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Ethan Allen--is it worth the price?

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janinegirly

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There''s a couch we really like from Ethan Allen (Retreat sectional), but it is pretty overpriced. EA tends to not have sales, but the customer service apparently makes up for it. My concern is the quality. I keep hearing EA used to be top quality--but less so these days. Does anyone have recent experience with EA furniture, particularly the sofas/chairs?
 

asscherisme

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No, not worth it! I''m sitting here at an Ethan Allen desk as I type Nope, way overpriced. I use to lust over Ethan Allen stuff. Then I finally splurged and got an expensive Ethan Allen desk and realized within a year it was a huge waste. The finish on it started to look awful within a year and its not great quality wood and most of it is not real wood at all but that fake fiberboard junk. The drawers are not well made either. HUGE dissapointment. I will never every buy Ethan Allen again. Last year I bought a desk for another room made by the Amish and it was less expensive and is a beautiful, well constructed lifelong piece made out of solid cherry wood. I also bought a sofa from that store and its beautiful. It has a solid maple construction frame and thats inside where you can''t even see it.

Maybe Ethan Allen use to be all its reputation has it cracked up to be but I would never buy from there again.
 

gailrmv

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I agree with asscherisme - I think it used to be great, but now it is overpriced and not worth it. I did a LOT of research on furniture last year. My mom has a beautiful Ethan Allen dining room set bought in the early 1990s. I shopped for a dining room set last year and looked at EA to see if they still carried my mom's because I loved it. They had something similar, but the quality was night and day different (worse) than my mom's. I would definitely not spend the money. We also looked at Thomasville and were not impressed with their quality either, but at least it was less expensive. We ended up buying Amish made furniture. The prices are similar to EA but quality MUCH better (all solid wood, dovetailed drawers, really sturdy).

Many of the furniture companies that used to be high quality have shifted production overseas and started using cheaper methods to make their furniture. The average customer might not notice because the general look and style are very nice, but when you start learning about how furniture is constructed, you notice for sure (like veneer vs solid wood, drawer construction and glides, etc). It really affects how the pieces will hold up as asscherisme said.

You are in NYC right? I love the furniture store Room and Board which has a website, catalogue and flagship store in Soho (I think). They carry high quality items, mostly made in the US and the customer service is great too. It is exactly my taste, but I think it may be too contemporary from yours (based on your other thread). Still, might be worth looking!

ETA I see you are looking at a sofa. I was looking at wood pieces. I don't know much about upholstered goods, so take my advice with a grain of salt!
 

janinegirly

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thanks girls, you kind of confirmed my suspicions. I like the couch for its look and comfort (and I''m also a bit lazy and want to stop looking since it feels neverending!). However the cost would be $3000+ and for a family room couch, not really justified i suppose. My DH hates EA, says it''s bad quality and pretentious and overpriced. Sigh..maybe he''s right on this one!

Anyone got suggestions for comfy sectionals that aren''t cheezy looking?

PS tan dog-I am familiar with Room and Board--looked there a lot when we were furnishing our apt. You''re right that it''s great quailty but a bit too modern for our new house.
 

Burk

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Have you tried pottery barn? I like their sectionals and they''re under $3000
 

HollyS

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No.

You are paying for a recognizable name in home furnishings. You are paying for advertising. The furniture is not expensive (or fabulously made), but the ''name'' is.
 

diane5006

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Some of it is better than others...google Ethen Allen complaints and see what come up...

I had my childhood furniture from them ...almost 40yr...finally gave it away...went to a good home...

we have a bedroom set that I love...got good service...but price was high...if I got what I wanted in solid wood elsewhere migh have saved a bit but not too much
 

pennquaker09

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I like the look of EA, but not the prices.

Have you looked at Mitchell Gold or Norwalk? You might have been better off just getting something from Thomasville.
 

natalina

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Date: 2/5/2009 12:55:00 PM
Author: Burk
Have you tried pottery barn? I like their sectionals and they''re under $3000
I second Burk on Pottery Barn. While it is a huge name brand, the company truly is about quality and they stand behind their product 100%. All sofa frames are kiln-dried hardwood, double-doweled and corner-blocked for strength, stability, and durability. There are certain sofas/sectionals that offer a choice between poly or down cushions as well. Also slip-covered or upholstered. Sorry if I sound like a commercial, but we did a lot of research and just love ours.
 

snowflakeluvr

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how about flexsteel for upholstery pieces? we just moved a few months ago and i bought two flexsteel couches for our family room. i ordered them sight/unseen as i needed the longest ones they make and we love them. i also purchased a tufted ottoman which looks great as sort of a "coffee table" in the middle of them. they are in an L layout. our other flexsteel couch, a huge sectional, which was the "look'' in the late 80''s when we got married, is still in good shape structurally but the fabric was finally taking a beating. i just purchased an ethan allen french chair as an accent chair in pink toile(translation-kids aren''t allowed to sit on it ha ha). i also have an ethan allen kitchen table with rushed(sp?) seating ladderback chairs, french country style. i am pleased with it but we''ll see if it stands the test of time...furniture shopping is fun, and expensive so it''s important to deliberate and shop around a bit. i also just purchased some drexel heritage for our bedroom mostly and i really love it-not inexpensive but not so expensive that i have a showhouse. too many kids running around here!
 

