Seven nights in Paris...it's taken me so long to begin this post because I just don't know where to start! How about I start with adjectives? Paris was:
incredible, amazing, beautiful, sexy, charming, colorful, historic, elegant, modern, rustic, delicious...and I'll add another "incredible!"
The view from our apartment below over the Seine:
My husband and I stayed for 7 nights. We rented a luxury apartment overlooking the Seine, decorated in blacks, reds, and browns. It was TRES chic! Ok...the luxury part? My husband received a trip from his employer for many years of service and truth be told, we could have made several nice trips out of the gift and stayed at decent places. Instead, we made one small trip and then, um, decided to BLOW the rest of the travel $$ after airfare, on a fabulous apartment. Yeah....we're glad we did. Sometimes you just have to blow the money, you know?
Which brings up an interesting subject. I never feel a need to stay within bounds of whatever I perceive my "class" to be (don't we all have a perception?)...which changes depending on my mood. Could I afford to stay in that apartment for an extended period of time? No! Should I feel comfortable in a luxury apartment that I could barely afford to rent for a week? Why not? And I did feel comfortable the moment I stepped into the building!
Prior to selecting the apartment, we were feeling responsibly frugal. The more we looked at apartments online, however, the more we were falling in love with the fantasy of living in Parisian luxe for a week!
As a designer, it is an experience to stay in beautifully designed surroundings. Good design that I can live in, even temporarily, is a memory for me and a thrill. I'll always have Paris.... :) For Steve, he, too, said let's do it and we thought Paris was the PERFECT place to indulge!
The Kitchen Parallel
I can surely make a parallel to kitchen design. When it comes to material costs, of course, you must reconcile what your heart AND your head tell you and that is the tricky part. But, if you fall in love, say, with a walnut wood countertop for an island and if you truly can afford it, take care that your "default worry alarm" does not shut off your dream state, only to select a less expensive (but practical) material, crushing the dream yet leaving you feeling (yes, unnecessarily) responsible. Being frugal in a situation such as this when one does not need to be, in my world, is borING!
Design beyond your comfort zone. Find creative budget solutions which are always out there to find and feel good about that. I've done that, to the max, actually. But, also feel good when you've just.got.to.have.the.....whatever. Go for it, spring for it, indulge your kitchen fantasy. You deserve it, you're worth it, and yes, the material thing you love does not have a pulse, but I sure get lasting joy from some of my possessions and experiences, even over decades, don't you?