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Buying a couch at ikea

  1. Mar 1, 2008 #1
    So I'm finally at a major life milestone: buying furniture. My new apartment is mostly furnished, but I would like to have somewhere comfy for my friends to sit and I currently only have four dining chairs with a somewhat mixed genealogy. I also have a sort of executive chair (what I'm sitting in right now) and another wildly uncomfortably throne which is only really good for people more than 7 feet tall. Anyways, I've decided I need a sofa much like this one:


    Anybody care to share any furniture caveats, warnings or stories? I thought I might like to have a futon/couch too, but the Ikea futons aren't very comfortable to sit on in couch mode.

    I have to be a little careful about dimensions of the sofa if I want to get it upstairs into my apartment. By Dutch standards my stairwell has a shallow grade, but there is a pretty tight curvature around the vertical axis which makes moving furniture a pain. My apartment currently has a single bed frame which is about 0.3 x 1.1 x 2 m so I'm assuming I can manage something with those dimensions.
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  3. Mar 1, 2008 #2
    PLEASE STAY FAR AWAY FROM IKEA FURNITURE. Yeah it is cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. I bought a dresser from them and it fell completely apart in less than a year. The drawers kept coming apart and falling out of alignment. Some of the drawers could only hold about 12 t shirts before the bottoms started falling out.

    Ikea uses a lot of cheap compressed wood, plastic screws/pins, and cheap metal hinges that snap after a short amount of time.
  4. Mar 1, 2008 #3


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    I do not buy any of this new junk, i find that one can buy furniture made from real hard wood at less than half the price of modern composites, go look in your local auction room
    you will be amazed at what you can get.
  5. Mar 1, 2008 #4


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    It depends on what you are buying. Cheap dressers, bookshelves etc are just that: Cheap. You can't expect them to be as durable as more expensive furniture. It simply wasn't built to last. But there are also examples of Ikea furniture lasting for decades.
    However, the "expensive" (i.e. not the cheapest) furniture at Ikea is usually of reasonably good quality and e.g. their beds are quite good. There is a very good reason for why Ikea is so popular.
  6. Mar 1, 2008 #5
    I bought a dresser from Ikea almost 5 years ago, it's still in great shape. Never had any trouble with it. (Just don't spill water on your furniture from there, heh)
  7. Mar 1, 2008 #6
    I like the funny names.

    Typical phrases from a past episode:

    And now I'm tired, going to Malm.
  8. Mar 1, 2008 #7


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    Yes, I enjoy going to my local Ikea here in London. Listening to people trying to pronounce the names of the furniture they are buying is quite funny sometimes (I am Swedish):rofl:.
    Most of the names either mean something (Poäng=point) or are the names of places in Sweden (usually the part known as Småland, which is where Ikea was founded).

    Btw Andre, you are sleeping on ore. Is that really comfortable:wink:
    (malm=ore, usually iron ore).
  9. Mar 1, 2008 #8


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  10. Mar 1, 2008 #9


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    For something like a sofa, I'd stay away from Ikea too. You can go to a proper furniture store and find an inexpensive one if you just want something small. Just shop around different stores...some specialize in more expensive stuff and others more for normal people. A lot of furniture stores also have clearance/ dent-and-scratch sales if you hunt around and find where they hide it all in the back somewhere. If you aren't fussy about the color or if there's a little ding in the trim somewhere, you can get a real bargain.
  11. Mar 2, 2008 #10
    Haven't you ever heard the jokes about ikea? He he
  12. Mar 2, 2008 #11
    Hey, thanks for all the insider information.... I will skip Ikea and look for something second-hand that doesn't smell or have mysterious stains.
  13. Mar 2, 2008 #12
    Ah, right, that's why I'm so stiff in the morning. :grumpy:

    No, not really.
  14. Mar 2, 2008 #13

    Chi Meson

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    My wife and I just two weeks ago bought a couch and bookshelves from Ikea. That was after shopping around. Most of the other furniture stores have super-aggressive salesmen and prices that are far too high. Ikea has cheap stuff but also not-so-cheap stuff.

    It comes down to the price, and how far past the college dorm furniture stage you have progressed. If you have $300, for a couch, then you will get either cheap new couch that wont last, or a used couch. Used couches often have stains and odors, or are at the very least faded. You could get lucky at a yard sale or second-hand furniture shop.

    Another thing to consider is that you couch is "temporary." Unless you have moved into your final address, you will be carrying this couch with you through several moves, and Ikea stuff is light, and can be disassembled easily. If you get $300 used, solid wood couch, you will have a hard time moving that sucker (even with an elevator).

