One article that caught my attention and one I believe in is in the May issue of House Beautiful link and part of its "101 Tips from the Experts" series. It is called "Have Fewer Things but Better Things" and discusses the decorating philosophy of Suzanne Rheinstein.
Her advice, particularly for young people starting out is: Have fewer things, but better things. It's not 10-minute decorating. If you buy one good thing a year, you'll have five really good things. Of course, you'll have to take the time to learn about quality and to appreciate it. But it's worth doing ...
This blog is a continuation on that theme - a philosophy which I am actively pursuing in my life and work. Today, it is hard to find "fine furniture" stores - many have closed down in this economy. I can think of only a very few in the very large Atlanta area and marketplace. Even more pronounced is the elimination of American furniture manufacturing - it is VERY HARD to find new USA-made pieces and we once were leading the world in fine furniture making. What is still available and worth buying is fine furniture in the "used/already manufactured" marketplace. Yes, it takes some effort and some running around (think about estate and garage sales - craigslist and even Goodwill) but it is still out there and available for values that are amazing and usually cost LESS than the cheaper, new products that are available. It also requires, as hinted to by designer Suzanne Rheinstein, to know the hallmarks of good quality.
One easy way to target quality is to search for the up-scale brands that have been around and/or are still around - brands like Baker, Southwood, and Hickory Chair. If the piece is not damaged, you cannot make a mistake buying these kind of products and they are well worth reupholstering or buying refurbished (I try to find these kinds of products in my business - link to website.
Featured in this blog is a Hickory Chair French style chest of drawers I purchased at an estate sale in December to replace an old (and not particularly well preserved) Victorian-age smaller piece in my foyer.
I bought the chest for $400 - a new piece like this from Hickory Chair would cost at least $1500 and perhaps more. The brand is still available and pricey - it would definitely meet Ms. Rheinstein's definition of "a good thing".
|Hickory Chair Chest Purchased at Estate Sale|