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Money talks, wealth whispers: Quiet luxury and design
HBO’s Succession conquered the world, and all anyone can talk about is quiet luxury.
With HBO’s hit-show Succession coming back for a fourth and final season, the topic of “quiet luxury” has been popping up again. While it mostly refers to the discreet yet outrageously expensive fashion the Roy family tends to deck themselves in, we think it’s time to talk about it in an interior design context.
As an interior design company specialised in high-quality luxury suppliers, we’re deep into these topics and brands, and can’t wait to discuss further who’s doing it the best and how you can achieve the look in your next interior design project.
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What is “quiet luxury”?
For the uninitiated, the idea of quiet luxury is the topic of the moment on socialmedia. Quiet luxury, by definition, is luxury that isn’t loud about its cost or branding. It is minimalist, without any obvious logos, and is only noticeable to those who know about the brand. It is the physical manifestation of “if you know, you know”.
In line with the upsurge in interest for “old money” and the associated class rules of the elite, quiet luxury and "wealth whispers" exposes a desire to be perceived as rich without the associated tags of “tackiness”. Those who promote this trend say the quiet luxury movement is about elegance, subtlety and overall, standing the test of time.
Late 2010s fashion was all about overt opulence and branding (e.g. Gucci’s logo becoming a best-seller pattern). The 2020s, with its constant recessions and rising inequality, is about restraint, more focused on living luxury than actually flaunting it to those who “don’t get it”. This style is based around minimalism, high-quality materials, antique details and decor, velvet and linen soft furnishings of the highest quality and other quietly beautiful elements.
Of course, money talks. This rhetoric is not a moral leap from the previous commitment to gaucheness and overconsumption. It is a more refined yet equally classist take on showing off a higher socio-economic status to the world.
In parallel, to the trend we're talking about, is the resurgence of "old money". This is a movement rooted in the desire to embrace the class rules of the elite, without succumbing to ostentatious displays of wealth. Old money embodies a sense of understated elegance and subtlety, where true luxury lies in its timelessness.
What does “quiet luxury interior design” look like?
“Quiet luxury” is difficult to detect, but once you see it you can’t miss it. In quiet luxury design, you will see quality furniture pieces, a balanced design style and a neutral colour palette. Also, add some outrageously expensive art on the walls. But make the artists behind the obscure, abstract and almost unrecognisable (unless you’re in the know). Here are some of our favourite examples in action.
Minimal Luxe Living Area by Hommés Studio
The design below looks minimalist, discreet, perfectly symmetrical. Some even would say bare. However, only the coffee table and two sofas come up to 20,000 USD.
Menorcan home by Ábaton
This beautiful Menorcan villa is simple and slightly rustic, blending traditional Spanish coastal elements with the cutting edge and minimalist design. As an example of “quiet luxury at work”, the rattan chair visible below is the Carl Hansen & Søn CH25 Lounge Chair; upwards of 3,000 EUR. While its design is discreet, a trained eye can see the touch of Scandinavian chicness all over it.
Carpets and rugs by Pinton 1867
Rugs are a staple of luxury homes, and one look at the Pinton rug selection and you’ll know we’re talking about real high-end stuff over here. The Teles rug, one of their range’s standouts, is 15,444 EUR. If you’re an interior designer, you can directly source their range by joining Portaire, for free.
If you love this rug as much as we do, you can check out more of their products just below.
The Cloud sofa by Restoration Hardware
This modular sofa, purchased by the likes of business mogul and influencer Kylie Jenner, has become a total viral sensation and a signifier of wealth. The design of the sofa is simple, and the textiles used are earthy and natural. The price tag? 9000–12,000 USD for the minimum components, with prices going higher with more modules. Now if you see it, you’ll know.
Wallpaper by De Gournay
Have you ever looked at wallpapers and wondered about the artists behind them? With De Gournay, you can rest assured that every panel is done with the highest levels of craftsmanship and artistry and plenty of technical knowhow. With three options available – pret a porter, personalisable and completely bespoke – their wallpapers are bound to make a statement. Also, each panel starts at 700 GBP, so be ready to dish out some money for wallpaper that is truly art.
If you still have some questions about this topic, we have researched everywhere to find frequently asked questions and help you uncover their answers. Here are some of those whispering answers.
What are the benefits of quiet luxury decor?
The benefits of quiet luxury in interior design are a sense of calm and tranquility, a focus on quality craftsmanship and materials, and an overall aesthetic that exudes sophistication and elegance. It creates a space that is refined, comfortable, and timeless.
What is an example of quiet luxury?
An example of quiet luxury could be a high-quality cashmere sweater. It may not have flashy logos or extravagant designs, but it is made from the finest materials and crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The softness and warmth of the cashmere provide a luxurious experience for the wearer, while the understated design and elegance make it a timeless piece that can be worn for years to come.
While different to quiet luxury in interior design, the quiet luxury dress code is a style of dressing that emphasizes simplicity, sophistication, and understated elegance. It is characterized by clean lines, high-quality fabrics, and minimalistic details. The focus is on timeless pieces that exude a sense of luxury without being flashy or ostentatious. Think tailored suits, well-fitted dresses, and classic accessories. The color palette tends to be muted and neutral, with an emphasis on black, white, navy, and earth tones. Overall, the quiet luxury dress code is about creating a polished and refined look that speaks volumes without saying a word.
In the interior design context, we could talk about an understated living room, or an imported Persian rug... But overall, quiet luxury is all about appreciating the finer things in life without needing to flaunt them so openly.
How does one achieve a quiet luxury lifestyle?
Achieving a quiet luxury lifestyle is about embracing simplicity, quality, and refinement in every aspect of life. It starts with surrounding yourself with well-crafted, timeless pieces that exude sophistication and elegance. Whether it's in your home, wardrobe, or everyday choices, opt for high-quality materials and minimalist designs that stand the test of time.
In terms of your home, focus on creating a space that is refined and comfortable. Choose furnishings made from luxurious materials like leather or silk, and invest in artwork or decor pieces that evoke an understated sense of beauty. Keep clutter at bay and let each item dazzle the viewer.
Even at a lesser budget, quiet luxury can be about prioritising self care and reflection, quietly, without the need of others' attention.