Monthly Archives: August 2018

How to Make Calm And Cozy In The Family Room

There’s something truly beautiful about textiles. They are the pieces of fabric that work to give our home an identity. The perfect pillow, a beautiful throw, a handmade blanket. Each of these pieces has a story behind it. Each textile has a history to it, a level of artisanship and thought-provoking design. And each can be used to tell our own individual story at home, highlighting a color, pattern or place that we love. Many times it’s the textiles that truly make a house feel like a home.

 

Kera Thompson, the founder of Interwoven, has a focus on bringing handmade textiles from around the globe to all of our homes. This textile maven’s Salt Lake City home is a nod to her well-traveled life. From room to room you can spot an array of pieces she’s discovered during her travels. Vintage kilims, colorful kantha quilts, and Hmong pillows, are woven seamlessly into the interior. With a focus on highlighting our world’s global connection, through textiles, Thompson hopes to highlight just how interconnected we all truly are. 

 

“From my travels and experiences as a designer, mother, and model, I have realized how interwoven we are as a world community, and cherish the beauty that comes as we become aware and embrace the good around us,” remarks Thompson. “Each piece in my collection is just a small reflection of that beauty.”

Thompson’s home is Interwoven’s ultimate showroom. Each room highlights how global textiles can effortlessly fit into the most modern of spaces. In the master bedroom, a neutral bed and bedding are layered with colorful blankets and cushions. A vintage sari kantha quilt brings home Pantone’s marsala shade, while a kilim pillow adds a riot of hues to the bed.

Textiles can be expressive pieces. Many times they help us show off our individuality at home. They can be used to add color, pattern and can even be the foundation of a certain feel you want in a space. In her daughter’s bedroom, the home’s global lifestyle continues to be on display. A colorful kantha quilt from India becomes the perfect way to express a childhood exuberance.

Beyond textiles, Thompson has a way of integrating global pieces in some of the most unexpected ways. A handcrafted mobile above her daughter’s bed adds to the room’s color story of yellow, blue and bright pink.

Thompson’s home studio marries modern furnishings with the global elements that make up her shop. Among her bright blue shelving, you can find handwoven African baskets, a collection of gorgeous quilts, and piles of pillows all ready to ship out at a moment’s notice.

The Most Money When You Sell Used Furniture

The need to sell used furniture results from several situations. They include simply wanting to replace old furniture, moving, or needing to get rid of furniture that sits in storage. Get the most out of selling used furniture by following these tips.

 

Determine Value

Buried treasure status or trash? If you are selling furniture that is in good condition or you think is valuable, get an idea of how much it is worth.

Do you own antiques that belong to a period valued by collectors? Do you know if your furniture was made by a famous manufacturer?

In the case of antiques or valuable collections, consult pricing guides at the library or online or ask an expert. Visiting local consignment stores and looking at newspaper and internet ads for similar objects can also give you an idea of how much your furniture is worth.

Even if your furniture is not old enough to be classified as antique or have value as a collector’s item, it is still worth something. Consider how much you paid for it, who manufactured it, how long you have used it and its present condition.

Another fact worth remembering is that upholstered furniture is the hardest to sell, and you will have more takers for case goods.

 

Price Appropriately

This can turn out to be tough. You don’t want to undersell, but you don’t want to price it so high that no one wants to buy it.

Be realistic when pricing your old furniture. The memories you might have attached to a piece are yours alone and provide no added value to the buyer. Similarly, a customized couch might not have any special value for a buyer either, and customers are usually savvy enough to recognize if you have inflated prices or overstated the value.

When pricing, also take into account any stains, scratches, tears or dents, just as you should make a note of a well-maintained or mint-condition item.

Your prices should not be any higher than the asking rate for similar products that you see advertised or displayed in used furniture stores. Decide ahead of time how firm you are going to be on your price and whether you are open to bargaining.

For ideas on how to price your used furniture, read these tips for pricing used furniture.

 

Decide How to Sell

Garage sales, yard sales, or moving sales might work for you, depending on how much time and inventory you have.

If you want to use the internet, include pictures and details in your ad to encourage serious buyers to contact you. Be prepared to meet with potential buyers, depending on how the site you choose works. If possible, move the furniture to an area where you don’t have to let strangers inside your home.

Contact a consignment store or a used furniture dealer. They will come to your house, make you an offer and pick up the items if they think they can sell them at a profit.

Although this is very convenient, you might not get the best price for your furniture because they will only buy it if they think they can make a profit and will not give you top dollar. If you are short on time, don’t want to bother with trying to organize a garage sale or need to get the stuff out quickly, this might be a good way to go.

