Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Furniture Shopping is a Necessity!

After my flooded condo was initially cleaned up, my insurance company wanted a comprehensive total of all of my losses. Needless to say, among the many things on the list, one item stood out - my sofa. The water damage to the fabric was irreversible and so shopping for a new sofa became a necessity.

I'm not much of a browser and never have been. But my excursion to find a new sofa after the insurance company took mine became a mission. I started at a locally owned furniture store - a store we've bought most of our furniture from. There was nothing there that I really liked. So I went onto the next one ... and then the next one ... and the next one ...

My journey took me to Thomasville in Cool Springs where I searched the showroom to see if there was something there I could "live with". I looked at all the sofas on the floor (their Floor Sample Sale is going on now), and found one that I really liked. But it was almost white. With sometimes muddy shoes, or the desire to lie down on the sofa after a workout, I didn't think that one would quite work out. One of the designers, Cathy Meadows, greeted me and a few minutes later, she was answering all my questions.

With today's mass produced furniture in so many retail outlets, it's a challenge to find something that is built with quality in mind. Sofas and chairs are a real investment, so quality construction is essential. Among my list of questions Cathy answered for me were: (1) What's the frame made out of? (2) How is the frame constructed? (3) What is the construction of the springs? (4) What are the choices of fabrics or leather and what are their grades? (5) If leather, is it analine, semi-analine, pigmented, or corrected? (6) Is the leather top grain or split-hide?

Trying out various sofas for comfort and analyzing them for style, I finally landed on a contemporary sofa that I loved. And, it fit me perfectly - just the right depth for me to sit on without feeling like the underside of my knees were hanging off the cushions, and the perfect length for inevitable Sunday afternoon nap. The grand total of 78 inches in the seating area even makes it a great place to sleep if I have family in from Virginia. Thomasville won my loyalty that day, and I continue to send clients over to Cathy almost weekly. And if you'd like to visit Thomasville online before you go, CLICK HERE. You'll find just about any style for any room in your home.

Furniture knowledge isn't really all that hard. Before you go, do your homework. If you're looking for bedroom or dining room furniture, then know the difference in the ways that various pieces are constructed. Find out about veneers versus hardwoods. And learn about how seats of chairs are constructed. If looking for upholstered pieces such as sofas and chairs, research various construction techniques as well as various types of fabrics or leathers. Whatever you're looking for, remember that "you always get what you pay for" and that good quality furniture can last a long time.

And when you get there, always ask for a better price. The worst thing they can say is, "no". If you want the lowdown on all the other places I checked out, let me know. I'll be glad to share my experiences with you.

This Realtor knows houses, the Middle Tennessee market, and how to negotiate on his client's behalf. If you're looking for quality real estate services, give Jack a call.

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