Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Furniture Hunting

When Satchel turned one and we realized that the three of us could no longer fit into a double bed, we went to Goldsmith’s to pick out a king-sized bed. They have a huge area filled with mattresses and Satchel happily bounced around while we made our decision. It was almost fun.

Now that we’ve moved and are in need of lots of new things for the house, Warren started cultivating his Ikea fantasy. In his mind, he takes a plane to Atlanta, picks out all of our furniture, loads it into a U-haul, and drives home.

It’s nice in theory, but even if I did pre-select items from a catalog, I don’t think I’d wanna miss out on the Ikea “experience.” I mean, they have a restaurant and a daycare for goodness sakes! Plus, I can’t fathom buying a sofa I’ve never sat on.

The idea of a Team Oster roadtrip to Atlanta is appealing—especially if we made a little vacation out of it—but the sad fact of the matter is that I have 2, yes 2, vacation days left for the rest of the year.

Before resorting to Ikea catalog shopping, Warren and I have been trying to buy furniture for the new house locally. Just finding blocks of time in which to go look has been challenging. Unfortunately, most places close at 6:00pm or 7:00pm, making it pretty much impossible to go after work. Likewise a few places aren’t even open at all on Sunday.

We’ve been trying to do as much online scouting as possible, but we’re finding that we still need hours just to go look. We’ve snuck in a few antique store runs during lunch and I’ve popped into a couple of Midtown places with websites between work and monkey pick up. I managed to order a dining room table this way.

The idea of looking at furniture with the monkeys is simply not appealing. However, it has been unavoidable. A couple of weeks ago we dedicated an entire Saturday to looking. We decided to look for bunk beds first, to motivate the monkeys to be team players.

On my mom’s suggestion, our first stop was Ashley furniture on Germantown Parkway. They had a huge kids’ furniture section replete with a play area. The play area included a giant climbing structure similar to the one at FunQuest and three TVs with video games hooked up. The monkeys were in heaven and the staff was super (maybe a little too) nice.

Warren and I took turns monitoring the monkeys and walking around the showroom. I’m pretty sure I even saw a snack area where they were selling hot dogs. Whereas this concept makes sense at an Ikea, it seemed a little funny at Ashley. But, I had to give them props for at least trying to make furniture shopping a family-friendly experience. Sadly, Ashley didn’t really have anything we liked and we eventually had to break the news to the monkeys that it was time to go. They were bummed, but also, I think, convinced that every store we went to would have a super awesome play area just for them.

We went to a few other unremarkable stores in the area and then found our way to the Unpainted Furniture store (also on Germantown Parkway) that boasts the “largest selection of kids’ furniture in town.” While the store doesn’t seem huge from the outside, it is pretty big inside and there was a lot to choose from. Additionally there were a bazillion other families inside. There were two train tables set up, lots of legos, and a few other toys. The staff was very tolerant of the children running around and playing. They also seemed cool with the kids (not just ours!) climbing up on the beds and trying them out. This made it very easy for Warren and I to thoroughly examine all of the offerings and consult the monkeys on their preferences. Also, I have to say that the prices seemed very reasonable. They did not have what we wanted in stock, but they happily ordered it for us. (The 30 day wait is proving excruciating for the monkeys.)

We were fairly exhausted after the Bunk Bed Decision of 2007, but checked out a couple of other behemoths on Germantown Parkway before soldiering on to Scan Interiors on Summer Avenue. The monkeys were pretty much fried at this point and had been scolded several times at Value Center or wherever our last stop was. At Scan, they were immediately directed to the separate play room with toys and a TV in the front of the store. (This was our second visit so the monkeys felt comfortable hanging out while we walked through the store.)

The store was closing at 6pm, which seemed silly on a Saturday, so we only had about 45 minutes to try and decide on a sofa. We were able to narrow it down to two despite frequent shouts of “MOOOMMY WHERE ARE YOU?” from Jiro and Satchel. (As we were the only people in the store, I felt comfortable yelling back, “I’M OVER HERE” over and over until we found each other.) We’re tentatively planning a third trip to Scan this week. Hopefully the third time’s the charm.

I made a run through Sensational Sofas after a doctor’s visit last week and was told that they will stay open late by appointment, which I thought was nice. I can’t quite bring myself to request a Team Oster appointment though.

So, what’s the point of all of this you ask? Well, first off, shopping with kids isn’t nearly as fun as shopping alone. Second, furniture shopping takes a lot longer than I thought it would. (Add that to the time suck of painting and well, I can see why people pay other people to decorate their homes. Or just skip decorating all together.) Third, there are actually a few family-friendly furniture stores in town, which is pretty cool.


Kaleigh said...

Yeah, we got sucked into furniture shopping this summer, but waited until our (bigger) monkeys were out of town to do the shopping. It took two full days to find ONE coffee table. And now that the coffee table (which I LOVE) is in the house I felt the need to get a new entertainment center and shelves. Fortunately my parents live near an Ikea and are coming to visit in October. Which, now, feels like years away.

Stephanie said...

I had my first Ikea experience last year. It's pretty amazing.

Anonymous said...

If you end up going with the Warren drives a U-Haul back plan, I'm totally putting in an order. Then again, we're going to Atlanta next month, so maybe we'll stop by between a visit to the Coke Museum (my actual birthplace, if you can believe it) and panning for gold.

— Kat Tat

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