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Design

What Furniture/Decor We’d Want If Money Were No Object – And WHY. Let’s Fantasize

I spend equal time on 1stDibs as I do on Craigslist. The strategy is to identify what I love (and what design elements make it so desirable) on 1st dibs then find a version of it more affordably on all the other sites (including Chairish, Etsy, eBay, FB marketplace, and Craigslist). One site for inspo on both new and vintage, and the other sites for actually pulling triggers (or maybe not). It’s F.U.N. and I literally can NOT wait to get up to Oregon and shop in person (not just in Portland, we are talking day trips around the state to good vintage malls). A couple weeks ago we all saw the photo of Richard Branson and Elon Musk standing in front of Bransons’ kitchen in one of his rental houses. The internet blew up with the debate about how billionaires decorate their house. So we were chatting about it on Zoom one day – and I think Caitlin asked me what I would want? And we all went around and fantasized and shared. It was FUN. So here are the splurgey design/decor pieces that we love, love love.

Emily

BBDW Abel Sofa

I’ll never not want this sofa (or the sectional version of it, or the club chair version). It’s the perfect “classic with some edge” that I’ve been coveting for about 10 years. It’s from BBDW and while I don’t know the exact price (you need to have all materials and the size chosen) I think it’s like $30-35k. Those legs. Those arms. I don’t resent the fact that I can’t have it. Instead, I look for why I love it and try to find those details in less expensive versions. I love that it has a single-seat, that the tufts are minimal and yet bring in that classic feel, and that the arms and legs have been highly considered and designed. So now when I shop for sofas I look at all the little details, not necessarily the bold gestures to see how something like a carved arm can send it over the edge of awesomeness.

Splint Peg Cabinet

I just discovered this modern Shaker furniture maker in Maine, and I was delighted that she is a woman. Heidi’s pieces are so beautiful, handcrafted, heirloom-quality, and a modern twist on the Shaker style we all love. That hanging cabinet starts at $11k and when I read that my first response was “oh shit, good for you, Heidi” and not in a snarky way. I’m genuinely happy that she is valuing her hard work and that clearly there is a market for it. It also has re-inspired me to look for more affordable versions and guess what, I’ve found them 🙂

Papa Bear Chair

I will also never NOT love a Papa Bear. It’s a whimsical version of a wingback (and I LOVE a wingback) boasting comfort, in a more upright position (verses sinking in too much, something I’ve realized I only love in TV rooms). It’s extremely classic in the Scandinavian style and while it is definitely being knocked off with affordable versions, I’ll wait till I can find an original. Hey Dave (MidCenturyLA) I’m looking at you 🙂 It’s the big modern hug, in a healthy scale that just draws you in to read.

Bear Armchair

Now for one that is new. I think you can tell I’m really into comfortable and whimsical furniture. I’m a massive fan of Pierre Yovanovitch, the french architect and designer. These Papa Bear and Mama Bear chairs make my eyes so happy. If these were designed “wrong” they could be pretty darn silly looking, but the proportions and the finishes make it a happy little family. I couldn’t find a price, but I know that his dining chairs start at $15k each so I’d imagine these are, well, you can imagine. Hopefully, it’s not something that is knocked off. While I want design to be democratized (and the internet has sure helped) when you see the exact copy of something like this, mass-produced with far cheaper materials and craftsmanship, I get a little bit sad. Speaking of, did you see CB2’s collaboration with Paul McCobb? He’s one of my favorite designers EVER and they’ve done a great job of recreating some of his classics, but in collaboration with his estate which I appreciate.

I first saw Adam Pogue‘s artwork in a retail store in LA 4 years ago, as the dressing room curtains. I immediately DM’d him telling him that I’m a huge fan and I’d love to talk (he followed me and we have a lot of friends in common). I’ve tried to commission him for a while, but he is super busy doing large collaborations with Commune and likely other really high-end clients and as an artist, he can only take on so much work which I totally get. But I LOVE his work and its inspired me to start collecting vintage plaids and Japanese Boro to try to get this hand-sewn, quilted textile art look, inspired by him, but in an EHD way.

Jess

design by 6a architects | via remodelista

BDDW Wall Tiles

The one kinda unexpected thing that makes me hold my breath for a split second every time I see them in a space are these tiles from BDDW (after working here for almost 5 years Em has very much rubbed off on me:)). I think they are incredibly magical and if I were to ever buy a house (the real pick) and have endless money to spend on it to customize every freaking inch (the real REAL dream) then these puppies would go in there faster than a Beyonce concert selling out. I don’t know how much they are but I know that my bank account will likely never warrant this purchase. But who knows?! Maybe someday far far in the future.

