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Bringing home the KARLSTAD

This entry should be called, how to buy a couch the Canadian way. And that is, in a blizzard.

Well my husband will say that it was merely a slight snowfall. I beg to differ. People took off work. We like good Canucks with our snow tires went to IKEA to buy a couch.

Let me backtrack a second.

We swore we would never buy a couch from IKEA. Not that we don’t like the couches from IKEA. Quite the opposite. It’s that we have so much IKEA in our home that our living room was slowly starting to resemble page 28 of the 2011 IKEA catalogue.

There’s a lot of things we need in our home. A new fridge. More storage space. A kitchen counter top that doesn’t make me cry. A finished basement. And a couch was on that list as well. We had still been using the microfiber sectional that we had in our old condo. It was was great when it was just the two of us. Add our kids on it and guests coming over and we had no place for anyone to sit.

It also just unfortunately didn’t fit the size of our living room in our home. See below.

living room before

It does however fit perfectly into a section in the basement that will one day get finished. So that’s where this one went.

Now we searched everywhere for a sectional that would suit our needs.

Everywhere.

And every single thing we wanted was beyond out of our price range. We could get a lot of ugly sofas in our budget but for the  modern style and sheer scope of seating that we needed, we were looking at 4-5K just for anything comparable. Finally realizing that it was just futile and having no luck with any sales in any stores or outlets, we said oh hell with this and drove to IKEA in a blizzard.

Oh and we called my brother in law to bring his truck to help out because unlike normal people that pay for delivery, we said oh sure let’s bring the KARLSTAD Corner Sofa/Sectional back home using not one but two pickup trucks.

Exhibit A – The KARLSTAD Corner Sofa/Sectional

 karlstad (2)

Exhibit B – the KARLSTAD Chais add on (yes just the lounge took up the entire back of the truck)

karlstad

karlstad blizzard

Did I mention how much it was snowing?

So the rest went like this. Tear apart old couch and clean up living room. Leave before you’re asked to help put it together.

living room before

Try to sneak a shot of your husband and BIL putting it together.

putting together the couch

They catch you and as punishment it becomes your job to put on the cushion covers in the freezing cold garage.

Yes that’s my front porch tree. It’s the one Christmas item that I have yet to clean up. I’ll bet it’ll be there come July.

putting together the karlstad

Several hours later, you welcome your new KARLSTAD to your living room for its first night in your house.

karlstad first night at home

And here it is in the daytime!

I warned you its turning into Page 28. Right now I am contemplating one more EKBY shelf over top of the window. If I add bead board we have bigger issues.

IKEA Karlstad sectional (2)

IKEA Karlstad SIVIK

IKEA Karlstad sectional (5)

Our side table is a LACK table. It was supposed to be a temporary table that we used for about a month or so until I found a cool thrift store table that I wanted to use instead.

It’s over 2 years later.

Re-doing the side table is on our Project List for the house. The crates are all from thrift stores that I took home this past year.

For the record, because I always think of this when I see people’s homes decorated with vintage items that are breakable or well, taunting to children, it took a long time before the novelty of pushing the typewriter keys wore off with my 2 year old. Right now I am just waiting for her to notice the gumball machine on the shelves. I try to keep the “Ooooh what’s that?” thrift store items in here to a minimum.

I just noticed the IKEA catalogue in the crate that we use to hold our magazines. I swear that was not intentional. It’s almost comical in the context of this post.

LACK side table with vintage crates

So what do I think of the KARLSTAD after having it in our home for a month now? Here are my liner notes:

ASSEMBLY

It was shockingly easy to put together. Most of the frames and structure of the couch are all done for you. I honestly think this was a first with any IKEA item we’ve purchased. I.E. It took us a full day to put together a PAX closet and maybe one day I’ll get my husband to explain how his experience of putting together our HEMNES dressers was.

FABRIC

We bought the SIVIK Dark Grey colour. It is deep charcoal grey, almost denim like in its appearance but it looks much more expensive in real life than its price tag. It is a very durable fabric. The covers are washable and this was very important to us as we have kids and I like wine. I have already washed 4 of them and it was as simple as a cold water machine wash and then hanging them to dry. Not one shred of discolouration and the material felt the same after. The covers will be wrinkly upon drying but don’t feel like you have to iron them before you put them back on. Just put them back on and by the end of the day the wrinkles will have smoothed themselves out.

