Tuesday, September 1, 2015

IKEA Hack - Kivik Sofa (New Legs)

After E and I bought our new home and before we moved into it, I spent literally weeks trying to decide what to do with the living room.  I wish I was kidding but it was almost a full time job pouring over blogs and Houzz to try and determine the answer to my many questions like:

-          What colour sofa should I get for white walls and light flooring

-          Is leather better than fabric?

-          What size of sofa should we get?

-          Should we do one long sofa and two arm chairs or one loveseat and two arm chairs or two matching armchairs?

This is just a sampling of the questions that really kept me up at night.  Hilariously, I had never taken an interest in house décor before this point in time, unless you could all the posters I bought at the college poster sales (back when buying posters off the internet was not a thing – I know, I am dating myself).

Anyhow, after much agony and deliberation I finally decided on two matching loveseats… but did you know how many sizes of loveseats there are?

Some are big.  Some are small.  I decided that as we were on a budget, we should go with a fabric sofa.

Enter my work colleague who rescued precious dogs from the Turks and Caicos and was looking for an owner.  Introduction – my allergies.  I had dogs growing up and knew first hand the importance of leather sofas and hardwood floors to my survival.  So, the beautiful fabric sofa from a brand name store I wanted?  No longer an option.

What is a girl to do?  I was back to square one spending hours researching my options.  Eventually I settled on (I am sure you have guessed it as I now realize the title gave it away) IKEA leather.  I then had to agonize over what type of sofas to get from IKEA.  Fortunately there is no shortage of reviews and opinions and DIY on IKEA sofas out there, so I recommend visiting HERE and HERE for more information.

We decided to go with the Kivik, after I determined that the measurements of the Kivik were absolutely mid way between a normal love seat and a sofa, which was exactly what we needed for our strange narrow space.  Plus, you could sit on the wide arm chairs and E of course did the “lay down and relax test” and he was happy with it, even though it was certainly smaller length wise than he would consider ideal. 

Hilariously, despite the fact you are getting an entire foot less of sofa, you only save 20$ on the loveseat over the sofa.  I mean, part of that made sense to me, but the part of me that wished we had a slightly wider house was pretty upset about the whole thing.

Now, the one thing I had found during my IKEA research was an IKEA hack – replacing your original IKEA legs (blocks of plastic sadness) with fancy new legs.  After a lot of research, I ended up caving and going with Uncle Bob’s Workshop, in the hopes that his design would ensure the stability of these precious $979 couches.  You can find the link HERE, but as a warning – he is usually several months behind on his orders due to his popularity and the fact Uncle Bob is really the only employee from what I can tell.
Once they arrived, months later, I re-agonized over the colour.  Did it make sense with our light flooring?  Would it look strange? In the end, my research (see a pattern here with me?) indicated the resounding conclusion to this concern is “Who cares it all looks like wood anyways and wood almost always matches” so I decided to try to put them on.

The process is smooth enough, although I highly recommend reading Uncle Bob’s instructions before attempting to install on your own.  That being said, clearly I did not do that, and I still got them on by myself.  One important thing to note is that the Kivik apparently has two sizes of adapters and I thought I had to buy the 2cm size – in the end I was the 1.8cm size.  What is a girl to do?  I had waited for months for the legs.  So, I got out the sandpaper and I and watched Netflix reruns while sanding down to the appropriate size.  How can one be both patient and impatient at the same time? I have done it.

The result? Not what I was expecting, sadly.  The Kivik sofa is a bit clunky.  After I put the legs on, I wished I had considered buying a wider, more blocky leg to match.  I could likely have returned them to Uncle Bob to get a different style, but I didn’t bother because I live in Canada and it costs approximately a million dollars to return things to America unless you conveniently live within 50 kilometres of the US border (I do not).  Plus it is possible that buying a thicker leg would have just made it look more clunky.

(Dog kennel is not a recommended design element on any blog)

What I will say is that the IKEA hack made the couches go from looking pretty low on the ground and IKEA like to a much more reasonable height and looking like I might have spent money on them.
I won’t be taking the legs off and as indicated on all the advice blogs, the natural light coming in from under the couches for this narrow living room truly make all the difference.  Blocking out that light in our tall ceiling narrow living room was not a good choice, so I am happy about this change.   The couches feel extremely sturdy and I was pleased with my handywoman efforts.  But my number one recommendation would be to actually measure the size leg you are considering buying on a piece of paper, cut it out, and putting it up against the sofa to see if the size makes sense.

Oh, and in terms of the leather choice- so great.  I was surprised that the leather felt nice and soft after a very short amount of time and the couch has held up great to the dog, who has taken to sleeping on it. 


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  2. Have you had any problems with the leather peeling or anything like that?

    1. None at all on the sofas. We have the dog on them all the time and its held up very well over the last two years.

  3. This was both helpful and funny. Thanks.