Go Ahead and Keep Digging a Bigger Hole


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Did you buy that “cheaper” sofa, that just isn’t right or is falling apart?  The one you are now trying to “fix” with throw pillows.  The one that requires you to have the condescending warranty guy on speed dial to keep patching it back together?  Sorry to be so harsh…but we have to get your attention.  We hate to see this happen and it does, over and over again.


Help…I’m on my third sofa from a major retailer and I’m just not happy! What am I doing wrong?-KO

You, personally, are not doing anything wrong. You, like all of us, are the targets of powerful mass marketing.  Traditional retailers are competing hard with online resources.  Online resources are competing with retailers who don’t charge shipping.  Custom furniture manufacturers have been buried under all this, almost to the point of extinction.  It’s no longer easy to rely on cost as an indicator of quality.  Goods that are stocked are mostly the mass marketed ones.  It’s hard to purchase unique things. Being overwhelmed by the choices is an understatement.  It’s all mind boggling to even we professionals.

And the kicker…after all your time, energy and money is spent…the sofa you ended up with probably looks like one of these and will last about a year, or two, if you are lucky.




So why did you buy it?  Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • It was on sale.  All retailers are going to make a profit.  Sales are good but the last reason to buy anything.  Designers can help you purchase value every day.  Wouldn’t you much rather save money on a piece you really want and can’t wait to get home?   Your decor will be both beautiful and functional.  Why spend any money on anything you already have low expectations for.
  • The salesperson said the fabric treatment, extra cost, would make this indestructible for kids and pets. Except when you get “the stain no one has ever seen before”, or your cat uses the arm as a scratching post and your fabric is no longer available.  Oops!
  • Your plan was to buy something cheap while the kids are still in the “trash it” stage.  Your words to us a lot of the time.  Kids, of all ages, will be part of our lives for a long time.  Would you want it any other way?  You know your kids and your tolerance for how often you want to buy furniture.  May we just say, well built furniture can be recovered and live on for years.  Think Grandmas sofa that is on its third recover job and still tougher than any generation thus far.  Not true for some of the brown blobs.
  • You chickened out on the color you wanted, and instead chose something that is the color of the things that are going to get it dirty.  Thus the brown blob.  It’s no fun to decorate around something that already looks “dirty”.
  • You think “brown, beige, tan” are neutral colors and easy to work with. Because you want it to also “be light”, it’s a really weird hue which clashes with your same theory carpet or paint.  We can help you work it into a decor but we need to plan accordingly.
  • It is comfortable.  An important feature for all chairs and sofas.  However, a piece made cheaply is only comfortable until one cushion sinks down lower than the others, the seat breaks down and squeaks and the back cushions flatten out.  Oh, and the fabric, if it was soft to begin with it probably was mostly rayon/vicose and is wearing terribly.  Tip:  Rayon in clothing has to be dry-cleaned.  Did you know your super duper treated fabric was that delicate?  

One last step, before you call us, is to try to “fix” everything with pillows.



Here’s what you see in your minds eye. Just perfect!



Here’s what happens with the brown blob when you get home.



You keep trying and end up with a small showroom of pillows.  How much do you now have invested in the cheaper, temporary piece of furniture you don’t even like?

There we go again…you might think we are being somewhat harsh.  We are not.  What we just described in detail is a scenario that happens more often than we’d like.  It does not have to happen at all.  There are ways to improve your purchasing tactics.  However, the number one step is the toughest to achieve.  After this, it’s just a process.  A process that works. First….

 You have to Break your Urge to Buy Impulsively.

But wait, if I don’t buy this _______by midnight the 10-20% free shipping will be over!”   Very true…..this 10-20% off free shipping deal will end.  Tomorrow, next week or next month, another one will be in its place. Wouldn’t it be great to have a plan with choices plotted in place, a shopping list with appropriate sizes of pieces and a real budget to follow the next time a “sale” comes?

Develop a Plan and Work the Plan

Let us show you how to work with the neutrals and incorporate all the other choices to make them the best they can be.  To have them be part of the plan.  Are there other “neutrals” you can incorporate that will be more suited for your space?  Your personality?  Family friendly and inviting at the same time?  If you are using the more standard neutrals, how can the other elements of the decor give you the look you desire?

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Be Realistic About How the Room is to be Used

If you need to house a teepee…make it part of the plan.  This may be an extreme example, but a real one and you get the point.  Decorate for who you are.

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Decor Pad


Color is a fantastic way to camo lives little mishaps while having some fun.  All colors, if intentional in a design, will be striking.  Wouldn’t you rather have some of these pieces instead of the color of the dirty brown blob?

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One last tip….measure everything before you buy anything.  The piece you are looking at, the doorways it has to come thru or go down. Always check the height of things.  Not only is it a disappointment when something you love won’t come in the house….it’s kinda embarrassing!

We welcome the opportunity to chat with you about how we can assist you with a plan for any room of your home.  We really want you to Love It…not want to Leave it!


Ask Us How We Can Help



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