09-11-2007, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: irvine, ca
Total Cats: 0
tony, i'm in irvine. trying to find another job to relocate back to NC or GA, though. i have time on my side.
some things to be aware of in asian furniture:
"solid wood" usually means rubber wood or an amalgamation of wood pieces with a wood veneer from a local species.
"leather" from asia is usually water buffalo. if it feels REALLY soft and has a fine grain, it may be pig leather.
with the exception of taiwan and japan, most aisian metal furniture is garbage with a metalurgy of highly suspect integrity.
ever notice that "smell" when you walk into Ashley furniture, world market, pier one, or other purveyors of imported furniture? that, my friends, is a urea based wood finish. urea from the processing of livestock. not legal to manufacture here, ok to import on finished goods.
small notice...some states are going to require the sale of some furniture manufactured from particle board to move to the new "E1" board. it doesn't contain formaldehyde. england and a few other european countries already have implemented this. E1 board is considerably more costly that typical partical board. i would expect to see a jump in RTA furniture products.
fun fact: besides china, italy exports more furniture to the US than any other country. not just leather, but solid hardwood furniture.
typical markup on furniture is 300-500% over cost...including the crap you buy at the bigbox stores.
a well-made sofa or chair can last over 20 years with regular use. reupholstering is often the best way to refresh a look. the frame is what's really important.