Identify and Care for Quality Furniture

Creating A Kid-Friendly Interior Design

Investing in nice furniture can turn any house into a home. Unfortunately, expensive furnishings can often be ruined by the imagination and curiosity of young children.

If you have little ones in your home, here are three simple tricks you can use to help make your home’s interior more kid-friendly in the future.

1. Upholster your coffee table.

When kids are learning to walk, they can often be quite unstable. Falls are common and could result in serious injury if your child comes into contact with the sharp edge of a coffee table.

To ensure that your home is ready to withstand rambunctious toddlers, try upholstering your existing coffee table. Start by spreading some batting out on the floor, then placing the coffee table upside down on the batting. Pull the batting over the bottom edge of the coffee table and secure it in place with a staple gun.

Repeat the process with a piece of colorful fabric, then trim away any excess fabric and batting before turning your new coffee table right side up in your living room. The batting and fabric will soften the edges of your coffee table, cushioning your child from injury should he or she fall against it while learning to walk.

2. Invest in a dark sofa.

One of the easiest ways to ensure your furniture remains looking nice for as long as possible when you have messy kids at home is to invest in a couch that is made from a dark fabric.

Darker colors are more forgiving when it comes to the occasional stain or spill, which means every flaw will not be noticeable like it would be on a lighter-colored couch. It can also be beneficial to buy a couch made from microfiber, which can be simple and affordable to clean on a regular basis.

3. Purchase furnishings that are laminated.

While real wood furniture might give your home a high-end look, real wood is also susceptible to scratches and gouges made by children’s toys. The open grain of the wood can also soak up any liquids spilled onto it, resulting in a permanent stain.

Laminated wood can easily be wiped clean, and it can withstand the abuse of a child’s toy running across the surface. By purchasing laminated tables, dressers, and chairs, you will be able to ensure your children don’t take a toll on the aesthetic beauty of your home’s furnishings.

Creating a kid-friendly interior can be challenging. By upholstering your coffee table, investing in a dark sofa, and purchasing laminated furnishings, you will ensure that both your kids and your furniture can coexist inside your home.

For more information, contact local professionals like Visions In Contemporary Living.

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Memory Foam Mattresses: Your Questions And Concerns Answered

Memory foam mattresses have received a lot of hype recently. The idea is that the foam in these mattresses conforms to your body and helps support it for a better night’s sleep. The foam then springs back into its usual mattress shape until you return to sleep on it. The foam eventually develops a “memory” for your sleeping positions, supposedly helping you fall asleep faster. However, you might still have some questions and concerns about these mattresses, and here are a few of the answers you may be looking for.

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Really Soft or Can You Get a Firmer Mattress?

Because they are made of foam, they are soft, but some higher grade memory foam mattresses are made with a denser foam. The denser foam makes them a little more firm without giving up too much of what makes a memory foam mattress what it is and what you would expect it to be. If an all-foam mattress is just too soft for your liking, you can also get a memory foam and coil spring mattress that can provide extra firm support underneath the foam part of the mattress. That way, you will not feel as though you are just sinking all the way down into the mattress, but are actually cradled in it.

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Really Hot?

If you remember what other types of foam feel like when they collect heat in the sun, then you might be worried that memory foam mattresses get really hot at night. While they do retain some heat, it is generally located directly underneath your body at night. The way the foam pockets fill out the memory foam also helps release heat so that it is not as hot as you would expect.

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Hypoallergenic?

Yes, most memory foam mattresses are hypoallergenic. They are dust-mite resistant, and because of their breathability and the pores in the mattress, many of them also resist mold and mildew. If you need a hypoallergenic, non-toxic and eco-friendly mattress, these qualities exist in a few more models of memory foam mattresses. Additionally, there are all-natural memory foam mattresses that list exactly what they are made of, in case you need to make sure that the foam is not made from anything to which you are allergic. When shopping for any of these foam mattresses, just check the tag to verify the claims. 

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Thinking Inside The Box — A 4-Step Guide To Studio Apartment Layout

Living in a studio apartment has its advantages (lower cost, less stuff to move around) and its disadvantages (mostly a lack of space and defined rooms). When faced with the task of trying to find a way to make one feel like home, those disadvantages can seem overwhelming. But you can create a real home in a studio apartment by following these 4 steps.   

Start With the Bed. The bed is probably the biggest furniture item you have, so it’s a good place to begin. Ideally, the bed should not be immediately visible or noticeable as you enter the apartment. It should also have some privacy while you sleep. Depending on your bed needs, many people opt for a smaller bed (double or twin), a convertible futon or pull-out or even a Murphy bed (which folds up vertically when not in use). 