Tove and Edvard Kindt-Larsen Cabinet

“I want you, I need you, oh baby, oh baby” but take out Julia Stiles’s sarcasm but every word is earnest. This vintage (and sadly now unavailable) cabinet is so incredible. It’s graphic but natural, simple yet interesting. A definite forever piece that could really work with any style giving whatever space it’s in a huge dose of special. Next time it’s available and I have $19,000 dollars to spare that baby is mine.

design by gacho studios | photo by nicole franzen

Untitled Blue Tines

I first saw this piece of art when I was doing research for an “unexpected wall art” post. I fell in love instantly and it’s been in the back of my head ever since. I love how graphic it is and the awesome visual impact it has. I love that it’s 3-D and made of wood, giving it some warmth and texture. And lastly, I love the colors. Now I don’t know how much this piece is but since the prices aren’t listed I’m going to take a wild guess that it’s most certainly in the “probably not ever Miss Bunge” price range. But again who knows?????

Ryann

19th Century Stained Pine Sofa

I am deeply attracted to this sofa. It reminds me of an old church pew but mixed with sexy Victorian era curves it’s so unexpected and spectacular, and the mustard upholstery color is 10/10. The price is not listed but I found it via Dorian Antiques so I can make an educated guess that it’s way out of my price range. Maybe someday, sweet sexy sofa. Maybe someday.

via atelier vime

Paravent Fish Scale Screen

Here’s why I felt compelled to add this to my list: If I did have unlimited funds I could see spending big bucks on furniture and art. But if money truly were no object, I WOULD spend high dollar on this wicker screen by Atelier Vime even though it’s so extra. It’s listed here for over $8,000 and the special woven detail is just divine. Plus, you all know how I feel about wicker.

Mallory

home of martina mondadori sartogo | photo by miguel flores-vianna | via architectural digest

Easy Edges Wiggle Side Chairs

These Frank Gehry chairs will never not be cool. I’m SO into how these bad boys look, but at a cool $11,000 it’s probably not in the cards. They look so epic in photos though and I love how sculptural they are!! If anyone wants to get one for me I wouldn’t be upset.

Solana Chaise

It’s always a little intimidating when you have to “request trade pricing” on a really cool piece of furniture. Like, to me, that basically just means it’s at least a couple thousand…but man if I had an ethereal couple thousand dollars I would spend it on this lounge chair or really anything from Cuff Studio

Lea

via soho home

Vivienne Modular Sofa

I love whites on whites on whites so when I first saw this Vivienne modular sofa by SOHO Home I fell instantly in love with its curves, texture, and those feet!

Caitlin

HOW DO YOU EVEN PICK? (Like, guys, my Chairish favs are filled with $2,000 busts of dogs wearing hats and $13,000 dining chairs.) But if someone handed me a wad of cash today, this brass dresser (which I will not link, because I am scared that one of you will scoop it!!!) is without a doubt the first thing I’d buy. It’s not technically super out of reach – it’s priced at $3,600 which is by no means cheap, but is hopefully manageable with planning – so I’ve been working to save up for the last few months. This is the only thing I don’t totally love about vintage – you can either pay up front and get what you want now, or you can just put it a wish out in the ether and hope to one day come across your dream piece at the price you can afford. In any case, please send positive vibes my way as I try to gather enough funds to grab this before someone else does!!!

Arlyn

design by studio collective | via design hotels

Oo Lamp

From the first time I laid eyes on Eny Lee Parker’s lamps, they were cemented into my “one day if I ever had $5,000 to blow” dream design list. I’ve long had an affinity toward special lighting. At one point, I had four table lamps stashed in a corner of an apartment just waiting for their time to shine. But this lamp, oh boy. It wouldn’t have to wait a moment before I made it the star of a room. It’s quirky, artistic, special. When a decor item doubles as a work of art, you know you’re in business. I’ve seen her release limited edition colors like deep emerald green, for instance, and I promise you, my heart almost stopped. One day…

Now that you know our secret longings, we want to hear yours. Spill the deets down below. xx

Opener Image Credit: Design by The Brooklyn Home Company | Photo by Matthew Williams | via BDDW

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1 year ago

Fun! Mallory, I am not trying to be shady, but both of your picks remind me so strongly of cat scratchers I can’t help but comment!

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Hannah

I had some cat scratchers like the wiggle chairs, but at one point, I had those chairs on my wishlist. I can’t remember what my plan was, but I was fascinated by the construction. I believe it was before cats.

1 year ago

Loved this post! Adam Pogue‘s work ist just too good!