snowflakeluvr

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p to the s
the ethan allen girl has come to my house though and offered informal and FREE design help and advice-really great!
 

elrohwen

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Not sure where you are in the country, but if you live near Connecticut you can come and visit the Ethan Allen headquarters and get stuff cheap! Just a suggestion
 

LtlFirecracker

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I have chairs from them, and they are fine. They are nicer than similar chairs at Pottery Barn at the same time, but Pottery barn seems to be improving over the last few years. However, I will probably not be buying more stuff from them. My BF has introduced me to truly well made furniture, and I don''t think I will ever be able to go back.
 

janinegirly

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Well I did some shopping around at Ethan Allen this weekend and have to say I find them to be awful store! Here was my experience in case anyone is curious or would like to same themselves the same effort:

*was quoted a price at one EA store of 3200 for a couch. Very overpriced, and salesman acted baffled that this was the case. Was told we could receive 10% rebate if paid in cash. Then we were told we would not be able to receive this pricing since our delivery location was outside the radius of this store''s delivery zone.

*called store closer to our actual hosue and told no 10% off because they were a "corporate store" and the store we had spoken to was privately owned. She actually said to me "we do not get involved in basement bargain hunting". So insulting, plus in this market they should be kissing the ground customers walk on! I reminded her the quote I received was from the SAME store (ethan allen) and SAME exact product and that it''s not my problem that there is this private vs. corporate store competition that leads to different quotes!

*requested her exact price quote so I could compare apples to apples. She tells me she cannot give me a quote over the phone and I have to come in. Obviously giving me attitude. With a baby and work--I''m not about to be going into the store every time I want a price quote! She finally relented and grilled me for name/number claiming people often give fake numbers.

I am now completely turned off by the store and will not be buying from them.
 

April20

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I''m a little late to the game, but I have a Pottery Barn sofa that I love. It''s not a sectional- it''s a 72" length PB square. We''ve had it almost a year and it''s been holding up really well. I think we paid about $1600. I just looked up the sectional and it runs from $2900 to $4900 depending on your fabric selection. So not inexpensive, however, I find the quality to be good. I had a less expensive sofa before this one (maybe $600?) and it just didn''t hold up very well. The back cushions got smushed over time and there wasn''t a replacement option. I spent quite a bit of timing inquiring as to replacement cushions for the PB sofas. The regular back cushions run about $20/each the down fill ones are closer to $50. The girl told me that if they got misshapen in under two years, that that would be unacceptable and that more than likely they would replace them for free.

You might want to check them out.
 

janinegirly

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Date: 2/6/2009 1:45:22 AM
Author: pennquaker09
I like the look of EA, but not the prices.

Have you looked at Mitchell Gold or Norwalk? You might have been better off just getting something from Thomasville.
Penn, totally off topic, but way back when you wrote this I looked at Mitchel Gold's website. Great stuff but was a bit over budget. Anyway, I thought you'd find it amusing that there is a blog for the building we lived in in NYC and I was going back and forth with someone called Mitchell about all the issues in the building. When he mentioend he supplies hotels and can help with choosing better design ideas I realized who it was. And I never would have figured it out if you didn't throw the name out there when I was in the market for a sofa. Is it weird that I'm starstruck now? And I thought he was just a random disgruntled owner in our co-op!
 

pennquaker09

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Date: 4/3/2009 4:14:13 PM
Author: janinegirly
Date: 2/6/2009 1:45:22 AM

Author: pennquaker09

I like the look of EA, but not the prices.


Have you looked at Mitchell Gold or Norwalk? You might have been better off just getting something from Thomasville.
Penn, totally off topic, but way back when you wrote this I looked at Mitchel Gold''s website. Great stuff but was a bit over budget. Anyway, I thought you''d find it amusing that there is a blog for the building we lived in in NYC and I was going back and forth with someone called Mitchell about all the issues in the building. When he mentioend he supplies hotels and can help with choosing better design ideas I realized who it was. And I never would have figured it out if you didn''t throw the name out there when I was in the market for a sofa. Is it weird that I''m starstruck now? And I thought he was just a random disgruntled owner in our co-op!
[/QUOTE

What building did you live in?
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 21, 2006
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hi penn, hmm i probably shouldn''t reveal too much personal info here--but it''s a new full service building in Midtown West. Anyway, it just struck me as ironic since I''d been looking at his site (after you recommended it) and didn''t put 2+2 together although I did think his name sounded made up at first, hehe.
 

pennquaker09

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I think it''s interesting that you lived in the same building (I think I know which one) as him.

Have you moved to Jersey yet? I wonder how far we live from each other. I''m pretty much a hop from NYC.
 

crystalheart1

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Apr 12, 2007
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512
I have a friend who is a designer at EA. There seems to be some internal issues regarding company owned stores vs privately owned one.

I never heard speak of the "Quality" of the furniture. They seem more driven towards customer service, design ideas...adding the finishing touches to the sale.
 

janinegirly

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Penn-yup in jersey now (Summit). We''re probably not too far from each other since we''re also v. close to nyc.

Crystal- we decided against EA, too expensive and they were too snooty about it. Which would be fine in a normal market, but not with today''s conditions. We went with a Masterfield which apparently is v. well made, 8 way hand tied and all that stuff I now know about. For the quality (which has decreased in recent years), EA charges way, way too much.
 
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