Year: 2018

How to Choose The Perfect Art for Your Home

I’ve recently been on the hunt for some new wall art for my living room and have literally {and sadly} spent hours upon hours searching for just the right art pieces. The good news is that today I’m sharing some of my tips for choosing the “perfect” art for your home! Keep in mind, while I’m not an art expert, but I am an expert shopper with an eye for decorating! These tips aren’t for the art investor, but the home decorator.

 

Here are my 8 favorite tips to help you choose art that is right for you!

 

Why hang art?  Art is one of the many finishing details for a room and helps set the color palette, mood, style, etc. Think of art like jewelry for an outfit.  With or without jewelry your outfit might be great, but with the right accessories, you can take it to the next level!  These EIGHT TIPS will help you search and find just the right art for your home that reflects your style and personality, while fitting your space perfectly.  Sorry, there aren’t tons of pretty pictures in this post, just lots of useful buying info.  :)

 

1. Buy What You Love

Just as with everything in your home, the things you own should really appeal to you – you should love them! Art in particular is very personal and each piece is meant to evoke an emotion and a feeling and be personal to you. Above all, you should truly love the art that you select, so don’t buy anything just because it’s the right size or price. Make sure you love it!

And don’t be afraid to go in a different direction if you find something you love.  You might not understand why you like something or you might think it’s out of your comfort zone, but don’t let that stop you.

French Farmhouse Gallery Wall around a TV

 

2. Determine Your Scale {Size}

Choosing the right size is key and each situation is different, but a general guideline is for the art to fill 1/2 to 3/4 of the space.  For contemporary art, consider going even bigger, as this art style lends itself to making a bold statement both in terms of the art itself, but also the size of the canvas.  If large-scale artwork isn’t in your budget, consider using several, smaller pieces of art grouped together.

 

{via Heather Bullard}

 

 

3. Select Your Orientation

As a general rule of thumb, select your artwork to complement the shape of the space.  So a tall, narrow wall will look best with a portrait {vertical} orientation with a rectangular shape.  Conversely, many people like to hang art above the sofa, which is a long rectangular space, so choose a landscape {horizontal} orientation in a rectangular shape.  A big square wall can accommodate a square piece of art, and so on.  Look at the shape of the space you’re trying to fill and select artwork of the same shape.

Here, a grouping of art is used to create a horizontal rectangle to mimic the shape of the wall.

 

4. Determine Your Spacing & Height 

If you’re creating a gallery with several frames next to one another, space the frames 1 1/2″ to 2″ apart.  Take this measurement into consideration before buying your art so that you know how much room you’ll have left for the art itself, and therefore, what size to buy.  When it comes to hanging art, if it’s hung too high it can look quite awkward and take away from the beauty!  Always hang art so that the center of the art rests at eye level, around 65″, give or take.  When hanging art above a sofa or other piece of furniture, place the bottom of the frame anywhere from 6″-12″ above the furniture.

Art should be hung so that it feel connected to the people and space around it.

 

5. Go Beyond the Canvas

When looking for art to fill your walls, don’t limit yourself to canvas or print artwork.  There are so many types of objects that work well on walls and function as art, like tobacco baskets, quilts, mirrors, antique shutters, vintage doors, and even architectural pediments!  When shopping online, these types of items are often listed under “Wall Decor” as opposed to “Wall Art” so you might need to adjust your search a bit, but be open to all of the options before searching for the right art for your space.

{via Ballard Designs}

 

6. Pick Your Color Scheme 

Obviously the color of the art that you select is critical, as it needs to work with your home’s overall color scheme and surrounding decor.  You can select art to blend with your walls, pick up an accent color, tie your entire color palette together, or even stand out on its own {more common with contemporary art}.

One word of caution: I would refrain from browsing online sites by color.  In my experience, if you filter by color, you’ll only see a fraction of the artwork available that might have colors that work for your home because if the retailer doesn’t tag its color when they load it into their system, it won’t show up in your search!  Also, sometimes art gets tagged only by the color of the main image, not the background.  So for example, I was looking for blue artwork and many pieces were filtered out that had blue sky or blue rivers because they are considered secondary, but for me, those images would fit my needs.

Can you believe this didn’t show up in my search for “blue”?  I would have missed it if I had filtered by color!

 

 

7. Set the Mood

The mood of your artwork will affect the mood of your room, so be sure to take it into consideration for the room in which you’ll be using it.  For example, modern art is often vibrant and high-energy, foggy riverbanks evoke a somber feeling, animals can be whimsical, etc.  A beautiful canvas depicting a misty mountain might be the perfect size and color for your space, but if you’re hanging it in a children’s playroom, it might not be the right energy for the room.

