Furniture Shopping redux and Thank You!!!
Update: I've been in my condo for 11 days now and I really can't believe how much I've been able to accomplish in terms of turning this place around. It's not picture perfect yet as it still needs to be painted, but now completely refurnished with new beds, new sofa and love seat, dining room table, and appliances. Again, I can't stress enough how great it was to work with Carlos Furniture. They are now my go-to guys. Is the furniture ohmygod top of the line? Nope, but it is relatively inexpensive, solid stuff and I'm really happy with it. As we will be using this place as a short term holiday rental for a few years until we retire, I don't want hugely expensive stuff in here, anyway. It has to look nice and be serviceable and that's exactly what I got.
I really want to thank you kind people for all the good advice I've received here. I was kind of panicked last week when I first arrived because **I'm from NYC and I want it NOW** *-) but I've learned that "NOW" is a tiny bit different here and I am very happy with "SOON". So far my experiences with the electricians, haulers, furniture deliverers, and various other people have been nothing but positive (and in some cases hilarious), and it's really put my mind at ease. Everyone has been kind and friendly and I sense very much a "pitch in" attitude here!!
Johad and his brother (and company) really do go above and beyond.
About a month ago we were looking for a small, round, teak table for outside. My wife said, "let's go to Carlos's."
I said, "No, their not going to have stuff like that."
Literally, within 20' of the front door, exactly what we were looking for, at half the price we expected. My wife loves telling that story, over, and over, and over again.
The one thing you need to watch out for with any furniture purchased on Saint Croix (Sweet Lime being the exception) is out-gassing from the glues and finishes. The Ashley furniture pieces are some of the worst and the smell does not go away. I would especially avoid anything with an enclosed space like drawers (ex. nightstands).
But be careful with Sweet Lime and wood furniture. Bought a beetle-ridden $ecretary there, which ended up infe$ting two room$ before we di$covered it. Co$t us a few extra thou$and in de-bugging some piece$ and buying replacement furniture. I had $ome irreplaceable vintage piece$ that ended up in the tra$h.
Is Sweet Lime a furniture place? I'm on STT. I believe some of my stuff came from Carlos' warehouse on STX, but so far no issues. very happy!
on the other hand...the new microwave? eeek. I've used it ONCE to heat water...opened it last night and it was covered with itty bitty teeny weeny ants. sprayed and cleaned and nuked...checked every cupboard in my kitchen...checked cracks, sockets on walls...cannot find point of entry and they are nowhere else. Is it possible they came with the appliance? heh.
The teeny ants responded positively for us to . . . . something. They loved Raid Ant Gel bait. I spent hours tracing their paths til we found some points of entry. But we also resealed a huge skylight and some windows. I think it was a combination. Haven't seen any in over a year. (But will soon, since I mentioned it, and jinxed myself).
As for Sweet Lime, no, they didn't pay. Part of it was it took us a long time to realize what it was, and by then the little buggers had spread to other pieces. We knew it was the secretary, since that was the only place the frass showed up at first - we thought it was left over from sanding, or that some drawers were rubbing.
I can recall seeing furniture with evidence of the powder post beetles at a place Sweetlime began their business at, about 10 or more years ago...but we had an infusion from some wicker-type furniture we bought at Brass Key...and it was a real mess. They did nothing to help us out about it either.
Can actually happen in so many things, and we know it has on stx...kitchen cabinets if they use wood from outside the US for the backs or supports, kitchen countertops if again the support wood is foreign, have even known of cabinets that came from the midwest that had to be treated. Neighbors, friends, contractors and others have told us of problems.
WOW about Sweet Lime furniture. Never would have thought of that but it makes sense. I have a couple small things from them.
I also second the red small tube of gel ant bait. Works great for those tiny sugar ants... we call them piss ants. They really don't bother me anymore at all since they don't bite. I still have a fire ant issue but they've stayed outside so far since last time when I came home from vacation to find them swarming my house. Sprayed and they never came back inside.
In my old house, we had sugar ants and couldn't figure out where they were coming from pre Hurricane Marilyn. During some renovations afterwards, we discovered that they had a nest behind the electrical panel in the wall in kitchen. Apparently, they liked the dryness and heat conducted by the wires. We replaced panel box (we were going to, anyway), got rid of nest and never saw a sugar ant, again, in that house.
They're more of a nuisance than anything else.
When I bought my current home, I literally could not put a dog dish on the floor. Red ants would march in, from outside, to swarm the dog food. With 5 dogs, that was a hell of a lot of ants and not good for dogs getting stung when they ate.
I ended up calling an exterminator for that problem. It was resolved and never had an invasion, again.