I want one like this, but cheaper.
November 16, 2005 1:54 AM   Subscribe

Hope me, style monkeys! I have fallen in love with this chair, but I cannot pay more than my rent for a piece of furniture. Can you point me to retailers of chairs that may have similar attributes? Bonus if they are in the Seattle area. I tried searching for some of the descriptors and nothing really came up. My apartment thanks you in advance.
posted by calistasm to Home & Garden (20 answers total)
Are you sure that you can't pay for it? Do you mean that you literally can't afford it or that you just don't see yourself paying so much for just a piece of furniture? Your questions implies the latter, but it is somewhat vague.

Consider that if it is a well made chair you will have it for many, many years, likely far longer than you will rent your apartment. If you consider that you'll have it for, say, three years (I've had really cheap office chairs last far longer). You would end up paying less than a dollar a day for the chair, wouldn't the satisfaction of having a chair you truly enjoy be worth the $0.70 a day?

Sometimes quality is just worth paying for.
posted by oddman at 3:03 AM on November 16, 2005

Either way, most of us find that $720 is a lot of money for one chair, no matter how nice it is. It's easy to encourage someone else to spend money (just browse any audio forum), but sometimes with limited resources it makes sense to compromise, and paying less than $720 for a chair is a good way to start. Unfortunately, I can't offer any help to the OP on how to do so.
posted by musicinmybrain at 5:01 AM on November 16, 2005

just keep looking. there's only a limited amount of furniture you can own, and even if you only buy pieces that are both pleasing and reasonably priced, you soon run out of space. there are a lot of beautiful objects out there, so sooner or later you'll find something that's at a price you can afford (and if you do spend stupid money on a single chair, you either end up feeling really bad when you throw it out to make room for something else, or are stuck with it for life, even after your tastes change).

other than that, someone mentioned on another thread that they'd found some designer furniture via craigslist.

maybe the bigger problem is "how do i keep my apartment from looking like an empty box til i find the affordable furniture of my dreams?". beanbags and a nice floor are one answer.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:12 AM on November 16, 2005

Good god, and I thought Aerons were overpriced. My advice is before you fall in love with a chair, sit in it. Chairs that aren't comfortable aren't worth a flying f**k.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:46 AM on November 16, 2005

What attributes of the chair, specifically, make you fall in love with it and would you like to find an emulation of? The general form factor? The sleekness? The fabric? The color? Knowing more about this would help in the identification of an appropriate knockoff.
posted by matildaben at 6:17 AM on November 16, 2005

This and this remind me of it in terms of sleekness, both from Ikea in the low TWO DIGITS price range.

At $445 this one is still a little pricey. It resembles your chair, though the legs and arms are wrong, and it's just generally not as sleek.
posted by leapingsheep at 6:44 AM on November 16, 2005

If you want to go a little more classic, that chair is (to me) pretty much just an updating of the timeless Delta chair by Mart Stam. The Delta is old enough that there are lots of knockoffs, such as the $70 one at the link above, even though the originals are still available at 5-10x that.
posted by mendel at 7:00 AM on November 16, 2005

I'm glad you balked at the price. That chair is worth maybe $72, but never $720. If this is a business purchase, you have much more sensible things to spend the money on.

If you live in The Big City (Seattle?), find a place that sells used office furniture and see what they have in the warehouse. If anyone has spent $500 each on office visitor chairs and then (not surprisingly) gone out of business, you might find their chairs there selling for double digits.

If you live in The Sticks, try a mail-order place like Biz Rate. Search for office chair, sort by lowest price to highest price, and browse up the prices until you see something that looks good.
posted by pracowity at 7:06 AM on November 16, 2005

Personally, I don't like the chair the you're linking to calistasm, but in my opinion good furniture is worth the money (and worth trying to find cheaper)--however, don't just judge it on appearance. That chair is named a visitor's chair--to me that implies it's for short sits in office waiting rooms, not extended ones in homes.

Looks like a metal version of what Ikea calls a Poäng chair, though they only make it in wood. They offer a leather for $200 and a fabric for half that.

other than that, someone mentioned on another thread that they'd found some designer furniture via craigslist.