The one thing you will notice with dark colour choices in this sectional, is the white seat base peeking through. See right side of photo on the chaise. It does settle down once the cushions settle down and form into the base but for first while be prepared to have the white peeking through. We found this was prevalent on the chaise but not with the other cushions.

The chaise also has a velcro tab under it to hold it into place. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this feature because it prevents the cushion from sliding forward. Our other couch didn’t have this and it was a removable ottoman and it had to be readjusted constantly. Drove me insane.

But one of the most important things about the cushion covers is that if something were to happen to damage them, I know I can always go to IKEA and get another set. Which based on my history of buying things from there and having them discontinued, a spare cover is definitely one of our future to buy items.

IKEA Karlstad sectional

THE LEGS

The legs are paintable, stainable (after sanding) and interchangeable.  See what Sherry from Young House Love did with theirs. IKEA offers metal ones for it but there are tons of other options. Some customer favourites are from Uncle Bob’s Workshop and Pretty Pegs. Right now they’re not bothering me. We’ll see how long that lasts.

COMFORT

When you first sit on it after you’re done putting it together, the cushions are stiff. Very stiff. Don’t worry, they’ll soften up. They don’t feel like the comfy KARLSTAD that you sat on in the store because the store model is the one that has been sat on by thousands of customers. That will happen naturally over time (it has already with ours). When in doubt get your kids to do this:

IKEA karlstad corner sofa (2)

In the end, do we love it? Immensely. It’s one of those things that we didn’t realize how badly we needed the extra room until we had it. I am sure you have an item in your own home that you were like “Where have you been all my life?” after you brought it home. I feel like that about Betty Crocker and Kraft Dinner most days.

I am 5’11 and my husband is 6’2 and both of us can lay down on either side and there is still a ton of seating room available for the kids. We are lay down and watch TV kind of people. I need a sofa that I can sprawl out on with some popcorn, a cozy blanket and stretch my legs. This is paradise for tall people.

The fun part was the wood farmers bench that I picked up at the thrift store last year for $15 fits so perfectly in the nook between the sectional and the chaise, it was like it was meant to be used as a coffee table for this.

You may have noticed we are missing a rug. This is because in the past 2 years we’ve gone through one shag rug and a striped rug, both of which were destroyed by goldfish crackers, spilled juice and mud from rain boots. I’ve been contemplating buying a jute or sisal rug for it to finish the living room floor, but I’ve been reading how terrible they are to hardwood floors (leaving imprints in them that is). So if you have rug suggestions, I am all ears. Quite honestly, there are days we do not even notice a rug is missing and it’s so much easier to sweep the floors.

The bottom line for us, our living room is our everything room. It’s the kids playroom, it’s where we watch TV and movies and sometimes eat our dinners. It’s where family and friends come over to visit. It’s where weekend mornings usually look like  imaginary campgrounds with makeshift tents:

IKEA Karlstad sectional (3)

And we needed a couch that can stand up to the “imaginary” smores that were made while Mommy wasn’t looking with nutella and marshmallows. There’s a reason the KARLSTAD sells so well for IKEA and constantly gets good feedback. Because it’s a dream couch for families with young messy children and pets. And most importantly, it won’t break your wallet.

So I surrendered to Page 28 of the 2011 IKEA catalogue and it’s a pretty awesome page to be on.

80 Comments

  • Reply
    Stephen Hughes
    February 26, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Speakless again! – But hold on, isn’t that Jack Bauer’s Ford F150?

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:02 am

      HAHA! I’ll be sure to pass that onto my BIL.

  • Reply
    Sue Schlabach 129twigandvine
    February 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Oh to wrap a whole room in a couch. You are practically a Sultan. Love the transformation story and your ownership of that catalogue page. It is now YOURS.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I love sectionals. I know they’re not for everyone but I (we) need a sectional. I like to sink into one and relax. I am not a formal living room type of girl and I respect those that are but I need a space to stretch. I am convinced IKEA thinks I am stalking them.

