Luxury Office Furniture: An Indulgence or a Necessity?

Luxury office furniture may or may not be an indulgence at all. According to the dictionary, a luxury is something that is an indulgence and not a necessity. Hmmm, I wonder. Doesn't it seem like once we indulge in something for a long enough time, we tend to then see that thing as a need? If so, then doesn't that mean that what once was a luxury becomes, over time, a necessity? These questions boil down to a more basic question about perspective.

In 1989, when I got married, I moved into a charming little basement apartment. Oh yeah, it was appointed, but not luxuriously. I would say that the things we had in those early years definitely fell into the "necessity" category. The thrifter couch, the hand-me-down dining table and chairs, and a tv we borrowed from an relative were all pretty basic. When we eventually got a small end table and a lamp it seemed like we were indulging just a bit. Over time, a table and lamp slowly moved their way from the luxury category over to the necessity category. Nothing in the real world had changed, only our perception of it. This is how I have come to view luxury office furniture.

So I go into this professional office a few years back to take care of some business concerns with a close advisor. The first thing I notice when I walked into his office was how fancy and rich the room felt. I'd say, for me anyway, that his big leather studded office chair definitely qualified as luxury office furniture. I mean, the office chair back at my place was just glad to have a home at all. I think it cost me $15 bucks at Wal-Mart. It swiveled around, went up and down, and performed the basic function for which it was designed, but it wasn't very comfy. When I first got it back in my single college days, it seemed like a bit of luxury to me. I mean, up until that point I had just been grabbing one of my metal fold-up chairs whenever I needed to do something at the desk. Once I had seen my advisor's chair, I no longer saw my pathetic excuse for an office chair as a luxury at all. It was actually sort of embarrassing. Before long, I had moved things up a notch and purchased a leather chair with a few more bells and whistles. Why? Because I had a new definition in my head about what an indulgence was and what a necessity was. Having a chair is a necessity, but the type of chair isn't.

Anyway, for those of us who work in office settings, having comfortable, functional, even luxury office furniture is something we each have to work out. It is sort of a cost benefit analysis that has to be done. Sure, that old fold up table might work, as a surface to get things done on, but it just might not be the most appropriate choice for the CEO, Chairman or VP to use. There is an obvious amount of decorum that must be brought to certain negotiations, dealings, and meetings. And, as an American citizen, I am glad that my President sits in the Oval Office at a luxurious desk. Imagine the difference between that and if he was sitting there doing important presidential stuff with other heads of state behind a fold up card table. Sometimes luxury office furniture is definitely a necessity.

So, as I sit here surrounded by my run of the mill, middle of the road office furniture, I am forced to ask myself a metaphysical question. Am I happy with having what I once considered luxury office furniture, or do I now see it all as a necessity and therefore yearn for something nicer. That's a question everyone gets to ask every time they make the choice to increase their lifestyle or not. There's nothing wrong with getting nicer things, just be clear about what you see as indulgence and what you see as essential. Good luck!


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