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Florian

I love Adam Pogue’s work. It’s inspired me to want to do some upcycling projects with all my fabric. Of course, they won’t be works of art, nor will they use unique vintage fabric from all over the world.

Caity
1 year ago

Yes, this was super fun! For me Thomas Moser anything falls into this category. Also, I’m at the point in my life that like ppl Mr. Branson, I’m piling money into investments now so that I can live really well in my golden years. That being said, I do really really love beautiful things (my mother and I call it “an aesthetics disorder” and I can’t stand to be around ugly things. This forces me to be SUPER creative in getting stuff from estate sales, auctions, Facebook marketplace, etc so that if something really special comes along I can splurge a bit on it. To be clear, a splurge for me is anything that costs over $200. I recently got two matching armchairs at an auction for $200. They were covered in ugly brown fabric. So I took the plunge and reupholstered them at a cost of $1400 for labor and fabric for both. Yes, it is comparable to buying two chairs from West Elm but the original chairs were from a really good furniture company and the fabric was a nice one from Ballard designs. Now I have two matching one-of-a kind armchairs. They are bringing me SO much… Read more »

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Caity

About a decade ago, after receiving a big bonus, my husband and I bought Thos. Moser furniture for our living room. I’m feeling like I got my dream furniture (at least for one room). I don’t feel quite in the situation to make those purchases now. I’d like to see the potential in pieces to be refinished and reupholstered, so I’m impressed that you took the leap and did it. It sounds like you ended up with a pair of unique, beautiful chairs. I’ve found some cute vintage and used pieces, but they all add that lived in and distressed look to my house, which is pretty lovely, too.

Gwoman
1 year ago

Jess – you could totally make that blue wall art. It’s just some plywood cut into different size pieces joined together with hinges and painted. Probably cost you around $200-300 to make depending on the quality of plywood you use. And you could make it size you wanted/needed for the space…big, small, whatever.

Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Gwoman

I agree! It’s a dad-time project.

Rupali
1 year ago
Reply to  Gwoman

And a Jackson Pollack is just $20 of paint poured on a $40 canvas, but is that all art is?

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

You ladies know how to pick ’em! My pick would be not a piece of furniture at this point (I’m old and have a house full of pretty nice furniture), but a condo in Hawaii.

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

I do love the CB2/Paul McCobb stuff so much!

Hilary
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

Also totally obsessed with Paul McCobb and didn’t know about the CB2 collection – now obsessed with that, too! I have one vintage piece and I don’t even care that they’re re-issuing them. The more the merrier. I’ll love my Calvin group oak and brass with milk glass top until the end of time no matter how many zillions of people own it. I remember feeling mildly ill paying $800 for it 10 years ago. Now I think they’re twice or three times that. so there, skeptical husband!

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

I think the hardest part about collaborations or rereleases of design is that buyers of the originals need to do a bit more investigation to know what they are buying. I suppose good design is good design, but some people get picky about if they have the first release or a rerelease.

Roberta Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

Yes- his designs. I don’t have a problem with them continuing to be made. I agree with the comment below- good design is good design. Many early designs are still being made and they are still great!

Tracy
1 year ago

I’ve always coveted the Eames lounge chair and ottoman. I’ve never sat in one so not sure if it’d be comfy for my height or too low to exit from easily, but it’s an eye-catcher.

Paula Carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy

When I was a teen-ager I babysat for a family that had an Eames lounge chair and ottoman. The most comfortable chair I’ve ever set my butt in. So, yeah, as comfortable as it is beautiful.

Misty
1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy

Tracy, This was my husband’s “if I ever can splurge” item. I bought it for him for Father’s Day when one kid left home and another had a year of high school left. I thought we were old enough and safe to have something nice. He was ecstatic to say the least when we surprised him with it. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – him receiving or me and my girls giving it to him. Waiting, really does make you appreciate something. And people will argue that it’s materialistic and a reproduction is just as good but in my mind, artists and designers deserve to be paid for creating these “things that bring joy” in our homes. Hubs is 6’5” so I bought new because they make tall size now and didn’t during vintage years. Everyone chooses to sit in it when they visit. My two girls will likely fight over it when we are gone so I know I’ll need to get another one someday! Also, I have a friend who has a reproduction and she says it bothers her… because she knows it’s not the real deal. I save where I can at all times but… Read more »

Misty
1 year ago
Reply to  Misty

*ever regret, not never regret …. Errrr…. spellcheck and no proofing – equals wrong answer. Lol

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Misty

This is a great story about waiting to invest in a chair that is loved, and the cat! We got cats for my daughter several years after investing in leather upholstered Thos. Moser pieces, and yes, they scratched up the seat quite a bit. The sofa looks okay from afar, so I just take a deep breath and know how happy my daughter is with her feline companions.