  • Reply
    runtspickins
    February 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I love the couch and it looks great in your living room! I love your floors too. Sighhhh, one day we will get our floors done too.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Want to know a secret about the floors? They’re very pretty to look at it but they are a pain in the a$$ to keep clean. Dust shows on everything. If we were to re-do it, we’d do a lighter floor.

  • Reply
    ngnrdgrl
    February 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I so want a sectional. We have the same problem. Guests come over and we have no place for everyone to sit. It looks really nice in your space. Love your floors too!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Are you hoping to get one down the line? I think I couldn’t get over the sticker shock of some of them. You can put a downpayment on a car for the cost of some.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    February 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

    It’s perfect! What a nice fit and the color was a great choice. I’m assuming by the last picture that the girls also approve of this beauty! Looks like they’re having a blast. Love the little feet sticking out from under the “tent”. WHAT FUN!

    A great choice for an active family. I think Ikea has some really great designs for modern families and you really can’t beat the prices. I think it’s super smart to NOT spend an arm and a leg on furniture when your kids are young. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. VERY STYLISH, ALEX! Love it.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

      It’s funny b/c I share your love of MCM and you know I adore your house furniture but can you imagine what my kids would do to your Knoll red couch? OMG. I’d wrap it in saran wrap and plastic sheathing and it would look like it came out of CSI. I wouldn’t let them touch it.

      This is one of the main reason I do bring home thrift store goods and IKEA b/c while they’re young, way too many accidents happen and it would a crying shame for classic works of art/furniture to get ruined. I don’t know how some bloggers do it with pets and kids with pieces like that. They need to write a book on their magic ways of keeping it like that and teach me.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    February 26, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I love the way that your living room is coming together and that couch fits perfectly! Here is sunny San Diego people will stay in if it so much as drizzles (which you would probably call a light mist); it’s ridiculous! Your spaces always have a touch of whimsy—I love it!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Today we have a blizzard. By blizzard I mean slush snow is coming down. It looks all pretty and fun but the moment you step in it it’s like a Slushie from 7/11.

  • Reply
    Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
    February 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Somehow? That sofa is twice as big as your other one, but makes the room look larger. I’m not sure how that’s possible… I guess because it fits the shape of the room? The dark color? Magic?

    I bought the Restoration Hardware, English roll-arm for our living room… in white (because I am insane?). A mistake I don’t intend to make again… We’ll be shopping for another sofa for the sitting area attached to the kitchen, assuming it ever gets finished, and I REALLY like this. Maybe it’s time to bring a little Ikea my way… pg 28 looks pretty good!!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

      It took me awhile to sort out why it felt like that but then it occurred to me it’s b/c the couch measurements look made to measure for our living room size. They fit from window to window including the exact height of the window sill. It’s as if we paid to get a custom ordered couch for our living room. Which I find hilarious b/c forever now I was looking at IKEA’s benches and bookshelves and none of them could fit so we could hack them as built in’s around the window. They were always off by 2″ or so. Drove me insane. The room was probably just waiting for the couch.

      Anything from RH makes me happy. I could spend hours just looking over that site. In my dream world I would take any of their caramel coloured leather sectionals in a nano second. You have the English Arm Roll? Drool.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet
    February 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Alex, can I just say that I love how your posts read like a story more than an update or tutorial.

    And the couch looks GREAT in your space. I really like the dark gray covers you chose and the fact that they’re so durable and washable. Duly noted for future reference when we have kiddos of our own one day…and coincidentally, our wine intake increases.

    And I chuckled at the section about getting “caught” by your hubby and BIL and being punished with a task. I’m amazed sometimes at how I’m not very different from the girl I was at age 7…trying to avoid chores at all costs!

    Oh, and I was strangely entertained by the fact that when my mouse hovered over a photo, it got a smidgen lighter. And I couldn’t decide which I liked better: the darker photo or lighter one, so I kept going back and forth, back and forth. Sigh. It’s the little things. 🙂

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Thanks Lauren! I try to do that intentionally b/c for myself I find a lot of tutorials lifeless. I like reading blogs to hear the stories from the bloggers POV and the best stories are usually the ones that we never think about posting b/c we don’t think they’re that exciting. And the tutorial parts are usually the ones that people skim and stare at the photos instead. I like seeing a bloggers personality in their posts.