When you find something you love, think about whether the mood conveys a feeling that you want represented in your space.

 

8. Know Where to Shop

In all honesty, one of my favorite places to find artwork is HomeGoods, but as you might know with that store, the selection is hit or miss.  They have pieces of all sizes and styles and the prices are unbeatable, but it’s really just luck if you come across just the right thing for your home, which is why I often shop online.  Here are some of my favorite places to look for art, in no particular order.

 

 

Again, selecting artwork is very personal, but the goal is for you to love it and for it to be the right size, shape, and color for your home.  Are there exceptions to the rules above?  Of course!  What would life be without some variety?!  But these tips should help get you started in the right direction to put the finishing touches on your space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Honest Review of the IKEA EKTORP Sectional Sofa

After living with my new IKEA EKTORP sectional for a few months, I thought I’d share my honest opinion with you…and it might not be what you expect.  So read on for my IKEA EKTORP review!

IKEA EKTORP Sectional Review

 

Those of you that joined me on my Spring Home Tour might have noticed that have a new sofa in the family room.  This room was looooooong overdue for a new sofa, as the old one had given us 10 solid years not only as a sofa, but also a trampoline, fort, dinner table, cat scratching post, dog bed, movie seating, sick lounger, and more.  I’m not one of those people that owns things to be looked at and not used.  Our old sofa was USED well-loved!

What shocked me when I started searching for a new sectional, though, was the price!  I had complete sticker shock!  Everything that I loved in terms of the look and style was a minimum of $4K and completely out of my budget.  Plus, as I just explained, we’re hard on our furniture, especially in the family room where the kids play, and I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a sectional and cry every time something was spilled on it.

Enter the EKTORP.

 

Price

After much debate, I decided to give the EKTORP sectional from IKEA a try.  I *love* the look and let’s be honest, you can’t beat the price.  I paid $799 for the sectional, and that included the Lofallet Beige slipcover.  A replacement slipcover {which includes the base cover plus all of the cushion covers} only costs $99, which is much less than buying a new sofa should the current cover get ruined or I change my mind about the color.  Actually the price of the initial sofa and replacement covers does depend on which fabric you choose, but they are all close in price and there are quite a few fabric selections to choose from.

 

Style

I’m a fan of the relaxed look of slipcovered pieces and the EKTORP has a graceful design that isn’t too overpowering, even as a sectional.  I chose the Lofallet Beige slipcover, but also considered the Novdvalla Dark Beige and Vittaryd White.  Here’s a side-by-side of the fabric swatches so you can better see how they compare.

IKEA EKTORP Lofallet Beige versus Vittaryd White and Nordvalla dark beige

 

For those of you that are familiar with, or already own, Restoration Hardware pieces in Belgian Linen Flax, here’s a side-by-side of those swatches as well.  You can see that the EKTORP has a tighter weave but they are in the same color family.

RH-Belgian-Linen-versus-IKEA-Lofallet Beige

 

The slipcover’s quality is very nice, with good construction.  The sectional is two main pieces that connect at the corner.  The base slipcover then goes over the entire pieces and then you place the five seat cushions on, followed by the six loose back cushions.  Each cushion has piping and a zipper closure.

IKEA EKTORP Sofa Quality Lofallet Beige

 

The back cushions have a box edge, which I think gives the sofa a clean look.  If wrinkles bother you, though, this might not be the sofa for you, as the skirt can wrinkle with use {although I’m personally a fan of Downy Wrinkle Release!}

IKEA EKTORP sectional sofa in Lofallet Beige Review

 

Stain Removal

If I didn’t address how to clean the sofa, my review would be lacking because how can one USE such a light-colored sofa without getting it dirty, right?  I wish I hadn’t needed to tackle stain removal so early in my ownership, but well, life happens.  What I will say is that the cushions are very easy to clean!

During a sleepover/pizza party, one of the cushions suffered a major onslaught of pizza grease.  I’d like to tell you that I immediately sprayed the marks with stain remover and promptly washed the cover, but I’d be lying.  No, in fact, I completely forgot about the pizza and instead, let the stains set in….for weeks!  Here’s a few of them, but there were many more {like 10 fingers worth!}

TIDBITS&TWINE---EKTORP-Pizza-Stain-Removal

 

I actually didn’t remember about the pizza until one rainy day, I saw this muddy face…

 

…and then found this.

 

Apparently, she felt the need to rescue her bone from the rain and thought my sofa was the perfect safe spot!

 

How to Clean the EKTORP

I removed all of the dirty cushions and spray them with stain remover.  Then I threw them into the wash with regular detergent and cold water.  The directions say not to dry the slipcover, but I didn’t want to wait so instead, I put them in the dryer on AIR DRY.  Just before they were completely dry, I took them out and put them back on the sofa.  The slightest {and I mean slightest} bit of moisture gave them just enough give to get them back on easily.

