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Dwr Case Study Daybed Replica

So... Modernica.

I have one of their Case Study beds, and I like it a lot -- more than the Nelson Thin Edge bed, actually, since it's bigger -- and I have a Modernica Bubble Lamp that, as everyone says, really does seem better than the Howard Miller version (although it's hard to make a fair comparison since the HM lamps are all so old).

I decided recently to buy an ESU and the matching desk. I hadn't ever seen a Modernica ESU in person, but I keep reading that Modernica used to make the ESU for Herman Miller, and that "the only difference is the label", plus I know that MY Modernica stuff is built really well... So I let the Herman Miller sale come and go last month, and planned to buy from Modernica instead.

Drove a cargo van down to LA from the Bay Area on Thursday for Modernica's sale. Fully expected to drive back that evening with an Eames desk and maybe an ESU if they happened to have one in the configuration I wanted, plus a couple of their LTR tables and maybe even another Bubble Lamp.

Wow, what a disappointment.

Their Case Study desk is an astonishingly bad reproduction of the Eames desk; they make it by slapping a Fisher-Price-looking slab of plywood -- at least twice as thick as Herman Miller's, with huge-radius rounded corners -- on top of a cut-down 2x2 ESU frame. Because the base has the small footprint of an ESU, the legs aren't anywhere near the corners of the desk, and the bay on the side is way wider and significantly shallower than it should be. It looks like a homemade craft project.

The ESUs are the right size and have the right proportions, at least... But the panel colors were off, and the workmanship we saw on the units at the sale was really sloppy. The sliding wooden doors didn't slide well, and they weren't matched; I don't think I saw ONE unit that didn't have one door lighter or darker than its others. The drawers were sticky. The central L-braces passed through deep, unfinished slots in the shelves and the top. Some tall bays had short-bay panels installed. Glides were missing.

The more I looked, the less I liked nearly everything. The LTRs had their mounting tabs WELDED to the base. The welds on the non-adjustable discs that pass for glides on the Ox and Easy chairs hadn't been ground down before being plated. They had a bunch of Case Study beds lined up; headboards weren't all the same height, wood stains weren't consistent, etc. The Bubble Lamps were beautiful, of course, but have they stopped making the tall tripod floor stands? The generic chrome stands I saw were butt-ugly.

At least I was able to get a table at my favorite LA restaurant before going home empty-handed; that took some of the sting out of driving twelve hours for nothing.

Anyway, here's my question: Did something recently change at Modernica, or did I just get lucky with the bed and lamp and have they always been like this?

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