Sofa find.. talk me into/out of..

funkyartDecember 11, 2012

I have wanted to replace my sofa almost since I bought it but it was a big splurge so I've been toughing it out. Now that I am moving into a smaller home, the scale of the sofa no longer works so I've been keeping an eye out for a new one (even though it's not in budget). I've been thinking I'd like to try a chesterfield this time around.. but then I happened on this second hand regency style from Lillian August.. and I fell in love.

I love that it has formal lines but that the seat cushion and pillows make it more casual and inviting. I'd swap out the red and add more throw pillows and two bolsters.

Problem is.. it's not a low-cost CL sofa, it's about the cost of a decent mid-level new sofa from say, Crate & Barrel. I didnt really have a new sofa budgeted but I am considering forgoing some other purchases to make this work. I really think I'd have fun building a room around it.

Should I listen to Pal's advice from a week ago.."just because it's beautiful doesn't mean you should get it"? Or should I follow my heart and go see it?

(additional info.. I havent seen it in person yet so I don't know if it's comfortable. Also, it says there is some "very minor soiling in areas". Not sure what that means until I see it. I could reupholster.. but not right away given that it wasn't in the budget. )

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Go see it. That isn't something you come across every day (at least not in my area). I absolutely love it, and if you do too and could make it work financially ... well, it's worth a look-see, isn't it?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Thanks, Sunny. I will be within 15 min of the store tomorrow so I think I must see it. I just spoke to the shop owner and he said said you had to look closely to see the soiling. He also said that with a few more pillows (as I'd planned), it would be a "feet up" lounging kind of sofa. He had me at "feet up"!

I have 1/3 the cost of the sofa covered just by returning a few things I bought recently-- all things that should have been returned anyhow but that I'd have likely kept because "they were good deals". I've also committed to painting my house myself (ugh) instead of hiring a painter. This is the kind of bargaining I am doing in my head lol!

If it's comfortable and I love it as much in person, I think it's a done deal.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 3:58PM
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I would go see it too. That's a sofa I can imagine truly loving for all my life....

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Oh I covet that sofa! I have been on a year long search for something like that for my sunroom! I think you should see it to be certain but if it is in good repair I must admit I will take it if you do not want it!:)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:54PM
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I would love to get my hands on something like that! You could do so much with the right pillows, and it would be so easy to change out the cushion portion if you needed to. Put the right size ottoman in front of it and cluster up the right pillows and it would definitely be a lounger for me! Hope it works out for you.....if not, I�ll happily take if off your hands!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:11PM
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Ha Roarah.. I will let you know! (I assume you know where it is? If not, I'll share privately). Assuming it's in good shape and sits comfortably, I am pretty sure I'll go for it. The bottom cushion is down and it looks a little smushed but my biggest concern is the seat depth.. at 37", that's one deep seat.

I am pretty sure this is a current design in the Lillian August for Hickory White line.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:29PM
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Yes, Nanny, the pillows are key, aren't they? I could very much see it loaded up!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Oh thank you Funkyart, I actually am not sure where it is but I think I may have seen some posts between you and Bee that may give me an isea:) Thank you for the Lillian August link! Hope it is comfy for you!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:33PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

It is soooo pretty. Oh, I hope it is as wonderful as it looks! Can't wait to hear after you see it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I would also try bargaining. I wonder how long it's been there. I always start with, "that's a really nice piece, but it's a bit over my budget." and then see what they say. Usually they will tell you right then and there to either make them an offer or that they can't budge on price. Worth a shot.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Oh cool. Are you nearby also? (it's actually located an hour from here)

I should add that I am also concerned about the white upholstery. I don't have kids but i will have dogs again.. and I have been known to spill :( At least the seat isn't white.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Daisy.. heh, i need you to come with me! I have a price in mind that I'd LIKE to pay.. ok, I'd like to pay much less but I the figure I'd be very ok with is still a substantial discount. I'd hate to insult him.. but who knows? A lot of places price things with the intention of bargaining.

First things first. I need to go inspect it and sit on it. I am also going to an antiques store on Thursday (this isnt an antique.. but it's at an antique store) so I will likely make a decision by Friday if not right away.

