So a few weeks back, the final piece of our furniture arrived -- the sofa! It was supposed to be delivered to us back in May, but we were told by the furniture store that there will be a delay due to a change in their factory's machineries. Therefore, we had to wait till June. We got a cheap IKEA sofa ($99 only!) to act as a stand-in while we waited for this to arrive (more about IKEA furniture later). The IKEA sofa is now in our computer room.

Anyway, we like our sofa a lot! The wooden frame's colour matches the coffee table and TV console very well. We were a little worried at first because for solid wood, the colour will not always be consistent. Some may be darker, some lighter.

The reason why we picked this sofa over the usual leather ones or those big L-shaped ones, was/is because of the main idea behind what we envisioned our home to be like -- simplistic. With a tinge of old-school style, I guess?

We remember when we were much younger, our homes used to have sofas like that. The sofas were really durable, and we know it will be really easy for us to wipe the frame and clean the sofa seat covers because we've seen and helped our mothers do it. For me, one of the most important factors to consider when we were choosing a furniture was whether it will be easy to wipe and clean, and to maintain it. Fanciful stuff usually means more work. No thank you.

We got it at Lush furniture store. To be honest, this is one shop I failed to research about, because I was trying really hard to find solid wooden furniture at reasonable prices in Singapore. It was more about "Yes! They have solid wood furniture! Let's go and take a look!" than whether they have good service or not. So I guess I have no one else to blame but myself when we ended up having problem with getting our sofa on time, them not being proactive enough to contact us about it, offering a $50 voucher to us for the delay ($50 buy what sia at a furniture shop?). But once we got our sofa, all is forgotten, or forgiven I suppose. :P Overall, they are still ok lar. I cannot say whether the quality of the sofa is really good or not for now, because it's only been a month or so. But from what we see, it seems really solid and is really sturdy, just like how we saw it at their showroom. So we're pleased with it and have high hopes for it to last for years. :) I guess if you don't mind the possibility of a late delivery, you can still consider them?

Anyway, we went to their flagship store at Tai Seng. The sales people there were generally friendly and wouldn't bug you or follow you around. So the first time we went, we looked around and we fell in love with this new range of sofa.

It was originally priced at about $2400 or so (can't really remember). So we decided to look around at other shops before we make a decision (when we got it, there was a storewide 20% sale, plus some other discounts, so we managed to get it at around $1700). We went to many other places like:

1. The Helping Hand at Kovan  
2. Mountain Teak 
3. Journey East
4. Star Living 
5. Lorenzo  
6. Random shops at Tan Boon Liat building 
7. Lorgan's The Retro Store 
8. Home 2 U Gallery at The Cathay 
9. Random furniture shops at Marina Square and Millenia Walk 
10. Courts 
11. IKEA

I think there were a few others shops that we went to, which I cannot recall now.

1. For The Helping Hand, most of the furniture there are really cheap even though they are solid wood. Craftsmanship, I am not able to comment much because I am not an expert in that. The wooden benches (really popular nowadays, not sure why), are reasonably priced and really sturdy. We wanted to get one actually, but in the end our choice of a dining table set made it pointless for us to get one. So we didn't. They also sell simple bed frames, drawers, stools, sofas, etc. Mostly very Chinese antique-looking designs. The designs were not what we were looking for, so we didn't get anything there even though the prices were really quite attractive.

2. I really liked a bed frame we saw at the Mountain Teak (at Tan Boon Liat building). It was kinda expensive (about 1.7K-2K, can't really remember it very well now) because it's solid wood frame (teak). We did not make a decision right away as well.

The sales person at the shop was friendly, and did not follow us around, which is what we like. When we asked her questions, she gave us detailed answers/information regarding the furniture (source of the teak, age of the teak, etc). We would have gotten the bed frame if we had not found a suitable and cheaper alternative. But alas, it was not meant to be.

3. Journey East is also at the Tan Boon Liat building. It has lots and lots of solid wood furniture. Huge range and designs too. He liked a TV console we saw there, which was not too expensive. But we wanted to look around a bit more before we make any decision or deposit. Other than that, we were not really attracted to any particular piece at the store. Some pieces were slightly more expensive than what we had seen in other shops. We ended up not buying anything from there. The sales staff were not exactly friendly... but not rude either. They do look at you a lot when you're browsing through the stuff. That is kinda annoying to me. So we didn't stay long.

4. I came across Star Living while researching on forums about good and cheap furniture shops. Found out from the forums that a few of those cheap stores (one of them has a name that rhymes with beehive) have really bad products and services. So when I saw people praising Star Living, and I couldn't really find really bad reviews on them, I decided to give it a go. They have one big outlet, I think it's their flagship store, at Labrador. That was at my previous workplace, so I went over with my colleagues during lunchtime. The collection I was interested in, didn't impress me much (Jotterbook, I think). But then, I saw another collection (Muji) that was the style I was looking for. To make a decision together, I got a catalogue and showed the Hubby. Then, he came down to the store with me and we both liked what we saw (bedframe, wardrobes and coffee table). Prices were reasonable and within our budgets. Again, we did not buy it immediately, we got the sales person's name card, the prices of the furniture we like and the dimensions as well. We did get the stuff we like eventually because we didn't see any better alternatives.