      Chores are evil! I hate and I mean hate vacuuming, dusting and folding laundry. I will spend hours on a craft but God forbid I have to clean a bathroom.

      I think Stacey did that and I don’t know if it was a happy accident but I really like how it turned out. Now mind you I have no clue how to do that so contact her if you’d like to do it too.

  • Reply
    the home tome
    February 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Three cheers for page 28! Love the fabric choice and the sheer acreage of this couch. The saturday morning scene put a huge smile on my face.

    We also have an IKEA couch (can’t remember the name) – it is white and we are so glad all the slipcovers can be washed 🙂 I suppose with a kiddie in the house now we’ll be doubly happy about this… 🙂

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Washable slip covers are the best thing EVER. I can’t even tell you how many times I washed the microfiber one on a weekly basis. Yes wait til they’re 2 and running around with a sippy cup that’s not supposed to leak but oh wait it does anyway…

  • Reply
    ScrapAndSalvage
    February 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    there’s a flurry of couch posts this week! i need to get in on that 😉 great couch for your space! looks like in can accommodate your family much better than the old and really gives definition to the space. well done! and i love the typewriter! 😀

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

      I noticed that too! There were at least 5 entries on new couches in my Bloglovin Reader this week. I thought is it b/c it’s the end of February and we’re so cooped up in our homes that we start redecorating out of sheer frustration of seeing the inside walls.

  • Reply
    Danielle from Storypiece
    February 27, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Alex, this is GORGEOUS! I’m so excited for you guys… it’s awesome to have the perfect piece in one of the spaces you use the most. And it looks amazing in the room! I agree with Victoria… even though it’s larger than your old sofa, it somehow makes the room look bigger. And the color is beautiful, especially against the wood floors. We went with the color that would hide the most dog hair. I even rubbed the fabric swatches on our dogs to make sure we picked well. True story. Needless to say, I’m completely jealous of the dark color. I love the chaise too. You got the arms AND the chaise… the best of both worlds.

    Your snow pics crack me up and your girls are just too cute.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Your couch looks cozy! You know I love your living room and how your kitchen overlooks it. That’s such a great environment. Arm rests are amazing and yes if you have pets there’s a whole other wack of factors that should come into consideration with purchasing a couch for sure!!

  • Reply
    Autumn@fallfordesign.com
    February 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

    This looks great! What a difference! We need something similar in our living room. Our couches are oddly placed because I don’t have a couch that is an L shaped.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      February 27, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Sounds like our bedroom. It’s such a strange shaped room that it’s been very trying trying to sort out furniture placement. Get a sectional if you can. I am pretty big fan of them probably b/c I’ve grown up with one.

  • Reply
    hannahchristiane
    February 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve nominated you for the Inspiring Blog Award! Congratulations and thank you for inspiring me=)

    http://cozycrookedcottage.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/i-was-nominated-for-an-oscar/

  • Reply
    Gilit
    February 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I love it! It looks beautiful in your cozy and chic living room! Plus, there’s no getting away from Ikea. When it’s the answer, it’s the answer. Embrace it 🙂

  • Reply
    Tia
    February 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Much better! I love the colour you went with 🙂 By the way, I nominated you for a Liebster award today: http://moorofeverything.com/liebster-award

  • Reply
    Time With Thea
    February 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    The new sectional looks really awesome. As I read you post however, i know that you have just gone through yet another winter storm. Your area is really getting hit with some pretty intense weather. Hope everyone is managing. At least you have a nice new cozy sofa to cuddle up on while it is storming outside. ~Thea

  • Reply
    Michelle Egide
    March 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I just found your blog and I love the sectional! Really looks great in the space. We don’t have kids so I have to worry more about ‘cat-proof’ and will we be able to get cat puke out of it lol! Now where did you get those awesome cushions? I so want them! Even though I’ve lived in the US almost 12 years, still a canadian gal at heart!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      March 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Michelle! This particular one is a great fabric. You should see what my kids have thrown at it already. Ahhh the Canuck cabin-ish pillows. The Deer one is from JYSK from their Christmas line and the one with the Maple Leaf is from Loblaws/Superstore’s line from the Fall. I am always on the lookout for Canadiana type of accessories so if I ever come across any, I’ll be sure to let you know on your blog. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Krista
    March 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I absolutely love that I cam across this. I have been reading younghouselove for a while now and they inspired me to look at getting a sectional for my living room. Not wanting to be a copycat I looked around for ages but living in Labrador (yeah, lets not talk about how much fun shipping the Karlstad here is going to be) my options were pretty limited. I bought something on sale at the local Leon’s and I have been regretting it ever since.