kk
1 year ago

CL tends to have a lot of victorian sofas .. def need reupholstering and not sure how comfy they are but some offer wood frames and curvaceous backs…

Donna
1 year ago

This post really got me thinking as someone entering their twilight years. Although I have lived and breathed design my entire life, I find that I am now content to appreciate beauty from afar – online, or in a museum. It doesn’t have to be mine, as it won’t be mine, or any of ours, for long. I feel so satisfied to know that I share the earth with such talent. But that being said, I realize that if we don’t participate in the consumption of these works of art, the artists may not be able to produce them. So yay for the dreamers and $$$$ who can realize their longings so others can enjoy the artists’ beauty!

Suzanne
1 year ago

Thank you for the introduction to Heide Martin’s work! I don’t have a place for any of her pieces, but she’ll be on my list to revisit.

Vicki Williams
1 year ago

Thanks so much for the inspiration. Especially the Adam Pogue’s work. I’m a fabric hoarder though since I’m beyond the twilight years…but still hanging around, I’ve reduced my stash to a couple of bank boxes that I just couldn’t let go of. Now I know what to do! Thank you!

Sheila
1 year ago
Reply to  Vicki Williams

I wish we could see what you do with your stash! I’m a great admirer (and occasional purchaser) of fiber/textile art – so much creativity!

Gabrielle
1 year ago

Best ever post, I have seen on the internet in the longest time!
LOVE, LOVE!
Unless you are a crazy consumable, what’s better then feasting our eyes on these outer worldly, beautifully designed pieces.
PLEASE do more of these posts!
Thanks!

Gabrielle
1 year ago

This is the best post I’ve seen on the Internet in the longest time.
Thank you so very much.
Unless you are a huge consumer what is better than feasting our eyes on these exquisitely designed, worldly pieces. Thank you so much.
Please do more post like this…. please do a part two, part three, part four! thank you!

Kj
1 year ago

The brass dresser is on eBay for $2750 plus $449 shipping. Seems like a good deal to me. https://www.ebay.com/itm/184805439214

MKP
1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

Go Caitlin Go! I am rooting for you that you can make this dresser your own! Would be SO FUN for us to get to see in a moto.

hickenack
1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

Why did you have to post the link? Not cool.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  hickenack

First, I thought very much that it WASN’T the link. I apologize profusely if it was. Second, it took about two seconds to find using google lens. Point it at the pic and it came up.

Lauren
1 year ago

The blue tines art hangs in the “living room” of the Shinola hotel here in Detroit. The whole hotel is a masterclass in modern 70s chic w great art. Did you see the sequin fabric showpiece in that Gachot space? It’s SO good. I think I have a pic:

8BF009B4-004C-4959-B8D4-77B1CDDA42BA.jpeg
Marcia
1 year ago
Paula Carr
1 year ago

I’ve always lusted after a Jacobsen Egg Chair in pearlized olive green leather.

Amy Elizabeth Jones
1 year ago

I have always loved the brass front credenza from Egg Collective that I saw in MS once.

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Pip
1 year ago

My papa has a Papa Bear chair. I never realized that it was something that would be treasured by anyone other than me!!! Dating myself, in the sixties (when the chair was blue), I loved turning sideways and draping my legs over one arm with my head propped up on the other as I read books. Every night when my dad came home that was “his chair” during the infamous quiet time (when he and my mom caught up on their day and watched the news). Over the decades, the chair has been reupholstered multiple – right now it is a purplish-dark fuchsia cashmere…it is still my dad’s chair. And, I still love it. Best. Chair. Ever.

Designpo
1 year ago

It’s BDDW!

Lucy
1 year ago

Caitlin, there’s a similar Sarreid brass dresser up for auction in Florida tomorrow:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/109139086_vintage-sarreid-brass-dresser

No bids on it yet. Auctions are the answer!

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucy

I hope Caitlin sees this! I’ve heard Live Auctioneer is a great place to find deals. Thanks for the reminder.

Lisa
1 year ago

PH Artichoke Lamp. I’ve wanted it for almost 20 years now, ever since studying abroad in Copenhagen. I just can’t justify spending that much on a light fixture.

Amyismagic
1 year ago

I’m obsessed with artist Matt Gagnon’s lightstacks. They are incredible beautiful, functional bespoke glass art. Check him out; mattgnon on IG

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Nancy Metzig
1 year ago

So I really only agree with items on this Fantasy list. The 19th Century Stained Pine Sofa (but I’d have to reupholster, that mustard color is awful). And the Brass Dresser. Both of these I love. Nothing else thrills me all that much. Loving your posts, though.

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