Let’s Talk About Money

While in Hawaii, my mom twisted my rubber arm into touring the furniture megacomplex that is Inspiration Interiors. I think she said something to the effect of, “There’s a giant life sized horse with a lamp on its head!” Oh, you mean this horse? The horse that Karly has been obsessed with for years?

Dudes, I kid you not: I walked around with my jaw dragging the ground like a neanderthal for entire time I cruised the showroom. And I felt like little more than an uncivilized cretin when I looked at the price tags, because every piece seemed more expensive, more rarefied than the next. Inspiration houses wares by Mooi, Front Design, B&B Italia, Fendi Casa,and de Sede, among other more mid range brands like Bo Concept and Natuzzi. It’s like a who’s who for the uber rich decor set.

Do you have any idea how much a new de Sede Endless sofa costs? Now, I have been in love with this sofa from way back — check my credentials here — but I’m just going to put it out of my mind because it costs FIFTY THOUSAND dollars. Yep. $50,0000. My youngest brother was totally nonplussed by this information, and already has plans to buy up the entire showroom once he makes his first billion.

Meanwhile, my other brother was utterly appalled by the prices. Coming at it from a woodworker/craftsman’s perspective, he just couldn’t reconcile $16,000 for a Fendi chandelier or $20,000 for a Fendi crocodile embossed dining table with the cost of the materials or the time and effort that went into producing the pieces.

He probably wouldn’t be into paying $1200 for a sparkly Fendi pillow, either, and I can’t say I disagree with him on that point.

And then there’s this $26,000 sofa that my mom is obsessed with. The back moves around the perimeter to form different seating configurations, which is cool, but the piece really isn’t that big. I can’t imagine paying $26,000 for such a wee little guy. Ok, if I had $26,000 to spend. Because I would probably buy a car instead. Scratch that — I wouldn’t even spend that much on a car.

Now I know I’m cheap and I get a thrill from scoring big off craigslist, and maybe it’s just impoverished sour grapes on my part, but does this B&B Italia chair really have to cost $8,000? Because I kind of like it. But I doubt I would pay even $800 for a chair that you can’t sit in on the showroom floor. I guess she’s a delicate flower.

There were some “bargains,” though. Maarten Baas‘ iconic, singed works were surprisingly affordable, as in the chandelier has less than four numbers in the price.

It was kind of an incredible experience to view all these ridiculously expensive pieces in the same location, because I don’t think you could see a single thing I’ve written about in person in Austin. It was also rather depressing to realize that these lust worthy things — things that Karly and I have written about and obsessed over for years — are utterly unattainable for us regular folk.

If not us, then who buys this stuff? Well, not this thing — I don’t want to know who has $5000 to blow on a boxing glove chaise. Whoever buys that deserves to be punched in the ass.

Nice though it may be, who can afford to buy this?

Or this?

You know, who besides the (admittedly scrumptious) restaurant housed in the same complex that is furnished entirely by Mooi? (Aside: Wow! Butts!)

In response to my brother’s perplexity, my sister in law remarked that what you’re paying for is not necessarily the materials, but the design. I couldn’t agree more, but I also have to wonder at the sanity of charging $50,000 for a couch in the midst of a huge recession. I mean, man I love that couch — I want to marry it and have endless de Sede babies. Or, at least I did until I saw the price, but I have to say the sheer nerve of it kind of killed my boner. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t snatch that puppy up if I found it on Craigslist.

Or, as Karly would say, if only it were a tenth of the price.