In the world of IKEA and MDF furniture (hey—it has it’s place, I’m not knocking it) it’s reassuring to be reminded of real, luxury craftsmanship. In fashion, there’s no better example than Hermès. Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in their NYC office and was mesmerized by their fantastically French marketing guru, as she spoke of the time and attention dedicated to crafting anything Hermès, from a Birkin to a buttery leather arm chair. I wanted to curl up in the showroom and live there forever, amongst the amazing handbags, silky scarves and iconic club chairs.
In design, there is no shortage of inspiration when working with the “well-made,” even if it is just a bucket of paint. (Yes, your hardware stores’ paint will get the job done, but with Farrow & Ball paint, I swear you can actually feel the difference in quality.) But one of my biggest inspirations is any sofa handcrafted prior to the 1970s. Some people think “vintage” is synonymous with “crap,” but I can assure you that the bones in these pieces will last you longer than any piece made out of fake wood and plastic. That’s why you’ll always find me re-designing a vintage sofa more often than not, like this fabulous striped couch I just re-did for a client.
So, always keep your eyes open for pieces that will last. And I mean, really last.