I keep hearing that selections have improved. So why do I have such a hard time finding, in my price range, a sofa I don’t hate. Even a lot of the sofas out of my price range look like designs that played out years ago north of the border.
Right now, I’m shopping online, so I haven’t seen anything in person and I haven’t tested Yucatán’s notoriously stuff cushions. Our time in Yucatan is always precious, and furniture shopping can be a huge time-suck. So I’m using the Internet as much as possible, contacting dealers and downloading catalogs, which tend not to have prices listed. A few dealers have been great about getting back to me via email, but language remains somewhat of a barrier. I wasted a day thinking that a sectional sofa I saw online didn’t actually exist. Thankfully, I realized our miscommunication and found that it does exist. I say thankfully because it’s one sofa I not only don’t hate, it’s a sofa that I absolutely love.
But get this. It’s about 2.6 feet wider than we were prepared for, and the last thing I want to do is cram the living room with furniture. But it’s so beautiful! It’s got a low profile, so maybe the room won’t look so crowded. It’s made in Yucatán. The seats are large and tufted. I can’t honestly say it’s in my price range, but it’s beautiful enough to make me lose my head a little and it will be on sale.
Our floor plans always had hypothetical furniture drawn in, and now it’s time to fill in the lines. Our rooms are ample, but not endlessly large, so scale is crucial. If I take the larger piece, my clearance will be 3.5 feet, rather than give or take 4.5 feet, between the sofa and the sliding doors leading to the terrace.
Here’s what our living room looks like with the larger sectional. It’s facing a wall unit with shelves and a flat screen TV. To the left is the terrace and to the right are door/windows that open to a lily pond that’s in the center courtyard.
I’m not going to really know what to do until we get there. Then, maybe I can actually see the sectional in the showroom and test it for comfort. If the cushions are as hard as locals have traditionally made them, I’m back to square one.
As for the master bedroom bed, I always thought we’d just have one of those ironwork poster beds made. I really love those. But since we’re in a more contemporary state of mind these days, we wondered about something a little more modern. We’ve even asked the architects to suggest a design to go along with our built-ins.
So should we hire a designer? Have someone there select, buy, install, return, or even commission pieces? We need four beds, eight end tables, that sofa, and that’s just for starters. Some friends in Mérida are urging us to do just that.
There are pros and cons: The upside is that (theoretically) we are protected from spending money unwisely. I say theoretically because in Connecticut, we hired a designer who cut into some original wood paneling over our fireplace to hang sconces. She measured badly and the lampshades hit the ceiling. And I hit the roof when our wood had to be patched up and painted. If you look behind our shades, you can still see the circular cutout.
The downside is that we are ceding control to others, once again, while we’re miles away. We have our own vision for the house, and we just need someone to execute it. Can this be done? And can it make sense financially?