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What Makes Design Such a Good Investment
Buy Well, Consume Less
Writing in 1890 in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde said “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” 132 years later this message still resonates, possibly more than ever. In today’s internet-led world, where information about everything is literally at your fingertips, it’s easy to confuse the two, but value and price are not the same. We all want value for our hard-earned cash: sometimes that means paying for quality rather than for a quick fix. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean good value.
it’s easy to confuse the two, but value and price are not the same
At Funktion Alley we believe that high quality, long-lasting products are better for our pockets and for the environment in the long run. Remember, good design never grows old.
So buy for the long term- choose designs that marry style with sustainability. Opting for natural fibres is a good first step when considering sustainable long-lasting textiles. Man-made fabrics take decades or more to biodegrade; naturally occurring ones don’t.
Stua, a Spanish design furniture manufacturer, is proof that you can shop responsibly without compromising on quality. This family-run business continually demonstrates a commitment to reduce its environmental impact. We love their Costura sofa system, a Jon Gasca design, with its endless configurations. Seats of 70cm and 100cm, plus corner pieces and chaise longue make it straightforward to design your perfect sofa.
Want to future proof your investment? Stua has got you covered. The beauty of Costura is that it’s easy to add new elements to your sofa, so you can accommodate your growing family or new house without replacing anything. Stua also has a great choice of fabrics that, because of their high rub count (also known as the Martindale count), will stand the test of time, even when they are in daily use in your busy household. And a large number of their fabrics are either wholly or mainly made from natural fibres.
Organisation is Key
How do you organise your home? The String Furniture System has consistently been one of our best selling designs. The original String System was designed in 1949 by Swedish architect Nisse Strinning. It has evolved and stood the test of time, earning its place in design history and its reputation as a must-have buy for the long term for architects and design-conscious people alike- the system is ideal for both domestic and commercial settings.
Sustainability is at the core of everything this global brand achieves when producing its timeless designs, right down to their use of renewable, recyclable and recycled materials. The String System is stylish and minimalist, consisting of three basic components; the shelf, the wall panel and the metal fitting. Sounds simple? It is, although the systems produced can be anything but.
Whether you need a new bedroom, an outdoor kitchen, a home office or a stylish display for your precious books and vinyl (to name but a few), String really does have the solution. Their wide range of cabinets, tables, drawers and accessories, together with their bespoke 'String Builder’ program, make designing your String System, however small or grand, a real pleasure. What will you use your String System for?
Buying furniture and objects for your home can also be an investment. Just think- if you could predict designs that will be of value in the future, wouldn’t you want to buy them now?
Take one of the great Arne Jacobsen’s chairs as a case in point and consider the famous Wilde quote: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness’. We see imitations of original design pieces all the time (at Funktionalley we only ever sell original design). Arne Jacobsen’s imitators recognised his genius and unwittingly propelled one of his designs onto the world stage.
In 1955 Jacobsen designed his Model 3107 chair, better known as the Series 7. Its hourglass form made it the perfect setting for an infamous nude photo shoot in 1963. The photographer, however, chose to use a cheap copy of the chair - when you see both models in the V&A the differences are easy to spot.
Jacobsen was already famous for his Egg and Swan chairs, two armchairs from 1956 that still remain popular. But it was this iconic image that catapulted the genuine Series 7 towards stardom in its own right. Sales went through the roof and continue to do so. To this day the Series 7 is still named as a top 10 dining chair to invest in (and nobody can remember who designed the copy).
‘Buy well, consume less’ may be an over-used mantra, but it is no less true because of that
‘Buy well, consume less’ may be an over-used mantra, but it is no less true because of that. So when we think about cost, it’s important to think more about value. The best value items in your wardrobe will be the quality pieces that you’ve worn for years. Why should the furniture and objects you buy for your home be any different?