Contact a professional liquidator if you have a lot of furniture to sell, and they will suggest the best method for disposing of your furniture. They might suggest an on-site auction, moving everything to an auction house or having a tag sale. They will set the prices for all items, and you can expect them to charge 20 to 30 percent of the sale proceeds. Go through all costs and commissions before you sign any agreements. To find liquidators look online under “estate sales.”

In the end, if you are left with items you were unable to sell, consider donating to charities or furniture banks. You get the satisfaction of helping someone and a receiving a tax break.

 

Create an Attractive Ad

If you are selling the furniture yourself, you need to create an attractive ad that describes your furniture and creates a little excitement around it.

You could also mention a need that your furniture might fill to nudge potential buyers into action. A word of caution, though: Refrain from false advertising. Be honest about the condition of the furniture. Don’t call a sagging couch “practically new.” If you are advertising online, include a photograph. Most users click on listings that have images attached to them.

If you are holding a garage sale, in addition to advertising in the newspaper and online, create signs announcing the date and venue of your garage sale. List a few items to give an idea of what you are selling.

Check out regulations concerning signs in your area. You don’t want to put a dent in your profits by having to pay fines.

 

Learn How to Negotiate

You might find that you have to negotiate with the buyer for the price on your piece of furniture.

You want to get the best price for your furniture, while the buyer is looking for the best deal. It might seem that both of you are looking for completely different things, but there is a meeting point: the place where both of you find value in the transaction.

You can make a counteroffer if the buyer’s offer seems too low. Haggling is part of this process. But in the end, it depends on your level of comfort with it. Haggling might get you the price you want, or you might simply find greater value in finally being rid of the item and sell it for less than what you wanted.

Leather and Microfiber Options

As a loving owner of a cat or a dog, you know that selecting the best upholstery for your couch can be a little complicated. If you are a realist, you must have realized that not just your prized sofa, but most of your home is at the mercy of your beloved pet. Even when not trying to destroy your upholstery willfully, simply by climbing, sitting or walking on it, your pet can exact a heavy toll.

Here are some problems you might have had to contend with:

  • Claw marks and scratches
  • Pet hair clinging to the upholstery
  • Dirt marks
  • Stains from accidents or throwing up.
  • Best Couch Fabric for Dogs

While you should definitely consider training your pet to behave, why not also make it easier on yourself by choosing upholstery that is more pet-friendly? Select a fabric that has a tight weave that does not have much texture since that can easily get caught in claws. Stay away from light colors unless you have a well-behaved and well-trained pet. Select a fabric that you would buy for a heavy usage area. And consider that leather and microfiber are best-suited to life with pets.

 

Leather

Leather is one of the best coverings you can choose, period. It is long lasting and actually improves with age and use. It is easy to maintain, comes in many colors, and is available at different price points.

When it comes to pets, it can stand up to most. When pets climb on it, it is easily cleaned; pet hair is easily removed because it doesn’t cling to the leather.

It is possible for your cat to leave holes in it if it uses your sofa as a scratching post, but that behavior should be discouraged no matter which upholstery material you choose. You can clean leather yourself, but if it’s seriously soiled, you can have it professionally cleaned.

Microfiber

A close second to leather is microfiber, a synthetic fabric.

  It is also a good choice, simply because it is easy to clean and maintain and wears well. Microfiber is also more affordable than leather and can be found in many colors.

Your pet’s claws won’t get caught in it because there are no loops in the fabric. It is not a hair magnet, which is great if your pet is a long-haired breed.

Stains are easy to clean off microfiber, should accidents happen. Just make sure to blot most of the mess with a clean towel and then clean with a little soap and water. But make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

 

Other Considerations

You may find that a patterned fabric works better than a solid, but it is best to avoid any fabric that is nubby or heavily textured because your pet’s claws can easily get caught in it. Besides, it might be too much fun to scratch. It goes without saying that fragile fabrics, such as silk, wool or linen should be avoided or used only where your pet is not allowed.

Turn Any Room Into a Bedroom

You can turn any room into a bedroom or guest room by furnishing it with a quality sofa bed. A sofa bed by any name — sleeper, sleeper sofa, sleep sofa — is one of the most versatile and hard-working pieces of furniture you could own. It has come a long way from being the uncomfortable, insomnia-inducing nightmare it used to be. As a matter of fact, some sofa beds are as comfortable as a regular bed.

