Four Legs + HOUSE: Newburgh

Sometimes the dogs win.

As I’ve alluded to (more than once), Fritz likes to chew. A lot. His teething “phase” has gone on for about 6 month now, despite bitter sprays, plenty of chew toys, and good, old-fashioned rationalizing (more effective than anything, frankly). He especially likes piping, which our old (and by “old” I mean we bought it a year ago) sofa had a whole lot of. It’s too depressing to photograph, but suffice to say the sofa I spent months agonizing over and then finally finding and buying at the DWR Annex now looks like a hobo should be sleeping on it in a shanty town under the Manhattan Bridge.

Enter the $500 replacement sofa from IKEA:

Not bad, right? It’s the KARLSTAD, with the Sivik dark gray slipcover. I went with the optional aluminum legs instead of the included birch ones, because I prefer a less blocky base and there’s already a whole lot of wood going on in my living room. Now, if anything horrible happens, I can just replace the slipcover. I’m trying to avoid that, though, and have been covering the sofa with a canvas tarp (yes, this is my life) whenever I have to leave the house for an extended period of time. So far, so good (though the tarp has seen better days!).

It’s actually very comfortable, and I don’t have any concerns about the durability. I had an IKEA sofa (the now-discontinued FALSTERBO) for years, and only gave it up because a sectional doesn’t work in this house. No, it’s not an heirloom piece, but that’s okay. I’ll have a slipcover made for the “old sofa”, and it can go in the forthcoming 2nd-floor lounge. All is well.

And yes, that’s a coffee table. FINALLY. It only took me 3 years to make a decision, and this is definitely the right one. It’s the Urban coffee table from CB2 (discontinued; I think I bought the last one), and it’s made of steel—which I’m pretty sure is Fritz-proof.

Always remember: Pets (and children, or so I hear) are more important than furniture. Sometimes you have to adjust your life a little, and settle for a compromise. (I’m not sure what Fritz is giving up, of course, but that’s beside the point.)


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  • Reply Karrey January 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    It’s amazing what we’ll do for the pets (and people) we love. As a cat owner, I’ve had to resign myself to the fact that I may never have a scratch-proof couch. I need to do some research to see if IKEA has any couch slipcovers like what they used for their PS chairs, because it seems that no matter how viciously the cats sharpen their claws on mine, it never shows a mark.

  • Reply faroutbrusselsprout January 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    The dogs/kids ALWAYS win!

    Be sure to buy an extra pair of covers. I bought a sofa from Ikea after being assured that it would be around forever so there was no need to buy replacement covers straight away. Sure enough a year later it was discontinued. Did I mention it’s canvas? White. And we have a 2 year old.

    Well I bleached the crap out of the current covers and they’ve come up good as new, but for how long I’m not too sure.

  • Reply Tiger January 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I like Karlstad!

  • Reply euni January 6, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Ahhh!!! Fritz is sooo ridiculously adorable, I can’t take it. He reminds me of a little kid that is all sweaty, gross and full of dirt; but he’s so cute, all you want to do is give him a big squeeze. 🙂

  • Reply Anne (in Reno) January 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    A slipcover seems totally practical here – and the dark gray looks so good! Esp. with the steel coffee table, very industrial chic. But what I really want to know is, where are those adorable pillows from? I love the pattern!

  • Reply trupeach January 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    yeah, i think i’d do almost anything for those big pup eyes. the new sofa is a winner.

  • Reply tenillle January 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    the cutest little terror you could ask for. the replacement couch looks great.

  • Reply katie c January 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    i love the gray cover! we just bought our very first non-IKEA sofa, and as soon as it arrives, we will be getting rid of our klippan…(and i totally feel you on the dogs…we have two 50+ pound ones and they DESTROYED the ikea sofe. i bet it looks worse than yours, for SURE!)

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    faroutbrusselsprout: Yeah, I’m afraid of that happening, so I’m planning to buy another slipcover every time I go to IKEA. (You know about Bemz, right? A little pricey, but at least it’s an option.)

    euni: In Fritz’s defense, I must say he’s an exceptionally CLEAN dog! He’s very into washing himself (and Bruno, and me, and Evan…), and he smells a little bit like a Snickers bar. 🙂

    Anne: The small pillows are made from Eames Small Dot pattern fabric in yellow. And if Fritz eats them, he has to move out.

  • Reply katie January 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Oh I feel your love/pain relationship with your pets Anna!!! My two cats clawed the heck out of my Nikkala sofa (and also puked on it several times too!), but I was lazy with picking up extra slip covers at Ikea and finally when I couldn’t take it anymore it was discontinued. Lesson learned! We got a new Bemz cover last winter and it is holding up pretty well. We also got the cats a scratching post too. Definitely grab a few extra slipcovers while you can. Bemz is a nice fall back, but definitely more expensive than what you can get at Ikea.

