The Golden State Lifestyle
If you want the finest quality goods and services, look no further than California. The state built upon gold and the promise of prosperity offers the potential for wealth, luxury and success. Retailers, designers, contractors and realtors have catered to billionaires, international businessmen, foreign royalty and the Hollywood elite for decades. In recent years, the allure of Silicon Valley has established a generation of nouveau riche entrepreneurs born from the technological innovations of geniuses and visionaries. California is luxury. This is where lifestyle was invented.
There are few places on this Earth where you can surf world-class waves and ski world-class mountains in the same day. That’s the essence of California, a place where the pace of life is governed by nothing but the limitations of our physical world. If you’re moving to the Southland, or tackling the Bay Area, these are the most important things to consider.
If you think that Beverly Hills or Malibu are the top spots, you’re in for a surprise. In fact, those two zip codes are no longer in the top 10. If you’re in the market for a luxury mansion in a hot real estate market, look no further than Atherton. Median home prices in this Silicon Valley enclave have almost doubled in the past four years, with an increase of over two million dollars in the past year alone. Surrounding areas aren’t looking so bad either. Thirteen of the top 50 most expensive zip codes are located in the Bay Area.
In any emerging real estate market, there will always be a contractor or custom homebuilder who promises to provide a magnificent, well-built home in a short amount of time. Avoid these people. Contractors like these hope to cash in on the surge and spend little time worrying about the logistics and regulations that are part of any design process. In the Bay Area, Clarum Homes of Palo Alto has established itself as the industry leader in quality and design, and has been awarded Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certifications for many of its residential projects. Other companies worth mentioning are Oz Custom Homes and Conrado Home Builders, which offer world-class luxury materials in stunning designs.
A mansion is nothing without award-winning interior design. You may have a 12-bedroom estate on Las Pulgas Drive, but it’s nothing to be proud of if the interior hasn’t changed since the 1990s. If you’re purchasing a pre-existing home, it may even be worth it to simply knock it down and build your own. Whether you choose to do this or not, you’ll want to employ the services of Rise Krag, Inc. This interior design company is the preeminent firm in the Silicon Valley and has won numerous awards from the American Society of Interior Designers and the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Niche Interiors, Woodard & Associates, Inc. and Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc. also provide luxury services with a focus on sustainability.
A number of custom homebuilders include landscape design services in the home’s purchase price. Landscaping is the last and sometimes most critical design aspect of a truly remarkable luxury mansion. Successful landscape design will not only improve the overall appearance of your property, it will also allow you to maximize the true potential of your little slice of paradise. Whether you’re in the market for a sprawling stone patio, a simple English garden or a combination of styles, a great landscape architect will ensure that the overall aesthetic is cohesive and comprehensive. Firms worth mentioning are Waterman & Sun, Ami Saunders, MLA, and Verdance Landscape Design.