Choosing a New Couch for our soon-to-be Family of 5!

I’m totally kicking myself for not taking a “before” picture, but here is our living room after we finally purchased a couch and loveseat – Ektorp in Svanby from Ikea:

This is the third “major” purchase for our home, the first was a bed frame for our King Size tempurpedic from Room & Board (more on that later) and the second was this antique console table from a local antique shop in town:

The canvas hanging above the table is a 30×40 matte canvas from H&H (LOVE!) and you can see just how much this does for the space by looking at this before image:

We have so many bare walls in this house, I’m super excited to finally be able to practice what I preach about hanging up large photos of your kids/family – if I can ever just find the time to order them :)

But I’m digressing, what I really wanted to write about was the couch.

Early on we had decided on slip covers for the washability factor and  The Pottery Barn Comfort sectional is probably one of the most comfortable things I’ve sat on EVER. It was the top contender until we saw this really cute slip covered “Devin” sectional by a small company in NC called “Four Seasons” carried by the local furniture/decor/antiques shop where we got the wood console table above.

I fell in love with it because of it’s cute vintage shape and contrasting welting. We measured, picked out a sectional configuration, fabric and welting covers and got a quote for the whole thing: $3400.   A tad more than the comparable Pottery barn version, but for that price you don’t get any down in the cushions, which you can get in the pottery barn version for about $3600.  It was also going to take from 8-12 weeks to arrive, which is problematic because I’m hosting a bridal shower at my house for my best friend on May 5th.

Still, we were about ready to place the order when I realized that a) with a giant tax bill due in April, the babies coming in 6 months or so, the bill from the IVF etc, this was probably not the best time to spend that kind of money and b) in what crazy world is it a good idea to buy an expensive couch with TWO NEWBORNS on the way???

Even though the slipcover is technically washable (they recommend dry cleaning but they say you CAN put it in the wash) we all know some stains don’t come out and the cost of a new slip cover from that company is about 50% the price of the couch.

So at the last minute, I decided to heed the recommendations for the Ikea Ektorp that I’d read on numerous blogs and we went to Ikea to investigate.

Initially I had my heart set on the white version because it’s the only one that’s actually washable (all the other fabrics are dry clean only) and even BLEACHABLE!

The problem was that when we got there it looked HORRIBLE. Like a wrinkled, ratty mess.  We just couldn’t get excited about bringing it home.

So we did something that I’m sure we will regret soon enough and bought it in the part linen Svanby fabric which hangs and looks SO much nicer than it’s white counterpart.  The color is  perfect for our room too because it’s warmer than the pure white and there’s something about this particular fabric that has wrinkle free powers- seriously, I don’t understand because it’s part linen, but we didn’t even have to iron or steam it even after it had been folded in it’s little box – it just layed perfectly right from the beginning!

Still, I realize it wasn’t the most PRACTICAL decision. But in our defense, there was some reasoning behind this seemingly irrational turn which is that it only costs $50 (ins’t that crazy cheap?) to get the white slipcover, so we could always switch it out later if we found the linen too hard to upkeep.  Even if we wanted/needed to replace the more expensive Svanby cover it’s still only $250 for a brand new one.  I figure we could replace it every year if need be!

While it’s not as crazy comfy as the Pottery Barn Comfort, it’s not UNcomfy. And for about $1100 we got a couch AND a love seat that both fit perfectly into our space.

When the twins are Jasper’s age maybe we will decide to upgrade, but at this juncture in our lives Ikea seems to fit the bill.  So that’s the story of our new couch(es).

We really struggled with finding the right combination of OK looks/economy/utility.  I’m sure tons of you have gone through the same thing, would love to hear what you all decided!

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jen says:

really love the console table–it’s beautiful!

Michelle says:

We have the same couch but in the L shape. Be warned though – the cover is FILTHY. Sure, I’ve washed it many times over the past 6 years, but it is gross anyway. Waiting for the 3 year old to be a little older and then we are getting a new cover.

Heather says:

It looks great, and let me tell you, I got 2 couches in that color when we moved into our house (but they’re velvet-ish), and I’ve found that they’re not as bad as you’d think…spit up, and milk are white, so…I’m just saying…it all blends!

GiGi says:

The couches look awesome and comfy to boot! Congrats on getting a good deal. I am also really loving the canvas – WOW! it truly transforms that wall! And I gotta tell you … I love the warm colors in that room. Those are the colors we currently have in our bedroom and it just makes me feel so “at home”. I hope they have the same effect on you. TFS!

Kristy says:

Wow! The place is looking great! I have similar walls colors (darker on bottom, lighter on the top with molding in the middle) in my dining room! How are you feeling? Hope to see you soon!

Nina says:

The first thing I noticed was the canvas in the first picture. It adds so much to the room! Maybe it’s just the photographer in me, but man do I love it. I think the couches look great and the color scheme is welcoming and peaceful. 90% of the furniture we own is from IKEA. It lasts a while and is cost effective so when my child drops something or the dog decides to puke on it, I am not stressed. It’s reasonably priced so purchasing something 4 or 5 years down the road is not out of question. Can’t wait to see what else you do with the house!

jbhat says:

LOVE these! Your living room is just beautiful–stylish and comfy. I love the throw pillows and the gorgeous sideboard. Hooray for the giant picture too!


ariana says:

It’s actually a very light beige… but yes, I see your point! I THINK we also saw individual cushion covers at Ikea, so it might not even be necessary to buy a whole new one. We’ll see :)

Claudia says:

My first comment when I saw the picture was, OMG, she got it in white?! Ha ha. I must say, it does look fabulous though. You’ve defended your position well by explaining that a new cover can be bought when needed, now why didn’t I think of that? :)