I will keep you all posted.. thanks for the encouragement. It's a style I love but not one I've ever had in my house.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Gorgeous design and style! What I don't like is the lack of quality in the bottom cushion. It's saggy in the middle and the front cushion edge is twisted and out of shape. That would send up red flags for me. Sofas with quality construction do not do that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:33PM
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I love the style of the sofa but I use my sofa and I think it would be hard to get comfortable on this one. If you Iike your drink next to you reaching over the high sides might be hard,. A great look but not so practical for my use. Go take a look and sit in it if it has a stain I would want a bid price cut!!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:44PM
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I guess I'm going to be the lone wolf who tries to talk you out of it. While I love the lines of the sofa, I don't like the color of the cushion, but that's just my personal taste. I have a formal living room with a Chippendale sofa that originally had one long solid down cushion, and it wasn't very comfortable because you just sank down into it, and you had to fluff it up all the time. I replaced the solid down with a foam cushion that's wrapped in down and it's so much better. Also, figure you're going to have the pillows lined up so the sofa looks nice, then you're probably going to have to play with the pillows every time you sit down to get them just right for your comfort. Then when you get up, you either leave them scrunched up or line them up again. Take some extra pillows with you when you look at it so you have more to play with.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:59PM
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It's not a lying down sofa, because of the arms.

It's probably a very well made sofa but it seems a "sit up straight" sofa tricked out with an odd bottom cushion.

I think the upholstery is trying a bit too hard to be "fun" or something, and it doesn't work for me as it, in that regard but that's a matter of taste.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Yes, I am definitely concerned about it being comfortable. It's 84" so long enough for me to lay down straight.. but I'd curl up. I don't mind the high arms.. in fact, the low arms on my current sofa bug me. However, if I can't curl up in it or lounge, it's a deal breaker. I am not a "sit pretty" kind of girl! ;)

I don't mind the color of the seat cushion-- or the slightly disheveled look. In fact, I'll say that kind of works for me. However, it's a down cushion and if there isn't enough padding, it won't be comfortable.

So it all comes down to the sit test. I found this because I've been looking at antique and vintage sofas to be recovered-- this one is neither antique or vintage but I love the lines.

I would likely have chosen other fabrics but I am ok with it until I can reupholster. I will replace the pillows. I just don't care for the red.

Thank you all.. appreciate your opinions and suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:27PM
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Since one of my DD's has such a sofa and I love it, RUN, don't walk before someone else grabs it up! One question though, is that the original cushion fabric or has it been recovered?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:27AM
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Since one of my DD's has such a sofa and I love it, RUN, don't walk before someone else grabs it up! One question though, is that the original cushion fabric or has it been recovered?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Don't get hung up on insulting the seller with a low offer. He didn't design and construct the piece -- it's not his creation like an oil painting is to the artist. It's just a business decision for him.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:09AM
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It would be easy enough to replace the main cushion with foam if you decide it isn't comfortable. I made a slipcover for our sofa recently, and traded in the two seat cushions for one long foam cushion, and it is heaven! I've linked to the local place I used -they ship too.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Foam Store

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:32AM
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I love it, won't pass the comfort test if you plan on using it quite a bit. I had one similar and it was our only sofa. Beautiful, but I got rid of it after a month.

I'm one of those that has my spot on the sofa and I use an end table for the lamp, books and my glass. The arms on the sofa are medium low, which is perfect. When I lay down, the arms are perfect to prop a pillow against. :)

For practicality, I'd pass if this will be your only sofa.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:56AM
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It looks like this one that I have linked below. I think the seat cushion is a replacement. It could be very nice with more pillows, although I think the seat may need some more foam at the bottom to be comfy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Belvedere sofa

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:08AM
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When are you going to see it? I kind of like it too. And I think my3dogs has found it for sure!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:54AM
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What a great looking sofa!

But no. I don't think it's necessarily a good buy. I'm with everyone who's cautioning you on its potential comfort level - or lack thereof. It just does not look like something I'd ever want to lounge around on. How would you be able to curl up on it? We had a vintage sofa with a straight back and single cushion; substantially shorter arms than on yours, but the general idea was similar enough. It was in the LR; thus, ostensibly for reading and lounging. We could never get comfortable on it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:03AM
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Yes, it's definitely the Belvedere. Based on the current price and the age of the sofa, I don't know how good a deal it is for the asking price. If I like it in person, I'll definitely work to get a better price. Maybe I am just cheap, but I think furniture that's 7 yr old should be less than 1/2 what it would cost to buy new. Someone else's butt has been sitting on it for pete's sake!!

