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September 10, 2018 

 

The right throw pillows can entirely change a room 

 

One of the best, easiest and most cost-effective means to add some color and spice to any room is by changing the throw pillows. Yes, pillows of a different material and color or tone can give a completely different look and feel to the room.

However there are so many materials, shapes, textures, sizes and colors to choose from, you may need a little help in selecting the right pillows for your room. This is where this mini buying guide should prove helpful.

Choose your pillows keeping the following principles in mind:

1. Size 

The size of the pillow is something you need to consider because the right sized pillows create a sense of style and comfort for your room. Standard pillows are square in shape and measure about 18 inches per side. These pillows look great on your average sized sofa.

There are also larger, oversized pillows that measure 24 inches or more, and are ideal to create a casual and lounge-like feel to a room. Experts generally suggest buying pillows spanning 16 inches to place on modern sofas with very low backs.

2. Shapes 

As mentioned above, square is the traditional shape for throw pillows on sofas and chairs. However this does not imply that you have to stick to it. There are different options which you can use like circular, boudoir, double boudoir and neck roll pillows.

3. Concept 

Like any other piece of decor, many people also choose their throw pillows based on the concept they want to create. If it is a traditional look you want to create, and then choose four large pillows in perhaps silk or velvet. They create a classic feel, especially if you place two pillows on each side of the sofa, for added symmetry.

If it is a modern look you are looking for, then you need an odd number of pillows like three or five. It is in fact better to have a few large pillows, instead of numerous smaller ones, while sticking to a limited color palette with a few geometrical prints and tightly woven fabrics. You create a sense of uniformity to the room by placing one on a chair, and a few pillows on a standard sofa.

If you want to create an eclectic look, then you could try playing with colors and sizes. Just remember to use smaller sized pillows in a common color because they help tie the room together. You can however create a bohemian feel to the room by choosing 3-5 mixed fabric pillows.

4. Texture 

It is also great to choose pillows that create a contrast with your upholstery. For example, you could select textured linen pillows to use against some smooth textured silk or leather upholstery.  And if you have a fuzzy couch, you could perhaps go for shiny pillows to add some warmth to the room.

Besides, there is no need to worry about the shiny pillows sliding off seats because the couch provides the necessary traction to keep it in place. Textures go a long way to adding ambience to the room. You could use velvet or faux fur textures to create a sophisticated look while linen and cotton help create a relaxed feel.

5. Choose and stick to a single cohesive color palette

While changing throw pillow colors will brighten and add life to the room, it does not mean you just randomly create a set of pillows. The biggest impact is created if you choose pillows in colors of the same shade, or at least choose complimentary shades. 

6. Maintain symmetry

No matter where you need pillows, it is always better to maintain a symmetrical arrangement. Things can get busy and cluttered when you layer different fabrics on top of each other. It is only a symmetrical arrangement that helps keep things in order.

7. One of each print 

The best way to narrow down your options for throw pillows is by choosing not the same type of pillows, but to have one pillow each in solid, busy and simple prints.  The largest pillow should preferably be placed in front or center, and should have a busy or large print. 

This sets the tone for not only the pillow arrangement, but also for the rest of the room. The small prints on smaller pillows should preferably be something in plaids and stripes. The main thing to remember is to strike a balance where the bold central pillow is balanced by plaid or striped side pillows. 

However things may be different if you already have lots of patterns in the rug, curtains and sofa. This is when you should consider buying only pillows in bold solids in different vibrant colors.

8. Not too many 

It’s true that you may get carried away and buy quite a few throw pillows for your upholstered furniture. But it’s better to not go overboard because the main purpose of having throw pillows in the first place is for added comfort. Too many of them will only make you feel uncomfortable. 

9. Buy extra pillow covers 

While shopping for throw pillows, it’s always worth it buying a few extra covers. This way you can just change pillow covers if and when you feel your room or decor needs some refreshing.

Some people even buy extra covers to change according to the season. They prefer using cozier fabrics like velvet and faux fur for the cold winter months, and something in linen or cotton to use in hotter temperatures.

However all this is possible only if you buy throw pillows that have a zipper or button cover in the first place. Changing pillowcases is anytime better and easier bemuse its easier storing the covers than entire pillows in different seasons. 

So you see, there are so many things you need to keep in mind while looking for throw pillows. However if you choose right, you will certainly agree that throw pillows do go a long way in changing a room’s entire look and ambiance. 

  

 

September 6, 2018  

 

How to choose the perfect dining table

 

It’s no doubt that the dining table is the focal point of your home as it’s usually the only one place everyone sits together to talk and discuss things over food. The dining table is where you have your meals, and as they say, families that eat together stay together. 

This is possible only if you have the right dining table which comfortably seats everyone. This is why you can’t just move ahead and buy one. You need to do your share of research so that you find the table that best fits your dining room and family. Here are the important features to bear in mind while looking for the best dining table.

1. Size

One important feature is the size of your room. There’s no point in buying a huge table if you have a small room. And a small table will not look proportional in a big dining room. This is why you have to buy your table based on the size of your dining room.

  • If you don’t have much space, then it’s better to look for a table that’s square or round in shape. These tables comfortably seat four to six people
  • If it’s a large room you have, that you should go looking for a rectangular or oval-shaped dining table. These tables can easily seat at least twelve people, and even more.
  • If you have a large room, have parties often, but regularly have only four of you eating at the table, then it’s better to look for an extendable dining table. These tables or tables with self-storing panels can be extended to accommodate more people if and when required.

2. Shape

You can also buy the table based on shape.

  • The most classic, and popular shape is a rectangular table. It is popular because of its beauty and functionality which is why it plays the ideal host for any gathering.
  • Round and oval dining table sets are favorites as space-savers. This makes them an ideal choice for use in small spaces. Most of them can also be extended if you have a guest over for dinner.
  • Square dining tables are the best for hosting four to six people at a go. They also look great and offer proper proportion in long and narrow rooms.

3. Style 

Style is not necessarily an important feature to consider while selecting your dining table unless you are particular about mainlining the look or decor in your room. You mainly have three dining table styles to choose from:

  • Classic country style dining tables are one of the most common types of tables available at online furniture stores. This is because buyers know they are usually made of tough wood like oak or pine and are sturdy, stable and comfortable enough for everyday use. They also give your dining room area a more vintage farmhouse look with its uncomplicated designs. 
  • Most of these tables come with elegantly turned tables supporting the tabletop. The two most common country styles you can choose between are the upmarket, French colonial tables or rustic, English county farmhouse table.
  • Traditional style dining tables give a classic feel, thanks to its rich and dark finish. It’s usually made of walnut or mahogany and comes with a fine coating. They are also popularly used for formal entertaining and for Thanksgiving dinners.
  • Contemporary dining tables can be made of wood, metal or glass. They are great for urban living and as they are sophisticated and refined in style, they are ideal for use in adult-focused meals.

4. Material

The material is another essential feature to remember while choosing dining tables.

  • The most versatile option is tables made of wood like softwood, hardwood or composite wood. They are popular because they offer maximum versatility for crafting, and are both long-lasting and attractive. Always opt for solid wood tables made from hardwood like mahogany, walnut, oak, teak or maple.

    Hardwood is a better choice because it is sturdy enough to endure years of dining and party wear and tear. Tables made using engineered or composite woods like plywood and MDF may be economically priced and durable but are not as strong as hardwood.

  • Dining tables with glass tops are ideal for homes that carry a contemporary style. They give the room a modern, airy and elegant look and are also rather easy to clean. They easily blend into most decor themes. 

       Besides, its reflective surface makes it a great choice for spaces that require some brightness and light. Glass dining tables are also relatively tough because they are made using tempered safety glass, which is scratch and heat resistant, and doesn’t shatter easily if knocked over.

  • Metal dining tables fit well into industrial or modern dining spaces. They are not only modern to look at but are also strong, durable, and weather resistant and cool to the touch.
  • Dining tables crafted from quality marble are indeed beautiful and impressive and has a timeless appeal that ensures it’s always in fashion. However, it does have its share of drawbacks too.It’s rather bulky and heavy in size and needs some added maintenance base the marble may crack and stain. The best way to avoid stains is to keep it covered at all times with a tablecloth or placemats, which also hide the beauty of marble. 
  • Portability 

Last, but not least, if you are frequently changing homes, then it’s better to look for a dining table that’s easy to transport. Heavy tables made with marble or metal can be difficult to transport every time you relocate. There’s also the risk of marble tables getting cracked or broken in transit. 

You may consider looking for a wooden table with removable legs if you are always on the move. Another option is the less sturdy, but lightweight plywood table which can be flat-packed and assembled as required at home. You can easily dismantle these tables and move as required. Besides, these tables look great in modern or contemporary styled homes. 

  

 

September 3, 2018 

 

Mirrors create more than reflections if placed properly

 

Did you know that a mirror does more than show your reflection? It is considered decorator’s best friend because if well placed, it can fill your room with natural light. It helps enhance views, dark and small rooms look brighter and bigger by extending walls and generally add some oomph to the decor.

This is why you need to know how to choose the right one and place it in the right location where it’ll maximize the decor and light. Here are some tips that should prove useful to you.

1. Choosing the right one

The main things you have to consider while choosing a mirror are its style, size, and shape. The best one for you will be something that matches your decor, which may be traditional, modern or geometric in design.

It’s the frame that determines the style, which can be modern, traditional classic or edgy. It’s left to you to decide what effect you want to create and choose a frame accordingly. Sometimes it may even prove helpful at contributing to the look of the space if it’s antique with imperfections or has smoky glass.

You can choose one to match or contrast with the room’s furnishing. For example mirrors with a dark tone match the dark-toned wooden furniture in the room, or buy something metallic for contrast.

Frames are made from various materials like wood, resin, and metal, and rendered in various shapes like rectangular to oval or some geometric shape. It’s a unique or bright-colored frame that makes a real statement in a room.

2. Shape and size

When it comes to the mirror shape and size, choose after measuring the wall you plan to hang it on. Look for something rectangular and tall if the wall extends higher or something wider if it’ll fill a short and wide space. You could even contrast the shape with space by placing a rounded one in a square space.

While most of them can be hung vertically or horizontally as needed, do remember that many of them are rather heavy. So make sure the wall has the appropriate hardware to safely hang it.

3. Maximum reflection

Once you chose the right one, you have to choose the spot to hang it based on its reflection and not just on available wall space. It is better hanging it across some important painting, architectural element or furniture as it gives it more importance. It is also better to hang one across another to increase the amount of light entering the room.

4. Right place

Mirrors not only have to be hung across something visually appealing but also at an appropriate height. You, in fact, have to choose its spot based on what it’ll reflect. While eye level is usually the right height, it can be lower or higher, as appropriate.

5. Large pieces

It’s really worth hanging a large mirror in a small space because it creates an illusion of depth and space to make the room feel bigger. Full-length versions against the wall are great for tiny rooms and in narrow spots like hallways.

6. Focal point

A mirror could be your answer to a focal point. You can create one by hanging one above mantels or dining rooms buffets, and hang scones on either side. If you are up to it, you can even cover the entire wall with them to create a gallery wall.

It’s better to treat them as individual units while placing them. These gallery walls are however suggested only for rooms with minimal clutter because the frames will make a small and cluttered room look even more untidy.

7. Use the right tools

After spending so much time choosing the right one for your room, it’s imperative that you use the right wall hooks or picture hangers to hang it. This way you know it is held flat to the wall, and anyway, hammering a nail won’t cut your wall!

Don’t attempt to hang a wire on a single hook as it makes the angle rest precariously against the wall. This is not only dangerous, but it also distorts the reflection. It’s better to call the professionals if you are hanging something heavy.

8. Mirrored furniture

Yes, it’s true that mirrored furniture is rather popular and can reflect light to elongate walls. However, don’t use them in rooms with lots going on because the reflections will be too much.

9. Kitchen backsplash 

You can always use mirrors as a kitchen backsplash to open up the entire room. It’s better than tiles or marble that keeps you stuck in your tracks without any reflection or light.

10. Floor-to-ceiling

Why not try floor-to-ceiling units in the bedroom to create a feeling of the bed free-floating in the room and beyond. It plays tricks on your eyes to make the space feel big and bright and actually creates a relaxed mood in the room.

You could even place full-length ones in between two windows to trick your eyes into thinking that there’s another window and to maximize natural light. Or place one in your home gym to make it look more like a public gym.

11. Sunburst mirrors 

Use a sunburst mirror to spice up your console by propping one on the wall above it. It helps to uplift the entire room. You can also place one over your bed’s headboard to add life to your bedroom.

12. Opposite a window

You can maximize the light and view by placing a huge mirror across a window to give your room a bright, summer feel.

13. Into a bookcase 

Tucking a round mirror in the center of a bookshelf’s wall creates a sense of depth to the room. You can also tuck one in an old entertainment center in the TV’s space to add brightness to the room.

You can lastly use mirrors to highlight room elements. You can place it on some furniture like above the fireplace or use the reflections to your advantage. The main thing to remember is to place the mirror for maximum reflection, and better enhancement and highlighting.

 

August 31, 2018 

 

How to Buy the TV Stand of Your Dreams Faster than You Ever Imagined

 

Watching television is more enjoyable, and less of a headache if you have a stand housing everything related to your entertainment media. This includes not only your television, but also your other equipment in addition to its cables, remote controls and memory banks. This is why you should buy the perfect TV stand for your needs, keeping the following points into consideration.

1. Breathing space

Your television console should not only be big enough to house all your equipment, but also have sufficient breathing space, lest it ends up overheated. So make sure there’s enough space to accommodate all the devices, with airflow.

2. Cable clutter

Your equipment brings with it its related cable clutter, with so many cables connecting the different pieces of equipment to wall sockets. While closed TV consoles do keep all the cables tucked away, you need sufficient holes for proper wire management.

Thinner cables are always better because they don’t need big holes. However speaker wires tend to take up lots of space, which has to be kept in mind. One probable solution for this is TV stands with an open back that do not restrict your system wires much. However it is always tidier and better to keep the wires organized using Velcro or zip-ties if you opt for this.

3. Equipment in the stand

You have to consider the equipment you plan to place in the stand to make sure it will accommodate all of it. And as there is a chance of your upgrading the television future in life, and as upgraded versions tends to get bigger, you may also need to keep this point in mind.

If your dream television is a wide 40-50” TV, then it is important that the stand’s structural support be strong enough to support it. Flimsy wooden stands tend to bend to the television’s and amplifier’s weight.

This is why a console with a glass stand is a better and stronger option, as long as there is minimal foot traffic around it! The TV console should be wider than the TV’s display to prevent an unnecessary overhang, especially if you plan to keep the stand in the middle of the room.

4. Remote controls 

With most electronics still using infrared eyes to receive remote signals, your remote may need to see the electronics to work. If this is the case, then it is better to buy a TV stand with darkened glass doors which the remote signal can pass through instead of wooden cabinet doors.

Some television consoles come with a mounting bracket which makes the TV “float”, and consequently, don’t use up much surface area. So it’s worth keeping this in mind if you will be mounting your television on it. Flat-screen TVs usually come with a base for even weight distribution. However, there is also the chance of your bumping into the display if it’s a small stand.

