Specialism
Project type
Insights
Tools

Quiet luxury interior design ideas and tips

It’s the fashion trend that caused a stir this year, but how can you integrate the principles of quiet luxury into your home interiors?

25 January 2024
7 minutes read
Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.

As 2023 comes to a close and we reflect on the year that was, there are a few trends that stand out as being particularly memorable. One of those trends is of course the rise of quiet luxury, which entered the zeitgeist with extreme force thanks to HBO’s Succession and a certain ‘capacious bag’. 

The iconic moment set off a flurry of articles unpacking the rise of quiet luxury and stealth wealth; the classier alternatives to garish, over-the-top displays of wealth we’ve seen popularised by reality stars and influencers in recent times. 

Six months later, the quiet luxury trend has gone nowhere, its position as the pinnacle of taste unmoved. But what is quiet luxury in regard to decor and design, and how can you integrate it into your home without completely breaking the bank?

What is the quiet luxury trend?

As the name suggests, quiet luxury is the design trend that preferences understated luxury over gaudy displays of wealth. 

For example, in a fashion context, rather than walking around with a bejewelled and branded designer bag, someone subscribing to the rules of quiet luxury would opt for designers like The Row, Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana whose designs don’t - to the untrained eye - appear dissimilar to what you’d stumble across in a store like Uniqlo. 

What is different however, is the quality of the materials used, the ethical labour (hopefully) employed and of course, the jaw-dropping expense of the price tag (a quick example: these simple looking court shoes go for a cool £1340).

The idea underpinning quiet luxury is that while designer bags, brands and cars remain the epitome of traditional luxury, they’re not quiet, they’re loud; a symbol of success for the world to see. By contrast, quiet luxury is still luxury, it’s just not as easily identifiable, which some believe makes it a classier, more discreet alternative.

Spacious and serene living room design embodying quiet luxury with neutral tones, modern furniture, wood accents, and large windows offering natural light and a view of greenery outside.

What is quiet luxury in interior design?

Quiet luxury interior design is about creating a harmonious environment where each element is thoughtfully considered and contributes to a sense of well-being and understated sophistication.

It follows a very similar track to how it's defined in fashion; expensive materials and methods that exude class in an understated, subtle way. Think sophisticated, timeless pieces rather than ostentatious, obvious displays of wealth. 

While some passersby may not notice the impeccable quality of timber used in your extension, or the detail of the handwoven merino throw draped over your sofa, many clued-in visitors will notice and more importantly, so will you. 

If you’re someone who likes to be a little more overt in your lavish purchases (which is fair - you might want a little external validation for achieving a certain level of financial success - no judgement from us), then quiet luxury is maybe not the interior style for you.

What sparked the rise of quiet luxury this year?

As mentioned at the top, there’s no denying the TV show Succession and its understated yet extortionately expensive fashion played a huge part in bringing quiet luxury to the fore. Another moment that further cemented its place in the culture was Gwyneth’s understated stealth wealth court looks from March this year. What a world. 

There’s also a school of thought that believes consumer habits were greatly altered by the pandemic; as the appreciation of our local communities deepened and we spent more time in our homes, people began to invest more in their interiors and chose to support local businesses instead of retail giants, opting for quality pieces over quantity. Quiet luxury certainly champions the ‘less is more’ mindset and embraces investing in locally sourced, finely crafted items. 

However, some suggest quiet luxury has been around for far longer than just 2023, believing those from ‘old money’ have been dressing both themselves and their homes in this way for generations. 

While this year has been huge for quiet luxury in all senses, our prediction is it will be sticking around for a while to come, especially in interior design. Homeowners and renters alike are demonstrating a growing interest in making their spaces as liveable as possible, searching for ways to bring comfort and elegance into their homes in increasingly creative ways. This is of course tied to the increased amount of time we’re all spending at home as we continue to work flexibly in a post-pandemic world. 

But how do you bring a touch of quiet luxury to your home? So glad you asked…

Contemporary living room with a cozy fireplace, wood-stacked feature wall, built-in bookshelves, a large abstract painting, and stylish furniture illuminated by a floor lamp, showcasing modern quiet luxury interior design.

Integrating quiet luxury into your home

High-quality craftsmanship

Quiet luxury interior design celebrates fine materials and high-quality craftsmanship, so it makes sense the first thing you should do when bringing this style to your space is to source finely crafted furniture that’s been sustainably manufactured and pays close attention to detail. 

A few things to look out for when searching for well made furniture:

- Look for quality materials. Choose solid wood over laminate or particle board, real stone over manufactured stone veneer and so on. 

- Test the product. How does it feel and how will it fare over time and use? Complete a quality check of the product by testing it (if possible) - if it’s some dining chairs or a sofa you’re buying, do a sit test - is it comfortable? Or a bit flimsy? If you’re buying a dining table, apply some pressure to it and see if it’s stable and level or if it instead twists or wobbles. 

- Seek fine finishes. We don’t want pieces held together by glue, staples or nails.

- If you can, choose handmade furniture above machine manufactured furniture.

