10 November 2009

Seeing Red

So last night we decided to finally bite the bullet and go shopping for replacement couches or a sectional so that we can transform our living room from its current frat house rec room feel into something more sophisticated, yet cozy. We drove to the city and checked out 3 furniture stores and luckily for us, the experience got progressively better with each store we visited. Either that or we got worn down...

The first place we visited is the "go to" place for furniture in Oklahoma it seems. We've gotten most of our furniture over the years from Mathis Brothers, so it's the default place for us. [Did I mention we have no IKEA here?] After fueling up on leftovers at home, we trekked up to Mathis Brothers and upon entering the store were immediately stopped by the nice sales lady in waiting. We told her what we were looking for and then we made a break for the leather sectionals. We learned the difference between genuine leather (the real deal) and bonded leather (bologna equivalent). We looked high and low and were met with sales people galore and a whiny 7 year old who didn't like any of the couches we showed interest in.... she kept trying to get us to buy furniture that looked like it belonged in Alice in Wonderland or in an old folk's home.

On the way upstairs we witnessed a sales lady on her cell phone at the bottom of the escalator shouting at some shoppers on the up escalator "Are you okay?" with annoyance in her voice. They nodded their heads like they were ok (not sure they spoke English) and she yelled for them to get her if they needed anything (in a sort of threatening tone). We walked passed her and saw that her face matched her tone. She didn't try to sound or look happy to help the patrons...she seemed bothered that she had to take time away from her phone call. Wonder how that technique works for her...

Most of the brown leather couches looked on the cheap side and the one sectional that Scott and I liked (was specially tied 8 ways or something like that according to the salesman) was black and in the wrong configuration. We wanted red (raspberry) leather in the reverse configuration and THAT would have to be special ordered...and there would be additional fees applied...as well as they would need 40% down. Okee. We took the nice salesman's card and proceeded to the next store.

At Bob Mills we were met with a friendly sales guy who immediately took us to the most expensive Italian leather sectional (made in China) which was not hand tied 8 ways (according to him not the best). We admired it for a bit then looked at the sectional next to it which was cheaper, came with a free ottoman and 27" inch flat screen TV. Guess which one Emi wanted? While we muddled over the decision, the nice salesguy whisked our child away to retrieve some BALLOONS for her and give us some peace and quiet. After imagining what each sectional would actually look like in our living room, we decided that neither would work. We left for the next store hoping for some free snack food or coffee.

At Galleria Furniture we smelled baking bread in the parking lot. Interesting marketing technique...I like it! We went inside and were not immediately accosted by sales people....and Christmas music was playing...Oh Galleria, you sly dogs! What a way to get shoppers in the mood! We flitted around looking at gorgeous sectional after another when an older unassuming salesman came by to check in with us and offer himself up for questions. I liked how he let me do most of the talking...showed he knows how to handle a 40 year old female customer (that or he's been married for a long time). I enjoy the hang back sales technique...practically lets the customers sell the product to themselves... (And I excel at THAT!)

We found a configurable "sectional" that really peaked our interest - it's actually a bunch of pieces (corner, armless and ottoman) that we can configure however we want (no special order or special pricing) to fit our space and needs. The 3 of us seemed to be settling on the modular brown leather pieces (we love options!) until Emi pointed out same deal in red! The brown leather option was yesterday's news. So, we ordered 3 corner pieces, 4 armless pieces and 2 ottomans....all without measurements just guestimates of how many pieces will fit nicely into our living room. Half of the pieces were in stock and will be delivered tomorrow and the rest will come in from Dallas next week. We are so excited about getting rid of the green leather sleeper sofa and moving the futon up to the guest room. Will post pics later....

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