The Furniture I Hate

I don’t hate this. Read on.

After I first wrote about Roubo-style workbenches in 2005, I was often asked: “Why do you hate the Euro-style workbench so much?”

The answer is that I don’t “hate” any style of workbench, chair, cabinet or chamber pot. The only things I truly despise are flimsy, mass-manufactured versions of workbenches, tools, chairs, pants, door knockers, toilet-seat covers or cabinets.

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Poorly made, disposable goods are a drain on our world. I have nothing good to say about them.

Now when it comes to issues of taste, it’s not a matter of hate or love. There’s what I like, and there’s what you like. I respect and admire a lot of furniture that I would never, ever put in my home. Things like high-style, 18th-century American furniture, or a large swath of royal stuff that is beautifully made but leaves me dead inside.

When I respect something but wouldn’t own it, I’m going to bust its chops. Tease it. Make gentle fun of it. And so I should probably print the following sentence like a government health warning for cigarettes in every book I write. 

Warning! Fancy, high-style, breeches-spats-and-Tally-Ho furniture will be admired – but mocked – for being a little bit too far up its own butt cheeks.

And, to be fair, it doesn’t bother me at all when people mock the furniture I like. Plain. Boring. Awkward. Weird. Odd. Ugly. 

Sure, I see that. Bring it on.

With the publication of “The Stick Chair Book,” I’ve been asked: “Why do you hate Forest (Windsor) Chairs so much?” 

I’m certain you can now predict my answer to this question.

I adore well-made Forest Chairs. I dig their weird, bulbous turnings. Their convoluted seat shapes. Their tarted-up carvings and backsplats. Their… oh you get it.

— Christopher Schwarz


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