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Look for Less: English Roll Arm Sofa

Let’s consider this a public service announcement, shall we? Questions about my sofa come up constantly, and now there’s a good way to get the look for less.

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

I love our teal Winifred sofa from Anthropologie. The size and scale is great, the quality excellent (super sturdy, super comfortable), and it’s pretty darn cute… but it’s also the most expensive piece of furniture we’ve ever owned. It was listed at $3300, and I bought it when it went on sale for $2300. I feel like it was worth the price, but it was definitely a big chunk of change to put down.

Fast forward to a few years later, and it’s no longer available. If you love the look though (and not the price), IKEA now sells a reasonable facsimile: the Stocksund 3-1/2 seater sofa in ljungen blue.

Get the Look for Less: Blue English Roll Arm Sofa

Why the difference in price? The stores play a part, of course, but there are a few differences in quality too. The Anthro sofa is 98″ long with cotton/linen upholstery, a kiln-dried hardwood frame, down and polyfill cushions with eight-way hand-tied seat construction (and that cute button tufting), handcrafted in USA. IKEA’s sofa is 90″ long with a polyester cover, a frame made of particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard, with polyurethane foam cushions that have inner springs. The overall styling is slightly different as well, along with simpler turned legs and no castors on IKEA’s version.

I would expect my sofa to have a longer lifespan, perhaps needing reupholstering eventually rather than replacing, but the less expensive option is still a great choice! (We own an IKEA couch too — the Kivik — no complaints.) Throw a few pillows on there, style it up, and bam.

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

IKEA Stockholm Sideboard Review

Somebody sent me a message recently because he was thinking about picking up the same IKEA Stockholm sideboard that I bought for our entryway. Questions about it come my way pretty often, actually. Do the doors stay even? Has it held up well? Would I recommend it? Yes, yes, and yes. It’s my favorite IKEA purchase to date (which is saying something because I’ve owned many a piece from IKEA over the years), so I thought I’d offer a review.

Making it Lovely's Victorian Entryway

I bought mine two years ago, shortly after moving in to our house, because I was looking for shoe storage in the entryway. I didn’t want “anything too precious since it’s going to be used on a daily basis by the whole family” and I deemed the style, scale, and price right. The sideboard comes in a painted beige finish for $389 or a walnut veneer for $449. I like the painted version for my house because it already has so much woodwork, but the walnut finish looks good too — much better than some IKEA wood tones of the past (I’m looking at you, orange beech).

IKEA Stockholm Sideboard in Beige and Walnut

We keep shoes inside, so I added cushioned shelf liners that can easily be removed for cleaning or replacement. The kids have the left half, and the adults have the right. Besides shoes and bags on the shelves, their drawer holds things like sunglasses and floppy hats during warmer months, and winter hats, mittens, and gloves when it’s cold. ‘Our side’ has things like a lint roller, comb and small brush, and reusable shopping bags in the drawer, the bottom shelf has a few pairs of shoes, and the other shelf is home to our baby wrap and diaper bag.

Entryway Shoe Storage Cabinet

I spent some time adjusting the doors so that they would hang evenly when I first assembled the sideboard, and I haven’t had to do anything to them since. There are push-open mechanisms inside, and in my house, they’ve held up to a fair amount of abuse from the kids! The doors can be left plain but I drilled holes in mine for knobs. If you want to do the same, remember to leave enough clearance for the drawers inside. I’d hate to see someone make the mistake of drilling right at the top and then having the back of the knobs keep the doors from closing. And another note on choosing knobs — if you have kids and they’re anything like mine, you might want to go with something that doesn’t need to be aligned in a certain direction. All three of my kids spin them around, either on purpose or by accident, so something round would have been a better choice.

The Stockholm sideboard is sturdy and surprisingly heavy, making it feel like a good solid piece of furniture that should hold up long-term. My only complaint is that two years in, the top has a few small scratches and dings in the painted finish. They aren’t noticeable enough to bother me, but they are there. I’ve always thought that it would be nice to find a remnant of marble or travertine to top the sideboard, so that’s an option if the scratches worsen over time or I just feel like updating the look.

I’ve had people over who have commented on how nice the sideboard was, and they’re always surprised when I say that it was from IKEA. I highly recommend it.

Tufted Leather Sofas

Taxes pretty much wiped out our savings for a while. (Oh, wasn’t I clueless, wanting a new rug or to fix up the outside of the house?) Yeah, we need to recover a bit financially before any major purchases, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping a running wish list in my head.

Leather sofas, especially of the tufted variety, have been on my radar for a while. I liked this one a couple of years ago, and you all left some useful comments about the practicality of leather for families with kids and pets. (It’s a go.) Then of course, there was the eighth edition of Making it Yours, featuring a green leather chesterfield. I don’t think a chesterfield is quite my style (although I do appreciate them), but I am finding myself drawn to leather.

Victoria Smith's Living Room (SF Girl by Bay)

Victoria has a beautiful leather sofa from DwellStudio (above, featured on The Everygirl).

Genifer Goodman-Sohr's Living Rooms

Genifer Goodman-Sohr (image source) had one black leather sofa in her SF apartment. It belonged to her boyfriend/husband, as I recall (I have the old Budget Living magazine around here somewhere). She then picked up a matching one for her Nashville home (featured in Better Homes & Gardens).

Maxwell Leather Sofa from Jayson Home and Garden

I know I can’t run right out and buy a new couch, but I’m filing the idea away for when it’s time. I put together a list of my dozen favorites, but it’s the one above from Jayson Home that I’ve really got my eye on right now. So good.

Someday, or something similar, perhaps.

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