5. Formidable viewing height

It is not practical or advised to always have to crane our head for uncomfortable hours while watching your favourite show or movie. This can be avoided by choosing a TV stand that positions the screen at eye level. 

While the recommended height is about 42 inches, you have to decide based on your sofa or chair height, and of course your height! It may be a wise decision to buy a TV stand with a mount. It offers the benefit of letting you adjust the display level if necessary.

6. Room shape and size

Don’t let a small or irregularly shaped room prevent you from buying your dream TV. You just have to look for the ideal TV console that will carry your TV and other equipment, and still leave you with sufficient movement space.

You could perhaps go for a swivel stand to position your TV at the right viewing angle. Or you could buy a corner console that lets you fit a huge display in a compact spot. Another alternative is buying a wall mount TV stand which frees up space in front of your seat for better movement.

If you think that you don’t actually require a TV console if you will be mounting it on the wall, you are wrong. You will need it to store your other equipment, and it anyway adds to the room’s storage capacity.

7. Style

It’s always better to look for a TV console that blends with your room decor because mixing styles only confuses the decor. Television stands come with different decorative elements ranging from units with round bases to something asymmetrically shaped or with staggered shelves.

It’s left to you to find something befitting your room. Something in simple geometric lines and open shelves blends well with contemporary space while dark solids and clean lines go well with the transitional decor.

TV stands colored light gray or pale neutrals make the room look bright and spacious while something in richly stained wood, ornamental detailing and thick frames look well in traditional rooms.

8. Material

Television stands are generally available in five materials, glass, metal, particle board, and wood and medium-density fibreboard. Of the lot, metal, wood and veneered plywood consoles are the longest lasting and remain stable even if you have pets and children playing around.

It’s true that glass TV stands are also durable with its reinforced metal supports. However, they last longer without cracks only if used in low-traffic households. Medium-density fibreboard and particle board are cheaper than wood and durable enough to sustain daily use. They, however, are not that long-lasting in build.

Now that you know how to choose the best TV stand, you can finally buy the best unit to house your coveted dream television. Remember, these consoles are useful for not only holding your TV, but also provides for additional storage in the living room. You can now keep all your remotes and equipment neat and organized in it instead of creating a mess in the living room.

 

August 30, 2018 

 

Looking for a bookcase? Here’s what you need to know 

 

It doesn’t matter if you have a small or large collection of books, a bookcase makes a beautiful piece of furniture to have in your study or living room, showcasing whatever books you have in your collection.

It’s not mandatory that a bookcase is used only for organizing your books. You can always use it to organize magazines and study papers, and to display any art and accent pieces you may also have. You can also add a few bins or baskets to stash any odds and ends you have.

With so many uses to a bookcase, the right choice can lead to your buying a bookshelf that serves you for years or even decades to come. If you need help here, these tips can help you find the best bookcase that complements your home interiors.

1.  Style

It doesn’t matter how many shelves you need in your bookcase. You have to make your choice based on its style, which is where you have a dozen options to choose from. The common style options are:

  •  Standard

These are the workhouses of shelving units that are typically made of wood or MDF. They are designed with a closed-back frame and evenly spaced or adjustable shelves.

  • Ladder or leaning

These bookshelves are designed to lean against the wall. They usually have stepped shelves that gradually reduce in size as it goes upwards.

  • Corner

As these bookracks are built at a right angle, they are ideal for squeezing into tight nooks and corners.

  • Étagère

These bookcases are more delicate than the standard ones and have an open back with glass shelves. While standard bookracks are built for function, the étagère ones are more about form.

  • Cube

Cube bookshelves are divided horizontally and vertically to give cube-like sections for storing both books and storage baskets.

  • Built-in

These bookracks are just right if you plan to create a wall or room with floor-to-ceiling shelves. However, you can’t just head to your furniture store or go online to buy them. You have to work with your contractor to create the right unit to fit your space.

  • Scaffold

It’s the look of these bookracks that gives it its name, where they are designed to have shelves suspended between two supports which resemble ladders.

2.  Functionality

Bookshelves are predominantly used for storing books. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t house anything else in it. If this is the case, you may have to keep the following points in mind before buying one.

  • Wheels

Wheels will be useful if you plan to use the bookrack as a room divider, or if you constantly redecorate. This is because it’s so much easier moving it between rooms if it has wheels.

  • Shelves with adjustable heights

These are the most flexible bookcases because the shelves are suspended on pegs which you can insert into various holes as per your requirements.

  • Room divider

If your bookshelf is supposed to double up as a room divider, then look for one that’s designed to stand on its’ own. This is important because most of the bookracks have to be secured to a wall, and will not work as a room divider otherwise.

3. Size

Like any piece of furniture, size is an important factor to consider while looking for a bookshelf. It determines the number of shelves, and the length of each shelf you can accommodate within the existing available space. It’s size normally depends on:

  • Height

Choose the height based on both aesthetics and practicality. While tall units filling up most of the wall may look expensive and formal, it’s the shorter ones that are more functional. You can use the top surface area for other reasons like a media cabinet, workspace or even as a buffet.

  • Width

The ideal width depends on the height. If it’s a tall bookshelf you are looking for, then it should have various narrow units instead of a single large unit. This adds flexibility because you can add or subtract storage space as necessary. However, if you opt for a shorter bookrack, look for something wide enough to make the bookcase feel substantial.

  • Depth

While most shelves are at least 12 inches deep to provide ample storage space, there are some like the ladder or leaning versions that have narrow shelves. You have to choose the depth based on how you plan to use the bookrack.

  • Space between shelves

If possible, look for something with adjustable height shelves because they offer more flexibility. If you like one with fixed shelves, then it’s better to measure the space in between the shelves before buying it to ensure your books and accessories will fit into it.

4.  Material

It’s surprising to know that bookshelves are not necessarily made of only wood. They can be made from various materials, where the most common ones are:

  • Wood

Wooden pieces are all-time favorites because they give a traditional look with a solid, long-lasting frame. They are ideal as standard bookshelves because they are strong enough to bear the weight of the books and anything else that will be stored on it.

  • Particleboard

Bookshelves made of particle board are ideal for those on a budget. In this case, the shelves are made of particle board or MDF which looks like real wood but is much cheaper. However, they only look like real wood but are not as strong as it. So they may not make the right choice if you expect to fill up the shelves with heavy or too many books.

  • Metal

Metal shelves are no doubt very sturdy and are less bulky than wood or particle board. They make the ideal choice if you are looking for a streamlined bookcase with a contemporary look.

Lastly, the budget is a constraint that you always have to keep in mind. Without a budget, you may end up spending more than you can afford for a bookcase you will not enjoy looking at every day.

However, if you choose one wisely keeping all these points in mind, then you will end up with a bookshelf that will house your priced books, and keep them neat and tidy for a long time to come!

 

August 29, 2018 

 

Kitchen Island- Much more than extra storage space

 

Space can become a constraint in a kitchen, especially if it is a small one. You just do not seem to find enough space to store your cooking essentials like utensils and ingredients, and you also need space for cooking. This is when a kitchen island proves to be a helpful piece of furniture to a homemaker. 

They are called kitchen islands because they are freestanding pieces of cabinetry accessible from all sides. They are used to supplement countertop space and to increase the cooking area’s preparation space. There are no fixed or limited dimensions as you have to choose one based on the available work space.

They are ideal for not only providing some extra storage space through its drawers, shelves and some extra working space; it also helps improve the cooking area’s aesthetics and design.

Additional working space

Extra space is the most common reason for a person to invest in a cookery island. The right unit may be just what you need if your available cookery space is smaller than required for all your storage and cooking needs.

It is always better and more beneficial to you if you get a unit with drawers and cabinets to store all your cutlery, knives and other most used kitchen appliances and amenities. You can also install a hanging rack from the ceiling, above the counter space, to use for pots and pans.

If you plan to do most of you cooking preparation like chopping vegetables on its surface, then it is better to look for something that has a provision to place a bin under it for convenient waste disposal while cooking. This way the bin does not interfere with the rest of the cooking preparation area.

And if you have an oven, but there seems to be insufficient space for it, you can always install a stove top on its countertop. You can decide how big or small you want it to be, and have it placed it in easy access while you prepare meals.

Temporary and not permanent fixture

Another benefit or reason to invest in a kitchen island is that it is not a permanent fixture. You can place it wherever it is convenient in your cooking area to prepare food or to serve food to your family members. Though it may not be a permanently fixed piece of furniture, it is still rather durable, and strong enough to endure heavy-duty cooking.

The countertop of this furniture is also very convenient to place all your everyday appliances and amenities on it, out in the open and within easy reach. If permissible, you can also have a prep sink fitted into it for easier and more convenient meal preparation.

Additional dining space

In case the cooking area is large enough and permits it, you can also use the unit to double up as additional dining space. Of course, these cost a bit more, but the additional seating space it provides makes it a worthy investment, especially if you frequently have guests over. Besides, guests tend to feel more relaxed and comfortable conversing and dining here than in formal dining rooms!

Available in various sizes

Cookery islands come in various sizes and shapes for you to choose from so that it fits into your available work space and budget. It is always better to check its measurements to ensure it fits your cooking space, especially if you plan to buy one online.

Other factors worth considering are the color and size, to ensure you buy the best unit for your cookery. It’s good to know that it is not absolutely necessary that the island matches your existing countertop or cabinet colors or textures.

It is always safe and permissible to experiment and try out an island that has a different material or color from the rest of the furniture. This way it becomes the center of attraction in the cooking area, which is perfect if it is also going to serve as additional seating.

However, if you are looking for something with a more seamless appearance, then it is better to look for something with countertops and cabinet stain colors that match the rest of the kitchenette.

Increased aesthetics

Not only are the design and functionality of an island interesting, its surface materials also pitch in to improve your kitchen aesthetics. They come in various surface materials, with their individual advantages.

The units that have stainless steel or granite surfaces are durable, heat resistant and easily cleaned, making it low in maintenance. Granite, quartz and marble surfaces tend to add a touch of sophistication to the surroundings.

While granite does seem to be the ideal choice for its looks and features, it is a more expensive option than other materials. However, it is a good choice to make as it does help improve the cooking area’s overall value. This, in turn, can prove to be an added advantage or perk for you if you have plans of reselling your home in the near future.

Keeps kids entertained

Cookery islands are not only useful to you, but also to your kids. They can use the extra space as a homework zone or if they are interested in cooking, they’ll love using the countertops to help with your meal preparation. You can also make mealtime with kids more interactive and convenient by letting them have their food on the countertop, while you carry along with your work, and keep an eye on them.

So you see, a kitchen island is indeed a worthy investment for a homeowner. You can use it for its additional storage options, for meal preparation as it is easily accessed from all sides and last, but not least, this furniture offers additional seating space while improving the aesthetics of your cooking area. Just make sure you find one that fits your budget, the available kitchen space and is made of easily maintained and durable materials.

 

August 20, 2018

 

All you need to know about buying bedroom furniture 

 

Most people emphasize only about decorating their living rooms, as this is where they socialize and meet friends. However little do they realize that their bedrooms also need some care and attention because this is the room you want to relax in.

The only way you will feel relaxed in the bedroom is if it’s comfortably furnished with the appropriate bedroom furniture. So no matter if you are redecorating your home, or looking out for your first bedroom furniture set, this guide should help you choose and buy the right, comfortable furniture.

  • Space

This is undoubtedly the most important factor to consider while decorating any room. If you don’t know how much of available space you have for your bedroom furniture you may end up buying too big or too many things that end up cluttering your room with insufficient room to comfortably move around.

Before setting out to buy your furniture you first have to take your room measurements and buy furniture that fits into this space, and still leaves you with space to comfortably move around.

  • Style

Once you know how much of space you have, you can next choose your furniture based on its style. You can choose between buying a stately and traditional bed or something modern and contemporary to match your trendy style. You can also opt for transitional bedroom furniture; but whatever you choose, make sure it blends well with the other furniture, decor, and fixtures you plan to use in your bedroom.

  • The bed

The bed is next in line, so before you fall in love with any particular bed, first decide what type of headboard and footboard you’d like to have. Stunning headboards add sophistication to your room and make it look both comfortable and modern.

Headboards having lots of storage space are a good option, especially if you have a big home and need extra storage space. It’s conversely also a good buy if you have a small bedroom with limited storage space.

Though a high headboard is a good buy, make sure it doesn’t block a window. A bed with a low footboard is a good option if you are tall because it gives your legs more stretching space. If you are not the type to neatly tuck in blankets at the foot of the bed, then a bed with a high footboard can solve the problem.

Figuring all this out before you start looking for the right bed can help narrow your search, and reduce the time spent looking for bedroom furniture. Remember, if you are redecorating your bedroom, and plan to buy a bigger bed than you previously used, make sure you also include buying a new mattress for the new bed in your plans.

  • Nightstands

After the bed and mattress, a nightstand is definitely the next most important piece of furniture in your bedroom. They are often considered to be an extension of the bed as it’s useful for keeping things like your bedside lamps, alarm clocks, phones and perhaps books within your arm’s reach.

As you will need two nightstands for your master bedroom, make sure there’s adequate space on both sides for them. Nightstands are usually short and either has a combination of drawers or open space below.

  • Bedside chests, dressers, and armoires

You may get confused about the differences between chests, dressers, and armoires while looking for additional bedroom furniture. They all serve the same storage functionally and serve a useful and necessary furniture piece for your bedroom. It’s left to you to choose which one you want based on your budget, space and storage needs.

Chests are rather taller than wide and come in varied heights. They're about 5-7 drawers in a single column to use for storing things. They're a better choice if you have limited floor space.

Dressers are wider than tall in structure and generally come with a mirror above them. They generally have about 2-3 columns of drawers with about 3-4 rows of drawers per column, giving you a total of 6 to 12 drawers in a dresser. These are a better option if you have to share the drawers between two people because it’s easier to divide the columns of drawers for both of you.

  • Armoires and chifferobes

You could consider buying armoires and chifferobes if you need extra space for hanging clothes. They usually have rods for hanging clothes and shelves or drawers for storing other folded clothes.

These are better if you want storage space to hang clothes and store them folded. Then again, if you have the budget and space, you can always combine different bedroom furniture as permits.

  • Media solutions

If you have a bedroom TV, then you could get a media chest for the TV and perhaps your DVD or set-up box. These chests are generally shorter than chests to accommodate the TV’s height. But of course, if there’s no space for another chest, then you can always mount the TV above your existing chest.

  • Wall decor

While the right bedroom furniture makes your room comfortable and convenient for storing your things, you need wall decor like beautiful artworks to beautify the room. There is no rule about the placement of these paintings and wall decor; you can do it using your judgment and available space. For example, while it’s common to hang paintings right above the headboard, you can always hang one on the wall opposite the bed.

  • Other accessories

Now you have most of the required bedroom furniture and wall decor up, it’s left up to you to decide if your bedroom needs more accessories. You can decide based on the available space and your budget.

You could perhaps add some greenery to the balcony if you have one, or on the chest or a side table to add color, brightness, beauty, and texture to the bedroom. You can also add some ceiling fixtures to beautify and improve the look and space of the room.