Minimalism over maximalism

Quiet luxury prefers a ‘less is more’ look, borrowing here from minimalist design principles. The difference between the two styles though, is that where minimalism is stripped back and at times even austere, quiet luxury interior design is generally warmer, more elegant and more focused on the finer details. 

Choosing customised fixtures and fittings, bespoke textiles and pieces custom-built to reflect the taste, lifestyle and fundamental needs of the owner are all ways of achieving this feel. 

High-end materials and fabrics

Similarly to the rules of quiet luxury as it pertains to fashion, choosing high-quality, ethical materials and fabrics for your soft furnishings is a brilliant way to integrate this style into your space. 

When selecting rugs, throws, cushions, duvet covers etc. stick to wool, silk and high-quality cottons, avoiding synthetic materials as much as possible. This will serve the triple benefit of feeling lovely against your skin, lasting far longer than cheaper materials and ultimately having a lesser impact on the environment. 

Maximising natural light

Light is one of the key design elements that’ll lift your home and bring that feeling of quiet luxury into your space. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights and the orientation of your design (ensuring we’re utilising and playing with sunlight) are all examples of how we can bring light into your space and heighten the luxurious feel in a subtle, understated way.

Refined outdoor living

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden space, stripping things back, removing the wind chimes and garden gnomes (sorry!) and replacing them with simple outdoor furniture can make a world of difference. 

Maintaining this furniture and keeping it in good condition is crucial (albeit challenging with the UK’s weather) to sustaining that quiet luxury feel. Other ideas include refreshing any planters you have that might be home to decaying plants and staying on top of the weeding and mowing.

Invest in the experts

Something we say time and time again at Urbanist Architecture is you get what you pay for, in almost every situation - an idea that’s also true in architecture, which is why we would never advise choosing a cheap architecture firm. Often biting the bullet and investing in quality early on will save you money in the long-run. 

Similarly, a key part of the design process is assigning the best interior designers for the job and investing in the experts who have access to a wealth of knowledge as to how to bring spaces to life. Many of us think we have a knack for interior design but it’s not until you see the professionals at work that you see how integral they are to the creation of spaces that are as stunning as they are livable. 

Close-up of a glass of red wine and a bowl of pistachios on a wooden side table, with a soft-focus background of a cozy living room with a lit fireplace and elegant bookshelves, creating a luxurious and relaxed ambiance.

Quiet luxury and use of colour

Unsurprisingly, the colour palette linked with quiet luxury comprises mainly neutral and subdued tones, steering clear of anything too loud or gaudy. The aim is to create a calming, serene, and elegant atmosphere that isn't tied to fleeting trends. 

Using a neutral colour palette is an excellent way to infuse your space with that sophisticated quiet luxury feel, without the need to spend excessively. Instead of opting for bright and bold, subtlety is the preferred choice.

Here’s a look in closer detail: 

Neutrals

Soft shades of beige, cream and white create a timeless, elegant backdrop which is ideal for quiet luxury interior design. Neutral shades are the perfect subtle base, providing a blank canvas for experimenting with various textures and subtle design elements. 

Choosing this palette for your wall colour, carpets, curtains, tiles and large furniture items like the sofa are great ways to infuse your home with a neutral base, which you can then build on with the colours listed below to further elevate the space.

Soft pastels

If after you’ve created a lovely neutral backdrop you are wanting to integrate a little more colour into the space, choosing soft pastels which aren’t too pronounced is a great option.

Gentle hues like pale blues, soft lavenders and blush pinks can add a touch of colour without overpowering the space. These tones contribute to a relaxed, soothing atmosphere.

Earthy tones

If you’re not so fussed by soft pastels but you’re still keen to integrate some colour into your space then opting for earthy tones could be the ideal option. Warm greys, taupes and muted greens help bring a natural, grounding element to the space while still subscribing to the loose rules of quiet luxury. 

A great way to subtly incorporate earthy tones into your space is to choose these colours in your selection of soft furnishings rather than overdoing it with something relatively permanent like a feature wall. Crisp linen sheets in an olive green, warm grey cushions and taupe throw blankets are all excellent ways to provide an understated pop of colour.

Metallic accents

Subtle use of gold, silver, or bronze can add a touch of glamour and sophistication without being too flashy. The key here is not to go overboard and take your space from quiet luxury to loud luxury! 

Obvious places to use these bolder materials would be in your kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings in decorative accessories and in the lighting choices in your living spaces.

Deep, rich colours

Used sparingly, deeper colours like navy, charcoal, or forest green can add depth and luxury to a space, especially when used in plush materials or as accent pieces. 

Soft furnishings like throws, cushions and bed linens are great places to add these darker tones without overpowering the space.

Minimalist interior design featuring a sleek, modern desk lamp on a white marble tabletop against a rich walnut wood panel background, embodying the concept of affordable quiet luxury.

Does quiet luxury interior design have to be expensive?

If you are subscribing to the literal meaning of quiet luxury, then yes it does need to be on the pricier end of the scale, as the expensive element is rolled into its very definition. However, there are clever ways you can inject a little bit of quiet luxury into your home without completely draining your bank account.

