A little color can go a long way AKA IKEA Ektorp Sofa Review

One of the things I am e-mailed most about is our IKEA Ektorp sofa(s). I don't think I ever even actually said they were from IKEA but you people are onto me! I've been meaning to write a post for awhile (about 18 months to be exact) because I've gotten a fair amount of e-mails not only about the couches, but about other stuff in our living room after I posted our "Un-Extreme Home Makeover" over a year ago. (How's that for slacking? Sorry, y'all!)

So first off, let me just say that I love these couches! We own the couch and the love seat and I love them both. They are comfortable, look nice, and have held up great with our two dogs. Kosmo and Lola have made themselves comfy on the top of the cushions since day 1 and they easily fluff right back up! Have I mentioned that I thought once we got new couches, I didn't think they'd be able to do that anymore (our last couch had a lower back and bigger cushions which were easy for them to make beds out of), but nope! Top of the couch = reign supreme for Sir Kosmo and Princess Lola.

When I was trying to decide on what sofa to get, my top priorities were comfort & durability, but also that they were pet & kid friendly! We don't have kids right now, but there are plenty of youngsters in the family that we have over often and we also have those stinkin' Boston Terriers that like to get dirty!!!

My first choice was the Pottery Barn Comfort Slipcovered Sofa. I just love the look of it -- neutral and classic, yet still chic. Plus have you ever sat on one? In case you haven't, it's like clouds!!

But the $4000 price tag (for couch & loveseat) was not appealing, especially when there's a chance for this to happen again:

So I was on a mission to find a similar but cheaper sofa. I stumbled upon this Better Homes and Gardens set.


The price tag ($750 for both pieces) was MUCH more appealing, the only problem was that the only place I could find it for sale was on walmart.com and even though it wasn't a Wal-Mart brand, I just felt weird about buying furniture from there especially since it wasn't sold in stores where I could see it first... despite the good reviews, I really wanted to be able to see it in person first. Plus, I couldn't find any reviews from people who had had it longer than a few months so I had no idea how it would hold up over time.

However, in finding that sofa I was led to a link for the IKEA Ektorp sofas! Someone mentioned in a review that IKEA's Ektorp line was almost exactly the same size and that they sold slipcovers in all different colors. So I did some research and found several reviews from people who had had the Ektorp sofas for years and all said they they were still holding up well and everyone seemed to love them -- plus, like I said they have multiple colors of slipcovers, which means if I want a red or green or striped couch in a few years I don't have to buy all new furniture, just new slipcovers! AND they can be washed!!! Hello, super pet & kid friendly couches!!!  

I originally got them in light brown, which I don't think is available anymore. As you can see it was kind of dark and dingy. I didn't even realize it until I changed the covers last week. I originally chose light brown over beige because it contrasted better against our walls, but no worries because we'll be painting soon! (more on that later)

Here are the new ones in an instagram contrast 2 days after the above pic (please notice the Bostons on TOP of the cushions!):

I honestly wasn't even planning on changing them but I'm so glad I did. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but Lola had chewed a (small) hole into the corner of the couch and I just knew I wanted new covers before my mom's party since we were having a lot of guests over who hadn't been here before. The ones I had my eye on were $250 & $240... but...just, no. So I went with the Tygelsjö beige ones because they were $50 and $40 and holy crap I LOVE it!! And not just because they were $400 cheaper! It brightens up the room and totally changes the mood of our home... it's cleaner looking & happier! I LOVE having a couch that is this easy (literally, it's physically easy and not to mention easy on the wallet!) to switch!

And I love having a couch that allows me not to freak the eff out when my dog chews a hole in it. No, I don't want her to think that behavior is acceptable and she still got reprimanded, but it's nice to know that the entire couch isn't ruined just because my dog has a natural tendency to chew. Same thing with kids. Kids are messy, y'all. I can only imagine how many more messes we will have on the couch some day when we have kids... it will be nice to not have sky-high anxiety over spilled grape juice, crushed crayons, marker ink, and whatever else kids get into. These covers can be machine washed... and if that doesn't work, new ones are as cheap as $39!

Seriously... you can't beat it! Especially for the price! The sofa is as cheap as $399 and the love seat $379. They also offer sectionals, chairs, and sofa beds.

After I changed the color of the couches, I no longer liked the rug we had... I thought the gold-tint looked dirty compared to the crisper cleaner beige couch. But I still want to do a review of that rug because I loved it, especially for the price.

This is the best picture I can find of the old rug... It was the Canopy Shag Rug from Wal-Mart. I bought a cheap rug because, you guessed it, Lola used to like to chew on rugs so I wasn't going to be spending any major bucks on one when she could potentially ruin it. But, that shag rug from Wal-Mart was worth every penny of $125. It vacuumed well, stood the test against dog claws, cleaned up nicely with carpet cleaner... you name it. Plus it was soft and plush. Very nice for a cheap rug!

*knock on wood* All the rugs I purchased 18 months ago are still alive and kicking (as much as rugs can do that?) so I thought I could upgrade us a bit. Just a bit though because I'm cheap.

Our new rug was from Home Goods (God bless that store!) and I love it. I got sooo many compliments on it at my mom's party! I was originally thinking I'd go with a plain brown rug, but couldn't find any... I saw that one and wasn't sure how it'd look in our space but thought I'd give it a try after I made sure I could return it if I didn't like it. I still have 26 days to decide if I'm keeping it, but I'm pretty sure I will if for no other reason than that thing was a pain in the rear to get home. Seriously.. I had my car instead of Josh's SUV, so me and the guy from Home Goods finagled the rug diagonally through the middle of my car. Half of it was sticking out the front passenger window and the other half out the back driver's side window. I also had a giant "Oh No! The Big 5-0!" balloon in the back seat because Party City is right next to Home Goods. I'm surprised I didn't get pulled over on my way home because my visibility behind me was literally less than zero.

Worth it? Heck yes.

 Other sources for things people have asked about:
- the curtains are Coqo Floral from Anthropologie
- the flower prints are from Pier1 (no longer available.) I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I painted those myself. I wish, but no... my paintings look more like they were done by a 4 year old with watercolors.
- the paper lanterns were about 2 bucks at Party City. I bought them for a cookout we had over a year ago and just left them up. One, because I'm lazy.. two, because they're fun.. and three, because all the kids in the family love them! Only one has fallen down in that time.

And, for the few who asked.. the shirt that I wore to my mom's party is from Anthro! It's the Clara Peasant Blouse in navy. And on sale now!

Let me know if you have anymore questions about anything else! Especially the Ektorps! Even though Ikea doesn't have any reviews on their website, I literally purchased them sight un-seen (the closest Ikea is 2+ hours from here) after reading reviews from other bloggers, so I'm happy to help anyone else make the leap!

(this post was not sponsored by Ikea, Anthropologie, Target, or Wal-Mart, but if any of these awesome companies would like to send me free stuff I wouldn't be opposed ;))
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