Do you know where to buy the best diamonds?

Diamonds

Diamond is the jewelry piece par excellence, a whim that only few are able to resist. How many times have you stared at its beauty in shop windows? But when you have to decide what diamonds you are going to buy, you can’t get along with just anything. These jewels are going to be with you forever and you shouldn’t purchase them hastily.

Before leaving you the list with the best places to buy diamonds, we can’t miss the opportunity to offer you a few tips that should be taken into account before make the decision.  Pay attention!

Diamond Cut: The diamond cut is the most important element to consider when buying a diamond. Depending on the size of the piece, its sparkle will be greater or lesser. Besides, a small diamond may appear dull, so we recommend you always to choose the biggest diamond cut for your budget allowance.

Diamond color: Maybe you have never thought about the importance of diamond color, because actually they are colorless. But this is exactly the key. The less noticeable a diamond is the more qualified they’ll be. If we notice a yellowish tone, it would be better to ask for a different piece.

Diamond Clarity: This refers to its purity, its imperfections on the surface and internally too. This is the least important factor when choosing a diamond, as usually, we don’t appreciate these superfluous and internal mistakes to the naked eye because they are microscopic. Albeit, we should take these mistakes into account too.

Diamond Carat Weight: This may be the best known feature of a diamond. Sometimes we confused it with its size but, actually, when we speak of carats we refer to its weight. In any case, both are related and we can’t buy a good diamond without keeping this in mind. For example, a larger carat diamond with a poor size may look smaller than a smaller diamond which weight is greater.

In addition to these characteristics that make up the 4 C of a diamond (cut, color, clarity and carat weight) it is necessary to keep also in mind the form and know if it has a certificate from a gemological institute.

Once we keep all these tips in mind, we can go to the best places to buy diamonds:

Graff Diamonds

This is, possibly, one of the most important diamond firms in the world.  The English Laurence Graff  founded it in 1960 and since that date it has never decreased in terms of quality and excellence. It’s especially famous for having rare and beautiful diamonds (and even new discoveries of great value). Among its diamonds stand out: the Wittelsbach-Graff, the Pink Graff, the Delaire Sunrise, the Lesotho Promise, the Graff Sweethearts, the Perfection and the Graff Constellation.

Diamonds

Harry Winston:

The founder of this well-known New York firm is considered one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world and even he is called “the king of diamonds”. He started working at his father’s workshop until he finally opened his own jewelry store in 1932. His innovative, elegant and timeless designs always make these diamonds to be fashionable.

Diamonds

Cartier:

Although we also know it to be a watch factory, their diamonds also possess great quality. Louis-François Cartier founded it in 1847, even before the previous ones. His pieces are characterized by having their own personality, being excellent, delicate and unique. It is one of the firms par excellence of celebrities and royalty and they are known as “the jewelers of the kings”. One of its most renowned jewels is the “Panther of Cartier”, which is usually a panther-shaped brooch covered with diamonds and others jewels and metals.

Diamonds

Tiffany & Co:

Nowadays, everyone knows the name like this but it wasn’t the primitive one. This New York jewelry, opened for the first time in 1837 with the name of stationery and fancy goods emporium. Now with the name of Tiffany & Co. Currently it is, almost certainly, the most famous diamonds shop. In front of its shop windows Holly Golightly, the character of the legendary Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, used to have breakfast. This is because it’s worth to contemplate its jewels. During its history the firm has been concerned with diamonds as a main piece in its works and, as pioneers in Art Nouveau, they have always opted for avant-garde designs. Among their pieces, Diamonds for engagement rings are the most prominent.

Diamonds

Amberes, the city of diamonds:

In addition to these luxury brands, if you are a true lover of diamonds, you should visit at least once, the biggest diamond shopping mall in the world. It is located in the Belgian city of Amberes. The diamond district has only four streets (Pelikaanstraat, Schupstraat, Hoveniers and Rijfstraat) but it brings together many merchants who even offer tours to show how their job works.

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction

 

The top 10 most prestigious Spanish marinas

marina

Having your own mooring and enjoying summer at a luxury marina is something unmissable for nautical world lovers.The feeling of waking up on holidays and knowing that you’re going to spend the day in your own vessel  on the high seas with your family and friends is not something everyone can afford .

However, we also know that having a boat not only brings the cost of mooring and fuel. For low season it’s usual (and recommended, as a saving measure and in the case that your vessel bottom isn’t made of wood and derivative materials) to save your ship until the next summer period.

For these reasons, and because many navigators dont’t live near port areas it is common to rent yachts and sailboats, and so to avoid all the possible inconveniences that implies having them in property.

Spain has been for some time now a world class destination for the entire European and global jet set. So much that having a mooring in destinations like Ibiza or Marbella has become more a matter of power than a real love for the pirate life.

