Ikea Farlov Couch Hack + DIY

Our new house was finished in December of 2020 and had very little in the way of furniture. We had been living with my parents for about 8 years so we really just had bedroom pieces and a couple random chairs. One of the main pieces for the living room that we needed was a couch – two couches actually. I originally placed an online order through a custom couch company, knowing it would take about 10-12 weeks for it to arrive. Since everything was on backorder everywhere at that time, I was willing to wait. 

Well 12 weeks went by and I hadn’t heard anything, so I reached out and they informed me there would be an additional month delay. Fine, I already waited this long, so I’m ok with that. Over a month passes and I get no news so I reach out again. This time, I am told that the couch had shipped but been “lost” in transit. My first question was – if the couch shipped, why was I not told? I checked my spam and there was no trace of any email about the couch. The company did not have tracking info either which was a red flag that something was not right. Things happen, I get that, but this seemed more like my order had been forgotten and a little truth would have gone a long way here. I ended up asking for a refund rather than a replacement that would take a minimum of another month – assuming something else did not go wrong. But that left me with no couch, and back to the start of my search all over again.

Our local Ikea was out of pretty much everything, but while there, I found I really liked the Farlov couch’s shape and size. It looked a lot like the couch I had originally ordered but at a fraction of the price. There were 2 issues – the arms for it were on backorder for a few weeks AND the cover for it had gotten terrible reviews and was a horrible, uncomfortable fabric. The only part I could buy at that time was the back and seat and I could get the arms when they came back in stock. So that is what I did! They sat in my garage in their boxes for a few weeks while I stalked the inventory at Ikea and the day the arms came in I snatched them up! 

The covers were the second hurdle. I did not want to use the covers that Ikea had to offer and after a little online searching, I found out that there are companies who make replacement covers for any and all Ikea items. I was blown away! After a lot of research, I went with a company called Bemz. They are located in Europe and make the covers to order based on your fabric selections. They had a linen blend in a warm white that looked perfect, so I pulled the trigger. The delivery took 5 weeks, as they said it would, but that was totally fine since I actually didn’t get the arms until a couple weeks after the covers arrived anyway. The quality was fantastic and the fabric is so comfortable on my skin. It’s also a nice warm shade so it ties into the rest of our living room very well. 

After returning triumphantly from Ikea with the long awaited couch arms, I set out to assemble everything. The assemble went perfectly and was really easy, but I was so bummed by how pathetically understuffed the back and arm cushions were. The instructions said to let them decompress for a couple days since they had shipped vacuum sealed. Well, that really did not help. Everything about the couch looked super high end, especially with the new covers, but the cushions were just sad. 

I had a big box of poly fill from a project I did a while back, so I decided to try to use that to add fullness to the lackluster cushions. Upon inspection I realized that in order to add filler I would need to cut the cushions open with scissors – they were fully closed with no opening in the cushion fabric. So I carefully cut a small hole on the bottom of each cushion – just large enough to get a fist full of poly fill inside and I added the fluff till it was as full as I wanted. The fill in the cushions is actually little, slippery, poly pellets which help the cushions not get all bunched up on themselves and look lumpy. I thought that was a really nice feature, so when adding the filler, I was very careful to try to put the extra fiber in the very center – that way the pellets would be on the outer layer. It’s kind of hard to explain, so see the photos!! 

The slit in the cushion fabric – only large enough for my hand
The fill that comes in the cushions is a poly “pellet”

I actually overfilled them at first, so I had to take some out until they were the perfect amount of support and squish. Someday I want to convert them to having a down wrap on the outside or down fill inside, but this totally works for now! I did not seal the cushions shut when I was done. The holes I created were pretty small, so when I closed the zipper on the cushion cover, it did a great job holding the hole shut – a lot like just putting a bandaid on a cut on your skin – it holds it shut just fine!

We get a lot of questions about these couches and most people are so surprised that they are Ikea. I did the math and the couch we had originally ordered was $2,800 and in the end, even with the custom cover, each couch was $950. That was a huge win for me!!! 

We have now had these for 4 months as of this post and the cushions and covers are holding up perfectly. I have not had to wash the covers yet – we don’t eat in the living room, so they are staying pretty clean. But from the reviews I read on the linen blend fabric, they should launder really easily. My one word of caution with ANY cover is to never put it in the dryer. Wash and let it air dry. That way you don’t accidentally shrink it. I have had white couches for over a decade (the Ikea Ektorp with the standard white cover they used to have) and used to just wash those covers every couple months since we did allow eating on those. 

Emma loves how easily she can make little forts with the cushions

These couches were one of my biggest wins with the furniture in the new house. Emma and I have each claimed a couch (daddy gets the chair or shares with Emma) and the bench seat is SO comfy. My parent’s spent the night once before our guest room was set up and although they were planning to sleep in Emma’s bed, they loved the couches so much they chose to sleep there instead and both got a great night’s sleep! John has also taken a few naps there already. As time goes on I will update this – especially once I have to wash them!!

Hey There!

I'm Alexis - the goofy chic behind Curio Press. We just built a house in St Louis, MO and I am juggling being a mom, wife, small biz owner, and trying my best to get this house to look like a home. If that wasn't enough I battle chronic autoimmune issues everyday. I'm so glad to have you along for this crazy journey!

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