Before & After: Adding Style to an IKEA Karlstad Sofa

published Feb 7, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Whit and Rachael Gardner of Our Mid Century are savvy stylists, whether we are about talking vintage or contemporary furnishings— the post that they shared with us for Home Project month proves it. When the search for an affordable mid century sofa kept coming up dry, they did a complete makeover of an affordable IKEA basic to help it fit in smoothly with their vintage style home. The “after” looks like a totally different sofa!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
…and the After!

Here is what Whit and Rachel had to say about the project: Our house was built in 1957 and has a very mid century modern vibe, so we set out to find the perfect mid century sofa for our living room. As we started looking, we quickly realized that it was going to be more expensive than we thought. We found that most new sofas were out of our budget and it would cost even more to reupholster something vintage. That’s when we discovered the Karlstad sofa from Ikea.

The Karlstad is pretty basic, but the lines were right, and we knew that underneath that boring, vanilla facade, there was a mid century sofa, dying to get out.

We started with the blocky, boring legs. After doing a little research we learned that Ace Hardware sells stainable tapered legs in a variety of sizes, and the best part is they’re cheap! We got the legs, mounting brackets and a can of stain for about $25.

Next, we wanted to get the sofa button tufted. After spending hours watching YouTube videos on how to do the buttons, we called a local upholsterer just to make sure it was worth it to do it ourselves. It wasn’t! The upholster only charged $40 to make the buttons and tuft the entire sofa. The only tricky part was we had to schmooze the Lady at Ikea to give us enough matching fabric samples to make the 64 buttons.

Finally, we picked up some colorful, inexpensive throw pillows at World Market to brighten things up a bit.

All said and done, we spent about $740. Not too shabby!

More photos and all the info, including the price breakdown: Our Karlstad Sofa Hack | My Mid Century