Ironstone & an Ektorp Sofa Review

I mentioned I got a new haul of ironstone last week.  Well, here it is…

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Not only is it a lot of ironstone, but a lot of really great pieces including this four piece tureen set with platter, lid and ladle.

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The details on the handles are really pretty.  I love this piece, but I already have a few tureens, so I’ll be selling it.

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Another stunning piece is this large compote.  It’s chippy, but I’m cool with that.

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…some sugar jars…

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…lidded casseroles, a couple of butter dishes, butter pats, pitchers, small plates…

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…and a huge footed bowl (behind the pitcher.)  Lots of ironstone goodness.  I need to figure out what I want to keep and put a collection together to sell.  I will list some in my online shop, but let me know if there’s something you’re interested in.  I am a little nervous about shipping ironstone, but I’m willing to give it a try.

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In my post about getting a new sofa, several people asked if I would recommend the Ikea Ektorp sofa since I’ve used it for nine years.  The simple answer…yes.  The sofa was $300 when I bought it and I’ve also bought four white twill slipcovers along the way at $50/each.


I removed all of the slips and washed them today for it to be picked up by the new owners.  Here’s how it looks without the covers…

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These are the pros to the Ektorp - 

  • It’s an inexpensive sofa, making it budget-friendly.  It does get more expensive when you get into the colored covers, though.
  • For an inexpensive sofa, it’s held up very well.  We’ve had teenagers wrestling on it for years as well as our boys as they’ve grown.
  • The slipcovers wash well and look nice.  The quality has greatly improved since the first one I owned.  The slips are still tight after a wash, but they used to rip and tear when I tried to put them on and the zippers would always break.  Now they are much nicer.
  • I loved that I could wash out a stain or spill or grunge.
  • I think it’s comfortable.  I say it that way, because my husband didn’t think so.  It does take a while for the cushions to wear in, so it feels hard at first.  I sit with my feet curled up under me, though, and he sits with his feet propped up, so that might make a difference.
  • It’s versatile, neutral and fits a variety of styles.  Even after nine years, it still looks current.  Even with all of my changes and shuffling, it still works.

…and the cons - 

  • The cushions aren’t attached, so they slide out a few inches after “movie night” or a lot of lounging.
  • The slipcovers aren’t super easy to get off and on.  When we didn’t have kids, I only had to wash them about 3-4 times/year, so that was fine.  With kids, though, they have to be washed once a month at the very least and that’s a pain.
  • After years of stuffing the cushions into covers, The foam has started to pull apart.  I was planning to fix them with some spray adhesive and new batting.

So, I think it’s a great sofa for the price and I would recommend it.


Today I had to get out of the house for some errands and Christmas shopping.  And I packed up all of the German glass glitter orders and some “secret Santa” gifts…

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…tis the season.

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  1. Wow! What a haul of gorgeous ironstone…. and lord have mercy you are putting that new camera to good use, those photos are stunning! You are great at the whole photography/staging thing! It’s also cool to hear your review on the Ectorp sofa. Sounds to me like it was alot of bang for the buck, and it has looked so pretty in your house. Can’t wait to see the new sofa though… exciting!


  2. Louise says:

    I, too, would love to have that four piece tureen set. Please let us know when you list the ironstone. Thank you. Wishing you a joyous Christmas.

    • I just started an ironstone collection and would be overjoyed to purchase one or any of them.

      • Lorraine Nolte says:

        Hi ,

        I love the footed ironstone bowl. Please let me know when you are ready to sell it.Have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

  3. Is that an invalid feeder I see in that beautiful collection of iron stone? You may already know that it is the oval piece with the long spout. Would love to have it if you decide to sell it! I live way out here in Washington state but would still like to take the chance it would get here in one piece!

  4. Hi Marian…After many years of collecting Quimper plates and dinnerware (the French plates depicting peasant life in Normandy), I decided to take a tip from you and get some ironstone. I was in a thrift shop not too long ago and I saw what looked like ironstone – but I wasn’t sure. So, I took out my iphone and looked up your blog post about it – and it helped so much. It was almost like having you there! I was able to get 8 dessert plates and a creamer – for very little money. So, thanks for your postings – and the link you provided for more info.

