The Superrich Want the Most Normal Thing of All in Their Homes

The ultimate luxury? Feeling comfortable at home.

Gone are the days of fussy decor, crisp-edged sofas with nary a butt-cheek indent, and all-white everything where even a roving cup of coffee posed a threat. Folks want to be at ease in 2024, according to Sotheby’s luxury outlook for the year ahead, and no one has more spending power to make that a decadent reality in their homes than the wealthiest among us.

They’re putting minibars in their bedrooms to make coffee or grab sparkling water, amping up spa-like amenities with cold plunge pools and infrared saunas, and adding plush seating to spaces including bathrooms, according to Sotheby’s. After a damning few years that confined many to their own four walls, luxury has been redefined from showy opulence to something a little more subdued.

The quiet luxury trend dominated the TV show “Succession,” from which a $625 logo-less baseball cap by Loro Piana became a cultural touchpoint; and continues to be a defining aesthetic of clothing and accessories today. Now it extends to the home, too.

Image from the HBO show "Succession"

The fictional Kendall Roy of “Succession” in a $625 baseball cap by Loro Piana.

Macall B. Polay/HBO

“They want to be comfortable everywhere,” Robert Stilin, an interior designer whose style has been described as “luxury without pomposity,” told Sotheby’s of the high-end homeowner. “They want their bedroom to be comfortable. They want their kitchen to be comfortable. They want their dining room to be comfortable.”

It’s a desire that’s achingly normal and relatable. Stilin added, “Design is becoming more thoughtful. People are taking more time to really think about how they want things to be.”

‘The more you can invest in yourself, the better’

Michael Gabellini, a founder of the architecture and interior design firm Gabellini Shephard, told Business Insider in January 2023 that his well-to-do clients were spending more time in their bedrooms. Enter the minibar, a handy station for morning juices and noshes, as well as evening cordials.

If you want to live like Kendall Jenner, setting up a beverage station in your bedroom can be easy. The model and Kardashian-family sister gave Architectural Digest a tour of her Los Angeles home in July 2020 and showed off her “tea area” with an electric kettle — no pricey plumbing required. It’s an easy way to bring a small convenience into, objectively, the comfiest room of the home.

Fredrik Eklund

Fredrik Eklund

Bravo/Contributor/Getty Images

Similarly, leaving home for spa-like treatments is less appealing for rich people than it once was. Wellness amenities at home must be extensive and on-demand, celebrity real-estate agent Fredrik Eklund and his team partner John Gomes told BI in December 2022.

Actor David Harbour showed Architectural Digest his Brooklyn backyard sauna and cold plunge pools, by New York-based modular sauna company Swelter House, in February 2023. “I got really into sauna and cold plunge, like, three years ago,” he said, standing in the doorway of the Finnish-style sauna. “And then, you know, since you have the one, you may as well have Swelter House build you the other.” The starting price for a Swelter House build starts at $100,000, according to the company’s website.

Eklund’s own home in Beverly Hills, California has an infrared sauna and a cold plunge pool, though, he told BI, he’s “not the average buyer.”

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint, especially in this industry,” Eklund said. “The more you can invest in yourself, the better.”

From $1,000 ottomans to $20 fleece throws

And perhaps part of investing in oneself is truly lounging and luxuriating at home.

“I have a client who wants to have a sofa or some kind of chaise in his office and in his bathroom in every home that he owns,” Stilin said in the Sotheby’s luxury report.

Sad beige sofa

Don’t want to drop thousands on a celeb-endorsed sofa? Go for a comfy couch blanket instead.

Liliya Krueger/Getty Images

Be like Jenner, and pick up a Restoration Hardware Cloud sofa — a line of furniture with all the components to make a massive sectional where even the ottoman starts at more than $1,000 — which she called “really the best.”

Lucky for the rest of us, being comfortable at home doesn’t have to be a pursuit that costs many thousands of dollars. A $20 fleece throw blanket from Home Goods may not be fancy, but it’ll do.