I am concerned about the down seat being smushed but the high arms and straight back just don't bother me. Maybe it depends on how you lounge lol. I like to sit straight or sit low with my back in a corner.. when I had a high arm sofa, I loved it.. on my current rolled arm sofa, it cuts into my back (this is compounded by the fact that there's not much cushion so I actually feel the wood frame-- and this was not a cheap sofa grrr). It's also very deep (37") so I could lay down and even curl up into my ball with no problem. I would think two could easily lay down. The one problem I see though is laying down and watching tv.. unless the tv is dead ahead.

I had an interview this morning and had a last minute call for a meeting this afternoon so I won't be able to go see it today. Going to an out-of-town (in the other direction) antique store with my mom tomorrow .. so I won't see it until Friday. (This makes me very nervous-- especially since I posted the photo here. I hope I haven't jinxed myself!)

Since I found the sofa (which can be customized) on Lillian August's site this morning, I am wondering if I wouldnt be better off to simply buy new. There's a store nearby that carries LA and they've been pretty generous with discounts in the past (Have you been to Gehrhards, Bee?). While I wouldn't reupholster immediately, I would eventually and I would expect it to cost at least $1200 between fabric/services. Given the current listed price, I am wondering if I would be better off waiting and buying a new Belvedere with my chosen fabrics.. and with the warranty.

I guess it depends on how comfortable the sofa is.. and how much the dealer is willing to come down.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I think you hit the nail on the head - comfort is different for each of us. What is comfortable to me as a short person is not necessarily comfortable for my taller husband. Some like cushy, some like firm, etc. I rarely lay on a sofa, so that really would not be a consideration for me. Actually, I'm more of a chair person anyway, but that's another story!

I'd go and look at it and if you like it - see what the best price is. At least if it doesn't work out, you know you can get a new one - customized to what you want. And since this isn't a planned expense, it'd give you time to save up.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Right, Tina.. comfort for me is just sitting straight up with my knees pulled up.. but then I also like straight back chairs at my desk too.

Bestyears, sorry, I was rushing out to a meeting and failed to thank you for the link to the company that made your cushions. I've saved it-- thank you!!

I received a follow up conversation from the shop owner this afternoon-- he warned me that there'd been a lot of activity on the item in the last 2 days and that it may be sold before I can get there on Friday. And because of the interest, he's not going to go below the "best offer" price of $1245.

Gee, I wonder how that happened. Silly me for posting on a public forum. Silly me for thinking anyone who'd be reading a decor forum would respect other members enough to at least wait until they'd made a final decision.

Oh well, my first priority must be my job search. There aren't many positions for what I do so I need to jump when a recruiter says he needs to see me (which is what happened today). My trip tomorrow is with my mother and was planned weeks ago. I can't cancel on her-- beautiful sofa or not.

So I guess I did jinx myself. There's no chance of an additional discount and it may very well be sold before I can see it on Friday. I may not have liked it or found it comfortable or I may have decided to wait and buy new. Still. It was my decision to make. I am disappointed that people from GW would pursue the sale. Passerby or regular poster. Live and learn.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:31PM
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funkyart, you're right. That is disappointing. I've become more aware of this sort of thing in the past little while and I've had the same thing happen with clothing posted on other forums. I really hope it's just coincidence or paranoia on our part 'cause I hate to think of members of our great community taking advantage of each other.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Bummer Funky!!! Well think of it this way, if it's meant to be yours - it will be. If it's not - I think you will find something even better - something totally perfect for you!

Have fun tomorrow! You know I will want to hear about the antiquing trip and I owe you an email anyway! LOL


    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:56PM
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It was made pretty clear to me that it was from here-- but again, I should have known better. It's a public forum.

It may not work for me, and I have a lot of other things to deal with right now. I vented and made my point.. now I am going to let it go. :)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:58PM
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I promise it was not me funkyart, I live to far in ct and have only compact cars. I hope it is going to be yours if it is a good fit.
Good luck also with the job may you land soon.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:18PM
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In situations like this, I always fall back to, "If it's meant to be......"

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Oh, gosh! I need to apologize. I didnt think it was you, Roarah, and I wasn't even fishing for who had contacted him. I am *really* sorry that my venting made you feel like you were in question.

Seriously, I am over it. Like Tina said.. "if it was meant to be.. " There are many beautiful sofas and this one isnt vintage or antique-- in fact, I can buy it new to my specification.