And the last report of Engel & Völkers Yachting of June 2018 about the most expensive marinas in Europe proves this. For boats of more than 55 meters in length, Ibiza Magna has placed this year in the first most expensive marina to moor your boat. The daily cost has gone from 3,025 € in 2017 to 4,000 € in 2018. Puerto Banús maintains its price in comparison with the previous year 2,068 € and keeps in the 6th position.

marina

Then, here you have a break down of each Spanish marina. This is our list of the 10 most prestigious marinas.

Ibiza Magna

The marina of Ibiza Magna offers unparalleled services for its users. From the exclusive atmosphere of the Port of Ibiza, the connection with the marinas of Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca is very close. A perfect location for what is probably the most wanted luxury holiday destination in our country.

Puerto Banús:

Few marinas are like this. If you go for a walk along Marbella promenade you will arrive at the most exclusive area of ​​the town. On the street that runs the port you can see the best luxury shops and high-quality cars in the world. Besides, you can find the most spectacular yachts of the Costa del Sol in its moorings.

Marina Port Vell:

It is located in the heart of Barcelona’s marina, ​​and is the most qualified place to receive super luxury yachts. From there you can enjoy of your boat, sail to the Islas Baleares and go back on the same day. For this reason, this is the best option to live the summer between Barcelona and Mallorca.

Marina Port Palma:

It is a private marina recently renovated in 2017. In its facilities you can feel the exclusivity that gives you a place with restricted access and surveillance for 24 hours. It has its own waste cleaning service and availability of any nautical service à la carte.

marina

Marina Puerto Portals:

Located in the Bahía de Palma, it is one of the most prestigious ports in the Mediterranean. Besides, It has an exclusive shopping area with a good leisure offer: restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, nautical companies, jewelers, perfumeries and even real estate agencies.

Club Náutico Punta Lagoa:

In Vigo, we can find the Club Náutico Punta Lagoa with several luxury facilities and professional nautical services. The natural environment in which it is located makes the trips along the estuary even more special. It offers sailing lessons for all ages, participation in regattas, technical training and also night sailing.

Puerto Calero Lanzarote:

We find this marina surrounded by volcanic nature. It has modern and high level facilities and the possibilty of connecting to Internet, it counts on a travel lift of 100 tn too. Besides it offers an own weather report service.

Real Club Marítimo del Abra:

It is placed near Las Arenas, in Vizcaya. Here you can enjoy perfect social and sports facilities. It is not only possible to go to the sailing school but also it has a pool and a SPA, a games room, a gym, a sauna, some restaurants and an endless number of luxuries.

Marina Isla Canela:

Surrounded by exclusive hotels where you can stay, this marina is located in Ayamonte, Huelva. It has one of the most modern facilities designed to give a complete service to navigators and their boats.

Sotogrande:

It is placed in the heart of the Strait of Gibraltar, Cádiz. In this marina you can take a boat tour through its famous canals and participate in competitions. In addition, it has privileged facilities for naval enjoyment where it is possible to ride a watercraft, practice diving and go to the gym, among other activities.

marina

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

Find the most exclusive men’s fashion stores

men’s fashion shops

If you love the most exclusive fashion, we’re about to show you these men’s fashion shops in Spain, which will make of your outfit a trend. You can’t miss any of them, get ready because we are going for a walk and  you’ll be struggling home with bags of heavy shopping.

Salvatore Ferragamo

The first of these men’s fashion shops that we are going to talk about is Salvatore Ferragamo. There’s a new location for this brand in Madrid. At Serrano Streer, inside a two-storey building and 321m2. We’ll find the new collection created by its  French art director, Guillaume Mailland. It shares velvet and marble with the women area, so you can bring good company.

Hence

Secondly, there is it’s a two-storey shop with attractive lighting. It’s a new Spanish design brand featured by minimalism, high quality and eco conciousness.

They sell natural fabric suits for 300 euros and there are t-shirts for 30 euros.

Komono

If you want to wear some of the most fashionable sunglasses, you have to walk by the new Komono shop in Barcelona and you’ll find the most exclusive and original designs of the market.

Carrer de Bonavista, 23 (Barcelona)

Loreak

It recently reopened one of the grooviest shops at Malasaña niehgbourhood. The Basque brand strenghten its image with this location at Santa Bárbara, close to Fuencarral, where you’ll discover it’s new polo shirts, shirts and t-shirts, apart from the mythical raincoats, or their bag-chutes to go to the beach.

Bottega Veneta

It’s placed at the capital and its art director, Tomas Maier, says: “This city is made of historical beauty and it radiates modernity and elegance at the same time.”  Bottega Venetta’s prêt-à-porter collections, bags, small leather items, shoes and accessories have a place in the new are of the city. It’s an Italian fashion house founded in 1966. It specialised inskins and leathers, jewelry, cosmetics, perfumes, and decoration accessories. Since September 2012, it has started to distribute a furniture business line.

men’s fashion shops

Dockers

We can find it at the most beaten street of Madrid, at the beginning of Fuencarral, where you’ll find their renowned khakhis, with new designs and colours. The indispensable of this season are the new Dockers Smart 360 Flex.

