Sunday, January 27, 2019

Our hunt for the "perfect-for-us" sofa

Who's looking for a sofa too?? We've been on the hunt for quite a while, a few years actually, ahem! :) It's become quite a challenge for us since we always need to find the balance between: our available space, budget, intended use and aesthetic qualifications (especially of my husband).

I mean, our living area is used for a lot of things and it also forms part of the dining area. We could probably do away with the sofa, as we've obviously living without it, right? But I dunno...I just don't feel comfortable to have guests over without being able to offer them a seat on the couch. Haha..Yes, we could use the dining table and chairs if it's strictly for that but for me, a sofa really represents not only our hospitality to guests, but more so, our fond and loving interactions with our family. Needless to say, even if we are still co-sleeping and bed-sharing with the kids, spending active time with them (reading, braiding, story-telling, anything under the sun) is really different when done in bed. Well, we'll have to see about that when the "chosen one" arrives :p

For a while I've been following several Japanese Instagram accounts that feature #MyGoodRoom tag. Yup, go check that tag this instant and most likely you too would be captivated by the simplicity, elegance and real-life functionality of their living spaces. Regardless if their space was huge or small, there's this recurring vibe that simply resonates with us too. Kumbaga, yun na talaga yung peg namin! I loved it so much that whenever we get stuck in traffic, I'll instantly go to that tag and admire, sometimes even send a message to ask where they got the furniture from. As in we were really thinking about importing from Japan. However, I found out that they don't come cheap! It'll go upwards of PHP 150,000.00 - shipping not included pa. Yikes! That's way above our heads! 

So we decided to just look at options that range from PHP 15,000-35,000. Anything 'fancier' than that would definitely break our budget (what budget?? hahaha). Conversely, anything that's cheaper than that would probably be smaller in size or the quality may not be up to par with our family's needs.

When Daddy A and I talked about it, we decided on the following:

  1. A 3-seater that's not too long nor too bulky
  2. No corners because we still have a kulit toddler
  3. Fabric should be leatherette, preferably. In  neutral colors or it should be in white / off-white. If need be, a shape which I can make  (sew) a pillow cover / slip cover for.
  4. Should be easy to clean - vacuum / wipe down
  5. Should at least match our existing dining table that's in light wood finish. 
  6. Preferably Japanese / Scandinavian design aesthetic
  7. Clear under-sofa so we can vacuum regularly
  8. Something we can really live and relax in and not be too high-maintenance

Back to the drawing board, we looked at furniture stores and also asked for recommendations from our friends. This is the short list of our store options and some of my insights on them:

  • LUFU (Binondo) - I haven't visited the place, maybe seen from afar lang. My husband says that they are mostly offering traditional/classical designs. If I'm not mistaken, this might be where he purchased our Lazy-boy-like rocker/recliner in my earliest breastfeeding days :)
  • Lazada (Pearl Panda seller) - We liked the Kruzo sofa but when we visited their warehouse (near J. Abad Santos) to check on the quality, hubby was a bit skeptic if it'll really last long. Especially with kids running and jumping around! If it was just the 2 of us, we'd probably get this because it's very affordable. I almost bought it during the 11.11 sale! Gosh!
  • Mandaue Foam (Quezon Ave.) - I did some online shopping in their website and liked a few. It was well below our budget too! But hubby did not approve the design cause it won't go well with the existing furniture.
  • SM Our Home (Mall of Asia) - I'm guessing this would have to be one of their biggest showrooms, or at leasat one of the most updated ones. We liked a few in terms of the look. But hubby did not like when the seat level is too low. I would have loved to buy from SM so that I could at least collect SM Advantage points :)
  • Furniture Republic (Solenad, Nuvali) - while being here on a side trip post-Christmas, hubby visited their showroom and liked a display in Nuvali.
  • Furniture Source (online, Santolan) - we've been fans of Ikea products and the Nordic furniture/space look in general. It feels very similar to the Japanese minimalist grams I've been ogling in the past.

VERDICT?


Ta-daaaahhh!!! I found a sofa (with lamp freebie) on sale online and immediately carted it LOL!! :D 

Expectation: Karlshamn 5-in-1 Sofa bed

Reality: A bit smaller than the picture but fits right in the space we have for it :)

So, it is really nowhere near the peg we were originally going for. BUT! There are still some elements that were still present: leatherette, white / oak combination, size and I guess that's about it hahaha :)

What I'm trying to say is that there are a lot of aspects we have foregone in this sofa hunt! As a marketer too, it's fun to observe such Consumer Behavior in action (even my own) affected by sales and freebies. 

Did I like it? My heart sank a bit when I saw IRL how it appears smaller compared to the picture.  My husband is a stickler for measurements and he did check on this aspect but there was really a difference as well in some of the features shown in the picture (throw pillow size, oak color). I even asked if we can exchange it for something else in their store since the item wasn't delivered yet. They didn't allow it and since this was my idea and my doing after all, I decided that that was to be the extent of my mini buyer's remorse :p 

Of course, Daddy A gave me a knowing look and reminded me to see the actual product first before even carting (next time). To be fair, the sofa has it's own merits too:

  • 5-in-1 sofabed
  • Ottoman with storage. It can be attached to the sofa side or be used as a foot stool or even as a center table
  • Pull-down center backrest. Can be used as a table for tea or reading. Definitely won't use it for eating as the crumbs might fold back into the sofa
  • Extra pull-out storage drawers
  • Armrest can be attached to left or right side of the sofabed

UNBOXING

After about a week from the store visit, they were able to deliver our order. I calmed myself and learned to love our new sofabed. Count and be grateful for your blessings, as they say :) 




We had to move everything out of the way and finish our set-up that night. 

It was really a good thing that we visited the store to still check on it. Otherwise I'd have the surprise of my life!! Happy as I was with the white leatherette, I immediately realized that as long as our kids are toddlers, this seat HAS to remain covered. Hence we make do with our single-sized bed sheet draped over the sofabed. Eeeepp! :D


One day soon I'll make a spandex cover for this. Till that time, we'll be alternating between the bed sheet and the katsa/canvass cover I practiced sewing on :)


Our freebie Lersta lamp :)


So to all mommies web-surfing sofas / couches, I hope you will seriously consider seeing the actual product before buying online. Even if dimensions are fully stated in the website, there is a world of a difference to see the real-life look and feel of your chosen furniture. 

Happy hunting! :)

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