Traveling just any way can be stressful. But first-class travel is designed for comfort and relaxation. From gourmet menu selections to unique personal service, the amenities offered to the first-class traveling set is all about the experience. And all over the world, first-class lounges are designed specifically to insulate weary travelers from the hectic pace and numbing boredom that can accompany long trips.
Here’s hoping your home is not as busy as an airport terminal–but there are some key design points in first-class lounge spaces that you can employ in your home for a luxury experience every day.
Let’s look at the Finnair Premium Lounge in the Helsinki Airport’s Schengen area as an example. Here, qualifying members can enjoy a lounge that’s been exhaustively designed by the same Finnish firm who revamped the airline’s Airbus cabins. The effect neatly transitions travelers from stopover to sky with a sauna in-between (really). Similarly, your home has transitional spaces that buffer you from the world at large to your inner sanctum.
One great way to aid in that transition is to use layered lighting to control the mood of the room. Here, ambient lights and video screens use changing colors and scenes throughout different times of day and night to impart a serene Nordic vibe. Large windows let in plenty of natural light all day long (a plus if you have it in your home). But the careful use of overhead and task lighting here is what really makes the difference. Living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms alike can all benefit from a general recessed lighting layer, a statement pendant, and more focused task lighting from floor and table lamps.
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A good lounge will have dedicated areas for different activities, and your home should be no different. Even with a large, open floor plan, you can create the illusion of several individual spaces with clever arrangement of seating and accessories. Above, the large statement pendants give way to task lighting only (with some supplemental help from the recessed lights overhead). This creates a more intimate feel that’s conducive to reading or conversation. The chairs (by Finnish design legend Eero Saarinen) look inviting and comfortable enough to stay a while–something important for long layovers as much as long weekends at home. And spare decorating focuses attention on your favorite novel, or your favorite people.
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Finally, whether you’re a jet-setter killing time in another time zone or putting your feet up at home, comfortable seating is absolutely essential. Well designed chairs have hours of engineering and attention paid to every detail to ensure they’re as cozy as can be, whether it’s your favorite fireside lounge chair or a cluster of chic pod chairs around a common hub for entertaining. In the Finnair lounge, they’ve cleverly included high-backed loveseats that accommodate just one for a bit of respite from the chaos of international travel. Your living room can take inspiration from the lounge’s design by using unusual looking and unusually comfortable lounge seating. And there are so many gorgeously designed chairs to choose from.
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You can re-imagine your home as an exclusive club–you wouldn’t let just anyone gain entry–and be just as choosy with your decorating decisions. Discriminating style aims to relax and rejuvenate. So, you can feel like a first-class passenger without ever needing your passport.
When she’s not polishing up promotions as a Web Content Specialist, Kelsey is practicing how to properly pronounce Danish, if only to be able to say “home is where the ‘hygge’ is.” Aside from Scandinavian design, she spends a lot of time thinking about organic gardening, mini farms, honey bees and England.