Well-built furniture should last centuries, not a couple of years

12 June 2024

Tim Bray:

When Lauren was pregnant with a child who’s now turning 25, we purchased a comfy dark-brown leather sofa which fits our living room nicely. What with kids and relatives and employees and cats and Standards Comittees and friends and book clubs and socials, the butt-support cushions had, a quarter century later, worn out. So we had them replaced, at a fair price, by a small local business. Which is something that modern capitalism is trying to make impossible.

An old neighbour runs a furniture recycling business. His speciality is something called mid-twentieth-century furniture, sometimes mid-century furniture. It has a darker, wood stain/grain look, and really isn’t my thing. But it’s sturdy, well-built furniture, and will still be here long after the self-assembly particle-board stuff, this is presently so popular, has crumbled into ruin.

Short wonder my neighbour can’t keep up with demand for furniture that’s seventy-years old.


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