Quiet Luxury Interior Design Trends for a Sophisticated Home

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What is quiet luxury?

When you hear the word “luxury”, it often brings to mind things like expensive cars, opulent mansions, and the latest designer couture. All things that indicate an outward display of wealth or status. Quiet luxury embraces the old money philosophy of placing importance on high-quality craftsmanship and comfort over extravagance. As the old saying goes, “Money talks, wealth whispers.”

The latest buzz with quiet luxury has been in the fashion world. It focuses on simple designs made with natural materials that signify high-end sources and not the flashy, logo-clad looks that are mainstream. If you don’t feel the need to flaunt your wealth to the world with prominent designer labels, quiet luxury is the perfect style for you!

living room with quiet luxury style, light color, quality materials, sophisticated and comfortable furniture

Velvet sofas | Boucle chairs | Coffee table | Drapes | Rug | Candle holders | Picture lights | Woven boxes

In this post, I’m going to share ways to bring subdued luxury into your home for that sophisticated style you’ve been looking for – no matter where you live!

Design style vs. home style

Let’s start with a broad picture that will help you get started with adding quiet luxury items to your home. What type of home do you live in? Is it a newer cookie-cutter home in the suburbs or an old farmhouse built 100 years ago? Maybe you live in a Manhattan highrise apartment or a split-level built in the 70s.

Either way, it’s essential to consider the style of your home before choosing how to design or style the inside.

The Queen of England (talk about old money!), lived in palaces, but she also resided in cottages used for less formal gatherings with family. The furniture and design of the cottages reflect the setting and architecture of the home; less formal and more about comfort. Certainly, not the same furniture as you’d find in a palace.

The same applies to the rest of us. Farmhouse shiplap doesn’t feel natural in a modern home. I am all for mixing finishes and patterns, but you have to be careful about contradictory styles in your home.

Understated Surfaces

When designing a luxury home, it’s common to think you need to add lots of shiny things. But I want to warn you – not all luxury items come with shiny surfaces! Sometimes chasing the sparkle lands you with faux materials in order to get that shine, the opposite of quiet luxury.

When selecting kitchen design elements for a new build or a renovation, one of the biggest design decisions is the countertops. If you’ve done any research in this area, you know that certain materials are more costly than others. However, there is nothing like the beauty of marble.

close up comparison of honed Carrara Marble and polished Carrara Marble
Honed marble vs. Polished marble

I chose a honed finish over polished marble countertops for my kitchen. Not only because it lacks the shiny surface, but I actually love the way it etches and shows wear over time. Marble is a naturally occurring stone that has been around for centuries and has always been associated with luxury.

Does the marble in my bathroom require a little different care than other tile options? Yes, but it’s not as hard as you think. You have to be careful about which cleaning products you use. If you want to know more, I have another post explaining how to care for marble floors that will get you the answers you are looking for.

Fabric with quiet luxury qualities

Have you ever been a guest in a home with furniture so fancy that you’re scared to sit on it? An affluent homeowner who loves to decorate with expensive fabric, like exotic silk, certainly isn’t thinking about comfort.

Much of the quiet luxury philosophy revolves around making life comfortable. Choosing traditional style high-end furniture with upholstery made from linen, cotton, velvet, or leather creates a living space that is beautiful and welcoming. It’s more expensive than faux alternatives and tends to last longer with proper care. Read my Honest Review of the West Elm Marin Velvet Sofa and see how a bench seat sofa can elevate your home.

living room with quiet luxury style, camel colored velvet sofa, Agreeable gray walls, large wall art, built-in bookshelves

Sofa | Wall art | Rug | Ottoman

Picture Diane Keaton’s Hamptons home in “Something’s Gotta Give.” It is the epitome of quiet luxury. Layers of furniture and light-colored textiles coupled with stunning window treatments and perfectly placed lighting create a warm and inviting space. You know it’s all very expensive, but it’s not flashy in any way.

Cabinet latches | Cabinet pulls | Cabinet knobs | Artisan Vase | Wall sconce | Faux cherry blossoms

Timeless wood tones

Home trends come and go, just like fashion. One of the things that go in and out of style is the color of wood surfaces. If you want to keep up with what’s hot at the moment, replacing a piece of furniture is certainly less expensive than changing an entire house full of hardwood flooring or all of your kitchen cabinets.

If you are remodeling your kitchen or starting from scratch, I suggest going right for the timeless choice of a classic white kitchen. It will never go out of style and is easy to update.

White kitchen with marble countertops, woven counter stools, modern black and brass kitchen island pendants, agreeable gray walls, brass cabinet hardware

Pendants | Sconces | Counter stools | Vase | Drawer pulls | Round knobs | Door latches

Back in the 80s and 90s, it was popular to have dark, rich mahogany wood. Then in the 2000s, we moved on to cherry EVERYTHING just for the sake of getting the most expensive look.

White Kitchen with inset cabinets and Carrara marble island countertop and vintage runner on red oak floors

Cabinet latches | Cabinet pulls | Cabinet knobs | Rug | Wall sconce | Faux lilac branches | Pendant

Instead of keeping up with the latest hot thing, opt for a more traditional and timeless wood like oak. Better yet, go for a middle-of-the-road stain color and avoid anything super dark, ultra-light, or gray.

Quality finishes

I discussed polished surfaces above, but another shiny object to avoid is gold-painted hardware. Trust me, those gold door handles at Grandma’s aren’t brass.

Just because there are expensive-looking finishes doesn’t mean you should go for it. There are plenty of cheap hardware options out there, but this is an area where it’s a good idea to splurge.

I only use a few different hardware materials in my home and if I want something crisp and shiny, polished nickel is my go-to. It has a little warmth to it compared to the cool tones of chrome.

white kitchen with marble countertops, polished nickel lantern pendants, elegant and sophisticated home

Polished nickel lanterns

As far as I’m concerned, brass is the ultimate quiet luxury hardware. Natural, unlacquered brass. It starts off with a little shine but when that living finish starts to show its age, there is nothing like it! Just like the etching in marble, patina gives brass that distinct bit of character.

Round unlacquered brass knobs

Money can’t buy good taste

You can have all the money in the world, hire the best designers that money can buy, and still get steered in the wrong direction. If having an extravagant and impractical home is your goal, then by all means – get all the ornate and embellished objects you want! But, you’d be missing the whole point of quiet luxury.

Sometimes less is best! Not every square inch needs to be filled with decor. If you’re a minimalist, you don’t have to style that big blank wall or fill your shelves with trophies from your travels.

stairway with white walls with molding, wood floors, elegant and sophisticated home

Money can buy comfort and convenience

People with “old money” have nothing to prove. They place importance on quality and things that make their lives easier. While that may mean having a live-in cleaner, chef, and personal trainer for some, there are other convenience luxuries that aren’t out of reach for others.

Simple things such as a laundry chute or having laundry machines on the same level as the bedrooms for convenience. Maybe it’s a pot filler over the stove, pocket doors, or having two dishwashers. It’s all about making day-to-day things easier and creating a comfortable life for your family, whatever that means to you.

Bedroom with neutral cloud wallpaper and cane headboard. Linen quilt and plaid and floral throw pillows. White painted nightstand with tall hobnail ceramic lamp with burlap tapered shade. Vintage hand knotted rug

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