Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cindy is feathering her nest with Leather

I’m an HVGT fanatic. That’s HGTV to those of you who aren’t dyslectic, or in my case cross-eyed from spending so much time at the computer lately. Not enough time, apparently, was spent taking decorating advice from the experts.

I bought new family room furniture last week. This, after looking for months in any number of retail outlets and on line. You name it, I saw it. I mentioned that I watch HGTV, right? So, I should know all about color and scale and yada yada. So, why is it then that I now have an elephant and his little brother in the room?

I wanted leather mostly because I’ve developed a bad dust mite allergy and my allergist suggested that the next time I get furniture to go leather. I, of course, heard that as: You need to buy new furniture. You can see where I’m coming from.

Anyway, I made a to-scale rendering of the room on paper. I measured furniture in stores, made templates that I moved around on the paper to help me decide on my outside limits and my ideal limits for size. Yes, I recognize that it was anal. I figure, hey, I’m going to live with this stuff for a long time and I want it to be right. So, I finally find the perfect new leather pieces – a sofa and a loveseat. I’m excited. I buy them.

Today, they were delivered. Color – great! Texture – great! Comfort level – fantastic X 10! Scale – how did I go wrong??? It looked so perfect in the showroom and on my template. In my actual room, however, the two pieces look like over stuffed Dumbos. I don’t get it. Oh, it’s not horrible. It's kind of like looking in the mirror at my own rear view and thinking, "I didn't know my butt was that big." But the truth is, it is big. In fact, I think this furniture makes my butt look even bigger and that fries me too :o(

All right, it’ll work, but it feels more like a near miss than a bull’s eye and I'm not in love like I wanted to be. I’m thinking that now, the only thing to do is by a newer bigger house to go with it. So far, DH is not on board with that idea.

I did, however, have one shopping success. And of course, it was by accident which makes a mockery of my careful planning. I wanted a chair for my office. Just a little side chair that would look nice with the loveseat. First chair I saw, I liked and bought on sale, no less, and wow. It’s perfect.

Buddy and Sly think so too as you can see by this photo. Guess that should be a lesson to me. Next time I make a major new furniture buy (which will be oh - twenty years from now), screw the careful, painstaking planning and just buy the first thing that looks good.

So, how about you? Ever make a bad choice you have to live with? Car? Furniture? Husband? Lipstick? And what do you do when that happens? I mean, it’s not like I can shove these two elephants in my trunk and ask for my money back. It wasn’t their fault I was blind….


Anne said...

Maybe it'll grow on you, Cindy? I love the chair. Love it! Yeah, I made a bad choice with a husband. Heh. Made it almost 19 years ago. He's still here. When can I exchange him for a new one? Twenty years you say? Snort.

Liza said...

Love the chair Cindy. I actually ended up getting this huge chair that matched my sofa. I thought it would be the perfect reading chair. The problem with the chair is it's hard to position in the room. It is too big for a corner, and my living room is just the wrong size for the chair. I've had the chair for several years and it pretty much just holds my coats until I hang them up.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Anne! Something tells me that if you've made it 19 years, maybe it wasn't such a bad choice after all ?? :o)
Liza - I feel your pain :o) And I had one of those chairs BEFORE I made this 'perfect' purchase. As Anne said, maybe it'll grow on me..

lois greiman said...

In my younger years I used to buy these gorgeous horses that kept trying to kill me. Now I treat my horses more like a spouse. I don't get new ones, I don't get rid of my old ones, but when they're acting like doofus I b**** until they shape up. Okay, and sometimes I withold treats. :)

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - you're talking about withholding carrots, right?? :o)

Playground Monitor said...

I have a dining room mistake and I used a decorator! The furniture is too big for the room, but unless I want to sell about $10K worth of furniture for pennies on the dollar, I'm stuck. I depended on her to make sure everything fit. I even had to put the sideboard in the foyer and put the foyer table in the dining room to make it all fit. And the two leaves that go in the table? Forget about it. The room isn't long enough to handle the table at that length. ::sigh::

I wonder if the reason your sofa and loveseat don't look right is that your room has a standard ceiling while the furniture showroom has a HUGE ceiling. Tall ceilings make the whole room look different (that's part of the problem with my dining room -- average room with a 12 foot ceiling = room that looks much bigger than it is.)

