Thursday, December 13, 2007

IKEAp browsing!

I took yesterday off. Yes, you read that right. I actually didn't work a lick yesterday. I can't remember the last time that happened! I think I spent a total of about a hour on the computer checking email and looking around. The rest of the time, I was either knitting or on the road, or at IKEA.

You see, I was an IKEA virgin. I had seen their catalogs, browsed their Web site, but despite the fact that the Portland location opened over the summer, I had never been in an actual IKEA store. I had been advised to plan on spending a lot of time there. Boy, was that an understatement! I've never seen so much cool stuff in one place!

With the reorganization and decluttering that's been going on around here, I've been wanting to replace my current sectional sofa with something smaller. I liked the EKTORP line I saw in IKEA's catalogs, but wanted to see it in person before making any purchasing decisions. Thus, the field trip to the store.

This is my current great room. As you can see, the couch takes up a LOT of space. The room is basically 22'x13' and the couch dominates it. Don't get me wrong. I love that couch. I paid a lot of money for that couch at a well-known fine furniture store. At the time I bought it, I was living in a house that had a much larger great room than this one and it was very well suited to the space. But that was many years ago. Now? Well, I think it's time for a change.

Of course, if the couch goes, so too must the coffee table. That pie-shaped wedge table is a perfect match with the sectional. I looked for a suitable table a long time before finding that one. It has the added bonus of two wedge-shaped baskets underneath in which you can quickly dump all the junk that accumulates on top of the table if sudden guests appear. In a house as open and full of windows as this one, there isn't a lot of storage, so pieces like this that can provide nooks and crannies are a welcome thing. My dining table, for instance, has a little cupboard in the pedestal that holds linens. Perfect.

Let's see. I was talking about IKEA, wasn't I? Okay, so here's the sofa I want to get. It has a slip cover, which is great when you have a cat that sheds as much as mine does. It's also great for folks like me who have a hard time making long-term commitments to things like upholstery. I'm thinking of this blue/white pinstripe with some contrasting fun pillows. The couch passes the "sit-your-ass-down-and-relax" test. Cool.

Now, obviously I can't go from one hyoooge couch to a small one and then have no other seating in the room. After all I do have friends and one or two of them might happen to visit someday. So an occasional chair of some sort would seem appropriate. Ah, here comes the dilemma!

There's this chair, which is big and cushy and comfortable. I could get it with the solid navy slipcover so as not to have too much matchy-matchy going on in the room. Nice.

Hmmm... Now I'd still need a coffee table. And it'd be nice to have something to put my feet up on when relaxing in this chair. Okay, so how about a couple of ottomans? With a tray on top (IKEA has some nice ones), one or both can double as a coffee table. And of course, they match up nicely with the chair, too, and double as extra seating if needed. Bonus, the top lifts off revealing storage inside. Hmmm... (Note: The ottoman and chair really are the same color, despite appearances in these pictures.)

But wait, there's more! How about a nice recliner instead? It takes up less room than the occasional chair and is comfortable. Granted, there's no optional additional seating that the ottomans would provide, but maybe that's okay, given that the dining room chairs are readily available. From a looks perspective, it's not ugly (as I think most recliners are), but it's not as cozy and inviting as the occasional chair, either. From a use perspective, it's practical and comfortable. Oh, the dilemma!

So, if I go with the recliner, I still need a coffee table. And I think I found a great one. This piece looks very simple -- and, indeed, it's made from pine, which is about as simple as it gets. But underneath, those cubbyholes present a world of possibility. They're big enough to hold books and magazines. They're also big enough that I could get baskets or boxes to put in some of them and hold things like extra DVDs or whatever.

Oy! Do you see my dilemma? What do you think? Really, I'm open to suggestion! I need to make a decision by December 22, because that's the last day of a special deal they are doing at IKEA wherein you receive a gift card worth 20% of the total you spend on furniture. I look at it as sort of getting a second set of slipcovers for free.

Help me Obi Wan! You're my only hope of making a decision! :)

P.S. If you read this far, I did get some knitting done yesterday, too. Finished the final hat and turned the heel on sock one of the final pair. Almost done with Christmas knitting!! Now stop reading and leave a comment about my furniture choices, would ya?!


Michelle said...

I'm rather fond of big comfy chairs and ottomans as coffee tables, myself...

That is a pretty cool coffee table, but I still think I'd go the other way. (I don't like coffee tables in general 'cause they're huge clutter magnets for me. Not that the ottoman avoids that, but...heh.)

MonicaPDX said...

Hmm. Well, how much would you use the recliner? As a recliner, I mean; otherwise, why get it? Which chair is more comfortable? Which is easier to get out of? And if you tend to curl up in chairs at all - presuming you yourself might sit in them once in a while, instead of on the couch - which is better at accommodating that?

I've been thinking about the same things, 'cause I plan on getting rid of my two small couches which are taking up way too much room in the living room. (And I never have guests anyway. [g]) I like the idea of a recliner, but when I think of the contortions I've had to go through to get out of 'em on the rare occasions I've sat in one...I'm dubious. A chair/ottoman combo works just as nicely for relaxing, and you don't get swallowed by them, which is great when something necessitates leaping up and galloping for whatever reason... And if you want more room for the coffee table, well, there'd still be the option of 2 occasional chairs, one ottoman.

Missamite said...

I like the ottoman option myself.

Danielle said...

I used to have that coffee table, and loved it. I'd go with the recliner & table. (We only changed tables because, like your sectional, the room was too small.)

Donna said...

I have that coffee table and love it. You can put all kinds of things into those little cubbies.