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Filtering by Category: the functional home

nursery series | the glider

Emily Oster

Another overdue post, written while I was pregnant with Jane...

This might be an exaggeration but I honestly thought that picking out a glider might be the death of me. Ok so it is an exaggeration but when you are in a hormonal nesting phase it can be a little hard to take a breath and gather perspective. 

Let's start at the beginning. As a designer, I have aided clients and friends in selecting gliders before so I knew that it wasn't going to be an easy search. That being said I thought that if I was super patient and dug really hard I would be able to find just the one for us. The glider criteria was: an upholstered chair in a neutral linen like fabric (no wood frame), a high back where both Jeff and I could rest our heads, chair arms (armless gliders really seem ridiculous to me), hidden glider mechanism and not something that costs a fortune (more on that later). A decent amount of wants but nothing too crazy - I thought....

As I have mentioned before, I started planning the nursery last November - right at the beginning of our second trimester. I did some light searching on the web and found the Colton Swivel Glider from Room & Board and decided that over Thanksgiving while in Chicago we should go check it out. 

  colton swivel glider chair  by Room & Board

At the time, I wasn't very committed to the search thinking it was early and the price seemed sort of high - $799.  I also didn't like that you could see the glider mechanics. In person, we discovered that we didn't find the chair that comfortable - it was just too deep for both Jeff and I. We did, however, really like the Ellery model. 

  ellerly swivel glider chair  by Room & Board

Looking at the chair online, I thought the no cushion back would not be comfortable but in reality it was super cozy while still being easy to get in and out of. It also met our all our other criteria points (upholstery color, high back etc.) EXCEPT the price - $999! Plus shipping and tax so I knew it would be more like $1200! Now as a designer, I knew that fully upholstered chairs come in right around $1000. Yes, its true - gasp, process, look around to verify - but it is indeed the case. But still - $1200 for a chair that wasn't even going to be in our main living space and with so many other things to purchase!

Leaving Room & Board that day, I became highly motivated to find our glider thinking that surely I could find something we liked just as much at a lower cost OR I could figure out a way to get the cost down on the Ellery (designer discount, holiday sale etc.). 

Over that break, I also went to Land of Nod and checked out their gliders and didn't really see anything I liked and/or thought was a good purchase. This further fueled my motivation which was quickly turning into an obsession. 

Once home from Thanksgiving and our two shopping trips, I amped up my search. I went and looked at our local Buy Buy Baby store, spent hours combing Pinterest and the blogosphere for recommendations and basically came up with little to no results. 

In mid-December, we traveled to San Francisco to visit my sister and brother-in-law. While there we had the opportunity to check out a Giggle store. For those of you unfamiliar, Giggle is a boutique baby store that seeks to limit the selection for new parents by carefully evaluating and only carrying items that they have found to be the best. We got to speak to a very knowledgable sales associate that confirmed what we had already been hearing/reading - that the glider was one of the most important items for a new parent and that it would get LOTS and LOTS of use. We also got to sit in the Monte Design Como Glider as well as the Monte Design Theo Glider

Both I found to just be ok aesthetically and too deep. Plus at the price of $1195 for the Como and $995 for Theo, it was no steal and really no competition for the Ellery. 

On the Monday we returned from San Francisco, we found out that we were having a little girl! We were already in the process of painting the nursery walls Benjamin Moore's Caldwell Green but armed with the idea of having a little girl, I put myself to work with finishing the overall design and details of the nursery. I pretty much knew what I wanted for either sex so it didn't take much time to set the general course. Over the Christmas holiday, I did a lot of sourcing and was able to get a lot of the pieces (the full sized bedding, rug etc.) on sale. And still the glider eluded me....The Ellery never went on sale (Room & Board doesn't really run sales) and I could not find any others online that were even potentials. 

In early January, my motivation to find a glider turned into a fully blown crazy pregnant woman obsession. I considered foregoing all of my criteria and just getting the IKEA Poang Rocker Chair.

At $179, the price can't be beat and I did/do like the design of the chair. But I read reviews that it didn't make for a great nursing chair and Jeff was pretty opposed to it. 

My other big hope was at the Restoration Hardware Outlet. They had their Wingback Swivel Glider for sale which was the model I was most interested in as it was the only one with a high back. But, and of course there is a but, the upholstery was very sloppy in person and the deal really wasn't much of a deal as it was around $900 - a discount of $400 or so from the base price of the chair. 

  wingback swivel glider  by RH Baby & Child

wingback swivel glider by RH Baby & Child

After the defeat at RH Outlet, I retraced my search and discovered the Toby Glider from Land of Nod. I couldn't remember if I sat in it back in November but it was on sale for $699 and came in a nice neutral fabric. It didn't have a high back and the glider mechanics were a little visible but overall I thought it looked pretty good. Land of Nod was offering free shipping and has free returns so I figured why not try it. The reviews were good and it was a savings of roughly $500 from the Ellerly. 

  toby glider  by Land of Nod

toby glider by Land of Nod

As a last effort, Jeff suggested that we see if the chair was available to sit in at the store near his parents. So we sent his parents and the feedback I got from his Mom "its wrong in just about all ways". She said it was too low, too wide and too deep. She called to give set comments from the Room & Board store while sitting in the Ellerly which she said was just the opposite of the Toby or pretty much perfect. Working with the sales associate, we discovered that the floor model of the matching ottoman was on sale for $169 which was a huge savings of $400 from full price. 

With the ottoman sale and Jeff's parents full endorsement, we decided to purchase. 

The chair arrived roughly a month later and I have to say is quite beautiful and very comfy. I still can't believe how much we spent on it but I do really love it. 

