I once read a story about a woman, who, in her deep­est and dark­est hours, spent what lit­tle of her money was left on some scented can­dles on dis­count. She goes on to share that her de­ci­sion left her open to crit­i­cism from fam­ily and friends, all of whom sim­ply could not un­der­stand why she would spend money on some­thing as in­con­se­quen­tial as can­dles. Nev­er­mind that she would carry them around as a sign of bet­ter days ahead; never mind that she lit them only on the most ex­haust­ing of evenings, treat­ing them as pre­cious ob­jects that would even­tu­ally see her through some very try­ing years. Peo­ple saw, and they judged.

The story ends on a sober­ing note: We all need our lit­tle lux­u­ries to sur­vive.

That story re­sounded very strongly with me. While I’m not un­der any il­lu­sions that life is at all an eas­ily af­ford­able en­deav­our, I’m of the be­lief that hu­mans do need more than sim­ply food and wa­ter to sur­vive. We need shel­ter, cloth­ing, love, and com­pan­ion­ship. But, be­yond all that, I think, we also need beauty. Art, mu­sic, fash­ion, design – all of this adds to the qual­ity of one’s life, and I think this is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber.

My per­sonal idea of lux­ury is this: some­thing you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need, but el­e­vates your life from ev­ery­day hum­drum. And to this end, I’d like to share some things I ab­so­lutely love when I’m feel­ing down. Turn to page 50 to check it out!

Raya is also fast com­ing up! If you’re ready­ing your home for a gath­er­ing of fam­ily and friends, turn to page 44 to check out some amaz­ing table styling tips. And if you’re cook­ing the Feast of Cham­pi­ons, turn to page 90 for some amaz­ing recipes by Chef Jo of Symphony by Chef Jo.

As al­ways, we’ve got a col­lec­tion of homes for you to look to. We hope they’ll in­spire your next home ren­o­va­tion en­deav­our!

To all our Mus­lim read­ers: Ra­madan Ka­reem, and have a blessed month ahead!

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