Friday, September 15, 2017

The $200 Sofa

Yes, I'm talking about that one! 

I'm not often very lucky. When it comes to winning things, well, I just never do. I honestly can't think of a thing that I've ever won, well from a raffle or giveaway, or what-have-you. But that's exactly how this story starts, with a lucky win (by someone far luckier than me!)

You see, my beautiful living room sofa started life at the Kravet Furniture Showroom in New York.

New York City has a furniture mart, similar to High Point, open only to interior designers and shop owners. I've been invited to go several times, and I've never been able to make the trip work, but I know people who have gone, including a designer based in Rochester, New York, which is just an hour and a half or so away.

The New York show room for Kravet is filled with their finest furniture in all the fancy options. No expense is spared. They want you to buy the fabric and the furniture, so they put the most expensive of both on their showroom floor to inspire you, and to get you to spend money! It's the name of the game.

In their Houston showroom, they have the same Medley sofa done in a grey linen by Calvin Klein. It's lovely.

They've got it upholstered in velvet for the Denver showroom, mixed with greens and malachite. 

My sofa in the NYDC showroom, before Lucky McLucky got a hold of it, with yellow fringed pillows against a purple wall.

This one upholstered in velvet, with a skirt and contrasting cushion. Anyway, you get the point. Beautiful sofa, right!? Also VERY expensive. Like, stupidly expensive. Don't get me wrong, I understand the work that goes into a nice piece of furniture. It's not an easy process, and to get all of the details (like the tufting, and the individual nail heads) right takes precision. You can't whip this stuff up, you don't buy it in a box and put it together with funny tools, and you're not going to find it on sale for $499 including a matching loveseat in your weekend circulars. Circulars? Do people still get those? Why did I just type that? 

Alright, so you already know that (1) I don't win anything, and (2) I didn't go to the Kravet showroom but (3) a designer that I know in Rochester, did. So, this lucky, nameless, Rochester designer gets on a plane and flies 39-minutes to New York City (yes, it's really that short of a flight) and he/she gets in an uber (probably uber black) and heads over to the D and D Building on the Upper East Side. He/She gets out of the their uber black and walks their lucky butt into the Kravet showroom (probably wearing Christian Louboutin's) and starts to buy things for his/her clients. Surprise, surprise! Kravet is having a raffle to support DIFFA and the lucky designer buys a ticket, writes his/her lucky name on it, and drops it in the bucket. Lucky, fancy schmacy pants Rochester designer gets a call a few weeks later. Here's how that went: 

(Typed reenactment, most of this is made up for pure entertainment and enjoyment) 

Kravet Showroom Staff: "Hi, this is Sweet Little Kravet Showroom Staff person, may I speak with Fancy Schmancy Pants Rochester Designer?" 

FSPRD: "Speaking."

KSS: "Good morning! I'm so excited to share with you that you've won our raffle!"

FSPRD: "Another one?" 

KSS: "You are the happy new owner of a $5300 sofa, outfitted in the finest of fabrics with all the high-end details we offer for our fine upholstered pieces here at Kravet."

FSPRD: "Gosh, where am I going to put another prize I won without even trying." 

KSS: "Umm, well Fancy, I don't know. But it's honestly one of the most beautiful sofas I've ever set eyes on, and I, well, I just think you'll find the perfect place."

FSPRD: "You have no idea how stressful it is finding a place for all these things I win without even trying. Last week, I won a car. I don't have space in the garage now for your sofa."

KSS: "Would you like to forfeit your prize, Fancy?" 

FSPRD: "Oh no, I will find a way to complain about all my good fortune while I sit on the sofa that will take up all of the room in this massive house my partner works so hard to pay for."

KSS: "Great, how can I set up shipping." 

FSPRD: "I'll have my people call your people."

Now, fancy schmancy gets the sofa and puts it in their Rochester store with the big ole Kravet sticker price. But, people walk in, see a white linen and silk blend upholstered sofa, and say: "Gee, Fancy, it's a stunning sofa, but the kids will ruin it with their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." So Fancy marks the sofa down, and then down again, and then down again until Fancy finally takes it home. 

