Themed Homes: The New Real Estate Growth Driver

The trend of themed homes has been there for quite some time, but the emergence of alternative real estate asset classes and the pandemic has fuelled further demand for housing as buyers now prefer owned homes over rentals, with the new design paradigm catering to their post-covid preferences.
Vinod Behl

Wellness Homes
The Covid pandemic has made homebuyers much more conscious about the need for health safety and wellness. As a result, developers are creating healthy living spaces incorporating wellness designs. These include climate-resistant green homes with sustainable design concepts like rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment, and energy efficiency. There is extra care taken to maximise day lighting and ventilation, and solutions that improve the sleep quality through light-blocking shades and circadian lighting for mental and physical well-being. As hygiene is a top priority today, designers are opting for sanitized design surfaces like germ-resistant countertops and flooring that resist the growth of odour and disease-causing bacteria and mould. Laminate counters treated with antimicrobial agents is one such material that is trending.

There is emphasis on use of non-toxic construction products and on renewable, waste-reducing, energy-efficient organic and locally sourced materials. Since fresh and clean indoor air is also a key to the wellbeing of the house occupants, there is an increase in the use of air purifier systems, UVC light devices that kill germs and disinfect air, and solutions in the kitchen that remove pollutants, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter.

Delhi-based interior designer Anil Sareen says, “Healthy homes create a sense of joy. Nature is a great stress reliever and has a positive impact on the well-being of occupants. As such, designers are laying emphasis on integrating the indoors with the outdoors and adding natural elements like plants and water features, biophilic designs, and vastu-compliant spaces that give positive energy.”

Senior Homes
The niche segment of senior homes is gaining popularity due to the rising population of older people and increasing trend of nuclear families. Especially after the Covd pandemic, this segment with assisted living facilities has gained traction owing to health and wellness concerns, besides considerations of safety and security. More recently, the trend of luxury senior homes has caught up.

Cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Jaipur, Bhiwadi, and Noida have emerged as hubs of senior homes. The trend is no longer restricted to tier 1 cities and is spreading fast to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Several leading real estate groups including Tata Housing, Brigade, Eden, Max Ventures, and Ashiana are developing homes designed for seniors.

The design philosophy of senior homes revolves around creating spaces that promote personal and community health and well-being. With focus on positive aging and functionality with all the facilities for leading a hassle-free life, these spaces keep the senior residents engaged, relaxed, and entertained.

As accessibility is a key element, these spaces have design features that have features that help utilise spaces independently and without much assistance. Safe and easy navigation within the complex is another major design consideration, for instance, the Antara Senior Care project by Max Ventures in Dehradun, has created an underground passage that connects all the towers, thereby protecting the senior residents from heat, cold and rain.

The trend of themed homes has been there for quite some time
Ashish Loach, General Manager, Antara Senior Care, Dehradun: “Antara’s core philosophy is to promote old age living in an active and joyful environment with versatile and efficient facilities. The spaces are disabled-friendly and American Disability Act compliant.

Wheelchairs can come out on the balcony and can go to the bathroom. The rooms have large windows for natural light and light soothing colours. Facilities for lifestyle engagements include a club house, spa, indoor games, yoga, walking track, reading room, and a spiritual club that promotes an active and a positive lifestyle.”

Child-Centric Homes
Child- centric homes are gaining prominence due to the rising trend of nuclear families and are popular with millennials. These homes incorporate the design elements of sports-themed homes and senior living. This new category of real estate provides residents with not only premium homes but also facilities to ensure safety, convenience, fun and development of the children.

The trend of themed homes has been there for quite some time

With sports and activities like swimming, music, dance, theatre, painting, arts and crafts etc being an integral part of such niche developments, this innovative concept helps nurture various talents among children. Prominent developers like Pune-based Gera Developments, NCR-based Ashiana Group, and Chennai-based Casagrand Group are developing such child-centric homes.

