Remember when American menus saw a culinary renaissance of comfort food a few years ago? Burgers, hotdogs, mac ‘n’ cheese and cupcakes all received gourmet makeovers with high-end ingredients, such as kobe beef, truffles, foie gras, and gold leaf. Comfort is an antidote for a stressful world, and there is no more stressful time than the present.
As a result, we’re seeing comfort emerge in other lifestyle categories as well. Take interior design for example – increasingly more affluent travelers prefer to be comfortable and feel comfortable – more informal settings and less ceremonious service, a trend that has been in the making for a number of years. It’s no surprise that you seldom hear about “fashion”, “style”, or “minimalism” these days. In fact, one of our clients, who is launching a new vacation real estate product, carried out a survey of affluents who can afford multimillion dollar second homes. One of the major design points they raised was to forget the high-end, haute design bedside table lamps – instead, they favored a lamp that offers the very best lighting to read by. And those 600 thread count sheets? Not nearly as important as the comfort factor of their environment as a whole. The days of quiet elegance, now with an emphasis on comfort, are the mandate of the day and we will be wise to remember that as we design the products we hope these luxury consumers will buy.