Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Great Furniture Hunt 2014: Part III

It's time to talk sofas, folks.

Jon and I purchased a sofa, prior to children, on sale from World Market, for $350 bones. Amazing right?!?! What an awesome deal! Not so much. Within six months, it looked frayed, battered and...overly loved. That was our first lesson in "you get what you pay for". We vowed to buy quality furniture in the future (and to never buy furniture at World Market again, but that's a whole other post).

Our family, we wear our furniture hard. Harder than most probably. Maybe we're more prone to spills? I'm not sure what the reason is, but our furniture is left looking...loved. If you asked me what my ideal dream sofa would be at the moment, I'd probably tell you something like this. It's the Pottery Barn Comfort Square Sectional, and it would probably total about 4k, with shipping and tax. Be still my linen- blend-loving, modern-lines, casual-draped heart.
However, if I bought this, my kids would have to watch their favorite cartoons on Saturday morning on the floor. And I'd have to tell our guests to bring their own camp chairs when they come over. And Blue would have to move out of our house. And I'd have to give up drinking wine while I binge watch Netflix....and we all know that's not gonna happen. And don't even get me started if one of my friends kids touched the sofa (imagine me sprinting across the room to set down a towel before they touched my beauty). ANXIETY ATTACK. Yep. This beauty just does not fit with the stage of life that we're currently in. I know us better than that. Who knows, maybe this will be my "when the kids leave for college and I don't have grandchildren yet couch". Maybe.

Take one more look at her. She's great.

Moving on. If you told me five years ago that I'd be forking over lots of hard earned cash for a leather sofa, I'd have laughed at you. Leather has never been my thing. Then, I got logical.  After we have worn and battered 3-4 sofas in five years, I realized that it's probably the only material that can hold up to our family. There are other positives to leather for us: it is very popular in Tahoe homes so it will help with staging when we resell, it will keep us cool in our warm upstairs living room during the summer, and because our upstairs stays comfortably warm in the winter, it shouldn't be a problem when temperatures drop.

Now leather sofas can be done really badly or they can be done well:
Mixed and layered for a warm inviting look
The downside is that when it's done well, and it's real leather, it's expensive. Muy expensivo.

You might remember that after playing with layouts, I had narrowed our living room configuration down to this:
or this:
I loved the idea of a sectional, for it's comfort, casualness, and maximization of seating. It's what I had my heart set on. However, after laying it out I really warmed to the idea of two separate sofas, for flexibility of layout and the more traditional format.  The final configuration would depend on the exact furniture pieces that I was able to find, at fair prices. I was trying to keep an open mind.

When buying furniture, which is already expensive, tax and shipping charges can really add up. Like 4 digits up. So, the pricing that I'll note here  includes tax and delivery charges to our area. It's a more fair representation of their costs.

Enter, the mother of all leather options: Restoration Hardware. They do leather, and they do it well. Their Maxwell sectional option was my first love. My first choice. This would be my "If I had a million dollars" leather sectional. The price on this beauty, on sale (they run sales pretty regularly on furniture), with shipping and tax was $7,454.00.
Yeah, or I could send my children to college.
So on to the next.
Enter: Pottery Barn
Wasn't loving the tone of the leather,
so I definitely wouldn't pay the inclusive cost of $7059 for one.
 So I did lots of searching and found some other online retailers that I liked.
I thought I might have had a secret source that would be a home run when I landed at
Leather Furniture Expo. I even ordered several complimentary leather samples.
Their popular Napa Sectional, is supposedly the same make and model of a piece Restoration Hardware sold way back when.
It comes it lots of customizable leathers, and I loved their antique leather options.
However, when I realized it still totaled $6499.00
(they do offer free shipping, which is huge but the maximum sale they run is 5% off),
and then I proceeded to give Jon a small heart attack
at the mention of it, I realized it was back to the drawing board.
Crap.  I was running out of options.
 JCP had a nice leather sofa option available in a couple of lengths,
and because of their regular sales, the price was totally fair at about $2700.00.
However, it didn't come in a sectional version, and the leather was darker then I preferred.
 West Elm had a sofa available online that fit the bill:
It's available in two lengths and I liked the warm tone of the leather.
The sofa price ranged from $2,299-$2,699.00 plus tax and a $100.00 delivery surcharge.

They had a sectional version as well, however it was only available in black. I was appalled.
So get this: I went online, and I wrote them a note about how it needed to be available in brown. I know, all they need is my opinion on their furniture line. I even said "I have a home d├ęcor blog"!!!! I kill myself sometimes.

Anyways, within a couple of weeks, guess what showed up on their website:
Clearly, it didn't become available at my urging
(I think there had been a glitch on the site and it just wasn't showing).
Her measurements were perfect.
For a  moment I became totally obsessed.
It totals $6,299.00 including tax and shipping,
however they run sales frequently so I knew I'd be able to nab it for less than that.
But then, I wavered.

Perhaps two small sofas were better than one large one? It's funny how when you're seeking something out, other solutions and options present themselves. You'll have to stay tuned for the reveal on which direction we're going! Oh, and maybe, just maybe, I'll have a few sneak peaks of our dining room WITH HARDWOOD FLOORS next week.


  1. Don't you love the thrill of the hunt? Once you have good basics, though- like flooring, walls, and lighting- even decent Craigslist and yard sale finds look great. We just got a leather sectional off Craigslist for $250. It's not my "dream" furniture but it's looks great (even in our rental!), and it's funky and fun (kinda this orangish/rust color). And I don't freak out when the kids are doing gymnastics on it. Which they do. Everyday. Come to Reno and lets go yard saling this summer!

  2. I didn't share in the post, but when we first bought the house a Crate and Barrel brown leather sectional was on craigslist for 1800.00, originally purchased for 6,000 a few years ago. I'm wishing I had jumped on the deal! I had even emailed with the seller on its measurements/pictures, etc. It would have been a great steal!

  3. The glance of the whole blog is amazing.Brown TV Bed