Every once in a while I come across a product that captures my wild-and-crazy boho imagination, but my home decor budget doesn’t allow for its purchase.
That’s when I write a YAAAS!! post, and it makes me feel a little better. I almost wrote such a post about DENY Design’s funky patterned credenzas. Now I’m glad I held off until I actually SAW one, and I’m here to tell you…
because the DENY Designs credenza is a piece of junk.
Here’s my story…
My 30-year-old daughter, Erin, recently bought her first house and was in the market for some furniture. She saw the DENY Design credenzas somewhere and liked this one:
|Three of the Possessed Abston credenza by Braden Furniture for DENY Designs|
It’s the Abston, and retails for just under $1,000. She was actually thinking of buying it at that price because she loved it so much, but I suggested she let me shop around because I’ve seen these credenzas for much less. A quick search led me to a sale at Wayfair.com and a purchase price just over $500. We were both elated! What a buy! We ordered.
We had some fun mom-daughter time talking about how she was getting something I dreamed of. Someday, I said, this is the DENY Designs credenza I would buy:
|Iveta Abolina Boardwalk credenza for DENY Designs|
It’s called the Boardwalk. Meanwhile, the Abston sold out on Wayfair at the sale price, and Erin and I congratulated ourselves on our shopping prowess and luck.
Wayfair said our Abston would ship in 5-6 weeks, and it came in one. So far, so good. We loaned Erin the money to purchase it until she closed on the house, and we had it delivered to our address because until closing she was in a third-floor apartment. The package would weigh 85 pounds, and the deliveryman was sure to leave it at the clubhouse. Then what?
My husband, Chris, and I didn’t open the carton when it arrived but stored it in the garage for transport to Erin’s home after closing—still three weeks off. We thought it would be less likely to get damaged unassembled than assembled and transported in our pickup truck.
Chris laid out all the pieces for inspection on her living room floor, and our spirits immediately fell. One door and one side panel were chipped, and the back panel was delaminating on one corner.
We could tell the pieces were shipped damaged because the box was not damaged and the chips were nowhere in the packing. Subtract points for DENY quality control—or lack of it.
Damage aside, I was stunned at how cheapo the finish looked.
The “wood” pattern surface was unnaturally shiny and didn’t look a bit realistic. You could see the many layers of lamination, and the back panel that was already delaminated looked especially cheap—not much better than a cardboard cereal box. Erin still seemed enthralled by the credenza, so I said nothing to her about it, though Chris and I voiced our concerns to each other on the way home.
I no longer dream of owning Boardwalk. I’m cured of one obsession. But since Abston was bought with Erin’s money, it was her call.
The package insert said to contact DENY Designs directly if any pieces were damaged. I then spent most of a Friday trying to make contact by phone and email with no success, even though the home office’s work day would have extended two hours later than ours due to time differences. It honestly seemed like the entire company was a receptionist and one guy in quality control who liked to take long lunch breaks.
When I got back to my own home late that evening and had access to a computer rather than a phone, I sent a more detailed email, complete with photos of the damage. But by then it was the weekend for everyone, and no one at DENY responded immediately.
Monday passed with only an automatic acknowledgement that my email had been received.
Out of frustration, I wrote a damning review on the Wayfair website.
It was mid-day TUESDAY before anyone from DENY Designs got back with me, in spite of three phone calls with messages left AND an email with photos. And when DENY did finally respond, it was to tell me I had to go through Wayfair (even though it was drop-shipped directly from DENY, not to mention the package instructions).
So I immediately called Wayfair and ordered the replacement pieces. Wayfair was extremely accommodating, though it was clear the DENY form the customer service rep needed to complete to get the replacement pieces sent was complex and confusing. I seriously doubted the right replacement pieces would come.
Confirmation correspondence indicated the pieces would ship in a few days.
A few days passed, and we received notice of a shipment delay. Meanwhile, Chris and I helped Erin shop for a sofa and living room tables at one of the few brick-and-mortar furniture stores left in our area, Godby Home Furnishings.
|Ashley Furniture “Gavelston” console table|
I couldn’t help but think how much better the quality of the case goods she bought there was than the DENY piece, even though the prices were much less. But again, I kept it to myself.
|Liberty Furniture “Franklin” collection|
DENY replacement pieces arrived 2 weeks later.
We transported the package to the new house, and Chris once again prepared to assemble the long-awaited credenza. We were relieved to find no visible damage. And instead of sending us just one imprinted door, they sent us a pair. We thought this was a good omen because a new PAIR might be more likely to match up.
As Chris moved toward completing assembly, he could not adjust the doors to close evenly. One was higher than the other no matter what he did, which skewed the pattern on the front. Additionally, the inside shelf was warped and would not install properly.
This is a good time to mention that Chris is an accomplished woodworker and has crafted several pieces of furniture for our home. If it COULD be put together satisfactorily, he’d be the one the do it. But there was no fixing this credenza.
We three sat and stared at the put-together piece, which looked clunky compared to the photos. All the edges showed the many laminated layers of the key parts. It simply wasn’t well-designed OR well-made. It was inelegant, if that’s a word. Think awkward, clumsy-looking, cobbled together.
“I want my money back,” Erin said.
“I don’t want to have to ship it back,” I said.
“I don’t want to have to take it apart,” Chris said. “Maybe Wayfair will give us a refund and tell us to junk it.” Because it is/was, indeed, JUNK.
In the end, Chris said he’d handle the negotiations. Wayfair was extremely apologetic AND conscientious. They refunded the full amount without hesitation and told us to trash or donate the product rather than return it. Yay!!!!
I will certainly buy from Wayfair again and again and again.
But there’s no denying it, I will NEVER buy DENY Designs furniture again.
It’s complete crap—cheaply made and waaaaaay over-priced. Although I have three pieces of DENY framed artwork that are beautiful, I bought a DENY pillow once and it was chintzy as well.
The lesson from all of this:
And maybe this, too: Be very, very careful buying furniture over the Internet. We lucked out by not needing to pay humongous shipping fees to return a heavy and cumbersome package THIS time, but our stash of get-out-of-jail-free cards may be exhausted.
I don’t usually use the blog to gripe about a product, but my dissatisfaction with this one is so deep I felt it was my duty to share so others wouldn’t make the same mistake. This credenza is worth no more than $200, and even at that, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t buy it. One glass with condensation on the outside, set on the top for five minutes, would destroy the finish. It would bubble and peel like the paper that it is.
And there’s just NO denying that!
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