Mitchell Gold vs Lee Ind. vs CR Laine vs RH Sofa

mandomamaAugust 23, 2010

We are in the market for 3 sofas- 1 Chesterfield in leather and 2 matching comfy, TV watching sofas for keeping room. I'm pretty much cross-eyed at this point because there is so much info out there. I've sat in the Chester @ MG and the Kensington @ RH, but not the Chesterfield-type sofas made by CR Laine (Chichester) or Lee (L3772-03).

I'm very wary of buying any sofa that I have not sat on as we purchased (without sitting on them) 2 slipcovered, expensive ones from Lee a year ago. They are the most uncomfortable sofas I have ever sat on. The seat cushion (a single one) makes you feel like you are perpetually sliding off into the floor. The back cushions must be filled with cement, because they are unbelievably heavy. The cushions are very "crunchy" & feel like there is straw in them. I know they make a good, solid product- I just chose the wrong type of cushions. I naively let the designer make decisions for me that I should have researched & chosen. Does anyone have any experience with the Lee L3772-03 Sofa? Or the CR Laine one?

I also wonder about the quality of brands like Restoration Hardware & Mitchell Gold vs manufacturers like CR Laine, Wesley Hall, Lee, etc. Are the "box stores" like RH and MGBW worth the extra $ & is the quality as good? I think of stores like Lowe's & Home Depot- they have Kohler and Delta faucets cheaper than the local plumbing supply store, but the quality is not as good- Kohler makes a lesser quality faucet/sink/whatever for Lowe's @ a lower price point; Lowe's marks it up and sells to the public.

From what I've researched so far, I can get a C-grade leather sofa from MG at the same price as a much better grade leather from CR Laine. RH is having a sale right now, so for around $4300, I can get a 96" Kensington, which is a similar price as the Mitchell Gold sofa.

Thanks for any help!

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Take your old Lee sofas= cut about a 3/4" off the back legs and have a upholstery shop replace the feathered cushions with foam dacron wrap seat cushions and the back pillows with a polyester cluster fiber. Then you will have a comfortable sofa. A chesterfield sofa is really not considered a comfy kind of sofa. RH is not a domestic upholstery manufacturer, and WH is usually higher quality than the others, followed by CR, Lee, then MG.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:02PM
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I suggested that to my husband, but he doesn't like the frame either. The arms flare out and he is generally unhappy with it. I even called Lee and they were very willing to find a solution to our problem. The Chesterfield is for the library, the comfy sofas are for the keeping room. I have made him sit in the sofas I am considering to get his feedback. That is the #1 lesson I have learned here. That & find out what kind of cushions come with the couch. I guess I prefer a tight-back sofa vs loose, overstuffed cushions.

Thank you for the info about the other manufacturers. I think I'm going to price the CR Laine and the Lee Chestertons. I remember reading about a store in North Carolina that had great prices on Lee stuff.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 6:13PM
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The frame construction of upholstered furniture should be made from strong woods. Hardwood such as cherry offers a tougher support system than softwood such as pine. The joints of the frame should be double or triple doweled for the most secure construction. Buying craftmatic furniture is a big investment. It should last a long time and be well-built and attractive.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 2:55AM
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if you have not tried the McNeilly Furniture products, you should. their website is i have a sofa, oversize chair, bedroom bench, and recliner from this company. the comfort is outstanding and the quality is great. they are a small family owned business and are doing quite well in the USA. they are also a "made in America" company----no imports. that says much to the American public.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Just curious as to what you had finally settled on? In the markey for slip cover sofas and am torn between Lee and pottery Barn.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 4:54PM
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We chose the Chichester and the custom design sofa from CR Laine. After reading many threads on this website and others, I think we made the right choice. The prices that CR Laine and Lee quoted us were similar, but we got to actually sit in a CR Laine sofa and feel the different kinds of cushions. We also got a nicer grade leather for the chesterfield. We upgraded the cushions on the upholstered sofas to a Mayfield(fair?) The Chichester came standard with the Mayfield, which is a foam cushion (I can't remember the specs) wrapped in 2" of dacron. I wanted the springy down option, but DH wanted a firmer cushion in the den. But, I did win the skirt vs. no-skirt debate. Our new sofas will arrive sweetly attired with draped skirts.