The stains completely came out and washing the covers was really no big deal.  Washing the entire cover all at once is obviously a longer process though, as it will take a couple of loads in the wash and longer to dry.  The cushions didn’t need to be ironed after washing as the cushion itself pushes any wrinkles out, but the base cover will need ironing {or wrinkle release spray}.

 

Comfort

For me, this is really the only area that the EKTORP falls short, and I mean that literally.  The seat depth listed on the website is 19.25″ and that’s accurate.  I’m 5’4″ so my legs aren’t terribly long, but even I feel like the seat depth is a bit short.  If you’re sitting upright with your feet on the floor, it’s not that big of an issue, but if you’re watching a movie and trying to get cozy and like to pull one or both legs up under you, it just won’t work.  This sofa is the perfect size for young kids or people who sit properly in a conversational manner, but that’s it.  You absolutely can’t sit with one leg tucked up or criss-cross applesauce {can you tell I have kids?!} or your knees fall off the edge.

It’s also not particularly comfortable if you like to nap on your sofa unless you rearrange the cushions a bit.  My son’s friends were here for a sleepover and when I went up to bed, one had made himself comfortable in a sleeping bag on the sofa.  When I came down in the morning, he was on the floor and said he found the floor more comfortable than the sofa.  His mistake, though, was that he should have taken the back cushions off so as to give himself more room.  If you like to nap on your sofa, you’d really need to remove the back cushions for sleeping; otherwise, the seat just isn’t wide enough so as to be comfortable.

One last thing to keep in mind is that this sofa sits rather firm.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not so firm as to be uncomfortable, but don’t expect to sink back and relax.  It really forces you to keep a more formal sitting position and posture.

 

 

Summary

Price – YES

At $799 with new slipcovers available for as low as $99, you can’t beat the EKTORP.  I don’t know of another sectional available at this price point that is as durable and solidly built.

Style – YES

Box edge cushions and a relaxed slipcover combine to create a stylish look.  There are also several fabrics and colors to choose from!

Stain Removal/Durability – YES

Washing the cover was easy and the stains released without much effort.  The base cover will wrinkle but you can either iron it or use a spray product like Downy Wrinkle Release.

Comfort – NO

This is a personal preference for me…The seat depth is short, which doesn’t allow you to sit any way other than with two feet flat on the floor.  It’s perfect for conversational seating, but not so much if you’re looking for the type of sofa that you can sink down into, pull your legs up, and relax.  The cushions are firm, but not hard.

 

 

So, would I buy it again?

 

No.  Well, at least not for a family room that is.  For the way in which we use our family room sofa, the EKTORP just isn’t comfortable enough.  As much as I’d like to say that we sit prim and proper while we watch movies, we don’t!  We like to snuggle in and relax, and the seat depth just doesn’t allow for that.  It is, however, very sturdy and easy to clean so if it’s mostly for kids and you want it to be durable, it’s perfect!

Now if this were for my living room, where it would be used in a more formal or conversational way {like chatting with friends who came over}, I would highly recommend it.  If you want something that looks nice and is comfortable for sitting {with two feet on the floor}, the EKTORP is an exceptional value and I would recommend it.

Still, I can’t help but love how it looks in this room!

French Farmhouse Family Room with EKTORP sectional

 

 

Will It Stay?

Yes, for now!  But I’m keeping my eye on the FARLOV sectional, which has only been out for about a year.  It’s a bit pricier but the seat depth is 25.25″ so it’s more in line with my personal preference and I think will be more comfortable for us to sit on.  It’s also a bit longer which will fit my room a bit better.  Unfortunately, they only have four covers available at the time of this post and the Flodafors fabric is incredibly scratchy!  I tried to convince myself that I liked it, but it’s pretty bad.  The Djuparp fabric looks nice and is much softer, but only available in gray and yellow-beige, neither of which work for me.  I’ll keep an eye out, though, and let you know if more fabrics become available!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tidbits&Twine Spring Home Tour 2018

*This post may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  You can read my full Disclosure Policy {HERE}. 

 

The trees are blossoming and the birds are singing, so I know Spring is here, but it’s still too cold for my liking!  Actually, Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons, so I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Marty from A Stroll Thru Life to be one of 30 bloggers featured in this week’s Spring home tour series.  If you’re stopping by from Jenna’s lovely and dramatic home over at Rain on a Tin Roof, welcome!  I’m Kim and I’m thrilled you’re joining me today.  If you’re new here, you can always check out my Best Of series to get a glimpse of my most popular posts.

