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John Booth on his favourite possession

The east London-based artist and designer on the vintage flat-pack find that brings colour and joy into his home

john booth interview
Philip Haynes

I’d had my eye on Verner Panton’s ‘Vilbert’ chair for Ikea for a while and saved up for ages to get it. It’s a flat-pack piece from 1993 and I love the immediacy of the design – it’s simple panels of colour basically, and there are no hidden parts so you get a sense of how it’s constructed.

I got it from Diagonal Furniture, a London-based dealer. The founder, Mario, is a friend of mine. I didn’t buy it because I’m a fan of Panton’s work – it’s actually really different from his other designs – I just bought it because it’s an amazing thing. I find the combination of colours so satisfying and it has this sculptural presence that brings me a lot of joy when I look at it.

I used to use it as my desk chair, but not any more because after sitting on it for a while you’d start to hear it creaking. I mean, it’s not the most sturdy chair ever, but I don’t think it’s meant to be, is it? I’m more careful to preserve it now.

Ikea collectables are definitely having a bit of a moment – it’s mad to think this chair cost £22.99 when it came out. I’ve actually got a few other vintage Ikea pieces, including a metal coat stand from the 1980s, which I believe is quite sought after now, although I didn’t realise it would be when I got it.

I hate the idea of ‘investing’ in something for the sake of it – it’s kind of ugly. I think if you have the chance to buy something you really love, you should, because it’ll bring you so much joy. john-booth.com

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