Year in Curbed 2013: 24 Superb Lines About Expensive Homes, Courtesy of the WSJ

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Thanks to its prolific coverage of the homes of the rich—that is, those with enough tucked away in their offshore accounts to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on DJ mixing stations and pinball machines for their teenagers or waterfall-endowed garages or, you know, spas for their dogsThe Wall Street Journal easily gets MVP in the media subdivision that covers the superbly out-of-touch. In-house rifle ranges? You bet. A house designed around a fish tank? Heck yeah. Dropping the phrases “Middle Easter playboy,” “American hedge-fund type” and “Russian oligarch” in the same sentence? Oh baby baby. Yes, this is big-league rich people coverage, and to celebrate the best of the best, find below the 24 most fantastic lines, plucked straight from the Journal.

On rental renovations:

24. “She gutted the apartment, adding a den and putting in leather walls, marble floors, new molding, a high-end kitchen with features by designer Christopher Peacock and Waterworks fixtures.”

23. “She also designed a closet with custom built-ins, turned a bedroom into a library and made three bedrooms into two bathrooms.”

22. “They tore down walls to create a formal dining room, added new molding and wall panels with antique mirrors, covered the ceiling with pewter-leaf tea paper, updated all the lighting and refinished the floors.”

21. “She knocked down a wall between the kitchen and dining room, put in new stainless-steel appliances and Carrera marble counters in the kitchen, installed a new vanity, sink and shower in the bathroom, added new molding to the walls, platinum-leafed the fireplace mantle, put in 9-foot mirrors and refinished the floors, spending about $20,000 in all.”

[link]

On pied-à-terres:

20. “‘Almost all my offers today are cash,’ said Pauline Evans, associate broker at Sotheby’s International Realty.”

19. “‘It has got to be that you could buy it and walk in and use it the next day. If the buyer wanted the fake lemons on the breadboard, they could have them.’”

[link]

On London’s luxury basements:

18. “And beneath her Kensington home, Tamara Ecclestone, of the Formula One racing family, created a spa for her dogs.”

17. “Gert-Rudolph Flick, an heir to the Daimler-Benz auto fortune, has plans to excavate beneath his $46.24 million home in South Kensington to create space for a 50-foot swimming pool, gym and screening room.”

16. “He has helped create 10,000-square-foot basements, complete with everything from rifle ranges to art galleries.”

15. “‘Superrich buyers just want all the toys,’ he said. ‘These are people who want to show off, whether it be a Middle Eastern playboy, an American hedge-fund type or a Russian oligarch. I don’t think people really use them much; it is more about outdoing their mates. It is a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ sort of exercise.’”

[link]

On teen lounges:

14. “Chris Pollack recently finished renovating a Manhattan townhouse that includes a 1,000-square-foot teen suite with ping-pong and billiards tables, a recording studio, kitchen and a theater for movies and videogames. The estimated cost: roughly $750,000.”

13. “The seller’s daughter and two sons, who are now in college, each had a 2,000-square-foot suite with a bedroom, study room and playroom, all adjoined by a common homework room/lounge.”

12. “Their 3,600-square-foot Cape Cod includes a couple of secret passageways, an idea inspired by the ‘Harry Potter’ series.”

11. “In addition to two master-suite-size bedrooms for the teenage son and daughter, the zone includes a karaoke theater, a movie theater, a full kitchen, an indoor basketball court, a DJ mixing station and a sleepover space with hanging bunk beds.”

10. “Jacquie Kim, a mother of two in San Diego, turned a pool house into a teen lounge for her son Alex’s 16th birthday, partly as a way to keep him home after he got his driver’s license.”

[link]

On water features:

9. ‘”I really built and designed the house around the fish tank, which came first.’”

8. “Not everyone can live on a beautiful, placid lake, but we can bring the placid lake to them.”

[link]

On garages:

7. “A stainless-steel-and-copper bar area is flanked by two slate-backed waterfalls that start running when the garage doors open.”

6. “Mark Peterson, a software entrepreneur in the Milwaukee suburbs, outgrew his eight-car garage, which no longer had room for his truck, his three children’s cars and his collection of about 30 motorcycles.

5. “The vehicle might be parked on an electronic turntable and surrounded by a bar and seating area.”

4. “There are seven flat-screen televisions throughout the three levels. ‘I can build a motorcycle and watch a football game at the same time, which is pretty sweet,’ he says.”

[link]

On closets:

3. “The closet is becoming as large as a living-room or family-room area in some cases.”

2. “‘We don’t call them closets anymore,’ says Los Angeles-based contractor Gary Drake, who says the preferred term for such spaces among the designers and clients he works with is now ‘dressing room.’

1. “‘We’re seeing the closet become more of a social space. [Friends] want to hang out there, they want to see what you have,’ she says. Going through clothes to purge older items can be done ‘with your girlfriends over wine.’”

[link]

· Investing in Expensive Renovations For Rental Apartments [WSJ]
· A Pied-à-Terre Buying Guide in Three Glamorous Cities [WSJ]
· London’s Luxury Basements Get Reined In [WSJ; previously]
· The New Luxury Kids’ Rooms [WSJ; previously]
· A River Runs Through…the Home [WSJ; previously]
· Where Car is King [WSJ; previously]
· The $100,000 Closet [WSJ; previously]
· All Wall Street Journal coverage [Curbed National]
· All Year in Curbed 2013 posts [Curbed National]



Source: http://curbed.com/archives/2013/12/30/wsj-eoy.php

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