I should probably have a PHD in browsing craigslist. I manage to find awesome stuff for little to no money. Take for example our little Karlstad sofa, originally from IKEA. When I saw the posting in the free section for him, I was pretty skeptical to say the least.
I mean he left a lot to be desired. The previous owners dogs had torn up the back cushions. The slipcover was sun-damaged, and it had smelled better days. The owners were basically looking for someone ambitious enough to use it for a project, and to avoid the furniture pick up fee by the garbage collectors.
Lucky for them, I am that person. So I set up a meeting and made sure to run through my usual craigslist checklist.
-Check like a madwoman for bedbugs. If you have any doubt, leave it.
There were no signs, and I even had them break the sofa down so I could check all the nooks and crannies.
-Could I buy it new for less than a hundred of their asking price? If so, will it kill me to wait and save up the extra money?
Since Karl was free, this question didn't apply.
-Will it fit in my house and design scheme?
The clean lines seemed versatile enough, and I didn't actually own a sofa at the time.
-Can it serve more than on purpose?
Since I had such a tiny apartment, it would also serve as a guest bed.
-Do I need to rent a truck to get it home?
Luckily, once it was all unscrewed, it fit very snugly into my Honda Civic. Mind you I was sitting two inches away from the steering wheel, but it fit!
I took Karl home.
Now I'm sure there might be those of you who are wondering why I would want a smelly sofa without back cushions. Here's the thing, I love a good project, and knew this would be easy to fix.
Making sofa cushions is one of the easiest things ever. Buy some foam and batting from Joann's (using your coupon of course). Cut the foam to the size you need, and wrap that bad boy in batting.
But what about covers you ask? Since Karl is from my favorite Swedish superstore, I knew I could get a cover for about fifty bucks, making the sofa look brand new.
As for the smell, it wasn't super bad. While the sofa was still disassembled I did a few things to help. I vacuumed every surface, dusted with baking soda, and vacuumed again. I opened every window in our small apartment and gave it lots of fresh air. I sprayed it with 50/50 vinegar and water mix, waited 24 hours, and then fabreezed it to hell and back. By the time I was done, it was two days later and it smelled like a couch instead of a frat house.
Here it is currently.
In fact I loved it so much I brought the ottoman (from Ikea) and loveseat (from Craigslist).
But I wanted a change in the room, and have been saving my pennies to buy this add on chaise to add to my original Karl. The way the room is set up now makes it feel very small, but I need the extra seating. I'm hoping having one long sofa along the back wall of the living room will open it up much more!
As luck would have it my stalking of the as-is section of Ikea has paid off. Last weekend there was an uncovered, missing a back pillow, chaise.
For 130 dollars, which is more than half off the regular price.
Count me in.
So for about 240 dollars, including new slipcovers, I own a 700 dollar sofa.
Just kidding you guys, but you know how I feel about the opportunity to use a good gif!
I'll be posting about the living room a bit later, since a lot of stuff has changed. Keep your eyes peeled for the big Karl reveal!
Have you ever scored big and paid a little?