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Why Our Brains Love Luxurious Interiors

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The word even feels nice rolling off your tongue. There’s something so clean and crisp about it. Perhaps it’s the way that the simplest mention instantly conjures up mental images of sprawling mansions, designer collections, and sleek cars.

Reality is, everyone loves lavishness, especially when it comes to interiors. The proof is all around us. Why else would insider peaks into celebrity homes cause magazines to fly off the shelves? Why else would we love tips on how to give our own interiors a luxurious feel?

As it turns out, there are a few unifying characteristics about the ways in which our brains perceive luxury. Take a look below to find out more.

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What Defines Luxury, Anyway?

Where interior design is concerned, there is no set formula for how to produce luxurious surroundings. It’s more about creating a certain feel for the space than following a few of hard and fast rules. But, to try and give you some guidelines, asked a few designers to tell us what “luxury” means to them:

  1. Candice Olsen: “Luxury, to me, encompasses all the elements of life that aren’t absolutely necessary, but without which life would be less charmed, less beautiful and not nearly as fun.
  2. Christina Hadzi: “Rooms are increasingly tailored to personal demands and an element of convenience.
  3. Raymond Boozer: “Flexibility is the big trend I’m seeing. Now it’s okay to mix high and low and still create a luxurious room. Pedigree is not as important as personal preference.
  4. Billy Baldwin: “Lately, I have been thinking how comfort is perhaps the ultimate luxury.
  5. Michael Foran: “At my company, luxury means custom, quality, unique designs, and attention to detail.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you as look your own interiors. How do they match up to your own personal definition of luxury? If you are considering working with an interior designer for your next project, make sure to ask them the same question. It’s a quick but effective way to get a sense of how well your design styles match up.

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Lavish Items Feel Self-Indulgent

We often associate particular feelings with the concept of luxury, lounging on a plush, sofa after a hard day at work, soaking in a hot bath in your elegant Jacuzzi tub, or even cooking on a kitchen island that leaves plenty of room to spread out. When we have the chance to do these things, we feel a little naughty, almost as if we’re being indulged.

It would seem that we are not alone in these feelings. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found evidence to suggest a link between luxury brands and the area of the brain that controls self-interest. In it, they asked participants to look at images of cars. Half of the group was given high-end brands, while the others were given more pragmatic choices. The researches found the luxury group experienced brain activity in their medial prefrontal cortexes, which is related to self-reflection and self-relevant processing, while the pragmatic group did not.

Of course, who ever said that a little self-indulgence was a bad thing? Your home should feel like an oasis from the outside world in which you’re constantly catering to others’ needs. Close your eyes and consider which aspects of home design will make you feel pampered. If you’re not sure, take some time to browse design magazines and websites like Freshome. Take note of anything that catches your eye, especially if it happens more than once. Then, try to work something similar into your spaces to create luxurious interiors.     

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It’s All About Convenience

Convenience and self-indulgence go hand-in-hand. After all, what’s more self-indulgent than getting the results you want with minimal effort? As you go through your day, think about the areas where you notice yourself expending extra effort. Do your best to brainstorm ways to inject a little connivance into your daily routine.

Remember: Not all luxury items have to be a huge expense. You can easily DIY similar experiences for pennies on the dollar. Are you a movie buff with no home theater? Invest in a universal remote that lets you dim the lights, start the show, and adjust the surround sound from the comfort of your seat. If you enjoy an evening cocktail, put together an outdoor bar cart to transform your backyard into a patio bar.

Don’t hesitate to keep an eye out for luxurious trends. Who knows? You may end up stumbling upon an extravagance you never thought possible. Creating a small coffee station for your master bedroom was once unheard of outside of hotels, but is quickly gaining popularity. You never know what could come next.

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Luxe Fits Every Style

As diverse as the particular aspects of luxury design may be, one statement holds true: Every style has a luxury option. Whether your tastes are ultra-modern or tend to veer more towards a comfortable country aesthetic, there are ways to ensure a luxe feel. Follow these tips:


  • Play Up Features With Character: Do you have any fireplaces in your home? How about built-in shelving or window seats? These elements are often perceived as “extras” or “upgrades”, so do your best to make them the focal point of the room.
  • Splurge In Lasting Items: If you have to choose where to spend, make sure it’s on big-ticket items that will be around for years. A high-quality stainless, appliance package will have more impact than a huge TV that will likely seem outdated in just a few years.
  • Quality Over Style: Just remember style can be altered. Wood can be stained and furniture can be reupholstered. When shopping, opt for high-quality pieces over shoddier models that are ready-made for your aesthetic.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Space: When it comes to layout, keep things clean and simple. Provide only as many design elements as are needed to clearly define the room’s purpose.

Once you have the main components in place, infuse your (no doubt, excellent) sense of style into the room with things like fabrics, accessories, and décor. If you can’t get enough of the great outdoors, focus on using natural materials in your design or if you can’t stop dreaming about of Classical interiors, work in a few marble elements. Whatever items you end up choosing, your luxurious foundation will be sure to shine through.

Luxurious interiors will never go out of style. Regardless of what fads come and go, we’re always going to feel drawn toward spaces that make us feel pampered. It’s only natural. Our brains are wired that way. Take these tips into account as you consider rooms in your home. There’s no doubt in our minds that you can infuse a little luxury.

What is your definition of luxury? Which luxe design features leave you drooling? Have you managed to recreate a DIY version in your home? Let us know in the comments!

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