    So I'd suggest that, until your budget allows at least a $1000 for a sofa, you are still in the "cheap furniture" stage of life. You get what you pay for, but you should only pay for what you need.
  15. Mar 2, 2008 #14


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    For $400-$500, you can get a decent, new sofa from most major furniture stores...it'll be one of their smaller ones, and you're not going to have a huge selection to choose from with that limit on your price range, but usually that's all anyone wants to put in a small apartment anyway, and they're easier to move.

    If your budget is lower and you're resorting to used furniture, like I mentioned above, look at the scratch and dent section in the furniture stores (heck, I still shop there first if I'm looking for furniture, just in case...if the damage is in some place nobody would ever see anyway...like the part of the sofa against the wall, why waste money paying full price). Sometimes you can get really lucky and find something with a really minor defect, or maybe it was just an unpopular color, or it might have been the showroom model with about as much wear as a used sofa.

    Or, yeah, look for garage sales. Sometimes you can find someone who is redecorating because the furniture it out of style, but really gently worn (think about those people who seem to keep their living rooms as showrooms for guests rather than actually using them, and insist on redecorating every 5 years). If you don't have a lot of money to spend, it's better to spend it on something that's used and will still get you many years of use because it was quality furniture and likely will last until you're out of the cheap furniture stage, than to spend it on something like IKEA furniture that will wear out quickly and leave you stuck buying new furniture again before you're really ready for it.

    IKEA is good for things like storage units (shelving and TV stands type things) for dorm rooms or temporary use (i.e., to furnish a few rooms in a house while taking your time choosing better quality furniture to fill it). I don't know, I've walked through IKEA and thought everything in the place looked like it was already falling apart. You could pick up the same quality particle board furniture in WalMart or Target for a lot less, and you won't need a map to find your way back out of the store.
  16. Mar 2, 2008 #15
    My plan is to look around for used furniture first - I also want to shop for a piano (the kind you plug into the wall) so I can multitask. If that doesn't yield up a suitable couch I'll probably end up at Ikea. I'm not even close to settling somewhere permanently and I don't want something heavy or expensive.

    One of my colleagues pointed out that if the couch was too big to get up the stairs I could also make a winch and lift it in my front window!
  17. Mar 2, 2008 #16
    Speaking of winches. We had a house were the washer was upstairs in the master bathroom, and the only way to get it up was to winch it up from the bottom of the sun room. (Passive solar house)
  18. Mar 2, 2008 #17
    Save your money and buy something thats nice for 300 bucks, like an end table, or lamp or whatever, and keep it forever.
  19. Mar 2, 2008 #18


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    Or you could just drive around the neighborhood early in the morning on trash day and watch for someone to put out a couch...then you don't have to worry about moving it when you're done, just put it back to the curb for the next needy student. :biggrin: I've done that several times with furniture...put it out to the curb early in the evening the day before trash day, and never had it make it until morning before someone stopped and collected it. Easier than trying to coordinate with a charity to give it away. I also had an old loveseat from my parents from grad school that was rather dated, still in good condition, but more furniture than I needed since I had gotten a more complete and modern set from them (after my sister had used it for a year in her house when she got married and was still working on buying her own furniture), so all I had to do was ask some undergrads if they wanted a free loveseat, and they were completely willing to move it out of my apartment for me. :biggrin: Watch around campus for advertisements in the various department buildings. It's common that grad students and post-docs moving for a real job will finally shed old furniture for next to nothing (or even free) just to avoid having to pay to have it taken away by the trash collectors.
  20. Mar 2, 2008 #19


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    If you can find something cheap to suit your needs now, I wouldn't buy anything with the 300 bucks now. Wait to buy nice furniture when you have a good job and can afford to make it all match. Your tastes and styles may change considerably by the time you're furnishing a real home, or the style of the house may dictate the type of furnishings. Better to save and buy things together so they all match when you're really ready to do the whole thing. When I got my first house, I would just save up until I had enough to furnish one entire room, then I'd do that room, and save up again, do another room, etc. The only room I haven't properly furnished is my office, because I'm waiting to settle into a place where I'm NOT planning to move again and do a lot of built-in bookshelves and such.
  21. Mar 2, 2008 #20
    I didnt think of that, you're right. Sit on the floor and buy some clothes!! :biggrin:

    Besides, you'll look so damn good leaning against the wall in that new shirt. Who needs to sit anyways? :biggrin:

    If I had [tex]\infty[/tex] money, I would buy a condo with 20' ceilings in downtown DC with a modern look. Wood floors, marble top kitchen with aluminum fridge and stove, wusthof knives, copper pots, highball glasses, simple modern furniture with clean lines, and modern art on the walls, and big HUGE 2080p flat screen tv.

    But, I would not want to own a big house like on MTV cribs out in the suburbs with 6 bedrooms and full baths. Those kind of homes dont do it for me, I want a small modern condo in the heart of a major city so I can walk to the bar/club or take a taxi there in 5 mins.


    Thats nice.
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