Best of Avarice

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite, extravagant pieces. Pure indulgence or the perfect finishing touch? You decide…

Words Miriam Methuen-Jones

LET THERE BE LIGHT – Coral Royale lamp from Ori Home, £2,000

Choosing the right table lamp can be a tricky business. Too large and you risk making the overhead light obsolete, but too small and it can seem kind of pointless. Too traditional a shape or shade is plain boring, but you don’t want to go too wild or wacky either. And that’s before you even consider colours or hardware finishes. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could come up with something different but classy?

That’s exactly what Ori Home founder and designer Pei Li has done with his award-winning Coral Royale lamp. It doesn’t look anything like a conventional lamp – though you might be surprised to discover just how firmly rooted in tradition certain elements of it actually are.

Red coral, for instance, is revered in Chinese culture, where depictions of it signify status, wealth or opulence. Here it has been delicately embroidered onto silk panels using age-old techniques. Paired with the sleek lines and satin finish of the brass body, it becomes an elegant lamp on just the right side of unusual, and will add a genuine note of luxury to your home.
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UNFOLD GOLD – Les Necessaires d’Hermes folding desk from Hermès, £53,840

Inspired by the travellers’ steam trunks of old, this luxurious piece from Hermès allows you to hide away your desk at the end of the day. If you’re short on space, or feel you can’t escape your work after hours, consider this a serious investment. With walnut innards and leather accents, this handsome set-up holds all you could need: a fold-out desktop, magazine rack, plenty of drawer space and even a secret compartment. The price tag means it’s not an option for everyone; but, if you’re lucky enough to have cash to burn (or a generous boss who wants you to be comfortable), you’ll be the envy of remote workers everywhere.
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BEST FOOT FORWARD – Shoe bench from Pinetti, £4,620

it’s not often that we find a piece for this column which genuinely merges beauty and functionality. Often it’s one or the other, usually something extravagant and perhaps needlessly embellished. This time, however, the luxury lies in the simple quality of the materials. It’s clear that real thought has gone into the creation of Pinetti’s shoe bench, with even the smallest details considered, and it’s this that’s reflected in the price tag.

Each bench is handcrafted in Italy and upholstered in calf leather. There’s a wide range of colours to choose from, though it would be hard to beat this deep orange. And there are clever details that make the bench both versatile and easy to use. Rather than taking the obvious route of making the seat the lid, for instance, it’s the front that hinges open to reveal enough space for twelve pairs of shoes, so you won’t even need to stand up if you’re debating which heels to wear. There are wheels on the base and two side handles for easy manoeuvring. It’s handy for a walk-in wardrobe or dressing room but would work equally well at the front door, adding a bright burst of Italian style to your entrance hall.
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SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF – Rainforest Suspension Light from Castro Lighting, £5,670

Lighting can make or break a room: too much glare overhead can feel painfully stark; too little, though, and you’ll be closer to gloomy than cosy. In wide, spacious rooms in particular it can be difficult to achieve the desired atmosphere, especially if you’re also hoping to make a bold statement. This Rainforest suspension light from Castro Lighting could be the solution. It’s certainly an impressive piece. Look closely and you’ll spot Monstera leaves and butterflies made from gold-plated brass. In between, glass bulbs hang down like drops of rain, creating the illusion of a gilded canopy of trees.

Measuring 150cm lengthways and 50cm across, with a 50cm drop, this is unquestionably a piece for high ceilings. In fact, it wouldn’t look out of place in a hotel lobby. There’s no doubt, though, that, mounted above a dining table, it would create an incredible setting. You could dazzle your guests (not literally, hopefully) with this modern take on a chandelier and be safe in the knowledge that you’re unlikely to spot anything similar in anyone else’s home.
Shop it here.

Looking for more? Find extra extravagance here