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Chez Larsson

Customizing Ektorp

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Ektorp curl
So just like last time I couldn’t leave the IKEA sofa alone. Am I the only one having a problem with the height of these sofas? Am I the only one having an elderly / dentist's waiting room moment when sitting down on them? Why are they so high? Are all sofas this height?


What did I do? I chopped off just over 5 cm (2 inches). I remember Martin and I slightly freaking out when we cut the legs off the Karlanda when it was brand new. The second time around I wasn’t worried, I just got the Japanese saw out and went at it knowing it would make a world off difference.


Of course I had to adjust the slip cover accordingly and hemmed it all the way around. While I was at it I stitched the vents close. Like Anne, I’m not keen on the flip of the skirt, I prefer when it’s more straight.

Oh, I also cut 15 cm (6 inches) off the lumbar cushion cover. The feather pillow inside is still its original size but the whole thing was way too long and weird looking.

So, how do I feel about the new sofa? I mentioned it in a comment already, it does take a bit of getting used to, it’s much poofier than the Karlanda. Don’t get me wrong, I love it because Wille loves it and it’s sooooooooo much more comfortable. I do get the feeling that I need to switch out the armchairs now though, they are kind of too similar but not right if you see what I mean. I’d love the Ektorp armchair because again it’s so comfortable, but I also don’t want my whole living room to be matchy matchy IKEA. I’d love something more modern. Any suggestions?

Oh, one more thing. I can’t wait to wash the slip cover in the hope it will shrink a little bit because it’s pretty loose and feels too big. I do want things neat, nice and tight, thank you very much.

Top photo:


  • Jo says:

    You mentioned about the armchairs yesterday, and now that I see the photos of the whole suite I think you’re right about the new side chairs needing to be a little more linear. I also like the idea or a bit of leg on the armchairs.. the contrast would be very effective I think.
    Obviously I don’t know if any of these styles are available in Sweden.. but what about something LIKE these..
    From Sarah Richardson ‘Harry’..
    with a big poofie square cushion against the back… although I think the legs are a bit flimsy looking.
    Or on the same page of photos the ‘Carlu’.. boxier but sleek.
    or this one from Stylus.. The Clark, which I really like.
    Jo xx

  • joolz says:

    one reason i got the ektorp sofa is because it’s sort of tall. then again, so am i (6 feet actually), and i’d rather not have to climb out of a low couch like the one we had before this one.
    also, be careful drying the sofa portion of the slipcover, esp. since you stitched the vents closed. it will shrink more than you think, and it might make it tough to get it back on. dry it on low heat, definitely.

  • Karen says:

    My ektorp slipcover has always been a nightmare to get back on even though it was always air dried. After four or five washings it has ripped on a back corner. Don’t know if it was undersized (defective) or if they are all this way. The sofa is fine so my dilema is should I replace it with another ikea cover or make my own using the torn one as a pattern.

  • pierre says:

    Well, the contrast and esthetic are a solution, but not to sacrifice to comfort on my opinion.
    I like the idea to get 2 different armchairs, but the challenge is that they must fit together 2 and both together must fit to your sofa.
    I just give my idea for one, who s a big classic from Jacobsen… the feeling with this classical design furnitures is that it fit to any kind of interiors… esp. the ones with a personal accent like yours. If you made your choice with one of this classicals from mid century design, they will always fit together are they are almost perfect.
    I bought recently a replica from the with the feeling it will be not so confortable, but its amazing how this chair is so nesty… And you can found it in many colors and upholstery (mine is white leather). And you can also customise it with an accent color cushion, it is also beautifull.
    good luck with your search. Maybe its a bit to high size model, but (for me) this is a pure object of design you can look from any side, always beautifull, and because its turn on his feet, yu can turn it yourself to admire it every day 😉
    I forget also to say that it s magnify all type of person who seat on it… who is also for me a condition…

  • A white egg is proably my dream chair but way out of my budget… 🙂

  • I don’t have a dryer so it will always be line dried. I know my friend Anne’s slipcover shrunk too. I already washed the back cushion covers in the hope they would shrink even a little bit but they didn’t… Well, we’ll see…

  • Thanks! I agree that I should show some leg! 🙂

  • johanna tontti says:

    The cover might shrink but not always. I think it´s still better be too loose than too tight like I had at the first time when I bought my two-seated white one. The cover has torn several times and I had to mend it 🙁

  • johanna tontti says:

    I still have to say that poofiness WILL go away and if would want it that way you have to fluff it frequently 🙂

  • Siri says:

    Oh, I think that Arne Jacobsen Egg chair is so cool! I see what you mean about the two armchairs. I could definitely see you buying some cool furniture at a garage sale or at the Swedish version of “” and making your own slip covers or simply reupholster them yourself in a modern fabric that would look super cool against whatever color you have planned to paint that aqua wall in! Didn’t you mom have some very cool armchairs? Or was it a sofa? Remember you posted a picture from your last visit there.

