Tricking Out an IKEA Karlstad Sofa

We had a yard sale a couple of weeks ago.  A pretty large one.  It was exhausting, but necessary.  I sold a lot of my collections that I hadn’t displayed or used in years, along with kids’ outgrown clothes and toys.  I also needed to downsize the home staging props that had overrun their appointed room in our finished basement.

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yard sale 


We were fortunate to have pretty good weather, and were able to sell a great deal and make some decent moula. My youngest daughter and the kids next door sold drinks and food, and they made a small fortune. 

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But that’s no surprise – who could say “no” to this face???   I’m pretty sure she will be putting her share into her college fund  . . . 

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So guess what I’m using my own proceeds for?   If my discussion on The Decorologist on Facebook yesterday didn’t give it away, I suppose the title of this post did!

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IKEA Karlstad Sofa


You may be surprised that I’ve ordered a SECTIONAL SOFA.  It’s not a secret that I do not normally encourage clients to purchase a sectional sofa – but that’s because it can be inflexible and is often not well-suited to the spaces they choose one for.  However, I think this sectional is exactly what we need for the space where we will be using it.  Of course, I will have to trick it out to fit my own personal style.  Something kinda like this:


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The great thing about this Karlstad sofa is that it is neutral enough so that you can create an entirely new look by simply changing out the color of pillows on it.  Painting out the legs and adding accessories can make it much more than you might first think when viewing it in the IKEA catalog.  So, do you think I can pull it off? Guess we’ll have to wait and see . . . 



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  1. Well, I for one am super excited to see you using a sectional!! I have one and love it’s functionality but was a little afraid I was out of style from reading your other posts about sectionals. Gooooooo Sectionals!! Can’t beat them for seating a lot of butts. I have a women’s bible study at my house and we can get 6-7 people on that thing :) I love the Karistad! It is very similar to the one we have from American Signature. You are such a trend setter. I’m sure the sales of Karistad’s will go up considerably after this post. Can you pick up a few things for me at IKEA?

  2. But of course you can! That will be fun, I am sure.It’s a blank canvas.
    What’s next? I enjoy clearing spaces. Which reminds me…back to it!
    I have a ton of professional art supplies looking for a good home. :-)

  3. Kristin Long says:

    Rather than tricked out, my daughter’s friend said it went from “Blah to Ooh La La!!!!” What a great, fun transformation! I love reading all of your ideas!

  4. Wait…WHA??? Is it for you or a client? Because if it’s going in your house, then my whole world just got rocked.
    (P.S. We love our Karlstad…)

    • Believe it or not, it’s for me, Jen! The previous sofa and toy-filled armoire that were in the sunroom are GONE. It’ll give us so much more seating for that space – tucking right into that L-shape to the left as you enter. That’s where we watch television at night. I know, who would have thunk it???

  5. Love the Karlstad and your makeover of it. You will love it! Where did you find the gold coffee table featured in the vignette? It’s beautiful and just what I have been looking for.

  6. I am wondering about the comfort factor of the sofa. I have sat in some that are wonderful and others that are quite hard. I also have seen some bloggers say they tried some seating at Ikea and found it comfy at Ikea and yet the new one at their home ended up being to hard and so they returned it.

    Hope you let us know about the comfort factor now, and also after you install it. Thanks!

  7. Barclay Stone says:

    That is so funny that you should post this article! I just received an Ikea catalog yesterday and was thinking along the very same lines! We hope to revamp our basement and I found a smaller sectional from Ikea ($699) that has a slipcover and thought that it would be perfect down there! (and I, also, am NOT a fan of sectionals or allowing my clients to purchase!).
    I very much like the end tables and coffee table that you selected (and the pillows are fab!). It definitely looks more sophisticated. Love it!

    • Thanks, Barclay! I was going to get the slipcovered Ektorp corner sofa, but it’s more shabby chic than I wanna be for this space. The Karlstad has a washable slipcover, too, but it’s so much more streamlined. We’re going to use it in our sunroom, which is where we watch television at night, so it’s ok that it’s not as naturally fabulous as my living room tufted Bernhardt sofa (which cost a lot more $$$) from Merridian.

  8. I have great faith that you will make it look awesome,Kristie, I like that you, as a decorator, are earthly enough to admit, even if, from a design point of view its not your fave, you realize the advantage of fun, family seating, i remember being a little taken aback when my daughter switched out her beautiful 3 year old expensive leather sofa, chair and ottoman ( she put them in their den) for a wheat colored sectional after she had her son, and now some of my favorite memories are she, my son-in-law, my husband (her dad) and her young son and now, the new baby all sitting together watching movies and eating popcorn-yay sectionals for staying close with the people you love the most!!

  9. How funny! I was just at IKEA today looking at sofas. This is one I was considering. I found it quite comfy in the store so I hope I like it at home. I LOVE the side tables you are using. Do you have a link for those? Side tables have been giving me fits and these would go quite nicely in my sunroom.

    I love reading your posts! You have such wonderful ideas and have inspired me on more than one occasion. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you so much, Lynn! As for the tables, the ones I used for the concept are no longer available – but I’m sure something similar is out there. I’ve also thought about doing West Elm stump ottomans and putting a piece of glass atop those.

  10. Oh, I have absolutely no doubt that you can pull it off! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it. I’m just so disappointed that I missed your yard sale! And your daughter is SOOO cute!

    Warmly, Michelle

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