Skip to main content

Many of us have had this moment: our beloved partner or family member bounds into the room, excitedly proclaiming “I’m going to buy a treadmill!” Or an elliptical, or a stationary bike. “If it’s at home, I’ll use it all the time; this is going to really help me get in shape.”

Their enthusiasm is touching, and we try to be supportive, mustering a weak “That’s great, honey.” All the while thinking: “Ugh! I don’t want a massive ugly exercise machine in my bedroom/basement/life!” A couple of romantic relationships we know of have broken up over this exact conundrum. Probably not the only reason, but still.

So what’s an aesthete to do?

The luxury industry has come to our rescue, and not a moment too soon. January is filled with promises of renewed exercise, and sometimes with concomitant fruitless expenditures that we shake our heads over come June.

If you have the means, a new generation of indoor exercise machines will allow your partner to sweat while you stay cool, knowing that the right machine can actually look like a work of art.

Here’s some equipment that our wealthy friends actually own and use, and that their stylish housemates give the thumbs up:

–The Stationary Bike. Have a look at the carbon fiber Ciclotte indoor bicycle, priced at $13,000. Designed and manufactured in Italy, at first glance, you’ll think it’s a spherical sculpture that has been artfully placed in a corner of your penthouse. Eccellente!

–The Elliptical Trainer. The best-looking cross trainer we’ve ever seen is the one made by Italian company Its Cross Personal model has a 19” touch screen display, surround sound speakers, and a guarantee of silent operation so that your household can sleep while you work out. It lists for $13,195.00. But hey – isn’t your relationship worth it?

–The Treadmill. It’s pretty hard to make a treadmill look stylish – there’s only so much that can be done. Making it smaller helps, and employing polished aluminum is a step in the right direction. Technogym’s Artis Run is reasonably elegant – it costs $15,279. You can Skype with your trainer and monitor your heart rate. It also harvests the energy you create and can help power the electrical grid at your home. Best of all? Its sleek design makes it a lot less likely that you’ll be tempted to use it as a clothes-hangar.

–The Rowing Machine. We won’t lie: we don’t think there is such a thing as a truly elegant rowing machine on the market. The closest you can get is the WaterRower, which is sold at the MOMA Design Store, among other places. Made in the US of cherry wood, and list-priced at $1,500, it would suit a chic rustic décor quite well.

–The Free-weights and Bench. If your partner is doing strength training as well as cardio, you have the added pleasure of occasionally tripping over 25-pound dumbbells that randomly appear all over your home. Enter luxury fitness company Pent, which hand-makes weights and benches using stainless steel and oiled European walnut. Their Colmia set is a stylish solution to both the look of the weights and their storage. Prices upon request, so prepare for sticker shock. They also offer yacht gym design services.

–The Punching Bag. This will be hard sell, but why not try it? If your beloved is hoping for a home boxing ring, spring for the limited-edition Louis Vuitton punching bag. It comes with a storage trunk, a stand, a mat and boxing gloves, all for $175,000. Full disclosure: we don’t know anyone who actually owns one of these. But we wish we did.

Is all of this just a bit too much? Your final option is persuading your fitness-seeking housemate to opt for Chanel’s 2014 chic black jump rope, made with carbon handles and accompanied by a quilted carrying case – an old-school fitness regimen for just $1,400 that stores neatly away after every workout. Win-win!

Pamela Thomas-Graham

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. She serves on the boards of several tech companies, and was previously a senior executive in finance, media and fashion, and a partner at McKinsey & Co.