As a generally house-proud and stylish nation, we Brits love our furniture. We would all agree that home can only be truly beautiful if it is filled with beautiful furniture. However, with so many varieties, styles, finishes, tastes and opinions out there, one thing we definitely can’t agree on in is what we actually consider beautiful. However no two materials used in design split opinion the way wood and plastic do.
You are either a lover of wood or you are a lover of plastic- never both. Why? I suppose it’s because they each represent very different things. Wood is a symbol of age and tradition whereas plastic very much represents change- it is the young upstart of the design world and far as Team Wood is concerned; it has shown no respect for tradition- trying to oust the curtain pole with the bay window track– plain wrong surely?
Wood furniture is loved for its durability, carving and shine which develops into a beautiful patina the older and wiser the wood becomes. Wood is honest and requires work and craftsmanship to look its best- it demands respect. The work done on furniture made of Teak wood for example is impossible to imitate- which is what made it such as favourite during the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Wooden furniture is more expensive than plastic furniture but its longevity and reassuringly heavy weight inspires enough confidence in its appreciators that the initial outlay is often considered an investment rather than a robbery- once you have it, you have it forever. Wood is for people who know their own minds; they remain stoically unbowed by fickle fashion fads as they have seen them all before. But behind this unmoved exterior shell lays the heart of a born romantic- after all arrows and hearts are carved into trees not Tupperware.
On the other side of the stream stand the plastic fantastics. These people move with the times much more readily- after all they aren’t nearly as weighed down by their furniture choices! For them cutting wood and turning it into furniture is not only laborious and unnecessarily slow, it is also harmful for the environment. Ah the environment, yes much more of an issue to these modern tree hugging plastic types- tradition means trapped to these types.
People often wrongly use plastic as term meaning shallow or cold but they shouldn’t, plastic means pliable, open to change and progression. Plastic means adaptable and ready for anything- just because it’s made in a in a mould, doesn’t mean it’s set in its ways! No show pony is plastic, it requires no special attention or storing away when the weather changes, it is not overly expensive and it doesn’t expect you to keep it forever. If the 1960’s (the time when plastic first exploded onto the market) was the decade of change, liberation and spiritual growth then plastic was malleable medium that allowed it.
Where do your allegiances lie? Take a look around your home and see what it says about you- just don’t let it bring you and your loved ones to blows, I mean- it’s only furniture…isn’t it?!