5 Luxury home improvements that will make the neighbours jealous


Most of us aspire to make home improvements in some form or another. Adding a luxury feature to your home can bring a real sense of pride and enjoyment to everyday living. Many projects will also add value to your property. Make the right choices and your home could become the envy of the neighbourhood.

As controversial as it seems, there are actually homeowners out there taking home improvement motivation to a peculiar level. Making the neighbours jealous is the motivation behind some quite spectacular home improvement projects. One Surrey homeowner admitted spending £200,000 improving her home just to make the neighbours jealous! Improvements included a side extension, a 300 sq ft kitchen and a loft conversion.

We’re not suggesting that making the neighbours jealous should be your over-riding drive for your luxury home improvement project. Quite the contrary. Love thy neighbours and they will love your home as much as you do. But, don’t feel guilty if you find yourself compelled to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ According to Professor Nick Chater of Warwick University’s Behavioural Science faculty, the urge to keep up with our neighbours is hard-wired in the human brain and represents the ‘dark side of consumerism.’

With all the goodwill in the world, neighbour envy is apparently out of our control. Chater argues “we instinctively make judgements on the value of material possessions such as houses or cars by making comparisons with what our peers own.”

Here, Dakota Murphey takes a look at 5 home improvement projects that will most certainly make your neighbours just a teensy eensy bit envious.

  1. Log cabin luxury

Having a log cabin in the garden is an increasingly popular trend. Creating an oasis at the end of the garden as a space to escape to for some R&R (rest and relaxation) or as a cool home office will certainly get the neighbours thinking about upgrading their potting sheds. Log cabins come in all shapes and sizes and with a whole range of features. You can choose from bijou to the size of a small home.

  1. A fabulous home extension

Extending your home will most certainly have the neighbours chattering. This is a big build and the workmen’s presence won’t go unnoticed. As your extension unfolds, expect some peeking over the garden fence. When your bi-fold doors with bi-fold blinds go in, calls to local builders for extension quotes are sure to double.

  1. A stylish swimming pool

Installing a swimming pool in your back garden will most definitely provoke envy from those next door. Especially when you are basking poolside on a hot summer’s day. Swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes, so even the most modest garden sizes can still benefit. Swimming pool installation will most certainly add value to your home and is a great selling point if you are thinking of moving home in the future. And think of all the fun you’ll have.

  1. The ultimate landscaped garden and an outdoor kitchen

Now you’d be forgiven for pooh-poohing the idea of creating an outdoor kitchen when we don’t exactly have a reputation for the warmest and sunniest of climes. But who doesn’t love a bit of outdoor cooking.

A pergola or some form of shelter over a decked area in the garden will protect against those summer showers, and still give you the chance to sample outdoor living. Wafting BBQ aromas will have your neighbours’ noses poking over the garden fence in no time.

A beautiful landscaped garden with a water feature, a summer house, an outdoor kitchen and fabulous garden furniture will give you outdoor space where you’ll love to spend time, whatever the weather. Your neighbours will be inviting themselves over to admire.

  1. A designer kitchen to die for

The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s no surprise that kitchen remodelling is the most popular current form of home improvement. Many of us attempt to update our kitchens on a budget. But, splashing out on a kitchen designer could be an investment worth making if you are serious about bringing some luxury features into your home.

A sleek contemporary kitchen is the perfect space for entertaining and is sure to draw some gasps from your neighbours when you invite them in for a celebratory glass of champagne.

Good luck with your home improvements. If you already have all of the above, you could buy a new car! Car envy is next to home envy!