Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Sofa Situation.

Today I managed to accomplish 31 things on my "to done" list. It was a productive day. In addition to trying a blueberry oatmeal bake recipe, washing six loads of laundry, picking up prescriptions, and rain check items, and changing the filter in my Pur water pitcher, I also started my search for a red couch.

32. Obsessed about couch. Now massively confused.

I actually don't like very many couches or sofas. Usually it's the pattern. Sometimes it's the pillowy back. I've very picky. My current couch has been with me for 14 years and it was used when I got it. It's not on its last leg, it's beyond that. Anyway, I lost those in the last move. I've put off getting living room furniture until I had a living room of my own to furnish. I figured as long as I was an apartment dweller I could get by with my odds and ends and mostly I have but the time has come for a new couch.

I decided on red because I have a lot of red accents all over my house. Anywhere I live in the future is likely to be the same and so this couch could be a nice piece for another room later on if I buy a full living room set that doesn't coordinate.

One concern is that neither of my current chairs is likely to look good next to a red couch--good thing that is where the elliptical sits. And I'm pretty sure I'd have to ditch the thrift store coffee table in favor of something that would coordinate better. (See, it always STARTS with one piece and then everything must be updated!)

So here's the situation:

I've been to all but one furniture store in my town and I've found only two items I'd even consider. One I ruled out immediately based on price. Yet, after seeing what is out there I am starting to rethink that. It's really QUITE a bit more than what I was thinking, because it's leather.This is the Natuzzi leather sofa I saw at Conlin's Furniture. It's the right size (slightly bigger than my current one in width and pretty much the same in depth), the right color (though it looks a bit different on the website and I'm not sure I like this shade as well as the one in my memory), it's just not the "right price" (on sale for $1279 with all those financing deals too, pay later yadda yadda). Right now they are offering 20% off everything in the store but the sale ends today and the price jumps back up to $1549 or whatever it is. They are also offering a deal of "up to $500 on groceries or gas." So, I guess they think that might appeal to the customer who wants savings on the essentials, but is willing to spring for a leather sofa. Hmmmm....

The other little red number I liked is probably the one I should not even consider for other reasons. The cost, on the other hand, is great -- $298.00. It's a click clack sofa (fancy name for a futon). So, it is versatile considering I often have house guests and don't have a guest room. I like the look of it a lot. It's a brighter red than the other, and in the pictures I prefer this shade, though it's a bit shiny. (not sure if it's leather or leather like) My biggest reservations? It has no arms. I fear it will sit too close to the ground and seem awkward as a main sofa in my living room, whereas it might be nice in a dorm or bedroom.

The game plan is this. At noon when the shops open I am going to the other furniture store in town to see what they have. I am going BACK to the first one I visited to look for the Natuzzi couch because their official website claims that Zimmerman's has one so I will do a price comparison.

Then I am going to go to Slumberland and measure the width, height and depth of the click clack sofa (that's fun to say, click-clack).

Finally I am going to return to Conlins to find out what they offer in terms of groceries and gas! Actually I need to sit in that again and make sure I really do like the color. Then, I think if I want that one unless their grocery deal is REALLY really good, I might wait for a better sale? Is that possible? One would hope. That would also buy me some time to maybe go to Fargo or somewhere else to look around.

Part of me wants to just spring for the $298 sofa and be done with it. No need to finance. But I am hesitating. Mom thinks I will regret it. No arms? What the heck, right?

I think I need to chill. After all this was "day one" of shopping. Sheesh. I just hate how they try to "get you" with their "sale ends Sunday" crap. I refuse to be pressured, says the girl who might just come home with a sofa tomorrow.

I've decided I sort of like this blue one too. It is a Best Home Furnishings brand couch and apparently there are a few stores in town that carry this brand, though I don't recall seeing this one.

I am not in love with the powder blue, though I don't hate it either. I guess this couch can be done in choice of fabrics so maybe they have the right red? I have no clue on price. No clue on comfort. I may hate it after I sit on it. I just like the look.

Anyway, please offer up any suggestions or thoughts you have in the comments I am in desperate need. In the end, I may not follow your advice, but it will help me think through this consumer confusion.


