Although I’m a graphic designer, I struggle with interior design. I know what I like and how I want things to look but there is this odd disconnect between what’s in my head and what’s in my house. I wondered for a long time why that was and I’m pretty darn sure it is my decorating budget. We don’t have one. Life goal: get a decorating budget.
My cousin is an insanely talented interior designer. She puts together the most gorgeous of rooms. She was kind enough to lend her skills to our our dark and depressing living room overhaul last summer. Because of this, one of my dreams came true. I got a white couch. No seriously, I got a white couch. There is currently a white couch in the room we live in. Yes, I have a big ol’ dog and two kids who lean towards the side of disrespectful towards household items. Don’t get me started on the pile of towels ruined by nail polish, food coloring, hair dye, etc. RUINED I SAY! Hey, I got a white couch up in there!
So how did this low budget mama swing a white couch in the family room? Why, IKEA of course. Who else would come to the rescue? IKEA has the Ektorp couch with removable covers and as a gal that pined over the Pottery Barn slipcover couches for years and cried over the cost, this was a perfect compromise. Or was it?
I poured over Pinterest for hours looking at reviews of the Ektorp, comparisons to the PB (Pottery Barn, not peanut butter) version, washing instructions, the whole nine yards. I’ll sum up my research in a few sentences. IKEA beat the Barn in wear and tear. One woman got her couch less than a month after her bestie who had the same amount of couch traffic and the PB (Pottery Barn, not potty break) version broke down after about a year and a half and the IKEA version was still going strong. Pulling off all the covers and throwing them in the wash is easy and quick. Pinterest tip: put them back on slightly damp so they stretch tight and no ironing is necessary. One gal had two different colored covers she rotated, however, she favored the white as you could bleach anything out of it.
That leads me to the cleaning of Ektorp. I feared the first round of cleaning. I was afraid it would suck and I would start to regret the purchase I BEGGED my husband to make. I was pleasantly surprised. To wash the cushion covers and the biggest part of the fabric that is the arms, skirt and back takes two loads in my average sized front loader. I use a quick wash because it doesn’t need 40 minutes of agitation. I only put them in the dryer for 8 minutes to get the bulk of the moisture out. I then let them air dry a little further, until just damp. Getting the cushions back in the covers is surprisingly easy. Like weirdly easy. I can get the covers off the couch, both loads through the washer and dryer and back on the couch within an hour. I do it when the kids are gone for the day or at night so they get some time to dry completely before people put their butts on it.
The only thing I don’t love about the couch is that I have to train my dog to stay off. He’s the culprit of 90% of the dirt and mess on there. We have resorted to putting laundry baskets on the seats so he doesn’t climb up at night or when we are gone. I hate seeing the baskets up there. I just want to see my pretty couch. Granted, the dog isn’t the only one getting their business on the couch. SOMEBODY ate a berry popsicle on there and it dripped. I don’t think it was the dog. Apparently that somebody feels the strict “no eating on the couch” rule is open to interpretation. I do not agree.
So in short, you don’t always get what you pay for, sometimes you get more. As of today, the white Ektorp is retailing for $499 (prices vary depending on color/fabric) and in stock at most locations. The comparable PB (Pottery Barn, not lead) couch is $1100 and will be delivered in 8 to 10 weeks. We do not have an IKEA in the state, and we had this delivered for a cool $129. Lord knows if I would have gone and picked it up, I would have spent a helluva lot more than $129 in that store! The shipping on the Barn version is $259. Yeah. I think I won on this one.
Photo Credit: IKEA