When you have ample financial resources, investing in lavish home improvements and expensive décor is par for the course. As an interior design writer who sometimes works with high-net-worth clients on everything from penthouse renovations to sprawling suburban mansions, I often get asked what big-ticket home upgrades the wealthy splurge on. There’s no shortage of ways the rich spend their money to customize their living spaces and ensure unmatched comfort within their own four walls.
I’ll highlight some of the most common high-end home investments the affluent make and delve into the reasoning behind these major decor undertakings—from installing luxury bathrooms and devising state-of-the-art smart home systems to building enviable amenities like personal home spas, theaters, and wine cellars. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how the other half enhances their domestic domains, read on for a deep dive into the ambitious home improvement projects the rich pour their funds into.
Bowley Locks are high-security locks designed to offer maximum protection. They are an expensive yet effective investment in home security, providing robust resistance against picking and drilling due to their unique design and materials. Their robust build ensures a higher level of security, making them a valuable addition to safeguard valuable possessions and ensure peace of mind.
Exterior UniFi Cameras
These cameras offer top-notch surveillance for your property, providing high-definition footage and reliable monitoring. Placing UniFi cameras around the exterior of your home enhances security, deterring potential intruders and allowing remote access for real-time monitoring. Their advanced features and durable build make them a worthwhile investment for comprehensive outdoor security.
Investing in a backup generator ensures uninterrupted power during outages, offering peace of mind and maintaining essential functions in your home. It provides a reliable source of electricity, keeping critical systems like heating, refrigeration, and lighting operational during emergencies. This investment is a practical way for homeowners to mitigate disruptions caused by power failures.
Walk-in Kitchen Pantry
A walk-in kitchen pantry offers ample storage space, allowing for better organization and accessibility of food items and kitchen essentials. It adds convenience to meal preparation by providing a dedicated area for storage, making ingredients easily accessible. The spacious design and shelving options in a walk-in pantry enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the kitchen.
Appliance Garages or Cabinets
Appliance garages or cabinets provide a sleek and organized way to store small kitchen appliances, keeping countertops clutter-free. They offer a tidy solution for concealing appliances while keeping them easily accessible for daily use. This investment helps maintain a clean and streamlined look in the kitchen.
Kitchen Vacuums: Kickplate on Floor and Sweepovac on Counter
Installing kickplate vacuums on the floor and a Sweepovac on the counter creates a convenient way to clean up kitchen messes effortlessly. These built-in vacuums suck up crumbs and debris, ensuring a tidy kitchen without the hassle of dragging out a vacuum cleaner. They streamline the cleaning process, making kitchen maintenance more efficient.
Bedroom with Kitchenette
A bedroom with a kitchenette offers convenience and independence, allowing you to prepare light meals and snacks without going to the main kitchen. Breakfast in bed never got so easy! Wake up and immediately taste your favorite morning brew without schlepping it to the kitchen downstairs. Enjoy a cold beverage while relaxing in bed each evening.
Central Vacuum Systems
Central vacuum systems provide efficient and quiet cleaning by removing dirt and debris through tubing installed within walls to a remote vacuum unit.
A home sauna offers relaxation and health benefits, promoting stress relief, improved circulation, and detoxification through heat therapy. This is a popular addition to wealthy people’s homes and custom-built homes across the country.
A home intercom system allows communication between different areas of the house, providing convenience for calling family members or monitoring activities. If your house is more than 2,000 square feet, it is a good alternative to shouting across floors and rooms!
Toto Toilets and Bidets
Heated Bathroom Floors
Heated bathroom floors provide luxurious comfort, keeping the space warm and cozy, especially during colder seasons. They’re popular in homes in colder climates.
Body Jets in Master Shower
Body jets in a master shower provide a spa-like experience with adjustable water streams, enhancing relaxation and showering comfort.
Built-in Ceiling or Wall Home Speakers
Built-in speakers offer immersive audio experiences throughout the home, delivering high-quality sound for entertainment purposes.
Whole-House Audio System
A whole-house audio system allows synchronized music or audio to play in multiple rooms, providing entertainment and ambiance throughout the home. You can control it with Sonos.
A laundry chute provides a convenient way to transport dirty clothes from the upper floors to the laundry room. Easily integrated into the home’s design, it streamlines the chore of transporting laundry, ensuring a clutter-free living space and reducing the need for carrying heavy loads up and down stairs.
Recreation rooms offer dedicated spaces for entertainment and leisure activities, such as gaming, pool tables, home theaters, home gyms, yoga studios, or exercise areas. Tailored to your interests, they provide a retreat within the home for relaxation and enjoyment, encouraging family bonding and social gatherings.
In-Wall Pest Control Tubes
In-wall pest control tubes offer a discreet and effective way to manage pests by providing access points for targeted pest control treatments within the walls. Integrated during construction, they allow for the application of pest deterrents without disrupting the aesthetics of the home.
Whole-house Water Filtration System
A Tensui whole-house water filtration system ensures clean, purified water throughout the home by removing impurities and contaminants. Installed at the main water line, it provides safe and high-quality drinking water and contributes to the overall health and well-being of the household.
Hot Water Recirculation System
A hot water recirculation system minimizes wait times for hot water by constantly circulating hot water through the pipes, ensuring instant access to hot water at every faucet. This efficient system conserves water and reduces energy consumption, enhancing convenience and comfort in the home.
Strategic Electrical Floor Outlets
Strategically placed electrical floor outlets offer discreet and accessible power sources, providing flexibility for furniture placement and reducing the need for visible cords and extension cables. You could have floor outlets in the living room to power table lamps on end tables. You could use a central floor outlet in your home office to power a large monitor on a floating placement desk.