Rugs are also very effective for improving the bedroom’s look and feel as it takes the beauty of your room to the next level. Last, but not least, choose the right prints and patterns for your bed cover and curtains to liven up the bedroom, and add some sophistication to it. 

 

August 17, 2018

 

Buying Guide for Comfortable Home Office Chairs 

 

An increasing number of people work from home either for the convenience it offers, to get an opportunity to work while tending to children or elders at home, or as a second job. No matter what the reason may be, a home office has to be properly furnished, especially with the right office chair.

People working from home work like any other person at the office where there’s probably a lot of sitting involved. So it’s important that you are comfortable if you have to sit for so long periods by choosing and buying the right home office chair. This guide will help you buy the right chair for your home office.

1.  No impulse buying

It’s very important to know that there are so many types of office chairs around. So don’t buy the first chair you come across just because it’s ergonomically designed, it’s made of the right material or because it has the right height.

You have to do your share of research and know what to look out for in your office chair. Remember, while ergonomic chairs are indeed better for you, a single size does not fit everyone.

2.  Lumbar support

As you will be sitting continuously in the chair for hours, it is important that it provides you with good lumbar support to keep your spine healthy. There are low, medium and high back chairs to look out for.

The low back chairs support maximum support to the lower back with a backrest that is rather small, and flexes backwards and forwards while sitting. This type of chair is ideal for those with lower back problems.

Medium back chairs do not just support the mid-back but also supports your lower back and shoulder blades. This means you can safely lean back on the chair without the fear of straining your neck.

The high back chairs offer maximum personalized features when compared to low and medium back chairs. The headrest on these chairs supports your upper back and neck so that you can relax on it whenever required.

You should look for an ergonomically designed chair if you will be sitting on the chair for more than 8 hours a day. These chairs support your spine and lower back to keep your joints and tissue in a natural and neutral position.

This, in turn, helps to improve your work productivity. These chairs generally have well-padded seats and backs to provide adequate lumbar support, stability, and sturdiness while you work.

3.  Adjustability

Adjustable height is another feature to look out for in the office chair because some people are short, and some tall. As it’s not possible to buy a chair based on your height. You need to look for a home office chair with not just an adjustable seat height but also adjustable armrest, back and neck rest. These chairs offer the benefit of being adjustable to a comfortable recline degree that befits your body type and structure the best.

4.  Mobility 

If you plan to do some moving around in your home office like to and from the filing cabinet, then a chair with a swivel and wheels is what you want. It makes twisting and turning in the chair easy, which isn’t possible without it. In fact, there’s the huge risk of you suffering from repetitive strain injuries you get if you keep on straining and reaching out from chairs that don’t swivel and accommodate your movements.

5. Material

With so many office chairs made from different materials, it’s important you choose a material you are comfortable with, and which is easy to maintain. The most common materials you get to choose from are mesh and leather. Mesh may be relatively uncomfortable to sit on but is more breathable. This is a plus feature if you will be sitting for prolonged periods as it keeps your body cool.

Leather is not only comfortable to sit on it’s also stylish to look at. However, it has the drawback of not being breathable, which means it can get hot and comfortable after sitting on it for long periods. Besides, leather also tends to wear down quickly with continual use.

6. Budget

It goes without saying that you have to look for an office chair that you can afford. But don’t compensate for functionality while emphasizing on cost because there is no point in buying a cheap chair that’s not comfortable or ergonomically designed for your use.

A poorly designed home office chair can lead to back pain, unnecessary expenses on medication, the pain and discomfort of back pain, and reduced work productivity because of all this. If you consider all these aspects, it’s definitely worth spending a bit more for a comfortable office chair because you eventually save money in the end.

If you can afford it, there are also different styled office chairs you can look out for. You get to choose from contemporary, vintage, modern and imperial style chairs. You can choose based on your budget and taste to add some elegance and touch to your office.

Vintage and imperial chairs add some seriousness to the office because it spells business combined with comfort and softness. This is the best option to add something unique to the office. Contemporary chairs come in various sizes, colors, textures, and looks. They are what you need if you want to add a touch of funkiness to the office.

Just remember that no matter how much you spend for your office chair, and no matter how ergonomically designed it may be, it’s important that you maintain a habit of not sitting in the same position for too long.

Get up frequently and take walking breaks to break the repetitive pattern of sitting in the same position for many hours at a time. Prolonged sitting only leads to potential back pain, pain and inconvenience and poor work productivity. However, with the right home office chair, you will definitely be able to get much more work done working from home!

 

August 15, 2018 

 

Wall décor options and how it benefits your home 

 

Once you are done with the painting of your walls, shifting your belongings and arranging of your furniture there’s usually a wall or two that’s all barren. Though vertical, walls are space, and if utilized properly with the right wall décor, it can change the entire look of your room and home.

If you need help decorating your walls, this guide should help you choose appropriate wall décor pieces, and also show you how it can actually improve your home. Here are some wall décor options worth considering for your walls:

1.  Mirrors are always welcome on walls as they reflect light which helps make a small space seem bigger and brighter. You can either hang one single large mirror or alternatively hang numerous smaller pieces in a distinctive style.

2.  Instead of hanging just plain wall lights, why not hang some sculptural scones? Look for something eye-catching in design so that it both illuminates the room and adds style to it.

3.  Large-scale art like a huge painting or photograph is most instrumental at garnering your visitors’ attention. You can either hang a black-and-white photo in small spaces or hang something colorful for added vibrancy in the room.

4.  You can create a gallery wall which adds personality and color to your home. This is where you display your art collection, photographs, and exquisite wall décor pieces to add color and variety to the wall.

5.  Hanging a tapestry or wall hanging adds color and pattern, and a sense of softness to the room. You can even frame some vintage scarves or pretty textiles and hang it up. Something woven like your old macramé wall hangings will add texture, and warm up boring, lifeless walls.

6.  Painting a mural onto the wall just transports you to another world. It doesn’t matter if its hand painted or a wall covering because what’s important is the motif, which has a huge impact on your interior decor.

7.  If you are short of space, why not take your collection to the wall by installing floating shelves? They are perfect for displaying your hardcovers and any small art pieces or collectibles you have.

8.  You can even hang your favorite china on the wall to show it off. It’s always better than having them lie hidden in your cabinet. They are pretty safely hung using wire plate hangers. 

9.  Your plants need not be confined to the windowsill. You can also hang them on wall mounted planters to bring some nature and life to the room.

10.  Last, but not least, you can always install hooks or us a pegboard to show off some of your collective pieces like your hat collection in a cluster.

Unknown benefits of wall decor

You definitely wouldn’t have known that there are so many wall décor options to consider for your own. Of course, if you don’t have any other collections to show off on the walls, you can always visit some online furniture store to buy some of the beautiful wall décors they have.

Just like you weren’t aware of the different types of wall décor you can choose from, you most likely won’t be aware that there are so many other benefits to hanging wall décor than filling up walls!

1.  They make your color palette 

One of the most difficult tasks of interior decoration is deciding on the colors for your walls. There are not only so many colors to choose from, but also a wide range of shades of most colors available. Wall décor helps reduce the stress of making this selection.

Just find a wall painting or hanging you love and use it as your center of inspiration for decorating your room, and choosing the right wall colors. Just pick two or three more shades from wall art décor you want to add to your décor and choose the dominant and additional shades you like. You can then use the same colored items to decorate your space.

2.  Center of attraction

Every room needs a focal point that attracts the attention of visitors and viewers in the room. And a good wall décor piece is best for fulfilling this task. For example, you can hang your favorite painting atop the fireplace mantle or your master suite or you can create a gallery wall as mentioned above in the dining or living area.

The most important point to remember while choosing the appropriate wall décor for the room is its size. Too small pieces only get miffed by the surrounding furniture while too big pieces just ‘spill over’. It’s always better to take measurements of the available space to know how much of space you have to work with.

3.  Creates a sense of texture

Different wall art has different mediums and textures, which is why it’s better to try different wall art décor options for the different walls. Mix your wall décor with sculptures, paintings, some collectibles or tapestry.

They all add weight to your interiors which in turn determines the tone and feel of the room. Rough textures generally create a more intimate and grounded space while the smooth textures give a sleeker look to the room.

4.  Helps complete the room

Last but not least, wall décor can actually work as a finishing element that pulls unfinished spaces together to make it feel complete. It’s sometimes all that’s needed to convert your space from something ordinary to something that looks like a room from an interior design magazine. 

Just remember to choose wall décor that blends with the room’s chosen decorating style as you should be happy seeing it on the wall for many years to come. In fact, wall art décor has such an important part in your interior decoration that it shouldn’t be the last thing you focus on while decorating your room.

It should instead be utilized to its complete potential to help plan the rest of your room. You’ll be surprised at the way your home looks once you are done installing your wall décor! 

 

August 14, 2018

 

How to arrange living room furniture around a red sofa 

 

One of the best ways to make your living room really look unique and special is not just by buying the most expensive deep seating sofa available. Instead, it’s the colors you have to play with, and red is one color that will definitely make your red sofa stand out in any living room.

Red is naturally such a bold color that it makes a statement everywhere. So opting for a red sofa makes it your living room’s center of attraction and it’s beauty is best highlighted based on how you plan to decorate your room.

1. Cottage

If it’s a cozy cottage you want to create, then try complementing your red sofa with throw pillows, upholstered lying room chairs, and curtains in your chosen fabric designs. The most common and favored options are checks, plaids, floral chintz, and mini-prints which you could perhaps mix for best results.

Whatever print you choose, just make sure at least 50% the print has red to complement your red sofa. The other half can be some other solid cotton colors. Your red sofa will look great if arranged with some wooden furniture.

You could perhaps mix some primitive looking tables and furniture with scallops or farmhouse legs. Top the look by placing a rug on the floor and use some vintage china sets and primitive portraits to seal the look.

2. Bohemian

A bohemian living room looks great if you add some yellow, turquoise, fuchsia or lilac accessories and furniture. You can then either paint the walls some bold colors or give it a crumbling brick or plaster look.

Next try using something exotic like saris, quilts, batik, tie-dye or rali for your pillows, throws and window treatments. Furniture should have vintage upholstery or at least something you can paint on.

Now layer the floor with some kilim, Bokhara or Shiraz rugs and accessories like 1920s or 1850s Moroccan pouf lamps. Seal the look by creating a gallery wall with artwork scaling the wall from top to bottom.

3. Contemporary

If contemporary it is, then your red sofa will look its best if it’s combined with accessories and furniture in neutrals. For example, white and any monochromatic colors in brown or gray shades look great on the room’s larger surfaces like walls, floors, and furniture.

Solids, patterns, and textures look good on fabric, walls and rugs while furniture with intermediate to high-gloss finish is ideal for the occasional furniture like coffee tables and ottomans. You can top off with something small in red accents like a lamp, an antique vase or a red painting.

4. Traditional

You can create something traditional by placing an oriental rug on the floor. The rug’s accent color should be red and not the background and should be at least as big as the entire space where you plan to place the sofa and other chairs. The wall color should be painted a light color from the rug or you could also plaster on some striped wallpaper.

You can add some chairs, which may be a pair or two different pieces, but make sure they are not covered in solid red. Instead, use some fabric which has red patterns on it and one of the other rug colors The look is even better if you use the same fabric for your curtains and any pillows for your sofa or as throws.

You can also alternatively choose some modern fabrics that compliment the rest. Top off your décor with 17th-19th century inspired cherry, mahogany or walnut occasional tables or antiques with Asian, Italian and English lamps and other accessories.

Additional points to remember

No matter which look you want to create with your red sofa, and what other accessories and furniture you use to create that look, there are also some other points to remember while arranging your living room furniture. They are:

  • Balance

It’s important that the larger pieces of furniture like your red sofa be arranged so that the room is kept in balance. You can either evenly distribute similar sized pieces of furniture through the room or arrange the sofa near relative furniture pieces like a second couch or love seat.

This furniture may not always feel right if it’s placed across the room from the couch, especially in large rooms. This arrangement is not convenient to converse in as there’s lots of space in between.

This is best rectified by balancing the seating so that it’s near, but not directly next to one another while keeping the larger pieces next to similar scale pieces. So if there will be lots of socializing in the living room, then it’s best to arrange the red sofa next to a large table or chair instead of next to a small accent table or floor lamp.

  • Orientation

It doesn’t matter where you plan to keep your red sofa. Just make sure it faces an integral part of the room like the fireplace, the television, a bay window or any part of the room that needs emphasis. The position and the sofa’s red color draw the room occupants’ attention to this part of the room.

  • Alignment

While most homeowners prefer aligning their sofas so that they leave as much space in the middle of the room as possible, it’s not the preferred seating arrangement as it doesn’t make the room feel cozy or relaxed.

It’s better to place the sofa and other seating options away from the walls and place them somewhere in the center of the room to create a more comfortable conversational area. You can also make the alignment a bit cozier and softer by arranging the sofa at an angle away from the wall.

For example, place it diagonally in front of the corner with a bookcase or tall plant behind it. Geometric alignments like placing the couch against the wall or creating angles in the room only create a formal atmosphere.

These decoration and arrangement tips, with your red sofa, will make your living room really cozy and comfortable for you and your friends or family to relax in. 

 

August 3, 2018  

 

How to make your recliner sofa serve you for many years 

 

The sofa is where most people cuddle up and relax with a cup of coffee and a book, watch a movie with friends or even take their afternoon naps. This is what makes the sofa an important and integral piece of furniture for any home. If you have always used a traditional sectional sofa, you can now try experimenting with something different but just as comfortable, in the form of a recliner sofa.

Recliner sofas are just what the name suggests- sofas that recline. So they not only give you a recliner like feel but have sufficient space for the entire family to use as a normal sofa. Recliner sofas don’t come cheap but will last quite a few years, especially if you maintain it well.

You may find some stores offering recliners at lower prices, but it’s better to check on its quality before buying one as only the good quality ones are worth investing in. If you are buying your recliner sofa online, then it’s better to deal with a reliable and trustworthy furniture store. 

Go through their customer reviews and check the store’s online rating before placing an order. Most online stores have huge showrooms which you can even visit and take a look at the furniture before buying buy anything.

Once you buy your recliner sofa, is it a microfiber, leather, wood or upholstery recliner, it’s important that you maintain it well using the right equipment and products. Remember, maintaining recliner sofas aren’t really difficult, as long as you follow the following tips and steps.

1. Care for leather recliners

The most important thing to remember about leather recliner sofas is that it should not be exposed to direct sunlight much. This is because too much of direct sunlight on the surface only makes the leather brittle and susceptible to splitting and cracking. Sofas that have been used for more than 20 years face the risk of cracking even if exposed to sunlight for short periods of time.

The recliner has to be regularly dusted, and if you use a vacuum cleaner, do your dusting using a small brush attachment. It prevents any possible scouring of the surface. Any and all spills have to be cleared instantly using a soft and dry cloth. Make sure you don’t rub the spill in but instead, just blot it dry.

You’ll have to apply some leather conditioner onto the recliner sofa at least once in two months to maintain its shine. These conditioners are easily available at a hardware or furniture store. 