D’S Damat

They’re opening the first European flagship signature, which turns to be the operations centre of the Istanbul brand. You can find everything a man needs at any situation, a casual style for daily life and dress up for great events.

You can’t leave without trying on the Travel suits collection, which avoid creases, or Nanocare shirts which repel liquids.

Uniqlo

It’s arrived to Spain as the opening of the year, and it has settled in a modernist mansion in the heart of Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona. It’s a building at l’Eixample with more than 1800 squared metres. This is the new design home of the most famous Japanese brand at international level, bases of a high-qualified minimalist design. They’ve made great collaborations, as the autumn-winter collection by J.W. Anderson is, which has already been a success. They say it’s the Japanese Zara…

Oliver Peoples

From  West Hollywood arrives to Madrid the cinema stars’ sunglasses brand with a vintage aesthetic. It presents a very diverse collection of glasses and sunglasses for men and women. Besides, it collaborates  with exclusive companies such as The Row.

It was founded in Los Angeles in 1987, Oliver Peoples company is specialized in Premium glasses for both men and women. Although it counts on a settled presence at multi-brand channel, the signature has knitted a retail network focused on the United States.

Macson

The Catalonian brand has celebrated this year its 75th anniversary as one of the leaders in national fashion. It’s all started as a small shirts workshop but currently it has over 70 shops and they provide RCDE Espanyol with their football kit for this season. Macson is a family firm and its foundation was in 1942 in Barcelona. Its speciality, at the beginning, was the art of shirts’ manufacturing.

The brand has been evolving and it has positioned as leader in fashion to wear a man with everything he needs.

Carrer de les Parellades, 3 (Sitges)

Suitsupply

It was born in 2000 guided by Fokke de Jong, this label already has shops at the five continents and finally is arriving to Spain with it first shop in Madrid.

C/ Villanueva, 20 (Madrid)

Abanuc

For men who are looking for a different style, not only at the time of suiting up. In this ‘perfume library’ you’ll find exclusive brands as Diptyque, the Swedish Byredo or the Austrian Sa.al&Co. You’ll be able to find it in this address:

Plaza de las Salesas, 10
28004 Madrid

But, do you want to know which is the most expensive of all  men’s fashion shops in the world?

It’s located at the most exclusive area of Beverly Hills, in Los Angeles. Their customers spend on average 100.000 dollars everytime they visit it. They say that it the most luxurious men’s fashion shop in the world.

men’s fashion shops

The House of Bijan counts on marble floors, fine carpentry and a cristal chandelier to embellish the shop with excellence and exclusivity. The Iranian fashion and perfume designer Bijan Pakzad founded the store. Some pair of socks could be over 90€, and some of the suites are over 20.000€.

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us to iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

 

 

The best rated watch brands

Watch brands
The use of watches started at the beginning of the 19th century. The watch brands began to work at Swiss manufacturing plants and they made the first wristwatches for female audience.For men’s world, the trend was set on pocket watches. And that’s why even today men’s shirts  still have a pocket on the left side at chest height.

The equal preference for watches from both genders began to settle during the I World War. Commanders started to expand its use due to the comfort that supposed just the simply gesture of looking at the wrist.

Nowadays, those times are far behind. Watches have been adding features beyond telling the time. These include working as a fashion and luxury complement. And watch brands know it.

If we think about it, it is more than likely that each of us has more than a watch in our stock. We use some of them for our daily routine, others only for practicing sport, others for a special event and others for significant dates.

Over the past 10 years the average expenditure is three times higher than before. And on average, each person has at least 3 watches. Watch brands are actually selling personal branding. They give us their style and they lend us the values with which we are going to be indentified when someone sees our watch. Besides, they describe us with just looking at our wrist.

Watch brands

Before giving you the list with the best valued watch brands by horology lovers, we personally recommend two YouTube accounts.

With both of them you can be informed of the world of watches.

The first we have is NicolsTV. It belongs to a passionate jeweller about the world of watches. The contents of his channel are reviews of new watch models. He also shows in his videos tips for watches maintenance, events that he attends and trips around the world of watchmaking. He has almost 13.000 subscribers in his channel.

The second is Santiago Tejedor. Santiago is the creator and the person behind the blog that is the benchmark in Spanish watchmaking: ‘Horas y minutos’. He dedicates the channel almost fully to analyze the latest watches of the market weekly. And to the optimization of their features too. His videos are very well segmented: women’s watches, informal watches, submersible watches, suit up watches, chronographs, etc

Now, let’s give you the list of best rated watch brands by users:

Audemars Piguet

The story of Audemars Piguet begins in 1875 in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, north of the city of Geneva and the cradle of high-end Swiss watchmaking. The watchmakers of Audemars Piguet have gone beyond all the technical and theoretical limits of their trade to create more and more demanding mechanism. They are artistic excellence and technical expertise.

