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Do you like your furniture?

 
 
Fri 28 Nov, 2014 10:56 pm
Who made it? Where did you buy it?

We are desperate for a sofa. Seriously desperate. I started looking about a month ago and I'm still at square one. Our needs are simple: leather, no "cushy" arms, modern design, comfortable, no loose pillow backs. Our budget it about $2,500.

Every single brand of furniture I've researched in our price range gets terrible reviews -- even the well known brands (moved manufacturing offshore and quality became worse) so I started looking at high quality used furniture (I have no problem with used things).

What I'm finding is a lot of "We bought this 6 months ago and then decided to redecorate".

Who does that? Who spends $4000 on a sofa and sells it 6 months later for $2000? Are these just retailers trying to move stock by pretending to be a person?

We've also come across some "high quality" counterfeit furniture -- knock offs marketed as the real thing.

And why can't you find out anything about how things are constructed?

I'm so frustrated.

So please, if you have furniture that you love, tell me about it.
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Fri 28 Nov, 2014 11:09 pm
@boomerang,
Have you looked in the category of executive office furniture?


Here are a couple ideas I found doing a search for leather sofa for executive office.

http://www.beyondtheofficedoor.com/OS-SL1573.php

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/8146-executive-office-sofa-set_464842262/showimage.html
boomerang
 
  2  
Fri 28 Nov, 2014 11:32 pm
@Butrflynet,
Hi Butrflynet! Thank you.

I'll check those out more thoroughly in the AM but, at first glance, it looks like the same kind of rabbit hole I'm encountering everywhere.

"Leather" can mean a lot of things. There are HUGE differences in leather and if they don't specify the kind used it's usually safe to assume it's bonded leather or split leather -- which wouldn't last long in my house.

Also "wood construction" can mean a million different things -- from kiln dried hardwood, to hardwood, to plywood. If they don't specify you can usually assume the worst.

It's so frustrating!

Tonight I've been trying to research Thomasville furniture -- a company I've always heard was good. The reviews are terrible, terrible, terrible. I know people are much more likely to complain than anything else but we're talking serious construction issues -- things falling apart.

Same with Lazy Boy. Turns out most of their frames are plywood and congregated cardboard.

Same with Flexsteel -- used to be good but now it's rotten.

Ashley furniture is nothing but horror stories.

I'm almost ready to sell my soul for some Stickley.
boomerang
 
  1  
Fri 28 Nov, 2014 11:47 pm
That's still pretty groovy!
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Fri 28 Nov, 2014 11:48 pm
@boomerang,
Might be time to contact some decorators and see if they have access to furniture not commonly available to the masses.
knaivete
 
  1  
Fri 28 Nov, 2014 11:51 pm
@boomerang,
What about googling "black leather lounge" images then click on the image.

And the on-line "auction" houses for knock offs.


0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 12:03 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Same with Lazy Boy. Turns out most of their frames are plywood and congregated cardboard.


Boy, have you got that right. After my furry, little sociopaths exposed what was under the fabric, it was nothing but the sorriest grade of plywood I've ever seen in my entire life.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 12:31 am
@Butrflynet,
Try this site .

http://www.smithbrothersfurniture.com/catalog/ctl/search/mid/580/a/1/c/sh/flc/l


And here is some info for you.

http://www.smithbrothersfurniture.com/guidetoupholstery/leatherfacts
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  4  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 01:14 am
I have two sofas by the Dansih designer Boerge Mogensen.
They are from the 60ies and are still in perfecct shape - even the blue has not faded and they are used all the time.
http://img.archiexpo.com/images_ae/photo-g/contemporary-sofa-2-seater-9635-7996671.jpg
You can get his sofas in leather too.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 02:24 am
Another site to check out

http://www.carolina-furniture.com/top-ten.htm

And one with a comparison chart and ranking

http://leathershoppes.com/showroom/manufacturer_rank.htm
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 03:40 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
What I'm finding is a lot of "We bought this 6 months ago and then decided to redecorate".


which is most of the time "We bought this 6 months ago but it sucks and we need to unload it while we can still get something for it".

