You know that saying, “if I knew now what I thought I knew then?” it definitely applies to my furniture buying habits before I became educated after being in the business for more than a decade. My very first sofa, which I referred to as a couch (!), was a beautiful mauve, blue and cream (it was the 80’s!) beauty. I bought it at our local furniture store called Treasures for Your Home and was thrilled that they would deliver it at no charge to my apartment. It was the showcase piece of the room and having spent about $500, I felt like I had just bought the most important piece of furniture in my life. Fast forward 4 months later and my beautiful sofa was now sagging in the middle and the cushions were flat as pancakes. I was so upset! How could my dream purchase look so sad and tired already?!
A year or so passed, I saved up more money and went back to Treasures for Your Home and upgraded to a better brand. Too much time has passed to remember what the brand was, but it was hardwood construction and had a spring down cushion in it rather than poor quality, low compression foam. I also upgraded my terminology to say “sofa” rather than “couch.” I felt like such a grown up!
Time marched on and with age came some level of wisdom and I started learning about the difference between price and value. As it turns out, that concept applied to so many areas of my life! When I think about price and value now, I instinctively know what to look for and understand that they are not one in the same. When I see beautiful magazine ads or catalogs sent in the mail by nationally known retailers I know that although they are selling product for an identical price to a well-constructed brand, the quality is so poor that saying it is “so poor” doesn’t even justify how bad it is. With all of the knowledge I had amassed, I bit the bullet and bought a sofa that was constructed of a maple frame, 8-way hand tied seat deck, spring down seat cushions, plush down back cushions and the most fabulous down pillows I had ever experienced. Someone once said to me, buy the best one time and you will only cry once; buy the subpar brand and cry each time you must replace it! Well said!
Here are the 5 things I wish I knew before I bought my sofa:
- Price and Value are not the same thing
- Relationships matter! Buy from a reputable company who can help you make the best selection for your budget
- Construction matters!
- Timeless styles will last a lifetime (which is why they are called timeless)
- Buy with thoughts of your future lifestyle in mind. Remember that lava lamp and pole light you had in your bedroom? ‘Nuff said.
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