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My sofa project

I decided a little while ago that my living room sofa was not working for me. It was cute, I'll give it that. But it was NOT loungey. Definitively not wide enough for my boyfriend and I to sprawl on and watch movies. I'm hoping to find it a new home since I have no other room to put it in. I knew I'd never find a sofa that would suit my needs and my budget so my boyfriend and I built one. Since our carpentry skills are limited, I am quite surprised it turned out as well as it did. We finished building it a few days ago, and I painted it Friday.

Since I wanted something low and loungey, I figured the easiest way to get what I wanted would be to get some cushions, and basically build boxes for them. Instead of buying foam for the cushions, I went to Ikea and bought cushions from one of their sofas where they were sold separately from the frame. There were 4 cushions - 2 for the base and 2 narrower ones for the back. So working with that we built one main base that houses the 2 larger cushions and an individual base for each of the narrower ones. This is the main base before I painted it.

We used rounded fence post toppers (?) for the feet of the main section (I have pieces of furniture pads underneath them in the photos because it weighs a ton and I'm worried it's going to dent the floor), and casters for the feet of the 2 smaller sections. This way the smaller pieces could be wheeled around the living room to accommodate different seating arrangements. Because I wanted a pile of pillows along the back of the main section and I was concerned they would take up too much space, we built a ledge along the back (which you can see in the third photo) to house the majority of the pillows, leaving ample room for sprawling.

I've had a couple of chances to try out the new sofa (I'm on it as I type this) and it's incredible. It's so versatile and ridiculously comfortable. I need to make new covers for the seat cushions. I bought the covers from Ikea for them but they are a thick canvas and cat hair sticks to it in an obscene way so I need something more cat friendly. I also just threw on a bunch of pillows for the photos below, but I need to buy fabric for new pillows as well. I'm thinking of sticking with neutrals, with lots of texture, and maybe a couple pillows in jewel toned colours to work with the rest of the living room and kitchen. I'm also considering stenciling the frames, but I have to give that more thought.

Here are some photos I took of the sofa with different placement of the smaller pieces.

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Reader Comments (87)

DIY project well done Kim & boyfriend!
So where has the previous sofa gone to?
Are you going to change up the coffee tables now?
Do the castered ottomans roll away on you when put all together as one unit?
I assume from IKEA it's all slipcover for easy wash?
What's your next project?
(but first... go rent a great movie and sprawl out for a well earned chillaxin snuggle session! Ya!)

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa in Nanaimo

I know - Kim's pace is frenetic! Great beginning and I can't wait to see where you go from here - although I have insider knowledge :) And yes readers I asked if they fit through the door to get them out :P Welcome to the world of the slouch couch Kim and Jeff. Life is too short for uptight and upright.

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commentermidcenturyjo

Looking good!
Please share any cat friendly material you come across. As well, any tips on how to keep the fur off clothes is much appreciated!

Thanks for sharing your house with us!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

Everything is looking REALLY good! I love the style of your house. Its so individual and that sofa looks just too comfy! I predict it will be too easy to fall asleep on heehe.

And it's so cute the random assortment of kitties that appear in your photos - it must be a joy to have so much furry company :-D

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKittyMeow

this. is. amazing. i know maybe i might seem to go over the top here but i've been looking for the exact same solution for my lounge for AGES. my boyfriend tends to stay up late and often falls asleep on the couch - being 6 " 2' the only lounges that he seems to fit on are modular. we have a hideous one i want to replace but all of the ones i find are just way out of my budget. anyway i'm wondering if you wouldn't mind giving a rough idea of how much this cost? it looks so perfect for what i need and looks like it might be quite affordable as well. please tell me it is!

great blog btw :)

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Hi. I showed some pictures from youre beautiful home on my blog today. Hope thats ok. (of course with youre name on it:-) )

I like the new sofa project! Its great and practical!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBriggs lekehus

great job you two!bonus points for the versatility. the cats are probably going to enjoy sprawling around ha. Btw, you have an amazing kitchen(followed it all on the blog) and thx for sharing all this good stuff with us.
Desiretoinspire is absolute delish, keep it up Kim and Jo

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Thanks everyone!

The previous sofa is in the corner of my office waiting for a new home. I just bought those coffee tables/stools in the photos so no, I'm not buying new ones. The castered units each have 2 lockable casters to help keep them in place, and we screwed in the non-lockable ones are placed horizontally so they won't move where you don't want them to. Next project is my bedroom, which all I've done to it is remove a closet. It desperately needs a makeover.

The cost of this project was about $400 for the wood and casters, and $200 for the seat cushions and covers. I'm sure we could have used cheaper wood and if there were any salvage yards around here, I would have bought the casters there instead of getting them new. I still have to pay for fabrics for the cushions and pillows.

Thank you Briggs lekehus for posting those photos of my home!! And thanks Sharon for following (and liking) my kitchen remodel!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

It's perfect!

I too can't have a sofa where I can't lay down to watch a movie, I guess couches weren't made for seating!:)

This project is amazingly well done, definitely inspirational!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralice

The sofa looks very comfy and so versatile too, I like the way you can move the smaller pieces round and create something that fits your needs for whatever you are doing.

Gosh you guy's are so talented!

Hi- I love your blog and I love your mural behind your couch! How did you do it?

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanna

it looks great, guess I want one now...have been looking

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaylovesvintage

This sofa is fabulous. I may have to put my husband to work in his woodshop!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

Oh wow! I love this idea!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

The couch is amazing!!!! I'd also really love to know how you did the photo mural (if it was posted about previously could you share the link?) The whole room is so inviting... I started yelling in joy after seeing it (and I can honestly say that I don't usually do that). GREAT JOB!!!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan Byrnes

:) thanks again for everyone's comments.
For those wondering about the mural, http://www.designyourwall.com/store/Misty-Sunlit-Autumn-Forest-wall-mural-wallpaper-8-part-216-pr-766.html FYI: The wall I have it on is almost the exact size of the mural - I only had to cut a couple/few inches off the top and side.

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Looks really cool, good work!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterI.B Design

that is so awesome. :] me and my bf are going to have to try a similiar diy project..

btw, couples projects are cute. hah.

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMissMadeline

wow, making your own sofa - now that is impressive! I love the mural too.

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

That sofa looks just like what i have been looking for! especially the design with the fixed part and the two pieces on wheels! so clever! well done!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commentermette/ungt blod

that's great kim!

which ikea product did you use?

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

utterly amazing! it looks SO comfortable! don't tell my bf this, but i need to borrow yours.

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commentersubliminalrabbit

I'm not feeling the pillows at all. It looks like clutter. Try green or brown pillows.

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMona

Anon, the cushions and covers are for the Lillberg sofabed. They come all attached by zippers and a seam which I cut to separate them.

(Mona, the pillows are temporary from a stash I had stored away. I have to buy new ones or new fabric to make covers)

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Well Done! Of all the things I'd contemplate DIY'ing...building a couch would never occure to me! But I love, very loungy and versatile!

1 Mar 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

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