Meet the Maker – Saustark Design…

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Around the world there must be millions of homes with an Ikea sofa.  We have one.  Our sofa was picked up on Freecycle many years ago.  A lady in Bath was moving into her boyfriends house and needed to get rid of it fast – lucky for us, we took it.

The sofa itself is still in great quality, the cushions are plump and soft and it has a lot of life left in it. But, the slip covers were old and tatty looking, I longed to change them.  Our particular model of sofa, the Nikkala, has long been discontinued by Ikea, so we couldn’t buy new slip covers direct from Ikea. Desperate to have a new looking sofa, I began my search and discovered the German company Saustark Design.

Saustark Design make slip covers for all Ikea sofas and chairs using beautiful cottons, linens and velvets in a variety of ‘on trend’ colours and patterns.  I’ve always had a hankering for a navy sofa, as it looks stylish and is not as stark as a charcoal grey or a black sofa – AND hides the dirt made by two messy boys!

The process was easy, online I chose my model of sofa, and selected my fabric swatch – done.  They arrived a few weeks later, and have transformed my once tired sofa to a new one!  A friend came over the other day and thought I had bought a brand new sofa!  Brilliant!!

I caught up with Marilen to find out a little more about Saustark Design…

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Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?

My name is Marilen Hoffstaedter and I’m from Munich, Germany. Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by IKEA and have had a knack for IKEA hacks and personalizing IKEA furniture. While studying architecture, this knack grew to be a passion that is where my idea for Saustark Design came from! I wanted to give people the chance to add a personal touch to their existing furniture. So in 2011 when I finished my studies, I founded Saustark Design in my hometown of Munich. The online boutique allows customers to individualize their IKEA furniture through selecting a sofa cover that best suits their style. In addition to sofa covers, I also post often about IKEA hacks and interior design on my blog.

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How did the idea of providing slipcovers for Ikea furniture come about?
There were really two reasons that helped me develop this idea. As I mentioned earlier, the first is that I have always loved IKEA. Yes, for its unique design and expansive selection, but mostly because of its reasonable prices. As a student, I started exploring inexpensive ways to individualize my IKEA furniture and create new IKEA hacks. I found that I was passionate about it and that other people loved the hacks as well! So in addition to my passion for individualizing IKEA furniture, I wanted to find a way to make it possible for others to customize their furniture without breaking the bank. Sofas can be pricey and since the quality of IKEA is already high, I thought a slipcover would be a great way to have a brand new sofa, without having to buy one.

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I notice you also make other soft furnishings, can you tell us more about this?
In addition to sofa covers, we offer customized curtains, blinds, quilts, cushion covers, and fabric by the meter. We offer these options so that you can match these accessories to your new sofa cover.

You have such fabulous variety of fabric and styles which will suit all homes, how do go about sourcing this?
Thank you! I personally hand pick all of the fabrics according to the newest trends and we source from all over Europe. High quality is really important to us so we use the Martindale test to measure fabric durability and ensure a long life span for the sofa cover.

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I love how on your website you can pick your Ikea sofa then choose the fabric, so simple, will you be expanding your range?
Yes! We are always expanding because we want our fabric selection to reflect current and upcoming trends. We are also really excited to launch our new product, which will allow customers to design their own sofa covers. This option will be available on our website this September. Customers can simply submit a photo or design and we’ll produce the slipcover for them! We’ll also have an option where customers can select a photo from various photo
databases to be made into a slipcover.

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What do you think is going to be this seasons must have colour in home furnishings?
Definitely pastel colours: turquoise, beige, pink, yellow, purple, pink, green etc. Pastels are great
because they can be used in so many ways. They are relaxing, bring out natural influences of other colours, and create depth when combining them with bolder patterns and colours. Its also very easy to use pastels as accents: whether it’s candles, cushion covers, or curtains. Using pastels as accents brings light into rooms and generally looks great! Speaking of which, we’re adding pastel colours to our fabric selection, which will be available in September.

Finally, where do see Saustark in the future, will you be opening a physical shop or remain online?
We will definitely be remaining online. Our goal is to provide as many people as possible with different ways to individualize their IKEA furniture. We want to become more international and we think that the possibilities online are endless.

Thank you Marilen, your idea is simply wonderful!  I love my ‘new’ look sofa!  Saustark Design are offering all Littlegreenshed readers a chance to update their old Ikea sofa by offering 10% discount.  Just use this code… 10xmles at the checkout.  Offer ends on 1st November.

Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed.  A UK lifestyle & travel blog

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.