Friday, August 23, 2013

Couch Hunting in the Czech Republic

Until recently we were on the market for a new couch to go with our new loft apartment. If you've been following my pinterest account, you probably guessed that by now. Along with the couch we wanted a dinning room table and chairs. Nothing to fancy but we did have some ideas of what we wanted.

First on the list the couch (since I'm sitting on it). Ideally it had to cover these basic points:

  • be affordable (didn't expect that did you?)
  • can be turned into a bed, if needed
  • have slip cover which we can wash 
  • have an ottoman side or lounge
  • be solid and practical
  • go well with the wood floors, posts and beams in the flat
We scouted the usual suspects in the Czech Republic, the first one being Ikea, the others being big brand stores present on the market here (Kika, XXXLutz are just the biggest names). The big brands had huge halls full of couches (and other furniture, but let's focus) and after visiting about 5 or 6 such big brands and some small ones thrown in the mix, we had the feeling that we had seen the same things over and over again. And we did. They all had the same or nearly the same couches, the prices and special offers - best price guaranteed, here - were different. My feet were killing me after walking for km in show rooms.

Essentially their couches were all variations on this model I found a picture of here but the ones we found in real life were either faux leather or upholstery.

I don't even know any normal Czech person with a living room large enough for such a couch. We calculated one such sectional couch at 10sqm. That is the size of a bedroom! But let me finish the story.

After visiting Ikea and giving a second chance to a shop close by we were left with 2 choices. Only two options and we are not even that picky, really. On one hand we had the Kivik from Ikea and on the second, the one we ended up buying.

Remember my above list? We had to narrow it down because of budget limitations. It seems that if you want your couch to act as a spare bed you have to pay the price of a second couch. Same if you want a lounge side but a separate ottoman is a good option.

Even if in the end we didn't go for the Kivik (the other couch was on sale and available right away, 300m from our house), Ikea was still the best option, I have to admit. And did I mention that for the chairs I had the same horror story? Guess where we got them from in the end.

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