Window into Luxury
“Like so much else in life, luxury is relative. When it comes to interior design, the concept is often invoked, but its meaning can take many forms.” Those words really got me thinking as I read them in ELLEDECOR Magazine’s recent report of results from its “Luxury Survey.”
The magazine surveyed designers for “their insights on what constitutes real luxury now.”
Many of my clients are much more middle America, which made me reflect on what is luxurious for them. It made me think of our company founder’s vision to make custom decorating affordable to more people.
I think that many homeowners would agree with ELLEDECOR’s finding that 68% of respondents said that “quality beats everything else in determining what constitutes true luxury.” However, that begs the question: What is quality?
It could mean “high-end materials.” It could mean “craftsmanship.” It could mean “exclusivity.” It could mean the “recognizability of the brand.”
Every Person’s Luxury
Here’s another way to look a luxury: The view through another window, so to speak. Some years ago, the Total Quality Movement (TQM) was all the rage in business. One of the principles of one quality-improvement guru was “Quality is meeting mutually agreed upon expectations.”
Applying that to home furnishings, one might suggest that quality—luxury—is whatever meets your expectations. However, I’d like to add a ribbon to that dress, or valence to that window, by adding that luxury is what makes you feel special.
It doesn’t always cost a lot of money. One of the interesting benefits of the quality improvement movement was that many businesses found they could improve quality and save money. But I digress.
My point is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to be luxurious. Your home or office is your haven. It can make you feel more luxurious with simple touches.
Windows: the most obvious option
Windows are already a natural focal point of any room. When you walk into your favorite room, you’re eyes will almost always be drawn to the windows. Usually, we put up blinds, or draperies, or some other sort of window covering, and then leave it at that.
Why not have window treatments that allow you to change the look periodically? An interchangeable valence top treatment could enable you have a variety of looks to those windows. A swag over side panels, with the right drapery rods, could produce seasonal ambiance.
The phrase may be ‘window treatments,’ but how you treat your windows can be your own way to add affordable luxury to your environment.
Accent on Luxury
The “Sex in the City” TV show was frequently about shoes, wasn’t it? So, we women all know that an important aspect of luxury is how we use accessories. Yes, Carrie’s shoes were expensive, but she did shop for sales (as I’m told). The point, I think, was to make a statement—to yourself, and to others. Most importantly, though, to yourself.
Luxury for Carrie was certain shoes. Luxury for you can be whatever makes you feel special when you walk into your home or office. It might be a colorful area rug, a painting, or a family heirloom. Luxury is about you. Luxury is about how it makes you feel. Luxury is that special touch for you.
So, as we head into that season of more time indoors, think about adding some simple touches, or not-highly-expensive touches, that will give you the feeling of luxury as you spend more time cuddling up indoors during our wonderful Lake Erie winter.
by MARIE FELTZ owns Decorating Den Interiors of Meadville and is a regional manager for the company. She was one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Women in Business in 2005. She has more than 25 years of experience in interior decorating.
This article appeared in the Erie TimesNews House to Home section
Photo: Colorful area rugs can make for eye-popping luxury.