Luxury Living (at Home)
I think I need to get out more. A recent design conference had me staying in a hotel that I absolutely fell in love with. From the minute I walked through the door, I didn’t want to leave. The lobby felt like an entrance to one of those lovely, old fashioned department stores; a warm type of quiet that felt elegant without being stuffy, and a feeling that it had been designed but not overdone. I (almost) tip-toed over to the front desk.
Once inside, my beautiful room made me hesitate to throw down my well-worn suitcase. But that didn’t last for long; within minutes, I had plopped onto the squishy pillows, kicked off my shoes, and dreamed of ordering cake for dinner – it felt like I was on vacation.
Hotels always used to be a luxury, somewhere that you stayed for a special occasion. Now, we visit them more often, and most of them, quite frankly, have become a necessary, money-draining, evil part of our lives. (OK, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean). We pay a couple of hundred dollars for a bad night’s sleep, and are ridiculously grateful if we have a new roll of toilet paper and a television that actually works.
So, it was with a welcome surprise that I stayed in a place that really did care about the happiness of their customer. They actually wanted us to have a nice time, not just provide an old bed and ask us for our credit card on the way out. What they did, was remind me that luxury is not always about the amount of money that we spend, but the feeling that can be created with a few, well-chosen ideas:
Bed Linens and Towels: If in doubt, buy white (clean and classic). Color: Add warm, saturated colors (dark red, navy, gold, green, purple) to your walls, floors and accessories for a more opulent feel. Real Materials: Use wood (preferably dark), metal and glass instead of plastic. Lighting: Vary the style, shape and height of light fixtures. Use dimmers as much as possible. Pillows: Buy the pillow that will give you the best nights sleep (then buy a couple more…).
A luxurious life is not such a bad thing, so go ahead, spoil yourself!
Thanks to Gaynor Alder for the fun photograph, the Renaissance Providence for the squishy pillows, and the amazing ADE (Association of Design Education) for the wonderful women.
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/