Late last fall we had our rotting, warped wood deck ripped out and replaced with a tumbled paver patio. The project experienced delay after delay due to incessant rain and it didn’t wrap up until late December (by which time it was way too cold in Cincinnati to be outside) so we are loving that it has gotten warm enough to finally enjoy it. Now that we have this new outdoor space, we’d love to add a sectional where we can relax and enjoy hanging out with friends and family. When my husband and I started talking about buying an outdoor sectional, what I was envisioning was something like this:
|Crate & Barrel Sanibel Lounge Set|
until I started looking at prices that is…. That was a big wake-up call – each one-seat section of Crate & Barrel’s Sanibel Sectional costs $669 or $759 (depending upon whether or not the section has an arm) and yes, that’s at their current sale price! Add up the sections and you’re looking at $3000++. Looking at other sectionals at Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc., it seems like that’s the going rate. Dropping thousands of dollars on a sectional just isn’t in the cards for us so I continued to look for something more reasonably priced and came across IKEA’s ARHOLMA sectional online. It is made of a durable handwoven plastic rattan at a very reasonable price. Each ARHOLMA corner section is $120 and each one-seat section is $90. The cushions are extra but they aren’t all that expensive. The combination of pieces to create this sectional that we saw online is $800 – MUCH more doable!
|IKEA ARHOLMA Sectional|
So a trip to IKEA was in order to check it out in person. We went up at dinner time so we could
gorge ourselves on Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice beat the traffic and then check out IKEA’s sectional options. One look at the ARHOLMA sectional and I knew it wouldn’t work for us – the color of the plastic rattan is a much lighter brown than we expected from the online picture and wouldn’t work with the color of our outdoor dining furniture. While this was STRIKE ONE for us, if you are looking for a light brown woven sectional, the ARHOLMA is comfortable, attractive, and overall a good find at a very reasonable price.
We then checked out the AMMERO sectional, which is also a woven plastic rattan. I liked the dark brown color of it much better and it is very reasonably priced – the AMMERO corner section is $139 and the one-seat section is $89.99, including the cushions. However, there are two big negatives about the AMMERO sectional – the cushions are super thin and the seat depth is only about 21.5″. We thought about trying to find thicker cushions for it elsewhere, but if you put a plush cushion on the back of it, you would be taking up a few extra inches of the already limited seating depth and would end up perched on the edge of the sectional. STRIKE TWO.
|IKEA AMMERO Sectional|
We then checked out the APPLARO sectional, which is made of solid acacia wood. It’s a fairly nice looking sectional and I like that you can get the cushions in either beige or black. The APPLARO one-seat section is $79.99 and corner section is $109 (cushions are sold separately). The turn-off for me is that since it is made of wood, it will require some maintenance. Specifically, they note that it will require reglazing with VARDA brown glazing paint, which is sold at IKEA. There are already enough things that require maintenance in our home – I don’t want to add another. STRIKE THREE.
|IKEA APPLARO Sectional|
We’re at three strikes here so we should have just hung it up, but we pushed on to explore the last two sectional options. We ruled out the ENHOLMEN sectional pretty quickly because of it’s creamy gray color, which will not work with the outdoor dining furniture that we already have. I did like the price (the ENHOLMEN corner section is $99 and one-seat section is $79) and that, once again, there was a choice of beige or black cushions.
|IKEA ENHOLMEN Sectional|
Finally, we checked out IKEA’s GARPEN sectional, which has an aluminum frame. This sectional has a few benefits – the sections are stackable for easy storage and it is the cheapest of IKEA’s sectional options at $59 for the GARPEN one-seat section and $69 for the corner section. The cushions are sold separately and are actually the same beige or black ones as used with the two previous sectionals.
|IKEA GARPEN Sectional|
What I didn’t like about this sectional is that (1) it looked cheap – kind of a “get what you pay for” situation and (2) the backs and arms of the sectional are a polyester mesh, which worries me because of the possibility of it ripping. Here’s a peek behind the cushion so you can see what I mean:
So with five options and five strikes, we have exhausted our IKEA sectional options. The search continues….
Although we’re not looking for anything other than some additional outdoor seating, were a few other outdoor items at IKEA that I thought were great. One is the AMMERO table ($199) – the neat thing about this table is that it has an extra leaf so you can have create a 90.5″ long table
|IKEA AMMERO Table|
or flip over the middle leaf, and push the two end sections together, creating a 63″ long table.
I also thought this AMMERO Storage Bench ($139) was ingenious – it comes with a custom fitted zippered bag so that your cushions are sure to stay dry.
|IKEA AMMERO Storage Bench|
I also liked this APPLARO Bench with Wall Panel and Shelf ($129.96) – a very nice, simple outdoor potting bench.
|IKEA APPLARO Bench with Wall Panel and Shelf|
Finally, these 12″ H TROSSO Pots ($24.99) were a crisp, clean white with a nice, classic shape.
|IKEA TROSSO Pot|
We didn’t leave totally empty-handed – we replenished our supply of Swedish Fish and got a few of these adorable PASKAGG Easter Eggs ($1.99 each). These aren’t your typical plastic easter eggs – they are made of paper (they look shiny in the picture because each egg is shrink wrapped in plastic), are pretty large (6″ long), come in great, bright colors
|IKEA PASKAGG Easter Eggs|