When it comes to luxury interior design, it’s often a case of “you know it when you see it”. Walking into a retail store, you intuitively know the value of the products that are sold there. In the same way, a restaurant with a certain look and feel will give you an idea of the prices on the menu. But luxury cannot be defined by price tag alone, so how to define high end or luxury interior design then? Haute couture and its counterpart in the culinary world, haute cuisine seems to be easier to pinpoint than high end interiors. To shed some light on the subject, here are 5 characteristics that we believe capture the essence of luxury interior design.
Creating a personally tailored space is what drives high end design. Clients usually have a specific set of ideas and it is the designer’s responsibility to take those ideas and craft a unique interior for them. Combine those ideas with the client’s lifestyle or the brand’s essence as well as the capabilities of a space, and you already have a lot of information to work with. History often also plays a big part here, whether it’s a brand heritage or a family’s traditions. All these factors will give the designer a starting point to work from and will provide a guide for the project.
2. ATTENTION TO DETAIL
In a beautifully designed space, nothing is left to chance. From the smallest light switch to the biggest focal piece, everything is carefully considered as part of the whole. Accessories, furniture, artwork, choice of materials and how they’re finished should be envisioned holistically when an interior is planned. Especially lighting has an important role to play in the look and feel of a room: it isn’t only functional, it also creates mood, ambience and directs the eye where the designer wants it to go.
3. SUPERIOR MATERIALS
Natural stone and wood, and natural fibers like leather, wool and linen have always had a high end quality to them. Marble has been reserved for the wealthy for millennia and is still an incredibly durable and beautiful material to use. With an emphasis on sustainability, natural hard woods are a great choice for interiors and the myriad of properties of natural fibers make them a desirable choice.
That being said, new technology has brought us composite stone with durability that cannot be matched in its natural state. Some manufactured wood-like materials have inherent properties that is almost impossible to achieve with natural wood. And the durability and maintenance of artificial fabrics like vinyl and micro-suede that features nylon and acrylic, have revolutionized the industry.
So while natural is not necessarily the best option for every application, there are always superior and innovative materials for the job.
A great design will engage the user’s senses and make them experience the space through the selection of materials, by integrating landscape and natural surroundings, by working with both natural light and artificial light and with a focus on artwork and other features.
Whether the style is contemporary, modern, classic, retro or traditional: if the pieces are curated and made with the best possible materials and craftsmanship, it will have a long lifespan. When a building is designed and the finishes chosen, it is done with decades or even centuries in mind. The same cannot be said of furniture – there is a fashion and transient element to most furniture pieces. But a good, solid item should be able to last a couple of generations beyond its fashionability, and quality finishes a decade or 2 at least.
5. EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN
The best designs are experienced, not only observed. Whether an interior evokes an emotion or encourages you to take part in it, great interior design compels you to do something, touch something or actively look at something.
A well-designed living room will invite you to sit down and relax, instead of making you feel like you’re in a showroom. A great restaurant compels you to take a seat and take in your surroundings, touch the table and chairs, feel the ambience in the room. Many restaurants have open-plan kitchens for exactly this reason: so that the diners can experience the making and presentation of their food before they eat it. And a highly-rated hotel room should guide you to the bed and make you want to lie down on it.
Luxury interior design is not only a price point, it’s a holistic approach to design that involves all the senses. Click here to discuss your unique design requirements with us so that we may create the ultimate space for you.