    I’ve joked with my husband that we either have really nice furniture or pets. But I’d never give up their cuddles for anything!

    That’s one adorable photo of Fritz!!!

  • Reply adele January 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Oh, I feel your pain on losing or learning to re-love a piece of furniture with it’s new ‘look’. I have 3 Huskies and they are created that fair share of unique pieces in my home.

    The picture of your dog is perfect – looks slightly crazed and mischievous. Perfect ending to your post.

    First time posting btw, but found your blog recently and I think it’s fab. I saw the crappola going on over at AT and pat you on the back for defending yourself.

  • Reply adele January 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Ooh great, here I am sending my first comment and it HAS to be full of typos doesn’t it? Typical, just typical!

  • Reply puck January 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    yep… i am in the club, too….

    my cat, who really is a sweetie. really! he needs to be declawed ASAP. i spent hours painting and recovering a chair i picked up at goodwill for my office (in the cutest Tina Givens fabric EVER). and he has torn the hell out of the fabric. 🙁

    bad kitty!!!

    he refuses to use the scratching post.

  • Reply a different anna January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    is kenneling him/confining to a different room of the house not an option?

    as a dog owner myself, I found this method to be a lifesaver for a certain period of my dog’s life (ie, the housetraining part). yes, pets are more important than furniture, but constantly replacing furniture (or in my case, area rugs) is not cheap or fun!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    puck: Please don’t have your kitty declawed! Try Soft Paws. I know several people who have used them on their cats, and they really do work. 🙂

    a different anna: The dogs (we have two) are already confined to the downstairs of the house. Unfortunately, if Fritz is contained in even less space, he will just chew the moldings instead. (Sigh.) Since the dogs are often left alone for a long time, we really don’t want to put them in crates — they need each other, and they need some space. This is a workable solution for us, and it’s the right thing for our dogs. They’re both under 10 pounds, though, and are pad-trained. I realize this might not be the best solution for someone with larger dogs.

    And we’ve decided to just not have rugs. 🙂

  • Reply alex January 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    My 40lb dog wrecked about a thousand dollars worth of furniture (solid wood, antique, textiles) and I’d tried all the things you’ve mentioned.

    What really worked for me was two things: a lot of exercise. My dog chewed out of boredom – he’s smart and energetic so letting him be alone he’d chew out to relieve energy. If you can’t do an hour of walk a day (like 1/2hr morning and night), try giving your dog smart toys like having him eat out of a think toy. This totally tires them out and makes them earn dinner – dogs love it.

    The other thing was Bachs Rescue Remedy spray. Totally 100% natural (you can get it at Whole Foods). A few spritz behind my dogs ears and it totally reduced his anxiety (heightened when I went out).

    I have been able to confidently buy furniture and have people over without any chew marks (knock on unchewed wood!).

  • Reply Monica January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I love the Karlstad and just ordered one this weekend (Black Tufted Leather). I loved the grey one you ordered but I have a 4 year old and the cream fabric covered sofa I currently have looks awful. Hopefully this one will hold up better. Never thought I would order a leather sofa. Like you said, “you have to adjust your life a little”. Looking at yours I am thinking I should have gotten the metal legs though…

  • Reply kate January 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Looks great! My dog went through that same chewing phase, except he would only chew things in my purse! He would get into my purse and pull out things to chew on. I think I went through about 10 pairs of sunglasses! Not to mention a new ipod! But what can ya do? He’s our baby.

  • Reply zee January 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I think the new sofa looks great- I’m a big fan of the Karlstad.

    Our red leather-look sofa was by no means my dream sofa when we bought it, but it was robust and easy to clean, making it pet-friendly, and so function won out over form. Covering it with cute pillows makes up for the fact that I’m not that fond of it- although all of the pillows are put away in a cupboard when we’re out of the house, as it would be carnage otherwise.

    I love rugs as a way to define a space and it really pains me that we can’t really have them – poor old Polly had two C sections before she came to us (way to go, cruel idiot former owner) and had to have another operation last year – as a result her bladder control isn’t top notch and she can have accidents. The chevron rug I have my eye on will only be put down occassionally just to scratch my rug-loving itch, and thankfully is machine washable.

    Anyway. All I’d intended to say was thanks for another wonderful, insightful post Anna. With all the AT hullabaloo, I had wanted to mention that it is these sort of thoughtful snapshots of home life that elevate Door Sixteen above other home design blogs- homes aren’t just about design, they’re places to live in; a sentiment which I think is especially embodied by bloggers like you and also Nicole at Making It Lovely. Props for that – Happy New Year x

  • Reply Suzanne January 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    The table and sofa look awesome together! I love the throw pillows, did you sew them yourself or acquire them from someone/someplace?