This is what we did....devoted a lot of time, usually the better part of a day, going around to all of the stores. We breeze through, sit in stuff, take note of that we kinda like, what we dont like, and what does not seem to stand up well to being on display. We had some stores that we were in for only a few minutes because we hated everything. Over time we learned what we like and what we dont. We had a good idea of the list prices, knew which staff seemed the least pushy but most helpful, and sometimes we took that knowledge and doubled back on stores. Feeling what is comfortable, what seems to have good fabric and good stitching (wife knows all about that stuff), what squeaks and what does not, what is heavy and what is not(not fool proof, but heavy is usually better made) was very helpful. Sometimes we take notes on things that might be good enough. Then we either buy what we liked best, or was the best value, or called the day a learning day and decided that nothing was what we wanted. Some pieces have taken over a year to find.

Fav story. Lived at Ft Huachuca, shopped in Tucson. Was looking for a dinning room table, we did not have to buy anything as we had crap Army furniture that we had bought for almost nothing when the Army Closed Munich as we were leaving. It had taken years of beatings from constant use and was starting to fall apart. Think we had been looking for about 6 months. We are going to Costco to load up the van with a month of supplies because shopping near the fort sucks and we are going to look though a couple of furniture stores first. We go in this massive store and head back to where the tables are, in the back of the store. There are over a dozen of the big tables together. And there it is, this massive wood eight chair deal with lots of wood grain and given the distressed look. It looked very much like a table we had seen a year before and loved while spending a afternoon buying booze and eating in Nogales Mex, it is was in a store where we were looking at drink glasses. We both see our new table at about the same time and almost screamed, running over to it and sitting in it.

When it comes to cars, women and furniture once I am in it I expect to have it around a long time.I hate hate hate shopping so I only want to do it once. I am going to do it right, Invest a lot of time into doing it right the first time, I am going to get what I want if I get anything. If we cant afford the right thing then we wait, I would rather have nothing or some temp crap, we just tell visitors that we are looking, that the current stuff is only because we have not found what we want yet.
boomerang
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 07:31 am
@saab,
That's the kind of thing we're looking for! Very simple lines and very well made. Unfortunately our budget doesn't allow us buying it new. When I've found something similar used and gone to have a look they've been obvious knock offs.

If it was just me and Mr. B we'd probably spring for such a thing but when we include pets, a teenager, and his friends it starts making me a little queasy to think of spending so much.
boomerang
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 07:46 am
@Butrflynet,
I'm afraid a lot of that is just out of reach for us. That's why I'm looking for similar things used. This is where I'm encountering a lot of knock off being sold as the real thing prices.

I'm really more concerned with with construction that you can't see, rather than the construction you can -- like the leather and the stitching.

For example: I found a used Thomasville sofa that met all of our criteria so I looked up information and found thousands of complaints -- apparently they started using some plastic clip to attach their springs and they broke within a few months. Getting it repaired or replaced was a nightmare.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  2  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 07:49 am
@boomerang,
Usually I would prefer to bite off my tongue than to revommend IKEA, but their sofas are cheap and good for a few years before one feel like investing in something better.
Here one similar to the more expensive. I like the higher legs as it is easy to clean underneath without having to move the furniture.
Also I prefer loose cushions as they can be sent to drycleaner easier than a whole sofa and if there are zippers it is easy to get a new cover.
http://www.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.polyvore.com%2Fcgi%2Fimg-thing%253F.out%253Djpg%2526size%253Dl%2526tid%253D56321902&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.polyvore.com%2Fikea_karlstad_sofa_bed_storage%2Fthing%3Fid%3D56321902&h=300&w=300&tbnid=WuNqRRkeNSEdmM%3A&zoom=1&docid=8_gByUjRoKQbRM&ei=rM15VMDEDoLaPfDjgcAF&tbm=isch&client=firefox-a&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=632&page=4&start=77&ndsp=27&ved=0CM4CEK0DMGI
boomerang
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 07:54 am
@hawkeye10,
I've been hardcore searching for a couple of months. It's starting to feel like a full time job.

We bought our last sofa used and we had it for about 10 years. It was made of nubuck and that's a bad choice when you have kids and pets because it's really impossible to clean. It was starting to look (and smell) pretty bad when the puppy decided to chew on it.

