dil·i·gence:careful and persistent work or effort

Proverbs 13: 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Ektorp

I believe the last time we talked about our living room it looked something like this:

Well, several things have changed in this room, and I'd love to tell you about them.  I think I've mentioned that we're preparing for some renovations in our basement.  One of the preparations that we have made has been to completely empty the basement family room of all furniture so that the construction can begin over the winter.  Since that is where our main TV has always lived, we had to do some room reallocation and musical furniture, and the living room was up first.  It didn't take long to decide that if we were going to be watching TV upstairs, I wanted a more comfortable couch for that, and our old sectional from the basement was much too large for our...um...cozy living room.  You see, we did love the  leather couch that has been in the living room for 5 or 6 years, but it was never really a couch that you could snuggle into or nap on.  It was partially the material (leather is cold in the winter and hot in the summer) and partially the design.  The seat cushions seemed to be tilted outwards, which made it a great sitting-couch but a lousy lying/snuggling-couch.  And, when I'm watching TV, I want to be super comfy!  So, I began searching for its replacement.  It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted the Ikea Ektorp couch with a chaise on one side.  I have always loved the classic styling of this couch, and there were enough good reviews out there to help me not freak out about the bad ones.

So, on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, I posted our leather sofa up on Craig's List for $350.  By 11am the next day, the couch had been picked up, and I had 350 big ones burning a hole in my pocket.  Before I knew it, my dad and I were heading to Ikea- me from my house, and him from his- to get me a new couch.  We fit the two HUGE boxes in his van and headed back to my house.  I don't have much to say about the assembly process except that it was super quick and easy.  We had the couch unpacked and fully set up in about an hour.  And now, our living room looks like this:
As you can see, we had to change the orientation (And, we got a different rug- Target.  Light tan and creamish white is not a good mix for 2 dogs.  The other rug now lives quite happily in the lesser-used guest room.)

So, onto the actual couch review:  we love it.  Love, LOVE, LOVE it!  It is very cushy and comfortable but still easy to get into and out of.  The seat cushion are not as deep as some other couches, and that might be a con for some.  But, for us it works.  And, there's this thing you can do where you take off the back cushions and turn the couch into a couch-bed with tons of room for stretching out and snuggling with dogs (or whatever).  It's really, really good.  And, with the chaise lounge part, more than one person can be stretched out at the same time.  No fighting for one single best sofa spot!

This corner right here actually happens to mostly be my favorite spot.  I'm sitting here right now, as a matter of fact with my legs outstretched on the chaise part with Blake to my left and a cup of hot tea with honey on the table to my right.
I keep this Ikea sheep skin here most of the time, because Blake loves to rest his chin on it.  What can I say?  He only likes the softest of surfaces.
The quality of the couch and of the slipcover (which, by the way, is machine washable) is superb.  I ask:  does this look like Ikea to you?
 If I must find something to nitpick, I will admit that I dislike the way the chaise cushion hangs over the frame.  It didn't scoot out to get like this- this is the way it is.  It's almost like it is made too long.  But, I put a basket for pillows and blankets there, and that helps to make it less noticeable.  Or at least, that's what I tell myself.
 Overall, we are loving our new living room set up, including the new Ektorp couch.  If you're couch shopping and the Ektorp is on your list, I say you should head straight to your nearest Ikea without delay.  With the slipcover I chose, the total price came to $699 for a classic couch upholstered in a durable medium tan twill.  With the $350 I made selling my old couch, that was only $350 out of pocket.  To get this look at Pottery Barn, I would have paid over $2000 for the least expensive upholstery, which was simply way out of my price range.
And, we humans aren't the only ones.  The canines are liking the new furniture as well.
Told you Blakey prefers to rest his head on Very Soft Things.  And, it turns out Piper has learned to as well.

Oh, and because Instagram is so good at catching real life, this is what the living room looks like most of the time around here.  Note the ottoman on the other side for extreme multi-person comfort.  This is life.  Unedited.



  1. Some of those photos make me wanna snuggle up on there with a hot cup of tea myself! And I love the new addition to your mantel -- looks great!!


  2. What a fresh and pretty new look! That sure looks like one very comfy spot! ... And I love life unedited too!

  3. I love that couch! I think I need one when I am in the market for a new one.

  4. Love it. I'll be holding on to my olive green microfiber until the kids are older (I can't justify any cost when I know it's just going to get goldfish crackers smashed into it and spit up on), although I'd love to trade in right now. I always look to your house for future inspiration.

    1. We had a microfiber couch (I think that's what it is) in our basement family room for 5 or 6 years. I LOVE the durability and the dirt hiding features of that thing. I was very lax about letting filthy, dirty swamp monsters (Blake & Piper) up on it, and once a glass of red wine even got spilled on it. It beaded up and wiped off. Magic, I tell ya! So, the couch didn't make the furniture cut, but it's going to live at my sister's house with her 5 kiddos. Long live microfiber!!