Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Search for the Perfect Sofa

After the long-winded search for the perfect couch we finally found it. First let’s talk about our old couch; you remember the one, the college loveseat that you bought because your roommate was buying one. It made sense. You would both buy a loveseat, not too big, not to small, and you can each take one when you move. Five years later this beige, lumpy, stained, bulky, cat-clawed, cushion-spitting loveseat just isn’t cutting it. Not to mention that two seats are certainly not enough for two adults, a dog, and two cats to all sit comfortably. Not to mention that we’re lazy couch sitters; mostly laying on each other instead of sitting upright.

Old College Loveseat

See what I mean? We needed something cleaner and lighter.

When we started our couch search we debated either getting another loveseat or upgrading to a couch. We wanted more seating but our tiny 1-bedroom apartment is not terribly accommodating for space. If you would have asked us 6 months ago we were going to get a chesterfield style sofa. I dreamily stared at the Petite Kensington from Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware Petite Kensington
Restoration Hardware - Petite Kensington - Starting at $1,950
The quilted, pin-tucked, and classic look was just what we were wanting. If you asked us 4 months ago, we were beginning to open up our search. IKEA had much more affordable couches but you have to find one that is of good quality. IKEA is hit or miss when it comes to quality materials and construction. We visited a few times, sat on the test sofas and decided we liked the Karlstad. It had a clean simple look that our lumpy loveseat just didn’t provide. Plus you could change the covers! 

IKEA Karlstad in Isunda Gray
IKEA - Karlstad Sofa in Isunda Gray - $499
After a few more visits, and a few glances at the size our car, we realized we would also have to tack on home delivery despite IKEA being only a few miles from our apartment. We weren't sold.

If you asked us 3 months ago, well, West Elm’s couches look pretty nice. 

West Elm Henry Sofa
West Elm - Henry Sofa - Starting at $799
West Elm's are similar to the look of the Karlstad. Clean and simple but it seemed bulky reminding us too much of what we already had.

If you had asked us only a month ago, I was HANDS-DOWN SOLD on Schoolhouse Electric’s Jack Loveseat in Nubby Tweed. If only that price was in our price range. We even took a visit in person and talk about luxury. This couch was not only comfy but also so unbelievably perfect for what we wanted. But that price tag…
Schoolhouse Electric - Jack Loveseat in Nubby Tweed
Schoolhouse Electric - Jack Loveseat in Nubby Tweed - $1,950
We couldn’t justify spending that much on a loveseat.

Come to about two weeks ago when my husband happened upon the IKEA website again and we see that there are new couch styles fit for the new year. Upon seeing the new Ekenaset sofa (yes, sofa) for $399 we couldn’t help but go check it out in person.

IKEA Ekenaset Sofa
IKEA - Ekenaset Sofa - $399
It looks a lot like the Schoolhouse Electric loveseat spare a few structural differences, the open arms, the fabric quality as a whole, but for the most part it evoked the same feel and style we wanted. Clean, simple, and a vague 70s feel. The real test was the sit test though and it passed. Firm but comfy. At that price tag we couldn’t say no and ended up walking out with the couch that same day. We pushed it as far into my little car as my folded down seats and small trunk would allow. We then strapped the open trunk lid down to the box and began our trek back to the apartment. We figured the hard assembly part was still to come but to our surprise this sofa was almost entirely intact! All the assembly we had to do was attach the back cushions to the bottom cushions and then attach the legs. Easy. The only issue we ran into during construction was a few slightly misaligned holes but with a little effort we got it all secured. So far we are completely happy with our purchase and it really ties our room together. 

IKEA Ekenaset - A spot for each animal.

IKEA Ekenaset Detail

(Although if I had a spare $1,551 then we would have most definitely purchased the Schoolhouse Electric sofa. Maybe one day!)


  1. This isn't even a sofa. This is a chair. A bunch of chairs at that. This was a poor choice and you should have invested way more money for something more sturdy and comfortable for a couch. Although this is gorgeous in person, it was a poor choice. Just my opinion.

    1. Hi Chantel, thanks for the opinion! While I do understand that to some people the ekenaset may just be a glorified chair, it was what we were wanting. Something less bulky, which it definitely is! This is a review of what sofas/couches we found on the market that would best suit our situation best. We liked it because we wanted something light and open like a chair and we were keeping in mind having to move it if we ever had to move again. We liked that this couch was so affordable so in the future when we want to replace it we wouldn't be scared to spend more when we could afford it. If you're a fan of one of the others, I recommend you go that route or a bigger "comfier" couch. :)

  2. No harm intended. I love that chair! It was just a small opinion. As in longevity for a sofa. It's cute btw. Enjoy it.

  3. Anonymous2/16/2015

    I just put mine together! I actually have had the West Elm Henry loveseat (A craigslist score!) which I originally loved but you nailed it - eventually it just seemed so bulky to me. That Schoolhouse Electric is EXACTLY what I want, well, that or a leather loveseat from West Elm (they seem to have a slimmer profile,) but for $399, the Ekenaset fit the bill. Super comfy and more room than the Henry loveseat (those wide arms took up more room than I realized) while still keeping a lighter visual footprint. Comfortable and stylish. Works for me, for now. Mine is currently standing on end to keep the cats off while the Scotchguard cures. Next - try to figure out how to keep them from scratching the crap out of it. A plus for West Elm is the cats tried their best to tear that thing to shreds and it still looks great.

    1. Anonymous2/16/2015

      p.s. - my holes were also misaligned on that bottom piece. Used screws instead and it's better than IKEA planned.

    2. Thanks for the comment! Isn't that Schoolhouse Electric sofa dreamy?? So comfy too. Hooray for great deals from IKEA though. If you find any great cures to keep your cats from scratching your Ekenaset, do share. I have one in particular who is loving sinking her claws into it. :) Luckily I'm pretty quick to protect. Also seen as chasing after her with a water bottle.

  4. Bhargavi9/10/2015

    Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for the review. We love the design too and are looking to buy the armchair version of this design. Just wanted to check if the upholstery on the chair is removable.


    1. The cover is not removable like traditional IKEA sofas. The fabric is stapled onto the frame but it seems like it would be a simple reupholstery job when necessary. I hope this helps with your decision!

  5. I love the images you posted of sofas. As they are all made from fabric just remember that they will need to be regularly cleaned. I have a similar coloured sofa and I get it cleaned on a yearly basis by a professional cleaning company. It just makes it look like new again and prolongs its life. Just a tip.

    Bennie Dixon @ Safeclean Wandsworth