A couple of weeks ago, Pam and I were given the opportunity to fly down to Huntington Beach, CA to fully furnish a 3600 sqft home…now
these opportunities are few and far between. Fully furnish?? FUN!! Gotta say we had some pretty cool clients….our parents!
We were, though, working within some pretty clear, and “beyond the norm”, parameters. First, we had 29 hours to complete the task…and
those of you who know me won’t be surprised to hear that a solid night’s sleep was carved out of that precious time!
The other non-negotiable: the home needed to ready for living in little over a month. Translation: In stock items only …no 10-12 week
leadtime would be acceptable, which is standard for many furniture stores.
Our plan of attack:
#1. Pre-Trip Research. Pam and I spent hours scouring big box furniture stores on line. We honed in on Restoration Hardware, Crate and
Barrel, West Elm, Z Gallerie and Williams & Sonoma Home. Knowing the style that our parents favored, we created schemes with these online products for every room in the house. This was our “jump off” point.
#2 Day One- Hit the Ground Running…that was, after we landed! We visited all of the above stores and viewed everything we had suggested
before the trip. We took TONS of pictures (with Pam’s handy dandy new iPad2!). That took all day. Gotta admit, it was more than slightly unnerving to end the first day having purchased nothing!
#3 Organize and finalize our decisions- Late that night, our boss (aka dad) created one of his infamous spreadsheets….seriously, there are
no well-thought out decisions of his that don’t involve a bunch of chicken scratch on graph paper. I will concede it was helpful…a list of each room, exactly what we required in each room, our choices to date, and the holes that
we still needed to fill.
We had the plan…what followed was some animated banter between Pam and Dad about his plan for bartering (GASP!). Her argument that big box stores aren’t like the “old school” furniture stores (where all prices are negotiable) did not deter him.
#4 Day Two- Seal the deal. We purchased all the furniture for the entire house, save 2 small online orders that couldn’t be done in
store. Moment of eating crow: most of these stores offered us a discount before we could ask! Crate and Barrel suggested a 10% New Movers
discount, which we found was offered at other stores as well. Here’s what we got:
~~Crate and Barrel and West Elm-10% off
~~Z Gallerie- 15% off furniture, 10% off accessories
~~Restoration Hardware- 10% off, including all sale items
Crazy, crazy busy trip! But, with some advanced planning, decisive “yes’s” and “no’s” and, lest we forget, the spreadsheet of “death”…it
was do-able. And might I add that I think the house is going to look fabulous!
Helpful hints:– marry comfort and form. It CAN look good without having to feel like you’re sitting on an old wooden church pew! Point
in case: the dreaded hide-a-bed. I have never been a fan…you know that metal that sticks up the side? You kinda leapfrog it to get onto the bed? And the hole that your pillow keeps falling into? So-o-o annoying!! I was not pleased with the parentals plan to put a hide-a-bed in the den. But…Crate and Barrel’s American Leather Sleeper Sofa made me a believer!!! One of the most cleverly made beds ever!
Bottom line, make sure that you try everything out…sit in the chairs, lie on the sofa, put your feet up on the coffee table. Test drive
–find out where furniture row is in your desired city. Most often, furniture stores (big box or not) tend to situate themselves closely. We
lucked out at South Coast Plaza http://southcoastplaza.com where Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Z Gallerie were all within about 50 steps..huge time saver!
–don’t be afraid to ask for a discount..all they can say is no! And even a small discount is worth it.
A special shout out goes to Crate and Barrel at South Coast Plaza for their outstanding service!! Thanks to Barbie, Bjorn and Jennifer!!
Here are some pics of our whirlwind trip and some of our choices..watch for pics of the completed house. One more daytrip to do “set up” required in the next
couple weeks first!