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Big News, PLUS: REARRANGING AS A SPORT
Go from Amateur to Elite Rearranger by combining three techniques
In this issue:
A *BIG SCARY ANNOUNCEMENT*
REARRANGING as a sport, influenced by Virgil Abloh, 1970s Nike, 1970s designer Joe Colombo, the woman who did the Musée D'Orsay, Lydia Tár’s gym routine, etc.
The three dimensions of REARRANGING, and some TOP TIER FURNITURE to illustrate them
Also can you please SUBSCRIBE?:
“MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” / TEASER:
First, we’d like to announce the forthcoming “FOR SCALE XL” (June - date TBD, but mid).
WHAT IS “FOR SCALE XL”?
We’re introducing an additional TWICE-MONTHLY paid newsletter that’s going to be extremely dreamy and we can’t quite believe we’re committing to this but we are.
***N.B. our weekly aesthetic analyses will always be free.***
FOR SCALE XL (the paid thing) WILL BE FULL OF HARD-WORKING, USEFUL STUFF, varyingly including:
1 → Early access to super-best stuff from our favorite sellers in Los Angeles and New York (for now), but this sh*t will be (often) (INTER)NATIONALLY SHIPPABLE. You’ll have at ‘em first, for a week
2 → Exclusive resale from the personal collections of super-best people who DON’T normally part with their goodies
3 → Aesthetically strong individuals finding the hidden gems in the swampy worlds of CR**GLIST, EB*Y, etc just for you
4 → Yummy little interviews from the furniture-obsessed in positions of cultural impact
5 → Alerts for crucial IRL sales, events and parties for the Furniture Hungry
It’ll be $5 a month (discounted for Annual Subscribers). And that’s EXTREMELY INEXPENSIVE given how much work this will be for us ;) BUT WE’RE WILLING TO DO IT FOR YOU WONDERFUL FOLKS.
“The best new used furniture + things marketplace is A GODD*MN SUBSTACK!!!!!!!” (A future headline.)
AND: Big thank you to FOR SCALE subscriberfor devising this dream-maker of a platform that is Substack. We'er obsessed.
ONTO REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING:
And away we go…
We canned our planned newsletter for this week (or, postponed it), because we wanted to pick up on the crucial subject of REARRANGING, which recently landed in our inbox care of– and it's a conversation that is utterly crucial.
This is because:
Rearranging is a sport, as we shall discuss, and the more you do it not only the better you’ll get but also the more you’ll find a higher purpose in the Training/Process
A thing is its context; we’re totally paraphrasing but that thought is kinda via the divine V. ABLOH. (See 6:45 in this video.)
You have two choices: DERANGEMENT or RE’RANGEMENT, because the static and unchanging is at best to settle, at worst to ZOMBIE. We recommend RE’RANGEMENT.
i) WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED IN REARRANGING: THE PRINCIPLE OF “NO FINISH”
Rearranging proves that interiors is a kind of SPORT, but not in the sense of competition but in the sense of a physical pursuit, and a forward journey. As in, there is no finish line. You may begin, but you should never finish.
A sport with no winning or losing? To prove the appeal of “NO FINISHING LINE”: EVEN FOR A MEGA SPORTS BRAND the eradication of “FINISH” is the dream (POSTER WITH SOME FOR SCALE AMENDMENTS):
If CORPORATE GIANT NIKE believes that there is no finish line in f*cking RUNNING, why on God’s green d*mn Earth do we seek to “complete” the rooms we live in?
For those who cannot “win”, or rightfully don’t even try to, there is one NON-LINEAR SPORTS CONCEPT we advise you to import:
→ THE “PERSONAL BEST”
It’s like this: your interiors should never cease to evolve. That’s because YOU should also NOT CEASE to evolve – and, all we advocate is do not leave your interiors in the dust.
But equally, you can P.B. and then regress, and then achieve a new P.B. Personal evolution is also like this.
It’s a question of the PERSPECTIVE. We can rearrange, when we consider it a matter of PERSONAL BEST rather than “IS IT DONE?”, we exorcize EXTERNAL JUDGMENT.
ii) IMAGES OF REARRANGEMENT
We won’t show you any.
Why? Because all this is not about a BEFORE AND AFTER; you know what rearranging is. In the spirit of “PERSONAL BEST INTERIORS”, before and after is linear. Again, You can go from a PERSONAL BEST to a NOT-SO-PROUD result. SO WHAT?!
iii) MEANS OF REARRANGEMENT
The absolute glory of Rearrangement is that, in fact, practically everything can change places.
Yet, for the Avid Rearranger, there are certain categories of Stuff that are particularly conducive:
The Rolling, i.e. wheels
The Reconfigurable, i.e. the “modular” puzzle
The Really small, i.e. the table top “thingy”
N.B. We’re excluding from this post a cornerstone of The Re’ranged Interior, THE ROOM DIVIDER. Because that was its own thing, here.
Let’s take a look:
1 THE ROLLING
THE MAIN PRINCIPLE OF ROLLING IS FLUIDITY. We seek ROLLING in Rearrangement, because we want a break from the grit and constant heavy lifting of Life. Rolling is lubricated, frictionless, elegant.
Of rolling, Our Imperial Leader Suzanne Slesin (design writer) noted, in 1978, “Americans move a lot but their furniture is more stationary.” But there’s a way around this: WHEELS.
