We are only a few weeks away from the official beginning of summer, and sunny spring days have been inviting us for quite some time to enjoy the outdoors and spend more time in nature. And while we are slowly leaving the pandemic behind and returning to old habits and life pace, it seems that long quarantine days have motivated us to return to living in harmony with nature and devote more time and attention to our terraces, balconies, and backyards.

It comes as no surprise that outdoor patios have never been more luxurious. New trends and innovations in the decoration of outdoor spaces encourage villa owners to push the boundaries of luxury and comfort. The interiors and exteriors harmoniously complement and intertwine, and the result is an almost idyllic blend of interior and exterior spaces, as befits the Mediterranean way of life that takes place outdoors for most of the year.

Pool area design trends

Lounge area surrounded by greenery

Since all life has turned within four walls, people most often find relaxation zones in nature today, to move away from everyday stress and the monotony of work within the living space. Just facing nature, there is a growing trend of creating lounge zones in the exterior of real estate that is often surrounded by lots of greenery to fulfill the desire to go to nature and rest in it within the living space.

Villa Hedonist Dream

What is widely sought in the field of the landscaping of a such zone is multi-purpose outdoor furniture that will have different ways of use with minimal changes. Taking into account the need for physical distance when gathering, with such furniture in the blink of an eye, the sofa is transformed into several seats that will allow distance. Drinking compartments or simple snacks can also be set up inside the tables and then served to guests. When it comes to designer outdoor furniture, standard traditional materials such as wood and fabrics in soft tones in contrasting wood colors still prevail. Opposite the wood, we come across anthracite rattan with pillows of the same or contrasting color. Indispensable parts of outdoor furniture are corner sets, dining sets, deck chairs, and auxiliary furniture such as relaxation bags, swings, and side tables.

Villa Sunrise

Firepit as a gathering place

Fire has always been a gathering place, and as such, is an indispensable part of the lounge zone of modern villas today. The gathering around the fire comes in several forms, all depending on the wishes of the user. Often part of the lounge zone is an outdoor firepit which during the night becomes a favorite gathering place for family and friends. Around the fire pit usually is located a piece of circular outdoor furniture, with the designer’s signature, which with its decor fits into the very motif of the fire. The second most common form of gathering around the fire is certainly the one around the outdoor fireplace, which will also serve as a place for preparing meals, but also as a place for socializing and talking. Many villas today like to connect incompatibly, so next to, or inside the pool itself, they design a part that will contain a fireplace that will illuminate the pool and its swimmers, especially at night.

Villa Authentic Retreat

Modern swimming pools with sun deck

Today, the relaxation zone extends to the area of the pool itself, where the deckchairs are no longer in their immediate vicinity, but they occupy a position inside the pool itself. This innovation is characterized by specially made lounge ledges that are located in the shallower part of the pool and are partially immersed in water, which allows you to lie down comfortably with constant refreshment by the pool water. An umbrella can be added to these sunbeds so that lying down is carefree even in the early hours.

Villa Appeal

In addition to the pool and sun loungers, you can often find a hot tub as a luxury accessory that equates the relaxation zone with that of the best spa. With the classic whirlpool tubs that can accommodate 2 to 5 people, and are located as a separate unit, today we encounter a growing trend of implementation of whirlpool units within the pools so that they are separated by a safety barrier. This innovative technology allows you to switch from a relaxing position in a hot tub to a slightly more active one in the blink of an eye by swimming from one end of the pool to the other.

Villa Ventura

Innovative luxury accessories – outdoor showers

An indispensable part of every pool area is its outdoor shower, which ensures quick refreshment during hot summer days. Today, there is a unique outdoor shower from the Infinity Luxury company on the market, which with its appearance, represents a luxury sculpture enriched with shower and lighting functions. This innovative combination of natural materials, water, and LED lighting can completely change the design of the exterior of the property and raise it to a completely different level. It is adorned with a modern inverted L design with simple lines that fit into any exterior completely naturally. Showers are a fusion of tradition and innovative technology because they are made of natural materials, while at the same time they contain special technologies for saving water, filtration, and lighting of the shower itself.

Black Marbella Shower (Photo credits: Dominik Benčan)

Infinity Luxury showers come in 3 models: Marbella, Infinity, and Safari. The Marbella model is made of natural stone, the Infinity is adorned with ceramics from the renowned Italian brand Marazzi, while the Safari is created from an environmentally friendly material, HPL. The outdoor shower can be created according to your wishes and the style of the exterior of the property. If you have a traditional-style property made of stone, the Marbella shower is the ideal choice for you. The type of stone is chosen by the client, often the type that corresponds to the one on the front of the property or from the exterior area. If ceramics dominates the property, the Infinity model and a large selection of Marazzi decor will fit best as part of the exterior. The Safari model will fit perfectly with properties of modern design that do not run away from atypical decors and materials, and at the same time, are focused on sustainability.

Marbella Shower  (Villa Crystalline)

Infinity Luxury showers cannot be compared to anything on the market, so they are considered unique in the world, and their approach in making is based on the client’s choice of the model or material, followed by the selection of the desired decor or type of stone, and the additional possibility of ambient lighting of the shower itself. The personalization of this unique sculpture ends with the possibility of engraving the logo or name of the property itself on the front of the shower.
By choosing this eco-friendly shower, the preservation of nature and water is affected regarding the shower’s special ECO-tech shower rose that saves water up to 50%, while the NATURRA water filtration system improves water quality and neutralizes the negative effects of chlorine and its compounds.
When designing the exterior itself, it is possible to plan this shower to ideally fit into the design of the property and its exterior.

