A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I was looking for a high-quality chair for what will become my studio room. Elsewhere, I discussed the aggravation in finding a suitable chair in the flood of garbage on the Internet. The result of all of this has been a bit of capitulation on multiple fronts.
Primarily, since we’re talking about the studio room, I have decided I don’t require a top-grain leather office chair for this. Comfort is still important, but since it’s going to be a low-utilization piece of furniture, I can let it slide. I based part of my decision on my history. Way back when, I used kitchen chairs as desk chairs. They were comfortable and they worked absolutely fine. So I opened my options up and went shopping.
And that’s the second bit. Internet shopping is good for some stuff, but not really for furniture. Not only for the fact you have to experience what you’re buying, but when you’re buying a single chair, you can find some interesting options in clearance areas of furniture stores. One-offs, singletons, scratch-and-dents. While I love and put a priority on quality, I do love a good bargain, and I like rescuing things, too.
Yesterday, I visited a furniture store I’d never been to before. I assumed it was all fancy, formal stuff and I wouldn’t find anything, but it never hurts to look. I used to love just browsing stores, but COVID sort of put a damper on that activity. Anyway, in this store, they sold Stressless chairs and once again, I am astounded that anyone purchases those things. I can’t see spending over $3k on a chair when you can get a sofa for 1/3 the price.
But anyway, I did make it to the clearance section: a room with no AC, on the top floor in the corner of the building with half the ceiling lights turned off. (If they were trying some sort of dissuasive psyche tactics on shoppers, they went way overboard.) In the farthest corner of the room, there was a chair with no matching anything around it. It was white wood and cloth, but was as basic as it could be and it sort of drew me in. They gave me a quote of $100 for it and I left it for consideration. Today, I think I’m going to move on it.
But yesterday, I didn’t have my mind made up. I stopped at another store (actually 3 other stores, but the others were fruitless) and found a decent top-grain leather office chair that wasn’t obnoxious. I looked at the price tag and was only mildly shocked. It was on sale, $50 off! Sale price: $850.
So here’s the final capitulation. I had budgeted $300 for my “nice” office chair. Research had shown me that a $300 budget was ridiculously low for the quality I was demanding. Not that $300 won’t get you quality, don’t mistake me there, it is just not “lifetime” quality, which is what I am seeking. $800-1200 is pretty much the going rate for a chair that will really last. And I still don’t buy into the $3k Stressless chairs.
Adding to all that, finding a style that is agreeable to me, and is not stupid expensive, and is top-grain leather, is definitely a rare find. To be sure, I’ve looked at every major furniture store online and in person and not found another model that meets those criteria. So I guess I’ve found my next office chair.
So there’s a $100 chair and a $850 chair added to my list.