How Is Luxury Defined?
The idea of luxury can mean different things to different people. To some, luxury means having a beautiful, spacious home tucked behind a private gate. To others, it might look like furnishing the inside of their homes with the trendiest pieces available. Regardless of what luxury looks like to you, it’s easy to understand why we gravitate towards luxurious interior designs. After all, why settle for anything less than the best?
Let’s start by looking at a few definitions of luxury.
- Oxford Languages defines luxury as “the state of great comfort and extravagant living.”
- Merriam-Webster defines luxury as “a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort, a sumptuous environment lived in luxury, something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary.”
Luxury connotes a sense of delicacy and elegance, the finer things in life. There is typically a pedigree involved when seeking luxury—a reputation and prestige. For some consumers, a luxury good helps to boost self-esteem or demonstrate a sense of accomplishment. Many individuals want to reward themselves for their hard work by treating themselves to a luxury item they might not otherwise purchase.
Another perk to purchasing luxury goods is that they most likely will never go out of style. On the contrary, they couldn’t be more up-to-date! Currently, global annual sales for luxury brands are rising at more than $200 billion per year. The durability and longevity of luxury brands are a significant draw for many consumers.
When it comes to luxury, customization is key. Luxury to you and your neighbor might mean very different things, but luxury interiors thrive because they can be individualized to match your specific definition of luxury. The focus on customization allows consumers to create a gorgeous, unique house that reflects their personal style.
The Science of Luxury
Now that we’ve developed an understanding as to what luxury is, what is the science behind our attraction to luxury? When it comes to brands, there are typically two primary categories a product will fall into: prestigious or pragmatic. Pragmatic brands generally are household names that often focus on function over fashion. Luxury brands, meanwhile, correlate with prestige.
We are attracted to items that boast the highest quality, and past studies have reiterated this. According to a National Center for Biotechnology study, our brains actively respond to prestigious brands in the prefrontal cortex—specifically the “left superior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).” Conversely, our brains typically do not respond that way to pragmatic brands. These activated cortexes are frequently associated with self-reliance and self-indulgence.
In plain English, luxury brands feel self-indulgent because they make our brains feel self-focused satisfaction. Additional research has revealed that individuals who have experienced higher levels of accomplishment tend to have a stronger desire for luxury goods. Needless to say, people buy luxury goods for a variety of reasons, but nearly all of the reasons are related to the strong emotions that we attach to the purchase of expensive material goods.
The most successful luxury brands are the ones that understand this science and use it to develop and create their products. Sensory science also plays a significant role in luxury branding. Various sensory cues include tactile, olfactive, and audible. For instance, deeply hued upholstery or ornate furniture can signal a luxurious room. By using the power of sensory science and neurophysiology, top-tier luxury brands can appeal to their consumers in a way that pragmatic brands cannot. Additionally, groundbreaking scientific methods can help brands to predict luxury shoppers’ preferences and purchasing patterns.
How to Live Luxuriously
All high-end interior design focuses on curating elements that deliver quality, detail, elegance, and -- more often than not -- customization. This refined and polished appearance makes luxe design so appealing, and it’s one of the main reasons we are visually attracted to it.
It can be challenging to know where to begin when you’re ready to start cultivating a luxury interior for your home, but don’t worry, we’ve pulled together a few helpful tips and tricks to give you some ideas on how to live luxuriously. From defining your luxury style to ensuring your space is cohesive, following these steps will get your house looking its best.
Curate Your Style
When it comes to luxury interiors, it’s important to remember that luxury is not a matter of property. While high-end pieces certainly can elevate a room, luxury is more than that. It’s more of a state of mind, an idea of living the best possible life around. Just because you have a spacious home with some nice design elements doesn’t automatically mean the house has a luxury interior. On the contrary, even the smallest studios can dazzle with luxury when top-notch interior design is well executed. In summary, it’s not about what you have or how much space you have, but it’s how you use it.
To create a luxury interior, start by curating your style. You’ll want your space to reflect your personality and preferences, so carefully consider what items, styles, textures, and colors make you feel pampered? What catches your eye? What do you find comforting or attractive? Your design elements shouldn’t stray too far from your personality. After all, you want a space that reflects you.
With that in mind, you’ll next want to consider ways to make your home feel more convenient to you. Luxury interiors are all about catering to our individual needs, tastes, and lifestyles. As mentioned above, luxury interiors often feature custom-made pieces. Opt for custom-made tailored pieces that are unique to you and your home, as this is another way to let your personality shine through.
Finally, focus on incorporating timeless elements. Trends come and go so, so don’t fall prey to following every trend that comes along. Instead, put your energy into choosing long-lasting pieces that will serve you for years to come.
Refine Your Style
Indulgence doesn’t have to mean overindulgence. Simply adding more luxury pieces doesn’t always help bring up the overall aesthetic of your home. Sometimes less is more when it comes to decorating your home.
To avoid overindulging, make sure that every item you bring into your home has a purpose. It can be easy to get carried away when decorating your home, but you’ll want to avoid bringing it too much as this can make your home disorganized and cluttered. Don’t simply add clutter to a room for the sake of it. Additionally, it’s helpful to remember that you can find high-end pieces that are also functional instead of those that just look glamorous. Functional luxury pieces will help you make the best use of your space, making it a win-win!
Making thoughtful choices is imperative when it comes to cultivating a high level of luxury in each space. Be specific and consider the reasons why you’re choosing each additional item. This includes everything from fabric to finish. Start by pinpointing a few essential textures and colors that match your home’s aesthetic and your style, and then be sure to stay consistent throughout the interior design process. This will help create a cohesive look, which is a critical component of interior design! After all, you don’t want your home looking mismatched. Remember, luxury homes are living art.
Sustainable designs are also a part of making thoughtful choices. People are becoming increasingly dedicated to living a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle, and that extends to the interior design world. From recycled wood to durability, sustainability is becoming an ever-increasing priority in the world of luxury designs. More and more designers, builders, and homeowners are opting to take the eco-friendly route.
Make It Flow
Cohesiveness is invaluable when it comes to luxury designs. Luxury spaces are often effortlessly seamless, gently flowing from one room to the next. Of course, this does not automatically happen but requires much thoughtful preparation and planning to achieve. So, how does one accomplish this seamless flow? It starts by paying close attention to every minute detail, whether it’s the finish on the fixtures throughout the home or a material motif found in each room. No detail is too small in the world of luxury design!
If you feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start, then perhaps it’s time to bring in a professional to do the job. Working with a professional interior designer is an excellent way to achieve such a skillful result. They will work to create customized designs and incorporate thoughtful components into your space. The result means increasing your home’s value and creating long-lasting results.
If you are ready to start looking for your forever home, contact Robin Kencel today. Robin is an expert in everything from Backcountry homes for sale to Greenwich luxury real estate. Whether you are looking for your forever home or a vacation home, Robin is equipped and ready to help guide you through the home buying process.