And … scene!

Ok, I know this is probably a dreadfully boring topic to you, but I feel compelled to complete the story and then I promise I will move on to something perhaps equally boring, but unrelated. After canceling the glider from Hayneedle that I was feeling luke warm about, we went to Babies ‘R’ Us on Friday evening to see if there was anything there we could work with. We found a glider from Klaussner (which is a US company but, from what I have read, assembles some of its frames in Italy and has some of its upholstery cut in Mexico) that was relatively cute, inexpensive at about $400, and available in a very cute robin’s egg blue fabric. We decided to just go for it, buy it and move on with life.

Klaussner Virginia glider

We sat at a desk with a saleswoman who filled out a form for our request and then, as she was asking us to sign said form, said, “And that will be ready for pick-up in about 10-12 weeks.” Zoinks. What a total glider buzz kill. The glider’s gestational period was longer than that remaining on baby’s! While this wasn’t the end of the world, it was far from ideal and led us to scratch the deal and, again, start over. Only it wasn’t exactly starting over, because, as you well know, I had been down this glider research path previously.

So, on Friday night, after writing my last blog post, I spent almost six hours looking at nursery gliders online. This may not have been so excessive, but I had already spent at least this amount of time looking at most of these same gliders on various other nights over the last couple of weeks. Basically, I was glider-ed-out and felt resigned to buy something I wasn’t in love with in order to close the book on the Glider Chapter of my life. I felt we had two final options: buy a made-in-the-US Little Castle Valentino glider in Pebble Grey (a soft, light grey ) fabric from the Posh Tots site for about $500 (which would take about 5-6 weeks to arrive, according to their website) or trek around to local furniture stores in the slim hope we could find something better that also wouldn’t take 12 weeks to arrive.

Little Castle Valentino glider

On Saturday morning, fortified with a mocha and a delicious egg, cheese and sausage sandwich (being pregnant is great!), we headed out for the Great Glider Search. We started at the inimitable Century House, where almost all things are beautiful, serene and beyond our price point. Actually, that last part is not exactly true. I have bought many a lamp from Century House — I believe I have six (I’m a bit of a lamp lover) — and many small gifts there, as well. It really is just a great place to look around and enjoy good design. Century House also had a couple of gliders that I had seen online from Monte, which I believe is a Canadian company. The gliders were nice, but at $1k they were just too expensive and, frankly, I wasn’t in love with them in person. I believe both were covered in microsuede and, while they may have been available in other fabrics, that is a turn-off for me. Oh, who am I kidding? If we were going to spend over $1k on a chair, it was going to be the beautiful Room & Board chair I mentioned in a previous post. We checked the sale area, but there wasn’t anything there that came close to fitting the bill (though Aaron was very attracted to a rustic-looking — unusual for the CH — hutch-type thing). After examining all of the gorgeous nursery decor at the adjacent gift house, we left and went to Target. This part of the Great Glider Search was really more about nesting (read: OCD organization for various areas of the house unrelated to the nursery), but we did manage to see one ugly glider in the baby area.

The next store we hit was The Comfort Shoppe out on Mineral Point Road, which used to be two stories of space overflowing with furniture, but  has turned into a space that is more like a dark, depressing warehouse with a few living room scenes sprinkled here and there. Although there was no ‘Going Out of Business’ sign, the mood to the place suggested The Comfort Shoppe’s best days are behind it. We found only one rocker, which was also a recliner. Neither one of us was particularly keen on the idea of a recliner, but I liked the chair more than Aaron. The fabric was kinda cute and the scale of the chair was nice. It was also marked as 40% off its $900 price tag. Still, we didn’t love it, and barely liked it, so we moved on.

