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Thread: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

  1. #1

    Default First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    Hello everyone,
    Long story short... my wife just finished the undergrad, medical school, residency, fellowship marathon and just got her first bonafide doctor job. We have 6 children and we have up until this point only had what I refer to as bachelor furniture from the Scandinavian Austerity Mart (I'll let you guess the company). After a long struggle we are moving to the next chapter in life and closing on a house in about 3 weeks. We need a considerable about of furniture (full house) as we have sold all the "bachelor furniture" and have been living in a fully furnished AirB&B for the past 4 months while looking for a house.

    With that out of the way, I'm now looking for "heritage furniture." I'm not sure that term really explains what I'm looking for but by "heritage furniture" I mean furniture that I could gift to my children 30-35 years from now knowing that this furniture will still be in great shape. I have browsed some of the threads in this forum and found out about Hooker Furniture and their lines along with Hancock and Moore for sofa's. I'm sure that some brands can be astronomical, so I won't say money is not an issue, but I'm looking for high quality. I'm not into modern style but also not looking for antiques you would see at an estate sale. We really like, but are not dead set on, the Chesterfield style for sofas but at the same time are potentially concerned with how a tufted style sofa might hold up to the abuse that my 2 and half year old twins can dish out. Definitely needs to be leather.

    Can someone much more knowledgeable recommend a couple different brands that fit the above quality and style criteria? We are looking to apply for financing for the furniture (looking to get 0% down for as long as we can) the day we close on the house in about three weeks and make the purchase at that time. So, we are probably behind schedule at this point and a decision needs to made rather quickly.

    I would appreciate whatever advise everyone can give.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    Well, everyone who uses Duane seems quite satisfied, but i don't believe Duane offers the kind of financing you are looking for. You could possibly find a credit card with a 0% introductory rate yourself, although those offers tend to be for transferring debt from other cards. In my area the only one who offers brands like Hancock and Moore an 0% financing is Stickley. I did get 18 month 0% financing from them but not 0% down. I believe you have to come up with at least 10% of what your total purchase it. They also offer 18 months only at certain times but they do offer 12 month financing all the time. In my area, long financing arrangements like no money down, long finance terms are for furniture at stores no where near the quality your talking about.

    The only brand I am familiar with that meets your quality criteria is H&M, although I have heard Leathercraft is pretty good, too. Stickley is good but even the Stikley sales person told me in her opinion, H&M is better. lI have some Hooker furniture, and it is fine for light to medium use furniture like an entertainment center, but I don't think it is heirloom quality. JMHO. That type of quality will be different manufacturers depending on the furniture you are talking about. I know there are very good companies that make beds and bedroom furniture, but they are usually not the same companies that make the best quality kitchen/dining room furniture.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
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    13,234

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    Financing costs money, no way around that. You as the consumer are going to pay for it one way or another, either straight up or in the cost of the goods.

    I used to run a Finance program through Synchrony Bank and only 3 months was "free" and no one wanted that. 12 months was costing me around 6% to run, and 18 months 12%. I don't have the profit margin in the price to absorb that so would have to tack it on as a surcharge which no one liked. Adding to that the fact Synchrony charged me $ 25 a month as maintenance, and it wasn't worth it My customers tend to be fairly well-off and would rather have a cash/check discount for the best possible price so I went to that model, as every credit card costs 3% to process. My credit card sales used to be 95% of all transactions - since I went to a cash discount model they are now reversed and less than 10% of all sales. Typically stores that are offering free financing are those that sell lower quality product that costs them very little tp buy with huge markups so they offer Free Financing, Free Delivery, etc., etc.

    Everyone wants "Heirloom" quality pieces, but very few want to pay for them, which is why the people that made that sort of thing are all out of business for the most part. I see that every single day my store is open. "How much does the best one cost you say? $ 6,000? I can only spend $ 2,500". Yesterday alone I had three different customers who want Hancock and Moore pieces done in higher-end leathers but have the budget for a Chinese import. The wood case good furniture market is even worse, most those people have moved into Kitchens, because people will pay $ 50,000 for a custom kitchen cabinet group but won't pay $ 4,000 for a correctly made chest of drawers.

