Oh how the other half live. When we imagine the lives of the rich and famous we see satin bed sheets, fancy artwork and large swimming pools. We see chandeliers, butlers, yachts, silver platters and private islands in the Caribbean. Everything which, to most of us, symbolises the unattainable. But most of our notions of what the luxury lifestyle actually looks like are rather antiquated, drawn from Hollywood films which have, over the years made these things seem so far beyond our reach. Of course, butlers, yachts and tropical mansions might well remain that way for most of us, but, despite what the movies tell us, this is not how most wealthy people live on a day basis either.
In actual fact, there are many things which we associate with the term ‘luxury’ which are certainly more attainable than we would be led to believe. Lab-grown diamonds, for example, are a far cheaper alternative to those sourced from underground, and remain free from the human rights abuses and environmental destruction which tend to accompany the former. Similarly, the quality of wine does not always follow the price tag. In fact, blind tasting experiments have shown that most people actually prefer the taste of middle-range wines than their more expensive, luxury branded counterparts. If you choose intelligently, many items are difficult to separate from one another apart from their cost.
And this same principle applies to decorating your home. Many items we associate with the luxury lifestyle can be purchased and proudly displayed in your home for reasonable prices. If nobody ever notices, how elite can they really be?
First used by the Medieval European gentry, these spectacular lights have long been a symbol of prestige and wealth. With their ornate glass work and delicate frames, in our minds eye chandeliers look at home in the mansion of a Disney princess rather than a modern living room. For many years, this might well have been the case and chandeliers remain something of a status symbol today.
However, modern chandelier lighting can be relatively inexpensive if you buy from the right retailer. Since we tend to associate chandeliers with the historical upper classes, picturing them in ballrooms and banqueting halls, it is easy to forget that they are available in a range of modern designs. Glass makers and lighting specialists have updated the idea for the 21st century, offering unorthodox shapes and arrangements alongside the traditional sloping curved style. You can even opt for a classic round, candle-shaped structure if you are going for a more gothic approach to your house, à la Beauty and the Beast. Certain retailers offer modern chandeliers from as little as $70 so they are certainly within reach!
Floating or Hanging Shelves
One of the most fascinating trends in modern interior design is our penchant for things to appear weightless, as if suspended by nothing more than the air itself. We have seen floating stairs, floating globes and floating sinks. Following this trend, there is a wide array of floating shelves on the market ready to give any home a modern feel. Hanging shelves tend to be painted the same or a similar colour to the wall behind them, giving the illusion that the items they hold are floating in mid air. And while these shelves are displayed in the finest, cutting-edge modern homes, they can be purchased relatively inexpensively, allowing you to decorate your interior stylishly and get in on that luxury look.
Beauty, they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. The principle purpose of wall art is to be aesthetically pleasing, something to decorate a room to make it a more pleasant place to spend time. Yet so many people are fixated on the idea that a piece of art should be judged on how much it costs rather than how it looks or the feelings it invokes. Unless you are a collector, do not be persuaded by this tendency to see art as a status symbol. There are countless artists from around the world whose work you might find on the internet (via craft platforms like Etsy or Pinterest or via social media) rather than in a prestigious gallery but that you are nevertheless drawn to. You might well find yourself an incredible oil painting or a pleasing modern print for a very modest price if you cast a wide enough net. If it has been made with skill and care and it would fit nicely in your home, then this is as luxury an item as you will need.
We all like a little bit of luxury in our lives; not everything needs to be purely functional nor eye-wateringly extravagant. If it makes your home a more enjoyable place to spend time and wows your guests, these items are worth investing in.