One of the highlights of the Decoration and Design Building’s 2012 Fall Market is getting to hear some of the industry’s thought leaders talk about what they see going on in the design and decor business. This year’s opening keynote was one of the best we’ve heard. ELLE Decor’s editor-in-chief, Michael Boodro (photo below), shared the findings of a survey on luxury completed by 400 interior designers across the United States. The goal of this survey was to define the question “What is luxury?”
Here are some of the highlights:
FIRST, A GOOD SIGN:
- 76% of designers surveyed expect 2013 to be better for business! (more business trends in just a minute...)
WHAT IS "LUXURY"?
- Luxury is more of a state of mind than a state of pocketbook.
- There's nothing more luxurious than coming home to a home that's calming and beautiful.
- People want a story, they want history; they want a connection to their pieces.
- When it comes to luxury, people care about what is most particularly beautiful to them.
- It's not about NOT spending; it is about not wasting!
- Inspire your clients to look for the best.
- What's really good is what suits your life.
- Don't forget the humor in life when you think of luxury.
- We are moving away from the idea that bigger is better.
- Most important attributes of a luxury product? Design, quality, craftsmanship. Not brand or being identifiable.
- Luxury residence must haves
-- Location, uniqueness, and architectural elements. Not square footage or ceiling height.
-- Spa bath, outdoor kitchen, home gym. Not tennis court!!
DESIGN TRENDS IN THE LUXURY MARKET
- People want to stand out in a standardized world.
- Return to local designers, handmade, and smaller boutiques taking center stage.
- Kitchens are more integrated into home design.
- Indoor/outdoor connection becoming increasingly important, especially outdoor furniture that looks like it belongs inside the house.
- Hardware is increasingly important because it translates into tactile small luxury. Your guests are going to respond viscerally.
- Smaller rooms that are more beautifully detailed.
- Other new trends: private gyms and coffee stations in the bedroom/dressing rooms (yes, please!).
- What's passé?
-- Media rooms because everyone's watching on iPhones.
-- Too-smart houses, screening room in the basement and ostentation.
-- No more lucite, geometric patterns & mirrored furniture!
- Clients can't spend enough on bathrooms & kitchens.
- People are now spending money on the rooms that use to be hidden
- 38% of designers surveyed name design as most important attribute in luxury products.
- 65% of customers will buy custom pieces.
- More than 50% of designers surveyed researched art, furniture and wall coverings online.
- Majority of designers are shopping retail for clients more than before recession.
- "People watch TV... and they believe it!" - in response to the myths propagated by "reality" TV home shows.
- Billing practices and investment pieces are two examples of how people want to know their money is well spent.
November cover of ELLE Decor: The Luxury Issue
All of these observations are definitely in line with what we have been seeing and have heard from other people as right on par. It’s great to see some of these trends coming back into fashion: smaller spaces with better details, uniqueness, online research and buying custom!
Be sure to pick up the November issue of ELLE Decor to see more of the “Luxury Report.” There are some fascinating quotes from some of our favorite designers on what constitutes real luxury now.