Sunday, 29 September 2013

Let There be Light

In the often elitist industry that is interior design, "replica" can be a real dirty word. In fact, even shelter magazine Elle Decoration recently waged a war on fakes, led by editor-in-chief Michelle Ogundehin and Sir Terrance Conran. Though Michelle is a personal inspiration to me, I must respectfully disagree with her on this issue.

As an interior designer who fell in love with the mid-century design classics whilst studying for my degree, I will unashamedly use replica pieces until my budget allows otherwise. After all, many of theses famous pieces - the molded Eames chair for example (below), were meant to be mass produced, affordable furniture.

Eames Molded Plastic Armchair by Herman Miller

Perhaps I should back up just for a second. You may remember in this post, in which I talked about finding the perfect pendants for our new flat. I really liked the basket pendants, but couldn't commit for some reason and always had my eye open for something even better. Then, I saw this...

...and I knew it was the one.

I found the Gino Sarfatti fixture on replica site Milan Direct, and instantly began picturing it in the space (with the help of the internet of course).

via Modern Design
via Jeff Lewis
via Zsa Zsa Bellagio

I was sold on it immediately.

I twiddled my thumbs for weeks, and on a whim checked the website the other day, quite frankly, just because. It paid off.

The chandeliers were on sale, so bagsied two of them without a second thought (saving £100 in the process). Result.

Buying online can be risky, so I was quite nervous when they arrived, partially assembled, this week. After unwrapping, I was surprised at just how heavy each component was. They seem to be built to a very good standard, though I will reserve full judgement until they are installed. I've also added them to my CAD model and I love the drama they bring to the space.

Do I hope that one day I can afford the real Sarfatti chandeliers? Of course. But until then I will enjoy my replicas unabashedly.

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