    Having said that, no one tufts a Chesterfield like Hancock and Moore, while Leathercraft is pretty good, they don't get the magic of H&M when it comes to deep tufts on units that are comfortable to sit on. A fully tufted Chesterfield is also one of the hardest and most labor intensive pieces to make if you do it right, so they're going to be over $ 5K. Buttons are sewn on with needle and thread, not installed with a tagging gun like most cheaper makers use. As for durability with kids, what are the rules in the house? That determines if a sofa is going to last, not the piece itself. My wife and I raised both our two kids with top quality furniture in the house, it all survived just fine (we still have it all and they are in their late 20's now), but we had rules in the house and I would do the cleaning/conditioning protocol on the leathers pieces every 6 months. I've seen customers kids destroy the same quality of pieces in 3 years, too. The better pieces are made to last years, but ultimately it really depends on how the family uses the pieces.
    Last edited by drcollie; 09-15-2019 at 09:28 AM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    364

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    If I were you I would buy expensive case goods like book shelves, tables, etc (i.e. Stickley) that are timeless style and will last 50+ years, and then save some money on the upholstery. One because your kids will probably put decent wear and tear on your couches in the next 10 years and two because your style will probably change. If you want good quality that will still last you until all of the kids are done with high school but can save a bit of money look at Bradington Young and Taylor King for the upholstery.

    My personal experience with Hooker is they are an ok mid price brand but don't expect amazing quality. We had Hooker coffee and end tables and we got about eight years out of them, and that was with mostly no kids around.

    Regarding the chesterfield style, I love it too and they are very comfortable to sit on, but they aren't really a lounging sofa, and they offer no head support unless you put them up against a wall and prop pillows on the back, which ruins the style. Also with the tufting and kids or pets you will need to vacuum out the buttons often from the crud that magically accumulates. We have a chesterfield loveseat and a regular pillow couch. With six children I am not sure if you are looking for a bunch of individual pieces or a big sectional. Just something to consider since you need seating for at least 8.

  5. #5

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Financing costs money, no way around that. You as the consumer are going to pay for it one way or another, either straight up or in the cost of the goods.

    I used to run a Finance program through Synchrony Bank and only 3 months was "free" and no one wanted that. 12 months was costing me around 6% to run, and 18 months 12%. I don't have the profit margin in the price to absorb that so would have to tack it on as a surcharge which no one liked. Adding to that the fact Synchrony charged me $ 25 a month as maintenance, and it wasn't worth it My customers tend to be fairly well-off and would rather have a cash/check discount for the best possible price so I went to that model, as every credit card costs 3% to process. My credit card sales used to be 95% of all transactions - since I went to a cash discount model they are now reversed and less than 10% of all sales. Typically stores that are offering free financing are those that sell lower quality product that costs them very little tp buy with huge markups so they offer Free Financing, Free Delivery, etc., etc.

    Everyone wants "Heirloom" quality pieces, but very few want to pay for them, which is why the people that made that sort of thing are all out of business for the most part. I see that every single day my store is open. "How much does the best one cost you say? $ 6,000? I can only spend $ 2,500". Yesterday alone I had three different customers who want Hancock and Moore pieces done in higher-end leathers but have the budget for a Chinese import. The wood case good furniture market is even worse, most those people have moved into Kitchens, because people will pay $ 50,000 for a custom kitchen cabinet group but won't pay $ 4,000 for a correctly made chest of drawers.

    Having said that, no one tufts a Chesterfield like Hancock and Moore, while Leathercraft is pretty good, they don't get the magic of H&M when it comes to deep tufts on units that are comfortable to sit on. A fully tufted Chesterfield is also one of the hardest and most labor intensive pieces to make if you do it right, so they're going to be over $ 5K. Buttons are sewn on with needle and thread, not installed with a tagging gun like most cheaper makers use. As for durability with kids, what are the rules in the house? That determines if a sofa is going to last, not the piece itself. My wife and I raised both our two kids with top quality furniture in the house, it all survived just fine (we still have it all and they are in their late 20's now), but we had rules in the house and I would do the cleaning/conditioning protocol on the leathers pieces every 6 months. I've seen customers kids destroy the same quality of pieces in 3 years, too. The better pieces are made to last years, but ultimately it really depends on how the family uses the pieces.
    Great inside baseball on financing! We will be able to make the purchase without financing as well.

