Lane Furniture - A fine question.

"Furniture or modern art?". Yes, please. Either one would be very nice. So, please take away this coke dealer shit and bring me one of those other things, thanks very much.

The hard thing about passing judgment on the past is avoiding throwing stones at glass houses filled with people who may also own stones, possibly stuck all over their dresser. I have a niece who laughs at pictures of her parents from the seventies or eighties, safe in the knowledge that her generation has finally defined "cool", and that what she now regards as the ultimate in fashion will be forever written in stone, never to change. We have patience. We wait. We beat her over the head with photographs of herself fifteen years from now, taken way back in 2010.

Then there's Lane Furniture's "Pueblo" series of bedroom pieces. Take a dresser made from rough wood, carefully stained to get that high-contrast grain that zebras are painted with, and then glue the ends of two-by-fours all over it. We try not to judge too harshly/ We must be tolerant of 1973. When someone fell and scraped their knee in 1973, white powder came out, skunky smoke came out, and maybe a smear of blood. Yeah, whatever. This furniture is unforgivable.

I'm trying to think of a current trend that we'll be laughing at in thirty years. What's in your local Pottery Barm that will be parked out by your curb on Tuesday morning, 2040? One thing springs to mind: shabby chic. Shabby chic is the type of interior design that looks like everything was taken from people's curbside garbage day display, circa 1920. In thirty years we'll be laughing out tears at the idea of intentionally buying furniture with chipped paint and buying carefully mismatched plates. But, regular readers (both of you) will know that we here at Go! Plaza like the whole mid century modern / space age thing, so we're not in a position to throw stones... much.

Lane's Pueblo collection is the work of someone for whom "enough" is "not nearly enough". Just like so much of the seventies, there's way too much going on. The furniture will take your skin off if you brush up against it. The carpet is lumpy enough to need a good mow. The bedspread has a funny texture to it that looks as though it was faked in using Photohsop's clone stamp tool... maybe to hide the body of the overdosed hooker that the happy couple just finished with? Gotta wonder what's in all those bottles on the dresser.

Lane Furniture is still kicking around. Here's their site. It looks as though they've come down since '73. By way of apology, they've overcompensated and now their designs are a way more forgettable. The current set of offerings from Lane could just as easily be found in any Restoration Pottery Barrel showroom. Everybody grows up, Lane. But today we found your embarrassing key party photos. You're welcome.


Craig F. said...

Awesome! I got a mention in a Phil Are Go post! I'm the other reader.

I like that midcentury stuff, too. All skinny legs and polished wood.

We just got a Leowe Opta Fonovox console stereo similar to the one in this video. It's a little smaller, but the same idea. Fifty bucks!!


Cape Coop said...

I adore Brutalism, which obviously influenced Lane's designers at that time!

Unknown said...

well, your harsh review of 'brutalism' didn't stand the test of time, as the prices of this cool furniture has skyrocketed. and, to be honest, your harsh criticism of the design was unfounded even when it was written. pretty limited and somewhat rigid in your thinking, I suggest. maybe a style that would appeal more to your strict viewpoints would perhaps be craftsmen?

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