  • She does but isn’t ready to part with them yet. Also they are kind of delicate and since this is where I sit every night I want it to be comfy and fairly sturdy. I will go vintage hunting I think!

  • Älvan says:

    My slipcover didn’t shrink at all when I washed it (I have an Ektorp too). It got horribly wrinkled, and was a major pita to iron. I think our washing machine was a bit too small for it, since I noticed some washing powder spots on it as well.

  • Uhoh! I need mine to shrink!
    I have a handheld steamer that I used to get the packing creases out. Spray bottle with water in one hand and stamer in the other. Hopefully that will help when I wash it!

  • Marit says:

    Wonderful sofa, Benita!
    and how about one or two Eames Rocker with a white cushion or sheepskin?

  • JKLS says:

    What about the Jenny Lund chairs at Ikea? They look great and as with the Ektorp you can change the covers!

  • jja says:

    I am a tall person and LOVE love high seats. And not the feeling Alice in Wunderland.
    So I would for sure leave those legs. I don’t hink chairs are very missmatched…I like how the room lokks now.

  • That has definitely crossed my mind. Mre than once. I’m worried that it won’t be comfortable enough though. I’d love a bit more padding…

  • I’d love to stay clear of IKEA actually…

  • Monica says:

    That picture with the saw sure is scary… 🙂
    I would suggest the Ikea Tirup chair but it does not come in white. Well only leather and I can’t really see that in your place. Ikea Stockholm, maybe?

  • Leena says:

    I don’t hate the armchairs you have there now, but you could use new covers for them (I know it’s a lot of work if you make them yourself)
    I have a question that has nothing to do with sofas or armchairs. Have you ever painted laminated furniture? Like the ones you can buy from ikea and similar where the core is something very light and there is just a laminated cover on them. The laminate often has quite a plastic look, but I guess those are actually wood of somesort. I’m thinking of painting one table top, but for some reason I’m nervous that the paint won’t stick to it. Have you tried this? If you have has it stick?
    Sorry about the not sofa related question.

  • Lisen says:

    Cutting the legs is an easy thing to do to customize the sofa, and to be honest, even cowardy custard me could do it on an IKEA sofa. I think you can even buy new legs separately, so if you change your mind it’s no big deal. I’d be more scared of cutting off the legs of tables or cupboards- there is no going back there, and sometimes it destroys the proportions of the piece.
    We are so lucky in Sweden now, there is so much vintage furniture in fabulous condition, because the people who bought it in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s have been so careful with it. I’ve gotten some amazing finds this summer, and compared to the UK where I live now, the prices are insanely low. If you look around a bit, I think you can find some great chairs.

  • I did consider making new covers but it would be my third set and frankly I’d hate to have to do it again. I looked into having them profesionaly made but that would be more expensive than buying new arm chairs…
    As for laminate I have painted some but you need to be really careful to prep the surface by keying it. You do that by sanding it so it looses its glossiness so the paint can stick. Also I’d use a good primer before adding the top coat.

  • Sara says:

    How do you cut off legs and know that they’re not going to wobble? I’ve wanted to do that, but have never had the nerve.
    When I wash my slipcovers, I let them air dry for a few hours until they’re just slightly damp and then put them back on. Much easier to get them on when they’re damp and then I just aim a fan on them overnight until they’re dry.

  • dede says:

    I agree, always put the washed cover on when still slightly damp… it will be easier, and will conform when dry much better. ;>)

  • Monica says:

    So no more Ikea. How do you feel about knock-offs?

  • I’m very careful when measuring. it’s easier on a big piece like a sofa, more difficult with a chair.

  • NancyV908 says:

    Wow, I guess I am just Ektorp Opposite Girl. I mentioned in another post that my white Ektorps feel really understuffed, & that if I used them every day they probably wouldn’t work for me for that reason. Also, I never noticed the height–I just went & sat on them & they felt fine to me. And my slipcovers, which I’ve never washed, seem a little small already. I’ve always been annoyed by how in the back (which is exposed) they are too far off the ground. AND I like the pleats. 🙂
    I wonder if they are manufactured at different sites & there are variations….

  • Bride of COG says:

    I am so glad to know that you did this and how you did it. The height of our new Ektorp is bothering me and now I can’t wait to cut the legs off. Good tip about the vents, too.
    I have another Ektorp – the sectional – in different house. That one has no legs because they were missing in the box. By the time they arrived, I just decided not to use them. I’m a little worried about the floor underneath, though. I have two covers for it so I can change with the seasons. They’ve been washed a number of times and they are a little snug, but not too tight. I always put them on a little damp. Whatever wrinkles are in them soon disappear by just smoothing with my hand and leaving it to fully dry.

