Heirlooms vs. Peak Stuff 

A lot of us make furniture for our families because we care about quality and we want to make things that last. 

I often joke that my best tools are probably destined to hang — unloved, unused — on the wall of some Applebee’s in Minneapolis. What is in store for the furniture I make? 

An article in the Boston Globe says no one wants mom and dad’s heirlooms these days. What’s interesting is that the article isn’t talking about Ikea-made MDF. Maybe we have finally hit “peak stuff,” but my gut says that tastes are constantly changing and no one wants their lives run by things they own.

A great book about the history of consumerism shows that we’ve been at peak stuff since the 15th century. While the read is a slog at times, it’s full of great facts and figures of what constituted the household goods of your average pre-industrial Dutchman. When I read Empire of Things, I feel a lot better about the kids hanging my favorite gauge on the wall of a Krabby O’Mondays.


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