Honestly, it was the actions more than the sofa itself.

Tina.. I think it will be a fun day. My mom deserves a good day, she's trying so hard to stay in the spirit and to make this Christmas special despite the death of her father and some other setbacks. Plus, we're going to look at something she wants to buy as my Christmas present! If it works out to be the great deal it appears to be, we'll both be giddy!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I always wonder, too, about those who post a great Craigslist deal, asking if they should buy it, then post a direct link to the Craigslist ad.

It may not be one of the regular posters, but a lurker, who used the information for their own advantage, since lurkers far, far outnumber posters.

Hope the job lead works out. Then, you can buy any sofa you want.:)


    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:45PM
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I think if the plan is to reupholster it later then it's just not a good buy anyway funkyart. You may as well save up and buy new with the fabric/color you want. I wouldn't go near a white sofa with dogs either but maybe that's just me?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Of course, Dee. But even lurkers are members of the community in that they lurk here :) Thanks for the good wishes on the jobs! (though one would require a move which complicates everything)

Trancegemini, it's a 7 yo sofa. And while he said you needed to look closely to see the soiled areas from wear, there's still some. You are right about dogs.. mine have both passed on but I expect to adopt again when I am settled in the new place.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 5:15AM
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Funkyart - I see no way for anyone reading this forum to know where this sofa is - you said "Craigslist" but no link, and the picture doesn't link to anything that could possibly run up the stats on views.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Lazy.. it's online and can and has been found with a little ingenuity. I'd prefer to not share how... for obvious reasons.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Funky I hope you get the job that doesn't require the move it would be a shame not to get to finish your G-ma's house.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Is it possible that the seller of the sofa has been lurking here, and knows how much you're drawn to what he's selling?

I've posted pics of eBay items I'm considering here, asking for input. It has occurred to me that perhaps someone else might like what I have my eye on and beat me to it, but as someone above stated, my motto has always been that if it's meant to be for me, it will happen.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:59AM
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It just sounds like sales to me, but you seem to have some inside information.

The sofa doesn't look at all comfortable. I'm thinking the cushion was supposed to take care of that but didn't work so they're unloading it. None of the pillows look right to me on it. Pretty as the lines of the back are, it frankly looks like a dog bed! So, I am trying to talk you out of it, lol.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Here's another Belvedere sofa currently listed on Craigslist. Not as pretty as the one you posted, but thought you might be interested as a price reference.

I think the price you were quoted seems high for a 7 year old sofa that is not in pristine condition. I've bought some very high end sofas second hand and the most I ever paid was $800.

I do think it's a beautiful sofa that would be even prettier with a new cover and filling on the cushion. I hope you get a chance to see it. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Belvedere Sofa on Craigslist

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:04PM
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WMA, yes, that's more along the lines of the price I'd expect for a 7 yo, well-made, well-maintained sofa. I considered the price of the sofa but even at the discounted price, I'd rather wait and buy new.

Snookums, dog bed haha.. that is going to stick in my mind!

Sunny, right. I am with you.. if I was concerned, I shouldnt have posted the picture.

ClBlakely - thank you so much. This one is weighing on me. Though there's a ways to go before this gets to a point where I'd get an offer, I am torn and anxious about it. It's a great company and a good opportunity-- a good fit for me. And yet, in the months I've been unemployed, I've had time to reevaluate and my priorities have changed. We'll see how it unfolds. :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:56PM
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I wouldn't want to pay that much for a used sofa and then have to pay so much more to reupholster it. I'd wait - something better will come along.

Good luck on the job search - and time with your mom. Those are both more important than a sofa.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 1:28AM
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Very overpriced for a used sofa, especially one that has niche appeal. In perfect condition, it should sell for about 25-30 pct of new. Plus I don't think the various fabrics relate well at all.

Id also add that I love LA style but not their quality (they are local to us).

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:47AM
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Thanks Stef and Mtn.. especially thanks for the word on the quality. I've seen some LA pieces in person but I don't know anyone who has experience with the line.. while I might cut corners on a chair, I'd want quality in a sofa (or a very good price).

Thanks for the well wishes on my job search too. Nothing will happen now until after the holidays but I am confident things will turn around in 2013. A few of my recruiters told me to plan on a year of searching. I thought they were just not go-getters or that they didnt understand my skills.. but it looks like they knew better than I did.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:52AM
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