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Does Pottery Barn make Quality furniture?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Allan

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Posted July 12 2004 - 01:52 AM

My wife and I are considering buying a new bed. We like the Valencia sleigh bed from Pottery Barn but are just not sure if P/B makes quality furniture or are you simply paying for the name. Does anyone have any experience with their stuff (esp this bed)? Also, we are thinking about getting the Manhattan Armchair (with Ottoman), so if anyone has comments on that, they would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks
Allan

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted July 12 2004 - 02:08 AM

I doubt that Pottery Barn makes furniture at all, someone else, probably in Carolina, makes it for them.
When judging a particular manufacturer I pull a dresser drawer out and check to see if it is of fingerjoint construction. Then I check the back of pieces to see what material was used there.
Is it "screwed & glued" or simply stapled or nailed together.
Ask PB to pull a rail off a display bed. Is it solid wood?
Is there sturdy hardware where it fits into the headboard and footboard?
Please check a few antique stores before you make this purchase.

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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeremiah

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Posted July 12 2004 - 04:32 AM

Pottery Barn has some good stuff, I bought the Sumatra bed and dresser and it is very nice, the bed is all solid wood. It is put together with brackets and bolts, it is sturdy. The Sleigh bed should be built the same.

The Manhattan Chair is what I want next, what color are you thinking about?
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#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Peter Kline

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Posted July 12 2004 - 05:21 AM

As mentioned above, PB doesn't make the furniture. It's manufactured by 3rd party vendors... some in the U.S. and some outside. Lands End now sells some basic stuff by mail order as well that is made in the U.S. . Both are a bit pricey but are well made. For the price you might want to check out an Ethan Allen showroom if you like contemporary/transitional furniture, as well.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted July 12 2004 - 07:02 AM

My wife and I got a set of end tables and a coffee table from Pottery Barn and it was not even close to worth the money we paid. I picked up some change once from the table and my fingernail made a big SCRAPE.

Overpriced junk for the most part.

At least it looks nice.

Now, if you can get it on sale at an outlet, that's a different story..... We've gotten lots of great stuff at their nearby outlet.

Ethan Allen is grampa furniture IMO and while it's very high quality, it's also overpriced for what you get. Actually, Ethan Allen is like the Bose of furniture. Other people in the industry absolutely disdain them, you can get so much more for your money elsewhere. Difference being EA stuff is legitimately goodquality and Bose isn't.
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#6 of 17 OFFLINE   CalvinCarr

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Posted July 12 2004 - 07:09 AM

You got to go to Miami and see El Dorado Furniture....It's a Disney shopping experience...Posted Image

Don't you guy's have an Ikea close? I think most Mall type stores are over priced.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkMel

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Posted July 12 2004 - 07:31 AM

Most of the pieces in my house are antiques. Not $20k pieces but nice $1-5k furniture. Not museum pieces. I like to use them as well, not just look at them. When/if I need to sell any of them, I will get back what I paid for them if not more. See how much you could get for a pottery barn piece 6 months later.

Buying antiques takes some research mainly so you don't get ripped off. If someone tries to sell you an antique coffee table for instance, make sure you tell them that coffee tables didn't come into fashion until the 50's. For fun I like to go into shops and get the pitch from the dealer and then tell them exactly why they are wrong/bs'ing.

Learn a little about how pieces from different periods are constructed and it will serve you well in the long run.

Now antiques may not suit everyone's style but we get lots of compliments in our house.
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#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Tucker

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Posted July 12 2004 - 08:24 AM

from what i have seen PB furniture is mostly made of asian rubberwood and stained with not the very best finish. like most import furniture, it is pretty good for the price.
"He's right. The ear's hacked off." Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs.

