12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More


Designers from Colorado, New York and Texas reveal what luxury means to them, as well as some of their most memorable client requests, favorite lavish materials and trends.


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More COURTESY BEV ADAMS

“Pampering the body and soul with elements of design that capture good vibes is how I define luxury. It should provide the feelings of being calm, cool, relaxed and at peace. To that end, we are seeing a demand for a separate room in the house to be used for meditation, yoga or quiet contemplation. Master bathrooms are also becoming home spas with Bluetooth-activated fixtures, music speakers in showerheads and bathtubs that emit sound waves to release toxins from the body.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: KARIN BISOGNO

“I find luxury starts and ends with the ultimate design material: marble. It was celebrated by the Greeks and Romans, and it’s timeless. Two separate projects I’m working on–a bathroom and a living room, both for well-traveled, knowledgeable clients who know what they want–will combine Italian materials like Bianco Carrara marble with volcanic stones, which bring a rugged element to these refined settings.”



“Luxury is about individuality, which means custom pieces–from one-of-a-kind furniture to area rugs and commissioned fine art. I’m working on a project for which attention to detail is very important. There are five steam showers equipped with LED lighting and music control, and every bedroom has its own special touch of luxury, including high-end fireplaces and custom wall treatments. There is even a hidden wine room under the stairs.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & MoreCOURTESY DALLAS LYON

“To me, luxury is a state of mind. Take artwork, for example: Whether it’s an original piece worth $100,000 or something inspirational from a street exhibition, the beauty and value are in the eye of the beholder. For my clients, it’s all about customization — everything from lighting to furniture. Lately, I’ve been customizing wallcoverings, rugs, kitchen hoods and light fixtures. Unique wallcoverings are also big–and wallcoverings aren’t just wallpaper anymore.”



12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: JONATHAN MILLER

“When I think about luxurious material choices, they have to be the very best of whatever I am using. So if it’s tile, then it has to be natural exotic stones. If it’s wallpaper, then it must be hand-woven with metallics or something handmade. And if it’s fabric, then it needs to be the finest silks accented with embroidery or hand-painted designs. If they could talk, all these materials would just say, ‘Find something better than me–if you can!”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & MorePHOTO: STEPHEN KARLISCH PHOTOGRAPHY

“One of our clients requested a show-stopping chandelier for their double-height living room that was surrounded by glass on two sides. We ended up installing a vintage 110-bulb chandelier that was the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. It drew so much power that it needed its own electrical box in the construction scheme. It had originally hung in an opera house in Berlin. Our client loved the statement it makes in the home.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: JAMES EDWARD PHOTOGRAPHY

“Creating a design for a client’s 7,500-square-foot garage that would feature their personal collection of Porsches was one of the most unusual requests I can remember. Other than housing sports cars, the garage included two living areas and a bedroom as well as a bar and kitchen featuring Bulthaup cabinetry. One of my favorite details was finishing out the elevator in the materials of a Porsche interior.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: LAURIE PEARSON DESIGN

“To me, the materials that say ‘opulence’ and create a true feeling of luxury include stunning hand-painted and hand-printed Porter Teleo and Gracie wallpaper, beautiful silks and mohair fabrics, exquisite Scalamandre trimmings and gorgeously crafted Ann Sacks tile, Waterworks sinks and vanities. For classic traditional furnishings, I turn to Dennis & Leen, and for more modern contemporary looks, Minotti and Holly Hunt furniture and fabrics, just to name a few.”



12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: NB PHOTOGRAPHY

“We’re seeing trends in light; it’s very important in architecture. The way you treat lighting in a home can completely change the environment and create a unique experience. I’m also in love with Italian marbles like Breccia Capraia, which has a lot of colors and veins. Sometimes you can find greens and Bordeaux in the same slab. The colors are so rich, and the veins are so playful.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: ANDREW WILKINSON

“Clients desire visually enticing spaces with quality and comfort, including lush bedding, antique furnishings, art, linens and closet customization. I love Oushak rugsthe older, the better–but many weavers are realizing how to age the fibers to create a finished product that generates a history without hundreds of years of aging. An antique or reproduction rug brings an instant sensibility to a home.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: MELANI LUST

“I design a lot of my own furniture, and I’m loving mixing metals and incorporating them into a lacquer or wood piece. If a table has a channel with inlaid brass or nickel, it gives it that extra step of detail. Also, one of the big things for clients is 1,000-thread-count sheets. The bill will come in, and the client will say, ‘What? ‘ And I’ll say, ‘Just sleep on them for one night.’ And then they’re doing every bed in the house.”


12 Designers On What Luxury Means & More PHOTO: NANCY CORZINE

“I think many people have gotten away from using fake finishes. Clients are now loving painted finishes that are really well done, especially if they have a little bit of silver underlay to them. I also love to use silk velvet in my projects. The variety of colors is so beautiful. People think, ‘Oh, it’s precious and it won’t hold up,’ but as silk velvet ages, if it’s good quality, it starts to bloom–and it gets even better.”