What is Luxury?

By Sklar Furnishings

Design Inspiration, Tips & Trends

August 22, 2018

The term “luxury” is used frequently within the design industry, and especially so within the furnishings community. But what is luxury, or what qualifies as being luxurious? It’s a curiously subjective question, but one in which we each have our own personal definition. We thought we’d take a few minutes to discuss what luxury means to us at Sklar Furnishings.

Traditionally when something has been described as luxurious it is rare or an item that is difficult to obtain. We feel this is a contributing element for sure, but exclusivity alone is far too narrow a definition and clearly the boundaries of luxury need to extend beyond that.

Instead, we feel that at its most basic sense, luxury must be synonymous with quality. When you run your hand across a ceramic top of the Shoji Madia sideboard in your living room, or the smooth walnut wood frame on the Nelson bed you can understand how much attention to detail is placed on quality manufacturing. And to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the production and execution is really what begins to define a luxury. As we go a bit deeper, we consider elements that make up quality, such as the materials and the production techniques to achieve the end result. This includes the lengths manufactures go to source the best materials to bring their products to life. Full grain leather from the worlds leading tanneries so that the finished product has a supple, smooth and consistent texture and color, it’s easy to appreciate how much better the end product is when the best materials are used.

Design plays maybe the most significant role in our minds when thinking about how a luxury product is presented. Design can elevate an everyday object such as a sofa, from furniture into a piece of functional art. Even the best materials, or the most sophisticated manufacturing can’t overcome the importance of how design brings those various elements together. This presents an emotionally charged product – something that gets your heart beating just a little faster.

Most of all, a luxury product must feel special to the owner. It must speak to you on a personal level, and deliver more value than would typically be associated with the product. Many products can accomplish this, but when it comes to luxury furnishings, you interact with them on a far more personal level than say a watch, or a car. These are the beds you sleep on, the tables you eat at and share stories around, and the sectionals you gather your family on. And maybe that’s the most important measure of luxury: how much joy something brings you.

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