It began shortly after I received the keys to my new home, upon stepping into the now cleared out resale apartment and seeing that wide expanse of floor space, that’s when I started shopping. I like furniture shopping, but what I love even more is shopping for designer furniture.
At first, it was just a statement piece, a Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner. When it comes to shopping for premium furniture, there are dining chairs and then there is the Wishbone.
This is a chair that was designed in 1949 and yet remains as classic and timeless as the day the final sketches were put into production (it was a Wednesday in fact, a little tidbit I uncovered after a trip to visit the Carl Hansen & Son factory in Aarup, Denmark to sift through the archives. Yes, I was that obsessed).
So when it was time to decide on my choice of chairs for the dining area, naturally it had to be Wishbones. But then came the lounge chair for the living room, now that was a toughy because I’d been a fan of the LC4 by Le Corbusier as well as the Eames Lounge by the dynamic Mid-century duo Ray and Charles Eames.
Both of them are, in my opinion, absolute must-haves simply because their designs say so much without their forms becoming an overkill in a space. I would have purchased both, except my budget demanded I decide on one.
Soon my thirst for getting more finely finished and sumptuously upholstered pieces grew and overwhelmed me like an addiction. Every store I visited had something I wanted, no, needed.
Aside from being way out of the original budget I set for furniture, I also found myself constantly thinking of the next it piece I had to buy. I wouldn’t have seen the end of the tunnel had the government not implemented a two-month Circuit Breaker period owing to the pandemic.
It was like my personal form of quitting cold-turkey from browsing furniture stores and senselessly coming up with new excuses to whip my credit out to get something new for the home.
Sure there was still online shopping available, but the point of shopping for furniture is to be able to experience the sofa or chair or table up close, and be able to appreciate its intricate details before putting your name on invoice.
In those two months, I had no choice but to sit down and come face to face with a pile of mounting bills and a sobering realisation that it was going to take a significantly large chunk of my savings to clear them.
Ironically, I was still sitting on a makeshift stool because the shipments of designer furniture I’d bought were all stuck in ports around the world thanks to the near-global lockdown. It was at that moment when I received the revelation.
There will always be another collection to covet, and iconic pieces to get. Brands will never stop putting out fantastic-looking pieces because that’s what brands do. The chase for luxury was just a thinly-veiled attempt at filling my life with things so I could feel in control.
True luxury is having the time (because time is something we are always lacking) to just sit down and be content. There’s nothing wrong with buying great furniture, but make sure it’s you owning them and not the other way around.