Bedrooms Wired for Wall-Mounted TVs
Bedrooms wired for wall-mounted TVs provide pre-installed connections and power sources, allowing for easy installation and a streamlined appearance without visible wiring, enhancing the bedroom’s entertainment options.
Network Wiring Closet
A network wiring closet serves as a centralized location for networking equipment, facilitating organization and maintenance of home networking systems, and ensuring efficient connectivity throughout the house.
Solid Core Doors
Solid core doors offer enhanced durability and soundproofing compared to hollow core doors, providing better insulation and noise reduction between rooms, contributing to a quieter and more private living environment.
Casement windows provide excellent ventilation and an unobstructed view while offering energy efficiency and a tight seal when closed, enhancing airflow and natural light in the home.
Triple-pane windows offer superior insulation and noise reduction compared to double-pane or single-pane windows, improving energy efficiency and comfort. The wealthy avoid single or double-hung windows in their homes.
Motorized window blinds allow remote control or automated operation, providing convenience and customization for adjusting light and privacy levels.
2×6 Framing for Insulation Between Rooms
Using 2×6 framing allows for thicker insulation between rooms, improving energy efficiency and soundproofing within the home. Consider adding this extra insulating layer around your bedroom or home office, where quiet is often needed.
Motion-Sensor Lights in Cabinets and Closets
Motion-sensor lights in cabinets and closets offer hands-free illumination, enhancing convenience and energy efficiency.
Soundproofing materials and techniques reduce noise transmission between rooms, providing a quieter and more peaceful living environment.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps utilize the earth’s natural temperature to heat and cool a home efficiently, reducing energy costs and environmental impact.
Zoned Climate Control
Zoned climate control allows different areas of the home to have individualized temperature settings, optimizing comfort and energy efficiency.
Dual-zone AC systems provide separate cooling for different areas of the home, allowing customized temperature control and energy savings.
A whole-house humidifier maintains optimal humidity levels throughout the home, enhancing comfort and reducing dryness during colder months.
Scent Diffuser via Air Vents
Scent diffusers integrated into air vents distribute pleasant aromas throughout the home, creating an inviting and refreshing atmosphere.
An air-sealed home prevents drafts and energy loss, ensuring better insulation and improved energy efficiency.
Anti-mold Moisture Barriers
Anti-mold moisture barriers prevent moisture penetration, reducing the risk of mold growth and maintaining a healthier indoor environment.
Exterior Bathroom and Kitchen Ventilation
Proper exterior ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens removes excess moisture and odors, promoting a healthier and more comfortable living space. Most home vents route air to the attic, but rich people try to design their homes so this air is diverted outside.
Small In-Wall Safes
Small in-wall safes offer discreet storage for valuables, jewelry, or important documents, easily blending into the wall for added security. Installed in strategic locations, they provide quick access to essentials while maintaining a sleek and unobtrusive appearance in the home.
Hidden Storage with Trap Door
Hidden storage with a trap door provides a secretive and secure space for storing items out of sight. Cleverly integrated into the flooring or furniture, it offers a discreet solution for safeguarding valuables or creating additional storage without compromising aesthetics.
Safe Room/Panic Room/Shelter
A safe room or panic room serves as a fortified space designed to protect during emergencies, equipped with security features like reinforced walls, communication systems, and supplies. It offers peace of mind and a secure retreat in case of threats or natural disasters, ensuring the safety of everyone inside.
Bifold Patio Door
Bifold patio doors create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, enhancing the sense of openness and allowing abundant natural light into the home. Their folding design maximizes space and provides easy access to outdoor areas, creating an inviting atmosphere for entertainment and relaxation.
Outdoor speakers offer high-quality sound for outdoor entertaining spaces, providing an immersive audio experience for gatherings or relaxation. Strategically placed, they deliver music or audio content to outdoor areas, enhancing the ambiance and entertainment options.
Gas Fire Pits
Gas fire pits provide a cozy and convenient outdoor gathering space, offering warmth and ambiance without the hassle of traditional wood-burning fire pits. They create a focal point for outdoor entertainment, allowing for enjoyable evenings in a comfortable setting.
Attached Walk-in Greenhouse
An attached walk-in greenhouse allows for year-round gardening and plant cultivation, providing a controlled environment for nurturing plants regardless of outdoor weather conditions. It offers a dedicated space for gardening enthusiasts to grow plants, herbs, or flowers, promoting a healthy and vibrant outdoor space.
Functional shutters serve both aesthetic and practical purposes, allowing for light control, privacy, and protection against the elements. They enhance the architectural charm of the home while providing versatility in managing light and airflow. Deter burglars while you’re away from home. Block direct sunlight when it’s not ideal. Shield the inside of your home from hurricane or tornado damage.
Extra Wide Garage with Drain
An extra-wide garage with a drain offers ample space for parking vehicles and additional storage. At the same time, the drainage system helps manage water from heavy rain or snow on cars effectively. It provides convenience and flexibility for uses from parking to hobbies or workshop activities.
A heated driveway prevents snow and ice buildup during winter, ensuring safer access and reducing the need for manual snow removal. This investment provides convenience and safety, maintaining a clear and functional driveway in cold climates.
Exterior Outlets and Hose Bibs on Each Side of the House
Placing exterior outlets and hose bibs on each side of the house provides convenient access to electricity and water for outdoor activities or maintenance from any location. It enhances practicality and flexibility for outdoor tasks, ensuring easy connectivity around the property.
Accessory Dwelling Unit in Backyard
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the backyard offers additional living space, serving as a guest house, rental property, or private retreat. It provides flexibility and potential income while expanding the functionality of the property.