Breitling

Léon Breitling was a virtuous watchmaker who handcrafted not only watches but also incredible pieces in his workshop located in St. Imier. In a short time, his skills implementing innovative features for pocket watches made him earn a formidable reputation, from 1884 until today.

Rolex

Since 1905, Rolex watches have been the most well-known luxury watches of the world. They were created from the best raw materials and assembled with scrupulous attention to detail. Each part of them is designed, developed and made in their workshops.  They implemented the most stringent standards of quality and origin. Each Rolex has a story to tell.

Watch brands

Seiko

The story of Seiko started in 1881 when a 22-year-old young entrepreneur Kintaro Hattori opened a sales and reparations watches shop in Tokyo. Currently, and after more than 130 years of innovation, Hattori’s company is still focus on the perfection that its founder always tried to achieve.

 Panerai

Its founder Giovanni Panerai opened his own watchmaking workshop in the Ponte alle Grazie (Florence). In this local that now works as shop and workshop and it is the first watchmaking school of the city too, starts the story of Officine Panerai.

Panerai was the first company to request the patent of the Radiomir, a dust obtained from the Radio which brings luminescence to watch pieces. As a supplier of material to the Italian Navy, they used it for divers.

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us to mailto:iluxenio@iluxenio.com.

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

Are you looking for stock market books?The best economists will get you back on track

stock market books

Most of those who start at stock exchange investment, usually learn by failing over and over again. So,  if you’d like to start at investing in the stock market, we recommend to read some of these stock market books.

They’ll lead you to understand properly the stock market functioning and acquire a global vision. The most important thing about these stock market books is that could save lots of money.

Firstly, recommended books to learn how to invest in stock market for dummies:

The Intelligent Investor

One Up on Wall Street

Most Important Thing Illuminated

El pequeño gran libro del Value Investing

  • Authors: Carlos Bellas Sánchez andVladyslav Marcos Nagay
  • Overview:  It’s about the reviews of some of the most important investors’ works and styles of the history. It’s originally written in Spanish, hence with a lots of examples of Spanish companies.
  • SpanishEl pequeño gran libro del Value Investing

Secondly, recommended books for intermediate and advanced investors:

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

The Little Book That Builds Wealth

The Little Book That Still Beats the Market

stock market books

Beating the Street

  • Author: Peter Lynch
  • Overview: It’s recommended to understand how this investor made decisions. It isn’t translated yet.
  • English: Beating The Street

Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and beyond

Thirdly, recommended books about analysis and companies valuation:

 Security Analysis

  • Authors: Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
  • Overview:  Another book you must have in your library.
  • SpanishSecurity Analysis

Investment Valuation

  • Author: Aswath Damodaran
  • Overview: Investment Valuation is rather an international reference book for any financial asset valuation. Also it’s not recommended for amateurs.
  • SpanishInvestment Valuation

Competitive Strategy

  • Author: Michael Porter
  • Overview:  Certainly, it’s the international reference book about competitive analysis, written by Harvard’s professor Michael Porter. It helps to analyze if the company counts or not with competitive advantages.
  • SpanishEstrategia competitiva
  • English: Competitive Strategy

Competition Demystified

  • Author: Bruce Greenwald
  • Overview: Above all,  a book which gives a twist to competitive analysis and helps to understand which factors could be considered as competitive advantage and which could not. It’s a great complement to read after “Competitive Strategy” from Michael Porter. It isn’t available in Spanish yet.
  • English: Competition Demystified

Fourthly, recommended books for personal finances:

Alicia en Wall Street

  • Author: Luis Allue Bellosta
  • Overview:  A great book about personal finances which also contains basic education on value investing.
  • SpanishAlicia en Wall Street

The Millionaire Next Door

Fifthly, recommended economy books to learn how to invest in the market:

Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles

Irrational Exuberance

  • Author: Robert Shiller
  • Overview:  An historical book by this Nobel awarded professor in 2.013, in which he analyses and forescasts the stock bubble during dotcom era.
  • SpanishExuberancia Irracional
  • English: Irrational Exuberance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Finally, we hope these recommended stock market books may be helpful for you!

 

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us to iluxenio@iluxenio.com.

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

Wine tasting to enjoy in Spain

wine tasting

If you are a wine tourism lover, you may discover some of the best wine tours in Spain and participate in a great wine tasting. There is nothing more pleasant than enjoying wine in its place of origin, surrounded by beautiful vineyards. They say that drinking wine is one of the most fulfilling experiences for our senses. It stimulates our eyesight, our sense of smell and we can also feel its temperature.

Wine tasting is a special activity. Today we suggest you six of the best routes to live the experience in Spain.

