Friday, January 18, 2013

First world problems with furniture.

Going from 724 square feet to 2,510 square feet is going to be a huge change for us, and we realized a while back that we have only a fraction of the furniture we'll need to furnish our new home. However, 20% down is obviously eating up a lot of our savings, so we don't really have the luxury of going out and spending thousands of dollars on new furniture right now. But we decided that it would be okay to go ahead and focus on a few basics, one of those being couches for the downstairs living room.

I had no idea what a huge process this would turn out to be...

When you're buying quality furniture that you expect to last for 10-15 years you really want to be sure you love what you buy. So a couple weeks ago my mom and I spent an entire day visiting furniture stores and we just didn't see anything at all that seemed right, until this:

Ignore the ugly ottoman, but we really liked the style of the sofa. I also loved the pattern of the pillow fabric,
and thought this little accent chair would go great with the set. Plus, everything was on sale... Fantastic! 

Having an accent chair in the same fabric as the sofa pillows seems to be super popular right now, and I quickly became obsessed with doing it. Here are some examples we saw (ignore some of the ugly fabrics and sofa styles, but you'll get the general idea...)

An assortment of displays with pillows that match the accent chairs. Love it!

Stew and I did some research on the manufacturer of the set that I liked and he agreed that it would be a good choice for our living room. But I wanted him to see it in person and help choose the main sofa fabric, so we stopped by the store at the next opportunity. Selecting the perfect color ended being more difficult than we thought, so we decided to check out some fabric samples and take them up to the model home to see how everything would look in our actual house. This is where we ran into some problems.

Current set up in the model home.

Once in the model, we realized that we really want light-colored sofas, but the pillow print that I had previously chosen only goes with a darker sofa fabric. And upon further thinking, we actually liked the cleaner, more modern look of the model furniture much better than our original choice. So... back to square one. We figured out the manufacturer of the model sofas, looked up some local dealers, and began to track them down. I mean hey, if a professional designer put the room together and it looks great, why re-invent the wheel, right?

Eventually we found the exact match, but of course to that set it will cost twice as much as the original set we picked out. So there's the conundrum... Do we drop the cash and get exactly what we want? Or do we live with another, less expensive sofa that we found that is very similar, but not an exact match? Plus, which accent chair do we choose? Does it come with a matching ottoman or would be have to find one? Is it the same brand so we can match the fabric to the sofa pillows? Does this store have free shipping? Is that one having a sale next month? How long can we wait to decide? Ugh, it's all very frustrating and overwhelming! [FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS]

In any case, besides the dilemma of choosing the set that we want, we also need to select a fabric for the sofa pillows and chairs (the original fabric with the branches is out), and there are so many to choose from!

This is just a tiny sample of what's available. There are literally hundreds
to choose from. I actually really liked the black and white bird pattern
in the center, but I don't know if it would be too much on a chair...

The entire process has be so overwhelming that we've decided to just take a step back and think things through. We don't want to purchase something in a hurry and then get it into the new house only to find out that we don't love it after all. We'd rather live in a basically empty house for a while instead of rush into a decision about something so permanent and expensive.

But when we do pull the trigger it will take 6-8 weeks for the pieces to be made and delivered, so early guests beware... bring your own chair!


  1. i have the red couches in one of the pics above! have a great weekend. :)

  2. how exciting!! Furniture shopping is hard but fun too! Can't wait to see how it looks when everything is done!


  3. Furniture shopping sounds like complete hell to me. When Inspector Climate and I moved in together we had no furniture. Like absolutely NONE. So we had to buy a couch. But the actual hardest thing to purchase was a lamp. A LAMP.

    They were so expensive and we ended up buying a truly terrible one because we needed a lamp and didn't feel like looking any more. I guess my point is - if you love something and it's good quality and will last a long time and you use it everyday, splurge.

  4. I would stay away from light furniture especially if you are thinking kids soon! The last thing you will want to be doing is scrubbing spit up/medicine/breast milk/midnight chips and salsa snack from your new furniture (said from experience? Perhaps :)) ha ha!

  5. Oh, and don't think you'll have to keep it for 10 years! I bet you'll buy something new sooner than that. :)

  6. jeeze that whole process sounds super overwhelming! there are just so many shapes, sizes, patterns, colors. i'm getting stressed just thinking about it haha. i like the sofa you ended up choosing, and i think getting an accent chair the same fabric as your pillows sounds interesting. im a huge fan of pattern, so the more the better for me!

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  7. I can imagine that is totally overwhelming but so exciting for you guys!

  8. Heehee - the sofas you originally picked out are the ones we have! We bought them with our tax refund the very first year we were married. I like them but I like the ones you showed from the model home about a thousand times better (I like the more modern, square shape).

    Loving that bird fabric too. (And that yellow chevron in the background - but I'm sort of a yellow addict).

    I'm sure whatever you end up with will look great. The one perk of the sofas we have is the covers zip off and can be thrown in the wash - which we do pretty often as a result of toddler and dog.

    Happy shopping!

  9. I always thought I would love furniture shopping, but it IS overwhelming! When we moved to Oregon, we had NO furniture! We slept on air mattresses so we pretty much just got stuff out of necessity b/c we had spent all of our money on moving, and I'm glad we didn't spend too much because now we are moving again!! But one place I love that has very cute accent chairs and we got our sofa there too, is World Market. Or even just for throw pillows, etc. I also got a bench there for the porch, I just love their stuff. Then there is IKEA, this place is so overwhelming! We ended up getting beds and mattresses there, which may be a good idea for a guest room? They have a few different types of mattresses, we got a memory foam one that I really like and the bed frame we got was a cheap metal one but it's really held up well! Another thing you could do is look at antique stores. I once heard someone say don't buy a set of furniture, but mix and match to make it look like you've built the collection over time. You can find some really great deals and they aren't always antique!


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