    I am so glad to hear that you were having a struggle accepting the Karlstad at first too but pulled the trigger and loved it. I still haven’t ordered it… I need to wait until spring so that the 6 ft of snow is clear of the door that it all needs to come in through… but I am feeling much better about it now tha tI have read a second raving review!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      March 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

      As a fellow Canuck I am sure you can relate to this then when I say how insanely limited our furniture store selection is here in Canada. If you want anything that is not in the budget of The Brick, Leons, Costco or IKEA you know you’re going to be shelling out a car downpayment on a couch.

      We’re really happy with it. The seating room alone is worth it and it doesn’t look a frumpy couch. And this is going to sound terrible but I am not as stressed about it being ‘attacked’ by stains, kids, mishaps b/c I know we didn’t pay a million dollars for it. While our kids are young, this is a great choice. I hope you take the plunge!

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    March 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Alex, love this post, I loved reading it; after reading your post, I feel like I’ve been in your living room! ha!ha! page 28; love page 28 it looks great and so does your living room with your new sectional. A typewriter wouldn’t last 2 minutes in our house with my 21 month old; no matter how many times I would ask him not to touch it! You are tall 5’11 wow 🙂 lucky girl (I’m short and hubby is tall) ha!ha! (I’m looking at the legs of your sectional and I don’t mind them at all but maybe consider a soft rug in case you move it around, we have new hardwood floors and like you I don’t know what type of rug to choose to not ruin them!) if you find one that is great for family with kids please let me know, we are looking for one!) 🙂

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      March 6, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Costco currently has these Sisal rugs that are meant for outdoors but I’ve been staring at them for awhile now (which is terrible b/c you know if you wait too long w Costco you’ll never find them again) that are remarkably soft. I am considering getting one and then finding a good padding for under it so it wouldn’t imprint on the floors.

      The fun part of that is look at the rug on Page 28. And I didn’t notice that either. Sigh.

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    March 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    ha!ha! 🙂 like the rug on page 28. If you really want the Costco rug, you should get it right away because it’s true, you might never find it again, last Christmas we got a snow globe from there, we wanted to buy more for gifts but when we went back; they had none. As for the rug, if it’s very soft, I suggest you get it then! I would love one with bold colors but when it comes to rugs; I feel as if I always make the wrong choices!

  • Reply
    cheryll
    March 8, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Lord have MERCY this post made me laugh! Your living room is delightful, page 28 look-alike or not. We, er, _I_ went on an anti-IKEA phase about two-three years ago. Just like you, we looked at all the alternative including a store here that has an IMAX movie theater, possibly even an amusement park, and not only was I appalled at the prices, but the quality was no better than IKEA. And the styles were overwrought and fussy… ugh. Eventually, I made peace with IKEA. I don’t mind paying more for better quality, but I get a little pissy when someone wants to charge me an extra 1k for MDF furniture put together with nails.

    BTW, I haven’t read through all the comments, but in terms of rugs, have you considered FLOR carpet tiles? We’ve used them for the past seven years and are pretty happy with them. They clean up pretty well (depending on they style you select, some are more “kid friendly” than others), and if it gets too bad, you can just replace a tile here and there.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Isn’t it insane trying to find an alternate source of comparable pricing and design style? This is why I thrift store shop so much. I figure I have a better chance of finding something I can make over or for way less money that will be unique.

      I have seen those tiles and I don’t know why I am always forgetting about them. Thanks for the reminder!!

  • Reply
    Allison
    March 12, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Where did you get the hanging window lights? Are they also IKEA? How did you secure them? I found you Google searching the Karlstad, as we just purchased ours in the same color/layout and LOVE IT!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      March 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Yes they are also from IKEA. They’re the KALLT snowflake lights they sell every single Christmas. We use a high tech method of pins in the top of the window frame and just loosely wrap the cord behind them. It holds very well!

