen for the water feature,” says Abby. “It can be tiles, natural stones and boulders, simple concrete, or exposed aggregate finishes. More complicated designs will also add to the budget, such as spout type, cascade, or multi-tiered falls.”
 

luxury home
Water features provide a sense of movement to a space and enliven areas with green landscapes

 
Foundation for your Fountain 
There are no hard or fast numbers for water features, but Abby shares a simple breakdown of considerations and price points to bear in mind for adding water features in the home:

  1. Base preparation for foundation, flooring, and wall
  2. Electrical, water supply, drain system layout, and installation
  3. Form works
  4. Concreting works
  5. Finishing
  6. Testing and commissioning
  7. Mobilization and demobilization costs

 
BESPOKE AND UPCYCLED FURNITURE PIECES 
Nothing says luxe and prestige more than having a statement piece or dining set that’s been tailored for your home. The beauty of bespoke furniture is not only in its craftsmanship, but also in its variety and easy maintenance. Sigvard Selections co-owner and interior designer Jigs Adefuin shares that bespoke pieces give an air of exclusivity to a space. “From a designer’s point of view, bespoke pieces would mean getting the perfect piece for your specific project,” he says.
Rough estimates would put bigger investment pieces like easy chairs at around P30,000 and above, and queen-sized beds at around P60,000, but Jigs still pegs it down to the specifics that homeowners would want to add. “It would really depend on the furniture pieces you may need, the fabrics you choose to upholster them with, the materials for the base, and even the intricacy of the details, which could add up,” he says.
Another route that one can go with bespoke furniture pieces are upcycled variants. Interior designer Cai Lim, who also manages MityMike, shares that busts an old misconception. “It doesn’t follow through that customized items are more expensive than off-the-rack items. The price will still depend on the materials, design, and of course, the brand.”
When caring for bespoke pieces, the beauty of these custom-made items is the maintenance one can leave to the supplier. “Generally, maintenance in terms of parts will come from the supplier who made your pieces, unlike if you bought it off-the-rack,” she says.
 

luxury home
Upcycled furniture, such as this coffee table, can be customized to fit the shape and size of a den or entertainment room

 
Why buy upcycle?

  • An environment helper. Any upcycled piece makes use of recycled parts. Cai’s MityMike company makes use of old items and scrap materials to create beautiful pieces. It’s all about eliminating—or at least lessening—the carbon footprint.
  • A resource and energy-saver. Did you know that recycling items actually requires less energy than manufacturing from scratch? Cai shares that upcycling items will cut energy that is needed to create new things, while also eliminating other used resources involved in the whole process of production.
  • A conversation piece. Upcycled pieces are more than just bespoke—they are conversation starters that can help educate your guests with the importance of recycling. Talk to your supplier about the upcycled items, so you also know the history of how your statement piece was able to make a difference in the environment.
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HIGH CEILINGS 
When thinking about the resale value of a home, some industry secrets include having a classic interior style and a good location. With interior luxury additions, one way to both add a touch of luxe to your space and increase resale value is to install high ceilings.
William Brothers Manila’s Bry Cuison shares that the Philippines is one of the countries that would greatly benefit from high ceilings, mostly because of its energy-efficient, passive cooling feature. “You also get versatility for décor ideas—add beams for a rustic look, go contemporary, modern, or traditional with pendant lights, or even install antique chandeliers for an old world feel,” says Bry. And no one ever feels cramped in a space with high ceilings.”
Deciding on installing high ceilings, however, is not just a matter of choice, but also considering its appropriateness within a space. Bry shares that high ceilings work with already spacious interiors, because a small space can appear narrow with high ceilings. At the same time, considerations for costing when renovating and opening up a low ceiling may include new trusses, additional wall area, window adjustments, new lighting fixtures, and adjustments for ceiling finishes and electrical wirings. Still, with proper planning, high ceilings will definitely add to the aesthetics and function to give your home an airy and elegant finish.
 

luxury home
High ceilings work best with spacious interiors—they create an airy ambiance, lower interior temperatures, and alow for floor-to-ceiling windows that let the outdoors in

 
Is a high ceiling right for your home? 
Not every home can benefit from high ceilings. If you’re thinking of having one for your home, Bryan shares three questions to ask yourself before deciding on your next move:
    1. Do I live in a small space?
High ceilings give more space, which induces a feeling of openness. A smaller space will feel bigger by increasing the third dimension of height.
    2. Does my home have enough lighting or ventilation? 
Spaces with high ceilings provide more ventilation and light compared to normal or low ceilings. Hot air rises and escapes from ventilators, making an automatic and efficient cooling and ventilating building system.
    3. Will this provide me with more flexibility and functionality? 
Some buildings like factories, stadiums, and auditoriums require high ceilings for functionality or utility so they can accommodate various displays and ease movement. For homes, it can be a matter of deciding whether high ceilings can provide more function, such as expanding the space or flexibility in terms of improving the overall aesthetics of the home.