Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I am so pissed, so annoyed. We bought a beautiful couch for our new place and guess what, they can't get it up to our apartment. The monster of a bastard couch doesn't fit in an elevator nor up the stairs. Apparently the model we bought does not come apart, a key piece of information the salesperson should have mentioned when we told her about where we live. All she asked was, are there stairs? When we said 'of course' she said it would be no problem. 

But it isn't her fault really. It's just bad luck, poor planning, and stupid construction of our building. Who makes stairways with a narrow section or a weird door. Come on people! 

As in true fail form, we neglected to realize that the couch is about 3 meters long. I take no responsibility with that because, as an American, I still only have a vague concept of the metric system. That and I am playing the girl card. 

To make matters worse, there isn't even a way to pull it up to our place via the balcony. Ugggggg

There's also the fact that it's the 13th of December and we are quite possibly totally screwed. We bought the couch 3 weeks ago, planned out so that it would be here well before my parents arrived. Now we'll be lucky if we can get any couch delivered before Christmas. If it doesn't come before Christmas there is no chance in hell it'll be here before New Years. 

And I know we could go find something, but I don't want some crap couch that I'm going to look at for the next 5 years and think "I fucking hell I hate that couch." I want my perfect purple couch. Royal purple for this royal pain in the ass. Ah well, I suppose it was not meant to be. 

Honestly though, I really wish I could do one damn thing here easily. I wish I could just go into a store, order something, have it arrive on the scheduled day, and have it delivered into my apartment without drama. FYI, for those who are afraid Brazil is going to get as consumer minded as the US, I doubt it. It takes far too much effort down here. 

Of course, in comparison to the shelving unit drama, at least this one did technically arrive at the building on the scheduled date. I suppose I should be giving out a gold star for that. 

Now if you could all please form a prayer circle, write Santa, and/or start chanting for a quick solution to our new adventure in the hell of purchasing furniture in Brazil. 


  1. Oh no!! This is extra horrible because of the arrival of your folks soon. And getting any couch here, ugly or wonderful, is expensive and a hassle. I feel for you so much and hope this works out in your favor. urgh!

    Our current couch, we bought it used a couple of years ago, it arrived, they got it up the stairs, but it didn't fit through the doorway, so they lugged it back downstairs and hoisted it up through the living room window (after the safety grade was removed). Recently my husband decided he hated the eggwhite color so he ordered a new fabric and the guys showed up to take it away (not the first date scheduled of course) but instead of them hoisting it back out the window, this time, they cut it into 6 pieces, I was in super-shock (my husband was not here to see this). Really, I thought "oh shit"! But a week later it arrived back here, in pieces still, but they put it back together and we have a new and lovely couch. It's a lot to go through emotionally for a couch!

    Good luck querida. This month of December is a tough one for anything being done on time or correctly. My most positive thoughts sent your way.

  2. Ahhhhh! Every time we bought a piece of furniture (or moved for that matter) in NYC this was my biggest fear. It always seemed to work out, so I'm putting all my positive thoughts toward you getting your damn couch.

  3. Sounds familiar. The large leather couch that we shipped in our container from the USA didn't fit in the elevator or stairs. And we HAD to get it into our apartment, hell we shipped the damn thing from another continent!

    So we paid a serious fortune for the only solution: removing the living room window and hoisting the couch into our apartment on the 2nd floor.

    And then they had to use special equipment because it's a sofa-couch, so the entire thing weighs practically a ton. So of course the special equipment cost even more.

    Rachel has this option been explored? (having a window removed)...In addition to ourselves, I have a friend that also had furniture delivered through the balcony/window...

    Let me know if you need some contact info...


  4. Oh no, total nightmare... As BornAgainBrazilian says, this is something that always haunts me when we have something delivered. I never really measure the gaps on the staircases and door ways - just assume there'll be a way in.

    Good luck coming up with a solution. You'll find a way!

  5. Holy hell! Hadn't even thought of this possibility. Sending good couch karma your way!

  6. That sucks!

    I'm sure you'll find a better couch when you least expect it.


