Tag Archives: IKEA

Guest Bath Storage

For the longest time our guest bathroom has felt like the most clinical, cold space in the entire flat. It has white walls, white tiles in the shower area and dark tiles on the floor.

I always felt like it just looks empty, so finally we picked up a VITTSJÖ shelf for 69.95CHF from IKEA to fill the space a bit and to have a place to store our towels outside the pantry.

This was right when we bought the shelf. Since we haven’t gotten our wardrobes built yet, I later stored all our extra sheets in here as well as all of the towels from the pantry. I cleared out enough room in the pantry that I can put my sewing machines in there instead of under my desk in the office.

This room still looks reaaaallly empty to me. Even worse on photos. Especially this corner below which is your view from the throne. I kind of don’t want to paint in this room, but I want to put some color in here because it’s screaming for it.

I would like to put a big, cushy square rug in front of the shower door over there to walk out onto and maybe a nice big picture on that wall. I actually am planning on putting up art or photos at some point.

I tried to convince Kay to go for the taller white FJÄLKINGE shelf offered at IKEA for 119CHF, but he thought it looked like crappy quality and he assured me that he will be responsible for cleaning the glass shelves of the shelf we bought. Hah.

But it’s probably a good thing we went with the cheaper, darker shelf. It contrasts more with the walls and stands out a bit better even though it’s also colorless.

How do you think I should add color in this room without committing to painting?

Making room for Karl

As I mentioned, Karl was actually delivered very quickly, back in December when I ordered him. Kay started putting him together while I was gone one evening so that he would be ready in time for our Christmas party.

Of course I wanted to put the long end of the couch opposite from how Kay built it and after he finished it, he agreed… so he switched and and here is our setup since December. Don’t mind the balcony furniture piled up for the winter outside!

Sure, we could have matched more the size of the leather couch in relation to Karl’s long side, but we set it up like this because Karl seems to encroach on the TV less this way.

It is not a perfect seating setup, but it does provide a lot of seating room and some space for snacks and drinks to share.

I love the cozy nook in the corner. It is my favourite place to curl up with our two old pillows and my mothers comfy afghan.

When I have more time and money, I play on getting a ton of pillows for Karl and making funky pillow covers in bright colors like green, purple, yellow or teal to tie into the color scheme. We’re also thinking about a rug for the sofa area at some point.

Our space lamp arches over into the area and we’ve settled it above the table since Kay stood up into the lamp and broke the new philips hue bulb. (So expensive!) We have not replaced the bulb yet, so none of the LEDs diffuse anymore and it makes for odd color bands cast around the area.

Above you can see at this angle how if we put the long end of the sofa on the wall next to the TV it would be coming just a tad too close. I also thought it made more sense to have the wider part of Karl facing the TV where you would be viewing a movie.

So that’s our lounge area these days. It definitely sort of separates the lounge area from the dining area. I’ll have to see how it works in practice entertaining. It’s a whole lot of sofa!

How much seating have you got in your living room?

Hemming Ikea Curtains

While Kay was in the army last November, I decided to spontaneously visit IKEA after work one day. It was the first time I ever went by myself. I went in search of curtains, but I may have bought a sofa as well…

OK, I did buy a sofa, and I sure hoped that Kay would like it because I forgot to ask permission before pulling the trigger! But this post is not about our Karlstad. It is about office curtains. I was sick of not having any curtains in the office or the master bath and I knew that the sheer material I bought would not be adequate for either room without some proper curtains, so I bought four sets of cheap curtains to hem: Two for each office window and four to double up for privacy in the bathroom window.

I decided to go for this red pattern in the office, to match the orange/red sofa and I was also nervous to be buying fabric without Kay. We had such a hard time deciding fabric for the living room and bedroom and we rarely make home decor decisions without each other, but he thought the fabric was fine, so I went ahead and started hemming.

A friend mentioned that I should try hanging them and basting to see if the curtains would be the proper length and then I found this tutorial for hemming IKEA curtains on Charm Stitch.

I decided to try out pinning and sewing the curtains directly at the window as the tutorial suggested, but I opted to hang the curtains up backwards so that I wouldn’t be flipping the fabric over and possibly screwing up my hem. I also had more room to work in the living room than the office, so it was easier to set up an ironing board and sewing machine out there. Since I was going to move the curtains anyway, putting them up backwards to hem and sew was not a big deal.

First I pinned and it was good to check because IKEA curtains are sewn pretty poorly and unevenly and it was necessary to adjust a lot.

Once I was happy with the hanging I lifted the curtain up on to my ironing board and ironed the hem.

Below you can see how sometimes I needed to adapt the wonky IKEA curtain to form a straighter line.