Next up was Slumberland, which was my idea and I knew was probably a ridiculous one, but I had visions of finding a diamond in the rough and telling a grand old story about my spectacular find. As soon as we walked in, we were accosted by a pushy saleswoman. I really hate to be rude to people, but I find the approach of salespeople at stores like this rude in and of itself. I very much appreciate a greeting and a general, “May I help you with anything?” or, preferably, a “Let me know if I can help you with anything,” I truly appreciate being acknowledged and salesfolks informing me that they are available to help me, should I need it. I cannot stand, though, seeing a salesperson running towards me, greeting me and, when I continue to walk around instead of stopping to ask a question, following me around with a ridiculous question such as, “Have you been here before?” What is the point of that? Is there something complicated about the showroom that renders it impossible to navigate without instruction? It feels only like a manipulative query — one designed to draw people into conversation, which is something I was actively seeking to avoid. I understand, both as a consumer and as a former salesperson, that there is balance to be struck, but I really don’t think it’s complicated. Anyway, I was already down on this Slumberland idea of mine and the first two seconds in the store did nothing but underscore my negative feelings. As you can probably guess, this is not going to be a story titled The Glorious Overlooked Glider We Found in the Corner of the Furniture Superstore. We did, though, find one semi-decent glider amidst the oversized monstrosities that took up much of the floor space, but the fabric choices were heinous, it wasn’t made in the US and, truthfully, ‘semi-decent’ is probably an overstatement.

As we walked back to the car in the parking lot, I told Aaron about a glider I had seen in a nursery scene on Pinterest that looked so cute and perfect. The nursery designer had found the chair at a thrift shop for $9 and had a gorgeous slip cover made. I raised the topic of stopping at the closest St Vinny’s, but acknowledged repeating a story like that seemed next to impossible. We also ran through the idea of going to American or Steinhafel’s, but Aaron rightly pointed out that I wasn’t going to like anything those stores offered us. Frankly, I was pretty exhausted by this point and down on Madison’s nursery furniture options, so we decided to finish out our errands, head back home and buy the Little Castle glider online.

On the way, though, I turned left from Schroeder Road onto Whitney Way and I saw Rubin’s on the left-side of the road. I said, “Let’s just pop in and see if they have anything for us.” I had thought of Rubin’s before, as I had with Iconi Furniture on West Wash (a store I absolutely love), but was pretty sure they wouldn’t have any gliders. I figured Rubin’s would have leather recliners, but I didn’t anticipate finding any fabric gliders. Oops. Almost as soon as we walked in, Aaron spotted The One. The clouds parted, the sun came out, birds started singing and we just knew. An incredibly nice saleswoman came up to us and said, “Is there anything I can help you with or would you like to just look around?” Brilliant. Normally, I would have quickly taken the latter option, but I found myself saying, “Well, we are looking for a glider and are wondering about fabric choices for the one over there,” pointing to the chair Aaron was comfortably seated in. She showed me where the fabrics were, told me about the prices for different grades of fabric, showed me the other fabric glider they had (which was also a recliner, but the reclining lever was nicely hidden in the inside part of the chair — genius!), showed me the leather recliners they had (no thanks) and got me a flyer on the chair, which had a pic of the chair along with its dimensions. And all of this conversation and information was relayed in fewer than five minutes. She left us to look through fabrics, to sit in the chair and to look around — all the while, we knew she was aware of us, but not hovering and, in fact, helping others with their shopping. She was just the perfect salesperson — blending sincere charm and helpful information all in a warm and incredibly non-smothering way (if that makes sense). The chair was $809 and would take 6-8 weeks to make in North Carolina, but we were in love and told ourselves (a) the chair is just comfortable and smart-looking; (b) it’s made in the US; (c) we’d be buying at a local shop, which we didn’t think we’d be able to do; (d) while the chair is more expensive than the Little Castle model, it is cheaper than the Room & Board chair and we love it just as much as that one; (e) the chair is clearly a quality chair, not one we’d be unloading to St Vinny’s or on Craigslist in three years (something we were both pretty sure would happen with the Little Castle model); (f) we had already saved so much by buying the crib, mattress and dresser at Ikea, we could justify splurging a little on the chair; and (g) again, we just loved it. So, we picked out what I think is a gorgeous blue-grey fabric and declared ourselves sold on the chair! The incredibly sweet salesperson went ahead and knocked the price of the chair down to $750 because, she said, “It’s just so cute!,” pointing at my belly. Now, how do you not love that?

