Raymour and Flanigan’s
Lauren Sofa Group
by Clayton Marcus
As much as I enjoy typically shopping, I experienced some challenges as I searched for new family room furniture that initially left me frustrated. I consider this a major home purchase, and something that I need to last for years to come. In these tough economic times, I think most consumers are shopping around for the best deals. Personally, what I found was that many “affordable” furniture stores may have provided discounts, but they were done so at the expense of the quality of the furniture. I visited many furniture showrooms in my area, and still came up with sofas and love seats that I felt were either overpriced or were never going to withstand my family of five as long as I needed them to or expected that they should.
I had just about given up on finding something worth while, when I saw a Raymour and Flanigan commercial on television. Although my closest store was now about 35 miles away, I had been in their showroom when I used to work in the area. Having seen their furniture firsthand, I knew it would be worth the drive to visit their showroom again.
Since I usually find time in short supply, I decided to take a look at the Raymour and Flanigan website to get an idea about which sofa I liked, and then that way I could go in and ask to be shown specific sofa sets. After much debate with my husband, we decided against a sectional sofa (due to the layout of our family room) and also a reclining one (I pictured the boys trapping their sister underneath). I also knew I wanted fabric, not leather, and I would have thought that would have helped me narrow down my selection to a short list. I went through the sofas and added each one that I liked to my “cart.” When I finally reached the bottom of the page, I had added sixteen sofas that I really liked. To think I had actually only added the ones I thought I would absolutely want to look at when I visited the showroom! I knew it was time to seriously cut back the list (otherwise I’d have to pack a lunch and make a day trip out of my visit), so I next started removing all the sofas that my kids would ruin in an hour. Unfortunately, that meant I had to remove the Journey Sofa. It looked very comfortable and well made, but it’s Beige color almost begged for little jelly hands to come and defile the throw pillows or that “mystery goldfish like paste” I’m always finding around my house to become embedded and forever stained in the off-white seats. I made a mental note to look for this sofa again in 18 years when my kids are gone! The Arlington was the next to get the axe for the same reason.
After eliminating more sofas from my online shopping cart than I had looked at total from a half dozen other stores combined, I came down to my final three selections: the Westport, the Desando, and the Lauren. At this point I knew I had to go to the showroom, but I jotted down the dimensions and utilized the “Chat” feature to quickly ask a Raymour and Flanigan online associate to give me the makers of each of these three sofas.
At the end of an exhausting day with temperatures reaching into the mid 90’s, my husband volunteered to stay with the kids so I could visit the showroom. I battled traffic and prayed that my trip would be worth the 50+ minutes it took me to get to the store. As soon as I entered the showroom I was hit with a blast of cool air and the smell of new furniture. I was greeted by a sales person who kindly showed me each of the three sets I had found online. After sitting on the Lauren 87″ sofa (also available in 79″ and has a matching love seat or chair). I closed my eyes and thought I could take a nap. We had a winner!
As advertised, I received my Lauren 87″ sofa in three days along with the matching love seat. Its “brown sugar” color seems like it will be forgiving, and as expected I have already cleaned several sticky spots from the “blended” fabric (with ease). The “blended” fabric has two different shades and the darker fabric, forming the patterns, is slightly raised and soft to the touch. The cushions are soft, yet supportive, and I love the fact that the back cushions are sewn in place. This will help eliminate pillow fights and makeshift forts in an unauthorized area of the house (that’s playroom only). The six (yes six!) throw pillows that came with the set are also very comfortable as well as stylish. The set, which I have now had for a over month, shows no signs of problems, which I would expect to continue for a long time given that it was made by Clayton Marcus.
If you live in the Northeast, there is most likely a store in your area. You can use the store locator on the Raymour and Flanigan website to find your nearest showrooms which are located all over NY, MA, RI, CT, DE, NJ, and PA. Now would be a perfect time to stop in too because there is a huge sale happening August 29th – September 6th for Labor Day.
Overall, I think the website was easy to use, and I loved the live chat feature. The showroom was clean and the staff was knowledgeable and not pushy. Also the showroom was full of all of the great furniture I had seen online (living room, dining room, bedrooms, entertainment, accents and home office). The makers are all well known and reputable, like Clayton Marcus, and the platinum protection plan should guarantee my set stay in great condition for the next five years (and covers stains, rips, frames and more).
Finally, I have a sofa set worthy of my new family room, and although I do have kids, I did not have to sacrifice style or spend a small fortune to get something my whole family can use and enjoy for years to come.
Here are some of the other sofas I mentioned above and really liked. You can also visit Raymour and Flanigan online (https://www.raymourflanigan.com/) to see the other furniture they have, or find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/raymourandflanigan?ref=ts.