Monday, February 11, 2008

You Know Your House Isn't New Anymore When... start replacing the furniture.

It's been a little over three years since we made our way to Duloc Manor in an ice storm, and almost four years since construction was completed. Our happy home long ago lost that "new house smell," and cat hair tumbleweeds, nicked walls, and other signs of wear, tear, and animal life are the norm.

I never really thought about just how long we've lived here till I realized that it was time to replace the family room sofa. Since I work at home, I spend a lot of time on the couch which is pretty much my "office." It was a cheap couch to begin with, and the flimsy foam cushions were getting flattened out. Add a few coffee spills to that and you can see why I was ready for something new. Also, it was the type with loose pillows against a flat back instead of built-in cushions, which was taking a vicious toll on my back.

Thus it was that we headed out to Orange Blossom Trail, home of innumerable furniture stores. We started at Kanes, where I saw one couch that was semi-passable. I was looking for something with thick back cushions, in a heavy cat claw-resistant material, and in a very neutral beige or light brown. That narrowed down our selections, but the one that filled the bill was a nice model that even had built-in recliners on either end. I thought we might have found our new couch.

Since we were almost to the mall, hubby suggested that we check out Rooms to Go, where we had purchased much of our original furniture. Since it was a lazy Saturday, I figured, "What the heck?" We ventured down the road, crawling in the always-jammed mall traffic, and eventually reached our destination.

Like Kanes, Rooms to Go had limited options that met our three criteria, but where was one nice brown couch, made of just the right material, and it had recliners just like the one at Kanes. But then the salesman pointed out the feature that instantly won me over: built-in massage! A center console flipped down, with cup holders and massage switches. I could just picture myself, tied to my laptop with an aching back, being able to flip on the massage and instantly finding relief from my ergonomic self-abuse.

There was a matching loveseat (sans the massage and recline), so we measured the two pieces and returned to Duloc Manor to see if they would fit. Happily, they would actually fit better than our original couch and loveseat, leaving enough room for me to switch around our end tables and add a file cabinet for all my paperwork.

There had been a sale the day we visited; I went online a few days later and was disgruntled to discover that the sale was over and our pieces had skyrocketed in price! Oh well, we figured that another sale had to come around sooner or later, so we'd bide our time till then.

As luck would have it, the very next week we got a new sales flyer with a $100 off coupon. We didn't know how much the sofa and loveseat had been marked down to in this latest sale, but we figured we'd pop over and see. We were quite excited to discover that they were actually a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the original sales price...both pieces were now being sold as a set for $999.

The bad news was that our coupon was only good for items $1000 and above. The good news is that we added on the stain guard, which brought the total over $1000. The coupon covered almost the entire cost of the stain treatment, so it was like getting that for free. We had it on the old couch, so I can vouch from experience that it works.

We finalized our purchase and set up a delivery date. Now the only challenge was getting rid of the old furniture. Even though the couch was showing its wear, the loveseat was in virtually brand new condition. I figured I would advertise it on Celebration's intranet, and if no one wanted it, I'd have to pay the fee to have the garbagemen take it away. But that bugged me because I just hate to discard anything that still has some useful life remaining.

As luck would have it, I didn't even have to advertise. Someone had already posted on the forum seeking furniture and household goods for a needy family. Arrangements were quickly made for the old couch and loveseat to go to a new home where they could do some good. They were picked up on Wednesday, and the new furniture wasn't due till Saturday, so I temporarily moved my office into the formal room at the front of the house. I didn't realize that the change in routine would disgruntle Truman, my quaker parrot.

Tru's cage is between the kitchen and family room, so when I am working I am in his line of sight. He likes to play on his cage top jungle gym and takes comfort from having a "flock member" nearby. However, he can't see me when I'm in the formal room; he knew I was there because he could hear the television, but he was all alone (even the cats had taken refuge in the front of the house with me).

All of a sudden I heard a rustling of feathers and then loud squawking right outside the room. Tru had flown down the hallway and was waddling towards the sound of the TV, making angry birdy squawks to express his displeasure at being excluded. I cuddled him for a bit to show him that he was still a valued member of the family.

The days passed quickly, and soon it was Delivery Day. Having been scarred by previous unrealistic delivery dates and timeframes, I wasn't expected the truck to show up anywhere close to the four-hour window we were given. Imagine my surprise when the new furniture showed up right smack dab in the middle of the quoted timeframe!

The new pieces were brought in and set up, much to the chagrin or Truman and the cats, all of whom don't like change to their environment. But the cats soon realized that this was new territory to explore. It was a riot to see their expressions when I turned on the massage and the couch started "purring." Soon both had curled up on the new loveseat and were contentedly shedding and snoozing.

It took a little while to get used to the new look of the family room, but now it feels like "home" again. I love having a center console to hold my coffee cup and other essentials such as the remote, the phone, etc. I've used the heck out of the massage already too.

Thankfully I don't think any other pieces of furniture are near needing replacement, so hopefully things will be stable at Duloc Manor for a while.

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1 comment:

Denise in PA said...

Hi Barb, Good to see a new post! How's the book coming along?