Luxury Defined

CheckYouRoom and CheckYourParis are very pleased to welcome guest blogger Shannon Ables from the Simply Luxurious blog.

Luxury. What is it? How and where can one find it?  And does a high price always have to be paid?  An ongoing passion of mine has always been to seek out luxury and once found, revel in it. From this passion sprung the creation of the Simply Luxurious blog where I try to delve into the above questions and share the answers I find with my readers.

What is luxury? Miss Chanel herself summed it up quite nicely in only a few sentences, so let’s delve deeper into exactly what she has to say.

“Luxury is the opposite of vulgarity. . .

When one has the fortunate opportunity to come across luxury, it is something that spontaneously generates a smile, fills one’s being with a sense of comfort that only intensifies with time and never ceases to bring contentment.  Unlike vulgarity, which initially shocks the onlooker and dissipates rather quickly.

For example, taking in the beauty of a thoughtfully decorated interior that continually seems to reveal delightful little details the closer one looks.  Juicy Mash Kulture shares photos of Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment above that reveals her cultured, warm and sophisticated taste.

“Luxury is the opposite of status. . .

Often times, this statement generates a pause for contemplation because too many times it is assumed that if someone is of a higher status in society, they must live luxuriously, no?

No. Luxury can be found in any societal class and in any price range.  In fact, so many times luxuries can be free.  The determining factor of whether or not something is a luxury is if it is appreciated.  If one can remember a time when they did not have the particular luxury in their life, they will be far more apt to appreciate it and label it as such.

An example of free luxuries: sleeping in (when was the last time your body clock woke you up and not your alarm clock?),  sunshine and warmer temperatures after a cold, harsh winter, the smile of a loved one returning from a long absence.

An example of an extravagant luxury might be living in the Ritz Hotel in Paris. If a person is used to turning down their own bed, cleaning their own sheets and, like most of us, being responsible for cleaning our own homes, to live in a hotel for a mere 37 years, as Coco Chanel did in this above room, would be an extremely generous luxury.

If you would like to live as Coco did, the room is available ($4300/night).

“It is the ability to make a living by being oneself. It is the freedom to refuse to live by habit. Luxury is liberty. . .

One of the reasons being oneself is an absolute luxury is because it isn’t easy.  It isn’t easy to take the time to find out one’s talents and gifts.  It isn’t easy to find people who truly appreciate these gifts once they’ve been found.  Just as it isn’t easy to find luxuries, but once discovered, they should be treasured and not taken for granted.

Living by habit is innate in humans as it is our nature to desire some sort of routine, but one must always be conscious that a luxury, to continue to be a luxury, must be truly enjoyed and (I’m going to use this word again, but it is at the root of how luxury is defined) appreciated. And from this appreciation comes freedom, a sigh and lifting of the burden of trying to be what others want us to be.

“Luxury is elegance. True elegance is refusal.”

And the pinnacle of attaining luxuries in one’s life, whether they be moments, realizations, destinations, or material items, is how one chooses to live their lives with them.  First, keep in mind, that one man’s luxury is another man’s bother.  So luxuries for each individual person will be unique, but one must have the ability to say no as well because if too many so called luxuries are brought into one’s life, the appreciation will soon evaporate.  In essence, a lesson in quality over quantity.

Coco Chanel said it rather well I think.  So with that, enjoy the pursuit of all things lovely, cozy and joyful. After all, your search will be unique, so enjoy the ride (and take copious notes, so you can share your tale).

Images: (1) – Nonsense Society (4) – Renee Ashley Baker (5) – We Heart It (6) – We Heart It (7) – Source

4 Responses to “Luxury Defined”
  1. Olivier, it looks fantastic! Thanks again for including me on your lovely blog. It has been a pleasure working with you.
    I’m off to find a luxury or two in my day. =)

  2. mary jo says:

    This is such a great post for so many reasons, but personally I love the idea that luxury is coziness. After all the big furniture splurges are over, it comes down to having things that make your life easier–coasters, water by the bedside, well stocked kitchen with my favorite everything in the cupboards. These are really things you could have before you have $$ to spend. Thank you for this lovely reminder!

    xo Mary Jo

    • Olivier says:

      That’s interesting, and if we are to talk about hotels for instance, do you think that luxury is more in convenient details than in furniture for instance?

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