Friday, September 4, 2009

Recliner choices

So, Montana has already made great strides in learning to use her dog door. She still requires verbal encouragement, but she will push the flap open with no assistance from us, and then walk through. And she has even made more progress since I took this video yesterday afternoon--last night she walked through the door when we got home with almost no encouragement at all.

Still, I personally find her adorable, so check out the video (and, as a bonus, you get to hear my special doggy baby voice):

How cute is that? No? Am I the only one who thinks so? (Well, Torsten and me.) The goal is to have her using the door at her discretion, whether or not we're nearby, by the end of the long weekend.

Speaking of the long weekend, I am ridiculously excited about it. We're not traveling anywhere, but we are going furniture shopping. We've decided to invest in a piece of furniture as a combination anniversary/Christmas gift to each other. We're deciding between a shelf and a recliner, and I think we're going to go for a recliner because it's more practical, even though it's also a bit more expensive. The reason is that at the moment we have only one chair in the family room, rendering the fireplace in there basically useless because we can't sit in there together. If we get a second recliner then we can sit in front of the fire together, reading or whatever, and that will be great.

This is also the reason we're going to get the gift now, even though our anniversary is two months away and Christmas is four months away, because we want to be able to use our family room as soon as the weather gets cold enough for fires.

So, here's the thing. What we would really like is a Stressless recliner (possibly in purple leather), because they combine style, comfort, and quality, but those things run at about $2,000 each, and that is just not happening. Although, behold:

So, we're going to have to compromise somewhere, and I'm pretty sure that "somewhere" is going to be "style." Because comfort and price are more important to us at this point. Which means, I suppose, that the family room is going to be the "comfort over style" room, and I'm working on being OK with that. Because the recliner I think we're going to get... well, first of all it's only available in ugly colors, and second of all it itself is just '80s style heinous. It's something similar to this:

But it's so COMFY. And it's sturdy and it has a warranty and it is AFFORDABLE. And I'm not spending $2,000 on a recliner, no matter how much nicer it looks.

What do you think? Is it worth spending significantly more to have a non-hideous piece of furniture in our family room?


  1. Nope!

    Personally I'd go for chair-and-a-half instead of recliners so I could curl up in front of a cozy fire and read. But that's just me.

    Comfort > style, in my books! (especially if it's primary function is to read!)

  2. Montana is adorable!

    $2000 is a lot of money for a recliner. I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on a chair no matter how badly I wanted it (unless I won the lottery or something). I'd try to get something comfy that's not totally heinous. When you think about it, people who sit in it will love it because it's so comfy and they won't care what it looks like. It'll be the seat everyone fights for!

  3. Oh how timely this post is. Sweets and I just dropped some serious change on a new couch. And we're about to do the same for a new leather chair + ottoman. Of course, we found a GORGEOUS leather chair + ottoman that we love, but it's expensive. So, we didn't immediately buy it. We've been discussing the merits of spending a few hundred dollars less to save money on a chair + ottoman we like less. And I think what we're realizing is, so long as we buy a QUALITY piece of furniture, then it's worth it to us to spend a little more now. On something like furniture, we plan to keep it for years and years and years, so the hundred dollars turns into pennies per month.

    On the other hand, we also don't have a whole house to furnish. If we did, I think we'd likely be making some different decisions about what to buy and when.

  4. i can honestly say i've never walked into a living room (especially with a fire!) and gone "man, that is not a very attractive chair," it's always "OOH YUMMMM HUGE COMFY RECLINER MINE MINE MINE" ;-)

  5. I always vote for comfort first. I don't think that chair is too ugly. It looks super cozy, especially in front of a warm fire.

  6. I would spend the extra money on the chairs you really want - or - like Sarah suggested, look into a different piece of furniture all together.

    I really detest recliners as a whole & would rather have a chair/sofa with an ottoman - the primary reasons are because I find them more comfortable & you can use the ottomans as seating when other people come over.

    I have a (way to expensive) couch that I absolutely love & I'm really glad we waited to purchase the one we Loved, instead of just Liked... because 6 months later - I would have ditched the *like* furniture & bought the Love furniture anyhow.

    If you love those chairs, try looking online - sometimes the floor samples or factory 2nds will sell for 1/2 the price & still look brand new.

    Good Luck on your shopping!

  7. We just spent a pretty penny on our couch, but I plan to have it until the kid goes to college. Also, it's in the room where we spend almost every minute of the day and we LOVE it. If it's comfortable and you'll be happy sitting in it, I say go for it.

