Sunday, February 15, 2015

Modern furniture reproductions

I have spent the past couple hours on Amazon, looking at various types of modern furniture. Just browsing, but there are a few items I would like to add to our home.

This kind of started yesterday when my wife and I drove to Kansas City to do some window shopping. I do want a new coffee table for our living room. There is nothing wrong with our current coffee table. It is a nice modern style table that is a mixture of wood and glass. It looks good, we have had it for about 10 years and it has held up very well. But I am just a little tired of it and want something different.

We went to a couple of stores, just to browse, but kind of looking to see if we could find a replacement coffee table. We did see one coffee table that we liked. It looks nice and would certainly be a good replacement. But then, it is not exactly the style I want.

That is the main reason I have been looking at furniture on Amazon for the past two hours, I couldn't find what I wanted at a local store. One of things I like about Amazon besides the available selection are the customer reviews. I rarely purchase anything expensive from them that does not have a number of positive reviews. You kind of have to base your decisions on an average basis. But if half the reviews for an item are negative, it is probably not something you want.

The coffee table I really want is a Noguchi table. It is such a timeless classic! Beautifully simple and elegant and I have been in love with this design since the first time I saw it! You can buy the real thing from Herman Miller today for just under $1700. With most things in life, you get what you pay for and I am sure the table from HM is of the highest quality. But really, I simply cannot justify $1700 for a coffee table. I just can't. As much as I love modern design, classical modern design and I understand the value of the designer's idea, inspiration and execution, I can't spend that kind of money for a coffee table.

So, I am in a quandary. Do I buy a reproduction and live with the thought that another company is profiting from the original designer's work or do I buy something that is less beautiful than I want? I have this same dilemma when I consider buying any reproduction mid-century modern classic furniture.

I guess I might find some solace in the fact that most of these classic pieces were designed in the 1950's and the designers are no longer with us. Their designs are just being sold by a company. Does a portion of those sales revenue still go to the families of the designers? I don't know. I guess I would hope so, but realistically, I doubt it.

Anyway, I am considering buying some reproduction classics from Amazon. Primarily I am looking at a Noguchi table and a couple Eames shell chairs. Could I afford the real thing I wanted, Probably, but I just too frugal for that. I am just not at a financial level to be buying true designer furniture. I have a feeling that there are many people in the same boat as me.

Someday I hope to own a few original pieces, but for now, I will just have to settle for a reproduction of the real thing.

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