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A sense of luxury
"A house is not a home …" as the song goes. It’s the personal touches you make in terms of beautiful colors, soft lighting and opulent fabrics that create a home pleasing to your senses. Here are ways to engage your five senses and truly experience your home environment.


March 2013

Not Your Granny’s Wallpaper

The words wallpaper and opulent might not seem to go together, but times and designs have changed. "Wallpapers are not what they used to be. We’re seeing handmade papers that sparkle with metallic thread or feature soft details or lush patterns like animal prints, and beautiful graphic designs," says Mary Schaufelberger, designer with Steinkellner Decorating Center in Wauwatosa. If you’re reticent about these new papers, try using them on one statement wall or in a small powder room just to get your feet wet. "Companies like Koessel Studios and Arte have some fabulous handcrafted designs. Schumacher has a paper with actual peacock feathers on it," she says. Interior designers like Candice Olsen are collaborating with wallpaper companies, making them more desirable.




Making a Connection

These days, we can access a lot of free music online. Now, technology in the form of a device called Sonos allows us to avail ourselves of the many sources and different types of music available on the Web, providing a backdrop to our lives. "Sonos shakes hands with your computer and allows you to stream music directly from Pandora, Spotify and other Internet sources," says Dave Holmes of Audio Emporium in Brown Deer. "It just takes a couple of small devices and a base price of about $400 to get started," he says.







Taste This!

Chef Todd Concilio owns Soigne LLC, (pronounced swan-yay) a personal chef service that features the kind of elegant meals he learned while studying at the Culinary Institute of America. Soigne offers personal chef services for individuals, as well as catering and classes for small groups. "The budget dictates the menu," he says. Consider this Valentine’s Day repast suggested by chef Todd: Sesame tuna tartare with crispy won tons and soy marinated baby bok choy; roasted beet salad with orange segments, candied red onion and goat cheese over baby arugula; slow braised osso buco over wild mushroom truffle polenta; and chocolate and Kaluha bread pudding with Bailey’s Irish Crème. Enjoy!

Touching Comfort

Luxury fabrics have taken a new direction, with sumptuous wool silk and cashmere making a strong appearance in showrooms for 2013. "The new twist is the fusion of dissimilar materials used in new ways," says designer Michael John Weber of Collaborative Design in Waukesha. "Because of new technology it is now possible to have the thinnest layer of leather applied to the back side of linen making it suitable for window treatments," he says. Furthermore, many old world techniques such as the ikat prints (widely copied by printing them on cotton) are being produced by specialty fabric mills in the traditional manor of dyeing the skeins of yarn prior to weaving to produce complex patterning. "How we are using these fine fabrics has also changed in exciting ways. Furniture such as armoires and bookcases we once thought could be made only out of wood is now being upholstered in great fabrics," Johnson says.



Making Scents

Essential oils can be soothing, invigorating — even healing — and they can be inhaled, used topically or taken internally. The company doTERRA makes essential oils that you can use in your own home to make it aromatic and calming. "Some stress-reducing oils include lavender, peppermint, lime, wild orange, and serenity — a blend of lavender, Roman chamomile, sandalwood and vanilla bean. You can diffuse them into the air, blend them with a nonscented body lotion or place a few drops on your bed linens," says Erica Glinsky, scents-ability coach at Skiin, an anti-aging lounge in Waukesha that focuses on restorative skin care. "Oils with anti-viral properties that help to boost the immune system are lemon, eucalyptus, clove and cinnamon, just to name a few," she adds. Skiin is the sole distributor for doTERRA products in this area.



This story ran in the March 2013 issue of: