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May 23, 2010

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I hear you. With the world more inclined into the internet and social networking, we slowly forget these simple luxuries. Life is fun and we must make use of it while we can. Like they say: it's the simple things that makes life more liveable.

There's always a table cloth on my dining room table. Makes our meals a little more formal plus it changes the look of the dining room.

I simply adore this post~ I returned from two weeks in the south of france last month and was once again reminded of how fast-paced our lives are here in america. Whenever I am there, I love their slower pace, their appreciation of their food, their friends, their free time. I always return home with the best intentions of bringing some of that joie de vivre with me, but alas, within a week or two I have once again lost my little piece of france... thanks for the wonderful reminder~
xx

Lined shelves, talk about small changes with a partical difference. What's more, I like the idea of setting the table to share a nice meal with loved ones even if once a week through our hectic schedule!
John Taylor,
window blinds liverpool quick tips on selecting the right shape and styling your room

Unfortunately the only time I really power down is when we travel. Luckily a getaway is on the books for the upcoming long weekend. When the world is spinning too fast that's my signal to say no to something and slow down long enough to light some candles, cut some flowers from the garden, pour a big glass of vino and just 'be'!
Love this post Eddie.

1. Setting a table. We don't do this every day, but try to, once a week, set a nice table for a meal. Even breakfast. The kids know how to set a table. This year, my 6-year-old set the Thanksgiving table by himself. It looked really good and he was so proud.

2. Dinner parties. We don't need an excuse to throw a party. Sometimes, we just make them up.

3. Afternoon tea. We have several lovely afternoon teas in town. This past Sunday, my friends and I went to one--all dressed up. We walked through the hotel in our tea dresses and everyone stopped and stared at us. Which reminds me...

4. Dress up to go out. Good clothes are not just for church, weddings and funerals. Even if it's just out to dinner or to a live performance, when you're wearing nice clothes, the evening is that much more special.

I so enjoyed afternoon tea the semester I spent studying in England. Wouldn't it be loverly to adopt that tradition here?

Bringing home flowers for the house - it is a luxury and I enjoy them immensely, especially spreading all around the house a bud vase here, a full arrangement there; drinking my sparkling water out of my favorite crystal wine glass with dinner; going through my whole bedtime beauty ritual (all my best bodywashes, face moisturizer, body lotions, nail buffing, putting on the big terry robe and slippers, combing my hair with leave-in conditioner) -- these are my favorite luxuries. I don't have/do them all the time, but when I do it makes me feel just a little more glamorous.

Hi Eddie I started reading your blog only recently but I think you could say I'm now a fan. I've seen an episode of Top Design in Sony TV here in Asia and enjoyed it so much I had to find the dvd of the entire season. (I came across the show after almost 2 years, I know) :)
Personally, I think you deserve to be the winner. I like your easy, breezy bedroom design and it wasn't grandma-ish at all. Out of those 13 designers, your design was the closest to my aesthetic. More power to you!

I'm all for making good use of my china, sterling and crystal. Big fan of cloth napkins and lined shelves too. I recently set out a serving tray as a coffee caddy to hold our cups, sleeve of sweetners and our (2) coffee pots. Looks tidy and colorful and to me, it is a genteel luxury added to the start of my day.

I loved these last two posts...
It's all part of the slow movement... let's slow down and bring back a somewhat more civilized way of looking at life and living it. That's what I love about you guys... you get that and are doing your best to get us back there!
Thank you,
Terri
XO

I always have a drink in a special glass. I have a candle here on my desk to light and smell as I type at the computer. I don't iron sheets but may try just doing the edges...great idea!! I love flowers, don't always have them though. I keep my nails done. Now this may not sound like a luxury, but for me it seems one. I wear my good jewelry! KNew a wealthy woman once who had replicas of all her jewelry done so she could keep the REAL things in the vault!!!! CRAZY!!!!! Great post, Eddie! XO, Pinky

I totally agree, Eddie. That's the one reason I've opted out of the Twitter scene, which is, IMHO, silly to begin with and have reduced my texting to almost nil. I'm enjoying getting back to the old fashioned luxury of chatting with my friends in person and on the phone. I like hearing their voices. I like seeing their faces.

Dearest Eddie,
This is a truly wonderful post. I am inspired to have un 'unplugged' day at least one day a week. My Dad and I were discussing how he saw a group of 13 young people in a restaurant and 9 of the 13 were texting or looking at their blackberry the whole time...they weren't actually engaged in conversation or visiting with each other. Is this what our society is coming to? We are missing out on the joys of life because we are slaves to technology and not using it wisely to enhance our lives.
We have a rule in our family...we all eat dinner together every night and we all turn off our devices at 6 pm every night. I am very old-fashioned in some ways..I cook dinner every night for my family and I truly love that job...it's important to me!
Your blog inspires me to get back to the lost luxuries of life. You are amazing!

The comments make me feel as if we live in a time warp here in Ireland what is taken for luxury is a normality here,iron sheets, meals together Every Night,hand written thank you notes.Perhaps it because we are such a rural country.The blog is wonderful even for Europeans

Really appreciate the points you are making here and in that great article. Sometimes we need to slow down, disconnect with the outside world, and enjoy what's around us. Very pertinent post. Thanks.
marcie

Hi, Eddie and Jaithan--
Ironed sheets are my personal luxury and I have a dry cleaner that sends them out for laundering and ironing. I forego fancy coffees for this--it costs $18/set.

Many years ago, I dated a Gentleman who grew up in a family where every member had his/her own napkin ring...and a beautiful cloth napkin that would be used for 3-4 days. It was how the privileged set lived--luxuriously but also somewhat frugally.


GM Eddie, I was so inspired by this post I wrote a post on my blog referring readers to you amazing article and I added my own little bring back Luxuries or Lovelies as I like to call them. Thank you again for doing this article it truly inspired me. Like I always say,we all need to,"Enjoy the Process"! xoxo Kathysue

Calling cards. I think I'm the only person my age who even knows what they are and I'm probably the only one who owns and uses any.

Great article- I should try to do these things more often as well. Its the little things in life and bring the most joy I think :)

Wonderful site! Your photo looks familiar.. I think we are fb linked :-). Please keep up the great work. So Inspiring.

I spent this Sunday doing just that. No phone, no computer. Just Eric and the dogs. I tell you, it was sublime! xooox, Patti

Found you via Good Life of Design where Kathy Sue raved about you and this blog post. She did not exaggerate! I have been a big fan of Alexandra Stoddard for many years and she also talks about living beautifully, everyday, by elevating the mundane tasks of our daily life into something extraordinary. I also believe in practicing mindfulness. It is a PRACTICE, because it doesn't come easily in this hurly burly world we have created. A couple of things that I do are to sip my tea from one of the many lovelies that I have collected ~ not just use an ordinary mug and let the collection languish in the cupboard. I just added to the collection over the weekend ~ the Camellia pattern from Royal Standard, England ~ a bargain at $4 from a little antique store. Thank you for the reminder to seek out beauty!
Cheers! xx P&H

Sunday afternoon naps!

Whenever I want to be really nice to myself, I iron my sheets. Besides the wonderful feel of crisp percale sheets, the smell of freshly ironed 100% cotton is heavenly. I have all of the family sterling silver napkin rings--they definitely makes a table look "set". Thanks for the reminder to make things special at home.

Yep, I join with the letter writers! In particular a very well written, thoughful and genuine, personal thank you note. Not done begrudgingly or as a chore but out of sincere appreciation. I miss those.

Eddie,

I so agree. This week alone, I was determined to cook dinner at least 3 nights (a major feat) and really spend time with my family...no computer, iphone, magazine, design project in hand.

Everyone in this household is so much happier if I can do just that. Somtimes it works out, sometimes not. I'm trying! Have a great week ahead.

Don't know how I've failed having you on my blog roll but I'm adding you now. Sorry for the oversight.

Handwritten anything! Fifty years from now, I want my grandchildren to read my words in my own writing in a scrapbook, not some font from my computer.

Eddie, a delightful article. So true. Oh to receive a hand written letter. I remember, waiting for that *special* letter to arrive...I swear I would sit on the porch starting at six AM. Yes, let's bring back as you so correctly stated: Lost luxury.

Bravo. I just posted about disconnecting on Friday.

Family dinners....talking and sharing....really communicating......real flowers on the table with linen napkins and tablecloth ( we actually do this coming from a Linen family business!!)

Heart Hugs,
Coleen

Eddie: I couldn't agree more. I picked up on a lot of these tips from reading Rachael Ashwel"s Shabby Chic books. I love beautiful linens, crystal and china. I try to use them everyday. What are we saving them for? It's also better for the environment! I even use Waterford at my lake cabin! You and Rachael have taught me to use the good stuff...and if you bought it at a tag sale, you don't panic if you break it and need to replace it. Love you Eddie:)

Proper manners have turned into a luxury it seems. How many times do people say 'Have a nice day' when a proper 'Thank You' is due. Manners are such a simple luxury that seems so difficult for many these days.
Hugs N Herbal Blessings, Mandy

Have always kept cotton hankies, especially with beautiful lace for show and a substantial men's cotton hankerchief in each of my purses...sorry kleenex!

Just purchased a lovely antique vanity table full of nooks and crannies--I have a lovely Waterford vanity sized lamp and Waterford clock...a wonderful place to start my day!

does sitting in my underwear and a soft blanket watching anything on bravo count as a lost luxury?

ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS MY EX-HUSAND GAVE ME WAS THE LUXURY OF NOT WORKING...

I RAISED MY TWO WONDERFUL CHILDREN (WHOM HAVE BEEN THE JOYEST AND EASIEST PART OF MY LIFE)SPENT YEARS GARDENING A 30 ACRE ESTATE IN CONNECTICUT AND DID SELF HEALING WEEKLY AND EVEN DAILY...

THAT TO ME IS THE GREATEST LUXURY...
THEY ARE OLDER MY KIDS, BUT I STILL SPEND DAYS GARDENING AND LEARNING TO LOVE ALL THE PARTS OF ME THAT I HAVE A HARD TIME WITH...

ALSO, LEARNING TO LOVE THE IMPERFECT IN MY STYLISTIC LIFE, AND EDDIE HELPS ME WITH THAT....

XXXOO
MELISSA

Will you marry me? I did not want the article to end. this is what I am talking about!!You have sooo much to offer all of your readers. It is not the complicated things but the everyday simple things that will add to our lives in our homes. Eddie you make our lives more beautiful that is for sure. I have a thing about drinking out of pretty glasses with a stem. I am convinced that even water taste better out of a pretty glass. I try to always have lemon and limes on hand to slice a slivver in , even with just water. Fresh flowers , Always and lit candles at night, even if it is one little votive. Linen spray on my sheets in lavender. Soft music is always playing in my home.
Keep this kind of article coming, I love it!! Hugs Kathysue

How about:
- Proper grammar and punctuation.
- Manners - "please", "thank you", "you're welcome", "excuse me" and "I'm sorry", among others.
- Home-cooked meals.
- Time spent smelling the roses, listening to the birds sing, watching the butterflies and petting the cat or dog.

I think it is so true about how fast past the world has become. We work so hard at keeping up and getting "out there" that we miss all the subtle things that are most important. Thanks for the wake up!

First of all...Amen to what you said!

Next, I think that the bubble bath and the pedicure are 2 of my favorite luxuries in life. May they always remain!

Lastly, I adore beautiful stationary....and will continue to use that for my thank yous until the postal service shuts down!

xoxo

Great article and definitely a wonderful reminder! I have a Mrs. Beeton's book from 1892, and I love to look through it and compare it to Martha Stewart's Homemaking Handbook. Too funny!

Anyhow, several others touch on a big thing I would love to see come back into style and that is letter writing. All three of my girls have monogrammed stationary and I insist that they handwrite thank you notes and the occasional thinking of you letter to family after holidays and birthdays. I still try and take the time to do that, and it does make a day so much brighter for someone else!

I would also LOVE to see sitting down to dinner come back in style. With the majority of our friends, cooking supper seems so obsolete. I love nothing more than fixing a great meal and all of us sitting down at your already mention set table!


WE all need these little things in our lives, especially if we want to survive running at the pace of twitter!


Have a fabulous week!

xo, Jen

Lovely article - definitely something to think about! Thanks so much for the comment on my blog - I was ecstatic to see it!

great inspirations eddie for a life well led. when i think of my grandmothers life to mine it seems like 10 generations ago, not just two.

i wish i had the luxury of properly entertaining and caring for guests. :-)
xo
debra


Ah yes;
The lost art of letters, walking to the corner store, picking up a few blooms for a neighbor to brighten their day, and setting a lovely table for 1 - 12. Use those pretty glasses, do not be afraid to have a special dinner or lunch for two.
Nice.
L.

As I lounge in my hammock while my children are napping and my husband reading I'm enjoying one luxury of life...putting my feet up for a few moments! I can think of two other's I'd love to see done more often:
ignore the phone (landline, cell, texts) during family time and printing all my photos and putting them into albums (not just digital files.)

Getting your hair done, not cut just done. Dressing up and not wearing sweats or jogging clothes to the mall or out shopping. Streets full of interesting shops instead of the mall. Vinyl records scratches and all. Salad after the meal as I was raised. Sunday drives with the family ending up at a wonderful restaurant for a fabulous meal. We iron our sheets and it feels so wonderful to slide into them. Lots of home decorating magazines to choose from(Domino, House and Garden, Country Home, Mary E. Home Companion, etc.)

Beautiful article and so very true. As a previous reader mentioned, I'd bring back letters, notes and invitations; on fine paper of course. Next to that great home-cooked meals where families sat with each other, talked about the day and didn't have to rush for homework, ballet, or tv.

xoxo
Elizabeth

What a wonderful article. My mother-in-law not only has lined shelves, but she has tacked a strip up lace to the front of the shelving. Opening her closets are a such a treat.

I would bring back letter writing and proper invitations. Long live the stamp. I love your five suggestions and think they all enhance life. Great article.

Writing letters
Recording in my (3) children's baby journals
Keeping a small book of memories of dinner guests - in my small home entertainment book.
Dancing! Dancing is such a luxury in life, we are forced to live in the moment, and that is a luxury!
pve

Hmm, how about long bubble baths instead of a hurried shower?

Or maybe greet your guests with a cold glass of lemonade or sweet tea...how southern of me *curtsy*

Eddie, as usual wonderful tips for bringing back luxury into our everyday lives!

Karena
Art by Karena

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