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Featured Style: “Refined Luxe” Interior Design


When most people hear the term “luxury,” they imagine an untouchable space that feels more like a museum or hotel lobby. When it comes to your home, this is the opposite of what most people want. However, you can still have luxury…. Because the real definition of luxury, if you ask me, is comfort, quality, and peace of mind. 

A luxury home is one that looks incredible and feels effortless to live in. It looks incredible and won’t deteriorate after years of use by kids and pets. It’s sophisticated and refined without taking itself too seriously. 

In our Style Quiz, we refer to this aesthetic as Refined Luxe, an approach that will transform your home into a haven of comfort and elegance. How do we create it? What are the elements that make this style one to remember? Here are the details…


Castro Residence

1. High-Quality Materials

Imagine walking into a room and feeling immediately captivated by the rich, polished woods, gorgeous marble, and luscious velvet. That’s Refined Luxe at its best. Natural stone adds a touch of opulence, while the silk and velvet fabrics create a softness that’s livable. But… 

Don’t think for a second that you can skimp on quality. No amount of sparkles on a cheap chandelier, faux stone, or jewel tones on a budget rug can compare to the real deal. Yes, our eyes can tell the difference. Fortunately, when you invest in well-crafted, authentic pieces, you’re also increasing the value of your home and creating a stunning space that will last for years to come.

P.S. High-quality materials can include performance fabrics (yes, even velvet) that are perfect for homes with kids and pets. Goodbye stress and stains. Hello, peace of mind.


Castro Residence (Left) |  2004 SF Decorator Showcase by Caren Alpert (Right)

2. Statement Pieces

If you want your space to feel as unique as you are, forget the generic decor and let your individuality shine with statement pieces. This means forgoing retail shops and scouring boutiques where each piece is one-of-a-kind. 

Oh, and there’s nothing better than original artwork – it’s the ultimate show-stopper — but it doesn’t have to be a traditional painting. Yes, you could search for an oversized original canvas, but art could also be a large ceramic sculpture, a unique handmade vase, or a wall installation. 

Tip: Be sure to select items with the proper scale to strategically balance elements throughout the room. Sound intimidating? We’re here for you


Castro Residence photographed by Matthew Millman (Left) |  2014 SF Decorator Showcase photographed by David Duncan Livingston (Right)

3. Understated Elegance

When it comes to home decor in this genre, less is more. Focus on quality over quantity and resist the urge to haphazardly fill your home with an abundance of accessories. You’re not trying to recreate the Palace of Versailles. Too much, and the space will look gaudy. 

Instead, aim for decor and furnishings with understated elegance and timeless style. Select a few key pieces that add a touch of opulence, mix metals, and leave some open space for people to live. Oh, and don’t forget about mirrors! These versatile pieces can add light and give your space that extra sparkle naturally.


Photographer: David Duncan Livingston 

Take our Style Quiz

So, what did you think? Is the balance of opulence and comfort right for you? If you’re still unsure of your signature style, take our style quiz here. We promise it’s fun.

Then, reach out to us to talk about how we can help you bring it to life. Whether your style is Refined Luxe or something else, we’re here to help you create a home that feels one-of-a-kind, elegant, and personal to you. 



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