  7. Rachel,

    This really sucks!!! I totally hear your frustration. Hope you get a nice sofa before your parents arrive.
    I have never purchased furniture in Brazil, but we have had our share of crappy experiences buying furniture in the US as well, all sorts of problems, from wrong colored sofas, to missing pillows, to scratched/damaged wood, delays, you named it. I know, we have been more exposed to bad experiences than your average citizen, considering the fact that we moved 12 times in 10 years. Don't even get me started with moving companies, my blood pressure goes up...
    But don't feel too bad, you are not alone, New York is a real problem with old buildings with tight spaces...
    We had a nightmare trying to fit furniture from our spacious Florida home into our 1947 New England-Cape Cod style doll house tiny home.
    Our furniture was stored in the Garage waiting for the front door to be upgrade from a 32 inches to a 36 inches wide opening...
    I am sure you are not the first person in Rio de Janeiro to purchase a large sized furniture and have trouble fitting it into the building and you won't be the last.
    I grew up in a high rise type apartment in Sao Paulo, 16t floor, I have seen all types of drama with over sized furniture. I have seen sofas being cut in half and then sewn back together, pianos being dismantled and reassembled and or hoisted from the top of the building buy cranes and stuffed into apartments thru the windows and balconies...
    By the way, our New England home has an over sized piano from the 1930's that was placed inside our house before the house's construction was completed, in other words, the house was built around the dam thing, and this piano is not going anywhere EVER, EVER!!!
    I have dreams of grabbing my electric chain saw from our garage and cutting our freaking piano in a million little pieces, you know, so I can fit it in the recycle bin :)
    Thank God I love history and appreciate history and antiques, so I am hopeful that some day, someone that lives in our house in the future will enjoy this old piano.


  8. THAT SUCKS!!! Keeping my fingers crossed for you xo

  9. We had the same problem - it never occurred to us that the couch would be too wide for the door. Fortunately, taking the door off the hinge made it fit just by a hair.

  10. No window option. We face out to a rock/hill. There's no where to set up to lift it.

    I figured this happens in small apartments all around the world. I got kind of pissed when Mr. Rant told me they didn't technically try, they measured and figured out that it didn't fit. I think they were being lazy since it was the end of the day. Mr. says they were being practical because it was obvious. Fair enough but personally I think you'd find a way in once in the middle of it. At least try right.

  11. Ray, I totally would have cut up the piano ;)

  12. SUCKS! We bought essentially a love seat to avoid this problem. Tiny doors here. When we remodeled we had the door to the service area expanded - the washer would not fit thrugh it - it was so narrow!

    Hope you find a solution... or maybe the country house will have a beautiful new purple couch.

  13. refunds in brazil dont exist right?

  14. Are there any open units or friendly neighbors living across the hall from you? Maybe you could get it in their balcony and the push it through to your apartment.

    You could also talk to an estofador to see if they can cut it and reassemble it in your apartment for a fair price.

  15. Annon,

    Refunds in Brazil are garanteed by law, 90 days for all products except books, music and movies.
    Google "PROCON" or "Codigo do Consumidor" for details.


  16. Ray is right. And it's fairly easy to process a company if they don't hold their end of the bargain. We're going to do it so I'll post about it later.

    As for the couch, we talked to the company and they are going to call in a specialist in Rio to take the entire thing apart and then put it back together inside our apartment. I suppose you could say that if we ever move the couch will come with the place ;)

  17. Rachel, I like how you are becoming thoroughly Brazilian, talking about "processing" a company rather than "suing".

  18. hahahaha, I didn't even realize it until you said something! I guess when in Rome ;)

  19. That happened to me in Milwaukee, with this antique coach I bought two cities away. I was so sad, because it was an amazing coach. Finally, we called in a friend who was a mover for years and spotted an option to get around the corner. I was so lucky.

    But when it came to taking it out, It got cut up into three pieces. It just couldn't go back out the way it came in. It was so strange.

    However, it is really stressful. I always hated that part of apartment life. Good luck, it sounds like you will have your solution soon.