Thursday, March 29, 2012

drumroll please...the sofa results

Wow! I am so happy to see so many of you weigh in on my sofa issue! The opinions were all over the place...some loving the Ektorp sofa from Ikea, some of you really disliking it. 

Now let me preface this decision by saying I am a comparison shopper. I don't jump at brand names, or high price tags assuming they are better. I drive my hubs nuts because I research, read endless reviews and weigh all the factors before making a decision. If I could have a side job working for Consumer Reports, I would! I love to save a buck whenever I can, but have been burned more times than I can count choosing on price alone, whether it be because it was cheap or because it was expensive and I assumed it would be the best. 

Use caution...this is a long-winded post. Many of you that left comments yesterday wanted details of my search so I am laying it all out there for you!

Ok, now for the winner. 

{ Insert falling confetti and party horns blazing here...}


Isn't she gorgeous??

Now here is WHY I chose her. 

I shopped locally at 6 different furniture stores that carry various brands. Only one carried a sofa I could get slipcovered in white, and the quality was questionable. Yesterday, I shopped Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Ikea in the Chicago suburbs. 

Here is my verdict on each store I shopped yesterday:

 (Pottery Barn - Basic)

POTTERY BARN -  They had a nice selection, but the Basic sofa was way to small for my hubs. It just was not a good fit. And to be honest, it seemed a little 'basic', hence the name I guess. We tried the PB Comfort, and the back cushions I could just tell were going to be trouble. The sales girl admitted they do have issues with the back cushions looking broken down and squished. No thanks, been there done that on many different sofas in the past. I just wasn't feeling it from anything else in PB. For the prices they were by the time you upgraded your fabric and cushion, I expected more. I really wanted something to work, because I do have a very loving relationship with Pottery Barn, so would have loved to have one of their sofas adorning my home. But in the end, I just didn't find what I was hoping for. 

(Ikea- Ektorp)

IKEA - The every popular Ektorp sofa. At $399 and $49 for a replacement cover, you just can't beat the price. I will say this, I went in thinking it was going to be really uncomfortable. I remember sitting on the floor display a number of years ago and thinking "what the heck, its like I'm sitting straight on the plywood." Well I am happy to report it was not as I remembered it! We found ourselves thinking it was "ok" could be our sofa in a secondary room and it would do the job, but we wouldn't "love" it. Does that make sense?  It for sure didn't have a feel of quality, but it could get the job done and get us through a couple of years AND save us a boatload of money 

 I have to say, I could tell straight away it was not a quality piece of furniture. But lets be real for $400, you are not going to get top of the line. If I had children and wanted a white slipcovered sofa, I would TOTALLY be buying the Ektorp. Sticky hands, juice cups and goldfish crackers need something that is not an 'investment' piece. And for the price, if the cushions break down and go flat after year two, you could but 4 more for the price of one better sofa. But if you want something to go the long haul, I am not convinced this one is it. 

(Crate & Barrel - Willow)

CRATE & BARREL - now for the reasons I chose the Willow. Maybe I am a little biased, as I have a Crate & Barrel sofa in my living room. I have had it for 6 years, and it still looks practically show-room new. It is micorfiber, which normally I am not a fan of, but chose it on a whim in a cream color. Truly, it is AMAZING how this thing cleans up. We have dropped BBQ sauce straight on it, and all I need is a paper towel and a few squirts of Windex (who knew?) and it is 100% gone.  You would never know a baby back rib was just face-down on my cream colored sofa. The down-wrapped cushions have still retained their shape nicely, too. So where I am going with this, is that C&B has proven to me the quality of their craftsmanship and materials. 

When the hubs first sat in the Willow, his words were "Oh, this one feels good." It was the first time I heard that! The cushions are down-wrapped...enough to make it comfortable, but not so much that you get that 'sinking' feeling. They are supportive in all the right places. The size was right, and the tall arms I didn't think I would like...well I LOVE them! Perfect for snuggling in with a pillow or to use as an arm rest. For a shorter person, maybe they wouldn't work so well, but I am 5'11 and the hubs is 6'2 so we found them to be perfect!

The cover is exactly what I was looking for. Snowy white, it has a nice weight to it...and I of course ripped it off so I could turn it inside out and inspect it. VERY well sewn. Heavy stitching, nice straight lines. It surpassed all my tests! 

Another thing I loved about the C&B sofa - it is made 100% in the USA, North Carolina to be exact. I try to be conscious of that as much as I can. It is also is "bench made" which means the same man in the factory that builds the solid wood frame, it also the guy that makes the cushions and sews the slipcover. Love that. 

The price is high, I can't hide that fact. Not on sale, it is $1799. Gulp. But, in this case I really feel is is the best decision for us. I know it is not for everyone...and that is why it is such a great thing to have an affordable alternative like the Ektorp. 

So there you have it. 9 stores, and many...many white slipcovered sofas! I am so glad that process is over, and I can't wait for April 9th to get here so it can be delivered and I can sink in and enjoy it!

Tune in Monday if you would like the review of the 'vinyl faux wood floor we installed!