The Wirecutter

Defining Quality

Earlier this year, through a series of events that involved a predawn drive deep into the Mojave Desert, I came into a windfall of Mid-Century Modern furniture. I loaded up a U-Haul trailer with what I considered to be high-quality designs: a Danish Modern dining set; a long, teak credenza; and, the fun surprise of the haul, a Packard Bell Stereophonic HiFi console. It wasn’t until I got these pieces home and, with some awkwardness, attempted to bring them into harmony with my existing belongings, that I began to wonder why I was so into this stuff. Why was it my default position—and that of most people who geek out over furniture—to call anything Eames-era “quality”?

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This article was re-published by Lifehacker.