About a year ago I saw the Obelisk by Janus et Cie for the first time. It is a truly striking set of patio furniture, which is easily fashionable enough to be used indoor as well. It is a set of four chairs and a small table that stack into a towering obelisk when not in use. I love the idea in theory. In obelisk form, it takes up very little square footage — equivalent to one of its chairs. The rest of its volume is stacked, thus freeing your precious floor space. The quality and durability of these pieces is truly top notch. The chairs’ frames are made of powder-coated aluminum for lightweight durability. The outer shell is a woven polyethylene, extremely resilient and especially good at standing up to the elements. It’s truly a perfect set — in fact the only draw back I can see is it’s nearly $9,000 price tag.
This year it’s in with the knock-offs. Yesterday I found three suspiciously similar sets made from rattan. Now rattan, done right, can be a very durable. It can also be that cheap wicker furniture that disintegrates after a few seasons. I am sure these new sets will not live up to their high style counterparts, but they are good budget options. The three sets range in price from $2,379 to $4,000. This represents a huge price difference from the Obelisk. I will be excited to see how these new pieces stack up against the competition.