  • Reply Krystle January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I bought that same couch with the brown slipcover a few months ago and we love it. We wanted to go with the aluminum legs but thought they’d dig into the carpet in our rental.

  • Reply Emma January 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I have exactly the same sofa!
    Maybe you already know, but if you don’t, they sell covers for almost every IKEA sofa there is. I suspect IKEA is actually behind the whole thing… Hmm…

  • Reply jja January 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    As a cat owner (vivid cat!) I do have to compromise a lot, and I agree – furniture comes and goes, pets stay :-))

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Alex: My dogs definitely need more walking, but gosh…they must be the only dogs on earth who actually RUN AND HIDE when they hear their leashes! It’s ridiculous. Bruno (who is a perfect angel and would never dream of chewing anything) is nearly 6 years old, and he still doesn’t look forward to walks. And they’re so little…and it’s so cold out…and and and…excuses, I know. I need to be more authoritative with walks!

    Monica: The legs are sold separately! You can buy them at any time, and attaching them couldn’t be easier. 🙂

    Zee: Thank you. xox And give sweet Polly a hug from me.

    Suzanne: I bought them years ago from someone in Brooklyn who had bought the Eames fabric in bulk (see link above in my reply to Anne) and sewed them, but now you can buy them directly through the Eames Office.

  • Reply kim@dti January 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Funny how a dog so tiny can be so destructive. I feel your pain – but only somewhat as my clan of 6 kitties seem to generally leave couches alone. Now, the new kilim ottoman I got for Christmas isn’t doing so well…

  • Reply cindi January 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    1. it looks so super. I might have to buy that couch.
    2. I must confess that I love now knowing that you put a tarp over it when you leave. Your pictures are always so beautiful, I would never have imagined that there was pet destruction going on! I do the same thing with my couch otherwise the dog fur and drool from my big mutt would be ever present. Unfortunately, I have not totally figured out the solution to cat clawing.
    3. that picture of fritz is so cute.
    As always, love the blog.

  • Reply Leah January 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Okay, enough lurking already! Love the blog, love your commentary … who you are totally shines though. Love it!

    Said love three times in my first commment – things are starting off well 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca January 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I have doggie envy, what a sweetie! It is great to see such a beautiful space that manages to have people and pets living in it – really great to hear the tricks you have been using to keep it that way.

  • Reply abigail January 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Isn’t it true! Our furniture is often covered with mismatched throws to hide or prevent cat scratching. And slobbering. I am always sponging away slobber marks.

    @puck and other cat owners: different cats like different material – carpet, sisal, cardboard, wood. Denim too – one of our cats was declawed by previous owners and still scratches my jeans like crazy! You may want to try a few other options. Maybe cover the post with whatever you used on your chair?

  • Reply erin@designcrisis January 6, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Necessity is the mother of invention, no? And sometimes constraints make us more creative and/or focused. I think you did a lovely job balancing your needs with your wants, and we are certainly preparing to do the same for our forthcoming bundle of (extremely messy) joy!

  • Reply Julie January 6, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I love the couch and your dog is such a cutie.

    My little terror – all 15 pounds – has to be crated whenever I leave the room.
    Even if it is only for 5 minutes. She eats everything! Last week she ate some
    papers for work!! I would have to create a totally paper, fabric, wood, etc. free
    room if I wanted to leave her out unsupervised.
    This has been a life time problem with her, she is 9 years old. It is not helped
    by the fact that she has to take steroids everyday.
    Our sibes out grew their furniture eating habits. I wish she would learn from

    I only get to see our couches without their “Orvis” covers when we have company.
    At one time we had 6 cats and 4 dogs. Covering the couches with water proof covers was the only way to not have to replace them once a year.

  • Reply ashley January 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Living, as I do, with 2 dogs, 5 cats, 2 turtles, and 5 chickens, I completely understand that the pets ALWAYS win. And they’re totally worth it. Dexter, my 10-month old black lab, is way more Marley than Marley is himself. We’ve lost about 6 throw pillows (sorry, it’s true!), 3 blankets, 2 dog beds, 2 rugs (one of which was an antique tribal rug given to us as a wedding gift), and 1 lamp, not to mention one chewed on edge of a pillow sham. I trust him with nothing. Fortunately for me, whenever I’m out, I can put both dogs on a porch with the yard to run in. Crating is actually a great technique. Dogs love it, honestly. Our vet, who is also a very close friend, has 10 dogs and crates them all when she is at work. Dogs!!! They’re the best!!! And, the worst!!! The one sitting next to me just passed gas!!