Well, I decided against the expensive one without even looking at it again. Checked out the other furniture store in town, saw nothing I liked, and then I went back to Slumberland today to check on the click-clack couch--to measure it and to "rule it out" more or less. Except... when it came to measurements it was the exact size and dimensions as my current couch only it was longer (which is what I wanted). I left more confused than ever. I'd expected it to be more "futon-esque."

As I drove away, I called Marci to see if she would be willing to offer an opinion. We trekked back over to the furniture store, and when she saw the couch, she gave her stamp of approval. And before I knew what hit me, I was pulling out the plastic and making the big purchase. It will be delivered on Saturday. Yikes. That is quite possibly the most spontaneous I've EVER been with a purchase. I guess that just goes to show how very ready I am to get rid of my current couch.


Linda said...

OK, here's what I think. Get the cheap one. $1300 is a lot to spend on a couch IMO. $298 is the right price for now. It's versatile, which is good for where you live now. It's fun.

When you actually do move into a house, you can decide to take it or leave it. Put it in the guest room to use as a sofa or a bed.

Your tastes in decorating may or not be the same when you get a house. You may look at a room and decide that red just doesn't fit there. And then you'd feel badly about having a really nice expensive couch that just doesn't look/feel right in the space.

If you buy the $298 couch now, you'll have the other $1000 to buy exactly what you want for your new house when you get there.

Live in the present, and save up for your future furniture. That's my opinion. ;-)

minnemom said...

Also, those "up to $500 in gas and groceries offers" tend to have so many restrictions that it's impossible to get the savings. In my experience, anyway.

Sara said...

I agree. That is a lot of money to spend on a sofa.

I have a red sofa too, Carm. I love it. I bought my sofa through JCPenney. We paid $600 and love that the sofa cushions come off to make a comfortable twin size bed for guests.

Check them out online.

Carm said...

Okay, you are both talking me out of the expensive one. That's probably good. I am not convinced the $300 one is the way to go yet, though. It may not be suited for my needs now if it's too close to the ground (no arms!!) and so forth. I need to see it again.

But you are both right. I think it's a bit nuts to consider buying a couch for more than $600 at this point. I was rationalizing because it was leather.

I checked out JCPenny's furniture online and I'm pretty impressed with them -- appearance and prices. It looks like you can pick the couch and then get the fabric you like for many of them. If they have the red of my dreams it could be a go.

Of course, I refuse to buy a couch before I sit in it and I'm not sure where the nearest 'Penny's furniture store is. Do they sell couches in their stores?

Lori said...

I have to agree on the side of frugality...always a good choice. BUT, it's important to get quality furniture, too (you don't want to have to be going through this all again in 2 or 3 years!). I can understand why you are in such a pickle! :-) Have you looked at IKEA? Don't know if you have any "contacts" in Mpls who could bring a couch to you (as opposed to paying delivery/shipping costs), but they do have some very affordable couches there! Good luck with your hunt...I hope it goes well! :-)

Carm said...

Thanks Lori! I haven't really seen sofas I liked at IKEA in the past, but I am starting to warm up to the Penny's idea so I might have to find a JC Penny's furniture place in the cities. I am a person who simply MUST sit on the couch before buying it.

My breakfast buddies this morning were not fans of the concept of the $300 couch because of the "no arms" bit... I'm still going to go back and look at it again.

Janet Spaeth said...

Quite a dilemma, Carm. I'm sitting in a living room right now with one chair. I got rid of the love seat (cat isn't declawed so she took care of THAT upholstery!) and I'm actually going furniture shopping today, too. I decided on NO couch, NO loveseat, just chairs. For some reason the cat leaves the recliner alone (maybe because her clawable part is the movable part, and her little feline mind is radiating danger signals?).

But the reason I decided on no couch was that as it was, generally only one person sat in it at a time, and my living room is small, so it made sense.

So think about your lifestyle, too. Maybe a couple of chairs instead of a couch? But if you do decide on a couch, I say "neither of the above" to both of your options. The price on one, and the armlessness (?) of the other don't speak well to a long-term relationship with your furniture--and that's what it is, as your current couch can attest to.

Carm said...

Thanks for all the feedback folks! Very helpful. Check main body of post for the update!

E. Louise said...

I agree about the no-arms thing but I'm thinking if you got a slightly higher table thing at at least one end, that might work with a cushion as a 'leaner-on-of-elbows-slash-head'

Other than that I think the cheaper one is groovy.

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Jessica said...

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