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Apartment foo-nishing

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by mafoofan, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Senior member

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    Rug money went into the wardrobe.
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    But, it's not purely a money issue. It's a matter of taste. A superficial copy is not the only cost-effective choice.
     
  3. NiceToHave

    NiceToHave Active Member

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    My take on this, as a father of a 4 year old, is that some things needs to be "cheaper" so you can actually live/use the thing. We have a pretty expensive sofa and sideboard but a cheap (but nice :)) carpet and armchair. The 4 year old mainly uses the armchair when having snacks etc, if he spills on the carpet then we can always buy a new one if it gets to messy and the armchair has removable fabric that we ourselves can wash.

     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  4. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Senior member

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    Really? I've never been in a Pottery Barn, but is an $1100 rug from them really more disposable than some handwoven $2500 run from XXXXX? Genuine question, because I'm not sure if you're talking 'quality' or simply paying heed do the 'original designers'. Disclaimer: ours are from Wal-Mart or Costco.
     
  5. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Those aren't really the same thing. A better analog is the choice to buy a canvassed suit from an Indian maker instead of from Savile Row.
     
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. I totally get that. It's not being cheap that's the problem; it's fakeness. If I wanted to spend less money than it would take to get a real Beni Ourain, I simply wouldn't buy a Beni Ourain-style rug.


    I cannot speak to the workmanship of the Pottery Barn rug. My point is that it is fake. Cheap or inexpensive does not have to mean inauthentic.


    No, it is not the most granular analog, but it doesn't have to be here, does it? The bigger point is less about authenticity (which your analog doesn't capture), but about refinement of taste and discernment.

    A better analog, along the lines of your example, would be buying an Indian-made "Savile Row-style" suit under the impression that it will be meaningfully similar to a suit actually made by a Savile Row tailor.
     
  7. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think it is because there are some things people care about and some things they don't, and one needn't be consistent to be happy. Our sofa is from Ikea. It may be a copy of some iconic design or maybe not. I don't really care. I got sick of looking for sofas and my wife decided to order that one and be done with it. Five or so years later, it still works and I don't regret that it isn't something else. On the other hand, every time my wife comes home with a new Pucci dress, I get pissed because I think it is basically a cheap knock-off of old Pucci, which was beautfully made. The new stuff is junk and I would rather she bought cheaper cheap knock-offs from H&M.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  8. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think Thomas Mahon would assert that his made-in-India line is meaningfully similar to something made by a SR tailor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This does and doesn't make sense.

    Sure, people can pick what they care about. Yet, it seems to me that real taste is somehow transcendent, no? To me, it is about understanding and appreciating the intrinsic good in a thing--yet, such intrinsically good qualities tend to flow across different contexts. If I care about authenticity in one area, under the pretense that authenticity is fundamentally virtuous, it seems odd that I would not value it highly in other areas as well.


    I can't speak to that specific example. I hope you understand the bigger point, though.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Also, Ikea is so startling cheap for new furniture, that it is almost always impossible to find an equally inexpensive alternative. Sometimes, cheap is cheap.

    A $500-1,000 rug from Pottery Barn is a different matter.
     
  11. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I can't dispute that it seems odd to you, but it seems perfectly sensible to me. There is so much in the world that I don't care about very much, and for those things, authenticity or inauthenticity are just another dimension about which I don't care. For me, authenticity isn't a thing in and of itself. It is an attribute of something else. If I care about the something else then I might cae about the attributes, and if I don't care about the thing then I don't fixate much on the attributes. In any case, I am reporting my own experience and not suggesting it has to be yours.

    By the way, how many experts or masters of a field have you met who are absolutely rigorous and maniacal about perfection and authenticity in their field of interest but who completely ingnore those same factors in other fields? It seems pretty common to me. Certainly, in my experience, with musicians and writers and artists.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
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  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't disagree that people are typically inconsistent in applying priorities to aesthetic things (particularly experts and masters of particular fields, now that you ask), but that doesn't make me think better of it.

    Part of having taste is overcoming prejudice and looking for intrinsic good even where you wouldn't expect to find it. So, I don't see how one can exert taste if he confines that approach to a pre-defined category (clothes, furniture, food, etc.). Being a really expert collector or adept hobbyist is not the same thing as being a tasteful person.
     
  13. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Like in a rug made in India?
     
  14. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You have set yourself an ambitious goal.
    Have you read À rebours? I am not sure you would like it (I didn't), but you are reminding me of it now. It is also worth reading if you want to push your aesthetic views out along the lines you have been doing.
     
  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Are you keeping track?

    Dopey and I broadened the discussion to cover quality more generally. The issue with an Indian-made Beni Ourain is not that it is necessarily poorly made, but that it is necessarily fake.
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nobody is perfect and I don't pretend to be.

    All I can say is that I try my best to understand what makes different things "good." It is tiring and exciting. It is hard not to get deep into things, actually.

    I tried to not care about our rug, until I realized all the cheap ones we were looking at were facsimiles of traditional, regional styles. There were a few contemporary designs we really liked too, but they were all poorly made at our price point. After researching, I couldn't bring myself to get anything short of "real."

    Anyway, I've found that there is usually a sweet spot for value, which gets you nearly the highest possible balance of authentic design and honest craftsmanship. The quality may not be at the 99.9th percentile, but it us usually way over the 90th percentile mark, if not the 95th or even 98th. In some contexts, there is no improvement possible in "quality" beyond that point. In any event, spending more usually only gets you added ornament, historical significance, greater rarity, etc.

    In the long run, hitting that sweet spot saves us money as it gets us things we are proud to have and take care of. When we spend less on a thing, out of budgetary necessity, we inevitably feel like we need to improve upon it later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  17. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This I can understand. But for many things, I am simply not interested and don't find the investigation all that exciting.

    And you should read that book. I found it tedious, but it is still important (not influential, but important anyway), especially if you are interested in developing an aesthetic approach to life.
     
  18. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I am keeping track, and, yes, I was tweaking you a bit. My point is that authenticity of origin is not requisite for good taste. A nice object, made of quality materials, which meets the functional need (should one exist) doesn't cease to be tasteful inherently because it comes from somewhere other than its traditional source. That authenticity may be valuable and/or desirable, but it's not really what makes or breaks the tastefulness of the object.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
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  19. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    He gets his suits from Southern Italian intellectual property thieves, not London, so I am sure he would agree.
     
    2 people like this.
  20. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Will definitely look it up. Sounds dope.


    Authenticity is fundamentally intertwined with function when it comes to aesthetic things. Take Beni Ourain rugs, for example. The symbols mean something and are not intended to be mere decoration. Also, the design of the rug reflects the needs and resources of the tribal people who make them. They are colored the way they are because that is how the local sheep are colored. They are made the way they are to be particularly warm and adaptable to different uses (floor covering, bedding, etc.).

    When some Indian factory makes a rug in a somewhat similar appearance, no matter the quality of workmanship, all that is lost.

    Put another way, if all I wanted was a shaggy rug and didn't want to spend time looking for an authentic Beni Ourain, I'd buy an inexpensive, contemporary shaggy rug that is not supposed to look like a Beni Ourain at all.


    I think you have me confused for an NSM client. :devil:
     

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