Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ikea Sofa Makeover


Despite the fact that I grew up with an interior decorator for a mother--the first person I knew who appreciated mid-century style--it's taken me a while to hop on the love train for interior decorating. But in the past few years it has definitely become a love of mine. So as I continue to learn about this world I realize that I've made a misstep or two. Which happens. I find that my taste level and my execution don't always match...but I'm getting better at melding the two. But sometimes I realize that I've made a design choice that I later learn is considered a design no-no in some circles. And while at times my lack of know-how, taste or execution needs correction there are other times where I'm like, Nope. Sorry design gods, but I live in the real world and I like the thing you're telling me I'm not supposed to like. 

Enter, the Ikea sectional.

Forget the Ikea part for a minute, because apparently a sectional has major ick factor in the world of interior design all on its own! It doesn't even need the word Ikea in front of it to make design aficionado's pretend-gag themselves whilst rolling their eyes. Or at least that's the message I've received from a few design blogs (not naming names). I know there are many high-end sectionals out there from well known designers, but again I came across this idea more than once. And while I can't remember the exact posts or wording the idea that came across to me was something like, "And while of course you could always put a sectional in this space...HAHAHA!!! JUST KIDDING! A sectional... can you even imagine??? So gross... Hahaha!!!"

At first I was a little sheepish when I learned that I wasn't supposed to like sectionals, and definitely not an IKEA sectional. But like that time my friend in high school made fun of me for having an "ugly wallet" I got over it. Because I liked that wallet! It wasn't ugly, it was unique to me and my style. Same here sectional haters... I like having a lot of space to stretch out on for family movie night, I like not caring that much if my kids spill/jump/pee on it, I like the clean lines and I like the color. For this phase of our life with young children it's been a good purchase. We've had it over 4 years now and no regrets.

That being said, from the get-go this sofa was always a little less pretty than I wanted--but it had nothing to do with being a sectional mind you--and I knew that with just a couple minor changes this sofa could go from plain-Jane to the girl in the movie who takes off her glasses, shakes out her hair and everyone's like wow, Jane's actually really hot. Basically I knew my slightly nerdy couch was secretly a hot girl in disguise. Honestly, I don't know why it took me so long to do this project. I've had this one on the docket for a couple years now and it turned out just like I hoped it would... super sweet and friggin' awes. For those of you needing a Gen X translator, it means the sofa looks really good.

The only two things I did were to tuft the back cushions and to change the sofa legs. That's it! It's like an entirely new hot girl at school sofa!

Here is a before picture:

I know my baby on it makes the couch look super sweet and lovely, but focus people! First of all the fabric was really faded after almost 4 years. (I know being next to a big window doesn't help, but if I have to choose between the Ikea sofa or my navy velvet club chairs, the sofa gets the UV rays) so I decided to buy a new slip cover. Since Ikea decided to retire the Karlstad sofa this year (why?) I had to hit eBay up for a new slip cover. Luckily I found one, but I am still kicking myself for not running out and buying a new one from the store the second I heard they were discontinued because I did not find one for the ottoman...sad face. It really stands out. (If anyone has an extra karlstad ottoman new slipcover in dark sivik grey sitting around hit me up!) 

Moving on, here is the after:

For the tufting I followed this tutorial. The instructions are really good. Make sure to follow the supply list and get all the right supplies the first time! I thought I had some good enough twine and almost the right needle...nope. Get the right ones. That being said, this took me a few hours to do by myself...she claims to have done the whole sofa in 20 minutes. Not sure how that was possible, but once you have your pillows all measured out and the supplies ready to go and you figure out how to do the first couple of buttons, it goes pretty quickly. Another issue was how to make or where to get the covered buttons. I really didn't want to make all those covered buttons myself. As it turns out the people behind the tutorial, Oh Everything Handmade, also sold the covered buttons in a variety of Ikea fabrics from their Etsy shop. Easy peasy! That was just dumb luck. You could also probably have a local upholsterer do it as well, or do them yourself.


You can see in these photos the contrast between the new slipcovers and the old ones. I almost didn't pull the trigger on the new covers, but so glad I did! It makes such a huge difference! (Although I know in a few years we'll be back in the same position.)


Lastly I ordered new legs from this Etsy shop, Flint Alley Furniture.  There are a ton of retailers out there selling legs for Ikea sofa's, but I liked the colors and proportions offered here.


I really love how it turned out. The only downside is that the back isn't as fluffy as before, but I wouldn't trade the results for anything. For the first few weeks even B kept saying, Wow...this couch looks really good. Which always makes me happy. Honestly if you want to try your hand at tufting it is way easier than I thought it would be, so go for it!

