There is a confusion that surrounds the definition of ‘Luxury’ that I find interesting. Luxury is not how we would of defined it seven years ago, but it is an aesthetic that has embraced the economic decline. A few years ago, restaurant interiors were honest and functional spaces with a raw beauty and curiosity that came with reclaimed fixtures and fittings. Perhaps these were an indirect expression of the times, a resourcefulness during the recession that still resonates today. During this time we openly expressed restraint, it was fashionable and affordable to holiday in your home country, to not express excess of any kind and simplicity and voucher deals were the order of the day. Whilst very sensible indeed, are we entering a more relaxed approach to living once again? It is noticeable that as the economy is beginning to grow; more and more people are eating out and socialising and restaurants in London are becoming increasingly busier.

Alongside this newfound optimism is a desire to indulge in luxury experiences. We have moved on to a new mindset that no longer admires the bare simplicities of life and is looking for new and layered experiences to express through our social media platforms. Perhaps we are looking for a touch of decadence to experience and tell our friends. All these things are part of the new world of experience, expression and communication to build an individuals brand.

Coming back to the question of the reclaimed look and it’s relevance today, the answer is yes, but alongside an element of luxury, it can now provide the twist that makes a luxury experience seem still in touch with the real world. This notion has been explored at the V&A with their current luxury exhibition, they rather usefully have provided a definition of luxury, ‘The acquisition of luxury objects has always fulfilled aspirations. In a busy and intrusive world, people increasingly value time and space for enjoying special moments and extraordinary experiences’, and ‘Luxury production represents an investment in time. Makers of luxury are inspired by passion and curiosity for the intricate nature of objects. Making luxury is not concerned with practical solutions but with the extraordinary, non-essential and exclusive.’

Tom | Interior Design

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Multi-sensory restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’ | Heston Blumenthal

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The Sky Gardens ‘Fenchurch Seafood & Grill‘ | Zac Whittle

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The Sky Gardens ‘Fenchurch Seafood & Grill’ | Zac Whittle

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The Shard’s ‘Ting’ | Emil Minev

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Sushi Samba | Cláudio Cardoso

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Sushi Samba | Cláudio Cardoso

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