To "Big Ugly Sofa" OR Not to "Big Ugly Sofa"

September 13, 2013

Since we live in a pretty small house I've always lamented our sofa situation. Our living room is also our sitting room, our family room, our foyer and sometimes (though not often) our dining room (we do at least have a separate dining room thank God). It's a dilemma because I like our home to look stylish when guests first walk in but I also want it to be comfortable when we sit down as a family to watch a movie or when Brian and I watch "Breaking Bad" or "Game of Thrones" after the kids have gone to bed. And I'm finding it hard to have both. Comfort or style. One or the other, not both. 

I admit, our current sofa is a reasonable mix of the two. We currently have an IKEA Karlstad sofa in Isunda Gray and I've replaced the legs with more retro modern ones. The sofa works for us because it's low to floor and doesn't have a high back so it makes the small space feel more open. The crisscross pattern on the sofa cover hides stains well and is removable (we wash it about once every two months and let me assure you by the end of those two months, it shows). But the material isn't soft. In fact, it's kind of rough. I've considered leather since it too resists stains but I just don't like the way it feels in the cold winter months. The cushions aren't very plush and there's no reclining option. Secretly, I've longed for a BIG....UGLY....SOFT....SOFA.

One like this but with fuzzy chenille fabric. Oh my gosh I think I fell asleep just looking at it. But how horrible would this be in our tiny living room/sitting room/foyer/dining room?!
I've seen that IKEA now is selling a very limited selection of fuzzy sofa covers called Vellinge which I might be interested in if it eventually comes in the Karlstad version and in a color other than navy blue or beige.
I think if we ever bought a house with a separate family room located in the back of the house I'd spring for the big ugly sofa. What about you? Do you also struggle with the "Big Ugly Sofa Dilemma" or am I the only neurotic one out there?

22 {comments}:

Shannon said... Best Blogger Tips

I love my Thrive sofa and it is both nice looking and comfortable.

Kate Morton said... Best Blogger Tips

I searched on CraigsList for a year to find a small comfortable and cheap sofa. I finally found it. It is only one half of a U Shaped sectional but it is comfortable. Fits perfect in my small room. It was worth the wait to not go into debt.

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

@Kate MortonWe bought our sofa off Craigslist too! Since it was an IKEA sofa we were able to get a brand new cover for it. All together with the cost of the used sofa and the cost of the new IKEA cover it was still $300 cheaper than buying brand new and in the end it totally looked like a brand new sofa with the new cover.

In a few years if they don't discontinue our sofa if the current cover is yucky or out of style we can always buy another one instead of a new sofa. That's why I love IKEA!

paddlemama said... Best Blogger Tips

Noooooo!!! Not a Big. Ugly. Sofa. Please don't do it. I'll contribute to a sofa fund. (jk) But seriously - I hate big ugly sofas. Sometimes comfort must be sacrificed to keep the world a big-ugly-sofa-free place. Worst invention ever. (I have a BS in Interior Design. Can you tell?lol)

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

@paddlemamaLOL! I wish someone would come along and make something that looked stylish but was also incredibly comfy and also not $3,000+. I feel like it's out there waiting to be discovered!

Shelley said... Best Blogger Tips

I got mine at the Macy's home store, soft and stylish :) ours is the Kenton sofa... they have a ton of options for right around 1000, which for sectionals that are made well is very good!

Shelley said... Best Blogger Tips

Btw the sofa goes on sale often, so the price gets a lot lower than it is listed for now
throw some DIY pillows on that bad boy and you are good to go.

Shelley said... Best Blogger Tips
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ulli said... Best Blogger Tips

the sofa is JUUUUUST fine! why change it? Fill it with colorful cushions, soft blanket, ... it'll give you the coziness of an ugly big one...pls don't change it, it's a perfect fit...