Younger Lucy glider

I am so in love with this glider that it’s ridiculous. I know part of my love comes from being done with this decision, but I think most of it comes from feeling so good about the decision we made. We were able to achieve our goals in buying this important piece for Baby Sweet Potato’s new room: a US-made product bought at a local shop, Rubin’s, with simply excellent customer see at a very fair price. I’m happy and relieved. And thus ends The Great Glider Search. Thanks for riding along with me on the tour.

**I apologize for the craptastic pics, but I couldn’t get to show up when I copied the image from another site, so I ended up taking pics of the computer images of them. Not ideal, I know.


11 Responses to “And … scene!”

  1. 1 aaron January 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Kate’s story is all true. But I will add that the most-recent former governor and his wife were at Rubin’s. While that’s not too exciting, I was very tempted to tell him “I never thought I’d say this, but I wish you were still governor.”

  2. 2 Raoser January 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    AO- I so wish you had said that. As for everything else, YAY! A perfect US-made glider has been picked! Well done team!

    I’d like to add how much I too hate those pushy salespeople. Frankly I think they end up losing sales more often than not due to that obnoxious behavior. It certainly chases me right out of a store!

  3. 3 Sara H January 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Yay for a great glider! You’ll spend a lot of time there!

    You’d think you’d find things like upholstered gliders at places like Steinhafel’s, but if I remember correctly, they were all wooden. It was weird.

  4. 4 kateandgracie January 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I’m glad you said that Sara — it makes me feel better for skipping Steinhafel’s. Those wooden gliders are everywhere! And I totally appreciate that they (a) do the job and (b) can be less expensive and (c) have a small profile (something I like very much), but they just would look silly in our space.

    I added up the amounts we have spent and compared it to what Baby Bargains has one spend — this would be on the crib, mattress, dresser & glider — and we are almost exactly the same! In fact, I think we are a few dollars under the amount they advise, but I suppose I should probably throw in a few iPass bucks and money for gas we spent getting to Ikea. Hee hee. But yay for Ikea because it allowed us to spend more on our glider! And another yay shout out for Sara and turning me on to the Baby Stuff Bible: Baby Bargains!

  5. 5 Mary Lloyd January 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I love it. Well done.

  6. 6 Andra January 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    “this chair,” said Goldilocks, “is just right!”
    And so it is.

  7. 7 Sara H January 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I don’t totally understand the wooden gliders, because I don’t know about other peeps, but I spent (spend, occasionally) plenty of time sleeping in that thing. I’ll take the cushy glider, thanks (and wound up with one from BRU). Glad you found a cute and comfy one!

    Also glad BB is helpful! I busted out my copy the other day when getting big girl carseats…. love that thing.

  8. 8 kateandgracie January 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Big girl carseats!!!

    I wonder which chair you got from BRU…I would have been totally happy with the one we finally *picked* — if we’d picked it a few weeks earlier. Oops. And you know, BB warned me about that so shame on me for not listening.

  9. 9 Sara H January 11, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Brown chenille with ottoman! Love it, looking forward to using it elsewhere in the house (I can think of 3 places I’d like to put it, so maybe I need 2 more gliders).

  10. 10 kateandgracie January 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Ha! Yes, you definitely need more. Oh, I LOVE the chenille! The one that I ordered that I canceled was ivory chenille. I loved the way it looked, but I got too scared of the ivory. The chenille, though, I thought was probably the cutest thing I had ever seen. And I think the chocolate browns the companies make them in are really yummy and cozy. Unfortunately for us, and we talked about this many times, the chocolate brown would not have fit in well with the rest of our living room/nursery… I kept thinking, “Well, maybe with the right pillow, or maybe if we paint…” but I think it would have stood out too much. They should make more chairs with chenille!

  11. 11 Sara H January 12, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Yeah, the days of ivory furniture are probably behind us….

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January 2012

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