      Get the couch! It’s awesome! Mine just needs a lot more pillows. And possibly a rug.

  • Reply
    Lucy
    May 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Just stumbled across your blog while looking for honest reviews of the karlstad. Um, THANK YOU! You’ve totally sold me and by the way, your living room is just lovely and your “temporary” Lack table is accessorized so nicely you would never know it only cost ten bucks. So great! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Thank so much! Glad I could help.

  • Reply
    Nancy Hewitt
    August 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Can you believe that the Karlstad has been out of stock for two months?! Just as I was redecorating my house from coastal to modern, they had to up and have a problem with the manufacturer! I’m being patient and have been told they will be back in stock at the end of August or beginning of September. I’m totally kvetching that they’ll discontinue it. So, my remodel is “on hold” until I can get the sofa and “build” around it. Alex, the IKEA catalog says the longest length of the 2+3/3+2 Karlstad (just the corner sofa without the chaise) is 111″ long. Can you do me a favor and measure just the longest portion of your Karlstad WITHOUT the chaise and tell me if that’s true? For some reason, 111″ sure sounds bigger than it actually looks in the picture.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      It is indeed 111″ long. The entire couch length against my wall without the chaise (that is not the part of the couch with the section in front of the window that you can see in the above pictures) is 105.5″ long. The catch is that is without an arm rest. If you add the arm rest it is about an extra 5-5.5″ making it 111″ (give half an inch or so for fabric/cushion). Hope that helps! I can’t believe they’re out of stock!

      • Reply
        Nancy Hewitt
        August 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

        Update… on Friday, 8/16, I called IKEA and they took my order with a September 9th delivery date. Whoop-whoop! Ordered the dark gray, but I also found a set of light gray slipcovers on Ebay which I’ve ordered. Probably doesn’t hurt to have a 2nd set of slipcovers. Thanks so much for the measurement info, Alex!

      • Reply
        Lee
        November 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        Do you have the overall dimensions of this couch, exactly as is? I have a room to put it in, but not sure if it’ll fit, and since it’s for export want to make sure of the as-built dimensions. Thanks!

        • Reply
          Alex
          November 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

          The exact measurements are 141″ (for the long part against the wall) x 95″ (for the part against the window). The chaise extends out 61.5 (their site says 63″ but that’s if the cushion extends out). Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Hi! Did your karlstad smell for a week or two?? I just got a karlstad – was super exited – then the next day I was so bummed because it stunk up my entire apartment! I’ve been ventilating like crazy! Lemme know if you had the same problem? 🙂

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Apologies on the crazy late reply to this. Yes the couch smelled for a bit but that happens with any IKEA furniture. For the first while it’s still going to smell like the store which has the most distinct smell of any furniture store I have ever been in. Our Hemnes dressers were even like that. But now it just smells like our home.

  • Reply
    dmartinelli2006Danielle
    September 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Do you feel like you could have finagled all of the pieces into one truck or did you definitely need to have z2? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex
      September 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Not a chance in hell. Unless you want to duplicate the IKEA commercial where they drive to an underpass and can’t drive under it b/c they can’t fit the contents on top of their car under it. It won’t fit safely. I can’t speak of how it would all work in a van though. Maybe someone else has tried that?

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    November 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Hey! I love this post and your blog! We are in the midst of sectional shopping and we are considering the Karl as well, in the same configuration you have chosen. Our only issue is our room size. Our living room / dining room is 21′ 9″ x 10′ 4″. However from the pics it looks like your room is a similar size, can you please confirm your room size.

    Many thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      I just got several new comments on the Karlstad entry and as I was reading I saw that my reply to your comment never went through last year! That’ll teach me to use my phone for that. I apologize. Just in case you haven’t bought it yet our room is about 19 ft x 11 ft but the space we put the sectional in is no longer than 13 feet (that’s the part against the wall not the window).

      • Reply
        Cynthia
        January 22, 2014 at 10:58 am

        Thank you!!! We did already purchase a different sectional, but will keep the Karl in mind for our basement rec room redesign!

