Shopping Tips

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Beautiful & Elegant Cabinet Hardware Options

*This post contains Affiliate Links for your shopping convenience.  For more information, you can read my full Disclosure Policy {HERE}.

 

One item whose impact is often and easily overlooked is cabinet hardware.  That’s right!  Knobs and drawer pulls!  Honestly, a cheap cabinet can instantly look more expensive with the help of some gorgeous knobs. On the flip side, an expensive cabinet can look whomp whomp if the hardware doesn’t add to the overall style.  New hardware is also a great way to update the look of an existing piece, especially if the hardware style or metal has become a bit outdated over time.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite selections for drawer and cabinet hardware.  I tend to prefer hardware that makes a statement, either because of style or size, but above all, it has to be functional.  One of my pet peeves is hardware that looks pretty, but is awkward to use, especially if the shape is difficult to grasp.  The selections below are all neutral in color so that they can coordinate with a variety of palettes, and will add a touch of style and elegance to any piece.

Simply click on any of the pictures below for direct access to the retailers’ sites.

The Best cabinet hardware knobs and pulls

 

Glass Knob

I’m starting with this knob simply because it’s one I chose for my master bedroom built-in.  I’ve had these knobs for about 8 years now and love them just as much now as I did when I selected them.  They have a timeless octagon style paired with a metal base that comes in a variety of finishes.

 

 

Here’s a look at it in on my bedroom built-in cabinet:

 

 

Ring Pull

I love a beautiful ring pull because unlike most knobs and pulls that look functional, ring pulls look purely decorative but are completely practical.  I bought this one from Hobby Lobby when I refinished my console table, but it is also available on Amazon.

 

 

I dry brushed mine to match the table I was redoing:

 

 

Federal Style Ring Pull

An alternative style ring pull is this Federal style pull with Neoclassical urn and garland motif.

 

Cremone Bolt

You might have heard me mention my love for a cremone bolt before, so this list wouldn’t have been complete without one.  I love the beaded detailing and antique brass finish.

 

Label Holder Pull

Despite my love of the Casual Elegance style, I love industrial, too!  Plus, a drawer pull with a label holder is so practical!  While perhaps not appropriate for kitchen cabinets, this style of pull looks great on a dresser, desk, or even wooden storage crates.

 

Marble and Gold Knobs

With the return of brass in a big way, I’d be remiss not to include a brass and marble combination.  I love the idea of using these to dress up a media cabinet, nightstand, dresser, or even the kitchen!  These lovelies come in a 2-pack and are reasonably priced from Target!

Brass and Acrylic Pulls

This acrylic twist is a bit less contemporary looking than the typical straight acrylic bar with brass end caps.  This has a very feminine and classic look to it while still physically big and sturdy.

 

Brass T-Bar

A t-bar style drawer pull is very sleek and clean looking, but in a brass finish, it really has a “wow” factor.  These look absolutely stunning in a kitchen, both on drawers and cabinets.

 Bin Pull

Bin pulls are very clean looking, but also elegant given their rounded shape.  I love the look of these when used in combination with other elements, like coordinating light fixtures, faucets, etc.

 

Knob Backplate

Okay, so while not technically a knob or pull, I didn’t want to leave out the backplate because it’s so important!  A backplate can make a small knob look bigger than it is or change the look of it entirely.  You can even find large backplates that can cover the two holes from a pull if you want to switch to a knob but can’t fill and match the finish of your piece.  These are definitely a great option for updating the look of your furniture!

 

 

The next time you want to freshen things up in your home, consider changing out the hardware!  Alternatively, don’t pass up a piece you love if you don’t like the hardware because it’s an easy fix!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Look for Less – Home Furnishings Part 2

*This post contains Affiliate Links for your shopping convenience.  For more information, you can read my full Disclosure Policy {HERE}.

 

Today, let’s talk shopping tips!  I’m continuing the series The Look for Less with a few more of my favorite finds that have a high-end look at an affordable price!  I mean, let’s be honest, most of us shop with a budget in mind and it can be discouraging when you find something you love but it’s not within your budget.  Thankfully, with a bit of persistence, you can almost-always find a less expensive version of a home decor item that will fit your budget!

One caveat to this post….often times {but not always}, there’s a reason one item costs less than another, whether it’s material quality, size, construction, details, etc.  Before buying a less expensive item, give thought as to whether the quality is good enough to suit your needs.  Sometimes, it really is necessary to go with the more expensive piece, but if not, why not score the look for less!  For more information on this topic, you can view {THIS POST}.

