What is True Luxury?

I’m a child of the 80’s, saturated in materialism from the beginning. In life, first toys, then clothes, then houses and cars became benchmarks of identity and perhaps success. One of my early obsessions was to get to the bottom of what made an object or place so great.

I wondered, could the intrinsic value be weighed against any set of natural laws? Surely greatness had order. The answer I arrived at wasn’t original, and it’s the one I stuck with. Nature, it seemed, couldn’t be trumped.

Sunsets, flowers, crickets chirping, tropical fish? You just can’t buy that.

Casa Battlo, Antoni Gaudi

In design this morphed my approach to be more subversive and align all the resources of time, money and material to highlight true luxury. The greatest way to tap into enhancing your senses through design is to incorporate the meaning and connection the users of a space have to its's context.

Prada Store, Rodeo Drive, OMA

True luxury, rather than big, bold, and gilded, could be a view framed properly, a seating area that begs a gathering of friends, high quality interior finishes that patina with a story. All those things dovetail with nature, a nod to what already works.

Designers who embrace luxury by playing a game with what it takes to set the tone for an authentic, enhanced experience that can only happen in that space have always intrigued me. Those who push convention to make a space or an object connected to its surroundings yet completely a thing of imagination manifest new ways for people to be and feel. I want to share with you some of my favorite masters in this area, here they are:

Andy Goldsworthy, creator of nature inspired art

Antoni Gaudi, architect of nature inspired buildings

Piet Oudolf, horticultural artist

Simon Velez, creator of beautiful bamboo buildings

Patrick Blanc, pioneer of vertical planted walls

Jorg Stamm, creator of amazing bamboo structures

Vita Sackville-West, creator of Sissinghurst

OMA, creators of amazing architecture and interior design

Check them all out on out Pinterest Inspiration Board right here.