Daphne94, I would definitely buy a Lee sofa before a Pottery Barn one. I think the extra markup is for the PB name. You may be buying a Lee sofa anyway, just marked up b/c it carries PB's name on the cover. We just couldn't find a nearby source that carried Lee so that we could see the different types of cushions.

Other reasons I went with a local store vs. a big brand like RH or PB- 1. our salesperson was a girl a grew up with and 2. we bought out-of-state (we live about 15 minutes from the state line), so no sales tax and 3. the store always delivers for free within a certain areas and 4. if something goes wrong, this particular store has a great rep for making it right.

FYI, the leather sofa (grade 9) was ~$4300 and the other (grade 8) was ~$2000.

Thanks for all the helpful info!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 7:39PM
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call lee and see if they will exchange to cushions for you. my down/feather cushions are heaven. maybe even better.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:55AM
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We bought the Chichester by CR Laine in June and it showed up in July! Beautiful piece and extremely comfortable. Seems to be really well built but time will tell. It has become an instant family favorite place to sit, lay and is the first place any guest sits as it just looks really inviting. The arms are higher than a traditional Chesterfield as is the back and it simply makes for an inviting look and feel. Couldn't possibly be any happier with the purchase. We bought ours through Furnitureland South, in High Point, NC and were happy with the purchase and delivery. Very smooth transaction.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:10PM
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I would recommend staying away from CR Laine. I purchased a CR Laine sofa through Hickory Park Furniture in Hickory, NC, and it has been a losing and miserable situation since.

The sofa itself looks nothing like the photo CR Laine has to represent it. CR Laine even admitted this to me and told me there are supposed to be additional links with photos of the sofa but that there are not for this sofa, but they tell me I have no recourse through them and must go through the seller, Hickory Park.

I did so. At the time of the sale, Hickory Park told me to make sure I knew what I wanted, which was of course dependent on them since they are supposed to be the experts and advisors, because I would have no recourse once the sofa was in production. This was a lie.

When the sofa arrived, I was horrified. In addition to be profoundly ugly and not looking at all like the photo, the cushion Hickory Park advised me to get based on what I told them I wanted was completely wrong, which CR Laine also told me was the case. CR Laine: "The Hamilton cushion was absolutely the wrong cushion if you told them you wanted a firm and resilient cushion." But lo and behold, the cushions Hickory Park advised me to buy was - surprise, surprise - the most expensive cushion.

When I learned I did have recourse, from CR Laine, by filing a complaint with Hickory Park, I did so. I explained the delay was because they had told me I had no recourse at the time of the sale but had just learned that was not true. I also explained that the sofa was used by one person for only five months and is in brand new condition. Hickory Park's manager literally laughed at me, said due to the time lapse, they couldn't do anything for me. But they caused the time lapse by having told me at the sale I would have no recourse if I had any problems! His argument was like someone killing his parents then pleading for mercy on the basis of having been orphaned.

All of the problems with the sofa lie with both the seller and the manufacturer: Hickory Park Furnituer and CR Laine. But it is me, the customer, who will take the loss for THEIR lies and misrepresentations and wrong advice.

Hickory Park offered to replace the cushion. Useless, since I told them I had ordered a new sofa from Hickory Chair before I knew I could file a complaint about the CR Laine. Notice he simply ignored that info., along with a lot of other info. he simply didn't like.

The CR Laine sofa is lightweight, which likely means it is not make with hardwood. It is a hideous design which does not show up in the photo, and CR Laine even acknowledged it's a strange style.

The Better Business Bureau down there was useless, as all BBBs are. Likely they are paid dues by both Hickory Park and CR Laine (indeed, the manager from Hickory Park referred to the BBB "mediator" by her first name. There is no mediation here.

Buyer beware. Stick with Lee or Hickory Park, and as customers, we have to do all of our own research because salespeople are no longer knowledgeable and are under pressure to just make the sale and will give you wrong information if that is what it takes.

Totally, 100% miserable experience with Hickory Park Furniture and CR Laine.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:40AM
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I would avoid Lee Industries. I have threes sofas and a chair. The two sofas that we use daily have not lasted. We bought two sets if slip covers and one set started pilling after 6 mos rendering them unusable. They do not stand behind fabric. We also had to replace the foam all around. My husband deals with foam in our business and thinks theirs is very poor quality.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:45AM
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