5. Lorenzo was the first store we bought a furniture the very same day we saw it. I saw that they have this solid wood series (Nature Enclave series) in an interior design magazine, so I went online to look at the range, and we went down to take a look. They only have the series at two of their stores, so we went to the one at Sims Drive. Took MRT and walked quite far.

When we went in, an aunty immediately came to offer her assistance. So we told her we were there to look at the Nature Enclave series and she immediately brought us to the second level. I think we wouldn't have found it that fast if it wasn't for her because that place is huge.

They had this solid wood sofa series that looked so good, we were so in love with them! However, those were the showroom sets selling at low prices ($700+!) because they had already stopped production for those older series. They were unable to hold showroom sets for long, and we were not going to move anytime soon, so we decided not to get them. But at that time, they have a new series of darker wooden furniture that are really reasonably priced. And we immediately liked the dining table set we saw. A table with four chairs at about $780. We placed deposit immediately. :)

For the rest of the stores I mentioned, except for Courts and IKEA, I have nothing much to say because I don't remember much. For Home 2 U, we actually liked a dining table there, but it was kinda expensive and we found a set at Lorenzo, so yep.

As for Courts, we had wanted to get a wardrobe there, but when we wanted to order, they had already stopped production for that. So we ended up only buying a TV console from them. Lesson learnt: furniture trend changes damn quickly man.

Lastly, IKEA. We got many small stuff there. That cheap sofa I mentioned, two other chairs, our computer tables, display shelves (glass), roller chairs, small stools, cups, cutleries, kitchen accessories, toilet accessories, boxes, curtains, curtain rods, storeroom shelves, shoe racks (short shelves actually), bedside tables and two drawers (plus some other stuff that I cannot remember right now).

Those small stuff added up to be quite a sum too. And the crazy thing we did is... we only paid for the delivery. We fixed almost everything up ourselves. Except for the installations of kitchen and toilet accessories, everything that needed to be fixed, we did it during the weekday nights, weekends, whenever we were over, 1-2 weeks before we moved in. It was damn effing tiring.

We got scratches, rough hands, sore fingers, sore backs, and just felt like we were gonna crash mentally and physically. One thing we did wrong, besides being crazy enough to fix everything up ourselves, was that we thought we could request for the delivery to be made much later, like all the other furniture stores we ordered things from.

But for IKEA, the delivery is done by another company. So they have no warehouse to store things for a long period of time. Therefore, delivery is normally done within 2-3 days.

That's where we screwed up. 'Cause we bought lots of stuff from IKEA at one go (we wanted to save money on the delivery charge and get everything delivered at one time), and they had to be delivered during our renovation. So we had to keep everything in the middle of our rooms. And when they (our contractor's workers) were going to clean up our home, we had to move everything into the storeroom. We did that ourselves, because we didn't trust the workers to handle our stuff gently. There were fragile materials among those stuff we bought. Then, we told them they didn't have to clean the storeroom. We had to do all this extra work because we assumed.

Some of those boxes weighed 10kg, 20kg, 25kg. It was a back-breaking process for the two of us.

It was a hellish experience to be honest. We told ourselves we'll never, ever, ever, ever get things from IKEA, which we have to fix them up ever again. That 2 weeks of terror was enough. The turning and screwing and hammering, the occasional difficulty in trying to get things to fit into another... the heaviness of the materials, the mistakes and redo-ing... I mean, we're kinda glad we got to experience that with each other. But, nope, never again. Lol.

Anyway, here are some tips we would like to share with everyone. When shopping for furniture, try not to get different items at different shops if you don't want the hassle of having to prepare different amounts of balances when they deliver. We actually made sure all the deliveries came on the same day (we set it on a Saturday), so we don't have to waste time receiving our stuff on different days. That is rather easy to settle since most stores are ok with holding on to your items for a long period of time. And most dates you choose would be available if you inform them way beforehand.

Luckily for us, we have our excel sheet to track the balances. We started withdrawing the money 1-2 days before the delivery date, and put the right amount into different labeled envelopes, along with the invoices. If you don't mind all this extra work, then I guess it's ok if you want to order everything from everywhere. :P

Next, before you go furniture shopping, measure the spaces in your home. What is the length of the wall you intend to place your sofa at? What is the length of the wall you intend to place your TV console at? How much space can you spare for the bedside tables after you place a queen-size bed frame in your room? Measure every corner possible. Don't think you won't need it. You will.

We went back to our home to measure places we missed out at least 2-3 times. Besides measuring every corner of your home, before you place orders for the furniture, just take the dimensions first. Take pictures of the dimensions displayed on the furniture, get the price down as well, take a namecard from the sales person.

Go home, sit down and calculate if the furniture's sizes match the spaces in your home.

We actually drew the layout for each room, including all the measurements, so when we went furniture-shopping, we could see immediately if the furniture could fit or not.

When the main items had been decided, and there was space left, we would then look for the smaller items to fit into those spaces. For example, we decided on the bed frame and wardrobe first, then with the remaining amount of space, we looked for bedside tables and drawers that could fit, with ample space to spare so we can open the doors of our wardrobes or pull out the drawers without any problem.

I think this is the most important thing to do when shopping for furniture. Other than that, it would really be up to personal preferences I guess.

I guess that's all.

Pardon the weird flow for this post. Been really tired recently it's hard to focus. We will be going on a holiday soon and hopefully after that we'll feel reenergised! :D

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Blogger JamesE Lutz shared on 17 Apr 2017, 21:53:00  

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