So, furniture shopping — specifically, shopping for couches.
It’s stressful, right?
I’ve been looking for a couch for so long that… Seriously, tectonic plates have shifted in the years I’ve been looking for a new couch. That’s how long it’s been. The continents are noticeably further apart.
The process has started and stopped multiple times, too, because a new couch is a big commitment. It’s like getting married.
And couches aren’t easy to get rid of. Once you buy one, you’re kinda locked in. I mean, that’s pressure! They have to tick off so many boxes, too — cute, functional, sturdy, but not so sturdy that your butt hurts when you sit in them. And then there’s the fabric. Is it stain-resistant, dark, light, smooth, rough, patterned, denim, leather? Will it stand up to cat barf? Will it fade in the sun? Will it last 10 years?
The last couch that I bought was a Pottery Barn Greenwich in 2002.
My, gosh, I’ve had that couch for 15 years!
I got it when I moved into my first “grown-up” apartment by myself, and how it would stand up to cats or kids never entered my mind. Consequently, I got a couch with the worst kind of fabric for cats (brushed twill), and it’s also upholstered, so it’s never been easy to wash or clean.
There are some stains on it… I probably should have gotten rid of it years ago. It’s pretty beat up, which is what happens when your husky tabby claims a couch as his personal playground, and the baby just takes it to another level (side note: you don’t even want to know how many times she has spit up on that couch.). I hate to say this, but my couch is one of the reasons I don’t have company over more often. I’m embarrassed, man. 🙁 The couch has to go.
Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of couch research for something cat- and kid-friendly, and the Ikea Ektorp has quite a cult following. It’s a slip-covered sectional sofa, and it’s pretty affordable, so when the little ones rough it up, it’s not extremely stressful.
The genius thing is that IKEA sells replacement slipcovers (which can be almost as expensive as buying a whole new couch in some lines!), and they’re only about $100 each, so when the couch starts to look bad, you can get a new slipcover…which appeals to me like you don’t even know!
We went to Ikea last weekend, and I sat on it.
It was, uh…pretty comfortable. It definitely wasn’t as uncomfortable as the couches I’ve tried at Pier 1. I mean, I love Pier 1 for some things. I have one of their hanging popasan chairs in my Lady Sanctuary, a few tables, and a patterned chair in the living room. But when I went to Pier 1 a couple weeks ago to do furniture recon, every single couch I sat on — swear to god — hurt my butt or my lower back.
I’m just sayin’. I felt like I was testing torture devices.
About the Ektorp, it has some positives. It was OK comfortable, and there was no hurting of the butt. I like the price, too, and it’s pretty cute. It’s neutral, but the seats are shallow. I’m not a tall person, but I felt like I couldn’t really curl up on it, and I want to be able to properly snuggle and veg on my next couch.
Plus, every big thing I’ve ever purchased from Ikea has broken within a couple years. So I didn’t get it.
I’m still couch hunting…
Oh! — also, something happened to me at Ikea that’s never happened before. We’d been meandering through the Emeryville store for about 30 minutes when I stopped to take a picture of this stool…
Suddenly, I realized that there were no windows in the building, which FREAKED ME OUT. Then, I realized that there was no easy way to get out of there if anything happened. It was just one gigantic people-filled box with colorful furniture and fake plants and those Swedish meatballs, and that freaked me out even more, because I’m a little bit claustrophobic, even in big places like Ikea. If I can’t see a window or an exit sign anywhere, I can’t breathe, and my chest tightens up like I’m having an asthma attack.
I wonder if Ikea does that to anyone else? Or am I the only weirdo?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,