what do you do when you can’t fit a conventional sofa through the door? beverly merz’s solution is this 5 seater sectional cum sofa bed made from ikea mattresses and footstools. i like how the solsta pallbo footstools are smartly disguised and made into storage.

“when i moved into a fifth-floor walk-up in a boston bow-front, i realized that conventional furniture couldn’t make it up the narrow winding staircase. i devised this corner sectional from ikea parts and a few things from home depot. it can seat 5 or sleep 2.

here’s the recipe:

2 sultan sturefors twin mattresses
2 packs sultan legs
10 solsta pallbo footstools
20 short bungee cords (optional)
8-10 yards sturdy fabric
2 clotheslines (optional)
1 1’x8′ pine board
1 1’x6′ pine board
1 1’x3′ pine board
2 gate hinges
1 hook and eye latch

saw, drill, screwdriver, industrial stapler, sewing machine, scissors


  1. sew covers for mattresses and pallbo cushions. (cushion “caps” need to cover at least 3″ of wooden base.) if you want to band the edges of the cushions and mattresses, clothesline can be worked into the seams.
  2. cut two 16″ pieces from 3″ board. attach each 16″ segment to longer boards with hinge. staple fabric to each of two “L” shaped boards. attach legs to mattresses and put covers on.
  3. push mattresses together at right angles against adjoining walls.
  4. place pallbos on surface of mattresses, cushion out, wood base against wall.
  5. fit upholstered, hinged boards over wood sides of pallbos so the butt ends meet at the corner. attach hook and eye at underside of boards to secure them in place.
turn it over for storage

a footstool ready to get into position

bonus: if you want to use these as beds, you can store all the bedding you’ll need in the pallbos. i stretch bungee cords over the bottoms of the pallbos to hold everything in place. if you’re more ambitious, you could make lids for them. when stacked up, the pallbos make a nice headboard.”

more photos with notes on flickr.