That mighta been me. I mentioned on MetaChat that I'd just gotten two Takahama Suzanne Lounge Chairs from Craigslist (C$100 ea). I also bought this Forgali couch off CL for C$650. I do check CL about 12 times a day though, no exageration.

I would also recommend setting up a few searches on eBay for keywords like "Dauphin chair" and "visita" and tell it to mail you when any new ones appear. Occasionally this works. I found this Bernard Moise table that way. Unfortunately, the start price was about 40% more than I wanted to pay so I'm still waiting but even at $500, that's less than half it's $1200 retail.

The best advice I can give you is don't buy something like this unless you've either seen it in person/sat in it, or at the very least the design is so well known and well reviewed (like the Suzanne) that you know it's quality.
posted by dobbs at 7:48 AM on November 16, 2005

Second the used-office-furniture route. What I did was: Make a list of phone-numbers for your area, and run down them with a quick "Hi - I'm looking for chrome visiting room chairs with bright fabric. Got some?", and spend a day dropping in on everybody who says 'Sure!'

Worst comes to worst, you could always try making a day trip to the crater of the Dot-Bomb.
posted by Orb2069 at 7:48 AM on November 16, 2005

I'll second both the Ikea and "sit in it first" ideas, and suggest you combine the two and get yourself to an Ikea store. I was at the grand opening in Stoughton last week, and was very impressed with the chairs from both a comfort and style perspective -- the store seems to be reflecting DWR style more than I can remember. Unlike their sofas, their chairs seem to be very sturdy -- I've had several of their $10 folding chairs for years and they're all still in perfect condition by structure and appearance.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:51 AM on November 16, 2005

And just to clarify, and for my own sanity, I'll state that those couch pictures are not my apartment, but the seller's. That much yellow in the living room would make me gag.
posted by dobbs at 7:51 AM on November 16, 2005

odinsdream is right... go cheap. There are still decent designs out there for super-cheap, and your taste in decor and style will change many, many times in "40 years". The cheap chairs may last 3-4 years, but by that time, your taste in style will change and you will be able to afford a new chair without feeling like you wasted money on the old chair.

Also, if you can't find anything close enough to the look of that chair, you can always commission an industrial design student to make one for you.
posted by cleverusername at 7:57 AM on November 16, 2005

EQ3 has this chair, which is similar. No Seattle locations, I'm afraid, but you could order online or via catalog. Their pricing runs a little bit higher than IKEA, but not unaffordably high.
posted by junkbox at 8:09 AM on November 16, 2005

dobbs, that forgali couch is beautiful you lucky dog.
posted by skrike at 8:21 AM on November 16, 2005

Thanks, skrike.
posted by dobbs at 9:40 AM on November 16, 2005

our local goodwill has about a dozen of those cheap "delta" chairs. I bought four for three bucks each, and am reasonably happy sitting in them for 6-9 hours a day. :)
posted by wzcx at 12:55 PM on November 16, 2005

Response by poster: It's not a matter of unwillingness--that chair's three quarters of my take home pay. And I have sat in a (better styled) version of it, and it is ridiculously comfortable. I had dinner and saw a show in it, so I think it's safe for extended periods of sitting. I would like something like it in terms of general profile and characteristic--spare, modern, but comfortable. The IKEA chairs and E3 chairs don't look all that comfy, but thanks for trying. At least now I know what it's a knockoffs of, so I can Google better. Thanks guys!
posted by calistasm at 1:56 PM on November 16, 2005

Definitely try auction sites/houses, used business furniture stores, Craigslist and the like. When I was doing my MBA, we studied a business case where a CEO came into an ailing dot-com. After talking to some people and studying the financials, he discovered that the company had more than 1,000 Aeron chairs. He auctioned them all off and raised $500k for the firm.
posted by acoutu at 2:05 PM on November 16, 2005

Take a look at topdeq.com . They have a few chairs that are similar to the one you show.
posted by wryly at 4:00 PM on November 16, 2005

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