    In regard to heirloom, can you give a brand so that I can check it out? I'm curious as to what company you (a furniture store owner) would purchase if you were in my shoes? How about a best value brand? BTW I do plan on putting the order on the forum to gets quotes.

    Looked at the Stickley site and was surprised to see no designs that moved the needle.

    So true about rules. We had rules even our cheap furniture so no worries there.

    We really like the tufted sofas from H&M. We are now also considering a higher back tufted sofa after Danw99's response.

  6. #6

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    Quote Originally Posted by Danw99 View Post
    If I were you I would buy expensive case goods like book shelves, tables, etc (i.e. Stickley) that are timeless style and will last 50+ years, and then save some money on the upholstery. One because your kids will probably put decent wear and tear on your couches in the next 10 years and two because your style will probably change. If you want good quality that will still last you until all of the kids are done with high school but can save a bit of money look at Bradington Young and Taylor King for the upholstery.
    This is great insight! I cook at least 2 meals a day for the family and will absolutely abuse a dining room table. Perhaps we should go with a rugged and rustic farmhouse table that will hide the abuse well. Probably need some rugged chairs for the table as well with leather upholstery.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    364

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    We have a Stickley dining table and while our daughter is young we just put a table pad on it to protect it from her. The ones from here are great: https://customtablepadsusa.com/tablepads.htm

    Granted, if you are just covering it up anyway you lose some of the benefit of buying nice furniture since you never get to see it! If a rustic farmhouse table fits your style that is a great option too. And you can save space by using benches versus everyone having their own chair. One tip since you have young kids is do not get a pedestal table! Too easy to tip or crack supports if they put weight on one edge.

    On the chairs, again for our Stickley dining chairs they are fabric but it is really easy to re-upholster most dining chairs. For the chair our three year old sits in we keep the cushion covered anyway with a waterproof cover because she always gets food in it. This is the one we use in a green color: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078RSB49J/

  8. #8
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    Jan 2018
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    220

    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    You really can't go by a website. Anyone that carries H&M can pretty much order any style from them. H&M is not a walk in, carry out your sofa brand, its custom. You don't order this kind of furniture from a website. You need to visit or contact the stores and price out the different styles and leathers based on what you are looking for. The possible combinations from H&M alone are almost endless. Most stores only have a few sofa pieces, more chairs and recliners, but still a limited selection. If you are interested in H&M, look at their website, visit anyone local that has pieces on display that you can see and sit on, then decide what you want and who you want to deal with and get a few prices. For me, being local in case there are any issues, and customer service mean as much as price, although price certainly has to count in my budget. But for the quality of furniture you are talking about, in my opinion you need to get off your computer and go to some of the places that carry those brands. Unless you really going to order something without ever sitting on an H&M sofa.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: First Real Furniture Purchase!!! Need some help though...

    i'm pretty well convinced that if your house caught fire and burned, this rustic table and chair set would still standing. If there's a tougher table and chair set that's not made out of stainless steel, then I haven't see it.

    http://www.myfurnitureforum.com/show...-and-Chair-set

    What do I buy? I buy the best made stuff for the kitchen and family rooms, because that's where you live. High quality pieces hold up. Buy a grade or two down for formal living rooms or bedroom chairs as that furniture is rarely used. Well made product will show wear and tear, but doesn't fail.

    I don't recommend "Brands" here on the forum as previously mentioned in other posts here. Why? Because that would require me to do nothing but travel and tear furniture down constantly, which I have neither the time or finances to do. You can't tell a build unless you can look inside the piece, flip it over, and in some cases break it down. Rather learn what makes good furniture (it's all posted here in older posts) and then use that information to do you research. If you are asking what I buy for leather furniture? Hancock and Moore for myself, Bradington Young for my adult children.
    Last edited by drcollie; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:33 AM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

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