It’s always better and safer to read instructions before using the conditioner. And before applying, try dabbing a small amount of it to a rag cloth and test on an unnoticeable part of the leather. This is to find out if the leather reacts to it, or if it’s safe to use. Any conditioner has to be applied only after you have vacuumed, dusted and brushed off debris from the leather recliner sofa.

2.  Microfiber recliner care

Microfiber recliners are comparatively easier to maintain than the leather counterparts. You just need a soft cloth and the recommended cleaning solution to remove and clean spills. You need to use specific cleaning solutions because some microfibers need to be cleaned using water-based cleaners and others using solvent-based cleaners. 

As usual, you need to vacuum the cloth or fabric finish recliner regularly, at least once a week to prevent any food, dirt, and dust from accumulating inside the frame. If the odor is a problem like sweat or food odors on the recliner sofa, there are spray solutions that can help at camouflaging it.

Another option is to apply some sweat-resistant spray onto the sofa. The benefit of this is that it prevents the recliner sofa from getting dirty and smelling of sweat over time. You can make the microfiber last even longer by wiping and deep cleaning the fabric using a soap solution. 

3.  Wood recliner maintenance 

Wood recliners also need regular dusting to prevent any accumulation of dust on it. While a mixture of soap and water is more than enough to clean wood recliners, wax and polish will prove helpful in making the wood look really classy.

In case you opt to use a spray wax or polish, squeeze it onto a cloth first, instead of directly spraying it onto the recliner. This reduces the chances of any scratching of the surface. It’s always safer to try new products in an inconspicuous area first so that any reactions to the product aren’t visible.

How to maintain the recliner’s mechanical parts

It’s not advisable to wait only until the recliner starts making noise to oil it. The mechanism needs regular oiling to work well and smoothly without. The absence of oil may end up with the recliner sofa damaged, where it will no longer recline.

The manufacturer’s manual will have instructions on determining how often you have to oil its mechanism. Follow this schedule as too much oiling only makes things messy.

Additional recliner sofa care tips

  • Always open and extend the recliner fully before vacuuming so that you can reach into the folds to remove debris, food or any other items which may reach there.
  • It’s always worth placing slipcovers on the recliner sofas as it minimizes the chances of it getting damaged by scratches or spills. As all materials, including leather can get easily punctured or holes, always make sure there’s nothing sharp near the recliner. 
  • Any spills have to be first wiped dry using a dry cloth as it absorbs maximum moisture. This helps the spill from seeping into the fabric or leather and damaging it. 
  • While recliner sofas are rather strong, it’s better to avoid putting too much weight on them. Excess weight may only end up damaging the sofa’s frame and spring coils. Similarly, you should use the recliner sofa as it’s meant to be used, without any over-reclining or overusing mechanisms.
  • Now that you know how to take care of your prized recliner sofa, you can use it to its maximum potential for many years to come.  

 

August 1, 2018

 

5 Rustic living room furniture decoration ideas for small spaces 

 

If it’s a rustic look you want to create in your living room, then you should look for something that creates a cozy vibe. Use rustic living room furniture with earth tones to decorate the space, while keeping these decorating tips in mind.

  • The ideal wall colors

If you take a look at any pictures of rustic living room settings, you’ll notice that it’s usually a combination of stone walls with simple white or off-white walls. People nowadays opt to use white or off-white for their walls because it is a contrast which is perfect for highlighting all the rustic living room furniture in the room.

Another option to create a well designed rustic space is by converting one wall into a feature wall. This wall will have a rustic touch added to it like a stone covering while the other walls are plastered and painted like normal walls. The wall with the fireplace chimney is the best wall to create a rustic look in the living room. 

  • Choose the right coffee table

There are two pieces of furniture that highlight the living room; the coffee table and the seating area. These are the two points where a person everyone gathers round for stories near the fireplace or to just enjoy a cup of coffee or a drink.

As this is the focal point, it’s important that you choose the right coffee table that blends well with other rustic living room furniture. You don’t have to look for anything complicated. A nice and quaint coffee table, preferably made of wood is more than enough.

If required, you can perhaps look for something upholstered with leather or a dark fabric. If you use this, you’ll need to have an additional wooden tray to work as a flat surface to safely place your cups and glasses on the table.

Then again, if you have the budget, you could perhaps consider using log tables as they create a much better rustic look and ambiance to the living room. You can also alternatively look for a coffee table made from reclaimed wood or a wooden chest.

  • Seating arrangements

It’s quite natural that the seats take up maximum space in any living room. This is why you have to pay more attention to the kind and style of rustic living room sofas and chairs, and how you arrange them. 

You generally have to look for something in tan or brown upholstery or leather seats. Things get more complicated if you have a relatively small living room, where you’ll find it difficult pairing a traditional sofa and perhaps a loveseat well. This is why it’s better to opt to use one or two love seats in a small room as it makes the room look less cramped.

But at the same time, you should arrange your love seat so that it has some visual noise, and is noticed and appreciated in the rustic living room. So if there’s perhaps sufficient space to also place one or two chairs, you could pull the loveseat forward to give a center-stage presence. You can accentuate the look by placing some prominent cushions in bright or bold colors and with big patterns like geometrics to pep up the restricted space. 

Another option is to back the loveseat with one of the walls. As the walls will be white or off-white, it helps create a quiet and monochromatic scheme to your rustic look. Choosing upholstery that’s pale and neutral colored creates a sense of airiness in the living room.

It’s essential you position your loveseat well in the room so that it creates a balance in the room. It’s better to place the loveseat or two-piece sofa across from the fireplace with perhaps a chair perpendicularly positioned on each side.

The benefit of separating these chairs instead of placing them together ensures the chairs don’t overshadow the loveseat. While you may place some proportional pieces of furniture around the love seat, make sure you don’t overdo it.

Too much is too bad in a small space as it only clutters the living room to make it look even smaller than it actually is. Besides, your love seat’s presence also ends up diminished by these other accessories. 

You can always place a shelving-unit storage bench under a window to work both as a window seat and for storage purposes. If required, you can also add some floor pillows to the bench to use when you have even larger parties. The pillows blend well with the other rustic living room furniture.

  • Ceiling and windows 

There’s another great rustic design idea you can implement in your living room that has white walls which are to use a wooden pole as a curtain rod, with black iron brackets on the sides. The reason you should use a wooden pole is that it really stands out of the white walls to accentuate the rustic look.

There’s nothing much you can do to the ceiling to get the look. If you can afford it, you can perhaps have some exposed beams in it. It’s just what you need to add some finishing touches to the rustic living room ambiance.

  • Lighting

You can never create the right rustic look without the proper lighting. You need to look for some cozy and warm lighting, which you obviously get from your fire pit. However, if you don’t have a fireplace, then you can opt to use table lanterns and candles to create the look. Highlighting the stone walls is best done using ceiling spotlights pointing down at them.

Wrought iron is the best option for rustic light fixtures. So look out for, and use wrought iron wall lights, chandeliers, and side table lamps where possible to light up the living room.

Last, but not least, did you know that you can enhance the rustic look just by storing or stacking firewood in the open? If you don’t want to stack them outside, you can alternatively put them in wicker baskets, some wooden crates or use any recessed wall in the living room for stacking the wood.

The final touch could perhaps be a wooden or metal ladder leaning against one of the walls, which you can use for hanging blankets or magazines on it. With so many rustic living room ideas, it’s now left to you to use your imagination and the right furniture to create the rustic look you always want.

 

July 27, 2018 

 

Choosing the right sofa arm style was never easier! 

 

The most common points you bear in mind while looking for the right sofa are its size, budget, color and even the type of upholstery. However not many realize that there is another equally important aspect to consider to buy your dream sofa set, which is the right arm style. 

Yes, this is indeed important, especially if you plan to use the sofa for not only sitting, but leaning while watching television or while chatting on the phone. And it’s the sofa arm’s height and style that determines the ultimate seating experience on the sofa.

There is no ‘perfect’ arm style because the choice mainly depends on the way you will be using your sofa. You could perhaps have a habit of leaning against the arm or like taking short naps on the sofa where your back is supported by the arm. In this case, sofas having taller arms are a better choice, which proves why your usage helps determine the right sofa arm style and height.

Besides, switching the sofa arm can also change the look of the sofa from contemporary to traditional or vice versa. Most upholstered sofa sets come with three main types of sofa arms which are the English arm, Rolled arm and Track arm. Read on to find out which sofa arm resonates with the look and feel you want to create through your sofa in your room.

How to determine the right arm height

You can find the right arm height by measuring the ‘inside arm height’. This is the gap between the top of your sofa to the arm, and is your sofa arm’s actual height. You can obviously expect more support from the arm if it is on the taller side.

Sofas with a medium height arm ranging anywhere between 7 and 9 niches give sufficient support to lean your body and rest your head on. The comfort level is heightened if it’s a rounded arm. A tall inside arm height is not only ideal for curling up in but also if you have a habit of sitting up straight, with your feet placed up on the sofa.

There are also arm heights that are on the lower side at six or fewer inches. These sofa arms may not provide much leaning support, but are indeed a much better choice for sofas in formal places where there is no chance of anyone lounging or leaning against it.

You, in fact, low arm heights make you sit straight in sofas. But don’t worry if you find the right sofa, but has a low arm height. You can still use it for lounging by just strategically placing a pillow on it to compensate for the loss of height. It’s safe to even place a tall pillow on the top of the arm for optimal support while leaning on it.

How arm height affects the room design

While comfort is the main factor affecting your choice of the height of the arm, the room design is also important to make the final choice. This is because sofas with a lower arm fit perfectly into small rooms, and in rooms where tall arms may end up blocking the window view or something similar. On the contrary, sofas with taller arms are better for bigger rooms.

The right arm style

As mentioned earlier, the height is not the only aspect to consider while choosing the perfect sofa arm. Its style is also important as it determines the look of the sofa, and these styles are English roll arm or English arm, rolled arm and track or straight arm.

  • English roll arm

The English roll arm is the most popular choice not because the name has a royal edge, but because it instantly dresses up a sofa and room, and never goes out of style. It is the most traditional arm style that’s low with a small roll, and is set back in design.

It blends in anywhere, as it creates a tailored but formal look. It looks casual enough to use in your holiday home. Adding tapered legs to the sofa improves its looks so that it doesn’t look so traditional while a skirt helps create a more formal and even fancy ambience. However, the drawback of this arm style is that its low height means it’s not so supportive in function.

  • Rolled Arm

Now, this is the traditional shape you find on most sofas. The difference between this style and the English roll arm is that it’s a bit more casual looking. You can create a casual, relaxed and informal feeling to the room by pairing the arms with a slipcover. 

Besides, their rounded shape makes the sofa arm much more comfortable to lean on without a pillow. In case it’s a formal feel you want to create, and then use a more fancy looking fabric like velvet. You can also consider using some nailheads to show off the curves. 

  • Track or Straight arm

Track or straight arms are straight in style, don’t have any rolls and come in various widths and heights. They are compatible in modern, traditional and even any space in between. In fact, a sofa with track arm makes traditional looking rooms look a tad modern.

Track arms are best for keeping everything streamlined in the room if your other furniture creates a modernistic look. They are optimal for small rooms as they use less space than sofas with other arm styles. Pairing it with a skirt makes it look more traditional while showing off the sofa let’s keep things looking clean.

Conclusion

Though these are distinctive sofa arm styles, you needn’t stick to one particular style all the time. If you are ready to experiment, then go ahead and trust your gut instinct and inner style to design your home and room as you want. You can adjust any sofa arm style with rugs, chairs, artwork, and accessories to get the look comfort, and ambiance you want in the room! 

 

July 25, 2018

 

 6 Questions to ask before buying bedroom furniture

 

Buying bedroom furniture may seem an easy task as you just have to buy a bed and perhaps a sofa or coffee table. However, it’s only when you actually get to look around that you realize there’s more to buying your furniture!

The experience can also get scary and risky as you may end up paying for too large or too small pieces. As furniture is so important in your bedroom, and you can’t afford to waste money on things you may not like or use, it’s always better to ask these questions before hunting for your furniture

  •  Where do you plan to place it? 

This is important as you need different sized and types of furniture for your master bedroom, a child’s room, a teenager’s room and for the guest room. Besides you have to make sure the pieces you buy fits into the particular rooms.

The best way to do this is by taking into account the room’s wall lengths, windows and ceiling heights. Take measurements of places where you plan to place your furniture, and the doorway to ensure you can carry the bedroom furniture inside. 

  • How much can you spend on it?

Always fix a budget before heading out to buy your expensive bedroom furniture. Be honest with yourself in this aspect, and in case you cannot afford something, you can buy only one piece now, and buy complementing pieces later on when you can afford it. Create a fund for your furniture, and set aside some money every week for it until you are ready to buy it.  

You can also opt to buy second-hand furniture as there are some pretty good pieces out there. Another option is to opt for lower quality and lower priced furniture in case you are furnishing your child’s room or guest bedroom.

Sometimes you may not actually have to buy brand new furniture. Some items look practically brand new with just a fresh coat of paint or by changing its upholstery. Not only do you save money, you have a fun weekend task if you are a DIY person!

  • How good is the quality of the furniture?

Quality is important as you don’t want to invest in furniture that may end up falling apart in a few months’ time. This doesn’t imply that you have to buy something top-of-the-line, just make sure you buy something that’s within your budget and fits its intended use.

People generally buy better quality furniture for the master bedroom and something a level or two lower for the child’s room. Master bedroom furniture is more ‘permanent’ as you may not have to change it for some time. However, you have to change the bed and other furniture in a child’s bedroom as your child grows after a few years’ time. 

  • What is the room’s size?

The room size is a very important aspect to remember while looking for bedroom furniture. There’s no point in buying a huge bed if you are decorating a small bedroom. And in the case of a large room, undersized or too few pieces of furniture will not complement the bedroom. 

You basically have to buy your bedroom furniture that perfectly balances and complements the bedroom size. Don’t forget to make sure that whichever furniture you buy will end up in its designated room. 

Don’t make assumptions as sometimes even a relatively small looking dresser may not make it around the corner in the hallway or even through the bedroom doorway because of its mirror. 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry by checking and double checking that the furniture you buy fits into the room. You may have to spend some time and effort taking measurements, its well worth it as you know that the furniture will eventually reach its respective places.

  •  What are your requirements?

It doesn’t matter if you are replacing old, existing bedroom furniture, or if you are buying furniture for your first, own apartment or if you just want to add some pieces to your existing set, you have to decide what and why you are buying furniture based on your requirements and lifestyle. 

Though vanities look exquisite in the bedroom, it’s not worth buying if you have a habit of applying makeup in the bathroom. And if you or your partner are tall, then it’s better to either customize a bed to your unique measurements or if you don’t have the time to do that, at least buy a bed that doesn’t have a foot stand. This way the toes don’t end up cramped through the night.

A nightstand would be worth buying if you need space for your alarm clock, book or spectacles because you share your bed with your partner. Similarly, don’t buy a dresser because it’s cute but has insufficient drawer space as it may not hold all your clothes. You may also need a bigger bed for more sleeping space if your kids are in your bed with you every night, or if your pet dog shares your bed with you. 

