Zen and harmony.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Second homes have become the new way for the rich to mix business with pleasure. Watching a documentary about the rich and famous on MTV you might have asked yourself “Why the hell does Ophra Winfrey need 5 homes, can’t all her books fit in one house?”. It’s not that she and other wealthy individuals love the pleasure of having multiple houses as if they are playing Monopoly but more because they want to mix business with pleasure.

Buying a second home if done with calculation and a decent dose of speculation might flip into a profitable investment, and while owning the property it could serve as a hide away. Holiday homes is the new wave luxury vacation for the rich. Instead of spending money on living in expensive hotels dealing stressed out by other tourists and check out times, a second home offer the optimal environment for a busy and tense inner city executive to slow wind. It offers the luxury of freedom to be alone in one building and staying there as long as you please without the getting your credit card charged €700 per night.

Visiting the same holiday house can become an annual boredom which is why business like holiday home clubs have emerged. Pay €250 000 for a fractional ownership in a set of houses located in various places around the world and then an annual fee of €12 000 covering maintenance, insurance, furniture and concierge service. Offering the awesome desirability of choice between multiple homes these clubs are the perfection choice for those leaning more to the pleasure rather than investment. The relief of having someone else maintain the homes with you’re financial risk being minimal result in the supreme way of vacating.

One geographical area overlooked is East Asia. The ancient countries like Japan and China have a long history of simple living in the rural areas. Living according to philosophies revolving around the mind and the elements of earth, countries in the Far East have a rich culture of stress relief. Wake up six in the morning to the sound of the bird pulling you towards the outdoor terrace where you inhale clean and humid air while watching the mist sweeping across the canopy of dense vegetations. Energize your senses with a cup of chocolate mint tea while preparing a warm breakfast made out of freshly grown ingredients from the local market.

BMW have used Zen as inspiration for the new BMW 7-series(F07) which was unveiled last week. The F01 is replacing one of the most debated cars ever, the E65 which marked a new epoch in BMW’s history. With an ugly exterior design and complicated iDrive the E65 was never motor journalist’s favorite huggy bear. Responding to what has been harsh criticism towards iDrive the new 7-Series comes the revised iDrive 2.0 which BMW claim is more intuitive and easier to use than iDrive 1.0.

Unlike the controversial design of the E65 BMW hasn’t gone nuts with the new model but instead taken an evolutionary path of perfecting the areas of the predecessor. The front end of the F01 is highly similar to the E65 with near identical head lights but the new appearance is harmonizing and more mature rather than experimental. Some of the clientèle for cars like the Mercedes S-class, Audi A8, Lexus LS are men of discretion who will be very pleased by the slender and elegant design of the F01.

Dominated by huge tail lights the rear end has zero offensiveness about it and is less horrific than the predecessor and BMW 6-Series featuring the very famous “bangle-but”. The modern but tones down lines continues in the interior that has traditional cockpit with a T-shaped layout of wood panels scattered with high quality German buttons down the middle console. Much of the messy and imperfect lines and design cues of the predecessor have been ironed out and smeared with grace giving a sense of tranquility with few visual distractions. Although the design is appealing it runs the risk of looking boring next year when the S-Class receives a facelift and the new Audi A8 enters the market. Unlike previous BMW models this is the least striking model to roll out of Munich but as a whole a design success.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I'd describe Japan (or even China) as an ancient country.