Some observations on shopping for furniture:
If you want furniture stores, and you want a lot of them, go to Kennedy between Lawrence and Ellesmere. Within the same strip-mall, there were five different home-furnishings establishments, and I went into four of them. The whole street is lined with places like this. I'm sure my mom would have a ball.
Most furniture is fugly.
I wouldn't let a good percentage of the couches out there into my house, apartment, tent, mud-brick shack, or any other domicile which I may or may not be inhabiting. A lot of it makes you wonder, "Who in their right mind came up with that?" And, more perplexingly, "What furniture-company executive saw some designer's plans and said, 'Sure, let's make an upside-down-polar-bear coffee table with a glass top! People will love it!'?"
Couches can get expensive.
You can go to Ikea (which I did) and buy a couch for $200 (which I didn't). At the same time, you can go into a high-end store and pay $4000 (and I presume more) for a piece of furniture will seat the same number of people. As for me, I'm looking more towards the "budget" end of the spectrum — but, at the same time, if the couch jumped out at me and said, "J, you know you want me," and I agreed, I wouldn't be averse to dropping a cool grand on the thing.
Loveseats are overpriced in terms of seating capacity.
Couches have three cushions, and loveseats have 67% of that. You'd think, logically, that a loveseat would be about 67% of the cost of a couch. However, that line of thinking would make you dead-wrong, sucka! If a couch runs $699, the matching loveseat will cost somewhere around $679. I wish I was joking.
Most furniture stores are completely interchangeable.
Same commissioned salespeople, same soft-rock music, same fake layouts. I will say, however, that most of the salespeople were actually pretty nice — you tell them you're just browsing, and they'll pretty much leave you alone.
I'm very picky.
Most of the time, your pal JTL is a pretty chilled-out guy who goes with "the flow." But, I gotta say, when it comes to matters of furniture acquisitions, I'm one selective motherfucker. I found a few sofas about which I thought, "Alright, if this was in my living room, I guess I could like it." Even with those so-so chesterfields*, though, nothing really grabbed me. And I sure did look at a lot of 'em today.
So, in conclusion, I'll keep an eye on things. I think I have some general ideas about what I'd like, but unless someone comes out with a $400 sofa which has beer-holders, a Shiatsu massager and gets thirty-five miles to the gallon, I'll probably be fairly ambivalent about my purchase.
* I love this word. It makes me think of both my grandmas.