Fast forward to my needing a new sofa when I was moving into my apartment a little less than a year ago. The first person I think of calling is Fancy. (not really) I call Fancy up: 

(Typed reenactment, most of this is made up for pure entertainment and enjoyment

Artie: "Hey Fancy! How have you been?" 

Fancy: "Oh, Artie, I just have been so busy. I have 30 clients, and 8 interns, and all of this cash just sitting here because the bank won't let me make more than 10-deposits in a day, and I'm late to catch a plane to meet with Brad, I'm doing his NYC space post divorce. He's so demanding! How have you been? Are you busy, too!? What a time of year, we are all so busy, I bet you're very busy. I'm so busy and we are leaving to go to Paris for one of my monthly Paris flea market shopping trips on Friday, I just don't know how I'm going to get it all done!" 

A: "Paris? My my my Fancy, that's exciting!" 

F: "Eh, well, it is what it is. This time we aren't just going to flea. I won a trip, 18-days all inclusive, staying at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in the Champs Elysees. I just don't know how we are going to get everything done around here. Brad has set up some contacts for us there, and I've got to pick up this fabulous little lot of French antiques I won in an online raffle. Anyway - boring, my life, so boring. You called me, how can I help you?" 

A: "I'm looking for a white sofa, I really ..."

F: "Oh Artie, do I have the deal for you! I have a white sofa from Kravet that I won, and I just don't have room for it. You know, we had to move. I won this house in one of those boys and girls clubs raffle, and so we are trying to sell our old little place, you remember the 6,500 square foot place, and move into this new place. Well, places really. I won a compound. 10,000 square foot main house with an olympic size pool and two guest cottages, they're tiny, about 3,000 square feet each. It's lovely but it's so much work moving. Good thing my partner makes so much money, and we can hire movers. Oh, please, you'd be doing me a huge favor! Come and get it!" 

A: "Really!? How much do you want for it?"

F: "$200"

A: "$200?" 

F: "Yes, I'll have someone send you a picture. I can't figure out how to use this iPhone 10 that I won. They're not even out on the market yet, but they gave me this one to try with iOs 56.10.1 and ugh. It's just, everything is in 3D, and the glasses. It's a mess. But you'll love the sofa. Come get it! I'll be here tomorrow, taking the redeye home from NYC after my meet up with Brad, so I can be here to accept the cake I won at the bakery raffle. Ta-ta!"

Well, you know how the rest of that went, I'm sure. I ended up with the sofa. The $200 sofa. The $200 sofa that I had to move myself, because I don't have a partner who makes so much money ... well, you get the point. 

When I picked it up it was in fantastic physical condition - but the sofa was pretty dirty. Seems Fancy pants wasn't real worried about keeping it cleaned. I found a cleaning company here that would clean it inside of the apartment, and hired them to do the job for $160. Unfortunately though, the cushion was just too far gone, and it couldn't be used. 

So, I had my workroom whip up a new cushion cover and coordinating pillows from some Pindler and Pindler velvet and Samuel and Sons trim. Bing, bang, boom! Every day, walking into the apartment, I look at that sofa and say - "wow, was I lucky! Not as lucky as fancy pants, but lucky none-the-less."

I also say, "I should really share this on the blog" and never have - but I figured it'd give you a good chuckle as you head into the weekend. Here's to a great one, and much luck in finding treasure at a bargain! 


  1. What a great tale. I think the winner was you!

  2. Laughing out loud as I read this. I really know people like that. Amazing!

  3. Thanks for the good chuckle! The sofa is stunningly beautiful!

  4. Loved the story; love, love, love the sofa.

  5. Such a great way to start the morning with a laugh. Good thing I didn't spit out my coffee. Fantastic story Artie and the sofa is gorgeous.

  6. Bwahahaha! Can't wait to see your version of the annual Christmas letter from this person!

  7. Great story and I can so clearly hear the dialogue- reason #2,376 why I love your blog. Best, J

  8. l.o.v.e. the sofa!!! I'm jelly:) but happy for you!! xxoj.

  9. This story is the BEST.....and the PERFECT HAPPY ENDING! Thank you for sharing, Artie!

  10. Ha, ha, ha ... great story Artie! Now tell us; is the sofa as comfortable as it looks? ☺ -Brenda-