Days when luxury meant flaunting conventional expanse estates is long gone, consumers, developers and investors are spending their money on luxury homes.
By Brian Yatich
As innovations continue to develop and evolve, modern households have become more complex and distinct especially with the advent of technologies in homes.
The growing complexities in property developments have necessitated the involvement of technology in the sector, and with it brought along many changes pushing people to seek better ways of integrating the natural, the artificial and the intangible into a seamless experience in life, work, and furthermore renewing their bid to get more revenue.
According to a recent report by Knight Frank “Inside View Kenya 2018,” the number of Kenya’s high net worth individuals has doubled to around 9,400 over the last decade, making the country home to the fourth highest number of dollar millionaires in Africa and property is a priority when it comes to ways of investing their wealth.
Hass consults predicts values in Kenya’s residential property market continue to rise sharply, amidst robust economic growth and a sharp increase in the population of middle-class and expats. Residential property in Kenya has risen by a staggering 4.34 times from 2000 to 2016.
It is essential for property developers to keep up with lifestyle expectations and understand the current marketplace so they can get the best deal for their clients after years of watching the market.
In this regard, property developers are increasingly setting up new property models in a bid to keep up with the growing trend in property preference as lifestyle and taste of customers’ expectations is changing.
As luxury hotels and resorts are slowly shifting gears, interior designers are not left behind as they seek to capitalize on this prospective trend with many of them installing water features like fountains, waterfalls and introducing light water sports within the property.
This move, according to Eve Karure, Founder at Soigne Creative Limited, is further intensified by the growth of middle class populous with many of them (potential buyers) paying special attention to the apartment amenities looking for comfort, style, and complete functionality within their luxury homes.
“Water features have been used the world over as magnificent centre pieces to draw upon people’s attention to the masterpiece that is fluid art. People are naturally drawn to the symmetry represented in fountains and this is a great feature commonly used to tie up the aesthetic of a space,” she says.
The taste for landscaping and interior design has changed; many developers and homeowners are resorting to peaceful attractions whether it is a residential or office building.
The landscaping & interior décor specialist alludes that new technologies have arisen that have made the management and maintenance of water features a lot easier.
Karaure further explains that the diminishing resources have in no way hindered our creative thinking where innovation is concerned. “We see a range of water features that are electronically controlled using simple time calculators while others are run using solar power for example,” She says.
According to her, landscaping has changed with introduction of water features, which tends to exude class in commercial and residential spaces, opening up to a quality outdoor living.
Karuere further points out to the role of water features, which she says is important because it blends in the entirety of the landscapes bringing tranquillity with the aspect of relaxation, freshness and retreat.
Choice of water features
Depending on the function intended, a water feature can be indoor or outdoor, if intended for large commercial spaces a water fountain can be wall mounted or built around an open area such as an atrium.
Furthermore, using computer controls they could be synchronized to change colour, water levels, and even to create music to add to the ambience of where it is situated In addition to being aesthetically, pleasing water features add a certain vitality to a room.
The type of rooms and spaces best suited for indoor fountains, Karuere says that most people place these features in rooms where they believe they can capitalise on either of the characteristics mentioned above, such as the foyer, living rooms and even the bedrooms.
Among one of the acoustic features that are slowly becoming a trend are artificial lakes in residential homes.
Leisure homes like Sandalwood waterfront in Karen, The Lake House Tigoni and Longonot Gate, use rainwater technology to collect enough water for the exotic property, which are a vocal point for attractions allowing a serene feel.
According to Lee Karuri, the Chairman Longonot Gate Development Ltd, water features complements and combines the overall value of the environment.
He adds that there are several water design features like waterfalls, which spreads in a dam and fountains which comes out of nozzles changing the whole atmosphere, water features beyond 10 acres is considered a manmade lake, which usually requires enough water for it to remain fresh.
The luxury properties laced with water features enables property owners to put property pricing much higher compared to other properties because it gives an enhanced exotic eminence.
“Water is used to enhance home projects and is seen as enhancing the overall quality as it comprehend the environment which blends with the environment presenting a beautiful visual attraction,” he says.
Longonot Gate has exploited water features in and outside the luxury apartments including fountains and all types of outdoor waterfalls. Longonot gate has two water features already aligned to provide water for the golf course.
Depending on the ground conditions, Karuri says that the water holds better on loamy soils and rocks, which do not absorb water while other require further alignment.
Longonot Gate, which sits in a 2400-acre prime land at the foot of Mt. Longonot, enjoys an integrated superior gated country homes with modern amenities that include holiday and retirement homes, an 18-hole golf course, sporting facilities, ornamental lake, hotels and theme parks, and conference facilities. It is set to provide a unique and extraordinary standard of living to its residents.
The construction of such extraordinary luxury villas has opened up the country with investors keen on real estate rushing to cash in on its growth and has further created job prospects among other opportunities to the people.