Array
Shopping & Services

Why Are Designer Furniture Pieces Expensive?

Here are four reasons why some of these items cost more than a car

Shares
Original Article: Mike Rivera Photography: Vincent Coscolluela (Main Photo)

Ever wondered why a simple designer table or chair could fetch six figures (or more), locally? There are a lot of factors behind the cost, more so internally beyond the piece’s visual appearance. These serious collectors and storeowners explain the reasons behind the steep price tags.


Its groundbreaking design

Jun Villalon, owner of The Drawing Room applauds the effort put into these iconic pieces. "They really spent time studying the ergonomics, the way the person sits, the way the person puts the hand on the arm, the way their feet fall flat on the ground," he says. 

That these pieces continue to serve our most mundane needs and still fit into the context of today's home have made them classics, according to Marlene Ong of MOs Design, "The classic has gone through the merciless battle between the old and the new." On the other hand, contemporary designs, yet to be judged by time, carry on the tradition of recording the evolution of modern man.

The Panton Chair by Verner Panton, for example, is one of revolutionary furniture pieces of the 20th century, as it is made out of a single piece of plastic. A new version of the Panton Chair—a futuristic, luminous variant called Panton Glow—will be released in June 2018.

It’s a bit of design history right there

Then there are the design aficionados who want to own a piece of design history.  Ong shares, "We have a lot of the aspirational market. People who come here to aspire and wish that they would one day...buy some of the pieces." 

She admits though that some pieces may not fit into most homes, like Frank Gehry's corrugated board Wiggle Chair or the Eames' La Chaise. "These are pieces that are found in the context of museums nowadays...the production cost, the history, the name behind it has made it not as accessible as some designer pieces would be."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW


The quality of the pieces is incomparable

You can see the attention to detail in creating a genuine Eames Lounge and Ottoman in this video, where the leather is hand-cut, hand-tufted, and the wood hand-polished to perfection. Herman Miller, the company that produces it, says that the chair is made with zero carbon footprint.

The pieces are very limited

With six-figure price tags, these chairs are definitely not for everyone. Steltz Lighting, the distributor of Italian lighting manufacturer Flos, carries pieces that cost more than half a million pesos, like the special edition black Arco Lamp by Achille Castiglioni. Of the 3,000 pieces made before the designer died in 2002, the three units that were shipped to the Philippines immediately sold out.

Most of these pieces have become collectibles

Some homeowners and serious furniture collectors have made it a mission to buy and collect pieces from specific designers, not necessarily to furnish their home, but just to own a piece of design history.

For Ong and Villalon, however, it is important to make these iconic pieces accessible in order to be appreciated. Villalon emphasizes, "Even though they were designed by very, very popular or famous designers they're still really meant to be sat on." Meanwhile, Go looks forward to the day when designer furniture would be used in local public spaces like restaurants, airports and shopping malls.

This story originally appeared in the May 2011 issue of Real Living magazine and has been updated by Realliving.com.ph editors

More on Realliving.com.ph

Shares

Latest Stories

5 Antipolo Communities That Will Make You Feel At Home

These neighborhoods provide a restful lifestyle while still allowing you to stay close to the city

10 Reasons Why Circuit Makati is Your Next Favorite Weekend Destination

You can shop, enjoy good food, look for new furniture, and even exercise with your pets!

6 Reasons Why Southerners Love BF Homes

Get an inside scoop on what it's really like to live in the biggest subdivision in the Philippines

Julia Barretto Shares An Update on Her Home

Work is almost done on the multi-storey property

9 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Proper research and taking note of your finances can help you make the most of this milestone

10 Interesting Pedestrian Walkways in Metro Manila

Some feature murals and captivating colors

You Can Use These Household Items To Kill Cockroaches

Stay on top of your roach problem with the help of these items you probably already have at home

Feng Shui Tips for Choosing Your Front Door Color

The right hue can help you make a statement and bring good vibes into your home

You Can Use This Kitchen Staple When Organizing Christmas Decor

Here's why you should think twice before chucking this kitchen item to the trash

8 Cleaning Services You Can Book Before the New Year

Clean out this year's clutter with the help of the pros

Keep Your Home Clean and Smelling Fresh Even If You Have Pets

Let these handy hints help you achieve a healthy, happy space for you and your furry friends

10 Clever Ways To Organize Your Bathroom

Keep bathroom clutter at bay with the help of these tips
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!