From soaker tubs to upgraded kitchen appliances, here are some elements to elevate your home.

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We talked to luxury home builders and interior designers to see what the most requested features are in today’s ultimate dream home. Whether you’re building, remodelling or still daydreaming about your perfect home, perhaps you’ll find ideas and inspiration from this list of Top 10 features.

First, a Good Location

You could build the finest home in the land, but if you don’t like the community where it is, the dream might go poof.

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“If I was building a dream home the location would be No. 1,” says interior designer Kim Cameron of Creative Home Decorating in Calgary. “I can change the inside of a house, the colours, or add rooms. But I can’t change where it is (without moving).”

Luscious Layout

Who are you and how do you live? Be honest about how you’ll use the space rather than settling for a floor plan where the builder has set the agenda.

“I designed a home for a couple that has a massage room off their bedroom. Even with small renovations, I ask people how they’ll live in the house and that will help figure out where the prime real estate is. Your lifestyle is part of the dream,” says Cameron.

Kitchen Prep Space

Butler’s Pantry, spice kitchen, prep room. Whatever you call it, the kitchen has its own kitchen. The regular kitchen is more of a show piece for entertaining and the prep kitchen acts as a work area and clutter catcher.

“It’s more of a private space to make your mess,” says Melissa Friesen, creative design manager for Crystal Creek Homes.

Danelle Kaspers, founder and president of inner-city luxury builder Treehouse Developments, ranks a prep kitchen, or fancy pantry, the No. 1 thing her customers want in a new home.

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“They want everything out of the kitchen, even the microwave,” she says. This space can include a beverage fridge, quartz countertops and cabinetry that matches the kitchen and designer light fixtures.

Sizzling Appliances

The fancier the appliances in your dream home, the better, says Friesen.

“Many homeowners are not always concerned about the function of their appliances, but they are about how they look in the space. They want a show piece kitchen,” she says.

Traditional stainless steel units are losing their lustre in favour of high-end appliances that boast a pop of colour and multiple metal finishes or accents.

“The range in our Watermark show home is an icy greeny-grey,” she says. “We have seen fridges that have polished details inside with a bit of gold trim. It’s about esthetics.”

Another often requested feature is a custom hood fan, made of metal, tile or wood depending on how it relates to the kitchen cabinetry. “It’s an art piece in the kitchen,” Friesen says.

Treehouse clients want steam ovens in their dream homes says Kaspers.

“They’re fantastic. A brilliant way to cook and reheat items. They’re almost replacing microwaves,” she says.

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Sweet Wine Storage

Out of the cellar and into prime entertaining space, a wine feature is a full-bodied backdrop to parties in luxury dream homes where collectors display their discoveries. In the kitchen of Crystal Creek’s Holden show home in Watermark at Bearspaw, the wine fridge and geometric shelving is contained in a full display “wine cupboard” with glass french doors.

Cleaner Mudrooms

Everyone, not just families, wants a mudroom off the garage or at the back door. It’s a drop zone for everything, from homework to leashes and outdoor gear. But once dropped, homeowners don’t want to see any of it.

“They don’t want to look at the mess. They want doors and at least one drawer for mitts and scarves and things. We’re also doing cubbies for shoes and larger ones for boots,” Kaspers says.

Tubs and Warm Toes

In the primary ensuite, free standing tubs in a variety colours, including basic black, continue to draw attention. Showers keep getting bigger with lots of extra plumbing for multiple shower heads and steam units.

“Our customers will push their budgets to the limit or give up something else in order to have these items,” Friesen says.

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In-floor heating is another must-have feature to make cool tile or marble more comfortable underfoot.

The Bar Upstairs

Wet bars are on tap in the bonus room as entertaining moves to the upstairs living room. Same can be said of the primary bedroom suite where the morning coffee or evening glass of wine can brewed, poured or uncorked in privacy.

“You can pop out onto the balcony with your cup or glass and not even see your kids,” says Friesen.

Shining Light Fixtures

Lighting is another place clients are willing to spend more of their dream home budget than they anticipated.

“It’s the jewellery of the home. It adds bling and wow factor,” says Friesen.

Oversized fixtures featuring mixed metals add drama in larger rooms providing big impact.

Fresh Outdoor Living Spaces

There’s hyper-appreciation for outdoor living space post-COVID, so every luxury build includes an elevated patio and/or deck. Outdoor spaces are at least partially covered, with a built-in barbecue or kitchen area that’s brightly lit and wired for sound.

“The outdoor spaces we’re building have fireplaces and another heat source. People want to extend the season on a nice deck,” says Kaspers.

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