Last week, I was on a panel for Veranda at the Houston Decorative Center for their spring market. I was in delightful company with several other architects and designers. One of our general questions posed by Veranda Editor-at-Large, Carolyn Englefield, was "How is luxury being redefined?" Everyone's answers were similar and came back to two basic ideas---consumers are demanding higher quality, and, they want to know more about what they are buying.
We are seeing this not only in the design world, but also in REAL ESTATE purchases (McMansions are OUT and perfect smaller residences are in), the ART WORLD---the craziness of the mid 90's to mid '10's is gone, and now collectors are not buying works willy nilly. People are buying FINE VINTAGE AND ANTIQUES as well as high quality new pieces, rather than non-sustainable cheap copies.
So, what do I consider luxury? Here are a few of my favorite luxurious things:
TIME----I never seem to have enough of it!
A NAP AFTER LUNCH----this one goes along with time.
MY HOUSE----nothing is more pleasing than spending time in the surroundings that I have created for my family and myself.
ART----a great piece of art is a true luxury and a joy.
BENCH MADE FURNITURE----nothing can take the place of a truly well made, beautifully hand carved piece of furniture or the detail of well executed architectural bronze. As the old Chinese proverb says, "Buy the best and only cry once".
JSC Harrison Table
JSC Hudson Chair
HAVING AT LEAST ONE ANTIQUE OR VINTAGE PIECE IN EVERY ROOM----because each room in our houses needs character. There is no luxury without character.
Sycamore and rosewood Italian buffet attributed to Gio Ponti, c.1950
Jean Pascaud sofa
SERVICE----I find that if I can buy the same or similar product from two different sources, I will go with the one that provides the best service every time. Service is the ultimate luxury.
WHAT is your definition of luxury? Remember---you will be happier with anything you buy if it ages well, and, remember to enjoy the time you have with friends and family.
TOWER RESIDENCES AT THE RITZ
We just completed our residence there and will have photos on my next Notebook.
The Old State is doing a terrific job with our newly designed website. It should première late May. You will be able to see every antique we have online with dimensions and prices. They are photographed professionally with detailed shots---very exciting!