We're holding out... for now... to find something that we want. It just seems like the longer we wait the harder it is.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 08:00 am
@boomerang,
Modern design? do you mean MCM like the piece SAAB posted?

I'd recommend watching the thrifts and buying a true vintage piece and then taking it in to be recovered in leather you've selected. I have one kiln dried hardwood loveseat I bought at Goodwill in about 1985 - it was about 30 years old then. True MCM lines. I had it reupholstered then - it still looks great and is solid solid solid. I paid $65 for the loveseat, about $60 for the fabric (Williamsburg bolt end) and about $250 having it reupholstered. The fabric and labour would be closer to $1500 now. The real variable now is the cost of the piece you can find to reupholster.

My giant sofa is also MCM, kiln dried hardwood. The Hamburgers bought it in the 1970's. It is still the most comfortable and solid piece of furniture. I've had the pillows rebuilt twice because the dogs lived on it in the late 90's.

Join some MCM groups and watch for some of the great pieces from the Carolinas and also Scandinavia and Italy. The pieces are available and come up regularly - I see probably a dozen a week and I don't monitor the groups I'm in that closely.

A solid piece from the 1960's or 70's will likely still hold up better than a piece made in the 90's + unless you're willing to throw a lot of money at it.

___________

In Toronto we see a fair bit of the bought it for $4000 a year ago, selling now for $2500 thing. Here it mostly has to do with people in condos moving to houses - and the furniture not fitting through the doors in the old houses. I've had friends get some nice pieces from porches, where they were left when they couldn't get them into the houses.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 08:04 am
@saab,
Some of the older Ikea pieces have held up quite well for people. I don't have any of the seating furniture but I have friends with Ikea sofas that are over 30 years old and they're still in regular use. My bookcases and cabinets are about that old as well - still made of solid hardwood.

I like their simple lines and would probably go for an old Ikea sofa and have it reupholstered if I was replacing one of the pieces I have.
saab
 
  4  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 08:27 am
@ehBeth,
http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ed/50/65/ed506504b97ec74552f018793488e7a7.jpg
ehBeth
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 08:30 am
@saab,
Very Happy

I like that!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2014 08:37 am
Well, I can't help you with your search, but maybe I can give you food for thought about your budget.

You say your budget is around $2500, and you've been looking for at least 2 months. You're getting frustrated, and feel like it's a full time job. I know you can't go back in time, but if you had been socking away another couple hundred or so a month for the time you've been looking, you'd have $3000 for the sofa. In other words, for the time you're looking, perhaps you should be adding to the amount you can spend.

Or, how about if you go to a quality furniture store that's offering a set amount of time interest free pay off time.
You could then buy an better piece, immediately pay off $2500, and then pay off a couple of hundred a month during the interest free period. As long as it's paid off by the end date so you incur no interest.

Mo isn't a little kid anymore, so you can treat yourself to "grownup furniture" If you're planning on getting something that's going to last at least 10 years, and you end up spending and extra $2000, are you really going to look back and say "I wish I hadn't spent what adds up to $200 a year, about $4 a week, and gotten this really great piece that I still love to this day?

When we remodeled, I found a sofa and arm chair I loved so much and I knew I'd never find anything else I'd like as well. It was too expensive. We bought it and put it in storage for several months until the house was done. Maybe a decade later I still love my furniture, and couldn't tell you what it cost.

Same for my carpeting. I finally chose one I loved. When I went to purchase, I saw one that I liked about 90% as well, and it was on sale. I decided to think about it. I told a friend about it and she said "Sure go ahead and get the one you don't like as much that's on sale. Then you can spend the next decade or 2 thinking every time you looked at it how you wish you'd gotten the other one." That's what I love about that friend. She doesn't pull punches. I don't remember what the carpet cost either.

Every time I look at it now, I'm glad I got the one I liked.

In other words, I say spend the extra money, you'll find the cash somewhere. It's not like you're living hand to mouth, and you'll never regret buying quality. Instead of lasting 10 years, you may find this sofa lasts 20 or more.

It's not like you're wasting money on slurpees or cheap trinket. This is an investment.
 

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