  • Reply jamie January 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    It’s funny that you say he’s “Clean” because I also have a long haired Chihuahua (he looks like a slightly larger, red-haired version of Fritz) and he cleans his paws and face like a cat on a daily basis and avoids puddles and mud!

  • Reply Kathleen January 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    awe. I think the couch looks great. the pets always win in my house too…as evidenced by the fact that my muddy-pawed dog is on the sofa next to me right now (on a towel!) and my long-haired cat is lounging in a neighboring arm chair…being protected by ANOTHER towel from a ton of cat hair. The towels get stowed away when company comes over:)

  • Reply Heather January 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    If you’re looking for any new suggestions to save your couch, you might want to try putting a few sheets of aluminum foil on the couch seats when you’re not using it. The sound and feeling of it is enough to turn most dogs off from hopping on your sofa (and subsequently chewing it). An advantage of this is that dogs are usually conditioned away from trying to get on the furniture at all, as they grow to associate it with the unpleasantness of the foil. I do know people that have done this, with good results, but I write this with my dog in my lap – on my couch!

  • Reply Amanda January 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    That made me roar with laughter. I read that last comment then took a look at the last photo. How can you resist?! 😀

  • Reply Amanda January 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    BTW the room looks fantastic!

  • Reply Jill January 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    He sure is cute… no wonder he wins!

    Like the sofa… looks great with the marigold pillows!

  • Reply Fiona January 6, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I think the sofa is really nice. It always surprises me when I see well-chosen Ikea items in a nice setting, because I’d never guess they were Ikea.

    I have a leather sofa that I think is too big and blocky for my room, but with a husband who spilled a bowl of chili on his bachelor couch, a toddler, and a cat, I’m sticking with it for a while longer. At least it’s comfortable, and it’s a nice sofa–just too big.

    When I was growing up, our 8-pound poodle DESTROYED our sofa one afternoon. He just got hold of some fabric in his mouth and kept pulling. My roommate in college had a dog who did the same thing with our linoleum floor in the kitchen. It was curled up at a seam just a tiny bit, and somehow, he pried up a whole strip. It was ugly.

  • Reply Fiona January 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Oh, and my friend’s cat destroyed her DWR chair that was not from the annex, and probably cost a fortune. It was pristine for about a week. She was so sad.

  • Reply Laura January 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    your dog is ridiculously cute!

  • Reply julia buckingham edelmann January 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    At the end of the day…what would you choose to save from a natural catastrophe??? Your pooches fer sure!
    Design can be replicated!

  • Reply jennifer in sf January 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Well I think the new couch looks great. I have a cat-rug problem, and think its going to be solved in a similar way. Out with the designer, in with the Ikea!

    Also, I’m quickly approaching the 3 year mark on needing a coffee table, and I haven’t even decided what shape I want. Sigh.

  • Reply em January 6, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    omg with that face, he’s totally worth it 😉

    plus it looks fantastic!

  • Reply donna January 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Boy can I relate. My pup decided to chew on my brand new $500 rug the day after it arrived. She seems to like working her way through the underside and made a quarter-sized hole in it. She eventually left it alone but she’s still been known to get at the doormats and our shoes. She seems to be growing out of it though. She has tons of toys but prefers rugs I guess. We also flip our sofa’s cushions up on their side every time we leave the house to discourage our other dog (who sheds tons of hair) from sitting on it. He lives for the days we forget to flip them!
    Still, inconveniences aside, I can’t imagine my life without them..

  • Reply yvette January 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Hi, Anna. I feel your pain!

    Our new dog has developed a chewing habit and started chewing on our Sater sofa from Ikea (we originally wanted the Andre sofa from Room and Board and were we glad we changed our minds!). Our other dog previously had a taste for rugs, but thankfully, he hasn’t chewed lately (we have yet to replace our hole-y rug). The living room is actually blocked off with pet gates but we’ve also discovered that our new dog is Houdini-like and in the living room by the time we came home.

    We need a plan B, methinks. If they weren’t so cute, I tell ya!

  • Reply Adam January 6, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I’m totally in love with it, and I believe a KARLSTAD will be coming to live with me this summer (unless I decide I can re-cover the one in your basement), along with 2 new chairs for the living room. Chloe likes to dig at things before she lies down and my sofa has taken a beating, plus it is 9 years old and gets a lot of lounging from me. Those two pillows are to DIE for!! It looks awesome!

  • Reply Jules January 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Yes, we have a $500 green sofa from Macy*s (the Corona)because we have two dogs and 2 boys (age 4 and 2) we are clearly outnumbered and didn’t stand a chance with anything more expensive.