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted July 12 2004 - 10:48 AM

Well, some of PB's stuff that I have seen, like the leather seating pieces, seem to be pretty good quality to me but they are overpriced IMO. The wood stuff is probably hit or miss since there is such an influx of the rubberwood stuff now. I would definitely want to see it in the store rather than buying out of the catalog.
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#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Allan

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Posted July 13 2004 - 02:01 AM

Thanks for all the replies. Jeremiah - we are not sure yet as to the color. Perhaps, chocolate? Which are you looking at?

So, in sum, it seems like the general consensus is that PB's stuff is decent quality although it may be a bit overpriced. I can live with that. So long as we like it and it is decent stuff and will last, I don't mind paying a bit more than it is worth (whatever "worth" means).

Thanks for all input and if anyone else has anything to add, that would be appreciated as well.

Allan

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Peter Kline

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Posted July 13 2004 - 11:08 AM

IKEA is knock-down, inexpensive furniture. Ethan Allen has a line of modern furniture, they are not like they used to be. All furniture is expensive, particularly if you want quality stuff. You need to shop around. Many independent furniture dealers in your area will have much better deals... you need to go across the river to New Joisy I'd say.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Marc S Kessler

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Posted July 14 2004 - 10:25 AM

We were looking at a table the other day in an "oak furniture" store. It was made from Asian rubberwood. We tought it was pretty nice, built well and reasonably priced. My question is after reading this thread whether or not rubberwood can be good quality stuff?
MARC S KESSLER

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Louis C

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Posted July 14 2004 - 11:10 AM

So what is the best place to buy furniture then?

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Tom Meyer

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Posted July 14 2004 - 12:42 PM

I have a bunch of Room & Board stuff -- the greatest couch ever, bookcase/HT case, dining room table, chairs, bed. It's all solid wood and pretty reasonably priced. It's contemporary w/o being stuffy or too mod.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted July 14 2004 - 08:01 PM

So what is the best place to buy furniture then?


Head to Western North Carolina ! Huge savings if you go physically there to order, then have it shipped to your home. Tons of good quality furniture manufacturers (Thomasville, EA, etc) at real low prices...

The furniture industry has similar "price fixing" schemes as the HT industry. Some will let you phone order at reduced prices if you let them know you were in the store/showroom in the past 30 or 60 days. Others only give you a discount if you are onsite when you order.

Some states, including Maryland, are trying to tax these types of shipments from out-of-state purchases. Then again, our comptroller is on such a money-grab he considers anyone smuggling in 2 cartons of cigarettes from neighboring Virginia a "terrorist".

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted July 15 2004 - 02:00 AM

Quote:
So what is the best place to buy furniture then?

We don't have Pottery Barn over here, but the following info may still be pertinent. We have the following guidelines:

(1) With anything that's going to take your weight, it must not only look good but feel good as well. It doesn't matter how good it looks, if it ain't good for your back, then leave it alone.

(2) Be considerate towards the needs of your guests. E.g. if you have frequent visitors who are elderly/infirm, make sure they can sit down comfortably. Offering nothing but sofas 2" from the floor and futons is rude (unless of course you want to deter them Posted Image ).

(3) Trendy rarely lasts. Something that is at the cutting edge of fashion now will look far more dated in five years than a more 'boring' traditional design.

(4) Look out for sales. We have two sofas, both bought at well under half price from Multiyork (I think you guys have them). Wonderful sofas, should last at least 20 years (and even then they'll replace the covers and stuffing - the specs of everything they sell are kept in central records). No way could we have afforded both of them brand new.

(5) Don't disdain the cheaper end of the market. E.g. IKEA sell some excellent stuff - just learn to be selective.

(6) Look carefully to see if the design fits your needs. E.g. are washable covers a must? Do you need to get the stuff up narrow stairs when it's delivered? etc etc.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeremiah

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Posted July 19 2004 - 06:17 AM

Quote:
Thanks for all the replies. Jeremiah - we are not sure yet as to the color. Perhaps, chocolate? Which are you looking at?

I am looking to get the cognac color, Chocolate is my second choice.
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