Enter into the Social Area. The space closest to the door is usually reserved as the entertaining and hangout space of the home. Organize this space by deciding what will be the central focus and arrange around that. This focus item can be anything that defines a lot of your recreation or entertainment — such as the television, a conversation grouping of two or three chairs, a comfy sofa or a work desk. 

Create Borders. Using several different methods, you can add some borders to help define the “rooms” in your studio. A large area rug is one way to delineate the size and limits of a “room” — such as the living room or dining area. Use floating furniture — like a sofa’s straight back — to create a sort of wall between areas placed back-to-back. A tall bookshelf or armoire (easily found in good furniture stores) is an easy way to add a “wall” to the bedroom area and give it some privacy.

Use Focal Points. Design each segment of the apartment — kitchen, bedroom, living room or dining area — with something interesting and unique to draw attention away from how small it is. A focal point can be any number of things, including a bold paint or trim color, a beautiful piece of furniture, a fun wall hanging  or a unique back splash. Adding focal points that reflect your home’s overall theme and your personality are good ways to make the space feel like your home rather than just a rented apartment.   

By following this basic outline when planning the layout of your apartment, you can find the best solution for your furnishing challenges. It may even help to sketch the layout and existing furniture when planning and when buying new pieces — saving time, money and energy. And the end result will be a cozy place you’ll be happy to call “home.”

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Fun Furnishings That Make Your Son’s Room Unique

You want your son to love his private living space, so why not turn his room into a space he can truly love and enjoy? Furnishings can make a huge difference and can help your child express his individual personality. Here are some fun furnishings that can make your child’s room unique so it’s his favorite place in the house to hang out.

Bed 

If your son loves all things fast, then his bed should be a space where he can have all the adventures he dreams about. A Ferrari car bed is shaped like his favorite fast ride, and let’s him feel like he is behind the wheel of his own super-fast sports car. Complete with a steering wheel and wheels along the bottom, bedtime will become something your son will look forward to when he knows he is sleeping in a fun car each night.

Make your son’s bed complete with matching car-themed bedding so when he tucks in at night, he feels truly special. His friends will love his unique bed, and you will love that he enjoys his own room and its special decor.

Light

An entertaining light in the shape of an airplane, car, boat, or even a favorite animal can make even the ceiling a fun part of the room. Consider a light fixture for your boy that involves things or creatures he loves, so when it’s time for lights out, he will be excited to be part of the process. Light fixtures can even feature hanging mobiles to add dimension to the room and make your son’s space feel just like a whimsical toy store.

Rug

Few things make a bedroom more cozy than a fuzzy rug. Choose vibrant hues in your son’s favorite colors, such as green, blue, orange, red, and yellow with flashy imagery of cars, animals, or airplanes. A fuzzy rug will quickly become his favorite place to sprawl out and explore his rock collection, that frog he found at the pond, or, hopefully, do his homework. You can match curtains to your son’s fuzzy rug to pull the whole space together and keep a vibrant theme consistent throughout his room.

There are so many ways you can make your son’s room his favorite place to be in the home. From an awesome car bed to whimsical light fixtures, you can incorporate his favorite things into his private space so he will always look forward to hanging out in his room with his friends or just to have some quiet time to himself.

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Simple Ways To Remove Wax Buildup From Your Wooden Dining Room Furniture

Your wooden dining room table and chairs are likely to dominate the dining room and therefore need to always be at their best shine. Therefore, when you get a dining room table that looks and feels sticky, dull, and blotchy or sporting a rough top, what you may have is a buildup of too much wax on the furniture. In the U.S. aerosol furniture polishes are the most popular wood polishes, with approximately 80 million units being sold each year. However, many of these contain either silicone, gum turps or petrochemicals and toluene, which give poor results to your polishing and may even be dangerous for your health.  

However, since you may not be one of the DIY types to make your own wood polish, you may have been stuck with these options and now have a waxy build-up on your dining room tables and chairs. Here are some ways to address this and get back that natural sheen that will brighten up your dining area. 

Use what you have 

The removal of wax takes time but is more easily done now than it used to be before the development of lacquer finishes and U/V coatings. As a result, there are several ways that you can address the condition of your dining room table. The first is to use a vinegar and water solution to clean the wax from the table. You need to ensure that the table is clean first and then apply a solution of half-and-half white vinegar with water and wipe the furniture in the direction of the grain. Another way to approach this is with the use of black tea solution in a ratio of 3 times the strength made for drinking. This should be steeped for about 10 minutes, allowed to cool and then used to wipe the table in the direction of the wood grain.

The table should be thoroughly dried and then buffed, whichever one of these methods that you decide to try. Also remember that you should try the solution of a less conspicuous area of the table before using them on the whole table to see how well the wood will be able to manage the application.  

