All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yeah glitter, glitter everywhere, like working in a goldmine...

I have to say, working at the day job has desensitized me to a lot of sticker shock over the past few months, but a little while ago I was slapped back into reality when I found out how much a piece of furniture(/art) could be worth.

These pieces were made by the same conceptual designer, each carved from a single piece of marble:

I found out one of theses pieces cost over $50,000.


Having worked at an educational nonprofit as well as a healthcare organization, I couldn't stop thinking about how that money could be someone's (or even two peoples') entire salary for a year. Heck, it was more than I used to make when I worked at the educational nonprofit six years ago!

(This week the record was blown by an antique folding table that was 140,000 Euros. Euros, people.)

Personally, I tell my Retrograde clients that their money and energy can go towards other things like family vacations, time with loved ones, or a memorable meal or event. If they ever want something pricey, I'm more than happy to get it for them...but let's face it, the dayjob can be unreal sometimes.

I dunno. Having studied art and having trained to be a Young British Artist, I think there's something to be said about conceptual pieces that make you do a double-take. It's a reaction--hopefully delight or something positive. But in interior design, I think there are tons of affordable, conceptual pieces out there.

Take the classic Togo sofa, for example:

Originally designed in the '70s, it still looks as hot as ever. (I know where to get a knockoff in SF, in case you think the $3K+ price is a bit much.)  It also reminds me of the modern sofa that caused Ted Knight so much mayhem in the wacky SF sitcom, Too Close For Comfort:

Even more affordable is the Hahn sofa at Room & Board, designed by Vladimir Kagan:

If I ever lost everything in a fire, this would be the first thing I bought with the insurance money. To me, it's like looking cream. Or a smile.

Something else more recently designed was the Ikea Vagoe chair, which is sadly no longer available. It was sleek with a deep-set seat to encourage lounging. Originally sold for about $20, it was a great example of affordable design:

In fact, I scored four of them second hand a while ago! The white ones look so sleek in my living room and are surprisingly ergonomic and comfortable:

I still have a pair of black ones up for grabs too...maybe I'll hold onto them a bit longer until they appreciate in value ;-)

Until then, I'll stick with the dayjob. Waitin' on the last train, flickin' through the highlights...

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