  • How do you plan to decorate the room?

If you are particular about your style, then there’s no point buying anything rustic or country if you love contemporary furniture. However, instead of sticking to just one type of furniture, it’s basically better if you buy bedroom furniture that’s transitional in style, or rather something that’s both traditional and modern in appeal. This type of furniture blends with most decorating themes and looks great anywhere.

If you sleep with your partner, you have to keep both of your preferences in mind too. Like some people like a little chaos in their home, while others need things to be more orderly. You have to decide what type of furniture you will both agree to use in the bedroom so that you get a good night’s sleep. 

It could be something sleek and minimal or something a little more homely and comforting. Whatever the choice may be, the decision should be made before buying the furniture, and not fight over any aspect of it after buying it.

Conclusion

Remember the bedroom is where you head to get a good night’s sleep at the end of a long day. So it goes without saying that you should have the right and best furniture in it. Instead of making mistakes you end up repenting, later on, it’s better to get a pen and writing pad to write these questions and answer them so that you get a good idea of how you want your bedroom to look.

   

July 23, 2018 

 

Reclining Sofas - Different Types and How to Choose the Best For You 

 

Reclining sofas are sofas with a backrest that can be tilted back to a reclined position. It’s comfortable to sit and relax to watch television or read a book in an inclined position instead of sitting upright.

Some have footrests that either automatically tilts up or is manually lowered. Other recliners have additional functions like cup holders, vibrating massage and a heated pad. With so many reclining sofas flooding the market, this buying guide proves helpful at finding the right one for you.

Popular types of recliners

Armchairs basically have the same function, but can be categorized based on its reclining mechanism into:

1.  Two-position recliners

This is the most basic model that gives two positions including upright and fully reclined. They usually have a footrest which is tilted upward using a lever mechanism. The backrest tilts downwards to a fully-reclined position when the footrest goes up. These recliners are limited in function and take up lots of space when the footrest and backrest are fully extended.

2.  Rocker recliners 

These recliners offer several reclining angles in addition to two different positions. A few moves like a rocking chair and others have a footrest with a tilting mechanism. As these recliners don’t need much space, they can be placed close to a wall.

3.  Push-back recliners 

These are simple recliners without a footrest or lever or button for the reclining mechanism. Just push the backrest backward while sitting on the chair and it rocks. It’s also called a flex-back recliner where the backrest is its only moving part. Many people like this feature as they consider recliners with minimal moving parts to be more durable.

4.  Riser recliners 

The riser recliner is the most sophisticated armchair with a motorized reclining mechanism that’s electrically powered and connected to an AC power outlet. It may have a single motor connecting and operating the footrest and backrest or a dual motor version where the parts move independently of each other.

Getting out of the chair is so much easier because the entire chair tilts upwards. As this sofa runs on an electric motor, it may come with additional features like heated pads and mobile phone charger. However, these recliners need lots of space and are rather expensive because of its additional features.

Factors to consider for the best recliner

  • Dimensions

Measure the spot you plan to place the sofa in. Make sure you measure with the recliner when fully reclined with an extended footrest. Your search is considerably narrowed once you get your measurements. 

  • Color

Color is always important, so look for a reclining sofa that complements the room. It should blend with the room and not look too striking or contrast to the interiors. While black is a popular choice, it’s not always the best. Don’t forget to consider your flooring color too to find the right color.

  • Upholstery 

This is an important factor because the sofa should be not only comfortable but also durable, aesthetically beautiful and easy to maintain. Common upholstery options to consider are polyester, wool, leather, acrylic and cotton with their individual pros and cons. 

Leather, for example, is fire-resistant but needs more care and maintenance and is difficult to choose unless you are familiar with leather. While cotton is maintenance-free, it’s flammable and wool is durable but should be maintained well to look good. Acrylic is like wool in texture and comfort but is a flammable material. Polyester is probably the best of the lot, because it’s durable and stain-resistant but also has an artificial texture.

  • Functionality 

There is no fixed function to look out for as it depends on the user. For example, avoid a rocker armchair if you have pets as your pet may take a nap under it, which can be dangerous. You may prefer an electric-powered armchair if it’s for someone elderly as it’s easy for them to set it to the desired position by pushing buttons instead of pulling levers.

  • Construction

A reclining sofa should be built from quality material. It has to bear the occupant’s entire weight even while the footrest is extended and in a reclined position. While the upholstery has an important role, it’s generally the framework that has to support all your weight.

A good reclining sofa is one made from strong wood like oak or pine, and metals like steel and preferably not hard-plastic as it’s not as strong as it looks. You can guess the durability of the sofa based on its warranty as the longer it is, the more durable is the armchair.

  • Special features 

These are the additional features in the armchair that provide for improved comfort and ease of use. While basic reclining sofas have a lever to adjust the position, others can be adjusted using electric power. Reaching a fully reclined position is so much easier on these sofas, with the press of a button. However, these chairs are also rather expensive. 

As you will be spending lots of time relaxing in an armchair, features like a cup holder, small compartment in the armrest, heated pad and message options and a built-in power station that’s helpful for your portable device are always welcome. Of course, the more features the sofa has, the higher it’s price will be.

  • Price

While reclining sofas cost anywhere from $250 to $5,000, it’s not always that the most expensive is the best. In fact, the rate depends on various factors like special features, upholstery material, mechanism, and construction frame.

And though you may like the sofa’s design or appearance, remember that comfort is more important than looks. However, if you can’t afford to buy an attractive, comfortable and durable reclining sofa, look for something that’s comfortable and durable, but not necessarily aesthetic. 

  • Consumer reviews 

Reading through consumers reviews is a must if you are buying from an online store. This is because you can’t physically check the chair. Customer reviews give you an idea of the product’s functionality and even mentions if there are any drawbacks. There are also some reviewers who even upload videos to give you a better idea of the sofa’s functionality. 

  • Warranty 

A long warranty is always a better feature not because you can use it for manufacturing defects but because it improves your confidence in buying it. While lifetime warranty is the best, it’s better to buy a reclining sofa with an overall warranty instead of warranty for individual parts like a lifetime warranty on the reclining mechanism with 3 or fewer years’ warranty for upholstery. 

 

July 20, 2018 

 

8 common mistakes that should be avoided while buying home furniture 

 

Now that you’ve moved into your dream home, your next job is to decorate it with the best home furniture. You naturally leaf through magazines and surf the internet looking for ideas and options.

However sometimes what looks great in pictures may not fit or look great in your home. To avoid disappointments by spending money on useless furniture, it’s better to first know these 8 mistakes to avoid.

1.  Going on a shopping spree and buying everything in sight

Most people end up so excited seeing the furniture at a shop that they just want to buy everything for their rooms. However, doing this means you don’t have the space and flexibility of picking up something better you may find elsewhere.

Instead buy the main sofa or dining set first, get used to it for a few days and slowly you get ideas of the additional furniture you should buy. Sometimes it’s only after sitting on the sofa do you realize that something vintage or exclusive will complement your set and decor really well. 

2.  Buying too small rugs

A rug not only looks great in your living room, it is actually your room’s focal point. This is why you have to buy not only an attractive rug but should also be proportionately sized for your room.

Small rugs only end up making your room look smaller. The best way to choose the right sized rug for your room is by ensuring that the two front legs of each furniture piece lie on the rug. Missing the rug even by an inch means your rug is too small for your room.

3.  Not listening to salespeople

People tend to ignore suggestions placed by the store’s salespeople or customer support as they usually consider them to be too pushy. While they may be pushy or aggressive, it’s mainly because they want to help you make the right choice. It helps if you ask them for suggestions based on your budget and your specific requirements like the ease of cleaning, safe for use with kids and pets around etc.

4.  Impulsive buying

Avoid buying on an impulse as it’s always bad. If and when you get an urge to buy a particular piece of furniture first take a deep breath and check out other available options. Then take some time to compare the pros and cons of the different pieces and only when you are eventually happy should you buy it.

Remember, furniture is not cheap, so take your time to choose furniture you really need, and which fits your budget. With impulsive buying, there’s a high chance of your getting carried away and eventually buying something you don’t even need.

5.  Exceeding your budget

It’s very important that you set a budget before you go looking for, and buying home furniture. Furniture is rather expensive, especially the good and durable pieces. As furniture is a long-lasting investment, look for durable pieces.  

However, this doesn’t mean that you end up buying something that exceeds your budget. The best way to avoid this is by setting your budget before you go hunting and make sure you stick to it. Of course, if you are on a really tight budget, then it’s worth doing your shopping when there are sales going on or at a discount furniture store.

6.  Failing to keep your future plans in mind

As the furniture you buy will be used for a few years, you have to buy something that you know you will be able to use for a few years. For example, if you don’t have children now, and there’s a chance of having one soon, buy furniture that is durable enough to last these years even with kids around.

This also applies to pets. If you don’t have one now, but plan to buy one soon, then it’s better to avoid buying delicate furniture like pieces made of leather or velvet as your pet will end up spoiling it. Instead, look for something that’s easy to clean and will maintain its look for a long time to come.

7.  Buying a set 

Sometimes you get so overwhelmed with the furniture choices that you find buying a set more convenient. However, it’s not always advisable because you should buy not sets, but furniture that befits you. Mix tones, styles, and textures to give your room some excitement and something special instead of the monotony of similarly designed chairs, sofas, and tables.

While it’s important that you mix and match your furniture from different places, too much of mixing means nothing eventually match. You have to maintain some sort of cohesion between the pieces through color or furniture style otherwise everything ends up looking chaotic and confusing.

8.  Wrong sizes

Most people make the mistake of pairing a large sectional sofa with tiny side chairs or coffee tables. This is wrong as your furniture has to be on the same scale lest it ends up looking inappropriate. 

Aim at making your room look cohesive by calculating the space in between different pieces of furniture. For example, maintain about 18 inches of space in between a sofa and a coffee table for your living room and about 32 to 36 inches of space in between adjacent seating.

In case of dining rooms, maintain 48 inches of space between the dining table edge and wall, or adjacent furniture, so that there’s sufficient space for pulling out chairs and for people to walk around. 

Lastly, the biggest mistake to make is not taking measurements. If you don’t take measurements of not only the floor space but also doorways, elevators, and stairwells before going to the store you may end up buying furniture that doesn’t fit into your doorway. Similarly, don’t forget to take measurements of the furniture before buying to ensure it fits your room, doorways, stairs, and elevators!

Now you know the 8 most common mistakes made while buying home furniture, you can now avoid these mistakes and lots of potential displeasure and headaches while shopping.

   

July 18, 2018 

 

9 Useful Tips for Buying The Best Sofa Set 

 

Did you know that there’s more to buying a sofa set than heading to the furniture store? You need to do some research, take some measurements and set your preferences and necessities right before you set out to buy one. This is why these tips should prove helpful while buying sofa sets.

1.  Take floor measurements 

The first thing you need to do is not run to the furniture store, but get a measuring tape and jot down the room dimensions. Don’t forget to note down the locations of all the rooms and windows in the room, and indicate how the doors open like to the right or left of the room. It is vital to prevent you from buying a sofa set to place at spots that prevent you from opening the door or windows.

2.  Check sofa set measurements

Now you know how much of space you can devote for your sofa set, it’s time to do some online browsing. Check out various online furniture stores, and compare not only the colors and materials but also the sofa sizes. This is because while most stores may mention the sofa’s width, length, and even height, they are all the sofa’s external measurements.

It is also better to find out through the site, or their customer support details like the inner measurements. You must know the sofa’s seat and arm heights and also the seat depth to ensure you have sufficient room for more people to lie down or sit on.

On an average, the sofa should measure 86” wide, 38” deep and 37” high on the outside. An inside depth of 19-21” is enough if you are small in structure but if you are tall, look for a sofa with 22-24 inside depth. Just make sure the sofa you buy fits into the room, and can comfortably seat as many people as you want it to seat.

3.  Don't get fooled by lights 

Furniture you buy usually looks much different at home than at the store. It’s because furniture stores have lighting designers to place their lights in such spots so that you are attracted to the furniture’s strongest features and develop a desire to buy it. The same applies to online stores. Different monitors and computers will give the couch a much different color than you imagine.

4.  Know what's inside the couch 

While the sofa set should be comfortable, you should also know more about the sofa’s construction. Hardwood frames are more durable than pine lumber while kiln dried woods like ok make a strong sofa. Sofas also have springs and slings and 8-way ties for better support and longevity.

The sofa is usually built using eight-way or sinuous construction and there may not even be springs in the cheaper options. Even the foam in the sofa set’s cushions will vary in its density and materials.

Sofas are filled with different materials where polyurethane is cheap and easy to maintain. However, it tends to flatten over the years. While high resiliency (HR) filling is harder, it wears better with usage. And while goose down is indeed expensive, it’s clumpy.

5.  Choose a sofa with long lasting upholstery

Besides the construction, it’s the sofa set’s upholstery that determines its durability and longevity. If you like a sofa set, ask the retailer if the material is ideal for light, medium or heavy use. Generally, 100% cotton quickly wears out and fades while combination fabric like a mix of polyester, acrylic, and rayon has a longer life.

It’s also better if the fabric is easy to clean, especially if you have kids or a pet at home. And of course, the best sofa set would be one with a durable and easy to clean fabric that has a great color or pattern. Even slipovers are a great investment for sofa sets as you can easily remove and wash them when soiled.

6.  Know your budget

Sofa sets come in various price ranges, ranging anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. While it’s true that the best cost the most, it’s not always a wise decision to buy the best sofa. If you wonder why, well it’s because these sofas are really long lasting.

So even if you get bored with the sofa set after say 7-8 years, you won’t have the heart to sell it after spending so much on it and because it still looks as good as new! So even if you want to, you won’t be able to sell expensive sofas when you get bored with it.

This is why it’s better to buy a reasonably priced sofa set with an expected lifespan of about 8 to 10 years. This way if you want, you can sell and buy a new one after a few years if you want. And with sofas being big investments, you can save quite a lot if you buy your next sofa on an annual sale.

7.  Appropriate style

With so many types of sofas available, you need to first decide what type of a sofa best complements your room and lifestyle. It could be a traditional one, a modern sofa or a sofa with rolled arms or a skirt or nothing.

You could even consider sofas with attached or loose knife or box cushions. The choice lies in your hands, and the best way to choose is online as you can visit so many stores sitting on your computer.

8.  Additional points to bear in mind

  • If you are apprehensive about the sofa cover color or pattern, ask for a few swatches to take home and see which piece works out best with your décor.
  • Ask the manufacturer for the appropriate sofa care instructions.

  • Always wait for sales as you can save considerable money.
  • Most furniture manufacturers have a warranty for their sofa sets, which are usually two years for the upholstery and 4-5 years for the frame. Don’t forget to keep the warranty safely someplace.
  • Read the fine print as some furniture is brought in, and set up for you while there are some companies which leave the furniture at the curb.

9.  Make a checklist

Now that you know what you should look out for while buying sofa sets, make a checklist and use it as a reference guide while shopping. Even though you may have to spend some time making the list, it’s time well spent as it helps make choosing your sofa set so much easier.   