    I hate to say it, but I actually like this IKEA sofa more than the DWR. Or, rather, I love the dark slip cover against those light walls. It may be IKEA, but you make it look like a million bucks.

  • Reply mixette January 7, 2009 at 1:36 am

    The aluminum legs really move that couch up a notch; it looks great.

    Yesterday I ordered a queen size quilt from Utility Canvas (they look like mover’s blankets) in charcoal grey to cover my much-beloved and very-agonized-over B&BItalia couch that I finally broke down and bought last year. My 2 dogs just adore sleeping on that couch. And I’m OK with that. Sigh.

  • Reply Mister Koji January 7, 2009 at 2:09 am

    I just started reading your blog (absolutely love it!) and I unfortunately can relate to your pup dilemma! I have a young French basset at home and she is teething and decided to go straight for my newly purchased karlstad’s right arm rest. Since then I have resorted to placing these large african masks I own on the couch every time I leave the house for any amount of time as she is deathly afraid of them. It works, but I’m just curious to see how visitors will react one day when they see them creepily arranged on my sofa..

  • Reply Mister Koji January 7, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Oh, and thanks to you I’m definitely going to buy that dark slipcover and those sleek aluminum legs! (hopefully the teething will be over soon)..

  • Reply read me... January 7, 2009 at 4:39 am

    I feel for you… I bought a lovely small 2 seater soafa from Vincon in Barcelona, perfect proportions in a handsome dark grey wool, for our small second sitting room… COMPLETELY SAVAGED by a very naughty cat. But as you say, I’d not be without the scruffy stray who decided to live with us… so will put up with the eyesore…

  • Reply Claire January 7, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Hi Anna,

    It’s my first time posting on your blog but I’ve been reading it daily for months now. Absolutely love your blog – especially the doggie posts!
    So glad you posted about the Klippan as we’re thinking of buying one this month but weren’t 100% sure. It looks so great in your house that we’ll definitely go for it now! Love the grey colour as well, hopefully they have it here in Ireland. Is it very comfortable? Our couch at the moment is sooooooo comfortable but quite hideous looking, hence the need for a replacement 🙁 I’ve heard that the klippan covers can be quite difficult to put on when they need replacing. Did you find this?
    We have two doggies as well and like the previous poster mentioned, we’ve found the best way to stop chewing and other bad behaviour is to up their exercise. If more walks aren’t an option you could try feeding Fritz and Bruno a good portion of their daily food intake in kong toys. There’s also another food dispensing toy they’d love called a Buster Cube (although that can be quite noisy on hardwood floors). These toys tire the doggies out mentally as well as physically which should make them less likely to chew. I’ve heard great things about plug in DAP diffusers and rescue remedy as well but have never used them.

  • Reply Su January 7, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Another new reader here. Such a beautiful blog to follow.

    The sofa that lasted. A beautiful large sofa, which out-stayed the children, plus the cat. The sofa eventually went with the youngest son when he moved in with mates, and they destroyed it.

    Cats, dogs, even children never destroy quite so completely as young men!

    Now I’m looking into sharing my home with a rescued greyhound or two, the ultimate couch potato! And Fritz is gorgeous…he is just too cute!

  • Reply Claire January 7, 2009 at 5:40 am

    woops – I meant to say Karlstad, not Klippan. I have Ikea on the brain this week!

  • Reply Suski January 7, 2009 at 7:29 am

    I should be working now and not reading blogs, so I have no time to read other comments so forgive me if these have been said before.

    I live in a really small appartment with three bull terriers, which are really active and powerfull dogs and the elements of getting my home destroyed are there. But they hardly ever try chewing any of my furniture!
    I think my secret is the amount of activating toys I give them. Toys I fill with food and treats so they don’t get bored with them.

    “Normal” toys like plush or squeeky toys keep them occupied for a while but eventually they get bored of them. There are best ones that work even for my over active male for hours:

    Canine Genius Leo toy (choose the MiniLeo for chihuahua):

    Kong toys (size S for Fritz)

    Everlasting Dog Toy

    And I also use lots of raw bones (from cow, reindeer and moose for example). Keeps them away from making trouble and also cleans their teeth.

    IF they how ever want to test their teeth on something, I put a small piece of tape (the kind that you use when painting and renovatin, not the slippery plastic tape) on the thing they want to eat and add Tabasco on it. After one taste, they remember that chewing my stuff isn’t so fun after all… 😀 And then I remove the tape and my furniture stays clean from the Tabasco.

    Hope any of these tips helps you!

