When I did my post about my office, I mentioned my plan to use a the Regal French Chandelier that I found in the Wisteria catalogue for $249.00.
I got a few e-mails telling me that they thought I could do better. I took these comments to heart. Was I really settling? Was this lantern not pretty enough? cheap looking? too kitschy? As an interior designer, should I be above finding items in a catalogue?
I started looking for other alternatives. I found this great looking lantern from Authentic Provence, but at $3,500 it was a bit too authentic for my budget.
Suzanne Kasler's Honore Lantern is beautiful. It is one of the only lanterns that I found that had a glass bottom. This is a very important feature when looking for a lantern to put above a dining table, desk, or other work space. At $1,050.00 it wasn't completely out of my budget, but I kept wondering if it was that much better than the Wisteria lantern. Plus I was also thinking of doing a matching lantern above my farmhouse table. Two Wisteria lanterns would be $500. Two Honore lanterns would be $2,100. I could think of a lot of other ways to spend that extra $1,600!
The finish is just the right color for the room, and the scale of the lantern is perfect.
The question that I kept asking myself about the lantern has now been on my mind quite a bit. As a designer (or anyone who follows design) do I have to abandon the things I love once they hit the mainstream? Are my beloved treasures junk once they hit a catalogue?
I think many of us asked ourselves that question when we received our most recent Restoration Hardware Catalogue. Not only has Restoration Hardware discovered Belgian style, but apparently they are following us to our favorite antique shops!
Steve found these vintage eye glass molds at an antique shop in Maine...
Only to see them a month later in the Restoration Hardware catalogue!
If Aidan Gray starts ruffling the edges of books and selling them in bundles....
and Wisteria starts making storage boxes like these...
My old faded sea shells, displayed in my shelves with my collection of antique books.
It's an interesting time for design. I don't think there has ever been another time where beautiful design has been so accessible. In this situation, is it still ok to love the original things that are copied. What about loving the copies?
I would argue that we should do as we always have done: buy and surround ourselves with the things we love. It's the way in which we combine and edit our treasures that creates our personal style.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you agree with me, or do you think that mass design means it's time to move on?
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