Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lane Furniture is My New Best Friend

Once again I just have to pat Lane Furniture Company on the back. We have a 20 year old sectional that, as far as 20 year old sectionals go, is still in fairly decent shape. There are a few minor stains here and there but thanks to the now hideous early 90s fabric I chose, they're really not that noticeable. And oddly enough I don't think there's a single rip in the fabric anywhere despite it having lived through a couple of dogs, a cat, a squirrel, a sugar glider and a child.

I've been trolling Craigslist for about 6 months, looking for a suitable replacement for this couch. Honestly, I'm tired of the sectional and would rather have a sofa and loveseat now. But, of course, they must be the right size, shape, color (or easily slip covered), have strong bones, no odors, and cost under $100. In the world of used furniture that's a lot to ask.

Recently I decided that maybe I haven't found the right replacement yet because the current couch is not in the best condition it could be for when I decide to sell it. Or maybe I should get it repaired because we might be stuck with it for the rest of our lives. Mr. Sectional looks just fine but both of his ends have recliners and neither of them work anymore. Jayson flipped them over to see what the problem was and there are broken springs and metal bars that have come unwelded. That's not an easy fix.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to look into how much it would cost to get Mr. Sectional functioning again so I  took about a dozen pictures of the broken areas then went to Lane's website and filled out the form they use when you are requesting replacement parts. I gave them serial numbers and explained that I have pictures of the broken pieces that I could send if they needed them.

About a week later I got an email from a gal at Lane explaining that they no longer have replacement parts for Mr. Sectional since his reclining mechanisms have been replaced with an updated version. I figured as much. Then she went on to say that she would have to send me entirely new mechanisms for both sectionals and she asked that I verify the serial numbers.

I wrote back to make sure that she understood I was talking about the big metal pieces under the couch and not just the lever you pull to make the chairs recline. One of those broke about 5 years ago and Lane sent us a free replacement lever with instructions on how to replace it and everything. That was great but this was a much bigger problem.

Ms. Lane responded that she did understand and she explained that the reclining mechanisms were still covered under the factory warranty so they would be replaced at no cost to us for the parts. She attached an instruction booklet with full color photographs explaining how to replace the parts ourselves or she said we could contact a local furniture repairman if we preferred. We never do that until we have screwed something up so severely that only a professional can get us out of the hole we've dug ourselves in.

My response to her was something like, "Are you freaking kidding me?!!? You do understand this sofa is 20 years old, right?!" She understood and said our parts should be here in a couple of weeks.

I really can't remember the details from when we bought Mr. Sectional and I probably never knew them to begin with. I'm sure the salesperson explained the lifetime warranty to us but who cares about all that? We weren't buying a car, it was a couch for Pete's sake. We just wanted it to be comfortable and look good. Besides I never in my wildest nightmares dreams expected we'd be sitting on this same couch 20 years later.

It only took a few days for 2 big boxes to show up on our doorstep. Jayson has assembled several different pieces of furniture from IKEA where the instructions just have drawings with no words so this should be a piece of cake for him. And it should provide me with all kinds of interesting pieces of scrap metal to fashion into something slightly fabulous :)

I only wish I had enough fabric on hand to start reupholstering while he's got everything torn apart. I've decided that we will probably keep Mr. Sectional forever since Lane is willing to keep him functioning forever at no cost to us. The sofa is in a traditional style that can blend with just about any other decor you put with it. Changing the fabric is no big deal either. I've never actually done it but I've seen it done on the internet so I'm sure I can do it. It's that brain surgery thing. I've seen it done on the Discovery Channel so I'm certain I could perform brains surgery if I had to. It's all about having the right tools.

We rarely buy new furniture, in fact I would say that Mr. Sectional is technically the only piece of real furniture we've ever bought new. We buy new mattresses for our beds when they're needed and we recently bought several pieces of furniture at IKEA but I don't even count those since they're practically disposable. I can say this: If we ever do decide to buy a new piece of real furniture it will most definitely be from Lane. And in the off chance someone from Lane Furniture (owned by Furniture Brands International which also owns other fine brands such as Broyhill, Thomasville and Drexel Heritage) happens to read this and would like to send me a customer appreciation gift, there are a couple of things that have caught my eye.

This buffet from the Hampton Cove Collection would make a perfect display cabinet for my Delft pieces. I can see dozens of future blog posts about all the possibilities this cabinet offers which surely would make my readers rush out to buy similar Lane pieces so they could all be just like me. Or just like me with just a touch more mental health.

Another option is this beautiful chest from the Gramercy Park Collection. I feel sure that if I had this chest in my bedroom and put the TV in it, I would never watch television because I would keep the doors closed all the time so I could admire the quality workmanship of the piece. This would free up hours and hours that I would normally spend watching TV (IF I actually watched TV) so that I could blog endlessly about how happy I was with my new Lane Gramercy Park cabinet. This would make all my readers rush out to their nearest Lane Furniture dealer to buy complete bedroom suites so they could feel just a fraction of the satisfaction I felt from having my very own piece of free customer appreciation Lane furniture.

I don't mean to put the pressure on Lane or anything, but I have been appreciated by other major companies for my loyalty to their brand and I would hate for Lane to be outdone. Just this past week I got a package in the mail from Goo Gone (which I will write about soon) that included several lovely gifts including a free bottle of Goo Gone AND a t-shirt! That's right. Stick that in your cedar chest and lock it, Lane.

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