I used to LOVE Ikea and all other mass retailers. I thought the idea of offering modern design at affordable prices to the masses was brilliant. At one point I aspired to be an Ikea furniture designer.
However, once I started studying design I realized the pitfall of offering furniture (and any other item for that matter) to the masses at low cost. Quality. Quality suffers when you take a great design concept and value engineer the conceptualization down to an affordable manufacturing price. Suddenly, that gorgeous new chair you just bought falls apart or the veneer is peeling off a year after you bought it. And like a drug, you’re back for more, right were you got the last piece.
Its terrible because when you get down to it, virtually the same amount of material goes into creating a quality piece that will last a lifetime as one that’s a fast-fix (i.e. You just got your first apartment, are broke but still want a beautiful living room). The omission of proper joints, material type, and high quality hinges (which makes for lower manufacturing costs), in fact makes furniture that after using and abusing (and hauling out of your living room, into a moving truck, and into your new apt next year) will in fact will be reduced to the sheets of MDF that compose it.
That being said, I have a crush on vintage pieces. They really do not build furniture like they used to. Plus, since these pieces are “dated” you can find them for *free* on craigs list or *cheap* at resale shops. Take my advice and pick one of these lovelies home and personalize it. Just cuz it may be “dated” doesn’t mean that it can’t be quaint, classy and rock way more style than the bedside table you picked up at Target last weekend.
**Stay tuned for my favorite ways to personalize and update your vintage furniture.