Our country is rich in natural landscapes and, of course, in wines. We can go to different tastings all over Spain from Galician Atlantic area, where it’s in vogue Albariño and later, throughout Jerez, La Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Penedés. Let’s start the trip:

Wine route in Ribera del Duero.

The first winery let us know red wines made, mainly, with a grape’s variety called Tempranillo. Its name is Pago de los Capellanes and it’s close to Pedrosa de Duero. The building has a contemporary architecture and 8 centenary walnut trees in its vineyards.

Another interesting place to go is Portia winery which was designed by Norman Foster. He created an architectural complex where you can find an art exhibition space. To continue, we suggest to visit Protos wine cellar. The building, with a century-old tradition, was designed by Richard Rogers. It is placed in Valladolid and it’s well-known because of its famous Crianza wines. Those are always fourteen month aging in oak barreld and twelve more months in a bottle. After all of this work, they acquire a red tone similar to cherry and grenade.  To finish this part of the trip in Ribera del Duero, we should go to Comenge wineries and know their innovative process of wine-making.

Price of tastings: from 35 to 55 €.

Rías Baixas

Rías Baixas Designation of Origin called Albariño is all the rage among foreigner consumers. Although it produces some red wines, we must focus on white wine from Albariño grape but also on Loureira and Treixadaura. Our wine tasting starts at Pazo Baló that has six centuries of history.  Here we will find the winery where the fist Albariño was produced: Palacio de Fefiñanes. Another precious point to try this kind of wine is Granbazán winery, located at a restored palace. It has world-class wines. Our path ends at Pazo Quintero da Cruz, a neoclassic house in Galicia which is home of a big camellia garden.

Price of tastings: from 39 to 44 €.

Tenerife

Volcanic lands and Canarian weather provide with a very special flavour to their products. The winery Valle de Güímar produces white, red, Rosé and sparkling wines. On the North coast of the island is worth visiting Monje winery, famous because of the underwater aging process. To keep on this route we’ll get into Valle de La Orotava. In this place we will find Tajinaste winery that make white, Rosé and red wine. The last one will be Viñátigo winery, recognized for their environment awareness.

Price of tastings: around 39€.

La Rioja, this is the safest bet.

The most well-know Designation in Spain is notable for wines which are fresh, aromatic, and balanced. Besides they have a fabulous bouquet.

Although it is known for their red wines (Tempranillo, Gamacha and Mazuelo) it is also stands out for their excellent white varieties like Viura or Malvasía. The wine tasting route starts this time in Haro, a perfect village for those who love these drinks. They will find the largest area of vineyard of Haro, the Bilbainas wineries. Here they are too the Marqués de Riscal winery, famous for their luxury hotel designed by Frank Gehry. The Ysios winery, located at the foot of Sierra de Cantabria also has a beautiful design. The end of this architectural and wine tour is the Viña Real wine cellar in Laguardia. Where they prepare amazing rosé, red and white wine here.

Price of tastings: 52 €.

Jerez, an essential place for tasting wines

Cádiz is the most distinguished wine zone due to their liqueur wines (finos and manzanillas), their sweet wine (Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel) and other types of liquor. They are all produced with white grapes like Palomino, Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel.

We must visit Lastau wineries in Jerez de la Frontera whose wine called Jerez was named the best Sherry in the world in 2013. Also in this city we find Tío Pepe wineries (Byass winery, award for best winery in the world). This visit allows us to know how the elaboration of their Brandya and their wines. From Jerez we will go to El Puerto de Santa María to discover Caballero winery and taste of up to 5 different wines. Finally, our route will guide us to the popular Sanlúcar de Barrameda where it is possible to visit the Manzanilla Museum and the Barbadillo wineries, experienced in Manzanilla.

Price of tastings: from 50 to 75 €.

Penedés.

Penedés offers you the opportunity of know fantastic sparkling Catalonian wines (cava). For this reason, let’s start near Barcelona and know the old village of Ca N’Estrella, a building constructed in the 19th century. We recommend you to visit the centenarian facilities of Codorníu and its modernist buildings by trying their delicious cavas. We can finish the last wine tasting in the province of Tarragona. The Avgvstvs Forvm winery, at El Vendrell, gives you the possibility of try international prestigious vinegars.

Price of tastings: 45 €.

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us to iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

The search of your design kitchen

kitchen design

The role of the kitchen at home is essential. When we make a reference to the heart of the home, is none other but the kitchen. As such, keeping the kitchen as the most treated part of the home seems to be fundamental. That’s why kitchen design has much to do with how the heart of the home could look like, and how to play it up.

Kitchen design has to proceed on a basis: how  and what for we are using the kitchen.