 

 

Wayfair – Makena TV Stand

I’m listing this one first because I literally just purchased this cabinet for my family room and I am in LOVE with it!  I’ve known for a while that our old TV stand just wasn’t the right fit for our room anymore because we upgraded to a larger TV and our old stand was too small.  I first saw this style of media cabinet in the Ballard Designs catalog and it was love at first sight!  Unfortunately, my budget didn’t love the price tag.

Instead, I purchased the Makena TV stand, which is 68″ long and 36″ tall, so this is a significant piece of furniture.  Plus, I’m a sucker for a cremone bolt, and although the Makena doesn’t have a true working bolt {it’s a decorative pull}, the look is perfect.  What’s nice about the Makena cabinet, too, is that it includes a mix of closed and open cabinets, allowing for hidden storage.

Get the look for less! Cremone bolt media cabinet

 

Shopping Tips:

  • For media cabinets, make sure the piece you’re considering includes cut outs in the back for cord management and for air circulation, to keep your components from overheating.
  • Double-check the height of your cabinet to ensure that your TV will be positioned at the appropriate viewing height for your room.
  • If your cabinet doesn’t include open shelving or glass doors, you’ll need a work-around in order for your remotes to work with your components.  {Here is one example.}

 

Satin Banded Sheet Set

Not all sheets are created equal, which I think most of us have unfortunately learned that the hard way!  When choosing sheets, the material and the thread count are very important, as they play a role in the feeling of the fabric, how warm they get when you’re sleeping, how much they wrinkle, and how long they’ll last.  I love the satin banded sheets from Pottery Barn, but for myself, I just couldn’t justify the price even though I knew the quality would be great.  Instead, I found similar-looking sheets at Wayfair for a fraction of the price.

These sheets are 55% Egyptian cotton, 45% polyester 1,0000 thread count.  They DO wrinkle, though, so if you want a crisp look on your bed, you’d need to iron the banding.  Also, keep in mind that thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads woven together in a square inch.  You’ve probably heard that the higher the thread count, the softer the feel and the better the quality.  In general this is true; however, the more threads that needs to fit within a square inch, the thinner each individual thread needs to be, which in some cases, can lead to wear issues and create holes.  I’ve had these sheets since August with no issues thus far, but I’ll keep you posted!  You can’t deny, though, that if it’s the look you want, these sheets are a steal!

Get the look for less! Blue satin banded sheet set

Shopping Tips:

  • Cotton sheets are generally the most popular because they wear well, are breathable, and soft.  Cotton sheets will wrinkle, though.
  • Long-staple cotton tend to create the softest feel {often referred to as Egyptian cotton, Pima, or Supima}.
  • While thread count is important, the type of thread is equally important.  A low thread count quality fiber will often feel nicer than a high thread count, low quality fiber.

 

 

IKEA – EKTORP Slipcovered Sectional Sofa

After 10+ years working as a sofa, a fort, a trampoline, a dog bed, and more, our poor sofa needed to be replaced,  but my goodness sectionals are expensive!  I love the look of the PB Comfort Roll art sofa, but not the price tag.  For a similar look, I decided to purchase the EKTORP sectional for just a fraction of the price.

For upholstered pieces in particular, quality plays an important role, especially for something that will endure a lot of daily use.  For everything I’ve read online, though, the EKTORP holds up as well, if not better, than the Pottery Barn sofa, so for $800 I decided to give it a try!  It’s supposed to be delivered Friday, so I’ll let you know!  But you’ve got to admit, the look is almost identical and to me, the price difference is worth taking the EKTORP for a test drive.

Get the look for less! The IKEA EKTORP sofa versus Pottery Barn PB Air

 

Arched Wall Mirror

I just can’t seem to resist a gorgeous mirror, so when I needed to fill the space on either side of my living room fireplace, I  went in search of the perfect arched wall mirror.  I was thrilled when I came across the Huaijiu De Nostalgic mirror and purchased two!  They are large, heavy, lovely, and so much less expensive than others I’ve come across!

Get the look for less! Arched leaner metal wall mirror

 

If you missed the first post, you can find it {HERE}.

 

Looking for a less expensive alternative to something!  Share the product with me and if I find a “Steal” I share it in the next update!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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