Melodrama

IKEA HACK: KARLSTAD Pink Mid-Century Inspired Sofa Makeover

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Ohhhh man, you guys. I’m reallllly excited about this project. Bear with me because there’s a lot to cover (no pun intended).

A while back I posted about how I was on the hunt for a new sofa and narrowed down a few of my favorite contenders. One of the contenders was the KARLSTAD from IKEA because I knew I could save a lot of money by attempting a hack, and thanks to a pretty hefty tax audit (kill me) that’s what I ended up having to do. As luck would have it I found a perfect KARLSTAD at IKEA for $250 in the clearance section. A lot of you already know that I’m no stranger to IKEA Hacking, but it has been a while since I did one so I was feeling up to the challenge. Luckily it didn’t take long before I knew exactly what I wanted to do in order to make it come close to the couch of my dreams.

 

The KARLSTAD is pretty much an IKEA staple and I’m sure you’ve seen it in many homes. It has clean, modern lines and comes with an easily removable slip cover. Perfect for my hacking plan. The one I bought had a grey cover and my IKEA was sold out of the white slip cover, but luckily my best friend in Florida found one at her store and was able to send it to me. Since KARLSTADs have completely removable slip covers I knew I could dye it to be whatever color I wanted.

I picked up a few boxes of Rit dye in Petal Pink. I filled my bathtub with boiling water and dye and soaked the slip cover until it was saturated. Then I promptly had a minor freak out because it didn’t turn out the rosey/peachy/blush pink color that I wanted and that appeared on the box.

I took a deep breath, refusing to be defeated, and rushed to the fabric store to grab some Rit Color Remover, a magical powder that  gently removes all of your regrets and gives you a clean start. If only I could bathe myself in it. Just kidding…!

After a quick soak the slip cover was back to white. I knew at this point I was going to have to custom mix my own shade of pink so I threw the covers in the wash and went back to the fabric store for the 5th time to pick up more dye.

I can’t tell you the exact ratios of these colors that I used for my shade because I was constantly adjusting and testing the color. I want to say it was something like 4 parts pink, 1/2 part yellow, 1/8 part tan, but I’m not 100% sure so don’t come back yelling at me if yours turns out gross. I also diluted it a lot more than the first time so the color would be more pastel.

My husband and I worked nervously and quickly, scalding our hands and sweating over the boiling dye bath in our typical Melo-dramatic style, but it was worth it. It worked out perfectly!

 

Dying the slip cover was only the first step. I wanted new legs and pretty tufting, and dammit that’s what I would get. These steps were actually much easier and less annoying than the dye part.

I changed the legs on my last KARLSTAD Love Seat in the past, so I knew that wouldn’t be a big deal. I used mid-century style furniture legs that I got from Lowe’s for like $2 and spray painted them gold and white.

Then I installed a top plate and attached the legs to the corners of the sofa.

I wanted to have legs in the center of the sofa, too. Partly for more support, but mostly because I like the look of it.

For this I just drilled a hole and inserted the leg directly into the wood.

That would have looked great on it’s own but I wanted tufting. I had spare fabric from an extra piece of slip cover that I found in the clearance bin at IKEA. I used this for my color test strips and then dyed a piece with the plan of covering buttons for tufting.

I used 7/8″  button cover kit and thread to make my tufting buttons, much like I did in this past IKEA hack.

Then I attached the buttons to upholstery string and used a long upholstery needle to feed the string through the cushion. I pulled the string tight and used these decorative buttons to anchor the string on the back of cushion. I didn’t want to go through the back of the cushion cover, and a knot would have just pulled back through the cushion insert, so I used the decorative buttons to hold my tufting in place. Am I making any sense at this point? Hopefully these visuals help.

And voila!

The decorative pillows are also from IKEA.I love the way the warm pink looks with the white and gold legs.I’m so excited to finally have a dreamy pink couch! And for less than $300!

Update: Here it is in the finished room!

 

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