Firstly, we have to define the key parts of the kitchen, these have been defined in 5 areas by the best kitchen designers:

  • Pantry: the cupboard for provisions and food, and so home appliances to preserve them: fridge, freezer, etc.
  • Warehousing: brooms, mops, pads, vacuums and all the required elements for a good performance.
  • Sink: cleaning are for the own kitchen tools.
  • Preparation: reserved space for worktops, lunch tables and generally working in the kitchen.
  • Cooking: kitchen tools with a high electricity consumption and dedicated to the food elaboration, the basic fuction of the kitchen.

kitchen design

These 5 areas in a well-designed kitchen, perfectly complement and don’t generate any space or use problems while working simultaneously. Yo can reach an efficient use of the kitchen. Also, we have to recall that 3 of these 5 areas are fundamental for kitchens with urgent needs of space. And these are: Preparation, cooking and sink.

To design and build properly your kitchen requires of a measuring precise work. And also, of a perfect unison between the architect and the furniture designer, especially if it’s about a new construction.

That’s why we want to give some unfailing advices so your kitchen design becomes a resounding success:

  • Knowing the room you’re working at: apart from checking the previous conditions of it, in order to solve moisture problems or ventilation issues, to buy the right sized furniture for our kitchen.
  • Stay within the budget: if we dont’ want to exceed our initial budget with last-minute details, we have to keep an expenditure control in order to meet what we first thought.
  • The triangle of work: preparation, cooking and sink will guide the first line of functionality in our new kitchen.
  • Define you style: the designer is an expert, and normally respects your tastes and help you to define your idea.
  • Security: if we have childen or pets at home, we have to avoid dangerous shapes at low parts of furnitures which could damage to the little ones. Also, regarding ventilation and closures, we have to check that the kitchen meets security and energy efficiency standards.

kitchen design

But we know our brand new kitchen would look better if we could represent it off-plan without the need of turning to a professional. That’s why nowadays we have at the market some free apps to help you to represent your future kitchen.

Here we leave list with 10 websites for kitchen design:

Floor Planner

In order to create and share interactive plans on line. With Floorplanner you can recreate your home, garden or office in just two clicks. And you can also add furniture to your plans with its great object library.

IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner

Looking for an improvement at user experience, IKEA created this tool. Like this, each customer becomes his/her own kitchen designer. And once you have your design done you can print it at home or take it to the shop and start your home’s assembly!

Homestyler

This is one of the most popular and used interior design softwares. It offers an specific module for the kitchen, finishings with 3D and it has an app for your Smartphone.

Lowe’s Virtual Kitchen Designer

It offers three-dimensional and renderings designs. It isn’t easy to use, but the finishings for a free app, are more than good.

RoomToDo Software

It’s another webpage with mobile version. It has a very good approval among individuals and interior designers. It has very complete design options.

Planner5D

This one meets its functions perfectly well. Although it’s a bit limited for kitchen design itself. It’s more responsive with desktop version.

Home Hardware Kitchen Design Software

The best thing about this tool is that it offers prepared templates for editing. But you can also start your design from zero.

Backsplash and Cabinet Design Software

This is the best prepared tool for cooktops and furniture designs, and it counts on a powerful range of colours.

Home Stratosphere’s Interior Design Software

It’s a tool which, personally, is particularly very difficult to use at mobile version. You can use it to design the whole home, but it has a speacial model for the kitchen

Roomstyler

For 3D online kitchen designs. It has such a level of detail that you can even add kitchen tools.

Finally, don’t forget that in iLuxenio, we have plenty of experience at remodelling with the best architects of the market, to help you with one part of the home as the kitchen is, or for several. Giving special relevance to design exclusivity and energy efficiency.

 

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us to iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

 

 

Privileges of living in Sotogrande

Sotogrande

Since its origins in the 60s, Sotogrande has incredibly grown. It started with 50 mansions, but now there are about 5000. In all this time, its essence hasn’t changed. The urbanisation is much more than that; it is a sign of luxury without ostentation.

Dream villas, beaches, the sports facilities for the jet set … make of this option a perfect place where you can enjoy peace and privacy. All of this is framed in an unique natural area and an excellent weather to enjoy of calm and privacy. Besides, it has an exclusive leisure offer that has nothing to envy to the popular social life of Marbella.

Though the number of residents is far from the total amount of tourists who temporarily go to Sotogrande, the truth is people are deciding to stay. Nowadays, the sum of habitants rises up to 3.000, among them Spanish and foreigners. It’s a special destination for this last group due to its proximity Gibraltar’s airport. Belgians and French lead the ranking of Europeans who live in the area and that is now already open to the Russian market.

Why is it a wonderful place to settle in?

Sport facilities:

If you can’t live without practicing sport, the excellence of its five golf links will surprise you.  The Real Club Valderrama is the best of Spain and it is even considered the number one in the world. But if we talk about sport, the king is certainly Polo. We won’t find another place in Spain where it is widely practiced. Here, it’s rare not to find English high-class tourism or professional Argentinean players. The International Land Rover Tournament is the most important event of the year.