  • Reply Ian January 7, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Awesome! Gotta love the Karlstads! I have two and two doggies, Basil, my staffie bull terrier just chewed a nice little hole in the arm of mine, so new cover time soon! 🙂

  • Reply erin lang norris January 7, 2009 at 9:26 am

    good to know that i’m not the only one who takes 3 years to find a coffee table! although i still haven’t found one! i know exactly what i want- i think that’s what the problem is. i’ve been wanting to make one for about a year, but it’s just something that hasn’t happened yet. soon, though…hopefully.

  • Reply Cait January 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I have had my eye on that sofa for a few weeks now, but I was concerned about how comfortable it was. Glad to hear good things about it!

  • Reply radewey January 7, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I am sooo jealous I have been eyeing that couch for a while. I love how simple the design is.
    By the way I am a new reader of ‘door sixteen’ and I absolutely love it. I really appreciate your sincerity that comes through in some of the things you write. You make readers feel like they are good friends with you.
    Love it! Keep up the good work!

  • Reply April January 7, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I’ve got a little cavalier spaniel and so far I’ve been lucky enough that she hasn’t munched on my furniture. She has however peed on my couch, much to my chagrin. Ah well. They’re so cute that it barely matters.

  • Reply Monica Duarte January 7, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Hello Anna,

    First of all, I love your blog, love your 2 dogs.

    For them I think we do everything.

    Big kiss all the way from Portugal

  • Reply Eva January 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I have the same sofa(and cover)and I love it. My 2yo son is very active and messy and this sofa works perfectly for us.

    The coffee table looks great.

    Fritz is sooooo cute!

  • Reply lillie January 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    that sofa looks GREAT. love the color too. i am also very curious: where did you find the little table/shelf/unit in the background of the second picture? i think it’s exactly what i’ve been looking for in my “landing strip” area. thank you!!

    PS congratulations on the AT nomination & placement!

  • Reply Sugar January 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Oh my gosh!!!! I was dumbfounded when I saw Fritz! He looks so much like my Buck. What sort of dog is he? No one has been able to tell me what Buck is, well was. He is so sweet and the house looks lovely.

  • Reply Averill January 7, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    About two weeks after my now-husband moved in with his cat, the cat had completely destroyed my red linen easy chair. My solution? I bought a white slipcover from Ikea that fit it perfectly and moved it into the bedroom (where the cat isn’t allowed). And now we only purchase upholstered furniture that is either (a) cheap enough we don’t care if she uses it at a scratching post or (b) soft/smooth enough she doesn’t want to use it as a scratching post.

    Ah, the sacrifices we make for animals (and the husbands they come with).

  • Reply Averill January 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Btw, I really like the new sofa. Gray is a great choice for that room.

  • Reply Sarah January 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    This post and the comments are making me feel so much better. I’m in the pets vs. furnishings boat with a lot of you…

    Anyhow, love your new sofa and love Fritz!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    jamie: How funny. I wonder if that’s a Chihuahua thing, because that’s exactly how Fritz cleans himself! Both of my dogs (the other one, Bruno, is half Chihuahua) avoid puddles/mud like the plague, too. 🙂

    Heather: I could not live without my dogs being allowed on the sofa. That’s not an option! They sleep in bed with us, too. Under the covers! (Cesar Millan would NOT approve!)

    Mister Koji: I laughed out loud reading about your African masks!! That’s hilarious — at least until your Basset decides she thinks the masks are more tasty than they are scary. 😉

    Claire: That’s OK, I knew you meant Karlstad! Anyway, yes, I find it quite comfortable. The cushions are the all same on both sides, too, so they can be reversed to wear evenly. Putting the cover on isn’t too hard — I think it took my husband and I about 30 minutes working together. The key is to go slowly, making sure the seams are lined up properly. IKEA sofas definitely do have very fitted covers, though, which is what makes them look so tailored. I much prefer this look to a baggy slipcover, so I don’t mind the time it takes. (And yeah, we have all of the Kongs and Buster balls, etc. — but he still likes to eat piping!)

    Suski: Thank you for the help. 🙂 I already have a couple of those toys (among others), and they definitely DO provide a distraction for Fritzy, but he does like to snack on fabric regardless! It’s getting better, though. I think.

    lillie: That’s an Arthur Umanoff bar cart. I found it at a junk shop for $30 (this photo is pre-restoration), but they do turn up every now and then on eBay. The manufacturer is Raymor, if that helps. 🙂

    Sugar: Fritz is a long-haired Chihuahua. He sort of looks like a pygmy goat, though. Or a Gremlin. Or Yoda.

  • Reply Katja January 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Oh he’s so cute! and your livingroom looks beautiful – we have the same sofa (in white. thank god for the slipcovers, we’ve had to pop them in the washing machine for a few times already because of cat vomit…) and we really like it, it’s really comfortable. I just hope we would have picked the same legs for it that you did, those look so good!

