Luxury vs. Necessity

If something makes your life easier and happens to be pretty does it mean it’s a luxury or a necessity? I want to buy something that makes me happy and make my life easier at the end of the day. Yes I will need to consider the cost, but if it’s more than I had planned then I need to figure out what I can cut back on in order to afford it. I will make a list of pros and cons and search vehemently online trying to find reviews and cost comparisons.

When it comes to choosing countertops, flooring, accent pieces is it a luxury to get a higher end product or a necessity? What is your reasoning for choosing the product you choose? For me the granite was a necessity. I wanted to have a countertop that was easy to clean, heat resistant and won’t show dirt as quickly (yes I am still fastidious about cleaning.. but still.. you know what I mean!). It also will help with the resale value of our home.

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Recently I had my first art show where I was featuring my glass art.  As I was sitting there greeting potential customers I was abuzz with the desire to share the process of my work and have it be owned by someone who would truly love it and be as amazed at the beauty as I was. When someone did buy something I had a feeling like my child was being sent off and it was at once exhilarating and a bit sad. Knowing I wouldn’t see that item again but knowing it was going to a good place.

Being at that show also made me start thinking about what makes someone buy an item. I’ve gone to many art & craft shows and am mostly unimpressed. One reason is the most of the items are overpriced, nothing stands out, many times these are items that I see at all art shows. Another reason is because the person selling the items (most times the actual artisan) do not have people skills.  Even when you try to start a conversation with the artisan, there is no desire on their end to talk, which is a shame.

However last year I went to an Indie art show and was blown away. The products were quirky and cool, the artisans truly loved what they did and wanted to tell you about it even if you had no idea what you would use it for. How an item will make you feel is many times the main reason why you buy something.

With my own art I want someone to feel beautiful and cool wearing it, or to smile when they see it. I also want them to show it off to everyone they know, thus giving me free salespeople for my product!

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Later that weekend I was at home reading through some magazines and I read this article from Sarah Jenkinson of Kitchen & Bath Design News. She talked about how emotions are the key to selling luxury. However she also talked about what defines luxury. Her favorite response was:

A woman whose “luxury” is a down comforter she uses to snuggle with her two dogs on Sunday mornings. This is the only day this comforter is brought out, as it’s the only day she can truly enjoy it. She and the dogs bundle up together while she does The New York Times crossword puzzle.

“What makes it a luxury?” I asked?

Her reply was, “Everything: The feel of the comforter, the love of the dogs, the entertainment of the crossword puzzle and the time to enjoy them all.”

This suggests that luxury is as much about a feeling as it is about an actual product.

luxury2Items that are priced high are not an automatic luxury. You may need a high end countertop for functionality as well as beauty. Granite offers a wide range of color, textural looks as well as price points.. so you can still feel luxurious when you need to buy something that is a necessity. You may need that touch faucet because your hands are constantly dirty or sticky with something and you don’t want to have to clean that up too when you finish washing your hands.

So tell me, what is the most luxurious thing you have bought and why?

Blog post written by Jennifer Harris of JLHwordsmith.com

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