6 factors for designing simple, luxurious spaces

Gone are the days of endless choices, complicated concepts, elaborate details and unnecessary embellishments. Simply put, the art of living well is now based on embracing simplicity – the new luxury.

  • 6 factors for designing simple, luxurious spaces

Text by Louisa Clare Lim


Luxury has always often been equated with choice, and many consider the ideas of sumptuousness and extravagance as synonymous with a luxurious experience. However, in the modern world, these notions are shifting. True luxury now is having the legwork done for you; in solutions that foresee your needs even before you know them – for simplified experiences.


atelier here ang mo kio residence

Design by Atelier Here.

It may sound simple, but amid a hectic, fast-paced and constantly stimulating environment where we are trained to adopt a ‘more is more’ mentality, simplicity isn’t as straightforward to achieve as you’d think. But it is something we desire – whether we already know it or not. After all, the complexities of simplicity are what make it a luxury. And in the modern-day context, luxury has less to do with money or ostentatiousness, but rather, is something you attain with a lot of thought and careful, conscious detailing. It is, indeed, complex to materialise something so simple – a solution that is streamlined, yet effective; and highly functional, yet beautiful.

Simplicity, contrary to what many would associate it with, isn’t about deprivation or a poor quality of life. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – advocating living well, without unnecessary complications. When it comes to the design of a home, simplicity ties in with the idea of slow living, which emphasises a slower approach to aspects of everyday life. But it doesn’t mean literally doing things slowly; rather, is about finding your pace to do things in a way that embraces quality over quantity, long-term benefits over short-term gains, and overall well-being over instant gratification. This involves connecting more meaningfully with others, place, and experience, to counter the unbalanced, commodity-focused, and impersonal nature of much of modern society.

In essence, simplicity in design enhances your life, without you even realising it. And when you have a nice environment that’s free from distractions, you have the luxury of time to focus on yourself, your family and the things that you’ve been missing out on that matter.


atelier here lentor residence

Design by Atelier Here.

A beautiful space is one that:

#1 Encourages interaction to promote a more social, harmonious dwelling for all its occupants

This fulfils the basic human need for connection, which many seek in vain through the digital world and social media.

#2 Allows for a lifestyle that is more interconnected with nature

Because there is also another fundamental, perhaps even the most nourishing, connection we seek – the one with nature.

#3 Evokes a feeling of freedom and liberation – never a sense of imposition

This can be translated by uncomplicated forms and weightlessness, and eschewing from over-the-top, ornate details.

#4 Exudes a comfortable and approachable vibe

This is achieved by the use of humble materials that are natural, yet refined.

#5 Considers functional quality

How things make you feel and how they add value to your life is something worth considering. A quietly stylish space or an object with an understatedly chic design would be one that marries an unpretentious aesthetic with pared-down functionality.

#6 Invests in the little details

The small, subtle things that are seemingly trivial, and often forgotten about, are what makes all the difference.


Wellness does begin at home. Slow down and enjoy the details – unplug, eat slowly, listen carefully, smell the roses, watch the sunset, enjoy the moments, and live life consciously. Here are some furnishing picks to help make everyday life more enjoyable:


vij5 flexvase

Flexvase, by Dutch brand Vij5, is a porcelain vase that has three interchangeable top inserts that adapt the vessel to the bouquet it holds. From For The Common Goods.



The Aomori Hiba wood diffuser makes use of a unique wood from a tree that’s considered one of the most beautiful of Japan. It promotes relaxation and is antibacterial and deodorising. From Atomi.



The Objects collection of home accessories by Danish brand Fritz Hansen is crafted with high-quality natural materials, such as ash wood, brass and handblown glass. The pieces are functional and sculptural at the same time. From W. Atelier.


ashley & co wash and candle


Ashley & Co is a New Zealand scent company that focuses on quality ingredients and sustainability in the manufacturing of its washes and home fragrance products. Make washing hands or lighting a candle a ritualistic moment that piques and soothes the senses.


suzugami tin plantes

The Syouryu Suzugami tin plates, in various sizes, are malleable, flexible and light. Use them in many different ways, however you desire! From Atomi.


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