It is always with great fascination that I read the plethora of articles that extoll the virtue of spending less. It seems that every magazine or blog has articles about getting the “same” style for less. They have alluring images of great design pieces (that have equally great price tags) and then they throw in some images of things that have the same look for less.
What really is the message here? Is it that good design and quality are totally divorced from cost? I would like to make the case that this is true. What you are not seeing in those images that are usually beautifully shot photos (perhaps retouched as well) is the true difference between the high and low price points.
Here are a few things to bear in mind next time you think that you are buying a bargain piece:
- · Longevity, I always encourage people to buy pieces that will last if not a lifetime, but many years. I am reminded of those beautiful images of Billy Baldwin’s apartment in New York. It went through two or three major redecorations, but if you look at the images it’s the same pieces, moved to different locations, reupholstered or refinished, this is precisely because they were of a high quality that they could be used time and again.
- · My motto when designing is “The Luxury of Simplicity”. So I am not a fan of buying a lot, since that is the case, buying fewer higher quality pieces will not only allow you to appreciate them better but it also gives you the opportunity to build a collection of pieces that really resonate with you. I love it when I visit homes and the story of the people who live there is told by the pieces they have collected. I don’t want my story to be “this is almost what I had in mind, but it was less expensive”
- · When you decide that things are going to be with you for a long time, things like quality of construction, such as 8 way hand tied upholstery, or quality of finish, become very important, because it’s the subtle details that you notice over time that really make you attach to the piece.
- · My last thoughts on the matter have to do with a sense of confusion I have about this phenomenon and how it continues, wouldn’t it seem strange if Kia had a campaign that you should buy their car cause it sort of looks like a BMW? Or would you buy a fake Rolex? All of these things you spend less time with than the things in your own home….. Embrace the Quality!!!