It’s All Relative…Yet,Fine is Often Fine for a Reason…

November 12, 2010

Being cost-conscious and responsible…being thrifty and sensible…being reasonable and realistic, being tight and miserly…in today’s economy one might see these distinctions better than when times were moving and shaking across the economic kidney belt. Now that the belt has tightened, many are making these critical observations about their own decisions and others around them.
Yet, regardless of tough economic times, why spend 1,000 on a small solid surface engineered countertop or granite, for that matter, versus a pre-fabricated top of a suitable material? Consider the use, the focus and the budget…what warrants such expansive gaps in cost difference between two like-kind functional elements. Is the expense directly related to the quality or the availability (sometimes things are expensive merely because they are of limited quantity/availability), or due to exceptional engineering, content and even serviceability?
If form follows function, then it is reasonable to assume that the function of an element comes first and therefore, how that element is used starts the process? However, is the “function” of a piece merely for status, balance or color accent rather than true functional serviceability? Hmmm, sounds boring to have that criteria even listed!!!!
If that aforementioned countertop is to be used daily for many functions, then the decision to use a more stout material might be in order. Could that same surface (small as it is) be fabricated out of a scrap piece of the better material rather than cut from a new slab? But, with limited use, might the lesser durable surface be perfectly suitable for an area with less use?
Get out there!!! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…great fodder for an up-coming blog!!
So, let be realistic…there are many – too many to count -design decisions that are ruled by trends, peer pressure of a simple lack of knowledge about what’s available- harder/easier to acquire…With that in mind, study the overall concept that you are trying to achieve. How much is functional and how much is merely aesthetic? Then ask, why?
If the area requires certain durable or easy to maintain criteria, then that’s the first order of business…but if the look is perfectly fine with a lesser expensive, not as durable material – make a choice. Like those rooms where they show you “This room costs $50,000 to furnish and this seemingly mirror image room cost $5,000.” Well, compare and see where durability might have been compromised in favor of a suitable aesthetically pleasing design element to coordinate with the scheme. Just think… the selection might have been intentionally made to use a lesser durable, fine representation of a piece, in favor of accomplishing the finished product with style on a lesser budget. Heaven forbid considering that it was an exercise in showing the attractive interior design of two spaces with diametrically opposite priorities for the selection process.
Fine things are often fine for a reason. However, they are not often “necessary.” What one admires is not always what one can have – or needs to have. Being comfortable in your own skin about what is of value and what is not -what is perfectly serviceable and of great value – without benefit of knowing the name brand (saved for another blog- for sure) is a talent that is worth cultivating. One other point here…to defer to name brands is a safety thing. It is like having insurance against an otherwise poor decision. Saved too, for another time, is the concept that taking care of things in a less disposable way creates appreciation, history and an awareness that replacement costs are not always even. Hmmm


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