For example, you can apply its core principles and use them as inspiration rather than as strict instruction. This could include choosing quiet luxury’s favoured colour palette and opting for muted hues in selecting homewares, furniture and design materials. Or perhaps stripping back the clutter of the home and opting for a minimalist, ‘less is more’ look. 

Another great way to adhere to the quiet luxury interior style affordably is to think about your use of light in the home. The warmer the light, the more luxurious the feel of a space. You can achieve this relatively cheaply by swapping out light bulbs, by purchasing a few inexpensive lamps and by lighting a few candles. Though simple, this is a really effective way of elevating a space. 

You can be creative here and have fun with tools like our interior design style quiz and other platforms to help source ideas and inspiration on how to implement quiet luxury qualities into your space in an affordable way.

Curved wooden built-in closets in a sustainable and elegantly designed room with a potted palm plant, white art frame, and chic black floor trim, reflecting the synergy of sustainability and quiet luxury in interior design.

The relationship between sustainability and quiet luxury

Because quiet luxury interior design favours high-quality fabrics, materials and generally employs ethical practices, it’s a much more sustainable option than choosing pieces from the high street for a fraction of the price.

Though cheaper may sound more appealing initially, the reality is the pieces you buy from retail giants are far less likely to endure due to their lower quality, which means you’ll inevitably need a replacement down the line. This then has the flow-on impact of increasing waste and contributing to landfill, but also of supporting an industry where rampant, thoughtless consumption is encouraged.

Another important part of the process which ties in with sustainability is that it’s better to view quiet luxury as a long-term journey to acquiring the right pieces. Rather than running out and buying items you think will work in the space all at once, it’s smarter to be intentional about what you’re purchasing, adding to your collection slowly and thoughtfully over time.

Will the stealth wealth and quiet luxury interior design trends continue into 2024?

Absolutely. The beauty of quiet luxury is it’s less of a trend, and more of a lifestyle choice. 

Because pieces and design choices aligned with quiet luxury are timeless and not bound to trends, it means your design choices will stand the test of time and perhaps even increase in value the longer you hold onto them. Long story short, we predict quiet luxury will be around for the long haul.

Key quiet luxury interior design takeaways

If you remember nothing else from this article, just hold on to these three golden rules for mastering quiet luxury:

1.  Subtlety over conspicuousness 
2. Muted tones over loud colours
3. High-quality materials that last over the cheaper ones that don’t

Team of architects and designers laughing and discussing over plans in a bright office, with architectural drawings and a 3D model on the table, symbolising collaborative work in urban architecture.

How Urbanist Architecture can help you

Recognised as a leading interior architecture firm in London, we specialise in high-end design and refurbishments, extending from urban apartments and townhouses to countryside villas. Our approach integrates the principles of quiet luxury with contemporary or classic styles, tailored to the individual character of each property in order to create interiors that stand out for their distinctive elegance and bespoke character.

If you're considering infusing your property with the principles of quiet luxury interior design, we invite you to start a conversation with us. Reach out today to explore how we can transform your space into an embodiment of serene elegance and sophisticated style.

Sky Moore-Clube, Architectural Designer at Urbanist Architecture
AUTHOR

Sky Moore-Clube

A key member of our architectural team, Sky has a passion for heritage homes and interior design, as well as a great instinct for ultra-creative extensions. Sky brings a fresh yet thorough approach to everything she designs.

Send me a message
Or call me on
020 3793 7878

Write us a message

We look forward to learning how we can help you. Simply fill in the form below and someone on our team will respond to you at the earliest opportunity.

Have you considered how much the construction will cost?

Urbanist Architecture is committed to protecting your privacy, and we'll only use your information to deliver the services you requested. For more information, please review our privacy policy.

Some fields are incorrect.

Read next

The latest news, updates and expert views for ambitious, high-achieving and purpose-driven homeowners and property entrepreneurs.

Read next

The latest news, updates and expert views for ambitious, high-achieving and purpose-driven homeowners and property entrepreneurs.

Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Urban design & master planning in the UK: The best practices
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
The A-Z of building regulations drawings with building regs checklist
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Breaking the bias in architecture: Gender gap in architecture and construction
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Shop to residential conversion guide: Class E to residential use (C3)
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Buying a property through an estate agent vs buying at auction
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
The eco-house myth: Why green credentials alone won’t get you planning in England
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Is a fast track for beauty a good idea? The problems with the government's big planning idea
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Do you need planning permission for nail bars and beauty salons in England?
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Reserved matters applications: How to get yours approved
Read more
Image cover for the article: Modern minimalist interior with a close-up of a designer side table holding books, beside an elegant wooden chair with woven details, embodying quiet luxury.
Architects fees in the UK: How much does an architect cost in 2024? [Updated]
Read more

Ready to unlock the potential of your project?

We specialise in crafting creative design and planning strategies to unlock the hidden potential of developments, secure planning permission and deliver imaginative projects on tricky sites

Write us a message
Decorative image of an architect working
Call Message