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Q: I finally replaced my grandmother's timeworn settee with a custom-made convertible. The catch is, I just can't get it through my skinny doorway.Is there anyone who can temporarily bring my furniture down to size?


A: Call Z Brothers Trucking of Thornwood, New York (914-769-2178), one of the oldest disassembly services in the area. Owner Joe Zeolla has been taking apart couches in the five boroughs for a quarter of a century. A basic disassembly and reconstruction costs about $165 (a flat rate with no last-minute "extra" costs, which other moving companies like to slap on). The operation can usually be performed incredibly quickly -- in less than an hour for most models. For pricier custom-made models (which are fastened with dowels rather than nails), the price starts at $225.

Of course, you could altogether avoid the stress and expense of having something disassembled and simply buy smaller furnishings to start with. Ace Design (269 Elizabeth Street; 226-5123) offers a line of elegant, handcrafted modern (forties-to-seventies-styled) sofas, armchairs, and ottomans scaled to fit vest-pocket living rooms. You can choose from a huge collection of fabrics -- from leather (five shades of white alone) to heavyweight cashmeres. Just because the pieces are smaller, however, doesn't mean the prices are. Figure to start at $3,500 plus fabric for a couch.


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