Being a natural-born bargain hunter, I admit to holding a special place in my heart for discount stores. I paid frequent visits to TJ Maxx/HomeGoods in Santa Clara before moving back to the City because of its proximity to my home and work at the time. I often felt immersed in a cloud of gratification whenever someone would compliment me on a purchase, giving me the opportunity to declare, “I only paid XXX for it!!” Yes, I’m one of those.
During a recent visit, I noticed a pretty chair sandwiched in an aisle of not-so-pretty ones.
At the time, I was on high dining chair alert so I bee-lined to my discovery for further inspection. I immediately whipped out my phone to do some research since it looked so familiar. As I suspected, it turned out to be a knock off of the Wishbone Chair, designed by popular Danish designer, Hans Wegner.
Wegner designed the Wishbone Chair during the 1940’s as part of the China chair series, inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Ming Dynasty chairs. When I think about Chinese design elements, I would never associate them with Danish design, so this little history lesson was insightful. My heritage served as an inspiration to one of Denmark’s most famous designers!
Common sense told me that it was impossible for a real Hans Wegner to end up at a discount store, and the price tag confirmed it: $99 (a significant discount from the $400+ to get an original). Coincidentally, the country that produced the original source of inspiration is responsible for producing its knock off today. Consumer consciousness aside, it’s a great option for someone in search of good furniture design at affordable prices without the need to go to the giant blue and yellow store.
I couldn’t find any images of the portrait that served as the inspiration, but here are a few examples of Ming Dynasty chairs so you can see the design similarities.
I love how rustic these look:
More traditional styles: