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Thread: Living Room Furniture Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Default Living Room Furniture Advice

    My husband and I have decided that it is time to purchase some living room furniture. Our current furniture consists of a hand-me-down sofa and loveseat that are worn and frumpy.

    We do have a very nice glass coffee table that I plan to keep for a long time, but other than that the whole room is open for improvement. This is our first home and this will be our first time purchasing furniture with a real budget.

    Our plan is to purchase a sofa and 2 chairs with ottomans.

    Here is some more information about us:

    We are located in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area. We donít have kids yet but we plan to have them within the next few years. We have a 1.5 year old Golden Retriever who enjoys snuggling up on the sofa, so whatever upholstery material we choose will have to be able to withstand some fur and nails. I do keep his nails trimmed but he is still capable of scratching things.

    My husband is a big lounger - he wants to be horizontal as much as possible - whereas I prefer staying upright. I have positional vertigo which makes me dizzy when my head is horizontal, so I only lay down when I am sleeping.

    We both enjoy the look of leather chesterfields. We have sat in a few and I find them to be very comfortable. I am able to lean against the sides without sinking. My husband also thinks they are very comfortable but Iím not sure if he can really lay down on them. Long story short, I think I want a chesterfield sofa, but I am open to the idea of something else.

    I love the look of burnished leather in a variety of browns (tobacco to espresso). Iím pretty sure if we go with a leather sofa it will be brown. If we choose a fabric sofa it will be a neutral white or beige tone.

    In terms of sofa shape and style, I strongly prefer more traditional styles. I want something that is tightly-upholstered with turned legs or casters. Some H&M chesterfield styles that I love are the Chancellor, Teton, Tavern, and Kent. For the chesterfields, I prefer the cushions over the tufted seats. The non-chesterfield H&M styles I love are the Utopia, Carmen, and Harvest.

    For the chairs, I love the look of wingback chairs. Iím also a sucker for intricate floral and geometric textiles, so I would love to get the chairs upholstered in something that really pops. It may be more practical to upholster them in something more neutral and add flair with printed pillows and throws.

    Our current sofa is 84Ē wide. I think that I could fit something up to 92Ē wide in that space, but that may be wishful thinking.

    With all of that in mind, I have some specific questions:

    1. We are looking to spend about $10-12k total. Is that enough to cover a sofa and 2 chairs from quality producers? We may choose to spread out the purchases if itís going to cost much more than that.
    2. Is it worth investing in top-quality pieces at this point in our lives? When I have kids running around, will I wish I had waited to buy my dream sofa?
    3. Does leather sound like a good fit for us? From what Iíve read, a semi-aniline protected leather with a distressed finish would be the best option. Does this sound right? Would a performance fabric be a better choice?
    4. What size/style sofa do you think will work best in this room?
    5. What size/style chairs do you think will work best in this room?
    6. Do you have any alternative ideas for which pieces would work and how to arrange them?

    I couldn't figure out how to attach images, so I created an album on imgur: https://imgur.com/a/hKgjx1N

    If this link doesn't work please let me know.

    Thanks in advance for anyone who responds to this. Just writing this out was useful exercise for organizing my own thoughts.

    EDIT: I figured out how to insert images directly into my post.

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    Last edited by SusanNC; 1 Week Ago at 06:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    Let's see what we can come up with to your questions.

    1) Yes, your budget it reasonable aod do-able, depending on the dealer (every dealer sets their own prices).

    2) Yes, top-quality pieces perform over time and have a longer lifespan. I raised my own kids on high quality leather furniture and they are long gone out of the house (ages 28 and 25) and we still have the same pieces in the house.

    3) Leather outlasts fabric 4 to 1, and with those white/cream colored fabrics you will have a soiling issue that will make you want to replace them long before they are actually worn out. Semi-Aniline is not necessarily superior to either finished or a pure aniline hide.

    4) Your TV is up very high, so based on that I would put two chairs side-by-side across from it, probably power recliners with articulating headrests. That would allow you to get comfortable watching that high-angle TV. The Sofa (Chesterfield would be fine) along the stair wall. Hard to say exactly what size, however. You want the room to look balanced, not overcrowded with too-large furniture.

    Your return air vent is in a tough location, not much you can do about that, but you can't fully block it. I'd try to keep pieces out of the windows, they don't add anything and make the room look cluttered. Get two nice barstools for that kitchen island!
    Last edited by drcollie; 1 Week Ago at 10:12 PM.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Beautiful Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    Hi, SusanNC.

    You have a very pretty space! Loving the wall and trim/cabinet colors and the wood flooring. Everything you've done has created a serene environment.

    Duane is such a wonderful resource and always gives spot-on advice. He definitely can help you make the very best decisions for getting exactly what you're wanting. My husband and I ordered four H&M pieces from Duane and are thankful for the guidance he provided. We ordered the Tavern sofa in Capri Tobacco, a pair of wingbacks in Hyde Park Tan and one matching ottoman. We could not be happier with our selections!

    Again, Duane absolutely is The Guru, so please consider my ideas as nothing more than just brainstorming.

    Would relocating the tv be possible? I realize having it over the fireplace provides viewing while working in the kitchen and holds most window glare at bay, but thought I'd ask, anyway. Since that return air vent is problematic, maybe the tv hanging over a narrow table would work there. Then, place your new sofa directly across from the fireplace and your pair of wingbacks in front of the windows across from the tv. You definitely would have to make sure to block/limit the light coming through those windows, but that has to be done with any piece of furniture, not just upholstered pieces. No doubt, this is not the perfect arrangement.

    One other thought...If you do decide to go with a pair of wingbacks, be aware that H&M has models of varying sizes. My husband and I originally considered the largest size, but due to the size of our space, ultimately went with the smaller model. I haven't checked in a while, but I believe H&M offers a reclining wingback, as well.

    Please, do post updates! I would love seeing how your room comes together.

    TXCajun

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    8

    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    TXCajun, I absolutely agree with you about the TV placement. The TV was already installed when we moved in. The previous owners sold it to us for $200 because it was an older model and they didn't feel like taking it down. It was convenient to already have it there when we moved in. From an aesthetic and ergonomic perspective, it would be better to have it on a console table facing the windows, but I do enjoy the convenience of having it viewable from the kitchen and the minimal glare. For that reason, it will stay put for now, but if we choose to move it in the future, it won't be hard to re-orient the furniture around it.

    Duane, thank you so much for the input and advice. I have to admit, I have never been a big fan of recliners. Itís really not the aesthetic I am looking for and I would prefer to have a sofa directly across from the TV. I know that isnít ideal ergonomically, but Iím pretty stubborn when I have an aesthetic opinion about something.

    I have a few more questions for you:

    1. I am really liking the 5592 Tavern Sofa. Iíve seen you mention on other threads that it is very comfortable. Is that still your opinion?

    2. Is there an ottoman you would recommend to use with the Tavern sofa? Probably upholstered in the same leather.

    3. How would you describe the comfort of the 6046-3-Q Harvest Quilted Sofa and 6046-3-T Harvest Tufted Sofa? I think that they are both so beautiful, but I donít know if they will offer the same coziness that a chesterfield would. FYI: I tend to put my feet up on an ottoman or tuck them up under me and lean against the arm of the sofa.

    4. Do you have any leathers come to mind that meet the following criteria:
    a. In the Class 3 price range.
    b. Would look good with light walls and light-colored rugs. I will always have a Golden Retriever in my life which means I will always have light colored rugs and carpeting, otherwise I would spend all my time vacuuming. Initially, I was thinking something very dark brown, like espresso, but I actually prefer the look of burnished light browns with a patina.
    c. Will look good on tufted pieces (like the Tavern or Harvest).
    d. Have a luxurious and antique look and feel.

    5. Do any (non-recliner) chair models come to mind that meet the following criteria:
    a. Comfortable to sit on, particularly with an ottoman.
    b. Would look nice next to a tufted leather sofa.
    c. Have a traditional, refined silhouette (i.e. wingback, some clearance between the seat and the floor, exposed woodwork, interesting upholstery, etc.)

    Here are some chairs I found on the Taylor King website that I really like:

    If you have personally sat on any of these, Iíd love to hear your feedback. Or, if you know of a model that other customers have been very happy with, please let me know.

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by SusanNC; 6 Days Ago at 02:42 PM. Reason: Added text formatting (bold, indents)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    I think the Tavern sofa is a top pick, in fact this particular one in this link was one of the finest sofas ever to come through the store. I prefer the tufted seat because it sits just as well if not better, and the styling is more integrated than the one with the top flat seat cushions:

    http://www.myfurnitureforum.com/show...ghlight=tavern

    Myself, I would probably pair it with a Robinson Tufted ottoman, that has a couple of drawers in it to stash TV remotes and maybe a tablet. And this one is not too big.

    http://www.hancockandmoore.com/Produ...cktail-Ottoman

    The Harvest sofas are fine, but its been a while since I sat on one. The Tavern sofa will look better as it has a low back, the Harvest is nearly 5" taller and will make more a visual block in the room from the kitchen.

    Any of the Burnished leathers are GR 3, and they all work great on tufted pieces.

    Possible chairs to use with a Tavern Sofa

    http://www.hancockandmoore.com/Produ.../Ashmore-Chair
    http://www.hancockandmoore.com/Produ...n-Tufted-Chair
    http://www.hancockandmoore.com/Produ...s/Tavern-Chair

    Sorry, no personal experience with any of the TK chairs you listed.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    8

    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    I prefer the tufted seat because it sits just as well if not better, and the styling is more integrated than the one with the top flat seat cushions
    I also like the style of the tufted seat, but I worry about dirt, dust, fur, and crumbs collecting in the tufts. There was a leather tufted ottoman in my house as a kid and I remember dog fur and other debris getting stuck in the tufts all the time. Is that a problem other people have or am I overthinking this? Another concern is that my dog will try and dig at the tufts.

    It seems like another benefit of getting the cushion seat is that you always have the option of replacing the cushion insert if they start to wear out.


    Thank you so much for your help! Right now I'm trying to convince my husband that it's worth a trip up to your store.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    If you have a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, then its super-easy to clean out anything in the tufts. They're not really too bad. Dog's don't bother them at all, in fact my Terrier thinks the 072 Campaign Ottoman is hers and likes to put her tennis ball in one of the tufts so it doesn't roll away when she's sleeping on top of it.

    Yes, you can replace the insert on the seat on a loose cushion variant.

    If you are in Raleigh, where you really need to go is to the H&M Factory on weekday (Hickory NC). I can set you up with a private tour that lasts 2 to 3 hours and you can see not only how they make it, but about a seventy-five pieces all ready to ship, right before they are packed. Watching how they tuft a sofa is worth the trip alone. About 2 1/2 hours west of you.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    8

    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    I can view all of the leathers and models at the H&M factory and then place an order through you? Is that correct?
    Thanks so much for your help Duane.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    Well...sortof. There is no showroom, it's a working factory and so the models you would see are the ones going through production at the main plant # 1. Usually there are about fifty to a hundred pieces at the end of the line waiting to get shipped. All the leathers are there, but they are not in a showroom environment. But you DO get to see how its made and talk the people that make it, and that is quite an experience. You'll come away knowing a whole lot more about furniture than when you went in. I love going to the factory because I learn so much and get to see so many cool things. Here's my 4th trip to the factory in June:

    http://www.myfurnitureforum.com/show...re-s-Factories

    Yes, you can order from my store or any dealer of your choice.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Living Room Furniture Advice

    Some quick thoughts

    Nice house! I like the colors and layout.

    I agree about moving the TV, it is way too high to be comfortable. If you decide to put it on the stair wall, one solution for the kitchen is a swing-out arm. I mounted a TV in a place I lived a few years ago and put it on a swing out swiveling arm, it made it so I would point the TV in about a 90 degree sweep and it would be a good solution for normal straight-on viewing and then swing it out for kitchen viewing. They are not too expensive either, I think ours was around $150.

    When you eventually have kids, plan to get rid of that glass coffee table or store it until they are much older. Trust me. You can either do it now, or plan your big purchases now around having an ottoman or rounded wood table later. Just keep it in mind.

    We have a tufted seat H&M chesterfield and yes the buttons do collect dust and fur and various things, both in the seat and the arms and back. It is easy to keep clean though, we just hit it occasionally with a battery powered small handheld vacuum. If you don't have one of these, I recommend it, they are a great purchase just to have around the house and we use it all the time (no more dustpans, just vacuum up the pile!), especially with a little kid that gets crumbs and stuff everywhere (so many crumbs). I think we got ours on sale at Costco some years back.

    One caution on the lower chesterfield style is they have nowhere to lean your head back. I don't know how you guys usually sit on your couch but if you want upper shoulder and head support you'd need to prop pillows on top or something. Also make sure you check the inside measurements for one that is long enough (I am 5'10" and the 65" inside depth is just long enough to lay down comfortably in most positions, I wish it was a couple of inches longer). Pay attention to the measurements of whatever chairs you get to match it too, like the matching Tavern chair is a small chair, comfortable but not for lounging.

    If you do go with the Tavern sofa or chair I would be inclined to get it with regular feet instead of the casters, both for durability and less annoyance. I have a H&M Richmond chair with casters and I constantly have to move it back into place.
    Last edited by Danw99; 5 Days Ago at 11:29 PM.

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