Learning Luxury: Architecture, Design, and Real Estate
As staff working in incredible homes and amongst extremely cultured and well-traveled individuals, it is key to be able to speak their language and understand the experiences they are desiring. With a little bit of creativity, you can easily maintain familiarity with the same brands, travels, and trends your boss experiences and follows without having to pay the price.
If you have recently transitioned to working as a domestic professional or perhaps made a step up into working for a large estate from a large home, do not be afraid to start small and find ways to expose yourself to luxury by avenues that interest you. By starting with topics and experiences you truly enjoy, it will help you be more engaged and retain knowledge.
Speaking from a personal standpoint, one area of luxury I enjoy is architecture, homes, and real estate. As a household manager, this is a great area for me to stay informed with so I can stay current with design trends coming our way. My role as a household manager splits my time between South Florida and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. From a design aspect, these are two of the hottest markets in relation to architecture and real estate. However, each market is vastly different from each other, and even within their respective markets have their own unique factors. For instance, compare Miami to the Florida Keys. Miami design can take cues from a massive art scene and over the top, in your face luxury, while the Florida Keys follows a much more laid-back luxury. If you think about Colorado Rocky Mountain luxury, you instantly think grand log cabin style homes with heavy emphasis on natural elements and dark tones.
As a household manager in South Florida, I like to see what designers and builders introduce to the market from aspects of materials and how they incorporate them into beautiful homes. 80% of Florida’s residents live within 10 miles of the coast, this means we are constantly battling upkeep against the elements such as salt in the air, heavy rain, and hurricanes. This topic is especially important if you work in a home that is oceanfront.
Following realtors in your local area is easier than ever thanks to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. I could spend hours scrolling through pictures and virtual tours of the many incredible properties showcased online. When looking at South Florida properties, I put on my household manager glasses and look at how a property is intentionally designed, especially new construction homes on the waterfront. Look closely at design elements and then imagine a hurricane coming through. Items like outdoor kitchens, pools, lighting fixtures, and exterior art are all thoughtfully placed with nature in mind.
If there are open houses that are open to the public and you are able to go, these are great opportunities for you to expose yourself to luxury at no cost. Do not be shy, and openly introduce yourself to the realtor as a household manager, estate manager, head housekeeper, personal assistant, etc. Be forthright in your agenda, let them know that while you are not here as a prospective buyer, you work in a similar level of property and want to know who the real estate players are and keep abreast of the current properties in your area. Your appearance should be professional and well groomed, even make sure your car is clean and you act appropriately throughout your tour. As you continue growing within exclusive communities, you will quickly learn, they are very small, and everyone knows everyone.
Always be on the look-out for home shows and garden tours. These are regularly put on by various organizations, usually with a goal of raising funds. This is a spectacular opportunity to go beyond the gates and help charity at the same time. You might also be surprised at the various properties that are opened up to the public in the name of charity. If you do not live in the same community you work in, look for various Facebook groups that you can join and get on the mailing list for places like botanical centers, art museums, and local charities.
As always, a great way to stay up to date is by subscribing to magazines and email newsletters. Set up a separate email account for these subscriptions to keep your personal inbox clean and allow for you to focus solely on these emails when you decide to sit down and go through them. Chances are, your boss also receives publications regularly that would be valuable for you to read. If you see them in the recycle or they give you to discard, ask if you may take it home to read so you can stay informed on the latest trends, any good boss will respect and note your interest to go above and beyond. What better way to see what they are reading, than reading the exact same thing?
Stay tuned for more topics on finding unique ways of exposing yourself to luxury, travel, and culture that your bosses experience on a daily basis. Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency is committed to their clients and candidates beyond just making the match. We understand the importance of life-long relationships in order to best serve you with all of your domestic staffing needs including estate managers, household managers, personal assistants, and beyond.