First, UNDERSTANDING “A FURNITURE MOMENT” via ROLLING:
You know who’s having “A (posthumous) MOMENT” and we’re deeply thrilled that they are? GAE AULENTI. (Did anyone else in catch @sameold’s JUMBO Exhibition/sale thingy last year in L.A.? Lots of her amazing furniture in a warehouse downtown.)
Introducing “2746” (useless name!) from 1980:
Well, there are many versions of this table, but it is the High Skill of the talented eye to do the seemingly simple thing and make it feel “more than” – and in this case, AULENTI is that talented eye.
ROOM DIVIDER MENTION (even tho we said we wouldn’t): There is a VERY HIGHLY Gae-influenced MIRRORED, ROLLY ROOM DIVIDER in the Berlin boxing gym used by Me Too’s leading fictional creature, LYDIA TÁR (born Linda Tarr). Visible at 2:16:33 into the film. Please look it up.
A QUICKIE GAE MOMENT:
A moment for GAE, who is the archi responsible for transforming the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, sure, but also did some really super ballsy apartments (here, one in Florence in 1971), and also some very WARPED theater design (like this for The Tale of Tsar Saltan in 1988).
1.1 Rolling Televisions; 1.2 Rolling clothes
Two examples from a favorite home of ours and what - we’re sorry for weekly readers - seems be a recurring reference!
LEFT: You may recall from last week that Barbra hides all her TVs, and that we endorse this. In the home of Patty of Michael Hopkins, they can quickly eject the television from a space via ROLLING.
RIGHT: Grab all your clothes, drag ‘em to your mirror, drag ‘em to the living room cause it’s got better light, do what the f*ck you want. Your clothes are at your whim, you are no longer bound to their fixed “Closet” address.
To return to SUZANNE SLESIN, she points us rightfully to the REALM OF UTILITY, and the wonderful array of options produced by companies hawking their wares to hospitals and industrial kitchens, Daddy’s workshop, and even supermarkets, etc.
Among these include:
Architect Peter de Bretteville (who does a great house) used a RESTAURANT KITCHEN RACK for hi-fi storage
The Homak stacking tool chest could, says Slesin, “hold other things too”
But, if you are less experimental however, then the first port of call might be JOE COLOMBO and his Boby cart:
If you like the JOE COLOMBO STORAGE MENTALITY, it can be maximized if you reach deeper into the Italian Design “niche” care of the “WARDROBE BED” by some other dudes - which is also on casters, as all chic rolling things are:
We showed you this one last week (second image down), which is very much the 2746 of the bedroom.
THE MAIN THRILL OF THE RECONFIGURABLE IS VALUE. We’re sorry to bring up $, but a Reconfigurable really does get you pretty far. The sad reality is that a lot us imprison the Reconfigurable in one position for its whole domestic lifetime.
If you choose to have a Reconfigurable, please actually squeak it into difference positions – it deserves the exercise.
We begin with a simple slider, which shows how a Reconfigurable is not necessarily a huge task. It can be a daily routine.
But, yes, since you asked, there is an enormous range of excellent and weird Reconfigurables. For this we return to the real hero of this issue, JOE COLOMBO with three examples:
It was imagined that an ability to Reconfigure would foster more “informal” living. Which is actually hilarious, because in fact the people who tend to have Reconfigurables are usually very picky and formal almost to the point of Uptight. (Still super nice, though.)
COLOMBO’s designs, above, come with the lesson that the RECONFIGURABLE doesn’t need to just be shelving or a corner sofa that can come apart into bits.
1 THE REALLY SMALL
THE PURPOSE OF THE “REALLY SMALL” IS TO POTTER.
The very absolute best cultural export of the English is their aptitude for Pottering – i.e. non-urgent busy work but done at a lazy pace, no expectation of completion, and with a kind of meditative pleasantness otherwise reserved for Walks.
And, we’ll turn to literary hero JOHN STEINBECK, whose thoughts on DRIVING are equivalent to our thoughts on POTTERING (we’ve amended):
If one has [pottered] over many years, as I have, nearly all reactions have become automatic. One does not think about what to do. Nearly all [pottering] technique is deeply buried in a machine-like unconscious. This being so, a large area of the conscious mind is left free for thinking.
— JOHN STEINBECK in the delightful road trip must-read “TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY” (Charley was his French Poodle).
And, HERE IS WHERE WE HAVE SOME CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTARY:
Generally, we say DO YOU, but for this aspect of Rearranging, you need two things: things and free space.
Minimalists and Maximalists, who are both far too dogmatic for our tastes, therefore each then have a problem:
A list of excellent REALLY SMALL things that are great to Rearrange in a bout of pottering:
Nothing that requires being plugged in (though a Lamp Switcheroo is among the MOST SATISFYING an noticeable Rearrangements)
Books you stack vertically (P.S. there is a great a new bookstore in Echo Park called UNTITLED.)
End of list. But, let us know if you have any other ideas.
iv) FINAL THOUGHTS
Yes, we love the look of a great interior and how kind of identifiably “finished” they feel - even if they are a total mess, or almost empty, a good interior has a certain quality. YET, we also strongly believe that “Finished” must always, always be disturbed or it will die.
Let sleeping dogs lie, but a Finished Room should slumber with one f*cking eye open.
Until next week, LOVE AND GOOD LUCK,