Couch potatoes

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Call me superstitious, but I don’t want to write about Kat Kerlin being gone on maternity leave until Baby Lily is making proofreading notes in her diaper.

Many of you know I’m kind of a competitive gardener. I don’t devote my life to it, but it kind of symbolizes my approach to the world. I’m anti-waste. I never throw away edible food, and I use every bit of compostable material we produce to renew next year’s garden soil.

That’s also my philosophy for buying furniture and other things. (It gets worse than that—if I see furniture with a “free” sign on it on the side of the road, I might just pick it up and personalize it for my home.)

So anyway, 13 years or so ago, my SO and I bought a couch and love seat for $3,500. We bought them with the intention of reupholstering them when the children who were living in the house grew up. The exposed frame was made of maple wood, so just the cushions would need replacement. The salesman at Ethan Allen told us all we’d have to do is call in the style, and replacing the coverings would be affordable and easy. But you know how sometimes people will lie to get what they want.

At any rate, I had four upholsterers come in for estimates. The one I went with was almost exactly half the cost of the first. And while I could buy a new leather couch and love seat for less than the $1,500 cost of the re-upholstering, it would have killed me to throw away that perfectly good frame to save a few dollars.

Well, here’s the thing. The reupholsterer just had me in to try out and see the new design of the cushions. The craftsman had already replaced a damaged part that I had not contracted for. He was also recommending changes to the cushion, which had been designed to my specifications—more work for him, but no more money. I’ll wait to offer a recommendation until the furniture is back in my house, and I can be sure there are no hidden costs or problems, but I’ll say now, this is exactly why I support local businesses and the local people who do the work.