  • Faith says:

    My mother did the same thing with her sofa, except that she could unscrew the legs and was still left with a little nub for the sofa to sit on. My father kept putting the legs back on and she would keep taking them off. It was quite funny for a few weeks to appear at my parents house and wonder whether the legs would be on or off!

  • Älvan says:

    That might help. I washed mine in 40 degrees, washing in a higher temperature might help.

  • Monica says:

    I thought so. Affordable good design is hard to find. Guess you have a real challenge ahead of you.

  • I washed the cushion covers in 60 I think but I only did a quick cycle because they weren’t dirty so when I do them again I hope to get a bit of shrinkage.

  • Holly says:

    Sorry I don’t have an idea about new chairs. How about when you do get a new chair you get just one and move the all the furniture around a bit?

  • chelsea says:

    We actually just did this with our sofa and I recommend air drying. Its a pain in the you-know-what and has taken an entire day (or more) but its worth it to avoid the risk of shrinkage! I actually washed our covers in the bathtub and then put them out to dry.

  • That is an option we have discussed. The first idea was to scoot the sofa more towards the window (unfortunately it can’t be placed on any other wall because it’s too big, as was the old one)and get one comfy armchair for me but then we started thinking maybe it will be to little seating for guests. Now I’m thinking of maybe getting a larger comfy armchair to sit in and a more petite Eames rocker to look at… 🙂

  • chelsea says:

    I’m loving that idea best! I think some leg and wood-tone would be a nice addition to the room. Perhaps something along the lines of this:
    expensive, but I’m sure you could find a suitable replacement. Even if its something you have to refinish – it could be a fun project!

  • Caroline says:

    I’m envisioning some wooden angular leggy modern armchairs. Would you paint the wood white though? 😉

  • I love all the white in your home (brave!), but I agree with Caroline above. You might try something wooden, but with a white cushion to satisfy your aesthetic. Or maybe something simple and natural like the Hejka chair from Ikea – add something white to soften your seat?
    If you want to spend more, try something cool and mid-century with medium-toned wood (didn’t you post about your parents’ porch furniture that you hope to claim someday and reupholster?). Try that. Voila – a lovely place to sit.

  • I would love those chairs but my mom’s not ready to part with them… Also they’re not comfy enough for my relax-spot. I want to be able to sitt feet up and even half lie down in my chair :).

  • pierre says:

    If you are’nt against cool replicas, you can found many online shop in Europe who sale it for law prices. I had mine for really interesting price (delivery from UK to Netherlands)…. dont know the conversion for swedish krowns… but was really ok, compare to really standard leather couch you can found here on real shops. Full satisfaction ! If you want a picture of it to see quality/price, i can send you a pic and the online store it’s come from… just let me know !

  • Anne says:

    Maybe they have had too many complaints about the fabric and changed it? I have washed the covers of the coushions more frequently and they haven’t shrunk at all. The slipcover shrunk slightly with each previous wash but I put it on when being still a little damp and it was ok. But the last two times it shrunk really much and the last time I could hardly get it back on at all. I did dry it a little in a cabinet-dryer and I thought the heat was mild but maybe the heat was too much anyway. Now I really, really have to buy a new one… 🙁

  • Linda P says:

    Vad kul att titta in hos dig, Benita! Har du hämat dig från bloggträffen?
    Gillar Orla Kiely-kudden i soffan 🙂
    Kram Linda

  • Its not easy to do some resizing of the sofa, you have to measure it and screwed perfectly to make it better.

  • Christine says:

    How about a different texture for one of the chairs in white. The texture may help to create an illusion they are the same size.

  • patty says:

    i love this couch to, i liked it because it has a slipcover. i change my room around all the time and it would be nice to be able to change the look of the couch. i’m hoping to get 2 of the loveseat versions after the holidays

  • Siv Aksdal says:

    I used to have this sofa and the covers did shrink so much so that they barely fit!! So i wonder if IKEA started preshrinking them to avoid that problem?
    Sugestions for chairs… Hmm I like the Karlstad lenestol
    or the Stockholm stol
    from IKEA anyway. I think something with a contrasting shape and without a skirt so the leg will show. As long as its proportions are not to small compared to the sofa.

  • Reynolds Chase says:

    This topic is too funny. I actually have felt just the opposite, that the Ektorp sofa and loveseat sit too low. I have been looking at taller legs to replace the ones that came with it. Shouldn’t be a problem to raise it a few inches, don’t you think?