    The ironstone you posted today looks so gorgeous! Makes me want more!


  5. Hi Maria: I am interested in the rectangle platter and a sugar bowl if still available Please let me now, I am a long time lover of ironstone!!

  6. Marnie says:

    Hi, Love your posts. My daughter had the same Ektorp as yours, bought around 9 years ago.
    It was great but Ikea has changed suppliers for the Ektorp and the last one she bought about two years ago was really uncomfortable. She returned it and was told they get a lot of returns since the change in suppliers, not sure if they have fixed this recently.

  7. cheryl liberty says:

    Ohh, what a haul. If louise does not take the tureen set, i would be interested and also the footed compote or large footed bowl. thank you. cheryl

  8. Ellen says:

    Thanks for offering to sell some of the ironstone. I would love any of the sugar bowls or pitchers.

  9. Becky says:
    I’m sure you know this trick about inserting cushions into covers but wanted to share.

  10. Sarah Wilby says:

    Marian – what a great collection of ironstone!! Such beautiful pieces! I am interested in the large chippy tureen, the round covered casserole in the second to last picture and a few of the small square plates and butter pats. If you are going to sell any of these, Please!! let me know – thanks and Merry Christmas!

  11. I’ve been collecting ironstone for lots of years. I’ve always loved it. Have a small collection, maybe 15 pieces. Didn’t know others also collected it until I saw an article in Martha Stewart’s mag. She had a solid wall of it, must have been a good 300 pieces or it looked that way. All the pieces I’ve bought at yard sales, estate sales or thrift shops, I think the most I ever paid for a piece is $3.00 – $10.00. I love the four piece tureen. But I know with all the others wanting it, it’ll go high, but love it. Thank you for your daily blogs and insight and for being such a “real” person. May the new year continue to bring you success and growth. May God’s blessings continue to be on you and all of your family.

  12. Janice Davis says:


    I love ironstone SO much! I found my first piece at the thrift store several years ago. I would like to start a collection of soup tureens, but I only have one so far. I’m absolutely in love with the one you have, especially since it has the platter and ladle. But I’m sure that my budget won’t allow me to purchase it, but I can view it from afar. LOL Thank you for showing us your lovely collection. Christmas blessings to you and to those you love ~ Janice

  13. Ellen says:

    Help! I see one of the sugar bowls in your “shop”, but can’t figure out how to check-out after I put it in my cart.

  14. Hi Marian,

    I love the Ironstone. Particularly, the tureen. The details are stunning. What a nice centerpiece that would be at the holidays with some Cream of Broccoli Soup and crusty bread, Yum!

  15. Susan says:

    Hi Marian,
    Love your posts!! I am definitely interested in the turreen but anything that you decide to sell, I want to hear about. Love Ironstone!!

    Thanks and Merry Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  16. Nanci Hargis says:

    The butter pats are to die for!! would love some of thoes if you ever want to part ways!!
    Love the little dishes they are sitting in too.

  17. Andrea says:

    Oh how I love ironstone. I am interested in the butter pats…I collect them, but these look square…I don’t have any of those! I also would love to purchase the compote or footed bowl…….if they aren’t already spoken for.

    I also need an Ektorp sofa….it’s just a bit of a drive for me!

    [email protected]

  18. Karen Renfroe says:

    I Jane a problem and I would love your help. I want to slipcover (have one made) and I’d like to know what you think would be the best, least expensive fabric. Someone said twill, but would that be bottom weight? I want it in a dark khaki color because my dog and I spend a lot of time on the sofa. I was thinking about navy or denim blue piping. Please give me your advice, especially about the best type of fabric…I’ve even thought of duck fabric. Thanks, Karen renfroe

  19. Grisel Levene says:

    Wow, things just sell way too fast! This is a good problem for you to have! I would love to buy some butter pats–so cute! Maybe next time :+)

  20. Marty Philpot says:

    Marian, I am drooling!!!! I had several pieces of antique white ironstone, and, inspired by your collection, I replaced all the other china in my Welsh cupboard with more white ironstone. It is absolutely yummy! The one piece I’ve yet to find is a compote…..I would love to have one and put a preserved boxwood ball in it for most of the year, replacing it with a great old salmon colored mercury ball at Christmas time. If you decide to sell one of them, please put me in line as a buyer! Thanks so much!