I’m not saying my line is perfect… I just tucked it in a bit so that it would appear straight from the front side of the curtain.

Once I had ironed, I would let the curtain hang and check how even it was.

Below is an example of a curtain pinned that needed reworked.

And here was the re-pinning and ironed hem.

It didn’t have to be 100% perfect for me, but close enough.

When the hem was OK I sewed in the weights at the bottom. Then I got lazy and started straight up stapling the lead weights in because I was just that lazy… and I figured that nobody is going to tell if I stapled them or sewed them, so why expend all the extra effort?

I plopped my sewing machine up on the ironing board and sewed my hems then.

Finally when the curtains were done I took them down and re-hung them in the office with the hem facing the window.

At some point I’ll take you some nice daytime pictures of the office windows. I was happy I got these done before my little sister spent the night on our sofa bed.

After the office curtains I hemmed the four bathroom curtains and layered some plain white curtains behind a patterned white curtain that wasn’t quite opaque enough on its own.

Have you got some IKEA curtains in your home? Did you have to hem them to fit in or did you leave them long?

Karl arrives

Our Karlstad is here! Hoorah for IKEA delivering things at 7:30 in the morning, leaving me enough time to make it to work at the usual time!

Kay was here the morning it came, but then he left for a short work trip so I had the boxes and the flat all to myself. And with Thanksgiving last week, I didn’t really have any plans for putting Karl together immediately.

Karlstad Love

Ever since I came across John and Sherry’s gianormous sectional on YHL, I dreamt of filling our new living room with something similar. Like, almost exaaactly the same, with colourful pillows included.

(Picture via YHL)

I obsessed a bit about what sofa John and Sherry had bought. The shape and legs looked strangely similar to the leather one Kay bought in 2008 when I moved to Switzerland.

There was a big “duh” moment when I peeked under our sofa and read the tag to confirm that Kay’s sofa is actually also a Karlstad sofa!

I knew that Kay’s sofa originally cost around 1500CHF, so I wasn’t really interested in finding out how much the huge sectional version would cost, but Kay liked the idea of continuing with the leather because it lasts a long time and it is easy to take care of.

Unfortunately, IKEA discontinued the Karlstad leather version and changed over to a slightly smaller sofa with tufts, which Kay heartily dislikes “because they are old-fashioned”. Dun dun dun. Never heard him call anything old-fashioned before…

Karlsfors sofa for 1999CHF from IKEA.

I even scoured the interwebs for used corner sofas in leather from Karlstad. I came really close to finding one in Germany, but it was dark brown, which is a huge no-go for Kay and it wouldn’t match anyway. Oh well.

But as you can see, our TV area in the living room still looks empty and lonely. And I still wanted a corner sofa, badly.

I debated internally for a long time if it was worth it to keep Kay’s couch or incorporate it into a sectional layout. I loved the idea of the chaises in the sectional from YHL, so I dreamt up buying an all-in-one like this and situating it somewhere where we could still use both of the balcony doors.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was not a good idea to just get rid of a perfectly good sofa. And no matter how I worked it, it didn’t make sense to stick this beast in with our current sofa. It became too much.

I had fun playing with literally ALL the combinations of Karlstad sofas available and seeing what would work best for us. And as we used the living room the whole summer, Kay pointed out that we rarely went out the balcony doors by the sofa. Especially since now that he’s pushed the sofa all the way back to the balcony door, making them inaccessible.

Kay thought if it makes sense, we should just put a corner sofa wherever we please and use the door to the balcony by the dining table. I’m still annoyed that they open inwards because it wasn’t an option to change, but Kay is right… we are most often taking food in and out of the kitchen and it’s not necessary to have two doors to the balcony.

With all that in mind, I decided that the best fit for maximum seating would be a corner sofa without any chaises or add-ons. Now we just needed to figure out which color!

At 999CHF, white is actually the cheapest option. And if we are ever going to do white sofas, shouldn’t it be now, while we don’t have children? Kay was up for it even with the possibility of extra washing, but after looking at our space, I just didn’t feel like white fit in with our dark brown floors and purple wall. It would be a better match for the light oak in some homes here.

Of course, I still loved the idea of the dark grey, but I wanted to explore other options too.

The green was in our color scheme, but not bright enough to match our walls and it just seemed a little too cooky for our style. I don’t want any problems selling this sofa in a few years!

And purple. I’m not sure I could convince Kay about the new Sivik purple. I got the color on the walls, but an entire sofa is another deal. It’s also not the same hue as our walls and it’s a little more expensive. Hmm.

There was one thing clear. We would be buying the metal legs to match the leather sofa. Even if the sofas are different material and color, the shape is the same and the legs will match!What color do you think we chose? Anybody else a big Karl fan?