The design philosophy of child-friendly homes revolves around creating spaces and activities that promote physical and mental development of children with provision for a play area and school. Another must-have design features of child-centric homes are ones that cater to child safety such as secured entry to the society, grilled doors in the apartments, use of anti-skid tiles, fire safety measures etc.

The trend of themed homes has been there for quite some time
Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Developments: “We have integrated all these aspects into our design. Safety especially is an integral part of our design philosophy and a lot of thought has gone into creating access to a child-safe play area. Moreover, from the design perspective, we have created a conducive environment for parents and occupiers by marrying features which are of value to parents.”

Flexible Homes
The concept of flexible homes has seen unprecedented growth post-covid due to the need for large spacious homes that take care of multiple activities like home office, online classes, work outs, and recreation. Architects must now think of a home as a place to sleep, eat, work and party, amidst the blurring boundaries between work and life.

With evolving needs, homes are being designed to adapt and transform in order to cater to varying functions or to meet specific space requirements. So, flexibility is being built into them with open kitchens and rooms that can open up or be partitioned, for example converting a 3 bedroom space into a 2-bedroom or vice versa.

Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global Group, says, “We have adapted to these needs of the home buyers by coming up with spacious air-conditioned floors with apartments that have a furnished home office and a terrace garden.”

The trend of themed homes has been there for quite some time
Rezwan Razack, Joint Managing Director, Prestige Group: “We are now focusing on transformative lifestyle designs. Our floor plans include additional space that can be used as a work area. The rooms are designed to give plug-and-play access to the internet and Wifi zones, common areas, landscaped gardens, etc.”

Comments Manoj Srivastava, Managing Director, LCove, a global furniture brand, “Home designs these days take into account flexible furniture along with flexible spaces. So, there is a lot of focus on furniture that is flexible, functional, convenient and comfortable.”

Water-Front Homes
Sea beach front homes, river front homes, and lake front homes in exotic locations like Goa, Alibaug, Mahabalipuram, etc have been quite popular with high-end buyers, but post-covid, their demand has gone up tremendously.

Homes with water features provide a touch of serenity and freshness, soothe nerves, and are a great stress buster. So much so that now home buyers are demanding water-front homes even in destinations that are devoid of a sea, lake, or river. Keeping in view the trend, developers are creating artificial water features in their residential projects and are even providing water sports features.

Noida-based Gaurs Group has come up with Lakeside Garden Villas on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida. Rise Group has launched a resort like luxury residential community with the longest (400 ft) swimming pool (almost double the height of Qutab Minar) facing the villas, which have been dubbed Water Villas. On offer are 28 Water Villas overlooking the swimming pool. Says Vaibhav Jain, CMD, Rise Group, “This very new concept of a water feature not only creates a blissful impact but also redefines luxury, offering a unique and mesmerising living experience.”

Homes with Skywalks
This is the newest and the hottest trend which is gaining momentum with developers of high-rise residential projects. Siddha Group’s Eden Villa project boasts of north Kolkata’s tallest rooftop skywalk at level 25, overlooking a 18-acre lake. It is designed to give a complete playground experience on the skywalk with facilities that include a cricket pitch, water sports, and half basketball.

In Delhi, Unity Group’s under construction Amaryllis super luxury residential project spread over 1,60,000 sqm has 10 high-rise residential towers (143 m tall with 35 floors). The 20th floors of the towers are interconnected and have a 1 km long skywalk with a jogging track.

The trend of themed homes has been there for quite some timeSkywalk -Siddha Group

According to Nakul Himmatsinghka, Managing Director, Ideal Group, skywalks allow residents to indulge in premium luxury as they symbolise luxury and wellness with aesthetically pleasing designs. Architects opine that properties designed with skywalks, besides providing a unique experience to residents, have a structural advantage as buildings connected to one another are safer than a standalone high-rise tower.

Going forward, we will be seeing the trend of themed residences gaining further traction with flexible homes, senior and kids-centric homes, water-front homes, and golf-centric homes, generating greater demand.
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