Design Counsel
June 25, 2022

Affordability, Good Design and Throw-Away Culture – Part One

By: Anna Popov

Design Counsel
June 25, 2022

Affordability, Good Design and Throw-Away Culture – Part One

By: Anna Popov

Le Corbusier Lounge Chair – Studio Albert

‘The home should be the treasure chest of living’

Le Corbusier

Here at Interiors by Popov, we rest our design philosophy on the concept that your home should be your support system – from the moment you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed, your home is the place you choose to be (or at least return to!) and therefore, should be working in tandem with your needs, supporting you, as you go through your day.

In the last few years, we have noticed a shift; a rebalance in the industry away from quantity and high output to a more mainstream desire for quality. In a world where goods are being produced faster and cheaper than ever before, this is monumental. We are seeing this across the board, our clients are requesting it, the vendors we work with are veering further away from the ‘throwaway’ product and the design industry is separating itself from the ideal in a definitive way.

Quality is becoming much more important and valued nowadays to the average consumer. We are living in a world where we are surrounded by images of new items every day, where we are targeted with ads, and it seems like you only have to think you need something and it shows up on a screen. It is all too easy to just feel like things are just replaceable. However, we are seeing the shift everywhere; small artisanal pop-ups, small batch productions, a return of street shops with unique offerings and more options to customize pieces.

The High-End

We are big believers that high-end does not always equal high-quality. Our job as designers is to find the quality, seek it out and then hold it to that standard. When something is high quality, better made, sustainable and made of superior materials it will inevitably be more expensive. The average person can afford less of that but when you value quality, the result is that you end up owning less and that is ok. For example, maybe you can afford one beautiful, high-quality, perfect-fit coffee mug that you wash and use daily and that becomes more valuable to you than 10 mass produced, lesser quality ones that you will need to throwaway in a short lifespan. This is the move towards an ingrained, systemic, artisanal history for our industry that is not only better for us but also better for our planet.

We are so supportive of this movement as this is exactly who we are. To make it even better, we are finding our clients to be more receptive and open to suggestions when we advocate for a unique, artisanal, boutique skill set. When clients come to us, it is often because they cannot find this kind of philosophy elsewhere. Although we know that makes us not for everyone, we are comfortable with continuing to stick to our ideals and allow the perfect clients to make their way to us.

The Value

Some clients come to us with high budgets and others with more modest budgets. Our job is to guide their priorities and make choices in a meaningful way that aligns with our philosophy; a philosophy that they buy into when we meet and discuss a project together. Yes, we may work on large expensive homes, but we also work on the regular working family home whose owners value quality over a ‘band-aid’ approach. Our goal is to help our clients spend their money wisely; your home is an investment in your life and there’s huge value in that alone.

The Takeaway

Discovering a niche in the market that appreciates our approach makes us happy and hopeful for the future of our design firm. It is good for the environment, the grass roots crafts and trades people that we surround ourselves with and let's face it – the soul. Your work should always be good for the soul, right! We believe that it changes your everyday experience when you have less ‘stuff’ and more of what brings you joy. And to be clear, that does not mean we think you should have no stuff! Life’s memories live in the pieces we choose to bring home – we are all for that.

So, what has contributed to this shift? What do we see as factors in this transition and what are our predictions for the future, I hear you ask. Well, for that, you need to tune in for Part Two – out soon!

 

 

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