THE EVER-CHANGING definition of luxury continually impacts material trends, from fashion and interior design to lifestyle and home products. Where luxury in the ’90s was defined by the growing use of designer monograms on any and all surfaces imaginable—a la Gucci’s double G’s, Chanel’s interlocking C’s and Louis Vuitton’s iconic “LV”—the ’00s rebelled with the democratization of design—H&M, CB2, etc. In other words, luxury became the ability to get high design on the cheap.
Now, in the second decade of the new millennium, designers are redefining luxury once again. As a backlash to both the former monogram craze and mass-produced, disposable design, the current trend for luxury goods is a return to craftsmanship, pedigree and the one-of-a-kind nature of handcrafted products (read “high quality, high price”).
In furniture, we’re seeing products designed by a new generation of craftsmen trained in age-old techniques like beautifully tanned and hand-dyed leathers on chairs and sofas, forged iron cocktail and side tables made by a “village smithy,” and imperfect, often chunky-textured fabrics on pillows, throws and bedding that are undeniably handwoven.
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Most trends scream for your attention (look no further than the concept of the “it” color of the moment), but the look of luxury is much more subtle. It’s all about an undeclared beauty, an attention to detail and handiwork that can only be appreciated by those who understand the value of the work and choose to take a closer look. When you successfully execute the look of luxury, your rooms will have unique warmth and empathetic, established nature. And yes, kids, luxury does often come with a big price tag, but don’t let these five suggestions (or their price points) discourage you—try your hand at quality over quantity with new designs rooted in traditional ways of manufacturing.
For more home trends, be sure to pick up the new issue of Instinct, out now!