A.Marie said... Best Blogger Tips

When you washed your Isunda Grey cover, were you able to just throw it in the wash and line dry or did you send it out for dry cleaning? I've been debating on taking the jump to put in in the machine and seeing how it fared

Amy Ruffo said... Best Blogger Tips

Try a sactional by Love Sac. You can attach the pieces anyway you want and can always add on later if you move! It was the only way we could get an couch with a return to fit in our small living room (5 series. There are many of covers to choose from too! I bought ours during a Thanksgiving sale and got 30% off

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

We have had the ektorp 2x2 corner sofa for 3 years now and it has held up very well. Svanby grey hides stains nt badly and after a couple of washes it is more like a brushed cotton than a hard, canvas.

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

@A.MarieOh my gosh, it would cost a FORTUNE to dry clean it! No, we just threw it in the wash we do it about every two months. Still looks good. I will say that if you FULLY dry it in the dryer it can be a little tight going back on. What we do is put it in the dryer it until it's 95% dry then put it on the cushions and let air dry the rest.

But if you line dry that might not even be a problem at all.

C said... Best Blogger Tips

@Kathleen Frances

Thank you! I've been looking for months for a post by someone who has successfully machine washed their Isunda cover. I bought a CL corner Karlstad with a blue cover marked dry clean only. But knowing 1- it was covered in animal fluff and HAD to be cleaned ASAP, and 2- that if it didn't survive I could get the cheapest cover available, so we machine washed and line dried them. After 6 months my dream cover, the Isunda grey, was in stock, a new lower price, and close enough to my birthday that I could ask for gift cards to get it. But... It looks saggy on my cushions. I'm not sure if the sofa cushions have just lost some of their bulk or if the cover is a tiny bit oversized. Anyhow, I noticed that after washing the former covers did shrink a smidge, fitting nice and right. So I was hoping I could shrink down the Isunda just a bit by breaking the rules and machine washing - without resulting in total destruction. Woooohoooo! Thank you!

Amy said... Best Blogger Tips

@Kathleen Frances

Hi there! Thanks so much for posting this and that you had washed the Isunda Grey without issue! We were debating about whether to wash our Isunda covers versus dry cleaning, but dry cleaning the whole set would have cost almost as much as buying new covers.

When you washed them what settings did you use? Cold/cold, warm/cold? Regular speed versus delicate, etc? Thanks in advance!

Kim said... Best Blogger Tips

I was wondering how you go about machine washing your isunda grey cover. Our desperately needs to be cleaned, but I've been avoiding the dry cleaning price tag. Do you wash on cold, hang dry, use woolite, etc...?

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

@Amy @Kim
I actually used hot water but that's because the stains were so ingrained but it's probably better to use cold. Normal cycle. We even dry ours in the dryer BUT here's the key we don't dry it fully. We wait until it's about 90% dry and then we put it on the sofa and let it dry the rest of the way.

If it's a nice summer day sometimes we let it dry on the porch but most of time we use the dryer for the majority of the drying.

It's still a tight fit when you're putting it back on but not so tight that we can't put it on. You just have to put some muscle into it;-) I admit, I'm exhausted by the end of the whole thing. I mean, if you do the WHOLE sofa you have to literally unscrew the arms and then rescrew then on and it takes a whole day and gives you a good workout! Or maybe I'm just that out of shape;-P

Long story short, the cover is totally washable. DON'T waste your money on dry cleaners.

asima khan said... Best Blogger Tips

Informative blog..
I like it..!!!Bedroom Furniture Online

Robert Clark said... Best Blogger Tips

it is very nice living room and living room furniture looking very nice... Leather Sofa Land

Sofa Wale said... Best Blogger Tips

What a lovely designing sofa set it's really give a shiny look to your home or office. If any one need best sofa set in Mumbai,Delhi or Pune please contact sofawale .

vonnegutjunkie said... Best Blogger Tips

This thread Desperately needs to be on IKEAs site!! I washed my isunda cover to my chaise and hung it to dry.....its been hours and its still soaked.....I got nervous and went to the site to see about washing instructions and freaked out when I saw it said dry clean only!! So glad to see others have braved this before me with success!! Thank you!!

Paulette Smith said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG Thank you all so much. I have been lamenting over whether I should dry clean $$$ or machine wash my Isunda cover. I couldn't find any info until I got to this blog. Yay I'll be dropping my covers in the machine to---night. Thanks!!

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