One day in the not-so-distant past, an architect was chatting with one of his clients on the phone. The conversation went something like this:
Architect: “Have you seen the new Design Within Reach catalog?”
Client: “No, I haven’t. ” She then thinks to herself, “but I pretty much have their website memorized.”
Client continues: “I really like their Milo Baughman recliner.” She then thinks to herself, “but there is not a snowball’s chance in h— that I, let alone my husband, would pay 2600 for one chair, even if it is on sale until the end of January. Besides, I really want two chairs for the living room which means I’m really full of s— for even bringing it up.”
Architect: “Jeffrey Bernett’s Flight recliner is also very nice.”
Client: “Okay, I’ll take a look at that.”
The conversation ends. The client checks out the aforementioned chair online. As usual, the architect is right. It is a very nice chair. The least expensive version comes in a Slubby Weave fabric in gray for around $1750 on sale.
That’s the version that the client shows to her husband which is immediately vetoed. The client pens the following email to the architect with this picture attached:
Accompanying text of the message: Here is the front runner as far as a recliner goes, the Sedgwick chair from West Elm. Husband really refuses to be talked into anything above 1500 for a chair. Actually drove to the West Elm in Austin sometime back in September to test this chair out. It didn’t give me that died and gone to heaven feeling that I got when I sat in the Eames lounger at Copenhagen last weekend, but it’s comfortable and is pretty good-looking for a $700 recliner. I’m not a huge fan of the contrast stitching, but that is not a deal breaker for me.
Architect responds with the following e-mail: Tough choices. A real deal breaker as the perfect furniture composition ensures greatness or normalcy. Ironic isn’t it after all we went thru on house!
Client reads this and thinks to herself: Yes, it is ironic, especially since our budget only allows for normalcy.
So, what is a client to do when your budget allows for normalcy and not greatness? Despite all that your parents, financial advisor, or Suze Orman ever tried to teach you about the financial dangers of succumbing to instant gratification, do you rush out and order that $5000 Eames lounger or spend $6,000 on two Milo Baughman recliners in an attempt to achieve the perfect furniture composition? Tempting, but no. It’s more sensible to determine what it is you like about your would-be dream chair, and then find something with similar characteristics and of relative good design that you wouldn’t mind your two small children emptying a gallon of water on or smearing Cheese Nips all over.
Enter the IKEA Poang rocking chair.
On the surface of things, this chair appears to have nothing in common with the iconic Eames lounge chair pictured below.
What the Poang rocker does have in common is availability in dyed-through top grain leather, complete back and neck support, and a 15 degree tilt (the non-rocking version, while comfortable, sits up straighter) which facilitates both lounging and watching a TV that will be suspended from the ceiling. Like the Eames, the Poang rocker has a matching ottoman. Like the Eames, it is more comfortable than the Sedgwick recliner from West Elm.
Still need reassurance that your choice to go el-cheapo with a Poang chair from IKEA is not design suicide? Look no further than Houzz.com for validation.
Above is the Llano Bunk House by Dick Clark Architecture. Below is a den remodel by Highcraft Builders.
I’ll end with some progress pics. All the rolling doors have been installed.
The 6″ half round galvalume gutters have been installed, and the rainwater collection system completed.
In another twist of fate, we have especially poor quality well water. We decided not to go to the trouble of installing a pump or pump house which shaved about 11 grand off the cost of the entire project.
Wait a minute. Does that mean I can get that Eames chair now? I think you know what my husband, a.k.a the voice of reason, would say.