  21. Barbara Smith says:

    I would love the ironstone pitchers!

  22. Linda says:

    Hi Marian,
    I’d love to start a little ironstone collection–and am learning how to recognize it. I spy a pitcher (squared) that would be great to begin with. If that’s “taken” there’s another pitcher that’s my second choice. Thanks for all you do!

  23. Carole Crandall says:


    Where do you find all this wonderful ironstone. I never seem to find any here in North Carolina (Raleigh/Cary area). I have a small collection, and would love to add to it.

    Happy Holidays!

  24. Terri Lawrence says:

    Hi Marian,

    I just started collecting and I am very interested in any of your beautiful pieces!

    Happy Holidays!

  25. MaryEtta says:

    I had an Ektorp for 10 years. My daughter took it when she got married and moved into her own house. I replaced it with a much more expensive sofa. 3 years later I gave that one away and bought 2 more Ektorps! I love them!:)

  26. Wandalee says:

    oh foot,,,,I missed the iron stone. My job keeps getting in the way of my collecting!

  27. Cyndy says:

    Reading these comments after today’s posts. I am new to your blog, interested in the ironstone but don’t know how to get to you online shop. ??

  28. I just made cushion covers for my sofa to replace the horribly worn out leather ones. while working on it, my Mother-in-law gave a tip for putting the covers on easily: slide a large garbage bag over the cushion with the opening toward the back. Then the cover slips easily over the bag and cushion and you pull the bag out the zipper opening. Easy peasy!

  29. Joanie Ellis says:

    Hi Marian,

    I have been looking for a compote, love that one you posted, and sugar bowls. I would
    really love buying those……….I would be so excited if I could get one…………….I had just won an auction on ebay for a platter that is rectangle, but I was so disappointed when it came all in pieces, so I have been looking for another to replace it, like the one you have. That one would be awesome. So many pretty pieces……you really are blessed to live near so many great opportunities to find so many unique pieces of ironstone, not to mentioned all the pretty legged furniture you find!!!! I’m a little envious. I live in California now where the styles seem to differ and I’m originally from New England where there is SO much history and great finds!! Have a great day and I will be looking on your shop to see if I can get lucky!

  30. Lovely treasures. Tis the season in deed. Happy holiday wishes!

  31. I bought my Ektorp sofas about a year ago and had no prob with the cushions sliping. They have put some kind of grippers on them now. Also if you only dry the covers to about 70%ish you can put them on no prob. :)

  32. Oh, Marian!!! I would love the butter dish??? Is that a butter dish?
    You got me hooked on ironstone… I have a collection, but my pieces are not stunning like yours.
    Took two gravy boats to my shop today and sold one.
    How about prices??? They are hard to find, but not exactly expensive.
    I have a hard time pricing them.
    If you are selling, I would love to know about the butter dish.

  33. Staci Torgerson says:

    I’m interested in the lidded, double handled ironstone piece found on the 5th and 7th(far left) pages. It more of a rectangular piece. I’d love to have any detailed salt or butter dishes as well.

  34. Love hearing your thoughts on the Ektorp – we bought one two year ago and for the price we love it too! Although I think we’re about ready for a new set of slipcovers (comes with having two littles). But the fact that I can wash it and easily get new covers? Love.

  35. Kathleen Freund -malecki says:


    I am very impressed with the red and green plaid fabric you showed to wrap your German glass glitter. Can you tell me where you got the fabric please? I also love seeing your white ironstone ware, as well as reading Miss Mustard blog each day . Thank you for sharing


  36. I love all of it – the 4 piece tureen set is off the charts. I’ll wait to see what you put online and will make a decision then. I love those little butter pats and the small plates they are sitting on AND the pieces that are more “square” than rounded. Not sure how better to describe them. I have a few pieces but it would always be nice to have a few more….:)

  37. Love, love, love all of the ironstone. It you decide to part with any of the sugar bowls, I would be interested! Please, let me know. Thanks so much, Kenda

  38. Jill Pitzer says:

    I would love the tureen, the casserole and the footed compote.

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