IKEA philosophy circa de 1912

I’ve two wonderful friends who bought a lovely 1912 Craftsman style home last year in Pomona. They’ve spent this last year removing, scraping, smashing, and sanding the hideous elements and additions that many previous owners disgraced this beautiful home with over the last ninety-nine years. There is still loads to do to the house as almost every room has a work to be done.

They’ve been collecting and filling their home with lovely Craftsman style decor and furnishings to match the home (note: these push button light switches are among my favorite additions). Clean straight lines, mixed material elements, very comely woodwork – it’s easy to see the seedlings of Art Deco hiding in every breakfast nook & cranny. It’s all extremely handsome. Initially, the whole American Craftsman style was a reaction to the garish and ostentatiously overdone style of the Victorian era.  Just like today, furniture from the top designers of the day was expensive and out of reach for all but the well-to-do’s. However, also like today, there was also mass-produced furniture from competitive companies, moderately priced, ennobling the home of the growing middle-class in America. In essence it became the IKEA of the time. Mass-produced affordable furniture with simplicity of form .

To-day, 99 years later, purchasing an original Craftsman era large furniture piece in good condition, even a piece from a lesser-know mass producer of the day, will run you into the thousands. If you’re not in the upper echelon of tax brackets, furnishing a Craftsman home with Craftsman furnishings now, you’ll like have to rely more on modern reproductions or modern furnishings with a Craftsman feel. Seems like the bourgeoisie can only afford to be purists.

It’s inescapable in these modern times to not have at least one IKEA item in your home.  Next time use a coaster underneath your cup before you set it on your $69 IKEA coffee table. Wrap your $4 IKEA cylindrical toothbrush holder in bubble wrap and put that in a safety deposit box. Your great-grandchildren will thank you for this and will save them a mint as they restore their twenty-eleven era apartment in twenty-one-ten. Save the toothbrush too while you’re at it. Maybe a clever wit will have figured out how to clone you from it by then. Forget mosquitoes petrified in amber.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Music : interrupted / Piano : repurposed ~ { Part III } «

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