Anyone else ever have that dreaded feeling of finding something you really love--a sofa, dress, hat, etc--only to have everyone else around you telling you how lame and uncool it is? Yikes. Sometimes it's been true and I've really needed others to point it out and then I can see what I couldn't see before. Other times, I stick to my guns! Sectionals 4-eva!



21 comments:

  1. Hannah12:49 PM

    There is a company called bemz that makes slip overs for ikea furniture. http://bemz.com Maybe you could get something for the ottoman there? (I have never tried them as my ikea sofa doesn't have slipcovers, which is a shame as I think it is a great idea)
    Hannah x

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    1. Thanks Hannah! I'll look into it.

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  2. Wow!! I am totally, 100% impressed. It looks amazing.

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    1. Thanks! This is definitely one of those projects that you don't need major skills to pull off really well, but in the end it makes you look like you have mad skills.

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  3. Yes,I am not great at interior design, but I am slowly learning, with the help of Pinterest and such. I decided on colors for my daughter's room (grey and teal, not aqua), and found a tissue ball in the right shade of teal, so I bought it. I felt it added a nice pop of color. I saw a pin or post on decorating a girl's room, somewhere, and felt happy when I saw a tissue ball in that room. Then the post showed the after photo and said, "I finally took down the awful/ugly (can't recall the exact adjective) tissue balls." Alas. I'm behind the trends, but I kept the tissue ball because it's the right color, and I think it helps the room. Also, I found these pressed back oak dining room chairs on craigslist for a great price and felt I needed them for our dining room (we were students at the time). I might not choose them now, but I still like them well enough. I was reading a list of decorating mistakes (or something) and one of the errors was "uncomfortable chairs" and there were the same chairs I have in the photo! Clearly, don't consult me for anything in home decor. But the chairs are not uncomfortable to me, and they clean up much better than upholstered chairs when my kids spill on them! We also just bought a sectional, by the way, and, yes, we love it for the same reasons you listed.

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    1. Yes! That's the other thing...so hard to keep up. Some trends really come and go quickly. That's really funny about your exact chairs being pictured in the 'uncomfortable chairs' photo. But amen to dining chairs that clean well.

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  4. 1. Wait, sectionals aren't cool? Well who cares! I LOVE our sectional! We just got it a couple years ago and it's amazing to have room for everyone to sprawl out! I say poo poo to the sectional-haters! :)

    2. I LOVE what you did to your couch! Amazing!!!!

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    1. Lauren--1. I know! And maybe it's not a real thing in the entire world of interior design, but it was definitely a message I saw more than once. At the same time I've seen some super sleek, high end sectionals so again...I'm not sure it's an actual thing...it just came across that way to me.

      2.Thanks!

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  5. I love this! The sofa looks so professional. Nicely done!

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  6. Amazing how such small and simple changes can make a piece of furniture look like something completely different. Very impressive- it looks amazing!

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  7. Kayleen2:52 PM

    What?! Karlstad was discontinued?! I had no idea! A sectional wouldn't fit in our family room layout, but we liked the idea so much, we purchased 2 Karlstad couches, a loveseat, and an ottoman! We like the fluffiness of the back cushions (although, yours looks amazing!), but have spray painted the legs an oil rubbed bronze so the pine color wouldn't stand out as much. After the wear and tear of 3 young boys crashing cars and other toys into them, they are needing a fresh coat of paint...or maybe a new style...looking into that etsy site now...

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  8. These small changes made a huge difference in how the sofa reads. I've sen the Karlstad in lots of homes but if I came into your house now, I wouldn't even recognize it. That side table next to the couch is amazing! Is it a vintage piece? If not, would you be willing to share the source? Thanks!

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  9. Absolutely incredible!

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  10. Absolutely incredible!

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  11. Love your taste, your home looks beautiful!

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  12. Love your taste, your home looks beautiful!

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  13. this looks amazing!! We've been eying similar tutorials, but waiting for our puppy to outgrow her chewing phase. great job!

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  14. Miggy, I just found a pattern for a karlstad ottoman slipcover. Here it is:

    http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2016/04/ikea-karlstad-footstool-ottoman-free.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fgrosgrain+%28Grosgrain%29

    Good luck!

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  15. Also,I love your sofa so much now! I can't believe what a difference that made!

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  16. Hi there! How tall are these legs? Thank you - it looks amazing!!

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  17. Along these lines, be content with that advantage. In any case, you ought to be clear about what you hope to occur by utilizing your chair before you get one.
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