Yesterday I went shopping with my Dad for some furniture he needs for his new condo. As we went from faux bedroom to faux dining room to faux living room in several different stores I was struck by one thing almost all of the furniture had in common: it’s MASSIVE.
Huge four poster beds with ornate six-foot high headboards, nine foot high armoires, twelve foot long dining tables with huge claw feet and chairs that double the width of the table. And it wasn’t even well-made!
Is it about more is better? The bigger my stuff the more successful I am? Does everyone think they need to live royally?
Egads! Not everyone lives in homes with open floor plans and vaulted ceilings. In my house the furniture would look ridiculous; straight out of Alice In Wonderland.
Whatever happened to simple, clean lines? Furniture that’s well-made, comfortable and not king-sized. Where did all the dove-tail joints go? In one store my Dad looked at a bedroom set that was priced at over $10,000 and it was crap. Glued joints, dresser drawers that didn’t sit smoothly in their tracks, dime store hardware.
Who buys this stuff? There’s got to be something out there between Ikea or Shaker styles and this galumpta furniture!
My Dad was not a fan of the huge, ornate pieces, thank goodness. After 36 years of my stepmother just knowing what he liked he finally got to discover his own taste. He found a beautifully simple, elegant dining room table, very similar to my own, priced at $3000.
Three thousand dollars for a dining room table? I was distraught when my son scratched my beloved $200-on-clearance-at-Bombay table. I don’t even want to think about what I’d do after a $3000 table was ruined.
“That’s not bad at all, is it?” he asked me. “Dad, it’s beautiful,” I say, ” But you’re asking the wrong person.”
He thought it was well worth it. Not to me. Perhaps I’m so different because I grew up with my Mom, struggling all the time. But I guess that there are many that think $3000 for a dining room table is reasonable; otherwise these places would not stay in business.
I think I’ll stay on my side of the looking glass. Me and my simply-elegant-but-now-scratched-$200-on-clearance-at-Bombay table.
April 13, 2008 at 4:44 pm
Gulp, $3000? Yeah, I think I would be afraid to eat on it.
April 13, 2008 at 4:44 pm
I feel the same way about furniture. All so huge and would look crazy in my house. I guess it’s all made for the McMansions people can barely afford. I like my used furniture that looks like it was made for my home.
April 13, 2008 at 6:32 pm
Gasp! That sounds like Thomas Moser furniture. Well…$3,000 may be cheap for Thos Moser. But what you get is something for the generations.
It’s hard to find well made furniture these days. Do you have a retailer of Scandinavian-style furniture in your area? Ikea sells the European look, cheap, but the stuff won’t last long and it often isn’t comfortable. Higher-end Scandinavian furniture costs a lot less than three grand for a dining-room table but is often well made and usually well designed.
How about Cost Plus (also called World Market)? Sometimes they have some nifty stuff that’s not Scandinavian moderne, and the prices are pretty good. They have good sales, too. Pier One is a little more expensive but has somewhat more interesting styles. Depending on your taste.
April 13, 2008 at 6:56 pm
I’m not a fan of large furniture either. I like clean simple lines too. I could see spending $3 grand on an entire dining room SET … but on a table? Like you, I’d be a wreck about someone scratching it.
April 14, 2008 at 9:46 pm
Try Room and Board (www.roomandboard.com). I have a great bedroom set from them. I drool over Thomas Moser, but buy from R&B. Very good quality, simple modern lines, dovetails and all. Not cheap, but a good investment. They have a few stores, but also have a catalog. I like that you can choose fabrics. I got a comfy chair from them in a fabric that wasn’t offered on it, but was in the catalog. Just ask, they’re very helpful! Also, Ethan Allen still has some “real person” sized furniture too.
April 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm
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