By Steve Bangs, Managing Director of London & South East
Situated in contrasting corners of the property industry, our brand portfolio consists of both modern open-market London developments, as well as luxury later living communities: an unlikely combination until you respect the universally transformative impact of calling somewhere home. When that idea is grasped, home design, however niche or juxtapositional the sector you operate within, becomes more about people as a collective, rather than tunnel-visioning demographic stigmas. It’s this essence, this sentiment that sets Lifestory apart, redefining what it means for property to be contemporary, fashionable even, by integrating a deep rooted understanding of our customers when designing their home. Regardless of age, prospective buyers or tenants trust us ultimately with their future; their future experience of home, their future memories to be made within the communities we create. It all starts with design.
Needless to say, the world changed in 2020. Among many of the adaptations that we each made to our lives, we all revisited and reflected upon the spaces we call home. Perhaps we had always lived there, but never experienced the flexible extent of what a ‘home’ can offer. In a time that isolated us, we were joined in the search for escapism within our small spaces, as safe havens and workplaces and gym studios. Different areas of our apartments and houses became reflective of the different areas of our lives, bespoke to our own routines and lifestyles. Residential property can easily fall victim to a tickbox approach depending on functional attributes of a person, specifically age and occupation. Against the grain as ever, Lifestory favours the anti-tickbox design process. We take inspiration from the local communities and envision the individual lives of those who will live there and begin to piece together a lifestyle, creating and curating something personal, something tailored to the chapter they’re embarking on. Life happens in the fine details - these fine details are our responsibility to enhance and improve, both functionally and aesthetically.
When comparing the ergonomic features of our open-market and later-living homes, there’s a societal expectation that tailoring an apartment for an older generation will require a design process overhaul. This niche segment of the industry is tarnished by stigma and loosely reflective of encouraged ageism by those in the market, making brash design decisions founded on a plethora of outdated ideology about their customers. The truth is, the prospective buyers or tenants now within the later living sector were the pioneers of style and innovators of high fashion. They wrote the manuscript of dynamic edge and self-expression, experimental design and gave way to eclectic music genres in the 1970s. Those who qualify for our later-living homes can’t be tarred with a stigmatised brush: they inspired the trends we see in our showhomes today, now appreciated by first-time buyers within the Anthology property portfolio. That’s why at first glance, our Anthology and Pegasus homes appear almost interchangeable, designed to enhance all of our homeowners’ lives with contemporary design, simplicity and sophistication. These lifestyle attributes don’t recognise age; they are universal; a Lifestory development.
Instead, subtlety of life-cycle functionality is apparent in the nuanced detail within the different communities’ specifications. Our later-living homes are built with flexibility of life in mind, adaptable in years to come to ensure our homeowners can grow with their Lifestory homes, within their Lifestory homes. In years to come, any necessary changes were pre-planned, our buildings were created with an organic mindset: we considered our peoples’ lives from the outset. It all starts with design.