  • Reply Jill January 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Hi From Canada!

    Cozy, wonderful, friendly blog! It’s my first time viewing
    your blog and I’ll be back!


  • Reply Adam January 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Chloe sleeps in my bed with me and under the covers as well. She starts out at the foot of thr bed and works her way up to the front by morning.

  • Reply Amanda January 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Oh Fritz is the cutest thing ever! You’re making my lack-of-dog pains excruciating.

  • Reply purejuice January 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    that bad boy????!!!!! is obviously giving up running, raping and pillaging with his PACK.

  • Reply Elena January 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Fritz is a little doll!

  • Reply kat January 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    I think this sofa looks just as great in your living room as the last one, the dark grey is very nice and the metal legs were a perfect choice. When my dog was a puppy I had a brand new ivory wool rug (what was I thinking?!?!) and no matter how many chewies I bought him he decided the corners of that rug were all his! Pets over furniture every time 🙂
    Off topic… are those coasters stacked on your table marble with cork in the center? I dearly need some new coasters and those look so nice.

  • Reply Beth Lee Segal January 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    If not for the contest, and seeing you as a runner-up, I wouldn’t have known about this great site. So I am glad they had one. Why do people have to criticize in such a negative way? Why not…stop reading instead? Fritz is a real heart-breaker. Did anyone mention filling a baby Kong (rubber toy that rolls and can have goods stuffed in it) with peanut butter, if vet says Fritz isn’t too young, put it in freezer; he will spend hours trying to get it out and it will melt verrrrry slowly.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    kat: Yes, those are coasters! Fritz-proof coasters, I might add. 😉 The only think I don’t like about them is that they’re not big enough for the base of most wine glasses.

  • Reply amanda January 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Hi! Been a lurker for a LONG time now, love your blog!

    Love the new sofa and I think that thats a good chew toy for Fritz! Ol Bugger!

  • Reply Regan January 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    There is no way our two dogs could sleep in our bed with us. One is eight pounds and I think we would crush her as we both thrash around in our sleep. But they do sleep on the floor(with many blankets and cushions!) at the foot of our bed- I am all about the pack sleeping together.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Regan: Fritz and Bruno are 7 and 10 pounds respectively, and we haven’t smooshed them yet! Helps us save on heating bills, too — they’re like little furnaces.

  • Reply Dewi January 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Sadly I live with a shamata on my beautiful sofa. If you ring my door bell unexpectedly you see the shamata or me pulling it off the sofa. Very ugly indeed, but you don’t have to sit in dog hair if you visit my house!

    Oh the dogs, good thing we love them so much.
    I hope you did not throw out the old sofa!

    PS. You are a well deserved winner of a Homie !

  • Reply JuliaL January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I hope you enjoy your Karlstad. I have one too and I love it. Mine has the chaise lounge attached. My boyfriend, dog, two cats, and me can comfortably lay on it and watch TV. I have mine in natural, so I keep it covered with blankets and sheets when it’s just us. Otherwise, it would be covered in muddy paw prints. Plus keeping it covered helps it last longer (even if it’s very grandmotherly).

    Anyway, hope you enjoy yours as much I as enjoy mine.

    X- Julia

  • Reply decor8Holly January 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I have the exact sofa (with chunky wood legs) in white and LOVE it. It’s fun to see what it would look like in charcoal. This is altogether fantastic. It’s such a comfy sofa, too.


  • Reply Jan's camera January 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    He is just too cute! with those big ears. Good excuse to buy a new sofa. Woof!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente January 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Ohdeargod….he is THE cutest thing I have ever seen! What kind of doggie is he? I adore him! Lovely couch and lovely table and yes, the dogs and the children always win! 🙂

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 7, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Melissa, he’s a long-haired Chihuahua! 🙂

  • Reply Courtney January 8, 2009 at 3:35 am

    Oh, Anna, I can’t tell you how much I adored this post! Most especially that it was capped off with the most adorable photo of Fritz- who could resist a face like that??

    My husband and I have two dogs, and the bigger of the two (80 lbs) has rather destroyed our IKEA sofas, which, thankfully, are slipcovered, and I can bleach the heck out of them. The little one (20 lbs) chewed on the legs of an antique bench in our house (the nicest piece of furniture I own!) at some point during his puppy phase.

    But, in the end, pets ARE certainly more important than furniture- I might adore my bench, but the feeling surely isn’t mutual. And while I might cringe sometimes at the damages, the trade-off- having two amazing and loving dogs- is more than worth it.

    And I think the new sofa looks fab and so lovely in your space!

