Defining luxury

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of luxury lately. I hear the word often, especially when a high-end item is being advertised. This brings up questions, like what is the cost of luxury? Does it have to be high? I suppose it depends on what your definition of luxury is. Two of the dictionary definitions say that it’s “a pleasure out of the ordinary allowed to oneself”, and “a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity.”

Most of us have all of the conveniences of modern living: a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a car, etc. Think about having to do your laundry on a washboard and hang it on the line to dry. Or to hop on a horse every time you wanted to go somewhere far away. Our modern life style keeps us from having to work so hard, or live so uncomfortably. So even though these things are “ordinary” to us, aren’t they still luxuries? It’s easy to take them for granted, isn’t it?

In addition, there are some things that one might find luxurious that cost very little: basking in the sun, taking a few minutes during the day to nap or read a good novel, or stolen minutes spent with a good friend, lover, or child.

When it comes to material objects, the sky is the limit. When I work with my design clients, I try to find out what their definition of luxury is, and help them obtain something (or things) luxurious that they can enjoy in their homes. For instance, arranging a beautiful, sunny window seat, designing a wonderfully soothing bedroom, or providing a great reading chair and ottoman complete with a good lamp and a table for a drink. I personally love the feel of soft wool carpet underfoot when I get out of bed (and I never get shocked in the winter), and my bathroom reminds me of an island get-away. These little things are some of the luxuries that I get to enjoy every day.

I think it’s important to have some luxuries in one’s life. If it can make life a little sweeter, and allows one to feel a little pampered, isn’t it worth having or doing? So ask yourself, what do you feel is luxurious for you? I would love to hear your ideas and comments.


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