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Waiting for Good Object-o

Is it possible to truly hate an appliance?  If so, I HATE the vacuum I have been saddled with at our little creaky cabin in Maine.  I bought it in a hurry.  The old vacuum died, and the place was rapidly getting pretty filthy.   There aren't a lot of places to find vacuums near our cabin, so I bought the first vacuum I found.  What a mistake.  I could write a whole blog post about the failings of this cheap, heavy  hunk of ineffective plastic.  Worse, I have put up with it for over ten years because....it still works.  Or at least it turns on and it still makes a lot of noise.  I am too cheap to just throw it out.

I've written before about how I usually take a loooooong time to buy anything, other than things that naturally disappear, like food or ephemeral fashionista stuff.   I don't like being taunted in my own home by mistakes and compromises.  I'd rather do without.  Or wait until I can find--or afford--what I truly want.

Gary Hustwit, as photographed in Dwell magazine

Gary Hustwit, as photographed in Dwell magazine

Thus I loved what Gary Hustwit, the director of the design film Objectified said in an interview with Dwell magazine.  The question was, How has making this film changed the way you look at everyday objects?  Gary's answer:

I really think about what I buy now: (A) Do I really need this? (B) What if this is the last of this object that I ever buy? I don’t want to buy chairs I’ll be sick of in five to ten years.

It might be surprising that I endorse this philosophy, given that Daily Grommet so much about consumer products.  Especially new ones.  But in actuality, we are always trying to find the good stuff.  The things that give lasting utility and pleasure, and won't need to be tossed out in a couple of years.  We reject almost everything we see, because it is just not worthy of "last coffee cup" status.  We think the people who produce Grommets think like Gary...they make products that stand up to scrutiny.  Lasting.  Quality.  Beautiful.

My Ittala Origo coffee mugs.   They are a little odd, having no handle.  But the stripes always make me smile, it fits happily in my hand, and the base of the mug has a round indentation to perfectly accept the raised round disk on the matching saucer.

My Ittala Origo coffee mugs. They are a little odd, having no handle. But the stripes always make me smile, it fits happily in my hand, and the base of the mug has a round indentation to perfectly accept the raised round disk on the matching saucer. And it's very very subtle--but I love the satisfying little soft "click" that I hear when I casually fit the mug back onto the saucer.

Comments

  • Pam Hawk Says:

    Haven't seen the film, but I completely agree with the philosophy, too. The every day things are too important to just grab and go. It's worth the wait to find something you absolutely love. (I do have to say, though, that if I find such a huge bargain that solves an immediate problem, I'm doing it. Perfect example, my $12 living room curtains with curtain rod. Looks better than bare windows and guests have no idea they're not actual draperies.) Here's a picture: http://adventuresofpamandfrank.blogspot.com/2009/03/cheap-bargain-decorating.html

    BTW, I love those coffee cups. Handle or not, I always warm my cold hands on my cup.

  • julespieri Says:

    @Pam Hawk. Yes, I am not always a purist--I have some inexpensive "temporary" solutions in my home, years after they were purchased. They serve a need. Namely, I am thinking of a cheap fiberboard rolling TV stand I converted to a coffee table. I remember giving a tour of our house once, and saying that this thing "had to go." Fifteen years later, it is in the most visible, central part of our house. Oh well. I periodically look for a replacement, but mainly harbor the hope that I will just trip on the perfect coffee table, without even trying.

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