  • Reply
    Markus Ossi
    December 8, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Just wanted to say thanks for the review. We have been thinking about gettingthe Karlstad, too. Now of they only had washable fabrics available here in Finland, too.

  • Reply
    ashley
    January 6, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Great review! And I’m more excited you’re tall. Because so am I. Its the reason I’ve waited to buy Karl for about 2 yrs. When i see him in the showroom he looks so short. Then I wonder if its the super tall showroom that makes him look smaller? Is it deep enough for you to feel supported when you sit down? And is the back high enough? Ive sat on them in the store but it can be so different for every day use. Karl is the only MCM type sofa I can afford right now. They’re so pricey! Oh and are the cushions getting saggy? I’m sorry there’s so many questions. I don’t know anyone who has one. And in the scheme of couches theyre cheap, but it’s still a lot of cash. Thank you:)!!

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      This is a much shorter couch than the average height couch (at least the ones I’ve sat on and owned). But it doesn’t affect the depth of the seats. They’re deep seats.

      I’ve read that some people aren’t fans of the back heights of the cushions but honestly to us they’re a non-issue. Even when we’re sitting we don’t sit formally on it like we’re having tea. I usually lay down on it with my legs stretched out and watch TV with my kids under blankets and pillows. Cushions are not sagging at all but even better the fabric isn’t sagging and I would have anticipated that to happen. But so far so good!

      • Reply
        ashley
        January 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm

        I’m just going to pull the trigger and do it. Thanks for getting back to me!

  • Reply
    angie
    January 19, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    after all this time, hows it holding up?? are the back cushions removable and are they supportive? do they drive you bonkers adjusting and fluffing???

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      We almost bought another one for the basement we still love it that much. Back cushions are removable (you don’t mean the fabric cover on the back of the couch just the cushion part right?) and yes they are supportive. They are shorter I find compared to our old couch but it hasn’t bothered us at all. The amount of abuse this sectional takes from my kids and their imaginations I am pretty sure I could offer them to IKEA’s testing department as a guaranteed to ruin furniture. And it’s doing great!

      • Reply
        angie
        January 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        thanks!! also, is it a deep couch? like a curl-up-and-not-feel-like-you’re-slipping-off kinda couch? we’re tall!

        • Reply
          Alex
          January 20, 2014 at 10:12 pm

          No it’s a deep couch. Apologies to all those out there that love formal sit and watch TV style couches, that’s not our thing. We all lounge on it and it’s great. Even when I am sitting it reaches under my knees ( I have a 36″ inseam in pants). This is coming from someone who doesn’t sit comfortably in the average car seat of today’s car models. I used to own a Corolla back in the 90’s and loved my 10 year old clunker because it was an older version with longer car seats. Then when I tried out the new versions I thought well there goes that idea because the car seats would barely reach 3/4 of my upper legs and I felt like I was driving and falling out of my seat.

  • Reply
    Tarek
    January 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Hello, nice post and lovely home. I was wondering how sturdy you’ve been finding the Karlstad now after nearly a year of usage? We’ve decided to get the Karlstad from IKEA in Dubai, where we live, but were wondering about how durable it is. Especially the corner of the sectional, which we thought has too few leg supports? Not sure yet between a sectional or a 3 and 2 seater.

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      The sectional has held up great! If you met my kids, you’d wonder how it’s still standing as half the time they treat it like a trampoline during the stir crazy winter months. Fabric is great, no sagging. The body is very sturdy. We honestly almost bought another for our basement but went with a different IKEA sofa bed for it because we needed a different length. We’d buy this sectional again no questions asked.

  • Reply
    Myro
    February 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Hi, I have a question: if I get a same size sofa what size coffe table should I get to fit nicely?

  • Reply
    Anna
    March 7, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Hi! Love your blog. I had to move and leave my perfect red sectional, which happened to appear to be identical to your old tan one. My new new space is tiny. I was wondering if you know the brand of the tan sectional? I want it back so much! Stay warm!

    • Reply
      Alex
      March 7, 2014 at 9:37 am

      We bought the tan one from The Chesterfield Shop over a decade ago. They should have similar ones still. If you decide to buy from them plan way in advance. While the couch was great and lasted us a very long time, we waited 5 months (not a typo) to get it in our apartment after we ordered it due to manufacturer delays.

