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Vast selection—few real choices

October 11 2015

Flexibility in design has become more difficult to achieve, forcing designers to settle more and more—settle for something close enough, rather than just right. Behind the “why” are a lot of reasons, but one is that most manufacturers depend on imports that only come one way, making it harder for designers to stick with an original design scheme; even forcing a mid-stream change in color schemes to accommodate pieces that are available, instead of maintaining the original design integrity. 
There are vast choices on the Internet—or are there? Web shopping offers a lot of sources. But those choices are really just sites picking up on the same “what you see is what you get” merchandise. Sure, there is more, but it’s more of the same rather than more choice—or at least flexibility in choice. 
More of anything does not necessarily give you more choice just more. Flexibility of choice is the key to a good design. And furniture needs the same flexibility as any other aspect of the design job, the perfect color, the right fabrics, and ideal lighting. They work together, not separately. 
So what does that mean to you. Well, we all know things in the design business are constantly going in and out of style. So I’ve developed an interest in creating pieces that should exist, but don’t for whatever reason. One such piece is an executive chair that needed to have a mesh seat and back for the comfort of the user, yet needed to function in a very traditional design scheme. The challenge was to take an ultra contemporary chair and soften it into a more transitional feel.
This same process can be used all kinds of products, from chairs to floor screens. Products can be fine-tuned to the needs of the design, instead of making the design conform to the product at hand. But this can only be done when you have real choices for pieces, available in various grades and offerings of fabric, trim, and finish.