 

July 16, 2018

 

A Guide to Help You Choose Between Buying An Ottoman Or A Coffee Table 

 

Looking for a small piece of furniture to use as a table and storage purposes? Trying to choose between an ottoman and a coffee table? If this is the case, this article should help you decide based on the individual properties, pros, and cons of these pieces of furniture.

Coffee table 

Coffee tables are lower tables that are placed in front of the sofa or chairs in a living room. Because of its low height, they are not comfortable to use for eating like a regular table unless you and your guests are comfortable sitting on the floor or on cushions.

They are very versatile in function as they can be used for storing your magazines, books, remote controls and even drinks and snacks. They are usually made of wood but are also available in different styles and designs to easily blend with most home décor.

They are ideal for use in homes where you have sufficient space for an extra piece of furniture. While these tables come in various sizes, they are usually on the larger side and can hold quite a few things. However, if you use it for serving or holding drinks, it’s always better to use coasters to protect its surface and prevent water rings from ruining the table surface.

Advantages

  • Coffee tables are made of hard materials and are sturdy enough to safely carry your drinks or snacks, without worrying about them knocking over.
  • Ideal for use when friends are over to hold food and drinks while watching television. 
  • They are made of materials that are easy to clean. So there’s no worry of spills damaging the surface table as they can be easily wiped up.  
  • Coffee tables blend in most living rooms as there’s a size that complements, without overwhelming your existing space. 
  • As coffee tables have a more formal look than ottomans they are perfect for creating a formal atmosphere
  • If required, you can paint or stain wooden coffee tables to your preferred color choice to match and complement the other room furniture. 
  • Oval or round coffee tables help break up angular space and make edges look softer.
  • A coffee table with thin legs looks more open and airy and adds less weight to the room. They are ideal for rooms without much natural light or where another furniture is dark and heavy.

Disadvantages 

  • As coffee tables are made of hard materials like wood or metal, they can bruise if accidentally run or walked into.
  • The tables are heavy so there’s a chance of leaving scratches while pulling it across the floor. 
  • There seldom is any hidden storage space in coffee tables so everything stored is clearly visible.
  • Any water rings caused by glasses on the table surface has to be sanded down and refinished to restore its beauty.  
  • There is a chance of stacking magazines, newspapers and other items on the table to add to the clutter and chaos. 
  • It’s not sanitary to prop your feet on coffee tables and there’s also the risk of accidentally spilling things.
  • Some coffee tables may have small drawers that can’t hold anything large or bulky. 

Ottoman 

Ottomans are upholstered, low pieces of furniture that usually accompany a matching chair. They are also available as individual pieces if you do not want anything matching. Some even come with a lid when opens to some storage space. 

They do not have any arms or back but can be used for additional seating purposes. They are also ideal footrests and can be used as a coffee table by placing a sturdy table atop it to prevent possible spills. It’s also ideal for storing books, blankets or toys that are easily accessed, and out of view of guests.

Ottomans are a better option if you want a versatile piece of furniture or if you want a matching footstool for your favorite armchair. They can be used in many ways, making it ideal for small homes or if you can’t afford to buy different pieces of furniture for different purposes.

Advantages

  • Ottomans come in various styles and upholstery, to easily blend with, and complement your room’s décor and look.  
  • Unlike coffee tables, ottomans are soft, so there’s a reduced risk of your bruising and injuring yourself if you walk into it. You may at the most stub your toe if you hit its wooden legs and there’s no worry of children getting injured if you run into them.
  • You can quickly clean up your living room if you have surprise guests, thanks to the hidden storage space in ottomans. It’s also useful for storing extra pillows, blankets, books and board games.
  • Ottomans can easily change the look of your room as they are made of different types of materials. 
  • There’s no need of buying another table as you can place a tray atop the ottoman and use it for holding glasses and offer cups.
  • Ottomans make perfect additional, comfortable seats if anyone drops by. 

Disadvantages 

  • An ottoman can hold drinks and store things only if it’s fairly large, which also makes navigating around small rooms rather difficult.
  • It’s difficult cleaning up any spills from Ottomans. The spills also quickly stain the upholstery to leave spots and strange smells.
  • The upholstery shows signs of wear and tear with excessive use. Of course, you can always reupholster the ottoman but it’s an additional cost.
  • The built-in storage space is convenient but makes ottomans rather bulky and heavy to move around alone. 
  • It may be difficult to find an ottoman that fits with your room’s theme and appearance. 
  • While ottomans can easily hold a lot of weight, it does also add lots of visual weight to your room, which everyone may not like.
  • Placing a tray on top of the ottoman does let you use it as a table. However, this is risky as the tray may get knocked off and everything falling to the floor.
  • Sometimes an angular coffee table is better than ottomans for breaking up the plush look created by plush sofas and chairs. 

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of ottomans and coffee tables, the final choice lies in your hand.

 

July 12, 2018 

 

Why you should have a sofa bed at home 

 

It’s always better to accomplish two things at once, or with the help of a single tool. And this is exactly what a sleeper sofa does. You can use it as a sofa to sit and relax while watching your favorite shows in the daytime. And at night, you just have to put in a little effort to extend and use it to sleep. In short, it helps transform your sitting area into a bedroom in seconds!

It’s especially helpful if you don’t have space for an additional bed, but need extra bedding when friends and guests stay and sleep over. It helps you take good care of your friends, and ensure they get a good night’s sleep with you. 

Reasons to buy a sofa bed

There obviously are a lot of reasons to buy a sofa bed beside sitting. It’s, in fact, an ideal piece of furniture to make your living room look and feel nice and great for rooms with minimal space.

Not only does it provide additional sleeping space for your guests, it’s easily folded up and is great for storing things. It’s cozy, comfortable and also stylish to look at. So it easily compensates your sleeping and seating arrangements wherever space is a constraint.

i.      Saves space 

With a sofa bed at home, you don’t have to devote separate spaces for a sofa and a bed. The sofa bed serves both purposes, giving you more space for other furniture and can be easily moved around your home. You don’t even need space for an extra mattress as the sofa bed is comfortable enough to give your guests a good night’ sleep.

ii.     Saves money

Just like sofa beds save space, it also saves money because you needn’t invest in separate beds and sofas. You pay for a single piece of furniture that takes care of all your guests' seating and sleeping needs whenever you have guests visiting. And a good sofa bed is comparatively much cheaper than other forms of couches, beds and most mattresses.

iii.    Easily set up 

You needn’t undergo any specific training to set up a sofa bed. Anyone can do it as you just have to remove any cushions and pull out the built-in mattress. You have your comfortable and cozy bed ready in seconds for your guests, thus reducing time spent getting things ready for your guests.

iv.    Additional storage space 

The sofa bed helps keep your home organized and clutter free as you can store things you don’t use every day like quilts and additional pillows in it. It also helps save space because you needn’t buy an additional cupboard for storage purposes.

v.     Comfort

It’s true that sleeper sofas were once not as comfortable as beds. However, the latest innovations have made this a thing of the past because today’s sofa beds are so very comfortable and easygoing in function. It’s in fact as comfortable as a bed to sleep on at night, or for short naps at noon.

vi.    No need for a guest room

Not everyone has a guest room to accommodate the unexpected guests. However, there’s no need to worry if you don’t have one in your home as you can use your sleeper sofa as a guest room. Though it’s not as spacious and versatile as a separate room, your guests won’t mind it as they feel comfortable and hospitable in it.

Sofa beds also prove useful even if you have a guest room. While the room can be used as a guest room when guests are around, it can also be used as a workroom, party room or library where the sofa is used for seating purposes.

vii.    Huge range to choose from

Sofa beds are available in various fabrics, brands, materials, types, styles, and sizes to choose from based on your décor. They also come in beds ranging from queen to twin sizes where some are both stylish and comfortable.

The best naturally are from famous and prestigious companies while the fabric determines how durable and comfortable it is. Sofa beds can be extended in various ways. You can draw it from below, open the seat cushions and take out its bed frame or even push down the backrest cushions so that they line up horizontally with the seat ones.

You can also choose between full-sized sofa beds that easily accommodate 2-3 adults or modest-sized ones which comfortably accommodate an adult. And best of all, a sofa bed can be easily moved around.

Tips for increasing the comfort of a sleeper sofa

While sofa beds are quite comfortable on their own, the following tips help make them even more comfortable. 

  •       Use an additional egg crate or mattress pad

You can try adding a mattress pad or egg crate atop the mattress for increased comfort. It’s an affordable means of increasing the sofa bed’s comfort levels. It also helps turn a firm bed into something softer.

  •       Buy some good-quality bedding

Bedding has a huge effect on the comfort of your sofa bed. You needn’t spend loads on Egyptian cotton sheets as natural wool layering is cheaper, and perfect for layering the sofa’s mattress.

Though you may not feel so comfortable, wool is a strong and hearty textile that can help remove any mattress discomfort when used appropriately. Place a wool blanket on the mattress and a good fitting sheet on it for exceptional cushioning and a much better night’s sleep.

  •      Use a suitable pillow

No matter what you sleep on, it’s the pillow that decides how peaceful and comfortable your sleep is. The right pillow will make your sleep all the more comfortable. Adding body pillows to the sofa mattress makes a marked difference to the quality of your sleep as they offer a sort of support system to your body.

Conclusion 

All this shows that a sofa bed is an incredible piece of furniture for any home. It not only saves space as a sofa cum bed, it is also very profitable for you and your family. It’s better than a traditional couch, affordably priced, easy to open up and perfect to accommodate surprise guests when space is a constraint at home. 

 

July 9, 2018 

 

6 Tips for choosing comfortable living room chairs

  

Living rooms or family rooms are considered the hub of most homes because it’s where family members sit together and watch their favorite movies, talk about things, have a cup of coffee or just laze around.

You naturally have to look for the right living room chairs for the room where you will be spending quite a few memorable moments and memories. It is the right furniture that makes it even more comfortable to spend time in.

Look for chairs that befit quite a few features. They have to be comfortable to sit on, durable enough to bear the weight and antics of both old and young people for years, stylish enough to complement the other family room furniture and also effectively bring out the style and interior décor of the room. As you have to keep so many things in mind while looking at these chairs, this buying guide can be of great help in making the right choice.

1. Comfort is the top priority

No living room chair is comfortable without arms. So look for chairs that have arms that are rightfully placed on the chair. Footrests on the chair increase its comfort by 100%.

Not only do your arms need support to be comfortable while on the chair, but it also needs a footrest so that you can sit comfortably with your feet on them. If not swivel chairs, you could consider placing a rocking chair as a variable alternative in your living room.

You could also look for a chair with a swivel mechanism. The mechanism makes it all the more convenient and easy to grab something from the table or to start talking to someone sitting on the seat beside you.

2. Proportionately sized 

Look for the right sized chair by first assessing your family room’s size. You will need to measure the space because you not only need enough space for chairs, but there should also be sufficient walking space around them.

The chair should not only fit into its speculated area, but it should also complement your sofa well. In other words, it shouldn’t look too small when compared to your sofa. So the best thing to do is measure the sofa’s seat height from the floor, and the total width of its seat and arms. Then choose living room chairs that are about the same measurements and are at least proportionally sized right.

3. Accent 'filler' chairs 

You have other chairs called occasional or accent chairs that you can use to fill up those small spaces in your family room. It’s because they are smaller in size than the fully upholstered chairs you may have selected for your home. These chairs have visible frames and come with seats and a back which may or may not be upholstered.

They give you much needed additional seating options for small areas. These chairs are not necessarily confined to use only in small lounges but can also be used in dining rooms as an extra seating option. And when not in use, placing the accent chairs in a corner can prove useful at adding a burst of color to your lounge.

4. Look for something symbolizing your style

Chairs for living rooms are not actually sofa chairs. There’s a difference between the two as there are some people who call the sofa a sofa chair while there are others who call chairs matching the sofa a sofa chair.

If it’s a chair matching the sofa, it is usually manufactured using the same materials as the sofa. The main difference between the two is that the chair has only one seat cushion and not two or more.

So sofa chairs that are bought with the sofa are a perfect match to the sofa. However, in case of living room chairs, they are made using different materials and you are at liberty of choosing chairs with a style that complements your other furniture pieces.

However, it needn’t be an exact match to your sofa. Just look for something that has the same color or style as the sofa or you can alternatively choose chairs that are of a similar time period as the sofa. The chairs and sofa combined will pull your room together.

5. Room atmosphere 

Your room’s atmosphere also affects your choice of chairs. If your family room is a formal place which is used mainly for special occasions, then it’s better to get chairs having upright backs or upholstered wing-back chairs.

These chairs have a tall back, armrests and winged sides for a reason. They were originally designed like this to provide protection from drafts. However, it’s now used more to give your room an old world look. In case the room is more a relaxed meeting place, then look for chairs that are more casually designed, and meant for lounging like chaise lounge chairs and recliners.

6. Buy based on material

The chair material is another factor to consider. There are leather chairs that add a touch of sophistication to your room with its smooth finish and clean lines. There are traditionally designed leather club chairs with low backs or the taller, softer and plusher chairs that provide for comfortable seating around the TV.

Fabric chairs are a good choice if you are looking for something casual because they come in various patterns and hues. This makes them just perfect to add some lively splash of color to the room.

If you have pets or children at home, then it’s very likely that they will eventually end up messing up your chairs. In that case, it’s better to buy chairs that are easily cleaned like microfiber chairs. 

Of course, they may not come in many colors and patterns to choose from, but they are easily cleaned. They, in fact, compensate for their minimal color and pattern choice through the many styles it’s available in.

Of the lot, it’s upholstered living room chairs, especially those in velvet that is the most comfortable. Then again the choice is left to you, to make with the help of this buying guide. 

 

July 6, 2018 

 

Everything you need to know about choosing the right apartment furniture 

 

Yes, it’s obvious that you need to buy apartment furniture, but as space is often a constraint in apartments it’s something you should do with some forethought and planning. You can’t, and shouldn’t just buy any piece of furniture you find as you may end up cramming the apartment. On the contrary, choose furniture that befits your apartment, so that you can live life comfortably even in a small apartment.

1. Budget

Furniture isn’t cheap. In fact, even good-quality single sofas cost thousands. This is why it’s better to establish a budget you can afford before you go shopping. You should not only buy furniture you can afford but buy only furniture you will be using.

No point buying an attractive and affordable corner table if you won’t be making much use of it. In other words, you have to keep a control on yourself and avoid impulse buying upon entering a furniture shop.

Make a list of the apartment furniture you require and go looking and buy only them. The chances of buying unnecessary furniture, or going on a furniture shopping spree, are reduced if you know precisely what furniture you are looking for.

2. Size 

Size is important because you should buy furniture that fits perfectly into your apartment’s living room. The furniture should also be easily carried up the stairs and into your home. So measure the width and height of your hallways, stairwells, and doorways leading to your apartment.

Before you go shopping you first have to pull a measuring tape to measure your living room dimensions. Mark its length and breadth while taking into consideration all alcoves and recesses.

The right measurements help you buy the right piece of furniture that easily fits through your apartment doorway, and in your apartment, without any hassles. Besides, you also have to buy furniture that’s proportionate to the size of your living room like its ceiling height and floor space.

