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July 5, 2021

So You Want to Buy A Sofa?

Nic Lehoux


It’s been a tough 18 months, to say the least! You are ready to spread your wings, freshen up your home and maybe donate the sofa that your grown up kiddo has been sleeping on for the last year.

A word of caution though…don’t let that well loved sofa leave your home until you can see the delivery company walking through the door with the new one.

These days when clients tell me they are going to sell _______________ (fill in the blank), the first thing I tell them is to hold on to what they have until they have those new pieces in their hands.

I had one sweet family eating at a tiny card table for most of their holidays as their 6-8 weeks turned into 6-8 months!

Let’s break down what has happened here and how we can get a handle on yet another new reality!

Thomas J Story
  1. Captain Obvious

We have almost lived through one of the most catastrophic events in modern history and, as you can imagine, no one was left behind.

In March of 2020 our country, and the world just stopped. People had to walk off the job and neither they nor their employers knew for how long. Some lost their jobs and others lost their lives. Along with every other industry, the furniture industry needed to figure out how to keep employees safe and healthy while also trying to stay in business. When it was safe to return, many still did not, leaving the industry with a huge gap of talented, seasoned craftspeople to fill. Some elements of finely crafted furniture take many years to master. Our new reality is a shortage of skilled employees.

Bethany Nauert

2. Get In Line

When the industry got back to work, even in a modified manner, they picked up where they left off, which in some cases was with an order that had been placed over a year ago! Before new orders could be filled, the ones that were abandoned needed to be filled first. This created a greater wait, which was made even greater when the industry started to run low on in stock materials.

The Phillips Collection

3. Interconnectedness

While much of what we make in the USA is US made, we all pool resources and materials from all over the world. Your sofa springs can come from one part of the world while those beautifully carved legs are from another. Even when the US was back to work, many countries were (and are) not as fortunate.

Cisco Home

4. Can your sofa swim or drive?

If your furniture was lucky enough to finish in a reasonable time ( pre pandemic that was ready to ship -4 weeks for big box stores, 6-10 for custom), then it started its journey. The trucking industry was also hit hard by the pandemic which meant the supply of drivers was very low and to save on fuel and resources, many trucking companies waited (and still wait) for a full truck before leaving. That also translates into more stops before your new designs arrive. On top of that, the ports were hit incredibly hard and many containers full of goods sat for possibly months on the water or at port. Hint: Humidity and water are not a friend to furniture!

Barclay Buttera for Lexington

5. Say it Ain’t Foam!

And because we all didn’t have enough to focus on just stayin’ alive, Mother Nature decided an ice storm throughout Texas was the perfect poetic twist. So most recently we have dealt with material shortages such as foam and wood ( musts haves for a sofa!).

The Phillips Collection

6. Pent Up Demand

And then on top of all of this, folks were starting to look around and realize that if they were going to have to stay inside for 14 months, work from home and not take a vacation, they would like to update their view, at least their furniture view. Retail and wholesale furniture businesses have reported record sales as even the most modest of incomes look to feather their nests. It creates the perfect storm.


So what’s next?

Who couldn’t be happy hugging a little Jonathan Adler in a fringed chair!

Phew! Even with all that sobering news, there is better news on the horizon. We are approaching a 70% vaccination rate and people are coming back to work and back into the world.

While we can probably expect this continued demand and labor shortage to continue  until early next year, there are definitely things you can do to set expectations and get creative.


~ Shop consignment. We love this reuse option. There are so many fabulous finds in local thrift stores, furniture consignment stores ( we love Misty’s, PS Vintage Market, the Shops at Thirteen Forty Five, and Chairish) and even local tag sales. Become a bargain hunter!

~Always ask if an item is in stock, and if not, what is the true lead time (including shipping)? Look for in stock fabrics or finishes to cut down on the lead time. Ask if you can take an item right off the floor! In our studio, I’m a pretty soft sell. I always know where to get another!

Mandeville Canyon Designs

~Can an existing piece be refinished or recovered? We always joke with our clients that this will be the last sofa they buy from us. We are firm believers (excuse the pun!) that when it comes to furniture, buy the best you can afford and wait if you can’t. We don’t want to see anything in a landfill and while it’s tempting to get it sooner, imagine it’s life once it leaves you. Good quality pieces will be heirlooms and only need some TLC to stay that way.

~Set expectations. If you know you are planning a reno in a few months, order the furniture now. Most warehouses can hold merchandise for awhile and it’s much nicer than eating on your yoga mat on the dining room floor (yes, true story, as we just got our dining room furniture this week, ordered in October! No insider deals with COVID!).


This too shall pass and there are so many bigger and braver things to celebrate!

Ronan Barrett

Look for our upcoming series on how to pick out the best furniture for your home!

And in the meantime, we are here to help with advice, support and an extra yoga mat!

Transformations Worth Sharing

Clients who have experienced the transformative power of healthy interior design

Renee possesses a rare combination of artistic creativity and intuitive design. Her warmth and compassion extended beyond working with us to understanding the style and feel of our home and how we live in it. We felt fortunate to work with and get to know Renee and absolutely love the updates she made to our home- from windows and walls to artwork and furniture!

Jim P.

Renee is an absolutely wonderful designer. Very talented and easy to work with! She will transform your room or outdoor space into exactly what you want, only better!

Karen S.

Talented, creative, dedicated, great communicator. Renee is such a special person.

Marla W.

We have worked with Renee Carman at this company for almost 2 years. Renee is professional, personable, and a pleasure to know. She is very helpful and will go the extra mile to please her clients. Renee has excellent expertise and knowledge of interior design. We have a beautiful home and highly recommend her.

Lisa W.

Renee possesses a rare combination of artistic creativity and intuitive design.  Her warmth and compassion extended beyond working with us to understanding the style and feel of our home and how we live in it.  We felt fortunate to work with and get to know Renee and absolutely love the updates she made to our home- from windows and walls to artwork and furniture!

Kate S.

Renee was a pleasure to work with and has great vision. We were doing a total rehab of a recently purchased property and she was able to look at a gutted out '50s cottage and turn it into a beautiful mid-century modern home. She understood our budget and timeline and was good about narrowing all our options down to just a few choices. This expedited the process, made it less difficult and more enjoyable. Once the rehab is done, we look forward to working with her again and finish the rest of the rooms.

Bill H.

Renee at Mandeville Canyon Interior Design was simply wonderful to work with. She was able to understand what we were looking for in terms of color, function and design from the moment we first spoke. She's easy to work with, goes above and beyond and delivers an outstanding design.

I highly recommend Renee and Mandeville Canyon Interior Design. I don't think I will attempt to decorate another room in my house without the help of Renee!

Pam O.

Love working with Renee and Mandeville Canyon Interior Design ! I had the opportunity to collaborate on a large scale design project recently and the results were fantastic! Creative, resourceful and one of kind design ideas made this design opportunity with Renee "one of a kind" Have a large or small project? You won't be disappointed!!

Mary S.

Renee not only has an amazingly creative eye, she also directed a massive renovation for us this past year that included the challenges of operating during the pandemic. She put together a team that had an incredible work ethic and brought the project in on-time and on-budget. She's a great listener. When we threw ideas at her, she was never dismissive; quite the contrary, she made them better. Her patience, attention to detail combined with her whacky sense of humor meant we were all able to smile while producing a home that we love. A great talent and a great lady.

Ann R.

Rene is amazing!  Great customer care and wonderful attention to detail.

Holly M.