When shopping for a sofa bed, it helps to remember that it will most often be primarily used as seating. So, it makes sense to look for the same features you would in a regular sofa, such as a design that fits your needs and style preferences. The only difference is that you will be looking for a comfortable mattress and efficient operating mechanism as well.

 

Look for a Hardwood Frame

The strongest and most durable frames for any type of sofa, including sofa beds, are those made of kiln-dried hardwood or a combination of kiln-dried hardwood and furniture-grade plywoods. Avoid buying frames made of softer woods such as pine.

 

Look for a Good-Quality Open-and-Close Mechanism

The mechanism in a good sleeper should lift up and out in one smooth motion without squeaking or sticking. Look for units designed with a lock-down bar to ensure proper closure as well as easy opening. Inspect closely to make sure the opening mechanism is put together well, and parts will not break or come loose easily.

Feel for Smooth Edges on All Inner Mechanisms

All parts of a sofa bed’s inner mechanism should have smooth edges so that sheets and blankets don’t snag or catch and rip as a result. When you are using a sofa bed in your own home, and even on ones with the best operating mechanisms, it’s always a good idea to remove sheets and blankets before closing the unit.

That way it will not cause the alignment on different parts to shift.

Check Mattress for Quality

A quality mattress makes for a good night’s sleep and will comfortably support the body at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. A thicker mattress is not necessarily better; a thinner, better-built one might offer better support. You can also consider using a comfortable mattress pad on top when you use the sofa bed for sleeping.

 

Test It

It’s always a good idea to test a sofa bed before you buy it. Try opening and closing it to see how it feels. It should be easy to operate, and you shouldn’t have to strain to open it. Open it and lie down to see how the mattress feels.

 

Measure It

Always make sure that you measure your sofa bed before you commit to buying. Don’t neglect to find out what the measurements will be when it’s opened all the way. Remember that it needs as much room as a bed or more when fully opened. If you are planning to place any pieces of furniture in front of it, be sure they are light and easy to move so that you can easily lift them out of the way before opening the sofa bed.

All about seating and cushions

If you want to judge the quality of a sofa, go beyond what it looks like. Quality goes deeper than looks, and that is why two identical-looking sofas can vary so much in price. What lies inside determines how your sofa rates for quality.

The frame, seating support and filling not only determine your sofa’s level of comfort but also its ability to retain its shape and stability in the years to come.

Here’s a closer look:

The Frame

How long a sofa will last and retain its shape depends largely on the frame, and a high-quality sofa always has a strong, sturdy one.

  • The best frame is made out of kiln-dried hardwood. The process of kiln drying removes all moisture from the wood, enabling it to retain its shape and stability over a long period of time. A frame made of green wood can shrink or crack as it dries. Soft wood can bend and break easily, while knotted wood is prone to cracks.
  • In a good-quality frame, the joints get special attention. They are glued, dowelled, and screwed. The corners are further strengthened by the addition of reinforcing blocks for extra support and strength.
  • Generally speaking, plywood and particleboard frames are inferior, especially if they are held together with staples. However, additional layers of plywood can help reinforce the frame, so as you can see, construction matters as much as material. If you must choose a sofa with a plywood frame, make sure it has at least 11 to 13 layers of plywood.
Seating Support

The seating support is also an important component in determining the quality of a sofa. It works in tandem with the frame and the filling. A sturdy frame provides an anchor for good seating support and filling augments it. You should always test the quality of seating support by sitting on a sofa before you buy it.

It shouldn’t sag, and it should provide good support in the seat and in the back.

  • The eight-way hand tied springs system is one of the best support systems. The craftsman connects each spring to the adjoining one with a strong twine. The twine passes front to back, side to side and then diagonally in both directions, thus tying each spring securely.
  • Another method is sinuous spring construction. Sinuous springs are “S”-shaped and run from the front of the seat to the back. These springs are supported by additional wires that cross from side to side. This also makes for a strong seat, and it might be the preferred option in a sleeker style or smaller frame because it requires less space.
  • The third option is web suspension, in which bands of webbing cross the seat and back. These are then attached to the frame to make a platform for the cushions. Webbing can be made of either natural or man-made fibers, and if it is used alone doesn’t make for very strong support. However, in better-quality sofas, it is used with a tensioner that fastens the webbing securely to the frame. The web suspension is the least preferable of the seating support options.

 

Cushion Filling

Now that you have considered the frame and seating support, it is time to look at what kind of filling is used for the cushions.

