How to Buy a Couch

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Scott 2
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How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:22 pm

After 14 years, it's time to replace the couches, per my wife. I'm past the point of arguing and am now trying to figure out the best path.

Used couches make me nervous, because bugs and fluids.

Cheap couches are apparently not very durable. Like Ashley furniture has one for $300.

Restoring the 14 year old couches got vetoed. The set was only $1000 new.

Most high quality custom furniture is crazy stupid expensive, like $3500+ for a sofa


So far the two ideas I'm considering:

1. Carson pirie Scott furniture outlet - I expect moderate quality and prices
2. Interior define custom couches - I expect high quality and prices

Suggestions? I can afford to spend whatever, and would enjoy something nice, but if I over pay, I'll have a really hard time letting it go.

OTCW
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by OTCW » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:37 pm

Since the money doesn't matter, I'd recommend just letting he wife pick out what she wants.

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vexed87
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by vexed87 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:55 am

Path of least resistance... :twisted:

Scott 2
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:56 am

It seems Costco is also on the table. They appear to discount a few models by around a third every month. The return policy is appealing, and they are at least addressing constructing materials in the product descriptions.

The absolve myself by saying "whatever you want" strategy didn't work, btw. My job is to find high value options, hers is to pick the "right" one. If my job is done poorly, and they break down, I'll have to do this again. I hate furniture shopping.

jacob
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by jacob » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:09 am

Consider 1950s style sofas. Like this,
http://www.danishdesignstore.com/collec ... arl-hansen
http://theredlist.com/media/database/de ... edlist.jpg
http://media.liveauctiongroup.net/i/552 ... 6F8B510920
http://www.design-mkt.com/71836-thickbo ... y-1950.jpg
http://www.designaddict.com/cdn/farfutu ... sign_3.jpg
and so on ... (just search for "1950 sofa")

They are simple and easy to build, fix, or upgrade for the upholstery; and you get to pick your own colors.

You could hire out the work (look at etsy) or even attempt it on your own.
http://www.ana-white.com/2012/10/simple ... patio-sofa (no idea why this is listed under patio furniture ...)

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:13 am

I can tell you what not to do: don't buy a floor model, no matter how discounted. Less dirty than used, but in my case, just as beaten to hell. Which is why I'm now (window) shopping for furniture as well after just five years--sitting on the floor in front of the sunken husk of couch is becoming unappealing.

Of the options you mentioned, I would go with Costco. They almost pay their workers fairly.

Scott 2
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:35 pm

Limiting the fabric to the cushions makes a lot of sense. I like the prospect of someone in the US hand making the couches. For the high end option, that's bumped interior define.

7Wannabe5
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:19 pm

You might want to try attending some estate sales held in upper-crust neighborhoods. In my experience, this is the best way to obtain very high quality, very lightly used furniture for very reasonable prices. For instance, I would estimate that you could pick-up a couch that was $8,000 new and has been sitting in a rarely entered, regularly cleaned room for 3 years, for maybe $800.

George the original one
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by George the original one » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:58 pm

Leather is extremely durable. Unless you have an ethical objection or a pet that's fond of chewing/scratching.

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Tyler9000
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Tyler9000 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:58 pm

Sofas are one of those things where I'm not sure BIFL makes sense. The chance that you'll be tired of the style 15 years later or will have moved to a new home where it no longer fits in the living space is probably pretty high, and you probably won't be compensated on Craigslist for the premium you paid. IMHO, buy something nice but affordable and be happy. Just avoid fake leather (that will crack over time) and you'll be fine.

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jennypenny
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:20 pm

A place like Calico Corners can reupholster a sofa almost any way you want. That would eliminate having to throw the sofa out. You could also get a new one from them that could be reupholstered or repaired in the future when needed (they fix the cushions and everything). It's the closest to BIFL for sofas. They have a 15% sale once a year. http://www.calicocorners.com

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Tyler9000
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Tyler9000 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:44 pm

@JP -- that's pretty cool. A quality frame with a relatively timeless design that you can easily reupholster makes a lot of sense.

Scott 2
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:24 am

We're going to work our way up the cost tree until we find something we like. My hope is it's at the outlet store this weekend. My expectation is the primary purpose of the visit will be to make me OK with paying Costco prices. I have high hopes for a Costco couch, the more I think about it. The mattress we got from them has been fantastic.

My wife and I are vegetarian, so leather is not a good fit. We've been happy with microfiber for durability though. Pretty easy to clean, resists the cat claws. Part of the appeal of the mid century couches is the exposed wood offers far less cat temptations.

The Calico Corners by me is in one of the most expensive towns in the country. I think their customers have million dollar plus homes. I'm not sure they'd be willing to work at my price points.

Jacob - I don't see your last post anymore, but I'd hate to distract from saving the world. I am still watching for the next book.

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cmonkey
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by cmonkey » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:19 pm


Scott 2
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:22 am

I was wrong about the price tree, Costco prices were comparable to the Carson's furniture clearance center. Which, honestly, the clearance center prices weren't that much better than Carson's as a whole.

We did decide it was time to be done though, and get stuff at the clearance center. Costco could be 4-6 weeks, best case scenario, with no returns.
As far as I can judge quality, the stuff seems good.

My wife really likes what we got. I'm not in love with the $2k price tag, but I suppose a weakness of having assets, is you can get sick of dealing with something and just throw money at it. Happy wife and all that.

I'm having a hard time accepting we're just throwing or giving away the old stuff. I'm still happy to sit on it. Honestly though, I was happy with the couch I had in college - a $40 hand me down sleeper sofa from the 1970's. I'm probably not the best judge.

Scott 2
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:13 pm

The couches kind of suck and I'm stuck with them. Do over, I'd go with Costco.

wheatstate
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by wheatstate » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:14 pm

Sorry to hear that the couch's aren't ideal.

Here is a bad approach to talking to the wife about couches from American Beauty.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P7bIH5iC7M

Like 7w5, I second shopping some estate sales in high end neighborhoods.

Scott 2
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by Scott 2 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:02 am

He sums up our attitude towards caring for the furniture pretty well. They're not tolerating the abuse well. My hope now is once they're broken in, they stay at least mediocre for a long time. I'm not eager to couch shop again.

KevinW
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Re: How to Buy a Couch

Post by KevinW » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:48 pm

Another option for BIFL is Arts & Crafts style wood sofas. In the $3000 range but last practically forever with occasional refurbishment.

Another standby is the Ikea "Klippan" loveseat:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S89130239/
$299, with a wide selection of replaceable covers. When the surface gets worn out, stained, or tiresome you can replace it for $30. I'd probably feel OK sitting on a used one after a bug-bomb and new cover.

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