  • Reply
    Nicoleta
    March 14, 2014 at 10:42 am

    The room looks wonderful and the sectional is well matched. Lovely

  • Reply
    After the Pulpit
    April 7, 2014 at 12:08 am

    The IKEA catalogue in the crate! 😉 LOL, we’ve vowed to stop going to IKEA as well because just about everything we have comes from there. That said, we do like their fresh, clean-lined style to say nothing of the price. I stumbled on your blog because we looked at the Karlstad this afternoon and debating which configuration/colour works best in our condo. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Enrico Guy
    April 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Alex, I came across your review while looking for info on the Karlstad. My wife and I have been looking for something to replace our decade old leather couch in our TV room.

    We are looking something in fabric that will last over a reasonable amount of time without breaking the bank. Like you and your hubby we also love to lounge, but with our current setup we’re pretty much on top of each other (i’m 6′ and she’s 5’4)

    Interestingly enough, we have brazilian cherry wood floors that look virtually the same as yours.

    Oh and from now until May 5th Ikea has a BOGO 50% off Promo. So if this couch fits the bill, we’ll be looking for someone to go in on this with us in the next week or so.

  • Reply
    Moe a.k.a.@biggirlblue
    May 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I feel like we have the same list of house to-do/to-get. I thought we were the only ones who drove to Ikea in bad weather (ours is two hours away, three if we want to go to the bigger one). The couch looks like it was made for the room and definitely makes it more inviting. We bought an Ikea couch and chair eight years ago and our old sofa bed went into the basement (paneling which we painted for a temp fix and red shag carpet original to house btw). The couch and chair are both huge, can’t remember what their name was, and I’ve been feeling claustrophobic in the living room lately. Slowly working on the husband. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing your transformation — it’s amazing what a simple change can make.

  • Reply
    casacaudill (@bcaudill)
    August 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I like the look of this sectional, but I’m really afraid of how spindly the legs look. I’m a plopper.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Oh God no. They’re so sturdy. The ones that come with the sectional. I can’t speak through experience about any of the other ones but our wood ones are great. I promise. You should what my kids have thrown at this couch over the past year.

  • Reply
    GayLynn
    February 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Love your ceiling fan! Where did you purchase it if I may ask? I think this couch will fit perfectly in my little condo,I need to take a trip there this weekend!

  • Reply
    Krystle
    February 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Just an update: I was recently looking into purchasing the corner sectional but it had been “out of stock” for months at the stores within 6+ hours of my house. I emailed and got the response that their producers have discontinued manufacturing the corner sofa version. I’m not sure about the status the whole karlstad line because it is still in catalogs? Something to bear in mind if you go to your store and it’s not available.

    • Reply
      Alex
      February 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you for letting me know Krystle. I am currently looking into this issue as we wanted a replacement cover for ours due to some of the fabric fading because of the constant exposure to sunlight. Needless to say I am not impressed right now because it appears to be out of stock already.

  • Reply
    IKEAのソファコーディネートまとめ☆ | folk【フォーク】
    March 16, 2015 at 12:07 am

    […] 出典:http://www.northstory.ca/bringing-home-the-karlstad/ […]

  • Reply
    elh073
    May 6, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Love the review. We are looking at this couch too. Can you tell me the back height? The actual height with the cushions? IKEA says 31.5 inches, but I’m not sure if that includes the added cushion height. Thanks a million!!

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 19, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      From the floor to the top of the back of couch (without cushions) it is 21.5″ With the cushions it is indeed 31.5″. Would now be a bad time to tell you they’re discontinuing the Karlstad?

  • Reply
    Willie
    May 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Hi there. How’s the sofa holding up 2+ years later? It looks like it’s in stock at my local Ikea and just what I have been looking for, just wanted to see if you were still a fan.

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

      It’s great. Really. No regrets about buying it at all. We would easily get it again. Our kids are really rough on it as kids generally are. Messy hands, spilled drinks etc. And all I need to do is wash the covers and it’s back normal. If you find it now, get it as it’s being discontinued. That means extra slipcover too.

    I love your comments!