I cannot rave enough about Ethan Allen and their design service. We went down to Ethan Allen to pick out a couch (yes, just one) sometime in February. We sat on every couch in the place and the last one we sat on, we liked. As we tested out our newly found couch, an employee from Ethan Allen came by to see if she could help us with anything. We said, we would like this couch. What color and fabric, she asked. This color and fabric, we pointed to the couch we were sitting on. What cushion firmness, she asked. This cusion firmness, we again pointed to the couch we were sitting on.
Well, the friendly Ethan Allen associate, Joanna Hallmark, was not convinced that this couch, in this color and fabric and firmness, was really what we wanted so she took us to the fabric room. It was actually a room filled with swatches of fabric. This was too much for Peter and I who quickly decided we could never wade through this sea of color. Joanna offered to help us and started asking us what color the walls were and what our other funriture looked like. As we were in drywall at the time, we told her we had no colors chosen as of yet. She was perplexed until we explained that we were rebuilding a house that burned down so we were still in construction.
Joanna got very excited at this point and explained the design service to us and we set a date for her to visit our house in progress so she could get an idea of size and shape. A few weeks later, she showed up at our construction site in high heeled boots and a black outfit. Unfortunately for her, her boots and clothes were covered in dust by the end of the visit.
We supplied her with plans of the house to give her dimensions, photographs of all the art work we had aquired for the house, like the Chinese paintings Peter has recently purchased while in China and our metal sculpted geckos, and a list of the Cherry furniture that Peter had ordered from Bentwood to replace our previous furnishings. Joanna took all this information and created a color and fabric template for us. When she was done with the design, she had us come back to the Ethan Allen showroom where she had set up a full layout of our house in color and fabric and accent pieces. She had chosen all the paint colors, all the fabric and fabric colors, area rugs, lamps, throw pillows, and other accent pieces.
We had only two little sticking points. First, she had chosen a shade of green for our big monolith wall which I was not sure about. I am not a big fan of green, but as I would find out, I should have just trusted her design brilliance. Second, all the couches were leather and Peter, being a vegetarian, was not sure he wanted leather in the house. Joanna gave us another option of a microfiber fabric, but it just wasn't right so we went back to the leather.
Joanna gave us a moment to discuss which parts of the design were a go and which needed more work. We pondered on the green wall for a bit, but when Joanna returned, Peter announced we would take it all. "Which part," Joanna asked. "All of it," Peter repeated. So Joanna ordered all of the couches, chairs, area rugs, lamps, throw pillows, and various other finish accent pieces. And with that order, our house was almost complete.
Today, all the furniture we ordered from Ethan Allen was delivered, in a big truck as there is a lot of furniture.
The careful wrapped and protected furniture sitting in the road awaiting transport to their various rooms.
Another shot of more furniture, this time sitting in the driveway waiting to be moved to their respective rooms. Before anything is moved from curbside, inventory is checked to make sure all the pieces have arrived.
Inventory took a while as there are many many pieces, as shown by this photograph.
Unfortunately for the delivery guys, most of the couch pieces are going down to either the media room or the reading room on the lower level. With the crazy round staircase, the furniture cannot be taken downstairs through the house so they had to cart all the pieces down the side of the house and in the back door. Here is one of the chaise pieces being wrangled down the hill by one poor delivery guy.
All the pieces for the lower level were moved to the back deck downstairs first and then each piece was unwrapped before being carried inside and set up according to Joanna's explicit orders.
I felt bad for the guy moving the furniture so I stopped taking pictures of him after this.
To give you an idea of how much furniture he had to move, we have two chaises and four sections for the couch in the media room plus one chaise, two sections of couch, and an arm chair for the reading room. That means after the last photograph, he still had to bring down nine more pieces, not including the coffee tables (3), throw pillows, and lamps.......
Then they had to move furniture into the living room.
It was a long day for them. We ordered pizza as a break and in the end, it took about 6 hours, but they set up all the furniture, area rugs, throw pillows, lamps etc.
Joanna and Peter did get into a bit of a row at one point though. She had designed the main living room so that the couch and two arm chairs were facing perpendicular to eachother. Unfortunately, with the arm chairs positioned in Joanna's design, the living room speakers are blocked for Peter when he sits in the center of the couch. He was not going to have that and he held fast that he had already explained to Joanna that the speakers were not to be blocked. Being the flexible designer that she is (and realizing she was never going to win this battle), Joanna redesigned the position of the two arm chairs so the path of sound from speaker to Peter was unblocked. Of course, now we have an extra side table and two lamps that we cannot figure out where to put, but the important thing is that Peter can listen to his music uninterrupted by furniture!!!