  • Reply hollandv January 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Love your pets-before-mere furniture philosophy. I have eight rescued dogs–mostly elderly, all indoor-dwellers of course–so chewing isn’t much of an issue, but shedding and accidental plotzing are. It’s the life I’ve chosen and over time have learned what furnishings can survive group-dog living and still look good.

    Long ago gave up on: carpeting and even area rugs (somebody’s always tempted to wee on them); upholstery fabrics that act like velcro to dog hair, or can’t have drool scrubbed off them; breakable objects on low tables; edible anything anywhere but high on counters or inside cupboards.

    There’s a hidden benefit to being forced to consider dog interaction with any household purchases. I end up buying less, loving my uncluttered space, and spending fewer hours-per-week cleaning–all the more time for head pats and belly rubs.

  • Reply D January 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    I love the sofa and the new coffee table. My question though is What color is the wall paint? And did you use the same throughout the whole house? I’m looking for a nice neutral/off white.


  • Reply Anna at D16 January 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    D: The wall color is Benjamin Moore Moonlight White (flat finish), and the trim is BM Simply White (satin finish). I wouldn’t describe the former as “off white”, though it is warm. It works well with other whites and with wood. And yes, I used the same whites throughout the house.

  • Reply Ahava January 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, it is so nice to see somebody else dealing with these issues. Thankfully our pup hasn’t gone after our sofa (Ikea Manstaad), but she has chewed on just about every table leg in the house.

    Ah, but when she gives me those puppy-dog eyes and cuddles into my lap, all is forgiven.

  • Reply miss ripley January 9, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Ah katie, I too love my Nikkala sofa from Ikea. When it comes to pets, slipcovers are the only way to go. I just hate trying to dry them in the winter. It’s so big and takes up most of my bathroom if I throw it over the shower enclosure. Still totally worth it though.

  • Reply helene January 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I soooo agree with your comment on animals being more important than furniture ! I leap 2 feet in the air when I hear people saying they are giving their pets away because they fear for their pricey deco !!!
    I cannot count the number of heritage XIXth century shelves and chairs that have been “slightly altered” in our home, but it never seemed to be so important compared to the love the pets can bring !
    Long live Ikea indeed !

  • Reply Nick Klaus January 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Just discovered this blog and I love it! This post and all these comments pretty much answer my question of designing for life with pets. If any readers have further stories to share, I’m collecting them this week at my blog.

  • Reply Lessie April 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Beautiful baby.

    Wonderful to read your words — that children and animals are more important than furniture. Not a big deal for me to say — but for you, someone who lives and breathes decorating, very very cool.

  • Reply Chasity June 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm


    So several questions, you have had this sofa for a while, is it still holding up well? Did you just purchase the white sofa and put the grey slipcover on your self? I want to buy this sofa in that color, but you can’t order it with the Sivik dark grey, you have to buy the slipcover seperatly! Is it difficult to get the slipcover on and looking good?

  • Reply Anna at D16 June 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    (1) Yes, the sofa still looks great – same as when we bought it.
    (2) ALL of IKEA’s sofas have removable covers. It’s not clear from the website, but you are basically paying for the sofa without anything on it, plus the cover of your choice. The sofa and cover are ALWAYS sold separately, it just looks like they come together from the way they show it on the website. You don’t need to buy a white cover unless you want one.
    (3) It takes about 30 minutes to put all of the cover components (7 pieces) on, and no, it’s not difficult. It’s not a big piece of fabric, it’s separate pieces individually tailored for each part of the sofa. You’d never know from looking that it’s a removable cover.

  • Reply Chasity June 22, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Wonderful, thanks for your help!

  • Reply Alex @ northstory January 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the post on this! We’re debating between the SIVIK grey and the KORNDAL grey and your pictures of it are very helpful.

  • Reply Todd August 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    So, approximately 4.5 years later, and if you still have it, how is the KARLSTAD holding up? I’m looking for a new sofa and like the lines of that one.

  • Reply mark October 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Get rid of the ill behaving dog- problem solved

    the dog is obviously lonely and if you cant take care of him its cruel to keep him. He would be happier with someone who is around more.

    This may sound harsh but he is not your child he is a pet and needs people around.

    • Anna @ D16 October 5, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      So…you replied to a post from nearly FIVE years ago to tell me this?

      I did not and will not ever be getting rid of my “ill-behaving” dog, but thanks for the abhorrent suggestion. In case you’re not aware, sometimes puppies — no matter how well cared for or tended to — go through a chewing phase. Thankfully Fritz’s ended…oh, about FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO.

      You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. You know nothing about my life, my dogs, my home or how my dogs are cared for. Pack up your presumptions and accusations and spend some time focusing on actual animal cruelty if you actually care about making a difference and not just trolling blog posts from half a decade ago.


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