Beyond the blueprints
The Future of Luxury Private Homes
We caught up with Gareth McFadden, Director of Ascot Design’s newly-opened Mayfair foothold, for a question and answer session. The firm is an international design consultancy headquartered in Ascot, Berkshire and with a third location in Knutsford, Cheshire. The company has a 20 year reputation in the industry for designing ultra high-end residences with diverse projects underway across the UK and internationally from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and beyond.
Who is the Ascot Design client and what are they looking for in a luxury home?
Our patrons range from public-facing elite sports personalities to private international royalty. The ties that bind are an international and mobile lifestyle, often with primary residences and holiday homes spanning the globe, and the desire for an exquisite product with a highly customized experience. Their desires for their residences are as diverse as their profile: palladian-style family homes on exclusive enclaves, city-center Grade I listed refurbishments, to progressive contemporary designs. I think it’s also important to note that we’re culturally in tune and not precious about style, meaning we work with local systems and traditions, and we are driven by actualizing the tastes and desires of our clientele.
What is the future of design for ultra-exclusive private homes?
The way ahead for our industry is more simulated visualization, earlier in the design process. We have invested heavily in technology, and are now offering virtual reality walk-throughs of our designs. These assets allow our clients to experience and understand their ultra-bespoke home design in a depth beyond what’s possible with blueprints and still generated images. This enables us to respond to client feedback and make adjustments in the concept phase to get it right, and avoid time-consuming and costly missteps.
The way we work and deliver customer service is also evolving. We are collaborating more and more with a client base who have a global lifestyle, so our team and technology have become more mobile. We welcome clients to our offices, but are equally happy to accommodate schedules by meeting in a Dubai airport lounge.
What trends are emerging in home design for 2022 and beyond?
Over the last few years there was an exodus from urban areas in favor of spacious country homes. This remains a relevant market, but the trend is starting to reverse and we’re seeing a return to both London and global metropoles. In cities, there is a desire to re-imagine and improve existing homes to respectfully customize historical refurbishments. We’ve expanded our footprint to include a Mayfair office, so we can respond to the return of metropolitan living.
I would also add that we design with the future in mind. The ecological impact of a building is always highest during construction, so our objective is to ensure our designs and technical detailing are future-proofed. Quality and longevity is always at the forefront, for both our traditional and rule-bending designs.
What’s the creative process for designing a bespoke home?
The lifestyle and desires of our clients are at the centre of our process. We can accommodate any level of day-to-day involvement our clients would like, from very hands-on to hands-off. The process of actualizing a dream home with our patrons, our firm, builders and any other adjacent specialists is collaborative and increasingly flexible in-person and virtually across time zones and languages. We always handle all the complex technical details, so clients are reassured they are in safe hands, wherever they are, and whatever level of involvement they would like in the project. I would also add we are taking holistic and seamless delivery to the next-level by increasingly providing interior architecture in the form of setting the overall plan for the internal detailing.
What advice would you give to a first-time patron of a bespoke luxury property?
I would say to savor the process of commissioning your perfect home and treat it as an ultra-exclusive and meaningful experience. Home development has a reputation for being stressful, but we aim to make it a seamless process as your trusted advisors and technical experts. The process can be lengthy, depending on the size and specifications, so we make the effort to understand your vision, cater to how you live, and look after you every step of the way.
In closing, I would add that the Ascot Design experience is about more than architecture. Relationships are at the core of what we do: many of our first-time clients are referrals, and we have a developed roster of repeat clients at home and abroad. We endeavour to be by your side for the lifecycle of your design and build, and remain on your team for the future of your property portfolio.
Looking to design your own bespoke home?
Contact SWM for more information or an introduction to the Ascot team.