UPDATE: I LOVE THIS GLIDER! Around 2 months of age, Jane went through a phase in which she would only nap on me while nursing on and off... Yes the joys of motherhood... This glider proved to be a life saver as I am not exaggerating when I say I would spend 4+ hours in it a day! So comfortable, has not shown signs of wear and tear and looks great too!

Want to read more? Check out one or all of these related posts. 

our home buying experience: closing

Emily Oster

We have some good friends that are in the process of trying to close on their first home. They are having a rough time with negotiations causing me to have flashbacks to our own challenging close.  While we have only bought one house (and it has almost been two years so my recollection of the specific details have started to fade), I feel quite confident in saying that our situation was not the norm.

To refresh everyone's memory since it has been SO LONG since I wrote this post about our home buying timeline, we saw what would become our home in early July of 2014. From our first showing, we knew we wanted the house. It was in our desired area, was a fixer upper but still inhabitable, had a nice size yard (although you couldn't really tell because of the invasive bamboo), was priced within our budget and most importantly we could just picture ourselves there. I cannot express how important this point was for us. We just intuitively knew that this was suppose to be our house. Sure there were things that made this possible - searching for over a year, missing out on another house, containing our search to one neighborhood, narrowing down our house criteria etc. - but ultimately it just came down to a feeling. A feeling that this house was to be our house. Without this I think our close would have been even that much more daunting and filled with doubt. And when things came up after close (like a flooded basement), it became even that much more significant. 

So we saw the house on a Sunday and I think we made an offer on that Tuesday. It was countered by the seller to which we countered back. Our counter was then signed and agreed upon by us and the seller! Unfortunately, that was the easy part as then came the inspections... We opted to do multiple inspections as the house was built in 1869 and was not in great shape. I like to say while "it wasn't a full fixer upper it still needed a lot of fixing" so we did a whole home as well as a sewer, radon, chimney and gas inspections. For anyone who hasn't gone through this process, it can be vey time consuming and costly. I basically remember this period as a lot of waiting around, writing checks and getting bad news. 

From what we gathered post-purchase, the former homeowner who had lived in the house for over 35 years, had pretty much just let the house go after she became widowed several years prior. No routine maintenance (like maybe even cleaning) was done which is important to keep up with on any house but especially one that is 150 years old. On top of that whoever did do repairs on the house knew just enough to be dangerous. Meaning "fixes" were made haphazardly to say the least. 

Armed with our inspection reports, we started round two of negotiations. We asked for a lot of repairs and, in hindsight, I would have approached the process differently. For one, I think we would have asked more for monetary compensation than for the repairs to be made by the seller. I say this because the repairs we did end up agreeing to were not necessarily up to our standards (and our standards really weren't that high). Also now looking back on it and having more resources, knowledge and referrals, I would have had contractors and appropriate subs in to inspect the house. This would have given us a more accurate picture of what was important to fix immediately, what we could put off and how much these items/lists of items would cost. At the time, I wanted to do this but just hadn't found a trusted crew of people. Finally, I think we would have focused on getting the bigger items taken care of and left off some of the smaller things.

Anyways, round two of negotiations did not go very well to say the least. In large part, I think this was because 1.) the seller was very attached to the home and was having a hard time letting go/seeing all the issues with the property and 2.) the seller's agent was EXTREMELY difficult to work with. It took weeks for use to weed through the list and come to an agreement and more than once I thought the deal would collapse. We also ended up being on vacation during the thick of things which made the whole process that much more frustrating. No one wants to be pulling out their computer at bars and restaurants and reading addendum after addendum.

In the end, I think we probably compromised more than we should have but every time we asked ourselves the question "do we want to lose the house over item x" (structural issue, termite damage, broken windows etc.) the answer was always no. So we finally came to an agreement, waited for the repairs to be made, inspected set repairs compromised AGAIN and made our way to our close at the end of August. It was a very long and arduous effort that I would not like to repeat anytime soon. But now almost two years later, I can confidently say we love our house and are so glad we are here.

If you missed the other posts about our home buying experience, you can read more here, here and here

Want to keep reading? Check out one or all of these related posts. 

tree feature: arborvitae

Emily Oster

Happy April everyone! Its a beautiful day and looks to be a nice weekend so I have gardening on the mind yet again. Specifically, creating a privacy hedge in our front yard between us and our east side neighbors. We are pretty fortunate in that our house staggers from our neighbors, however, our living room window looks right at the side of their house. I don't really want to do a window covering as the room gets such good light so I am thinking of doing an evergreen hedge. 

At my parents house, they have some really nice hedges made up of a lot of arborvitaes. Arborvitaes (Thuga) are an evergreen tree with scale like leaves that grow tall, narrow and thick. There are several varieties that grow throughout North American with all of them being fast growers and liking full to part sun. I am thinking we would need 4 - 6 depending on their size...Off to my trusty local nursery for some expert advice!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

  from top left - design by  Land Architects  via  Houzz  - via  Quintessence  - design by Zachary Duff via  Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles  - design by  Falkner Gardens  - via  Bungalow Blue Interiors  - via  The Tree Center  | THE PLACE HOME

from top left - design by Land Architects via Houzz - via Quintessence - design by Zachary Duff via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles - design by Falkner Gardens - via Bungalow Blue Interiors - via The Tree Center | THE PLACE HOME

Want to read more? Check out one or all of these related posts.

   outdoor spaces  july 17, 2013

outdoor spaces
july 17, 2013

   bamboo shades  january 13, 2014

bamboo shades
january 13, 2014

   our front yard  march 9, 2015

our front yard
march 9, 2015