10 Tips for Timeless Luxury
By Alene Workman / Published by Dwell

My design philosophy is always focused on creating luxury design that is timeless. This means the overall design can stand the test of time and be just as current tomorrow as it is today, with a feel of sophistication that incorporates beautiful, interesting materials in a well-conceived environment.

Based on my experience as a designer, here's what that takes:

1. Create a design that is rooted in function and problem-solving; luxury is all about the personal, custom approach to a design solution.

2. Always design the “bones” of the interior (walls, floors, ceilings) to be permanent since these set the stage of the overall design.

3. Create an architectural background with important detailing that gives uniqueness and definition to the home, including creative and proper lighting solutions.

4. Use natural materials like stone, fine woods, and marbles that convey a sense of strength and everlasting beauty.

5. Choose furnishings with interesting finishes that add to the overall character of the home. Go for unique woods such as anigre, African Bubunga, or wenge; or choose stone materials and mix in onyx or unusual marbles.

6. Select materials or fabrics that are durable yet have rich textures or color tones that are inviting and can feel delicious.

7. Use your knowledge and personal preferences to guide decisions for color and furnishings. Never follow the “color of the year."

8. Stay clean and always refine - and avoid too much clutter. Overdoing anything will be wearisome. Luxury is often seen through fine line and clarity.

9. Luxury is also conveyed with consistency in design throughout the home, inside and out. Stay true to the architectural elements.

10. Timeless luxury design can be contemporary, modern, traditional, transitional, or casual eclectic as long as it is done with quality details and thoughtful choices.

Alene Workman


Alene Workman is an interior designer nationally recognized for her luxury residential and corporate interiors. She works in a variety of styles, favoring clean lined, sophisticated designs. Workman has been actively involved in her community as well as playing a major leadership role in the design profession as a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and a national spokesperson to the media for the American Society of Interior Designers. She writes and speaks on design issues, has hosted educational seminars and is a past National Director of the organization and a Florida Chapter President. She is one of 200 Fellows of the 34,000 member organization.

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