Other solutions

While there are commercial cleaners available, you need to ensure that you choose one that is water-based rather than one containing solvents. These may be less time consuming than trying other wax removers. However, if you are the adventurous type you may opt to use such products as mineral spirit or paint thinner as a wax remover. If you do not already have these at home then you should be able to get them at any hardware or art store as they are also used as oil paint removers. As usual, remember to use on a test area before using it on the whole table.

A cheaper alternative to this thought is the use of Dove brand dish washing liquid, which can be applied to the table by rubbing in the soap. This should immediately be followed by using a dry towel to remove the residue and rub the table. 

Finally, you need to be aware that some of these issues may be in relation to the age of the furniture and not necessarily the wax that has been used. So, if your dining room table is older than 25 years, you may need to consult a professional before trying any of these suggestions. Contact a business, such as Furniture Classics, for more information.     

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Differences Between “Factory Direct” And “On-Site Manufacturing,” For Furniture And Why It Matters

When you walk into different furniture stores, you automatically assume that the furniture came from some off-site shipper or manufacturer. On a closer look, you may see furniture tags that read “factory direct” or “on-site manufacturing.” These two labels can be confusing unless you know exactly what they mean and what it means to the furniture offered for sale. Here are the defining differences between these two furniture store labels and why it matters.

What “Factory Direct” Labels Mean

The “factory direct” label means that the furniture was made in a factory and shipped directly from the factory to the store. The factory may be owned and operated by the furniture store, or it may just have a contract with the furniture store to produce a lot of its furniture. Usually (but not always), the furniture is manufactured (mostly) here in the U.S. so you do not have to pay import fees on top of the price of the furniture you buy. Additionally, if the factory is especially close to the furniture store (e.g., within the same state as the store or within the same region of the state) you will also be charged less for the shipping fees.

What “On-Site Manufacturing” Labels Mean

The “on-site manufacturing” label means that these pieces of furniture are made right there, in the store. There is a factory attached to the back of the store where several employees spend their time churning out furniture to be sold in the store in front. Mattress shops are probably the most common type of on-site manufacturing and sales in furniture, but chairs, tables and furniture with storage drawers follow closely behind. If you buy furniture with the on-site manufacturing label, you are not charged any shipping fees or import fees. Additionally, if there are any problems with or flaws noticed in the furniture you buy, the store may provide a reduction in cost or offer repair and replacement services in conjunction with lifetime guarantees.

Why These Distinctions Matter

With on-site manufacturing, you can speak directly to the quality control associate about any problems you have with the furniture you have bought. However, factory direct furniture (made here) means that it is covered under some type of warranty, a feature frequently not provided by imported furniture from other countries (e.g., China, Taiwan, India, etc.). When you buy furniture with either of these labels, you are supporting the American economy, too. Be sure to read the tags and labels on each piece of furniture you want to buy before you buy it.

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Fun And Creative Ways To Incorporate Barn Wood Into The Décor Of Your Home

As you are remodeling and decorating your home, barn wood is not likely to be the first choice in décor material that comes to mind. However, the rustic look of barn wood can look beautiful. In fact, here are some fun and creative ways you can incorporate barn wood into the décor of your home.

1. Turn The Wood Into Wall Art

If you have a nice solid piece of barn wood, consider drawing and painting a picture on it. You could decorate the wood with your favorite animal, your favorite color, or your favorite shape. You could also just paint it all the colors of the rainbow. Then, you would have a rustic looking piece of rainbow wall art to hang up. The barn wood will make a nice canvas for whatever you want to decorate it with.

2. Add Barn Doors to Your Bedroom

Consider converting your bedroom door and the closet door in your bedroom to a barn door. If you have a master bathroom inside of the rom, consider converting that door as well. The barn wood on the door will give the room a warm and inviting feeling. It may feel a little like you are sleeping inside of a cabin.

3. Frame or Hide Your Television

Consider cutting a barn door in half and hanging it from the wall above your television. You can push each half of the door apart to frame your television, or you can push them together to hide it when you are not using it. This is a fun and easy way to put the television away when you have guests coming over or you want to enjoy family time without the television.

4. Add a Warm Welcome to Your Home

Convert your entry door to a gorgeous barn door. A sliding barn door will make a very attention grabbing front door and it will save space as it opens and closes without taking up so much room.

5. Accents and Trim

Barn wood will make great accents and trim all throughout your home. All you have to do is walk around your home and think about how things would look if there was a little rustic wood being used as the trim or as an accent.

As you can see, there are a lot of fun and creative ways to add barn wood to your home’s décor. Fortunately, these are all fairly easy too. Check out reclaimed wood décor by MyBarnwoodFrames.com for more information.   

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