This means there’s no point investing in a sectional sofa if it will consume lots of floor space and leave you without space for accent tables, shelves, an entertainment center or any supplementary seats.

3. Chalk out a floor plan 

With your measurements in hand, it’s time to get a pencil and paper to sketch a floor plan. A grid paper is better but plain notebook paper works just as well. Remember to maintain about a yard of space in between the larger furniture pieces while drawing a plan to ensure the room remains uncluttered.

The plan gives you an idea of what you should and can place in your room. It helps you decide between buying two loveseats or a sectional sofa with single sofas. It also helps decide if you can fit in some decorative pieces as well.

If you have the time and patience, you can also use some tape and newspaper to stage the living room and get a rough idea of how the living room will look like with all the furniture around.

4. Aesthetics 

As expected, aesthetics is important as it decides the look of your living room. You want something that blends well with your interior décor. It’s generally safe to buy traditional apartment furniture that blends with traditional and contemporary features.

This includes furniture with more of straight lines, a few curves and some pointed or rounded corners. The upholstery should be something that accommodates your personal lifestyle and preferences.

Though a leather sofa is durable, timeless and classical befitting any décor, it needs regular maintenance to remain soft, supple and scratch-free. It’s also expensive so if you are looking for something budget-friendly, then microfiber upholstery is a good choice. It’s a durable choice if you have kids and pets around, and is available in various patterns and colors.  

5. Choose your colors wisely

Apartments, especially the rentals generally have neutral color schemes. So if your landlord won’t let you paint your apartment, you have to use your furniture and décor to add some color and style to the place.

Grey, black, white and dark brown are your best options for furniture that do not clash with the apartment’s colors. It is better to first take pictures of all the rooms as it helps you match furniture with the wall and carpet colors when you go shopping.

6. Dual purpose

If space is a constraint, look for furniture that serves dual purposes like an ottoman that is ideal for resting your feet, placing drinks and snacks, to use as a game table and to create either storage space or act as a pull-out sofa.

Or you can buy a sofa that has a pull-out sleeper to help you conveniently accommodate overnight guests. Another idea is a dining table that serves as a desk in the day and a dining area at night. Then, of course, tables with leaves provide extra table space if needed.

7. Set your priorities right 

Buy your furniture in stages, starting with the basics and from the bedroom. Your bedroom furniture should comprise of a mattress, bed frame and a chest of drawers, and once you are done, you can move onto the kitchen and living room furniture.

Although decorative pieces are tempting, it’s better looking at them only after buying your necessary furniture. This is why it’s better to prioritize your furniture and your needs first, and not buy everything at once. Besides, it helps reduce the stress on your wallet.

8. Functionality and mobility 

You most likely have minimal space to work with in apartments when compared to a house. Or it’s possible that the space you have has a unique layout. It’s in these cases that it’s better to look for functional pieces of furniture that can help maintain a streamlined space.

Don’t forget to consider mobility while choosing your apartment furniture because legs with exposed legs and a light base are easier to move around if you want to change your furniture arrangement. Look for low-profile storage carts, coffee tables, seating and ottomans that have wheels.

  

July 4, 2018 

 

Functional living room furniture with storage options  

 

There’s nothing more stressful than returning to a home full of clutter. However, unfortunately, sometimes no matter how hard you try, kids and pets can really mess up the living room, the room which you usually see first upon entering your home.

The best way to handle the problem is by investing in living room furniture that is not only attractively colored and designed, but also offers handy, as well as handsome storage space. Here are a few storage suggestions to get you started.

1. Coffee table with shelf

Don’t just buy a coffee table. It's more functional if you buy one with a shelf included underneath, to use for your newspapers and remote controls. Or you could buy an upholstered ottoman to use both a storage unit and coffee table. Another option is vintage trunks that add some character to your living room too.

2. Bookcases 

You’ll have more space for your coffee cups on your tables if you have a bookcase for your magazines and books. You can always look for a wall-hung shelf in case there’s not enough space for a freestanding unit or bookcase. Adding a few shelves for your DVDs also helps reduce the clutter in the room. 

Filling a wall with shelves for your books and DVDs, and surfaces to display accessories like medals and photographs make a great focal point for the room. You can also paint the shelving unit’s back with a bright color to add more color to your room. This eventually turns it into your room’s focal point.

3. Glass doors 

Glass doors on your cupboards prove worthy for displaying your belongings. Remember that as the glass acts more like a frame for the things stored in the cupboards, it’s better to not fill the cupboard to its seams. There has to be enough space in the cupboard for whatever is inside it to breathe.

4. Sideboards 

Sideboards make interesting and functional living room furniture for storing things like your games, DVDs, glassware and drinks collection.

5. Unused space under windows 

You can add more life to the plain window in your room by turning it into a window seat cum storage unit. You don’t have to spend lots of money to come up with something bespoke to achieve this. You can instead place a low, strong, console table under the window frame for storage purposes, and place some cozy cushions atop it to make it a comfortable seat. 

6. Vintage storage options

Add a touch of charm to the living room with some vintage furniture and storage options. Storage trunks not only adds some history to the room but can also be used as a coffee table. Just make sure you buy something made of strong and good quality wood, which is not expensive but instead, rather affordably priced.

It’s also a good idea to have some antique living room fittings and cabinets to even modern homes. They offer well-organized storage options that are full of character and personality. Wooden sideboards with lots of drawers offer optimal storage space.

7. Make maximum use of all nooks and corners

No matter how well you think you have organized your things there is always some unused space in a room. Tall and slim storage units are best for filling up any awkward corners in the room. You can perhaps collect a few similar units to create a built-in library type of look. A neutral sofa looks great in rooms that have walls full of shelves, and if the walls are painted a delicate shade.

8. Look for hidden space

Instead of using sliding shelves just to divide rooms, they can also be used for camouflaging brimming wall-to-wall shelves pretty well. Painting the panel blinds the same color or print as the paint or wallpaper in the room helps it blend in. Besides, they make a much more affordable and brighter option to wooden doors.

9. Storage wall

Why not create a unit on your wall specifically to hold your television, with space underneath for storing all your media equipment. Just keep the larger objects visible, and on a show while it looks neat if all smaller items are stored in baskets and boxes. Work to blend the television into the living room scheme by building a unit that not only has lots of storage options but also has a canvas to hide the television screen.

10. High ceilings have lots of storage space

In case your living room has high ceilings, you can make good and creative use of the space under the ceilings as storage space. You could fit a long-running shelf to store interesting things like photographs and votives. Painting the space above the rail a different color helps create an illusion of lower ceilings.

11. Make maximum use of empty alcoves

Space is precious, so do your best to ensure no alcove goes to waste. You could perhaps build a few bespoke shelves into the empty space to fill with your books, magazines or curios. Coloring the shelves in different shades and textures help create a lot of tone and warmth which when mixed with big, comfortable loveseats help create a cocooned living scheme.

It’s left to you to decide what type of living room furniture you will use in your living room to minimize clutter and make the room look so much more organized. Of course, you have to select based on practicality and your budget so that whatever storage units you use is within your pocket and looks great on walls.

There’s no limit to the storage options you can create in your living room. You just have to learn to think out of the box because it’s not always necessary that the storage unit is neatly concealed somewhere.

Most of the time even bold and brashly designed storage units look great and becoming.  It’s you who decides the look and style for the room, and accordingly select the right living room furniture with storage options to complement this look and style. 

 

June 28, 2018

 

How to maintain antique home furniture- 13 tips 

 

Old is gold is the adage, however only if it’s well taken care of. Even though you have valuable antique home furniture it remains your pride only if it’s well maintained. So if you have some vintage furniture at home, these tips should help you take good care of it to ensure it remains in good shape.

1. Keep it away from heat and other harmful elements 

Keep your furniture somewhere safe away from excessive heat, direct sunlight, and moisture. These three elements can do lots of damage to your furniture. It’s recommended to maintain a constant level of humidity of about 40-60% at home because inconsistent humidity can loosen the furniture joints. Sunlight, on the other hand, leads to fading of color and cracking in the finishing.

2. Annual paste wax

Your antique home furniture needs a coating of paste wax every year. This helps add sheen to the furniture while protecting against moisture and pollutants. A little bit of good-quality wax like Minwax or expensive English beeswax is more than enough.

Softly rub the wax according to the wood grain till there’s a deeply layered finish on it. However, don’t forget to remove any excess wax once done to prevent its accumulation on the furniture.

3. Use the right oil 

Don’t use just any oil to clean your antique wood furniture. Murphy’s Oil Soap is ideal for cleaning dirty furniture. Just follow the bottle instructions and you are good to go. However no matter how much you are tempted; avoid using linseed and lemon oils because they only end up coating the wood which in turn attracts dirt. Also avoid using Pledge or any spray furniture cleaning products because it contains silicone, which leaves a difficult to remove film coating on the furniture.

4. Avoid using anything rough 

Don’t use anything with a rough texture on the furniture as it ends up scratching it. Even feather dusters are a no-no because broken feathers are similar to tiny sticks which end up spoiling the surface. Instead, use a very soft cloth like cheesecloth to wax the furniture. Use a little wax and rub gently after spreading a thin and even coat on the furniture.

5. Save bits and pieces 

Waxing should be done with care as it’s highly possible that pieces of veneer or inlay may come loose. Save any pieces that come off because they are irreplaceable and substitutes are difficult to find. Do not try repairing it yourself by gluing it back on. Safely keep the pieces and carry it to a wood expert to restore to your furniture.

6. Don’t forget to remove dust before using cleaners

While this is second nature to many, there are lots of people who forget to dust their furniture before waxing it. Failing to do so only leads to the dust ending up trapped under the wax layer.

7. Don’t polish metal hardware 

Antique home furniture usually has some metal ornaments or hardware on it like brass knobs or keyholes and other similar decorations. Though it’s tempting, don’t polish them using any metal-cleaning product or polish as it may damage the wood underneath.

It’s better to carefully dust the ornaments or hardware a few times a year. In case the piece is very badly tarnished, remove the hardware and then polish with a polish appropriate for it and replace.

8. Use a humidifier

Humidifiers are a must in dry houses or apartments, especially during winter. It’s required because wood tends to shrink or swell and end up splitting or wrapping due to temperature and humidity changes.

This can be avoided by preventing extreme temperatures, and ensuring the wood doesn’t dry or become too damp. Keep checking the back of the furniture like the pieces against the wall for signs of mold and mildew. Wipe off any signs of mold with a soft cloth dipped and wrung in a very dilute (10:1) solution of water and bleach of household bleach.

9. Wipe off spills 

All spills and stains have to be immediately blotted up. Do not rub or scrub it as blotting safely absorbs the liquid. Keep blotting with a clean towel or paper towel till most liquid is absorbed.

Always act as quickly as possible otherwise the stain may set permanently and destroy the fabric. It’s better to call a good furniture restorer in case of major spills and serious scratches instead of trying out risky household remedies.

10. Dry vacuuming 

It’s good to gently dry vacuum the antique home furniture surface periodically to prevent dust and dirt from settling onto its fibers. While you may alternatively use a soft and dry brush, don’t use dust rags as its loose threads may catch on, and pull the veneer pieces off.

11. Deep cleaning 

You can use cleaning foam meant for use on upholstery to remove any accumulated dirt and grime. However first try the foam on an indiscreet part of the furniture to ensure it’s safe to use on it, and there’s no discoloration. Follow foam instructions and use only clean towels to dab and not rub or scrub the surface.

12. No dry heating

Do not try drying the antique upholstery with heat as it only shrinks the fibers and causes permanent damage. A better and safer alternative is to use fans to let it naturally dry. Make sure the furniture is thoroughly dried before you start using it.

13. Leave it to the pros 

If you don’t have the time or are not so confident with the proper cleaning techniques for your antique furniture, then it’s better to leave things to the pro. Doing the wrong thing can only lead to problems and devalue your furniture’s value. This is especially important when it comes to repairs.

It may look like an easy fix, but just squirting glue on joints is not always enough. In fact, crude and inefficient repair work conducted by amateurs only devalues your furniture. It’s better not repairing it at all, or even better still, entrusting the job to a repair or restoration expert.

While these tips can help you clean and maintain your valuable antique home furniture, sometimes hiring a professional may be a better alternative. After all, this furniture has sentimental values, and are so delicate that it’s wiser having it professionally cleaned using the right cleaning techniques and equipment.

    

JUNE 25, 2018

 

A dummy’s guide to loveseats 

 

Loveseats are also called apartment-size sofas because of its size. It’s just right for use in small spaces like living rooms in small apartments. As the name suggests, it’s a two-seater couch seating two people or a couple, and the reason for its name. 

They don’t use much space but do create a cozy and homey atmosphere. They can also be used in large living areas for additional seating arrangements and thus help create conversation groups. 

Shopping tips for loveseats 

  • Comfort 

If you go shopping for loveseats, you have to choose one based on your design preferences and requirements. It should be comfortable to sit on, which its upholstery determines. While loveseats with low-density cushions are affordably priced, they do flatten with use and tend to quickly wear out. 

The high-density cushions are slightly expensive, but worth the cost because of its firm seating wherein it tends to hold its shape longer. If you are looking for something really comfortable, look for a loveseat with down cushions.

  • Size 

Size is another factor to consider while looking for loveseats. While sectionals may be small, they take up lots of space. Loveseats on the contrary are compact enough to fit into tiny areas. However don’t make the mistake of buying one without first measuring wherever you plan to keep it.

  • Style 

You can also buy loveseats based on style. You have modern and contemporary style loveseats which go well with most living room themes. The modern design seats come with firmer cushions, strong angles and longer legs while the contemporary designed ones have thicker upholstery, plush seating and lower legs.

  • Fabric

The type of fabric on the loveseat is something else you need to take into consideration. You can choose between seats with different upholstery fabric options like top grain leather, velvet and twill. Make your choice based on your tastes, and one that blends well not your living space. 

Standard loveseat size

Now as size is important while looking for loveseats as you shouldn’t take it for granted that it’s small, and can fit into just any space. Well, while loveseats come in varying dimensions, most of them are four to six feet long from arm to arm, and about three feet deep. While this is the average size, they come in various dimensions to fit its appearance and the room.

So find out how you can measure the right sized loveseat for your existing space. Length is the first thing people measure while choosing loveseats. Here are a few of the most common sized loveseats.

  • Compact twin-size loveseats accommodate one person and measures only 45 to 51 inches long with a depth of 28 inches.
  • The small, standard loveseats measure 52 inches long from one arm to the other.
  • The medium loveseats are a bit bigger than the small versions, measuring 58 inches long form one arm to another.
  • Full loveseats are ideal for the bigger built couple because it measures 64 inches from one arm to another and is comfortable for bulkier people.
  • And if you are looking for something really big, then there’s the loveseat sofa measuring 71 inches in length from an arm to another.

While length it is important, there are other dimensions you also have to check. For example, while loveseats are usually 20-21 inches above the floor, sometimes its physical appearance or aesthetics can be deceiving. Sleek and trim loveseats which measure the same as overstuffed loveseats with round padded arms and puffy back cushions generally look smaller in a room.

