It was approximately two months from our moving date, right around when we found out that we got the apartment, that J and I decided to tag along with our friends on a trip to IKEA. I’m always good for a trip to IKEA (I think it’s because of the Swedish in my blood!) and for some reason J likes it to so we thought we’d just go along for the ride.
The purpose of this trip, in all seriousness, was that a bunch of us were going in on a desk for our friend, who really wanted a desk for a birthday present. It wasn’t until we found the said desk and were waiting in the longest line ever that I decided to run over to the as-is section to check it out.
For those of you who have never seen the as-is section IKEA, it’s a little something like this: it’s a room that’s usually near the cash but on the main floor, just off of the warehouse. Anything that a customer has returned pretty much goes in there because a piece of IKEA furniture can’t be sold if it’s already been assembled. (Oh the irony!) On that particular day the room was practically overflowing because the staff were changing around a lot of the displays. All of the gently used furniture that had already been assembled on the show room floor was on sale.
Including this baby:
J often talked about wanting a sectional couch as we entertain quite frequently (and by entertain I mean his buddies come over and play video games). We both liked the clean lines of the Karlstad couch and while J preferred a leather cover, we both agreed that neither of us had the inclination to take care of it properly and with two dogs in the house who are pretty much allowed to do whatever they want, it seemed like an impracticality.
J didn’t care about the colour. I was hoping for something neutral and classic- either a brown or a dark grey. A large, expensive piece like that is something we hope to keep for a long time and my decorating style leans to pops of colour instead of colourful pieces of furniture like this:
So I went in to the as-is section and look was waiting there for me.
Okay, so it’s just the same picture again (I didn’t have the foresight to take pictures in the room.) But let’s see that photo from IKEA again, this time with the sale price.
Some people might not get as excited as I do when I see a sale, but $300 off of my dream couch seemed to be just that- a dream, especially considering IKEA very rarely has sales. (And for those of you who think my math is wrong, the Karlstad has just come down in price from $1,299)
It was that moment where J came back from the restaurant to look for me and found me in the as-is section. I jokingly said to him, “Remember how I asked you to buy me something when we went to IKEA?”
He said, “Yeah, so I bought you this ice cream” and handed over the cone he was holding.
I thanked him and pointed at the couch, “I would also like you to buy me that couch, please.”
He took a look at it, looked at the price tag and said, “Okay.”
Honestly? He must have been on drugs or something because that was just crazy talk. But it wasn’t crazy talk and we really did end up buying it, along with a funny little plant that I also found in the as-is section- just because it had a couple of brown leaves!
Now, I wouldn’t recommend buying such a large piece of furniture like that on the fly- not because I don’t love my couch, or don’t appreciate a good sale, but it was the aftermath that really got me in trouble.
See, what we didn’t take into account was that the room of our place where we thought about storing the couch temporarily became no longer available as a storage space. And we hadn’t bothered to measure our doorways, or the overhang of the ceiling of the staircase to our apartment downstairs.
You just fill in the blanks. Yeah, I know. It was not that smart.
This is one time where buying a piece of furniture that is traditionally flat-packed came in handy. We (and I mean J and my dad; I was just hovering around like a nervous helicopter) managed to unscrew one arm of the couch so we could slide it down the stairs, where it’s lived since. Half of it is in the upright position, half of it is being used as an actual sofa.
The couch, even in its split form, has held up during the two months that we’ve had it. Numerous people and dogs have bounced around it, slept on it and lounged on it, and all commented on how comfortable it is. The nubbly fabric seems really durable, holds up to doggie claws and doesn’t collect dog hair the same way our old one did. We haven’t spilled anything on it yet, so I don’t know yet how resistant it is to stains but I will let you know if/when it happens!
So advice to you young, couch-buying grasshoppers is this: when buying a major piece of furniture you must plan, plan and then plan some more. Measure everything, twice. Save your pennies. Think of everything that could go wrong, and then come up with solutions.
Then check those random sales at your favorite furniture store. You might be surprised!