Big Problems and Slow Solutions

Tilted Mom’s Great Sofa Search, Part 2

Our new sofa.  Friend or foe?

Our new sofa. Friend or foe?

The Great Sofa Search started about a year ago; finding new furniture without synthetic materials, for our chemically safe home has been a complicated process. I had done the research and tested materials and talked to companies to get a feel for customer service and we had a tentative plan. We had picked Furnature, they have the most experience in the field and impeccable customer satisfaction. But we could not get our heads around their prices. I suspect that they are entirely justified. I was looking at their sofas made without latex cushions; instead each cushion is made of an array of steel springs encased in organic cotton tubes then wrapped in wool batting and more cotton. In essence, each cushion is a small organic mattress. That’s a lot of material and labor and the price reflects it. Those furniture pieces will last forever and as such, are probably worth it. If you can afford it.

However, we are a single income family thanks to MCS. And we live in Florida, partially thanks to MCS and my need for clean (I prefer coastal) air. Florida spends an average of $9,752 per student compared to the national average of $11,864 per student, ranking it 36th. This might explain its D+ grade in K-12 achievement levels based on national tests and graduation rates (statistics from Education Week‘s report that just came out last week ). My point being that we need to spend our single income on private schooling for the kids and health care for me. Not our furniture. So I went back to my list of possible sources, with budget more firmly in mind, and started talking to Ekla Home.

They were great with their questions, which I find just as telling as their answers. The materials that I tested were fine and their designs were lovely. So I have ordered two sofas made with organic natural latex cushions. Yikes, a risk! I am not currently sensitive to latex, and the rubber should be very well contained in layers of wool batting and cotton casings but…you just never know with this illness. My chemical sensitivities have been stable (not gone – stable) for a while but the food ones are spreading like crazy and that makes me worry about introducing anything new and constant into my environment.

In the sofa vs kids war, guess who came out victorious?

In the sofa vs kids war, guess who came out victorious?

However, I have been struggling with this decision for a year now. So I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the sofas. They have been made. They have been photographed for my visual confirmation (since I am on the wrong coast to go into their store). The throw pillow fabric was on back order so everything is waiting to be shipped to me until all pieces are ready, which means the big sofas have an extra few weeks to air out before they head my way – an unexpected bonus. Although there should be absolutely nothing for me to react to, I have thought that many times before and been unpleasantly surprised.

Soon they should all be delivered and I will let you know how that goes. Keeping my fingers crossed for latex tolerance. Because two sofas are not going to fit in any of my airing out stations.

4 thoughts on “Tilted Mom’s Great Sofa Search, Part 2

  1. I have this very old loveseat that is creakyand sags, and I really need a new one. We have a small apartment with crappy ventilation and I need to get a new air filter replacement, so thanks for this post. I don’t want to buy something that will aggravate my skin or respiratory sensitivities. Things that don’t bother me in the outside world bother me in my apartment, and it might be because of the lack of ventilation (it’s a small railroad apartment and the windows are at either end). Apartments in NYC are known for being super-tiny, and mine is no exception!
    I’m not allergic to latex either, but I worry about becoming allergic to it because I’m allergic to bananas and avocados.

    • I hear ya. Creaky and saggy seems better than oozing skin and difficulty breathing. I too have noticed a big difference between what I can tolerate at home vs out there. Even for people without sensitivities or allergies, keeping our home IAQ as healthy as possible allows us to tolerate more when we go into the big bad chemical world. So far so good on my latex testing, but I can summarize my research for you easily…if you are already allergic to bananas and avocados don’t tempt fate with latex!
      And I love reading references to your tiny NYC apartment- I am especially impressed with how resilient and creative you have been to keep creating a life for yourself in an urban setting! I just totally gave away my country girl origins, didn’t I?

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