You all convinced me on the merits of a sectional within about 30 seconds of my asking for feedback, so thank you thank you! I had a pretty good idea in my head of what I wanted whether we went sectional or two couches, and that was slipcovers (I am doing everything in my power to transform this 2001 suburban home into a craftsman style cottage inside and out), gray fabric (because we’d be keeping the white slipcovered couch in the nearby living room and I wanted some contrast), and square arms (to contrast our IKEA Ektorp sofa’s rolled arms in the afore mentioned living room).
And then B and I started sectional shopping. I decided originally that we were grown-ups now and would buy a “grown-up” – high quality and expensive – sectional. But sofa shopping is so personal – what’s comfortable to one person is not necessarily comfortable to someone else. And it turned out that all of my ideas for my “grown-up” sectional didn’t work in reality. I loved the idea of the Crate and Barrel Lounge, but when we went to sit on it, we discovered it was too deep for practical every day use and comfort in our opinions. Then we hopped over to Pottery Barn where I fell head over heels in love with the square arm PB Comfort sectional in a silver taupe (light gray). We were both sold – decided we’d save our pennies and buy it when we could afford it. I searched around for real life pictures and reviews and even found one on Craigslist in a different color and came to one conclusion: this sofa does not hold up. It looks droopy and sloppy in a few months. And at the price we were looking at paying for that sofa, I wasn’t going there.
We looked at a few big furniture stores near us and didn’t love the options – mostly microfiber, which I hear is wonderful, but not the look I wanted. So we came back to IKEA. I was really hoping we’d like the Karlstad sectional so we could get the square arms we wanted, but B and I both vetoed it within 30 seconds of sitting down. So, I started considering an Ektorp sectional. And in the end, that’s the route we went. So I compromised on my arm style, but now that it’s in our house, the two couches look so different, I don’t even notice.
At $999, the Ektorp sectional just makes sense for our family right now. In 7 years, when our kids are less spilly, we might be able to cough up big bucks for a sofa, but right now, it just doesn’t seem reasonable. We want people to be comfortable in our home, we don’t want to be worrying about spills and shoes on the furniture. Casco’s already found his favorite cushion. Thomas likes to set his race track up using the sofa back as a ramp. Nell scoots around on it. We’re all very happy with our choice. And, since the sectional is from IKEA, I’ll do my best to find everything else for this room elsewhere to keep our home from screaming “IKEA showroom wannabe” when you walk through the front door.
I chose the Svanby Gray cover – I was worried it would be too dark but it’s actually much lighter than the Karlstad Gray fabric option, which is what I’d assumed the Ektorp came in, too. It’s technically not machine washable, but I intend to give it a go when it needs to be cleaned. I’ve loved our Ektorp sofa and the sectional is no different – comfortable, appropriately sized for my 5’6 frame but long enough for Mr. B’s 6’1 frame. We love snuggling on the couch. And as with our Ektorp sofa, we love that we can replace the slipcover fairly inexpensively if this one gets ruined or we want a different look.
My one complaint: I wish the Ektorp sectional was more customizable like the Karlstad. I think this used to be an option, but it’s now just the 2×2 – 2 seats, a corner, then 2 seats. In our room, we could really use one extra seat going across the back of the family room. We’ll make it work with accent chairs on the other side, so it’s not a big deal, but if there had been an extra chair add-on or a chaise add-on, it would have been perfect.
Eventual next steps for this room will include figuring out the seating across from the sectional – not a big heavy piece, but one or two airy accent chairs, and replacing the hand-me-down rug with something new. Eventually I’d like a rustic coffee table, but for now, our DIY slipcovered storage ottoman works great.