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How to arrange a home in accordance with the "quiet luxury" trend - Money talks, but wealth whispers


(Photo: WorldWide/shutterstock.com)
If you follow popular culture, you couldn`t help but notice one term that has entered our lives with a bang - quiet luxury. From the catwalks, it has moved to other areas, including the interior, and some even go so far as to call it one of the most important interior trends in 2023.

Expressed in the maxim "Money talks, but wealth whispers", this trend popularized by the series "Heirs", implies elegance and subtlety. A home decorated according to these principles looks rich, but without details that scream "Look how rich I am".

However, this is not a new trend, and some would say, not even a trend at all. Contrary to the changes that characterize other trends, the emphasis here is on quality and authentic, eternal pieces that will withstand the test of time and changing trends. Neutral colors, natural materials are dominant, great attention is paid to details, and thoughtful, as opposed to impulsive, purchases are encouraged.

How to arrange a home in accordance with the principles of quiet luxury and whether it is even possible if we are not rich - these are the questions we sought answers to.

Marija Kojić, a lecturer at the Faculty of Contemporary Arts, notes for the eKapija portal that the dizzyingly fast change of trends on the fashion scene, unfortunately, also affects the interior and furniture industry. She explains that, unlike the fashion industry, where the process of creating and marketing pieces doesn`t take that long, it takes at least a year to launch a chair or a new table collection. If interior trends were followed and changed seasonally, the client would practically live with the masters, she notes, adding that quiet luxury actually means investing in quality pieces of furniture that will always be popular regardless of the current trend.

- Saturation has finally come and the need to turn around and ask ourselves where we are in all this and what remains behind us. The term "quiet luxury" is perhaps better characterized as a lifestyle, not a trend. It becomes important not only what impression/image we leave, but also how we feel in the wardrobe/space we use. The key words are timeless pieces and quality over quantity. Natural materials are in focus, values that we can leave as a legacy to someone, a smart choice, not an impulsive purchase - our interlocutor emphasizes.

The goal is to make us feel comfortable in our home

This trend in popular culture is expressed in the maxim "Money talks, but wealth whispers". When asked how the effect of "relaxed elegance" and luxury that is not conspicuous is achieved in the interior, our interlocutor answers that the business premises should satisfy the needs of a larger number of users, while living space is a very personal matter and depends on what we consider comfortable, relaxed and pleasant.

- We see and experience the same concepts differently, for some, elegance is reflected in bright colors, an open space with as little furniture as possible, while in another case it can be hand-made furniture made of an exotic type of wood in a space with darker tones. That`s how luxury can have a range of interpretations - Kojić reminds.

The most important is how we feel in the space (Photo: Antoha713/shutterstock.com)The most important is how we feel in the space

That`s why, as she notes, when decorating the space we live in, we should be guided by personal needs and preferences, and not so much by trends.

- Things that are more difficult to change should be chosen more wisely, and details such as textiles can follow fashion trends. At the end of the day, the goal is to feel comfortable, relaxed and belong in our home, and not what we are telling others by choosing pieces and colors - says Kojić.

Clients in Serbia also recognize this, our interlocutor believes, adding that when interior design is approached in accordance with personal needs, each space has its own spirit depending on the user`s profile.

- We were lucky to cooperate with clients who share these values and it is a great pleasure to work on such projects. It`s more interesting for us, and the clients are always far more satisfied in the end that they got an authentic home. We also cooperate with companies engaged in the production of furniture, for them we develop products that enter serial production. As I mentioned, blindly following trends is not sustainable or feasible in this industry, so this new "trend" is in favor of their philosophy - Kojić emphasizes.

Popularity is growing in an age of inflation

The popularity of "quiet luxury" has something to do with the moment we live in. At first glance, it is illogical that we are so burdened by a trend that seems unattainable for most of us, especially with inflation and the new crisis that has gripped the world. But only at first. Experts explain that in times of recession, people become more conservative in their purchases and rather decide to invest in a few high-quality pieces that will last, as opposed to a large number of low-quality ones. When you add to that the pursuit of wealth, and one of the synonyms for the direction of "quiet luxury" is the so-called "old money" (wealth that has been inherited through generations, instead of instant wealth), here is the explanation.

- With the cost of living rising, wealth seems out of reach for most homeowners, so the trend`s intriguingness seems to come a little from its elusive nature. People are looking for a way to achieve this trend without really having "old money". In addition, many owners avoid spending money on trends that come and go, especially now that the cost of living is rising. This trend implies a classic style that is eternal - explained interior designer Anna Elkington.

And is it possible to arrange a home or an office according to the principles of "quiet luxury" even if we don`t have much money and we buy furniture in big salons? What can we, who not only don`t have "old money", but can`t boast of any wealth, do to make the space seem expensive to us, even though it`s not?

The essence of this concept is reflected in quality (Photo: Unsplash/yann maignan)The essence of this concept is reflected in quality

Marija Kojić reminds that what is or seems to be expensive is subjective, and it also depends on the context. According to her, perhaps the very name "quiet luxury" is associated with wealth and its subtle manifestation, but the core of this concept is more sincere and is reflected in quality.

- In order for something to look good on me, I need to know how to wear it. It`s the same with interior design, the space reflects its user. Aesthetics and luxury are not necessarily related to a large financial investment. As in fashion, vintage pieces can be a great choice. If we have inherited a piece of furniture, it can reach its full glory again through restoration. At yard sales, vintage bazaars or ads, you can find iconic pieces of furniture at very reasonable prices - Kojić advises.

A good example on our market are pieces designed by the famous Slovenian designer Niko Kralj, he explains.

- During the heyday of Yugoslavia, many interiors were equipped with these iconic pieces. If we invest the time to find and restore them, we can achieve "quiet luxury" with little money - our interlocutor points out

The extremely non-trendy determination of this trend is the reason why many predict a bright future for it and believe that it will mark the coming years as well. Our interlocutor hopes that this concept will change people`s awareness and stay a little longer in focus because, as she says, it is a healthier approach.

- I`m not a fan of following trends in fashion, let alone in the interior industry. It is precisely the rapid change of trends that leaves a large environmental footprint. Unfortunately, today it is a luxury to have clean air, greenery in front of the building, shade, I think we should pay more attention to that when making the choices we make - concludes Marija Kojić.

Marija Dedić