Lifestyle, Then and Now

Lifestyle, Then and Now

I recently learned of the existence of the Lifestyle Market. I had sensed it was there, of course, but not as so formalized an entity. What the Lifestyle Market is, according to “Lifestyle Notebook,” a supplement to a recent issue of Casual Living: The Magazine of Leisure Products, is people who buy “lifestyle furniture”?a product that is “affordable, mobile, and above all, fashionable.” The members of the Lifestyle Market are “more mobile and not so totally committed to one home location. Their relationships are not necessarily ‘forever’…. “Lifestyle Notebook” tells us, “so why should their furniture be?”

What does lifestyle furniture look like? “Lifestyle Notebook” helpfully provides sketches of typical examples, complete with captions: “Hanging Plants,” “Chrome and Canvas,” “Tasteful Dining,” “Space Savers,” “Super Wall Shelves,” “Natural Sofas,” “Lovely Palm,” “Lots of Surfaces,” “Modular Walls,” “Pillow Seating.” Lifestyle merchandise can be, says Gerald C. Stephany of Loeb’s in Lafayette, Indiana, “a viable separate entity within an entire store.”

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Duggan | University of California Press Gardels