Q&A: Austin furniture expert offers advice on choosing pieces for your home

With current high demand, consumers should plan ahead when purchasing furniture, according to local expert Brian Morgan. (Courtesy Kam Idris on Unsplash)
With current high demand, consumers should plan ahead when purchasing furniture, according to local expert Brian Morgan. (Courtesy Kam Idris on Unsplash)

With current high demand, consumers should plan ahead when purchasing furniture, according to local expert Brian Morgan. (Courtesy Kam Idris on Unsplash)

Image description
Brian Morgan is co-owner of three Austin’s Couch Potatoes and The Furniture Mall of Texas. (Courtesy Austin Couch Potatoes)
Brian Morgan is co-owner of three Austin’s Couch Potatoes locations and The Furniture Mall of Texas. Morgan took time out to discuss with Community Impact Newspaper some keys to choosing furniture.

When buying furniture, how should someone determine their style?

Start with one piece and build out the room from there–sometimes we have a sentimental piece of furniture or a favorite chair, and that piece’s style can give you a springboard for the room. Another thought is to start with the largest piece—the sofa. Fall in love with the feel and look and then customize your size of the sofa or sectional.

Given the economy, how far in advance should someone plan their furniture purchase?

The whole world is moving to Austin, and that means demand is far outweighing supply. In addition, so many bottlenecks are affecting the manufacturing process of home furnishings—freight rates have tripled, foam shortages, soaring lumber prices, factories can’t get employees back to work and inflation rearing its ugly nose. At traditional furniture stores, plan to wait anywhere from two to eight months for your furniture to arrive. For faster lead times, buy from locally owned stores, and if possible, purchase furniture made in your own city—locally made furniture lead times are four to six weeks.


How much should someone invest in a furniture piece? What is the highest priority when determining price point?

A good rule of thumb is to match your current stage in life. For instance, if you are in college and in a temporary living situation, buy something that you can offload at the end of the semester. You don’t want to keep moving a sofa around and paying storage fees. Fifty-five percent of Austinites live in apartments; they change their furniture every time they move. That’s becoming the norm.

From $800-$1,200 is the average sofa spend on entry-level furniture in our stores. If you spend less than that, expect short-term comfort and minimum quality. [The] highest priority when choosing price point is asking yourself the question, 'How long will I be keeping this sofa?' If you just bought a home, get it right; don’t settle for quick and cheap. You more than likely will be in that home for years, so invest in something that will be timeless and cater to the needs of those living under the roof first—pets, kiddos, friends, fam[ily]. If you live under the roof you are decorating, don’t skimp on comfort and happiness.

What are some innovations in furniture fabrics? What is right for me?

My daughter is turning 5 this summer—we are getting a new puppy! So excited, but with that means new puppy messes. In addition to the kid messes and spills, sofas become art pieces, not to mention from my coffee spills.

We just ordered a sofa with a performance fabric. With this, we can unzip the cushions and throw them in the wash. We can spot clean with bleach even! This sofa is going to be a tank because we need to match the wear and tear it’s going to get with the strongest fabric on the market.
By Greg Perliski

Editor, Lake Travis/Westlake & Northwest Austin

Greg joined Community Impact as an editor in November 2020. In the communities he covers, Greg reports on local government, transportation, real estate development and business. He has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. Greg earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.



MOST RECENT

Photo of people attending ACL Fest
City of Austin approves ACL health and safety plan, holds off on final permit

Austin Public Health gave ACL the go-ahead to allow proof of vaccination in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, but asked organizers to require masking in some areas.

Hundreds of complaints were logged against the Austin Police Department last year related to protests against police brutality and systemic racism. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police oversight office challenges APD handling of most 2020 protest complaints

Austin's Office of Police Oversight objected to several aspects of the police department's approach to classifying and investigating protest-related grievances.

Q2 Stadium at night
Mixed-use development Verde Square to bring hotel, office space to site next to Q2 Stadium

Verde Square, a mixed-use development, is expected to break ground on construction by the end of 2022.

Photo of ACL Fest
Zilker Park closes in preparation for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Zilker Park closes in preparation for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin city staff and officials are pursuing additional protections related to mold issues in rental housing. (Courtesy city of Austin)
City pursuing improvements to handling of Austin renters' mold complaints

New recommendations from a report launched in the wake of Winter Storm Uri detail adjustments Austin could make to its mold response.

Students at O. Henry Middle School in Austin head in for their first day of school Aug. 17. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD's COVID-19 rate lower than nearby districts after first month of school

Austin ISD recorded more cases in the first month of this school year than in all of the 2020-2021 school year. Still, Austin ISD saw a lower percentage of cases in students than surrounding school districts.

Wayback Burgers specializes in cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
Wayback Burgers coming to Leander; fire kills 75 dogs in Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

The Round Rock ISD board of trustees will meet to discuss and take action regarding resolutions to censure Place 2 and 7 Trustees Mary Bone and Danielle Weston on Sept. 22. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock ISD board to consider censuring of trustees, mask matrix on Sept. 22

Two Round Rock ISD trustees are up for possible censure, according to the meeting agenda for Sept 22.

Screen shot of Dr. Desmar Walkes speaking
Austin ICUs remain crowded with COVID-19 patients, delaying some critical care

Within the past week, there was a waiting list of patients to be transferred into Austin-area ICUs, Austin Public Health leaders said.

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

 Busy Nurse's Station In Modern Hospital
Williamson County seeking input on community health needs

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is holding two focus group sessions through September with the goal of collecting public feedback on community health needs throughout the county.