Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Karl: Our Newest Addition

Operation Family Room is still underway!  In my last post, I shared with you a baby step we took in updating our family room.  Well, today I am going to share with you a giant leap --we bought a new couch!  And I am officially in love.

Our previous couches were from the Ektorp line at Ikea.

I bought them back in 2004 and have been really impressed with how well they have held up.  The couches themselves are in excellent condition, even ten years later.  The couch covers, however, were beyond repair. 

One of the things I love about Ikea couches is the removable slipcovers that make for easy washing .  I have cleaned mine many times and had great luck in getting out most of the stains.  However, with the addition of two small children into my home, the stains became greater and more set in.  Additionally, last time I washed them I did not follow the laundering instructions which led to the cover shrinking a bit and then ripping when I went to put it back on the couch. 

I know; it's pretty gross, huh?

All of this meant it was time for new covers for our couches.  I really like the Svanby Gray color that is now available at Ikea, but to purchase new covers for a sofa, a loveseat and an ottoman, it was going to cost us $350.  That would have been fine and dandy had we planned to keep these couches another ten years, but we have been longing for a more modern sofa in our family room so the idea of spending $350 on couches that we didn't want to keep for the long haul didn't make sense for us. 

I began researching new couch options and headed straight to my Pinterest board for inspiration.  As I was scanning through the images, I noticed that two of my favorite family rooms had the same couch in them -- the Karlstad corner sofa from Ikea in Sivik Dark Gray. 

I dragged my hubby and kids to Ikea the following weekend so that we could test out the couch.  It was exactly what I was looking for: sleek lines, plenty of seating, and comfortable to boot!  (Yes, I did fully lay down on the couch in the middle of Ikea to examine the coziness factor). 

I knew this was the couch for us, but headed home empty-handed since we needed to measure our space and since we like to think over large purchases like this for a few weeks instead of spontaneously pulling the trigger. 

When contemplating new furniture for a room, I like to make a template of the piece I am considering so that I can better visualize how it will fit in the space.  Using craft paper from J&A's art easel, I measured out the length and depth of the couch and taped the pieces together to use as my template.  After shoving aside our current sofas, I laid my template out on the family room floor.

I added a few stools on top of the paper to get a better idea of how it would look in 3-D (the stools are taller than the sofa, but I just wanted a general feel). 

I knew the corner part of the sofa would be a little tight with our kitchen table, but was determined we would make it work.  Plus, I have always wanted a sectional so I was even more convinced than ever that this was the right sofa for us. 

In order to save us a bit of money, I ended up purchasing discounted Ikea gift cards over Craigslist.  (Disclaimer:  I think purchasing gift cards off the internet can be very sketchy.  I am not necessarily encouraging anyone else to do this, I am just sharing my personal experience with it).  I was able to purchase two different cards, totaling $1130 for only $880 -- that's a $250 discount, folks!  This was my first experience purchasing gift cards via Craigslist and I took several precautions to make sure I wasn't getting scammed: I met the seller in a public place with a friend to witness, I made sure the seller had the original receipt that indicated the total available on the card, and I asked to take photos of the seller's driver's license in case something went wrong.

Eager to get the gift cards spent, the Mister and I made the drive to Ikea a couple days later to purchase our new sofa.  With taxes the couch totaled $990 which gave us money leftover on our gift cards to purchase some accessories for a future project.

Karl, as we affectionately call him, came into our lives on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 5:45 PM.  After several hours of labor (i.e. putting on all those darn couch covers), an exhausted mom and dad enjoyed snuggling with their newest addition.  (Um, maybe I am getting too attached to Karl??)

Get ready for picture overload...

With Karl now in place, we were able to cross one more thing off our long list of family room to-dos:

new couch
large area rug
smaller area rug (for layering)
new coffee table
re-style bookcase
console table and/or end table
window treatments?
paint walls
paint molding and trim
address large, empty wall (gallery wall? desk? sitting nook?)

Have you ever purchased a gift card off of Craigslist and, if so, what was your experience like?  Do you have a long to-do list for any of your rooms as well?  And do you fall so in love with new furniture that you name it and treat it like a third child?

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