My New Couch, Six Months Later

So I actually wrote my recent post about buying a new couch six months ago and forgot to publish it. I thought I'd follow up with some thoughts on that couch now that I've owned it for a while.

Color: First of all, when the couch was finally ready, which took the whole six weeks, it was not the color I remembered it being in the store. I think it is more likely that I did not remember the color correctly than that there was a mistake or I was duped. Still, I was disappointed, though I tried to pretend like I was not since I had spent so much money on the thing. I am never going to love the color of this couch, though. It is a very uninspired beige. I was remembering it as a creamier color (maybe just wishful thinking related to my very impractical desire to own a white couch). I am consoled only by two facts: 1) it was the best available option at the time, and 2) at least it matches my living room. Well, I do have my doubts about whether it matches the floors. I know, everything goes with wood, right? But I'm not so sure. I used to be an artist. I am very picky about color combinations.

Pickup vs. Delivery: We went and picked the couch up ourselves instead of paying the furniture store to have it delivered. It was miserably heavy, even for two grown men to carry, and difficult to get into the house, requiring the removal of a door. It also took a long time to drive across the city to the warehouse and back. Then, we had to wait quite a while at the warehouse for them to bring out our couch. We were joined in our wait by similarly thrilled customers and a trash can that had flies. The $70 delivery fee might have been worth it, in retrospect, although since business was slow for me at the time, I was glad to not pay the money. But perhaps my time would have been better spent looking for new clients.

Function: Almost from the beginning, I have wished I had bought the matching ottoman because I am a recliner junkie and I like to put my feet up. But that was an extra $200, which seemed a ridiculous price for what is essentially a freestanding cushion (it looked exactly like the ottoman in the photo accompanying this article, in fact) since I could get a whole couch for $600, and it probably too big for my living room anyway. Given the $70 flat delivery fee and the hassle to pick up furniture, I know I won't be buying the ottoman after the fact. And given my obsession with things matching, I will not be purchasing a less expensive model at Target or Ikea. So I just have to sit sideways on the couch, which is not entirely comfortable when there are two people using it.

Durability: I am already starting to question whether the couch will hold up. I doubt I will still have this couch in ten years, like I originally planned. I am wondering if $600 was too little to spend to expect a quality piece of furniture (shouldn't it be enough, though? That's a lot of money!). The cushions seem to be losing their fluffiness at an alarming rate. Also, the arms of the couch, as I have learned the hard way, are terrible for sitting on. They appear to be rounded and cushy, but underneath are hard and angular and quite painful to casually plop down upon.

I do not really know how to determine anything about couch durability prior to owning it, but I imagine you could do some research online about furniture brands and see who has the best reputation. My La-Z-Boy recliner, for example, has held up fantastically.

Fabric: The microfiber fabric does not attract cat fur like I had feared, and has even held up (so far) to kitten claws. And I've already managed to get two stains on a cushion, though I don't think the stain protector they tried to sell me would have helped, seeing as one of the stains came from my computer cord melting after my kitten chewed it.

Time committment: One thing I am still glad about is that I did not spend a long time looking for the couch. This probably isn't what you expect to hear since I am not totally happy with my purchase. You're probably expecting to hear that I wish I had spent more time looking. When I bought my secondhand couch a while back (which I had to get rid of when I moved in with my boyfriend because there wasn't room for two couches), I spent a lot of time shopping for it. But I don't, because I know I exhausted all the available options for new couches. I went to about ten stores in one day. If I had wanted to get a different couch, I would have needed to wait until some new models came out, which would surely have been months if not a year or more.

Price: I do think my couch looks a lot better than having two mismatched recliners side-by-side in the living room, and it is quite comfortable to sit on. But I guess I feel like I got about $300 or $400 of value for something I paid $600 plus tax for, and I also feel like I will want to replace it in fewer than ten years because I don't love it. I wasn't willing to buy a secondhand couch this time because of both the time involved and my newfound fears about preowned furniture being infested with roaches/fleas/etc. Now that I think about it, there is really no reason why a new couch sitting in a warehouse couldn't also become home to roaches. Hmm.

Comfort: The couch is indeed very comfortable, and has become my preferred place to sit, over the recliner and the bed. It is also long enough to lay down on and has been used as a bed by a few adult visitors with no complaints. The fabric feels nice and the lumbar support is good. I have no complaints in this department.

Overall, though I am not totally happy with my purchase, I don't regret it either, because I still think I made the best decision I could have given the circumstances at the time I purchased it. I have no doubt that I will put more effort into the decision the next time I buy a couch, though.

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1 comment:

Ginger said...

I've got to say... in your original post when you mentioned that you got a couch for only $600 and expected it to last 10 years I was a little skeptical.

Couches are not cheap. Think about it, you sit on it, lie on it and otherwise use it for extended periods of time each and every day. People sleep, eat, play and sit there all the time, so you want to have a good, durable & comfortable couch.

I helped my parents pick out their couch a few years ago, and they ended up going with one from La-z-Boy. Previous to that we had a Sklar Pepplar (also a higher-end couch). They both have lasted and held up very well for many many years. But they didn't come cheap!

I can't remember the exact cost, but I'm pretty sure the La-z-boy was at least $1500. But it was worth it. If you want something to last, you need to invest in it, and $600 seems like a very low cost to me.

However it's also understandable that you would be drawn to that--I would be too. I'm young and with limited cash, I simply cannot afford a piece of furniture that will last me 10+ years, so I have to opt for the cheaper ones.

But it's a lesson learned, right?

My rule of thumb is always to buy the best you can afford in terms of furniture.

Thanks for the update!