Big Problems and Slow Solutions

The Great Sofa Search, part 3

Yes, the fish tank coffee table is awesome, but look at the sofas!

Yes, the fish tank coffee table is awesome, but look at the sofas!

They have arrived! My new sofas are lovely and really pull the room together – just like the Dude’s rug. I am enjoying them. My children are not enjoying them because the old sofas had devolved into something so unredeemable that bad furniture behavior was permitted. Jumping, burrowing, rolling, eating drinking etc. So far my children have not looked clean enough to be allowed on the new sofas except after they have taken a shower, which they traditionally do at the end of the day, leaving no time for sofa enjoyment. That is only a mild exaggeration, so obviously we are going to have to institute some new sofa rules and I will get over my enjoyment of the pristine furniture and let the chips fall where they may. This will be rough on the sofas which have no stain resistant treatment. Ah well.

The sofas’s arrival is the final step in what has been a year long process (Part 1 and Part 2 previously published) to replace my old sofas with new but more importantly, safe for a TILTed mom sofas. I checked out many furniture companies and tested a lot of sample materials before settling on Ekla Home as my source. They used organic natural latex, organic wool, organic cotton barrier cloth, FSC certified wood, recycled steel springs, non-toxic adhesives, zero VOC finishes, and organic cotton cushion fabric to make my new furniture. There are no fire retardants used in Ekla Home’s furniture, instead they rely on the fire resistant nature of other materials like wool to do the job safely. Use of chemical fire retardants in furniture continues to be one of the more high profile conflicts between the chemical industry and health advocates; here are some useful links to learn more…
Chicago Tribune’s Overview
Last week’s article in the Huffington Post
Transcript of a PBS interview of parents looking for safe baby gear

My “safe for me and the environment” sofas are are lovely to look at, comfortable to sit on, and seem very sturdy. The cushions especially are well crafted and look like they will withstand quite a bit of natural child wear. The latex smell is not strong; I have to really get my nose buried in the cushion to detect it. To clarify – I had no latex sensitivity going into this experience and I am hoping that the latex is well contained enough that I do not develop an intolerance.

The only glitch in the process has been a miscommunication in ordering long-distance; the ottoman was upholstered in the wrong fabric. Ekla Home’s solution is to ship the correct fabric to an upholsterer close to me and have it re-done here, rather than shipping the piece all the way across the country and back again. Sounds efficient and practical but of course I cannot go into an upholsterer shop so they will have to either pick up and deliver the ottoman or my husband will be drafted into yet another set of errands for me. Something I work hard to avoid because there are so many times when I can’t avoid it. It’s all part of accepting my own TILTed state but fighting to keep my family on even keel.

9 thoughts on “The Great Sofa Search, part 3

  1. How wonderful to finally have them and be ok with them!
    And regarding keeping them clean, how about making (or ordering) some washable, safe for you slipcovers?

    • It is almost silly how happy those sofas are making me – small victories, I suppose. And yes, the clever people at Ekla Home design the seat cushions so that the outer layer is removable and washable like a slip cover. There is another layer of barrier cloth cotton underneath that, which holds all the latex and wool cushion core together. Because the sofa is designed with an attached back, there is nothing to remove there, which is one of the reasons why the sofas have so many throw pillows along the backs of the sofas. Which I totally forgot to mention! Some of the pillows are new and filled with the same latex/wool/cotton layering as the sofa seat cushions and some of the pillows have been with me a while and have been re-stuffed with organic cotton batting (all with washable covers). Always with the good questions, Linda. I am starting to count on you as my after-the fact editor because your comments make me think “I meant to include that!”

      • Haha! I have learned that once our brains are chemically impaired, more heads are often better than one, because it’s impossible to remember everything, (or some things are so obvious to us we forget others may have never encountered such a thing) and sometimes some important details get left out as a result…

        And it’s incredible (not silly, although silly grins are fun too) how happy-making safe sofas (and safe toilet paper) are when it’s often such a challenge to find them!

        I hope someday to indulge in safe sofa happiness too! And I wish Ekla had an outlet in Ontario, Canada. But before that, I have to find a safe washer and dryer..
        I hope you will comfortable enjoy these for many many years to come!

  2. I found your blog looking for information about Ekla sofas. I’m also on the east coast and wouldn’t be able to sit on one before buying. Which Ekla sofa did you buy? What are your feelings about it now? Is the seat deep enough to curl your legs up under you and relax? 🙂 I think they are beautiful!

    • We bought the Tom sofas upholstered in Colombia fabric, color Natural. They sent us fabric swatches to try, which was very helpful. We are very happy with the sofas; they are comfortable and beautiful. I guess I haven’t had them long enough to comment on durability yet but everything else is a definite thumbs up. The Tom sofas are deep enough to curl my legs up under me, which I do all the time. However, the back and arms are not as high as other models. We knew that going in (they sent me the full specs so I could really get a sense of the dimensions before I placed my order) and preferred it that way. But if you envision leaning your head against the back of the sofa or curling up against the arms, that’s not going to work. Hope it goes as well for you as it did for us!

    • I am still enjoying! It has held up well to my kids slightly rough treatment and still looks great. I have not developed any problems with latex, so it must be pretty well contained. I would still recommend it.

  3. So! It’s been over a year and I just found this link from Elka home, how are the sofas holding up? I am having a mini stroke over buying a $3,000 dollar sofa but having bought a cheap one, I will never make that mistake again!! I want this sofa to basically last as long as my grandmothers did like 20 years or as close as possible! my current sofa is 5 years old and should have never been purchased! Complete waste of money!

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