Spring vignette with purple flowers, ironstone and feathers

For me, Spring is all about freshening things up and bringing the outdoors in.  While Winter decorating is all about being warm and cozy, to me, Spring is about lightning the feel and energizing the room, which is quite a refreshing change after a cold winter!  I love natural elements, so my interpretation of Spring decor is things like flowers, feathers, plants {real, dried, or faux} and baskets.  At the end of this post, you’ll find the full schedule of homes with links to each but for now, let’s start the tour!

 

Spring in the Family Room

My family room has always been a kid-friendly room.  It’s where we watch TV, the kids have sleepovers, we eat pizza on the sofa while cuddling the dogs, etc.  Basically, it’s a hard-working room that needs to be functional, yet stylish.  Last week I shared a look at our updated TV wall, which recently got a makeover to give it a lighter, brighter, farmhouse feel!  Today, I’m sharing the rest of the room with you!

French Farmhouse Family Room in Blue and White

 

By far the biggest change in this room is the addition of the IKEA EKTORP sectional.  My old sofa was truly well-loved {read as “digusting”} so it was time for something new.  This sofa is brighter and more my style and I love how it looks in the room!  Plus, having a new sofa gave me a great excuse to rotate in a new batch of decorative pillows!  The striped ones are new from HomeGoods and the others are vintage grain sacks that have been turned into pillows.

French Farmhouse Family Room with EKTORP sectional

 

Of course, it wasn’t quite as long as I wanted it to be, so I’ve strategically placed a stack of vintage suitcases at one end to visually lengthen it and fill more of the room.  I got these for free off of a local Facebook sale group and their dilapidated state doesn’t bother me one bit!  I’m using them to store bird supplies for my canaries…

Stacked vintage suitcases

 

I’ve had a clock above the fireplace in this house for 12 years now and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a permanent fixture.  We overlook the family room from our kitchen and the clock is our go-to for keeping ourselves on schedule and on time!  My husband bought me my old clock as a gift many years ago, but it was always a bit too small for the space.  I scored this beauty from HomeGoods and think it’s a much better fit here!  {I also just discovered that this clock is available online HERE!}

Oversized clock above a fireplace mantel

 

My TV wall also has an updated, more farmhouse, look to it.  You can sign up on my website to access my free printables {and e-book}, including the ones I’ve framed here on my wall.

French Farmhouse Gallery Wall around a TV

 

I included two cloches on the TV console.  One has a collection of photos, my grandfather’s old books, my dad’s old pipe, and a key that a special friend gave to me.  The other has a grouping of flower frogs on top of some moss with feathers sticking in them for a Spring feel.  You can get ALL the details about this wall, plus tips for creating a gallery wall, HERE.

French Farmhouse Gallery Wall around a TV

 

I have a bit of lavender mixed throughout the room as well, but the faux lavender looked a bit too perfect and my dried lavender didn’t have enough color.  My solution?  Mix real, dried lavender into stalks of faux lavender.  This was I get the pop of color I want, plus the smell of real lavender!

Mix of real and faux lavender

 

I’ve never shown you my family room from this angle, but last week, someone asked me how we watch TV from the brown leather recliner chair.  Well, as you can see, we don’t!  The chair is part of a conversation group and we only use it when we have guests over.  Most of the time, we’re all snuggled together on the sofa watching TV and the TV is high enough that we can see it right over the top of the chair.

French Farmhouse Family Room from Tidbits&Twine

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the tour!  If so, please be sure to PIN it!

Spring Home French Farmhouse Tour Family Room Tidbits&Twine

 

 

 

Tomorrow morning head over to Laura’s house at Duke Manor Farm.  Her style is so warm and inviting so I know you’ll love what she’s got planned for you!

 

Until then, here’s the full lineup in case you missed any other stops along the way:

Monday – March 19

A Stroll Thru Life
Cuckoo4Design
ZDesign At Home
11 Magnolia Lane
Nesting With Grace
Pink Peppermint Design

Tuesday – March 20

Clean & Scentsible
 Inspiration For Moms
Haneens Haven
Life On Virginia Street
Setting For Four
Remodelando La Casa

 

Wednesday – March 21

House By Hoff
Dimples & Tangles 
Our Southern Home 
Seeking Lavender Lane 
Our Fifth House 

Decor To Adore

Thursday – March 22

Life & Home @ 2102
Decorating Delirium 
Simple Stylings
Southern Hospitality
Rain On A Tin Roof
Tidbits & Twine 

Friday –March 23

Duke Manor Farm
Thistlewood Farm 
Hymns & Verses
Thrifty & Chic
Far Above Rubies
Common Ground 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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