Designers Define Luxury
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, April 26, 2013
"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," says Olson, an interior designer, author and host of HGTV's "Candice Tells All."
"We live in an information-based society where the consumer is willing to invest extra time to distinguish between products and is often shunning the obvious brands for a more discreet, unique product that fits their very need," she said. "In my experience, luxury goods might be more defined by the time it takes to handcraft or personalize a product to perfectly fi t into my client's life."
Butera is an interior designer, author and president and CEO of Barclay Butera Inc., whose brands include Barclay Butera's Interiors, Lifestyle and Home.
Hampton owns and operates the New York design firm Mark Hampton LLC and designs licensed products in home furnishings through her company Alexa Hampton Inc. She agreed that luxury is often defined by the circumstances of the consumer.
"I love tufting, but not on seat cushions where we're going to have snacks," she says. "If you're a lounger, then luxury might be having a sofa that is deep enough to give you the ability to sit Indian style. The way I define luxury in anything is that it is completely tailored to the needs of the buyer."
The designers add that effectively displaying high-end luxury furnishings in the showroom requires the same type of careful consideration.
"I love to shop in stores where I feel loved," Olson said. "That feeling comes from the shopping experience that appeals to my emotions, my imagination, my sense of fun. Let's face it, furniture is available in many shops, but we return to those shops where we feel a connection."
"Merchandising makes all the difference showcasing luxury goods," Butera said. "When you mix the right lighting, home décor, accessories, rugs and pillows, the consumer falls in love with a total look. As a designer, I am always attracted to other retailers that take time to go the extra distance with presentation.
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