Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sofa shopping.

Some observations on shopping for furniture:

Kennedy Avenue.
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.

1 comment:

ecb said...

First of all, your use of completely interchangeable" reminds me of my favourite SNL skit "Theatre Stories" with Mike Meyers, Steve Martin [no no, Mr. STEVE Martin], Julia Sweeney, and Dana Carvey. Julia Sweeney is this crazy retired actress and recounts a time on stage when she noticed a critic in the audience:

"Who should I see in the front row...but Mr. Potato Head! And the thing that struck me about Mr. Potato Head was that his facial features were completely interchangeable."

This post has nothing to do with furniture...I will say that it's OK to be really picky about couches because aside from your bed it's the piece of furniture you'll use the most. So it better be comfy. G recently got a couch from the Brick and it's like you're being hugged by the softest hands on earth. Really smooshy including the arms. I'd recommend something like that. And long so I can crash on it in comfort when I squat at your place [for a much shorter period of time;)]