A Homeowner’s Guide to Effortless Luxury Home Design

Every homeowner has his or her own style. Some people like a very relaxed cottagey feel, while others like a sleek and modern appearance. Some prefer rustic and others go for retro. Then you have homeowners who pursue luxury at every turn. And if you’re in the latter category, we have some simple and easy tactics you can use to achieve a killer look.

6 Ways to Achieve Luxury Design

In the words of designer 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.”

That’s a pretty good definition. But what does it look like in tangible terms? Here are a few cornerstone concepts:

Balanced Lighting

Most people assume that lighting is lighting. Sure, there might be different styles of light fixtures, but the assumption is that every home’s lighting is basically the same. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Lighting is as much an element of interior design as paint and furniture. And proper lighting design makes good use of layering.

“Layering your lighting simply means stepping beyond the basic overhead general light and thoughtfully arranging different styles of lighting to create a cohesive and functional lightscape,” Lumens.com explains.

There are three basic categories of lighting. You have ambient lighting, which provides general illumination. (These are lights that you flip on when you walk in a room so that you can see what you’re doing.) Then there’s task lighting, which is intended to help you accomplish a specific action. (Under-cabinet lights are a good example.) And finally, you have accent lighting, which is less functional and more aesthetic. (Like a crystal chandelier over an elegant bathtub.)

A healthy blend of these three types of lighting will produce a cohesive and luxurious look.

Custom Light Fixtures

Speaking of lighting, custom light fixtures – particularly in the accent lighting category – can go a long way towards making a space feel luxurious. Find a local craftsman to make you a custom design, or shop from designers that don’t mass produce their fixtures.

Diverse Textures/Materials

If you study luxury home design, you’ll notice that they use a variety of textures and materials. This adds a degree of sophistication and visual intrigue to the design. If you’re renovating, remodeling, or building, be thoughtful with the different materials you use in your designs. A combination of woods, stones, metals, and fabrics communicates a luxurious appearance. It’s also attractive to contrast the new with the old. For example, a rustic, reclaimed wood beam can really shine when placed next to a carefully honed piece of white marble.

Upgraded Showers

Few rooms have the ability to embody luxurious interior design quite like the master bathroom. And if you’re going to spend on anything in the bathroom, start with the shower. Appealing luxury shower designs include steam room showers, dual-showers, doorless showers, and statement shower doors (like frameless).


“Quality over quantity” and “less is more” are phrases we often use in luxury interior design. The point is that luxury design should be simple and distraction-free so that eyes are drawn towards the elements that truly matter. But in order for this clean design to work, there has to be something to focus on. Every room needs a focal point.

In most rooms, original artwork does the trick. Big canvas oil paintings with “frameless” frames are really popular right now. Consider adding one to each main living area for a powerful statement.

Convenience Features

If you think about it, luxury design is really about convenience. It’s about designing a space where you can relax and feel pampered. So make sure you’re designing a home that’s livable. Luxury features like smart home systems are a great way to give your house that “penthouse” feel.

What Does Your Version of Luxury Look Like?

There’s no single definition of luxury design. The truth is that it means different things to different people. For one person, luxury design might mean sleek, modern aesthetics with sharp lines. For another, it might mean Victorian architecture, plush furniture, and vintage artwork.

The key is to find your version of luxury. What does it look like to you? That’s what you really need to pursue.

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