The New Luxury: Secret Objects

By Regina Connell.

Secrets. They’re not supposed to exist, are they? We’re supposed to tell it all, share it all, let it all hang out, preferably online. Mental health types talk about the corrosive effects of secrets.  We barely tolerate the notion that some state secrets should remain that way.  And TMZ’s created a $100 million empire on spilling celebrity secrets that readers lap up then lean back to savor, purse their lips, feeling smug that no secret should be safe from the public.

The New Luxury: Secret Objects

image courtesy of Shoe Box Dwelling, desk by Gregor Korolewicz

As goes the broader culture goes the material, consuming world. “Authenticism” is the thing where every live edge table or industrial makes clear its material roots. Function is form and form is function (and nothing else.) Radical transparency is the by-word of companies like Everlane. And we’ve come to expect to know exactly where the vegetables we’re eating are from and one day soon we’ll no doubt know who picked them.  And on and on.

It’s all a bit boring.

There’s something about having a secret that can be a rush. You feel more alive, more vital, more powerful and because of that, more seductive. And oddly, you might even feel more you. There’s the constant whiff of discovery which adds that edge of danger we each crave in small doses. The irony is that the more we want to be seen, the more we also want to preserve something of our selves that we can choose to share. Or not.

Secret room, image courtesy of Houzz by Bashford and Dale

Secret room, image courtesy of Houzz by Bashford and Dale

Well, in the search for a little more of that feeling in life, perhaps it’s time for the pendulum to swing back in favor of more secrets, perhaps not fully, but at least a little more in that direction.

This desire for secrets and mysteries explains the continuing allure of spaces and things that contain secrets. Who wouldn’t want, in their home, a secret passageway or closet, that swiveling door in your library that reveals a hidden bathroom, bar, or matryoshka doll collection? Who doesn’t thrill to a desk, which, if you were to push just so, just there, you’d find a secret compartment for secret missives, keepsakes, collections, your forged passport, or merely a book of stamps?…

For all the rest and more on our version of the new luxury, wander on over to AltLuxe.


The New Luxury:

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