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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Couch that Almost Wasn't

Ahhh, the joys of buying furniture. Who knew that such a simple task could be the epitome of stress.

The man-friend and I moved into our new house the weekend before Thanksgiving. That following week he took off for one of his many ice climbing adventures, while I stayed behind to bring in the money and start the growing list of projects that needed to be done. I wish I would have taken pictures of what we started with, but trust me, it was pretty dismal.

Over the last few months, we have:

  • Painted almost every room in the house (excluding the guest room and bathroom). 
  • Painted the ceilings white. (They were a hideous yellow-beige color.)
  • Painted all the trim white. (Again, hideous beige color)
  • Ripped down weird ugly shelving that somewhat separated the dining room and half of the kitchen. 
  • Built new shelves in place of old shelves. 
  • Created built-in seating and storage in the dining room. 
  • Built a farmhouse table for the dining room. 
I thought to myself the other night "Why haven't I been documenting all this!?!"

So let the documentation begin!

I may be following a little in the footsteps of John and Sherry at Young House Love or the Bowers at Bower Power, but I'm okay with it since they rock! Plus, our family and friends are back on the west side of the mountains. :( So this will be a way for them to keep up with us until they can come visit!

Back to the saga of a couch....

We've lived without a couch almost two months, which is bearable for most people I'm sure, but not for us. Vern had moved his ugly black Lazy Boy recliner in as a temporary substitution, but it wasn't cutting it. One of us always ended up sitting on the floor or going into the bedroom to relax on the bed; which doesn't really help with spending "quality time" together at the end of the day.  

Insert Karl. 

Oh Karl. 

I loved Karl from the moment I saw him on Young House Love here. However, convincing the man-friend was not so easy.  He was fully against Ikea furniture from day one. I think his exact words were: "We are not having any of that Ikea crap in our house. We're VARSITY." 

Le sigh. 

Like most things he's says though, it went in one ear and out the other. (Just kidding babe!) I was determined to get him on board. Over the next few months I searched far and wide for the couch we wanted. Specifically a small sectional with two seats and a chaise lounge on the right side.  No such luck. Everything I found was severely out of our price range or didn't match what we wanted. I scoured reviews of the various Ikea couches and discretely slipped them into dinner conversations every now and then, along with hints of low prices, easy to assemble, exactly what we want...etc.  Eventually Vern caved and agreed. Karl was coming home!!!!

Being the responsible adults that we are, we checked to see if Karl was in stock at our local (2 hours away) Ikea store. He was. Then we mapped out the dimensions in our living room with painters tape.

Perfect fit. 

Vern decided that after work the next day he was going to trek the two hours to Ikea, obtain Karl, then trek the two hours back home. I was giddy with anticipation, but on some level I knew this wasn't going to go as smoothly as we hoped. I have a sixth sense with these kind of things. 

The next day, it all started going downhill when I received this picture from Vern:


There was no Karl. Karl was out of stock. WTF. Thanks Ikea you sneaky bastard you. 

I quickly dialed Vern who was not a happy camper chipper as ever and asked him what he wanted to do. "Nothing. We're not getting a couch." I practically yelled "Pull it together man!", but instead calmly told him that he wasn't allowed to come home if he didn't have a couch. End of story. 

After getting online and scouring the different options while trying to dig up reviews, we settled on the Kivik model. (Which I now refer to as "Kevin" - what can I say? I like naming things in my house.)

Kevin was a tad more expensive than we had hoped, but Vern knows that once I make my mind up about something - it's going to happen whether he likes it or not. Kevin was coming home. At this point it's almost 8 P.M. Vern still has a 2 hour drive home AND he has to work in the morning. I figured it was a done deal and he would be on his way. By 9 P.M. I received this: 

"Yeah. This is happening."

The chaise section of the couch wouldn't fit into the man-friends Land Rover. As you can see, it's tied to the top of his car with climbing rope. Let me remind you that our Ikea is located in Western Washington where it rains 99.9% of the time. He had to travel over TWO mountain passes to get back home - which were dumping snow. Our chaise lounge is in a cardboard box. You do the math. 

I believe that somewhere along the way he stopped and grabbed a tarp, because there is now a random tarp located in our garage - but I'm not sure. It might have magically appeared like many things do around here. Ultimately, by 11:15 P.M. he got Kevin home safe. 

He pretty much unloaded the boxes into the garage and went to bed. I probably should have gone to bed as well, but the lure of unopened boxes was too much to handle. I laid down for a few minutes, waited for Vern to fall asleep and sneaked out of the room only to hear him mumble "Dammit Tawnya, don't go messing with the couch and hurt yourself trying to put it together." I just smiled and continued on my way. 

I carefully (and quietly) opened each box and lugged the contents into the living room. I may have done a little dance when I surveyed the contents. A COUCH! WHOO HOO!

Simple enough right? 

I organized all of the parts and into their corresponding piles...becaues in my experience Ikea doesn't always give you everything you need. *cough* bolts, screws, washers *cough*

Everything was there. 

Then I spent the next 45 minutes looking for directions on how to put this shiznit together. Nothing. There was nothing. Not a trace of any sort of "How to..." or "Next Steps...". NOTHING. I hate to admit it, but I had to look online. Wah Wah.  Only to find out that the instructions....

were inside the slipcover packaging. So for any of you who decide to get a couch from Ikea - remember slipcover box = instructions. Save yourself 45 minutes. You're welcome. 

Side-note: My favorite part of Ikea instructions is the fact that there are NO WORDS. You spend an inordinate amount of time on trying to decipher what each step is actually asking you to do. The chaise and love-seat of our model are separate pieces of furniture. They are joined by this weird bar/clip thing underneath . It took me almost a half hour to position it right. Come on Ikea! 

The blob man is a little helpful though. 

Three hours later we had this....

Excuse the bad iPhone picture. It was 2 A.M. what do you expect? 

I had intended to take more pictures of the entire process, but like I was late. I was tired. End of story. 

Did we love Kevin as much as we loved Karl? No. Kevin is low. Very low. So modifications need to be done, but we have a couch! Honestly the picture doesn't do him justice. He's a lot bigger in person (that's what she said!) :) 

Are we done? Nope. Just like with any house project - you finish one, just to realize that there are 10 others that show up in its place...


But now my bottom doesn't have to sit on the floor, so we got that going for us. And we all know - if your bottom ain't happy.....ain't NOBODY happy. (That made me laugh....sorry)

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