The charm of its beaches:

The largest beach, which shares the name with the residential area, is next to the mouth of the Guadiaro River. It has a length of 5,450 meters. Its dark sand and fantastic views of the Rock of Gibraltar create a peculiar landscape. Another option is the Torreguadiaro Beach where you can participate in sport and cultural outdoor activities frequently. But if you are looking for a unspoilt place, you should visit El Cabrero o Cala Sardina beaches.

Luxury homes:

If we have to mention something particular about the zone, it’s the millionaire villas and apartments that we can find along this place. Here you will discover VIP houses with thousands of m2, sea views, heated swimming pools and all kinds of pleasures. So its residents will delight in many comforts as possible. But if you are not thinking about staying for a long time, you’ll find stunning hotels with spacious suites and spas.

A select gastronomy:

As it’splaced by the sea, Sotogrande offers you the opportunity to go to clubs by the beachfront whenever you want. The Cucurucho has always been a usual point for visitors. Now it is called the Beach Club Trocadero and it has two restaurants with an unique decoration. One of them specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and the other one it’s an Asian establishment which only opens in summer. The Octógono and its restaurant Ovo are located next to the beach too. It has an exclusive gourmet proposal and it’s excellent for celebrating events. Torreguadiaro zone is known for Trasmallo de Agustino and Chiringuito de Carrero.

The port area:

In the heart of the Strait of Gibraltar we find an irresistible attraction. It is Sotogrande Marina, which is one of the most beautiful of the Spanish coast. You can take a boat tour through its famous canals and participate in competitions but you can take it easy too and simply enjoy. In addition, it has privileged facilities for naval enjoyment where it is possible to ride a watercraft, practice diving and go to the gym. Besides you can go to the nautical store and it also has fuel pumps. The port has more than 1300 berths between 6 and 70 meters in length.

Forest and sun:

But, what would be about all of these comforts if we couldn’t enjoy them in an exceptional natural environment? The green areas and the wooded landscapes contribute to the relaxation and disconnection of big cities where pollution is very present. The mouth of the Guadiaro is a natural reserve where it is possible to see a large number of birds. Dolphins are frequent at its beaches. The Andalusian weather offers mild winters and a lot of sunny hours per year. Few places can boast about it.

Here runs calm without leaving apart leisure. A place that isn’t only perfect to socialize but also to disconnect.

Many of those who visit Sotogrande decide to stay, are you going to be the next to experience in first person such incredible privileges?

Sign up to iLuxenio and build your dream home to live in Sotogrande.

 

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

How much is your dream home?

dream home

You may already have the land where you want to build your dream home, if you’re exactly going through that moment, you may wonder: how much is it going to cost building my dream home? Where should I start from? It would depend on the location, materials’ quality, construction size and the investment we can afford on the infrastructure.

But the purchase of a land doesn’t allow us to build any kind of construction there. Before deciding to buy a property, we should read each community and town legislation, which is available at each town office.

We have to check the laws in terms of buildability and land-use, these characteristics are defined at each town or city’s legislation. The buildability of a land is the percentage over the whole surface in which we can build. And land-use is referred to the quantity of metres we can use in the field.

It’s important to check construction’s legislation in the place we’re going to build too. So it’s advisable to ask for help to a technician in order to understand the field’s construction legislation, as these laws can change even if the fields are in the same town, changes such as colours, materials, the number of floors and the exterior appearance.

Once you have chosen the field, we go to the project’s draft order. This is the stage when your dream home is designed and details are decided to make your project a reality. This is the longest stage of the process. Approximately, to have a final project it could last from 2 to 4 months depending on the size of the house.

The next step after having the project and the building permit would be to find the construction company, which is one of the most important factors for building your dream home.

You choose the price, as you tell the architect how we want our home to be and its qualities. It’s important to know the construction company’s reliability. Their team capacity and their commitment to finish the work at the proper time. The home style would depend on the customer’s preferences, classic, colonial, rustic, modern, minimalist… although we can find some of them in the same home. Materials are another factor to consider, and the façade’s design which is the first overview you receive from the work.

dream home

Other technical aspects to take into account are:

Making a topographic study.

For the foundations we have to know how the soil is and where is it. Those data are provided by the geotechnical study.

And on the other hand, the building engineer or technical architect, as this figure will be in charge of the correct work execution and will entrust himself with accomplishing the expected budget.

The periods are the following :

  • Project: between 2 and 4 months.
  • Visado colegio de arquitectos: 1 week.
  • Local permits: normally, local towns give you and answer between 1 or 2 months.
  • Work construction: with industrialised systems between 4 and 6 months. With concrete structure 8-12 months.

Another point which could be interesting for us is the funding and its requirements:

For these projects, banking institutions make available for us what we know as self-build loans, an installments kind of funding, the bank transfers the amount as the work advances. Before thinking of borrowing this loan, we have to have in mind three previous conditions:

  • Being the actual owner of the field in which we’re gping to build the home, it must be duly registered at Property Registration office.
  • Having a construction project from an architect and endorsed by theCollege of Architects.
  • Getting a building permit from the municipality where the home is.

