IN PRAISE OF OCCASIONAL FURNITURE
What is defined as ‘Occasional Furniture’ can only sustain such a title as long as
One: it maintains its nature, that of mobility and as equiment for living or working in a room or building.
And Two: its use remains ‘occasional’.
However, a divergent grammar of the occasional exists.
It could be defined as meaning non-fixed, and therefore flexible to diverse occasion.
However, such occasionality is more often defined as a piece of furniture that is always ‘at-hand’. Such at-hand-ness gives it a rough and ready attitude
Occasional furniture wants to be all things, ‘it doesn’t match the sofa and the love seat or the dining room set’ but is ‘used as additional seating or as an accent piece in a room’.
Its mobility is key – for, what would an occasional chair be if it were not flexible to the whim of a moment – perhaps it should be on castors, or have handles expressly to aid such fancy.
Commodes also are given the descriptor ‘occasional’. The word commode comes from the French for convenient or suitable. Something of such character can lend itself to variant tasks – it could be used as a seat for one’s bottom, a footrest, a table for soft objects, or a thing to extend one’s reach.
One imagines a large square ottoman moved to a central position in a room in order to better dust a lampshade.
An object capable of taking on variant agencies could be called occasional – it both rises to an occasion, while also only being used occasionally.
What is key here is the quality of an object’s agency.
An agency that is structured, honed so as to be specific and useful only for a certain task.
A honing, though, is also a funnelling.