  • The most common filling is high-density polyurethane. Obviously, the higher the density, the firmer the cushion will be. Foam can be wrapped in softer material or cotton to make it softer. Dacron-wrapped foam is the cheapest option, but it won’t last as long.
  • Make sure that you are getting high-density foam because lesser-quality foam can start breaking down pretty quickly, causing sags, and the fabric does not stay taut when that happens.
  • If you want a really soft seat, consider down cushions. These are considered to be the premium choice, and as you might imagine they are also among the most expensive. High-quality cushions have down-proof ticking under the upholstery fabric to prevent feathers from poking through. Cushions filled just with down are high-maintenance and can need daily attention.
  • Down used in combination with other materials is also a good option but also another expensive option. Pads made out of a Dacron polyester fiber and down, known as Blendown pads, are wrapped around high-density foam.
  • These pads can also be used with springs that have been wrapped up in foam. High-density foam surrounds the springs, which are then wrapped in down pads. The result is a soft surface with a strong, resilient support inside. This is a good option because the cushions do not lose their shape easily.

Bottom line: Quality doesn’t come cheap, but a good-quality sofa will stay more comfortable and retain its looks for a long time. So consider buying the best quality that you can afford.

Create an Allergy Free Home with the Right Furniture

Living with allergies is challenging, but you can furnish so that you alleviate some of the challenge. Some common allergens in the home are pet dander, dust mites and pollen, and while it is not possible to get rid of them completely they can be minimized to mitigate the sufferings of those who are allergic to them.

Maybe keeping your home clean and dry is the most important step to take when you need to minimize allergens inside a home.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends aggressive cleaning as a step to keeping your home allergy free.

Dehumidifiers and air purifiers have a role to play as does temperature control. Another step you can take is discouraging pets from sleeping on your bed. Additionally, any mold should be promptly removed, by professionals if need be.

Some common sense precautions include avoiding water stained carpets, ceilings or tiles in a home, and removing them as soon as possible to get rid of pollution sources.

In addition to these steps, the furniture and decor you select can play a big role in keeping a home allergy free.

 

Go for a Clutter Free Look

Avoid overstuffed furniture and prevent crowding furniture in any area. You should be able to go around the furniture so that you can access all areas of the room to clean it. It is important to get rid of all dirt and debris on a regular basis, and frequent cleaning is essential to keep allergens to a minimum.

Make sure to have enough storage in a child’s room where toys can be stored to protect them from collecting dust. You may also want to avoid keeping books and collectibles in a bedroom because these can collect a lot of dust. Keep nightstands free of objects so that the air around the bed is clean.

 

Choose Upholstered Furniture Wisely

Leather and vinyl are probably the best upholstery choices for allergy sufferers.

These materials can be cleaned easily, and today you can get leather in a variety of colors and looks. Buying a good quality leather sofa can be expensive, but the investment pays off in the long run.

If you must have fabric upholstery be prepared to clean more often than you would with leather. The idea is to get as tight a weave as possible so that particles don’t travel through it. Vacuum thoroughly to keep it dust-free. Also remember, organic fabric is not necessarily hypoallergenic. Some materials such as organic wool can still cause allergies.

 

Bare Floors Are the Best

It is best to have bare floors as they can be cleaned easily and thoroughly. Carpets and rugs, on the other hand, can be the greatest repositories of dust. Dense or high piles on rugs and carpets are the worst. Dust settles into the fibers making it impossible to get rid of it completely.

If it is not possible to remove the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter frequently.

Throw rugs and dhurries are better than carpets, especially look for those with a low pile or those that are washable. Also, make sure any rugs or underlays are low VOC products.

 

Avoid Heavy Curtains and Drapes

Blinds could quite possibly be the best window treatment for an allergy free environment inside the home but avoid accordion pleated ones. Metal Venetian blinds are better than wood, as wood can also harbor mites.

If you must have curtains, use light cotton ones. These have the advantage of being easily washed to get rid of any dust that may settle on them. Completely avoid heavy drapes or ones that pool on the floor.

 

Protect Your Bed

Beds need special attention because pillows and mattresses are also a breeding ground for dust mites. Besides the obvious, which is laundering bedsheets and pillowcases at least once a week, it also helps to encase pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof covers. These covers are available in fabric and also as airtight, zippered plastic coverings that prevent a person from coming in direct contact with them.

Better still, you can find mattresses and pillows that are made from hypoallergenic material. It still makes sense to find out what is in your mattress and make sure that you are not allergic to it. Many mattresses do contain latex which could be a source of allergies for some. If you are not allergic to latex, then it might be a viable choice as it doesn’t encourage dust mites.