Marbella Shower ( Photo credits: Villa Lucija)

We are happy that architects and investors have started to pay particular attention to outdoor spaces. In the Mediterranean, which enjoys a mild climate all year round, the outdoors is a kind of a living rooms extension, so the tendency is to connect the interior and exterior in one harmonious area adopting innovative methods; therefore, the border between the two becomes almost imperceptible since all the beauty and fullness of life in the Mediterranean comes to the fore precisely by staying outdoors in a picturesque environment of magnificent nature and crystal clear sea.

We hope that we have inspired you with the latest trends and innovations in landscaping that enhance the outdoor experience and allow you to enjoy the outdoors even more. Spending more time outdoors has a beneficial effect on health and enriches our everyday life. We are convinced that, with luxury and innovative accessories, you will succeed in creating an idyllic oasis that you will be proud of and enjoy in the company of family and friends.

The year behind us was marked by a global pandemic of unprecedented proportions and consequently with an almost complete halt in all economic activities that ceased abruptly due to restrictive measures, which led to the total collapse of nearly all sectors.

And it is precisely in 2020, an unprecedented year in many ways, that the real estate market experts faced significant challenges. The key to success was in their rapid response and adapting to market conditions and trends that were changing at a relentless pace.

Despite negative statistics and economic indicators that were by no means promising, Sotheby’s International Realty is very proud to announce that our brokers and sales representatives have achieved a record sales result of $150 billion at the global level, marking a continued increase in sales growth year over year.

“Thanks to innovations we pioneered nearly a decade ago, our affiliated companies and agents made the impossible possible. Their adaptability to serve clients safely further extended our position as a leader in luxury real estate,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Modern Technologies and Trends in Property Viewings

As the luxury real estate sector leader, Sotheby’s International Realty guarantees global marketing reach and high advertising standards for both sellers and end buyers looking for their new home or dream vacation villa and constantly offers innovative tools for its loyal customers. At the peak of the pandemic, clients were unable to travel and view real estate in person, and agents were faced with the daunting task of finding new solutions that could replace traditional ways of real estate viewings.

Facing unenviable circumstances, sales representatives invested much energy to fully exploit all available brand tools to present real estate to prospective buyers in the best possible way through virtual platforms. New technologies and innovative marketing solutions that Sotheby’s International Realty is continuously improving have certainly contributed to these record results. The numbers are supported by more than 43 million views on the brand’s official YouTube channel and more than 6,000 properties on the global website that have video materials or provide the possibility of a virtual tour.

Global Trends in the Local Market

As the leading luxury real estate agency in Croatia and a representative of the brand synonymous with a professional approach and commitment to each client, our team of professionals is constantly working to improve their skills and replicate global trends in the Croatian market. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that clients remained loyal to our brand even in extraordinary circumstances, keeping their expectations high as always. Our real estate experts readily accepted the challenge and provided unconditional support to clients by organizing their arrival in Croatia despite restrictive measures and carrying out virtual tours of properties.

Despite the unfavorable global situation and strict measures that were eagerly implemented in almost all countries, our Croatian office followed the global trend of Sotheby’s International Realty and achieved a record sales result. Comparing global trends with the local market situation, we can conclude that clients worldwide increasingly value privacy and isolation and prefer secluded real estate surrounded by large plots, which allows them to enjoy a peaceful stay far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Regardless of skeptical forecasts, the corona crisis leads us again to the conclusion that foreign investors gladly invest in exclusive real estate in unique locations. Given the limited number of properties in premium locations, our offer of such properties very often does not satisfy the clients’ demands. One can easily deduce that this type of real estate arguably does not undergo large oscillations in the asking price, regardless of the current market challenges.

Global Expansion and Strategic Brand Growth

In 2020 Sotheby’s International Realty continues its constant growth in the global market by opening more than 50 new offices worldwide, further enhancing the brand’s global network currently present in more than 75 countries in nearly 1,000 offices with approximately 24,000 sales associates. In addition to opening new offices in existing markets, the brand has expanded to key international markets, establishing offices in seven new territories.

“I am very proud of our brand and the whole team in Croatia. It is a great success that we followed the world trends in the local market and achieved a record sales result in these difficult times”, concluded Marko Pažanin, managing director of Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty and a global partner.

After the measures are relaxed and the borders are opened, we are again able to organize a tour of the real estate for our clients, of course respecting the minimum security measures. In the past period, not only have we all been eagerly waiting for it to pass, but international clients have also been eager to come to Croatia and continue their search for their dream real estate.

The foundation of our business is nurturing customer relationships and investing in those processes. We have built their trust over the years, always keeping in mind a relationship that will one day, to our mutual satisfaction, be much more than just business. All this will become even more pronounced in the coming period.

A high level of professionalism, correctness, trust, and work ethic will be crucial factors in sales. Why? Primarily due to the offline offer.

Customer relationships are the key

Agents are the ones who will be the critical factor. Buyers ’trust in their agent is endless, as is the seller’s. Agents have all the information in addition to the privileged ones, such as offline real estate offer, real estate for sale on preferential terms – which is not available to the general public … If the owner wants to sell the real estate under confidential conditions, which only he and the agent know, trust is an extremely important factor.

Likewise, the buyer is the one who is willing to wait and patiently search for the property. He believes that the agent he has chosen will share with him information about the property from the offline offer, which for him is an exceptional business investment or an opportunity to buy a property ideal for enjoying and relaxing in a dream location.

Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty has access to unique international clients, we have proven to be a highly professional agency that can be relied on with full confidence, we have successfully cooperated with world-renowned athletes, businessmen, but also ordinary people who absolutely do not want their relatives, friends, and neighbors know they have sold a property that has been kept for generations.

All of the above are the values ​​that guide us in business and the benefits we have invested in for many years. We continue to develop and grow and we want to let all current and future clients know that we are there for them and that they can rely on us with full confidence. Customer relationships are and shall remain a priority to us!