As for buying a new house... I tell folks that's why we bought a new house 3 years ago -- because the DH wanted a big a$$ TV and the old house wouldn't accommodate one. ::double sigh::

You'll get used to it. I love my leather sofa. It's great to sink back into and watch TV or read.


Michele Hauf said...

Cindy, obviously you just need to tote the cats along on your next furniture excursion. They seem to know what works. :-)

My only shopping disasters tend to be bras. 'Nuf said.

Betina Krahn said...

Cindy, I feel your pain. I, too, have made bad furniture purchases. Once I was seduced by the skin-like feel of expensive leather. . . that tempted me to take of all my clothes and roll around on it. . . but stained like crazy and looked like a bedraggled old tart before its time. I've made many fewer mistakes since I stopped listening to male advice. (Current sig other, excepted.)

My opinion. . . you don't marry the damned furniture or give birth to it (usually), so if it doesn't please you, sell it, give it to the kids, or donate it to a church parlor somewhere and get something you really like. OR send it back to the store where you got it, even if you have to pay a "restocking" fee. Life's too short to live with something you hate! And in all honesty, you don't always know what you want until you are stuck with something you abhor. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. . . and make a few wrong turns on the path to decorating Nirvana.

I used to be ashamed of the fact that I have wildly disparate taste in furnishings. One room is a Victorian tea cozy and another is a Tuscan villa knock-off. For me, it works. Took a long time for me to find my comfort level and just enjoy what I like.

And I really like your chair AND the critters on it. You've got great taste!

Christie Ridgway said...

I think you will get used to the new furniture, Cindy. Sometimes that's all it takes.

But when you asked about bad purchases, "lipstick" caught my eye. Have I bought a ton of bad lipstics! And every other kind of make-up. But is anyone else like me? Every time I buy a new piece I'm just conviced that =this= is what I need to become truly beautiful. This eyeshadow or mascara or lipliner is the absolute one thing that will turn me into a knockout!

Advertising must be that good.

Betina Krahn said...

Oooooh, bad lipstick. I wonder what would be the average score if we did a census of how many unusable tubes of lipstick women have. Whaddaya think? six? ten? more?

It's the pinks that get me every time. I'll buy something in what I think is a lovely "autumn-friendly" shade and when I try to wear it the first time it turns some ghastly shade of pink on me! I can't do pinks. I look awful in them. Why is it harder for me to get rid of a lipstick than a bad sofa?

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- Leather is such a change. Some of what you're seeing might be the "big" change in feel of leather versus upholstery. Maybe. (g)

But leather is WONDERFUL. As someone who grew up with naugahyde (or whatever that fake leather stuff from the 60's was and that my mother just had to have) I was wary of leather. I remembered that every summer I'd rip the backs of my legs off after sitting on it!

Then a decorator convinced me to try a leather recliner for my husband. We fight over it. We love it. I wouldn't care if it was the elephant in the room because it's sooo wonderful to sit in.

In terms of making decorating choices, I sometimes blow scale because how I live my life trumps the careful decorating plan. :) If I want a chair-and-a-half because I need the room for me AND my cats then I don't really care that the chair is slightly bigger than it should be.

Cindy Gerard said...

Marilyn - hugs on the dining room and I fully understand the big screen TV issue.

Michelle - Oh, yeah. The BRA. Have made my share of mistakes there too - and swim suits. For whatever reason, when I try them on they never look like they do on the manikin.

Cindy Gerard said...

Betina - sound advice. I'm not sure that it will come to returning it but you are absolutely right about taking it back if I hate it. I don't hate it. I just don't know if I love it :o)
And Christie - I'm hoping you're right. It will just take getting used to.

Deb has a point. I am used to upholstery and a pattern so that may be part of the problem. I have a side chair ordered that is being custom upholstered with a bit of a pattern for a little punch. Ordered extra fabric to make pillows for the sofa and loveseat. When that arrives, I may be singing a different tune. Fingers crossed.

Oh - and the DH has pretty much decided the 2 pieces are the best thing to hit this house since the big screen so he's already married to it and since I'm married to him ...

Betina Krahn said...

Gotcha. The big boys are here to stay. Yeah, I think some throw pillows will do the trick. . . those and a little time. :)

Keri Ford said...

Lots of makeup mistakes in my time. They have all found their way into a basket I keep hidden under the sink. My little boy recently found this basket and now most of those unwanted items have a)landed in the trash b)landed in the toliet then went to the trash c)landed somewhere in the house and then went to the trash OR d)is hiding somewhere in the house and when found will land in the trash.

It's been a wonderful way of cleaning out unwanted stuff without hearing the hubby say, wasn't that a $15.00 full bottle of something?

Cindy Gerard said...

Happy cleaning, Keri :o) My old make up goes out in the play house DH built for the grandkids. Oh my, do they love to get into that stuff. I know mom and dad cringe but we just grin when we see the 4 year old boy come outside of the playhouse with eyeshadow on his cheeks and lipstick on his eyebrows. Can't wait to dig out THOSE photos when he's 16 ...

Playground Monitor said...

I've stopped buying make-up I can't sample first. Of course that means I pay more per item, but I no longer have tubes of lipstick or bottles of foundation that aren't right. So ultimately I save money.

I have an upholstered chair, two upholstered ottomans and throw pillows that match in my great room along with the leather sofa. It makes a huge difference. And get yourself a nice fluffy throw too. I have one that stays on "my side" of the sofa and it's what I snuggle under when I read or watch TV.


Cindy Gerard said...

Hey, thanks Marilyn. I'm looking forward to getting the chair and the pillows and hoping they pull everything together. already have the fluffy throw :o) Can't live without it.

Helen Brenna said...

Most furniture stores will let you return things, even if it's special order, for a restocking fee. Send them back if you spend a few days with them and still hate them.

Years and years ago, I made the mistake of letting my dh buy a new bed for us. Had a little baby and didn't want to go out to the stores. I swear, he brought back a piece of plywood that thing was sooo hard. Then, instead of being assertive and sending it back within the next 30 days, I suffered through the next ten years. Will NEVER do that again!

Cindy Gerard said...

You're a better woman than I am Helen. Ten years? Yikes and ouch.

flchen1 said...

No kidding, Helen--Cindy's right--I don't think I could suffer with a unsatisfying bed for 10 years... especially if I'd just had a baby. Anything that adds to sleep deprivation is an extremely bad thing in my book... which would mean it'd be a very bad thing for our household in general ;) I'm not very nice when I haven't had enough sleep!

I don't think we've had too many bad furniture choices, but oodles of make-up. Thankfully those are pretty easy to shove in the trunk, so to speak.

Love the chair! And yes, definitely try throw pillows or a throw of some kind--it's surprised me how much a little color/pattern can really change the look of a room!

Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks flchen. I'll hold out for the accents. thanks to everyone for their comments. It's starting to grow on me a little more so there's still hope :o).

Anonymous said...

Ciao Cindy!
Speaking about wrong purchases………….Many years ago, I went to CARTIER in Via Condotti ( do you remember the place?) to buy a watch for me. I knew exactly what model I had to buy but ,when I entered the shop and I was sitting at one of the tables ,with all that shining stuff around , I fell under a spell and I bought a wrong one.!! When I arrived home, the effect of the spell vanished when my husband asked me why I had bought a model without the date on the quadrant and smaller than the one I wanted. Well…I guess because the role of the rich lady…..wasn’t exactly mine!.
Of course , being a Cartier it has being functioning perfectly in all this years but.. I can’t help to tell myself that I was really dumb!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Rossella. Glad to hear that even a savvy Roman woman like you can make a mistake sometime. Although, I hardly think that anything Cartier could be a mistake :o)