  8. I like the brown recliner. I don't think it's ugly at all and it looks super comfortable. I only have a loveseat right now, but I also have no room for anything else.

  9. I don't think that recliner is that ugly. Once you get it in a room with other furniture and decor I think it will look fine. It looks perfect for it's purpose!
    I have to agree that Montana is adorable!

  10. Since you want to have kids someday, in my book the most important factor would be durability. Which would stand up better to being puked on? Which would survive more wars over the armrest? If you buy the cheaper one and your future children destroy it immediately and it needs to be replaced, then maybe the more expensive one will be a better value in the long run. But, if they destroy the expensive one you will be more annoyed.
    All of our living room furniture has machine-washable covers and structural warranties.

  11. First, Montana is so adorable. I love the way she warily looks at the door before she actually walks through it.
    Second, have you looked at Costco (or BJ's, etc...) for a chair? My parents got a beautiful leather living room set there and it came with a very stylish leather recliner. The whole set was very afforable but it looks expensive and fashionable.
    P.S. Their recliner appears to be a regular leather "club" chair until you lean back and recline.

  12. There is nothing like a good recliner. I found ours especially useful in the last months of pregnancy/1st motnhts of infancy. It was usually THE best place to sleep. Sadly, we got rid of ours in between Lucy and Liv so I didn't have the luxury this go around.

    Montana is adorbs!

  13. To be 100% honest, I can't bear to look at that recliner and that would absolutely be enough to keep me from buying it. I'm more comfortable when my surroundings are aesthetically pleasing.


    Couldn't you find a nice, comfy sofa instead? Crate and Barrel floor sample sales are a gold mine!

    P.S. Montana is SO darn cute!!

  14. I am SO FAR away from buying furniture that I am of no help. Do stay away from the 80's Lazy boy, however.

    So! We are coming to Denver on Saturday! I will give you a call and maybe we can meet somewhere. We are probably going to have an early dinner at the mangolion grill downtown, I think it is called BJ's? I'll give you a call today.

  15. I definitely sacrifice style for comfort. But then, I have two La-Z-Boy recliners, which I bought on purpose.

  16. I think buying a second chair so you can sit together is an excellent gift to give each other!

    As for me, I've always valued comfort over style. It's nice to have something pretty and stylish, but you don't want to sit down and think, "ugh".

  17. OMG! What happened to all these nice pieces of furniture on your design page/blog? Everything you post there is beautiful, but these recliners (all of them: the purple ones and the other gigantic one) are so ugly, I have no words for it.

    Sorry for being so brutally honest, I was shocked when I saw those pictures.

  18. Sara--nothing wrong with honesty! I agree that none of these choices is really that great, and if I were just in it for aesthetics I'd probably skip a recliner altogether. But we have to balance cost and comfort against style and at the moment, the first two are winning, so we're thinking we may sacrifice one room's aesthetics, at least for a few years, in the name of comfort and practicality.

  19. I'd go for the comfy, cheap one too! Or maybe a big, oversized chair for two, or a love seat...

  20. Sorry Jess, I really didn't want to be rude. Why don't you buy a nice big chair with an ottoman or a loveseat or two big chairs? There should be something affordable that is also pretty. Good luck this weekend!

  21. B gets veto power in our furniture decisions - and he uses his veto power when I favor aesthetics over comfort. That said, I wouldn't buy something I didn't love - even if it's inexpensive. I would wait until we could afford the piece we both loved - me for aesthetics and B for curling up with football and beer. It's a really hard balance - but I'm learning to be okay with minimal furniture, empty spaces and hand-me-downs/garage sale items I don't love until we agree that new furniture is a budget priorty.

    If you love the chair - for comfort, for aesthetics, for whatever reason, then spend the money. But if you don't love it, I'd say save the money (even if it's a couple hundred) and buy what you love down the road.

  22. Your voice is exactly how I imagined it would be! Loved the video!

    I personally am not a fan of the recliner, at all. When we got new furniture about a year and a half ago Hubby insisted on a leather recliner and I insisted on a leather chair and ottoman. We both agreed to disagree and each got our own chair and 99.9% of the time I have to kick him off of my big cozy chair and ottoman and make him go sit on his recliner, which he never reclines...

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  24. inner diva (who lives on the outer a lot) wants to say NO. But just think...people will probably be sitting in the furniture, and looking at YOU. So as long as you're fashionable (and I'm certain you are) it's all clear.



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