In the often elitist industry that is interior design, "replica" can be a real dirty word. In fact, even shelter magazine Elle Decoration recently waged a war on fakes, led by editor-in-chief Michelle Ogundehin and Sir Terrance Conran. Though Michelle is a personal inspiration to me, I must respectfully disagree with her on this issue.
As an interior designer who fell in love with the mid-century design classics whilst studying for my degree, I will unashamedly use replica pieces until my budget allows otherwise. After all, many of theses famous pieces - the molded Eames chair for example (below), were meant to be mass produced, affordable furniture.
Perhaps I should back up just for a second. You may remember in this post, in which I talked about finding the perfect pendants for our new flat. I really liked the basket pendants, but couldn't commit for some reason and always had my eye open for something even better. Then, I saw this...
...and I knew it was the one.
I found the Gino Sarfatti fixture on replica site Milan Direct, and instantly began picturing it in the space (with the help of the internet of course).
|via Modern Design|
|via Jeff Lewis|
|via Zsa Zsa Bellagio|
I was sold on it immediately.
I twiddled my thumbs for weeks, and on a whim checked the website the other day, quite frankly, just because. It paid off.
The chandeliers were on sale, so bagsied two of them without a second thought (saving £100 in the process). Result.
Buying online can be risky, so I was quite nervous when they arrived, partially assembled, this week. After unwrapping, I was surprised at just how heavy each component was. They seem to be built to a very good standard, though I will reserve full judgement until they are installed. I've also added them to my CAD model and I love the drama they bring to the space.
Do I hope that one day I can afford the real Sarfatti chandeliers? Of course. But until then I will enjoy my replicas unabashedly.