C Style: Comfort is the New Luxury
The unrelenting fast pace of today’s modern lifestyle is changing the way we chose to exist, and while a hectic lifestyle surely has many drawbacks, one of the opportune design benefits has been the cultural shift to prioritize more comfort in one’s home. Gone are the days of grandiose furniture that was strictly “look but don’t touch.” With the stress of daily lives, society as a whole, and at all income levels, has recalibrated to a more relaxed style of comfortable design\ in peoples’ homes. And thankfully, comfort is no longer the antithesis to luxury, quality, and a pleasing design.
So, what represents modern comfort in design today and how can you create luxury that’s comfortable in your home? I define luxurious comfort as a welcoming space that’s immediately appreciated for its beauty and harmony but has an energy that compels one to immediately experience it. Touch it. Sit down on it. Put your feet up on it. Every time you come home, you can’t wait to indulge in it. Clearly, when selecting seating, comfort needs to be at the top of the checklist. Especially, if you love to entertain. There’s nothing worse for guests than sitting in uncomfortable chairs for long periods of time. For furniture that gets a lot of use, make the investment in pieces that are well-designed and well-constructed.
You want your investment to pay off for years to come and functionality is one of the highest priorities of comfort. Plan ahead. Will it work in a different room if tastes shift? Could you mix it with another style? Will it withstand the heavy traffic of your busy household?
Remember, comfort isn’t only about how your body feels. A relaxed state of mind is also a key factor of comfort. Hand-crafted objects made of natural elements, even traditional in style, lead to a relaxed mind, like elements made up of a lot of earth tones. Even if you’re a lover of bold colors like me, incorporate items of color tastefully and with a stated purpose. Mix one bold color with neutrals rather than choosing multiple colors that overwhelm and take your mind out of the comfort zone. Choose colors that are soothing, like colors that appear in nature. Mix in varied textures of metals and finishes to add multi-dimensions and richness in a natural way. Minimize patterns and accentuate textures. In textiles, more texture than pattern is the key– and the more natural the texture is, the better. Think beyond linen. Bring in raw silk, jute, sisal, alpaca, cashmere, and hemp for a truly luxurious environment.
I also love the new appreciation for natural woods, grains, and hand-made items. This creates spaces with authenticity. Just a few years ago, the trend was to rip out “outdated” oak floors, and everyone wanted a pristine “white” look in their kitchens and bathrooms. It’s so refreshing to see clients loving rift cut cabinets, natural wood grain, and cerused oak again. Especially when mixed with warm earthy neutrals. Even in the details, this is evident. Nothing can replace the therapeutic aroma of true nature, and no longer do clients want beautiful silk orchid arrangements. Instead, they want real fig trees and fiddle plants.
Organic elements within the space, such as ceramics, textured glass, hand-forged metals, add wonderful interest. There’s something lovely and nostalgic about a hand-made or hand-forged item that adds warmth and interest to a room. I love incorporating natural stones and semi-precious gems into lighting, case goods or just as pieces of decorative art wherever I can. An overall eclectic feel comprised of great, unique pieces that define YOU are a must (see last issue’s article).
Technology has also certainly given us the ability to live a more seamless and comfortable life. Practically everything in our homes can now be “smart” on a budget. Technology has transformed our lives and driven our desire for ultimate comfort in everything we have in our homes. Not only do we have a need for technology to streamline our lives, but also for our living spaces and furnishings to give us a productive ease.
Living a luxurious life doesn’t require ample amounts of money, but what it does require is good decision-making. You will never regret buying the best quality you can afford so you should invest in pieces that have staying power and will make you happy every single day. Sure, furniture is an investment, but it needs to enhance the quality of your life. So, always purchase the best quality items for your budget and don’t be afraid to splurge for well-crafted pieces that are built to last. Buying pieces that are well-constructed will ensure it becomes a future family heirloom and there’s nothing more comfortable than knowing that.
MAYA WILLIAMS DESIGN