Designing a Best Selling Luxury Home by Winter Park Architect John Henry

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

Creating the Custom Luxury Home

One must seek value in any home purchase.  Designing a spec house or one for you and your family is important as you keep in mind the potential for resale.  Obviously the location of the house, whether in a suburb or rural area and the amenities nearby including hospitals, food stores, restaurants, retail, and entertainment complexes are basic factors.
However most luxury houses do not necessarily need to be close to city services and most often are found in rural areas where more land is available to create an estate and the landscape or terrain may offer special views, clearer air, and privacy.

Buying or planning to build a home should consider the following items from an Architectural viewpoint:

A.  The house should be soundly built and free of structural and environmental defects caused by poor site planning or below par construction practices.  Is the house built in an area that drains properly?
B.  The house should have a special curb appeal and that means does it look attractive and well proportioned?  Are the placement of windows and doors within the geometry or massing of the main parts pleasing to the eye?  Is the style of the house important and a best seller in your market?
C.  Are there any special features that are outstanding and well integrated to the exterior?  Do columns and arches, roof lines, heights of floors, colors and exterior details seem good and well connected?
D.  Does the house have a special character that is a result of all of the above that makes it distinctive from other houses that are nearby?  
E.  When entering the house does it seem dark or dreary or are there aspects of the interiors that seem not to match the style of the exterior?
F.  Are the floor to ceiling heights correct for the sizes of the rooms?  Do two story rooms have a 'tunnel effect' or is the width and length of the rooms right for the height of the ceiling?  Do columns and arches have enough space to frame well without interfering with other moldings?
G.  Are the rooms in an order that makes sense?  Does space flow well from room to room?  Are drops or rises in the floor obvious or jarring?  
H.  Are materials used inside complementary?  Do the floors join from room to room continuously or are there breaks to indicate that each room or space is individual from the other?  
I.   Are colors complimentary or unnerving from room to room?  Should some rooms be closed from others rather than open?  An 'open plan' with rooms treated in contrasting or  opposing color schemes does not work as well as an open plan with slight changes of hue, saturation, and intensity.
J.   Is the design of baseboards, door and window trim, paneling, wall and ceiling moldings well integrated?  Do they all look like they are from the same period?  Are moldings proportional to the items they frame?  In a smaller room does the crown molding look too large or in a large space too small?  Are there busy areas and then large blank areas of wall treatment?
K. Are cabinets and countertops well built and complementary of adjacent wall paneling?  Are there any masonry, wood, or metal components that cannot be seen in any other area of the house?  (for example: an all stucco house exterior including chimneys but a red brick fireplace and hearth inside would look out of place)
L. Are the interiors separated sufficiently for adults and children to live together without interfering with each other's activities in general?  Are children's bedrooms too close to formal rooms?  
M.  Are hallways wide and tall enough for the rooms they tie together?  Do views of powder rooms open to any formal rooms?  Are laundries and bathrooms sufficiently isolated from view and sound from formal rooms?
N. Are fireplaces, bars, and other amenities in proper proportion to the spaces and walls they occupy?  
O.  Do lighting and plumbing fixtures seem period correct for the style of the architecture inside and out?
P.  In a tech market setting whole house automation and other features are expected.  Suggest Icynene insulation.

Selling the Custom Luxury Home

If you have custom designed or purchased a great luxury house based on the criteria above you should be able to easily sell the house to interested and inspired buyers.
Buyers of luxury homes want to see quality of materials and a design that supports the money asked in the sale.
Does the exterior have a balanced look between projections and other features?
Are columns and arches designed proportionally width to height and span?
Does the interior complement the exterior concept?  When entering the house you should see a similar hand in the details of the exterior.
If you furnishings are too contemporary you may wish to stage the house with more traditional furniture and accessories in order to keep the style integrated overall.

Pricing a luxury house correctly is very important.  Even though adjacent properties may not be in the same league as far as quality and style you cannot base your sell price on some kind of community average.  A luxury house is special and must be presented with the idea that it is much more than the number of square feet, room count, etc.
You have a design and package that is grand, beautiful and well layed out.  The materials, colors, and total effect is integrated throughout.  The higher end flooring, extensive moldings and casing, arches and columns, wood and stonework fireplaces and accents are worth much more than the sum of the parts.
A good Realtor should be able to create a great presentation for the house including possible fly overs and interior/exterior photography to showcase all the special aspects of your luxury house.
 John Henry has been designing custom luxury homes for over 35 years.  See his work here:
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JOHN HENRY ARCHITECT  Orlando Florida Custom Home Designs

Beautiful European and American classical period luxury homes and plans created by premier residential Architect John Henry has been a passion now for over 30 years.  Inspired by old world archaeology and medieval to Renaissance architecture -- and having lived in Europe and the Middle East-- John Henry is widely known for the romantic and period details that make his work breathe a certain soul and drama. Striving for world-class results, his award-winning work reflects the details and proportions of luxury real estate plans in historical European and American traditional styles. Attention to detail and continuity mean that the architectural interiors should also be integrated properly.

Portfolio of Luxury Homes:

Office on 7491 Conroy Road Orlando, Florida  32835

Tel: 407.421.6647


YouTube Videos:

Free Home Planning Questionnaire, inquire here.



Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Joyce Marsh 07/14/2018 04:13 AM
ActiveRain Community
designing a luxury home that will sell
dream home design
creating a luxury home for resale

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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning John Henry,

What an awesome detailed post full of tips needed to understand to successfully market and sell a luxury home.

Jun 14, 2018 05:21 AM #1
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Thank you Dorie, these photos are from the same house.  No doubt many more considerations are made for an upscale project but you can start here.  If you have a property buyer or home builder home builder doing it from scratch these are suggestions you might make.  More photos of this house:

Jun 14, 2018 05:59 AM #2
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

John, this post needs to be *FEATURED*!! Extraordinary in its perspective of the many facets of luxury building. WOW. I'll bet your clients bow down to you!! These are thoughts that I've never had regarding building a luxury home. Just learned a lot! 

That's the one thing I've never done is build from scratch. I did have a luxury home, and thankfully, the former owners (our friends) knew exactly what they were doing when they built it, paying attention to every detail. I loved that home, and am grateful that I had the chance to live in such a glorious place. 


Jun 14, 2018 08:32 AM #3
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Thanks Gayle, my clients usually come armed with a lot of photographs but sometimes simply give me a wish list and general style.  But thanks for implying the hollywood imagery.  I am pretty down to earth.  Glad you learned something here, much more can be written.  Building from scratch is a leap of faith.  Running through existing inventory is much quicker and less risky!  Thanks again for your comment.

Jun 14, 2018 09:55 AM #4
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John Henry

Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design
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