 

These documents are submitted with the loan request. And the bank institution would review the operation’s financial viability and the needed quantity. Afterward, the interest rate to apply and the loan’s installments, which is usually a maximum of 30 years, although this depends on each bank.

About the loan’s installments:

Generally, the loaned money is from 80% to 85% of the final cost, but the bank doesn’t give the money in one go. The bank makes a first disposal, to allow the works to begin and which is a quantity between 40% and 50% of the total loan quantity. Immediately, construction stages are set up, so the bank checks the project is advancing as expected. And so after each stage we receive a new quantity of money until completing the loan’s entirety.

With these advices we don’t pretend you to follow all of them. But to help you making clear what is really needed.

 

For further information about this subject don’t hesitate to contact us iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable construction.

The best sustainable villas in the world

sustainable villas

On today’s post we’re telling you about some of the essential elements which define iLuxenio’s activity. Our subject is not other but the construction of sustainable villas.

After reading this post, you’ll know what actually means a sustainable home, which elements are them composed of. As well as the reasons of the customers to choose this kind of construction. Finally, after explaining you the current scenario for these, we’ll leave you a list with the best sustainable villas in the world.

A sustainable home is that which bases its performance and construction on sustainability principles. This will imply a clean energy consumption and even energy self-sufficiency. We can also talk about homes made of ecological materials, or which performance (apart from coming from clean energy), it doesn’t provoke any impact on the environment.

The main reasons for buyers to go for sustainable villas are:

  • Comfort: living in a sustainable house guarantees you the maximum comfort with nature, although visually it doesn’t seem to be like that. Feeling, breathing and touching a home made of fine materials always make you feel good.
  • Health: inside a sustainable villa, it’s impossible to perceive signs of excessive moisture, lack of ventilation, etc. This would help the increasing number of people who suffer from respiratory diseases. As it avoids allergy problems, asthma, migrain or skin irritations.
  • Savings: the fact that sustainable villas are built in the best conditions, talking about thermal insulation, orientation, or cross ventilation would mean that it’s easier to reach a constant temperature and that it wouldn’t require a greater energy performance for it, due to low-quality enclosures, or an inadequate construction as much as for materials as for home’s orientation. If we really want to have a full sustainable home, we won’t regret about the great advantage it brings at long-term.
  • Regulations: the Technical Building Code (TBC), on its Basic Document of Energy Savings binds all new constructions before December 31st 2020 to be considered as nearly-zero energy.
  • Lifestyle: if you feel yo owe nature, ori f you think you could be more responsible with it. The peak of a healthy lifestyle isn’t only affecting to diet or exercising, but to all the activities we’re daily doing.

How to identify sustainable villas? Which elements make them different?

First of all, the wealth of natural materials.

Sustainable villas are made of fine and local materials, and make use of them for its correct functioning. We talk about locals because of obtaining easily resources. And because these materials are naturally made for adapting to the environment where they’re extracted and where they’re going to be built.

On the other hand, the plants multitude. Those help to mantain a constant temperature and moisture in the home. Apart from it, it’s ideal to use plants which require of very few water resources an those covered with rain collected water.

Secondly, by its design and orientation.

Sustainable villas projected on a plane seem to be perfect bioclimatic architecture works. But on the ground, these could mean a pain in the neck.

On the ground, the correct orientation of the home could be something impossible to get, or the correct functioning of the house not as efficient as expected. The same thing could happen with design, the work execution has to respect and understand the villa’s performance so the inital purpose of the construction doesn’t ruin itself.

Finally, the use of renewable energies and technological elements.

Sustainable villas are match really well with technology, although we apparently match sustainability with natural and ecological. Technology is able to control some certain elements of the villa in order to reach ideal temperature conditions (smart home). And obviously, another differential element would be to see renewable energy devices joined to one of the adjacent parts of the villa.

After knowing these features of sustainable villas, here we leave below some of the best sustainable villas in the world:

sustainable villasYing Yang House by: Brooks+Scarpa

It’s a full efficient villa located at Venice, California. It’s a single-family home which adapts to the needs of a family with children.

sustainable villasZEB Pilot House by: Snøhetta

It’s located in Norway and it’s the perfect example to build rustic sustainable villas.

sustainable villasLa Casa de los Vientos: José Luís Muñoz

It’s a villa located in the province of Cádiz. From its balcony you can watch Sotogrande, the Mediterranean Sea and even the Rock of Gibraltar.

sustainable villasS-House by: KO+KO architects

In this case, the villa not only stands out for its meandering shape with S form. But for being one of the fews which provides itself with geotermal energy.

 

For further information about this and other subjects tyou can leave your comment below or email us to iluxenio@iluxenio.com

iLuxenio, leaders in exclusive and sustainable villas.