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#Cheaphometricks: when is an Ikea sofa not an Ikea sofa?

When Saustark Design has been at it. This Munich-based company has taken the Ikea hacking trend to a clever, commercial level.

Now you can pimp your Swedish buy by adding a customised loose cover in the fabric of your choice (as well as colourful new legs), to take the edge off the ubiquity of your purchase... I wonder how many of us do have an Ikea sofa? (And you can check the rest of your home against this ubiquity list.)

I've written about a company called Pretty Pegs before, which has been selling lovely legs that fit Ikea sofas and armchairs for a few years now. Yes, Saustark has kind of swiped that idea (though with fewer design choices) but it was only a matter of time. It is a fantastic idea, after all. But Saustark cunningly also combine their legs with its own, fairly extensive range of alternative loose covers too. So far, the legs are only available from the German online store, details below, but the company is open to helping buyers from further afield if that's what you're after.

So back to the clever loose covers. Taking the Karlstaad two-seater sofa – pictured below in just four of the fabrics Saustark offers – as an example, your new cover will cost at least half the price you paid for the furniture initially: a cover could cost anything from 166 Euros (£136) for, say, the man-made corduroy type textile, up to around to 239 Euros (£196) for plain cotton.

It's a lot of money to pay on top of buying the sofa in the first place, but if your sofa is old but structurally sound it's a great way to get a new sofa without getting a new sofa. Equally, if you buy covers when you buy the sofa, you'll still probably be paying less than you would for a sofa from pretty much everywhere else – but it won't look like the Ikea sofa that everyone you know has in their front room.

The downside is that you have to choose one of their fabrics (which you can request free samples of to see how it looks in the flesh). There is a lot of choice, but it's a shame they don't offer a service where you can choose fabric elsewhere or send them some and personalise your sofa even more.

Check out Saustartk Design's website for more info. To find the legs, you'll need to go to the German version of the site here.

Oh yes, and if you want to read all about the Ikea backstory, here's a piece I wrote about the brand for the Independent a while back, which features Modern Toss and expletives in the first paragraph.

Post by Kate

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