I'm looking to buy a smallish, modern gray couch for my new apartment. Catch: needs to be under $700. Help?
May 2, 2012 7:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to buy a smallish, modern gray couch for my new apartment. Catch: needs to be under $700. Help?

My current couch is a futon that I've had since I was 14 years old, so I'm really looking forward to buying a real sofa. The only problem is that the security deposit and movers' fees have slashed my budget. I really, really want a modern, gray couch. Some ideas so far:

Home Decorators Roberts

Urban Outfitters Night and Day

World Market Morgan

Home Decorators Martine

Home Decorators Emma

Any suggestions on other places to look or other specific models? I'm trying to avoid IKEA.
posted by anotheraccount to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
What about West Elm?
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2012

Macy's Corona. It goes on sale regularly and then it would meet your budget. I have one, and 4 years later it is still looking great.
posted by sulaine at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2012

I have the armchair version of the IKEA Karlstad in Isunda Grey and I LOVE it - modern, clean lines, sophisticated upholstery and SUPER comfortable. I'm thinking of getting the couch when I move into a larger place. The link goes to the love seat which is under $700 - the full-size version is just a bit over $700.
posted by lunasol at 8:23 AM on May 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

Amazon.com has a lot of couches that fit that description. Here is the first on I turned up, $380, looks like free shipping (for me, with Prime). Probably not the best quality, but serviceable for the price. Here is a more modern one with free shipping. (That is a must)

Beware of buying from a furniture store. I see the same low quality crap marked up hundreds of dollars. Do your research with any couch you choose and compare prices. Coaster is a brand that makes this cheap crap that they often try to market as quality furniture, but if you look around can be found for way less lots of places.

As for modern stuff, I really love Stendmar's couches, but they are a little over that budget. They do have a few of their pieces on Amazon too, which might get a better shipping deal.
posted by catatethebird at 8:28 AM on May 2, 2012

Hmmm, Stendmar does have some in your range. This is a sleeper for $395 That you can order in any color. I know they do charge a lot for shipping though, but you'd still be under $700 I think.

(I'm shopping for a couch too, so this is kinda fun for me.)
posted by catatethebird at 8:36 AM on May 2, 2012

If you can up your budget a little bit, I'd check out Thrive Modern's stuff, specifically the Adams Walton. Fairly legit construction (not a herman miller, not ikea). They're comfy, and pretty stylin'....The aformentioned Adams Walton, really looks better if you replace the cushions with something down the line, but they're more than serviceable.
posted by furnace.heart at 8:37 AM on May 2, 2012

I actually had the Night and Day sofa from Urban Outfitters, and I don't recommend it. It was not much better than a futon and it didn't wear well at all. After a few months, the cushion split open into a tweedy mess. Luckily, UO has a great return policy, and they replaced it for a second couch. The second one smelled like mildew. I replaced it with a KIVIK from IKEA.
posted by hooray at 9:08 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Eek, sorry, I totally missed that you're trying to avoid IKEA, which I completely understand! FWIW, this chair/couch is very sturdy and was reasonably easy to put together, once I had a friend help me.
posted by lunasol at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2012

Back in the day - 1980s - I wanted a couch of my own design so I contacted a local upholsterer and they created one for me from my own design for $800. It was pretty fancy so if you asked for a simple one it could be a lot cheaper. I guess I'm saying check with a local person who probably needs the work. If they are a re-upholsterer I think they can make a new one from scratch too - something people don't usually realize. But ask to see examples of their work.
posted by cda at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2012

Seconding the Ikea Karlstad despite your mention of avoiding Ikea. I saved up for my dream couch that, just my luck, stopped being made and bought the Karlstad instead. I find it extremely comfortable and practical as all the cushions can be flipped and the covers removed and washed. I had overlooked the Karlstad before because it's usually displayed in the store in bright colors.
posted by Miss Matheson at 10:46 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

You might also want to check out Macy's - I got my simple, modern, beige couch there, and it was about $700. Don't buy anything that's not on sale, and keep an eye out for coupons.
posted by mskyle at 11:01 AM on May 2, 2012

I have a different but similar couch from Urban Outfitters and they really screwed us on the shipping and delivery.
I paid extra for the heavy shipping, extra for delivery, and extra for bringing it up the stairs instead of just to the door (important in apt buildings), and they STILL claimed that I hadn't paid enough and that there was an additional delivery fee.
Plus there was all sorts of miscommunication about where the truck was and when it would get to us.
Now that we have the couch, we really like it, but I would not deal with that delivery process again if you paid me.
posted by rmless at 12:06 PM on May 2, 2012

In contrast, I've always had good luck with urban (and nice quality). It just takes a while to show up.
posted by dame at 1:54 PM on May 2, 2012

Thirding the Ikea Karlstad, and seconding the Ikea Kivik too. My friend has the Karlstad sectional in Isunda Grey and it is awesome. Super comfortable, and all the covers are removable and washable, which is not just great for mess or spills, but also great for if you ever want to change the fabric without buying a whole new sofa. If you're bored by the selection of covers at Ikea, see Bemz.
posted by keep it under cover at 3:03 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Awesome, I'm definitely seriously considering the Karlstad now, especially since the shipping from IKEA is actually pretty reasonable.

Two questions for those of you who recommended it:
1) Does the slipcover wash up nicely? I have cats, so I would imagine I would like to wash it on a fairly regular basis. Does it shrink, lose its softness, fade?
2) Has anyone ever tried painting the legs on it? That's the one thing I don't love. I also saw that IKEA sells some grey metal legs that you can replace them with - anyone ever tried those?

Thanks everyone!
posted by anotheraccount at 7:16 AM on May 3, 2012

Here's a nice photo of a Karlstad with gray cover and nicer legs. IKEA covers have different washing instructions, so be sure to read them carefully. Some of them are dry clean only.

I have cats as well, and I wash my covers on a semi-regular basis. I wash on hot and line dry. It hasn't shrunk and it's only gotten softer. It has faded a little, but that might be because of the sun more than the washing. My friends have the more expensive "dry clean only" cover for their Ikea couch and I think it looks much better and feels less squishy. This might only apply to the Kivik, however. Vacuuming might be easier than washing.
posted by hooray at 8:09 AM on May 3, 2012

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