Differences between loveseats and settees

In case you ever wondered what the difference between a loveseat and settee is, you’ve now found your answer. Loveseats come in various styles but the most unique feature about it is that it has individual sections so that each person can sit in a section. 

While the contemporarily designed loveseats may not have distinct seating options, they are small enough for two grown up people to comfortably sit on. Loveseats may come with upholstered arms or without any back or even have low backs with relatively high placed arm rests.

Settees are usually long wooden benches with an average sized sofa. It usually has a back and arms and comfortably seats at least three people. Settees are available in various styles like the contemporary models that have legs there are the more modern designs with upholstery but no obvious legs. They are bought either alone or can be included in your living room furniture.

So looking at the two, it’s quite obvious that the main differences between the two are that:

i. Loveseats can hold only two people while settees can fit more than two people.

ii. Another difference is that while settees always come with a back, loveseats have backs, are backless or have a low back.

iii. Settees are also available as a two-in-one sleeper sofa to use as an extra bed if there’s no space or if there’s guests. However loveseats can at the most accommodate only a small child who will be able to snuggle within the two seats.

iv. And lastly, while loveseats are usually sold as an individual piece of furniture, sectional sofas come with pieces to add or remove as required. 

You have to make your choice between the two based on where you want to use it, and how you plan to arrange your furniture in the existing space. While most people use loveseats in their living rooms, there are others who use it more for decorative reasons and not actually for seating purposes.  

 

JUNE 22, 2018

 

Here is a quick guide for first-time Ottoman buyers

 

The Ottoman is an attractive piece of furniture that conveniently blends with the décor of any room. There are rectangular versions which complement your living room set and square ones you can use in the study to rest your feet while enjoying a great book.

Ottomans come in various sizes, shapes, materials, and purposes. If this is the first time you are buying this exquisite piece of furniture, this buying guide has everything you need to know to help you buy one.

What is an Ottoman?

It’s a functional piece of add-on furniture to the living room or den, consisting of a padded and upholstered seat or bench. It may or may not have armrests and can be used as stools or paired with sofas and recliners.

Shapes

It’s always better to decide on it’s shape based on its surrounding furniture and not vice versa.

  • Round Ottoman

Round Ottomans complement round sofas well to give a contemporary look and uses minimal space. It’s depth and dimensions create the perfect focal point in a room. However, its round look may not match a room with angled furniture.

  • Square Ottomans

This is the most popular of the lot because they complement practically any sofa. It is a good supplement for coffee tables and softens rooms full of angled furniture. Most people prefer customizing square Ottomans to fit the dimensions of a loveseat, sectional or even an exquisite sofa. You can even line up a few square or cube Ottomans to get a decent table and is a perfect alternative if you find rectangular ones too bulky for your room space.

  • Rectangular Ottomans

Rectangular Ottomans are widely used as an alternative to coffee tables, or as an additional place to sit. It is ideal to use as a living room centerpiece thanks to its generous surface are, storage and display potential.

Materials

Ottomans are made using different materials which you should choose based on your lifestyle.

  • Fabric

Fabric is a safe choice because it blends well with most furniture. However, while a leather ottoman does look good with a fabric sofa, it’s not the same in case of a leather sofa and fabric Ottoman.

However if your other living room furniture has lots of fabric, then there are various ottoman fabric upholsteries to choose from. Microfiber attracts attention with its bright colors, making it an ideal centerpiece. It’s also not only soft and comfortable but also easy to clean and maintain.

  • Leather

It’s true that leather is durable and doesn’t easily tear or fray like fabric. However, it may not be the right choice if you have kids as it easily stains from household items like ink, oil and peanut butter.

Of course, leather does make a comfortable covering for any furniture, and its effects are better if it’s the right color. Black leather ottomans look great in large spaces while beige leather ones give the ideal finish to a small room.

  • Memory foam

Memory foam is an affordable material that depending on the heat surrounding it is either supportive or elastic in function. It’s an ideal choice as a footrest because it helps those with chronic foot pain. It’s also lightweight, simple and goes well with any slipover.

  • Rattan 

Rattan ottomans are favorites for outdoor patios because it makes wicker seating look inviting. Not only is it light and durable, you can also use a few brush strokes to personalize rattan and turn a white rattan ottoman into a modern pink or green one. The only maintenance it requires is an occasional cleaning, and keeping it away from extreme heat and humidity makes it last a few years.

Then again, if you are worried about the ottoman material getting damaged, you can always buy slipcovers. They not only protect the ottoman, but can also be changed according to the changing seasons.

Designs

Ottoman designs depend on its purpose, which is plenty. They can be used alone or with a sofa, as some additional storage space, as a footrest or as a tray for your cocktails and coffee cups.

  • Storage Ottomans

They give you additional space in your cluttered home by making it look more organized. It’s just right for storing things like toys, DVDs, and remotes, which usually end up scattered around the house.

Bigger ottomans easily store your fleece throws and cashmere blankets while giving some place for your feet. While the average small, square ottoman has sufficient space for some neatly folded blankets, a bench ottoman is better for storing board games.

  • Table and tray ottomans

The coffee table Ottomans are ideal for holding your cups of coffee. You can also use the ottoman as a footrest in case you want to enjoy your cup of coffee while relaxing on your reclining sofa. There are also cocktail ottomans with a flip top to use for holding drinks, like a serving tray.

Tray ottomans can be personalized as per usage, thanks to its versatility, mobility and the fact that it can be separated. You have the option to use it as your laptop table, to surprise your wife with breakfast in bed or use as a simple tray for any seat at home.

  • Tufted Ottomans

Tufted ottomans make the ideal chair ottoman or footstool as the tufting keeps its foam and cotton filling from bunching or shifting with constant use. The button-tufted versions look elegant and classic but are surprisingly affordably priced. Tufted ottomans, however, should not be used as a tray or coffee-table because it’s uneven top makes it unsafe for cups and glasses.

  • Gliders

Glider ottomans are an interesting part of nursery furniture because it’s so comfortable for children to sleep in. It also provides the necessary support when you sit in rocking chairs and recliners that don’t have any support.

  • Sleeper

Ottoman sleepers offer comfortable bedding for your occasional house guests. It’s large and comfortable for your guests to sleep on, and the fact that it’s convertible is really something interesting and unique.  

 

JUNE 20, 2018

 

How to clean and maintain leather sofas 

 

Leather sofas are a worthy and durable investment that looks great in your home and office, if well-maintained. However, don’t think that cleaning and maintaining leather sofas are a chore and hassle. In fact, the right maintenance routine using the following tips can help your leather sofa last a long time.

Maintain and stick to a routine

You have to maintain your sofa just as you would your floors and curtains. Start a regular cleaning regimen and stick to it and you won’t find cleaning it so difficult!

How to clean your leather sofa

The basic rule of the thumb here is ‘little-is-much’ and to clean your sofa at least once in three months. A weekly cleaning by dusting the sofa with a feather duster and sofa cloth is also more than enough. This is, in addition, to regularly turning and fluffing the cushions.

You can use the vacuum’s soft brush attachment to clean the sofa if it was used heavily during the week. But be extremely gentle on your couch and do your cleaning without using any wet clothes, harsh and ammonia-based reagents or bleach.

The best way to clean your sofa is by first vacuuming and removing all dust. Dust is abrasive, especially when it gets wet when you start cleaning with a cleaning solution. Once the dust is removed, make a cleaning solution of equal parts of vinegar or commercial leather cleaner and water.

Then soak a cleaning cloth, preferably a soft microfiber and wring it out so that it’s not wet but just damp, and use to thoroughly wipe the couch. Rinse the cloth as necessary. It’s after this is done that you use a towel to dry the couch. However don’t use any blow dryers for drying as it’s a heat source, and only dehydrates the leather.

How to condition or polish a leather sofa

It’s natural for your sofa to get dry with time. And the best way to overcome this problem and to keep your sofa shining is with regular polishing. Start by making a conditioning solution by mixing one part of vinegar to two parts linseed or flaxseed oil.

Now use a soft cloth to apply the solution to your sofa with broad and circular motions and leave it overnight. Now finish off the conditioning, and restore the couch’s shine by buffing the sofa with a dry, clean cloth. It’s more than enough to polish the sofa once in three months.

How to remove stains on leather sofas

The secret to removing stains is to quick action. While you have to wipe and not rub off stains immediately, different stains have to be taken care of in different manners.

  1. In case of mold and mildew stains, mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol and clean the stain by wetting a soft cloth in the cleaning solution.
  2. In case of stains caused by ink and permanent markers, use aerosol hairspray to remove the marker stains and eucalyptus oil or rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains.
  3. You need a paste mixing together equal amounts of lemon juice and cream of tartar to remove dark colored stains from a light colored couch. Rub this paste onto the stains, leave for ten minutes, and then rub some more of the paste on the stain. Wipe off using a damp sponge.
  4. Removing grease stains is not very difficult as you just have to put some baking soda on the grease. The stain disappears when you dust off the powder after a while as the powder lifts the stain with it.
  5. Professional cleaners are best called to remove any stubborn stains. They have the know-how and equipment to remove stubborn stains without damaging your couch.

How to eliminate unpleasant smells from leather sofas

Leather tends to absorb strong smells like cigarette smoke and pet odors. While nothing can be done about this natural tendency, you can at least prevent it by wiping the sofa with a soft cloth dabbed in some baby oil.

It leaves your sofa smelling fresh, and preserves the leather. Though there are various cleaning products specifically meant for preventing and eliminating the strongest smells, always do a spot test on a small patch of the sofa before use.

Additional maintenance tips

  • Always keep your sofa away from sunlight and other heat sources. Heat isn’t good for it as the sofa loses its color and starts cracking because the heat makes it dry. So keep your leather sofa at least ten inches from heat sources like your air conditioner, fireplace, laptops, heating ventilators and even hot cups of beverages. It helps preserve the leather’s moisture and its surface properties.
  • Be careful while sleeping, sitting and using the sofa because cosmetics and hair chemicals do affect your couch layer. Even oils secreted by the neck and arms are not  good for your sofa, which is why leather couch arms usually end up looking lighter than the other parts of the sofa after time.
  • It’s advisable to keep your couch covered most of the time, especially if you have pets at home. They may not scratch your sofa, but their acidic saliva will leave your couch damaged. It’s not possible or feasible to stop your pets from using the sofa, but you can at least cover and protect the couch.
  • Quick action is the best way to get rid of stains. Remove them as soon as possible as the longer the stains remain on the sofa, the deeper it permeates into it, and gets difficult to remove. So dab off any spill immediately. Don’t wipe as wiping only spreads the spill and if it’s penetrating, a large area gets affected.
  • Protecting the sofa’s top later or top color helps prolong your sofa’s life. This is because the top later is vulnerable to soil and wear, and leads to the sofa’s quick deterioration and cracks if destroyed.
  • Always spot test cleaning solutions or reagents you plan to use on some inconspicuous part of the sofa. This is to prevent some solvents damaging your sofa.
  • Last but not least, your sofa needs regular cleaning and conditioning. Follow and maintain your fixed cleaning regimen and your leather sofa will serve you for a long time to come!  

 

JUNE 15, 2018

 

9 Things To Consider While Buying Bar Stools

  

After spending so much on your bar, the finishing touch lies in buying the right bar stools that complement it well. The right bar stools are those that blend well with your bar, is comfortable for you and your guests to enjoy a few drinks and is of course, within your budget.

Finding bar stools is not a problem because there are so many types available- the problem lies in finding the right one for your bar. So if you find it difficult making a choice, here are a few factors that will help you out.

1. Style

You have to choose bar stools that fit with your home’s interior décor and style. This means that if you have a rustic style home, then wooden bar stools may complement it the best. However, if you are looking for something contemporary, then look for metal or plastic ones.

 2. Backs

You have to choose your stool backs based on the look you want to create, and the level of comfort you are looking for. Backless stools are always better in case of swivel bar stools. But if you want some back support, then you can choose between low and high-back bar stools. The difference between the two is that the low back stools offer some back support and still look backless while the high-back bar stools offer maximum support.

3. Size

It’s better to opt for backless bar stools for small bars as it makes your bar area look bigger. And anyway, it’s easier to tuck backless bar stools under the bar or counter when not in use and save floor space in the process.

Then again, if you have sufficient space, then you could look for bar stools with a backrest and armrest for added support and comfort. The size of your bar area not only determines the type of bar stools you should buy, but also the number of stools that will fit behind it. Obviously a bigger area permits more stools, as long as there is sufficient space in between them.

4. Additional Features

You may be surprised to know that bar stools come with some exceptional features which go a long way at making your guests feel comfortable. For example, you have adjustable bar stools which are very useful because it’s height can be increased and decreased to accommodate your guests’ heights.

It’s great if the bar stool has a footrest so that whoever sits on the stool has someplace comfortably sit with their feet resting on it. And if you will be having parties where people interact with each other across the room then it’s better to look for swivel bar stools. This makes it easy for the person sitting on the stool to turn around and speak to others in the room.

5. Height

If you don’t plan on investing in adjustable bar stools, then you have to be careful about the height of the stools you choose. It should match your bar’s height so that your guests can comfortably rest their arms on the bar while enjoying their drinks.

Stools that are your bar height are a logical choice for standard bars however if your bar is a kitchen counter or about similar height, then shorter counter stools are a better option. If you have children around, then you may consider getting one or two short or adjustable bar stools so that they don’t feel left out.

  • Measuring the right height

Now you may wonder what the best height stool is for your bar counter. Well, this is rather easy to find out. You just have to measure from the floor to the highest point of the bar and subtract ten inches from it. This gives you the appropriate height for any bar stool you choose as it gives you enough room to comfortably sit on the stool and to also tuck it under the counter when not in use.

6. Seating material

The bar stools’ seating material is something you need to choose wisely because you have to be comfortable spending so much time sitting on the stools! Wood is the most common choice because they are durable, comfortable and look traditional.

If you are looking for something luxurious, then leather is a better material. They look rich and are of course softer to sit on. Plastic and metal carry a modern look and are a durable investment.

It’s left to you to make a selection based on the comfort and look you want. It goes without saying that whichever type of bar stool you choose; you should know to clean it. Spills and accidents are inevitable when at the bar so it’s better to choose stools you know how to clean!

7. Color patterns

Most of the bar stools come in solid colors, which isn’t surprising as it easily blends into most rooms and bars. However, this doesn’t mean you have no other choices. It’s always better to check out a few color patterns too because it is the perfect design which goes a long way at enhancing your bar’s look. If your bar is supposed to be the center of attraction, then it’s better to look for something eye-catching like a wild print pattern.

8. Flexibility

Adjustable bar stools are generally a better option if you are thinking of moving house in the future. This is because you never know where you will be shifting into next. It’s only adjustable stools that are flexible enough to easily blend and fit into and under any bar counter. All you have to do is increase or reduce the height of the stool as per the counter measurements.

9. Cost

Cost is always a factor to consider, no matter what you plan buying. Bar stools are no exceptions. So look for something in your budget as you most probably won’t be buying a single stool but should be able to afford a few stools for the bar counter.

If you were finding it difficult choosing the right bar stools for your bar counter, these factors should make it look so much easier!