A post by Indiana . . .
Learn from my mistakes!
Because I'm an online shopper, I have made more than my fair share of purchasing regrets, but none as large as my most recent one, though.
The couch I blogged about a few weeks ago recently arrived. Then:
CHRIS: [sits on it for the first time] ... uh? Hmm...
INDIANA: What? [sits down next to him] Oh.
INDIANA: Well. Hmm...
My cousin Ryan was visiting and pretty much said the exact same thing.
Y'all! It was the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I had ever sat on in my life. But I thought that maybe over the time it would soften up. That wasn't the deal breaker.
The leather wasn't remotely close to what was pictured online. But I gave the couch some grace since computer monitors and studio lighting often cause discrepancies in represented color. That wasn't the deal breaker.
The leather itself seemed very plastic-like and delicate, like the cushions would tear right in half if anyone sat down too hard. But I thought that with a little leather conditioner it would soften up. That wasn't the deal breaker.
The deal breaker was the fact that the frame had been cut to the wrong size. Whomp whomp. *Sob*. The seat cushions protruded three full inches from the frame... meaning that over time, as the cushions flattened, they'd only protrude more. This was hands down the most expensive piece of furniture we had ever purchased, and since it's going in our family room / den, we want it to be comfortable and tough. Every quote to fix this was nearly $300.00.
I admitted defeat, kicked myself for making such an expensive mistake, and quickly requested a refund (which was approved, thank goodness!). I immediately started thinking about how I could have avoided this mistake.
Since I try to take such care when purchasing clothing, it was amiss to not take production into consideration when buying such a large and (hopefully!) long lasting piece of furniture for our home. If I could do it all over again, I would have gone to Cococohome from the get-go.
1. LOOK AT UPHOLSTERY SAMPLES IN PERSON.
I purchased the first couch based solely off the online product photographs and sought out reviews on furniture from the same line... but not necessarily the same style because there were none. If I would have requested a leather sample or waited for a few reviews, I would have seen that it was much darker and a much cooler shade than I wanted and that it felt very crunchy. In contrast, now we've verified by actual touch that what we've chosen doesn't scratch as easily and is "buttery soft" but still tough.
2. SIT ON THE COUCH YOU WANT TO PURCHASE.
Even if you do end up purchasing online, go to an actual store that sells the same model of couch, and get your booty into it. Our first couch scared me off Chesterfields until Lilli, the manager of the Atlanta Cococohome showroom told me to sit on theirs. I could not believe the difference! Chris couldn't believe the difference, either. The comfort factor cinched this newer (more expensive) purchase for us. You have to sit to believe, you guys, but it's crazy comfortable! I mean, I guess it's not called COCOCOHOME ("COmfortable COuch COmpany") for nothing!
3. IF POSSIBLE, GET TO KNOW THE MAKERS AND / OR OWNERS.
What I love about Cococohome is that their sofas are manufactured in North Carolina (USA! USA!). Once I put down my deposit, the work order will go to the North Carolina production team who will make the couch exactly to my specifications. What I really love is that Lilli, the manager of the Atlanta showroom, shared the Cococohome story with me and answered my 100,000,000 questions about leather and sofa fillings. She also happens to be the daughter of the co-founders so I got to hear about the heart of the company which I always love. I don't know if the North Carolina production team is open to me coming up to observe their production processes, but I'm happy to know that it's being done just up the highway a few hours from here.
Stay tuned for more! It will take about six weeks for my couch and chair to be made, but I can't wait to report back!