The ethics and aesthetics of high-quality furniture
Quality furniture is designed to transcend trends and built to last, making it better for both you and the planet
Why it’s smart to invest in high-end furniture, even if it seems daunting
Quality furniture is a smart investment not only for our own homes but for home in the wider sense, in other words our planet. Compared with many other products, furniture occupies both a physical and emotive space in our lives and is an intrinsic part of our daily pattern.
High-quality furniture will last at least four times longer than its low-cost equivalent, but that number goes up considerably when talking about a material such as natural stone which, if well looked after, has an eternal lifespan.
When it comes to furniture, quality and longevity go hand in hand because if you choose the right piece, you’ll never need to change it. The secret of course is to ensuring that you make a wise choice and opt for something classic that will withstand trends, fashions and your own changing tastes over time, and we will take a look at how to do that later in this article, along with the positive impact such choices have on the environment.
The return of quality and a farewell to “fast furniture”
Measuring the quality of an item of furniture starts with the production cycle. Low-cost design, also known as fast furniture, is similar to fast fashion in the sense that it generates huge amounts of waste.
Quality furniture, on the other hand is produced by companies who understand that sustainability must be an intrinsic part of the business model, resulting in products that have a low environmental impact that doesn’t come at the cost of substandard design. Salvatori’s kitchen, home and bathroom products are an example of this approach. Of course, we are aware that working with a long-lasting material such as natural stone is an advantage, but that doesn’t mean we can become complacent.
That’s why we’ve never been afraid to innovate and look for ways to reduce our impact on the planet by inventing processes that make smarter use of resources, but also working to preserve the craftmanship that only human beings can provide.
We believe that artisan skill and experience are the future of design, because in a world that is evolving at an increasingly frenetic rate, people are the key to creating products that are relevant and sustainable. One such example is Lithoverde®, our award-winning texture which repurposes scraps of beautiful but unwanted stone, giving them a new life.
Why it’s easy to fall in love with quality furniture
Furniture plays a fundamental role in many of the most important moments of our lives, as part of the setting of our daily rituals and of special memories. We may become attached to certain small objects that aren’t necessarily expensive, but hold meaning for us. With quality items, we become even more enamoured, especially when they are part of our daily fabric.
Tables are perhaps the best example of this bond, given how many meals are shared with our nearest and dearest around them, as may happen at our Dritto dining table, which adds an extra touch of style to convivial lunches or dinners. We could also think about the affection we grow to hold for a mirror, such as the Mirari with its built-in lighting that ensures we truly see ourselves every time we glance in it. Another example is a display cabinet such as our Theca, the perfect place for showcasing mementoes and precious objects.
Quality transcends fads and fashions
According to some studies, 92% of Italians (and we are an Italian company after all!) replace furniture well before its “use by date”, ie before the end of its expected lifespan. This is down to two reasons:
- the product does not live up to expectations in terms of quality, so is no longer fit for purpose
- the owner grows tired of it and wants to change it for something new that is more in line with the latest trend or their own changing taste
Against a context of a world that is increasingly focused on the importance of sustainable solutions, quality simply has to play a part. This means better materials, better design and better manufacturing processes. In the design sector, appearances do not lie and there is little doubt that high-quality furniture lasts and low-quality furniture is destined to disappoint.
How to recognise timeless design
Longevity may be synonymous with quality, but design is cyclical and a piece of furniture that we love today may not be to our taste in the future. This poses the risk that despite choosing a less cheap piece of furniture because you know it will last, the investment doesn’t pay off because after a few years you tire of it. The trick is to choose something that isn’t based on a current trend, and opt for a timeless design.
The Salvatori philosophy is based on pared-back, elegant design that works with any style of décor, from traditional to rustic to minimalist. We tend to use a neutral colour palette, making our products even more versatile meaning that even if after a few years you decide to change your wallpaper or paint, for example, they will work just as well as with your original colour scheme.
To be considered evergreen, furniture should be designed in such a way that it can also stand alone, meaning you appreciate it no matter where it is placed. Our advice is to form an emotional attachment to it, in the knowledge that it will be part of your life for years to come.
When choosing furniture, whether for the living room, the bathroom or the kitchen, ask yourself if you can see yourself still using and loving it in ten or twenty years’ time, which is the average expected lifespan of a piece of furniture. At the same time, think about the ideal aesthetic for the space in question.
At the end of the day, quality furniture is an important investment so if you’re not sure, why not talk to design professionals? The Salvatori team are always delighted to offer advice, so if you are a fan of an understated luxury approach when it comes to interior décor, please get in touch.