Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mr. Modtomic Puts His Money (And A Bit Time, Effort, Travel) Where His Mouth Is! Status: Already Gone!


A couple weeks ago, in the Tuscon episode of "Not My Turf" craigslist search, I found a leather sofa being proffered for $120.  I made it clear that if it weren't so far away that I'd have happily purchased it.  Then via Mr. Modtomic's super smart readership I found out it was from the dreaded IKEA and that it's called the Sater sofa.  Well guess what popped up on the StL. craigslist last night!

So yeah, I picked up an IKEA sofa...knowing full well I was buying an IKEA sofa. It's not necessarily

that I dislike IKEA products so much. I've got a number of silver aluminum candle sticks from IKEA

that I picked up secondhand. It's just that I don't want one here. So much of IKEA's business is the

Furniture version of Old Navy. Buy for the season then dump on the thrifts or in the case of large items

such as this, craigslist. Furnishings as throw away fashion. Yikes.


I've seen it so thoroughly on craigslists and thrift in cities such as Chicago and San Fran. / Berkeley.  Oh,

you might notice in the second photo below that I've forgotten to place the inner armrest pillows.  Sorry

'bout that, I woke up late after a long night and was in a rush to shoot this.  I assure you I have the pillows!


Even without the armrest pillows it's a good looking sofa!  It was listed as a "leather office style couch". 

No mention of IKEA, mid century, modern, contemporary, eames era or anything.  Just the brief

description and a phone number.  So I called...and it all went down hill from there.  I got the address -

in St. Clair Mo. - and for some reason I was thinking that was just on the other side of St. Charles Mo.,

about a 45 minute drive.  Only after I had committed to buying the sofa (to myself as much as the seller)

did realize that St. Clair was MUCH farther away than 45 minutes.  It was more than an hour -

according to Google Maps.  But even that wasn't the worst of the trip.  The sellers place was well

(WELL) off the beaten path. 


It was in a smattering of nicely built and appointed home surrounding a couple of man made lakes, but

with nothing but crumbling, aged, formerly "paved" tar / gravel roads to drive on.  Some of these roads

abruptly turned to straight up gravel lanes without notice.  And many of those shown on Google maps

did not, in fact, exist at all.  After driving around for 25 minutes trying to find a path to the sellers house

I finally gave up and had to call.  She sent her husband out to find me!  I followed him back to the house

through the maze of crumbling "streets" and just knew I'd never find my way back out.  "Ohhhh" I

thought, "I hope I don't get murdered out here...cuz even if they can track my phone, the authorities



But alas, I did get the sofa and it just barely fit IN the Focus Wagon (with the hatch shut!) and I had to

drive with my knees all bunched up against the dash and the steering wheel at my chin and my forehead

against the sun visor.  It's not a safe way to drive and I'll tell you why: no...not cuz it's really really hard

to get your foot on the break pedal even when it's Not an's because you're

accustomed to the various controls being a certain distance from your body and when I reached out to

turn up the radio I bashed my knuckles into the dashbord.  "Ouch".  But hey, you gotta do what you

gotta do!  As you've probably guessed, this will be available as soon as I vacuum out the cracker

crumbs from between the cushions.  I may already have a new owner lined up but if not...any close

by looking for a Sater?


  1. Have you considered the possibility that in large cities there are lots of, say, university students who need inexpensive furniture for a few years and then sell it on? As it happens, I went to university in St. Louis 30-some years ago, and we bought crap from students who were departing and sold it to students who were coming in. That was by word-of-mouth, newspaper classifieds, or bulletin boards (physical, not electronic), since Craigslist didn't exist.

    When IKEA first opened in the US a few years later I lived fairly close to the one of the first stores in Woodbridge, VA, and it was definitely a cut above in terms of design and quality for what they sold; that has sadly deteriorated as they strive to keep a selection of items in the same price ranges as they were 25 years ago. I still have a Princip wall storage system I bought in the late '80s and moved six times, in good condition; there are still some things that look as durable, and still superior to O'Sullivan and the like. Many of the lamps, kitchen- and tableware, and textiles are lovely.

    My biggest gripes with IKEA now are the increasing simplification of design details--e. g., replacing round dowels with chunkier square or rectangular bars in mission-style pieces, or thicker and heavier-looking square legs instead of tapered ones on dining chairs and tables; and the the increasing disappearance of wood-veneered furniture in favor of more vinyl or "foil" wrap, although some of the newer woodgrain prints are of higher-than-average quality. OTOH, I have seen articles arguing that these wraps, even if petroleum-based, are more eco-friendly end-to-end than genuine wood.

    I'd rather see people buying IKEA furniture on Craigslist than buying Brasilia and painting it black or pink like they used to. Of course, it's probable that students wouldn't be able to afford Brasilia at the prices some people are asking today.

  2. Trading out the legs on that sofa could take it to an entirely new place. The tapered stainless legs IKEA offers really dress up an average sofa for a relatively small price - especially if you got a great deal on the used sofa anyway.

  3. I brought my roommate's Sater home in a Focus hatchback. Couldn't get the hatch shut, even with the seats all the way forward. I swear that once this car dies I'm getting one of those enormous old Volvo wagons.

  4. FYI, I was the anonymous poster requesting a Tucson search from you... I ended up buying the couch you posted the next morning!!! No, it is definitely not real leather but it is pretty darn nice looking and I actually love it. Thanks for the heads up Mr.Modtomic!!!

  5. It's not bad looking and seems to be in good condition. Sometimes you never know who wants what nor why!!! I'm sure you'll sell it fast!