Interior design trends come and go, but there are certain aesthetics that will remain timeless throughout the ages. With its effortlessly cool, comfortable, yet elegant look, the laidback luxury trend is one of them.
It’s no wonder that videos of luxe rooms filled with subtly glam details, hushed neutrals and calming, clean lines have taken the TikTok world by storm. The aesthetic speaks to the larger trend of becoming “that girl”—you know, the one who has her life together, drinks green smoothies every morning atop clean marble countertops, writes her to-do list in a sleek leather journal, goes on hot girl walks in a perfectly form-fitting Alo workout set, and of course, lives in an immaculately curated space.
While the “that girl” trend has received its own fair share of criticism (and probably for good reason), there’s something to be said for her clean, luxurious and elevated interior design style. We can all take notes from that girl when it comes to achieving the laidback luxury look—even if we detest green juice and would rather opt to sleep in rather than an early morning workout.
As the founder and principal designer of Hampton Rowe, a London, Ontario-based interior design firm specializing in laidback luxury for mostly Toronto-based clients, Crea Henry knows all about achieving this effortlessly chic aesthetic. She shared her top tips for capturing a laidback luxury aesthetic at home without breaking the bank:
Keep it Functional
When it comes to the early stages of designing a space, Crea recommends first considering your particular stage of life, and the needs that lifestyle brings with it. For example, do you have children? Do you love to entertain? Before you make any hard-and-fast decisions about your space, it’s best to consider how you need that room to function and what will be most practical for you in the long run.
“The first tip is to figure out how you use that space,” Crea says. “Everybody uses their spaces differently, depending on how many people live there, what stage of life you’re in, if you have children, etc. So once you determine how you use your space, you can make sure you can cater to how you want it to look and how you need it to function. From there, you can figure out how you can create the most beautiful space with the most usable pieces, and feel comfortable regardless of how you put it all together.”
Opt for High-Quality Materials
Crea explains that when she first founded Hampton Rowe, she wanted to create a design firm that would help people curate beautiful spaces that were equally functional and durable.
“Hampton Rowe was founded under the idea that no matter where you are in life, you can have a space that looks luxurious and feels amazing but isn’t too stuffy and has really high-quality materials that will last you a long time,” she explains.
Choosing high-quality, durable materials doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Crea recommends keeping an eye out for details when choosing staple pieces to ensure they’ll last.
“The word luxury does imply a higher price point, but that is why we use the word ‘laidback,’ because we don’t believe you have to spend at the highest price point possible to achieve that look and feel,” she says. “It’s about picking things that are going to last a long time, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive things. One way to do that is to look at the details, so say there’s stitching in your sofa—is it straight or frame? If you’re doing something that’s not solid wood, does the veneer have texture or is it flat? Texture will come across looking more real, so you can definitely get the look for not as much money.”
One telltale sign of a space belonging to “that girl” is the presence of plenty of chic, muted neutrals like grey, cream or camel. Leaning into these calming hues when choosing your staple pieces, accessories and fabrics will go a long way in helping you achieve the laidback luxury look and feel.
“One staple I would recommend is neutrals,” Crea says. “Always start with a lot of neutrals as your base because that is going to make you feel a lot more grounded. From there, you can pick things you love and sprinkle them where it makes sense. I would say my number one go-to is neutrals with really good quality fabric and material.”
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Let There Be Light
When it comes to curating a space that exudes the laidback luxury vibe, we often underestimate the importance of lighting. Crea notes that lighting can make or break a space’s overall ambiance, so it’s important to curate the right mix of natural light, mirrors and light fixtures.
“One of the big things that need to be accounted for in a room is light,” she says. “In all of our spaces, we try to make it feel calming, so say we have smaller windows, we’ll add mirrors to bounce around light and use light colours to expand the space.”
Key design elements like light, colour and organizational flow can all contribute to the overall mood of a space, and how it makes people feel when they walk into the room. Crea reminds us that interior design decisions are intimately connected with psychology and our overall mindset, which is why making choices that evoke our desired emotions is important.
Know Where to Shop
To help you perfect the laidback luxury aesthetic, Crea recommends checking out brands like CB2, Anthropologie and West Elm. She also suggests checking out local consignment shops near you to find timeless pieces and accessories that will give your space an eclectic edge.
Images courtesy of Hampton Rowe.