Turning The Ikea Karlstad Sofa into a Mid-Century Modern Beauty

Last year, I started obsessing about mid-century modern furniture. I'm not sure when and where this caught my eye, but I wanted to update some of our things in that style.  I love the style for it's sleek and clean lines. The problem is that it is damn expensive. We got lucky, however, and in the process of replacing our old couch, came across a brand new Ikea Karlstad sofa at 50% off the original price at our local thrift shop. We looked and looked and found nothing wrong with it. I was not originally a fan of it, but after doing some research online, found that a few people had hacked it. By tufting the cushions and replacing the legs, the couch looked so much nicer and more inline with the mid-century modern aesthetic. 

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Final result of the Ikea Karlstad sofa after tufting the back cushions and replacing the legs. 


I was impressed with how Oh Everything Handmade had transformed her sofa.  She has a great tutorial on how to do the tufting on your own.  I opted out of doing the tufting on my own and instead bought her pre-made Karlstad fabric covered buttons on Etsy and took them to our local upholsterer to complete the tufting.  It cost a bit more, but saved me much frustration had I tufted them on my own.  Cost of the buttons was around $44 with shipping for 32 buttons total.  Tufting was a bit pricey for $80.  It was done well and saved me a few hours so I justified the cost.  

The sofa post tufting.  Tufting really does make it fancy.


My second challenge were the legs.  They were standard Ikea issue, square legs.  Not the look I was going for.  Thankfully, Etsy is a place full of wonder and found these ready made mid-century modern legs designed to replace the existing Karlstad sofa legs without much effort.  I bought them unstained so  that I could stain them the same color as other furniture that I had. They were easy to screw on and made a huge impact on the look of the sofa.  We didn't need any extra equipment to replace the legs, just some good old fashioned elbow grease to twist and remove. Cost of the legs were around $35 with shipping plus a few dollars of stain that I had on hand. No extra screws or assembly required. 

Here's the original Ikea legs.  Kinda looks cheap. 

Here is the new tapered legs that were stained to match our other furniture. Looks prettier!


The final product looked pretty good for the price, especially when something of this style costs over $1000 at West Elm or Crate & Barrel.


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