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Display Name: sduck
Member Since: 5/11/10

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This original post is quite old, but I discovered it while looking for an answer to the same question as the original poster. While my own Home Reserve purchase is still under consideration, I wanted to mention a few details that no one else has mentioned.

First of all, customer service is great about e-mailing back with specific answers to any questions that aren't covered on the web site or their Youtube Channel...both of which have a lot of info. I had questions about arms and cushions, and they answered me back by the next morning. (And my follow-up question was answered within 20 minutes.)

Secondly, as of now (March 2013) they are in the process of changing the design of the seat deck, so that there is some flexible webbing under the cushions instead of just solid board like a futon. (Right now, you can order with either the webbing, or the solid OSB.) That should give the seats a little more bounce, and it might address some of the comments about the seats being too hard.

Thirdly, I'm considering a sectional. Once you total the price of all the pieces and then add nice premium fabric, the price is very competitive, but it's still a bit of an investment. If you're afraid to commit to that big a purchase without being able to sit on it first, they offer a pretty great deal. You can order just a single sectional piece (an armless piece that goes in the middle) in the fabric of your choice. Put it together, try it out for a while to test quality and comfort, and if you don't like it, they'll refund your money INCLUDING shipping costs. Yes, you'd have to deal with vacuum squishing a couple of foam cushions back in the box, but it's a lot better than trying to re-package a whole sectional, and then having to pay to ship it back. And it gives you more opportunity to really test it out and evaluate the quality than you would if you bought it from a furniture store, where you usually only spend a few minutes sitting and bouncing around on it. (Unfortunately, that offer only applies to sectionals - not chairs and couches.)

Those three factors really swayed me. I've ordered fabric swatches, and after I've picked one, I'm going to order the single sectional piece. My husband is dubious (and grumpy) about buying something we have to put together, but hopefully this test piece will give us an idea of whether the Home Reserve thing is really for us.

Good Questions: Are Home Reserve Sofas Decent?
3/7/13 03:32 PM

Annie - I just realized you're in the L.A. area. The place we found those laminate counters was Builder's Surplus, in Santa Ana. Their prices are worth the drive.

How To Update Outdated Oak Kitchen Cabinets?
Good Questions

3/24/11 02:50 PM

Would your husband at least agree to replace a few of the doors with matching glass insert ones? That's one way to make those oak cabinets look a little newer and more upscale. It also keeps all that wood from becoming overwhelming.

Getting rid of that wood breadbox would give you a cleaner, less cluttered line in your cabinets, and it would free up a lot of counter space.

That style of oak cabinet is traditional by definition, and it could look weird if you try to go too modern. Instead, I'd find some handles that are still traditional, but simpler and more elegant. I'd replace the valance and curtains with something classier and less frilly country kitsch.

You should take one of your cabinet doors to the paint store with you and hold a lot of different paint chips up to it. Sometimes you'll find that a color you never considered complements the wood tone really well.

I know you said you don't have the budget for new counters, but they don't have to be a huge investment. I know everyone wants granite. We had too much counter space for that to be affordable, but we found a discount builder's warehouse in our area that had pre-formed counters in the newer, better-quality laminates (like Wilsonart HD), with nice bullnosed edges and built-in backsplashes. They cut each piece to our exact size specs, and it was easy to install ourselves. My husband and I managed to demo our old counters and install the new ones in a day, all for about $300. True, it's not granite, and a few years down the road we may decide to upgrade. But it looks more upscale than you'd think, and makes an amazing difference in the kitchen.

How To Update Outdated Oak Kitchen Cabinets?
Good Questions

3/24/11 02:46 PM

Re: microfiber. You have to be really careful about the type and quality of it. I had a microfiber sofa that lasted for years and cleaned up easily, but the one I have now is a different story. Any kind of liquid - even the cleaning solution that came with it - leaves nasty, black-around-the-edges water marks. After a couple of years the whole thing needs to be replaced. It's made me wary of microfiber in general.

Next time I think I'll just go for a regular, tight-weave fabric with a bit of a pattern to it (nothing "wooly" that the critters will be tempted to scratch at), and then Scotchguard it like crazy. My parents and grandparents always used that stuff, and their sofas lasted for years.

One other thing to keep in mind with pets: If your sofa is the kind with separate cushions on the back, it tends to develop permanent indentations from the cats and dog lying up there all the time. For my next sofa, I'm going to try the kind with a solid back.

Suggest Pet Friendly Fabric & Couches?
Good Questions

3/24/11 01:26 PM

Tacky and rude.

Here's the way it's supposed to work: throwing a party is an act of hospitality and generosity on the part of the host. Unless someone else is throwing the party for you, it's your obligation to provide the food and drink, and to see that everyone has a good time. (Not the other way around.)

No one is ever obligated to bring a gift to a party... not even to a wedding or birthday party. It's a guest's prerogative to bring a gift if he/she wishes. Registering for gifts gives people the impression that you expect presents as a sort of "price of admission" to the party... which is tacky.

That said, many of us were brought up with the adage that you never come to a party empty-handed. But that generally means we arrive with a token gift: a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, some homemade food. When you register for gifts, you effectively demean those small acts of kindness by saying, "Your prized homemade fudge isn't good enough for me. I want something from the Williams & Sonoma catalog."

If someone wants to buy you a fancier gift, that person should know you well enough to know what you like, want, and need. Putting you on the spot to tell them what you want is just rude.

And for God's sake, don't open all the gifts at the party and display them to your guests. It will only make people feel cheap for not spending as much as others, and perpetuate the attitude that we all need to drop a lot of money on gifts for each other.

If you disagree with any of this, ask yourself if you're prepared to buy a gift every time someone you know moves, gets engaged/married/promoted/pregnant/divorced, starts or ends a job/school, has a baby, a birthday, an anniversary, a major surgery, or a kid with a birthday or preschool graduation. It gets expensive.

And in the end, isn't it better just to enjoy each other's company with a little food and wine?

Tacky or Tasteful? Registering For a Housewarming | Apartment Therapy Los Angeles
5/11/10 06:27 PM