Well, here’s the good news(!). Furniture-buying – and then furniture owning – is about you, today. Let’s call a spade a spade: when Grandma Violet left you the Baker Sheraton-inspired dining table, the matching hutch and 10 chairs, you were conflicted. Sure, it reminded you of the musty-meets-cinnamon smell of Grandma’s house, of those expansive after-church Sunday lunches (when you couldn't wait to ride your bike outside) and the way Grandma assigned seating by putting pink plastic on the granddaughter chairs and blue for the grandsons. But do you really want the furniture? And now that you have it, what will you do with it? Can you sell it? Can you donate it? Should you store it for a few years at $229 per month, then give it away?
Not only is there nothing wrong with Grandma Vi’s stuff – and to the right person, there’s a ton right with it – since it is inherently beautiful, well-built and timeless. But it was hers. Granted, part - perhaps a significant part – of her motivation for stretching her budget and committing to what must have been an enormous purchase was that she (and Grandpa) looked forward to the day their set could be passed on. They may, bless them, have chosen this set not because they loved it more than the other options but because they felt this style was an enduring look that their heirs would appreciate.
Our message: buy furniture for you. Perhaps, for some, one could think of furniture more like a car. First, you know what attributes you appreciate and how much you are willing to pay for those features. You also have a relatively accurate sense of the all-in cost of ownership (you know roughly what you’ll get for it when you’re finished). Fine art is a different beast: while you will derive benefit from looking at it and how it contributes to a space, a significant consideration in your purchase decision algorithm (you have one of those, don’t you?!) includes the future value of your investment even if you never intend to sell it.
But don’t jump to the wrong conclusion:
(1) We are not advocating for inexpensive, disposable furniture. As designers and makers of
better furniture, we think that you should choose furniture that delivers a consistent level of
satisfaction throughout the (long) ownership experience. If you buy a poorly made (but great-
looking) sofa, it will be ideally-suited for the location that never gets used. If you intend to sit
on it, the promotionally-priced sofa will perform poorly, every time, and will deteriorate
visually as its upholstery, tailoring and substructure quickly succumb to wear. Unfortunately
all of the elements are interdependent: there are some decent, inexpensive frames that sit
surprisingly well but with sub-standard cushions or lousy leather your piece only delivers to the
least of those ingredients.
(2) We don’t believe in over-priced furniture. There’s plenty of very average furniture marketed
as high end. In most of those cases you can get a terrific look but the level of the materials is
uneven and the actual usage experience (the quality of the sit, the ergonomics of the table,
the practicality of the configuration, etc…) can vary tremendously (from tremendous to less-
We are suggesting that you be a tad selfish: find the furniture that has the inherent characteristics that resonate with your life. If you’re going to sit on it, sit at it, open and close it or simply gaze at it, don’t compromise: if you appreciate the difference, you've made a great choice. Happy 4th.