Our sofa saga is equal parts really great luck and truly terrible luck. The first half involved finding the exact couch we wanted to buy from IKEA on craigslist for $100, available to pick up literally 2 minutes from the IKEA we were already planning on going to in New Jersey on the day we moved. It had been sitting in storage, wrapped in brown paper and plastic, as if waiting just for us. We picked it up, then just bought a new isunda grey cover from IKEA to recover it once we got it home. Magic.

There was the little problem, however, that once we took the legs off to get it up the stairs (something that was probably unnecessary), we didn’t have a long enough screwdriver to put them back on. Because I didn’t want to put the new cover on until the dresser was done, and we didn’t want to fix the legs issue until the new cover was on, we sat on the couch frame on the ground for the first two months we were here. While I don’t have a good before photo of the couch (forgive me, I wasn’t a blogger then), you can somewhat see what I was working with here:

There was also the problem that, regardless of if we could figure out to put them back on the frame, I hated the original IKEA legs. IKEA furniture legs are inexplicably horrible compared to the relative style of their couches. They’re just blocks of unfinished wood, and I knew they would bother me every day if I didn’t figure out a way to improve them. But it’s just for these kinds of issues that the internet has gifted us with IKEA hacks. For those of you who have not been blessed with my particular brand of crazy, you might not be aware that there exists a whole subset of people who not only brave the IKEA superstores, get their purchases home, and spend several hours deciphering ridiculous instructions in order to assemble their purchases, but who then proceed to spend even more time painting, staining, and otherwise altering their IKEA furniture and housewares. I understand this is baffling to many people. It’s ok. Feel free to proceed with the total understanding that there is no reason I do the things I do except to torture myself and others for as long as possible before we finally have a place to sit and watch some freaking TV at the end of a long day.

It’s because of this online sphere that I found a woodworker on Etsy who makes custom IKEA furniture legs. For $35 I got four new midcentury (what else) sofa legs for our Karlstad sofa. They took me about ten minutes to stain and seal, and once they were finished we finally got out the sofa cover we bought on our first trip to IKEA almost two months previously.

It was, of course, the wrong size.

It turns out we bought the full size couch, but it was advertised on craiglist as the smaller love seat, and that’s what I had in my head when we grabbed the cover in IKEA. So we had to haul out to the Brooklyn IKEA on one of the coldest days in January, riding on a ferry while my teeth literally chattered from how frozen I was. The plan was that I would head into the catacombs of IKEA to pick up our new couch cover and a few other things we needed while Sam returned the old cover, but when we walked in the average wait time for returns was 90 minutes. So we pulled a number, we both went and got our new cover, and when we were done there were still 60 minutes to go if we wanted to try to return it. We had a ferry to catch and I was not going to sit out in 10 degree weather for longer than absolutely necessary, so Sam ran back into the warehouse and just…left our too-small couch cover among its brethren on the shelf. And we left.

The lesson in all this is that measuring twice, cutting once applies to craigslit IKEA purchases as well. I’m happy about the mix-up, because I probably wouldn’t have bought the couch if I had realized it was the larger one, but it turns out our apartment can totally handle it so I chalk it up as a win.

Not bad for some $30 legs and a new couch cover (or two). It was simultaneously the easiest and most annoying project in the apartment thus far, and for those of you looking at getting an IKEA couch and who know how to buy the right couch cover on your first trip to IKEA, I’d recommend it!



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