Before You Buy Furniture

Before you buy fine furniture, take the time to do some research.

Consider the space that you have available in the rooms you are furnishing. Have a tape measure handy and a list of the measurements that you want for each piece of furniture while you’re shopping. In addition, think about doorways, stairwells, the availability of elevators and balconies for moving furniture into your home. An oversized mattress box spring might need to be “split,” or cut in half, by the store. An oversized couch may not be an option unless you have an oversized door!

If you’re buying for a home office, look for fine furniture that’s well-built, ergonomically designed and suited to your work needs. If you’re buying furniture for your home, look for comfort, durability and solid construction. Make sure to ask about available days and times for delivery before you make your purchase; you might get your furniture delivered more quickly you include it in the deal.

And, find out how long it will take to complete customized design or alterations. Many companies will customize orders from swatches or even photographs.

Before You Buy Fine Furniture: Comparing Furniture Prices and Alternatives

Before remodeling your entire home with all new furniture, there are a few things that you should consider. Keep in mind that furniture financing options may make a difference in how much you spend. You may have a year or more to pay off a large piece of real wood furniture or a furniture set.

But stick to your furniture budget regardless of available financing options.  It’s all too easy to fall in love when you’re buying fine furniture and very easy to fall for “no payments for 5 years” rhetoric; in the end, you always pay, either through higher prices or higher interest rates.  But set your emotions aside and don’t overextend yourself.

Even if you’ve found the “perfect” furniture set, comparing prices at other stores or websites may yield a better deal or at least grant you leverage in negotiations.

Compare Furniture Prices Before You Buy

Compare prices for furniture online and in stores before you buy. And, ask friends, family members and business colleagues for their recommendations about where to buy furniture.

Questions to ask might include: Do you feel like you got the best deal when you bought your real wood furniture? Where the retailers service-minded or did they forget about you after you wrote the check? Did you compare prices for similar pieces of furniture with other retailers?

You might unearth some issues that you hadn’t contemplated that will help you make a more informed furniture purchase.

More Ways to Get the Best Prices on Furniture

June and July are traditionally the months when indoor furniture goes on sale. Conversely, compare prices for patio furniture in the summer and winter and you’ll quickly find that costs are cut in the winter months. You can avoid middlemen when you buy furniture directly from a manufacturer.

You’ll get the benefit of the manufacturer’s low overhead costs and the highest quality furniture at rock bottom prices. Buying unfinished wood furniture is also another alternative to saving money for a quality piece. You’ll have to seal, stain or paint the wood yourself but sweat equity costs nothing.

Alternatives to Consider When Comparing Furniture Prices

Consider the pros and cons of buying used furniture made of real wood. You may get a better deal by buying used furniture as long as you can live without a warranty.

Outlet malls sometimes have great deals on real wood furniture, especially in January and July.

Be aware that the furniture for sale in an outlet mall may have been returned, so carefully check it over for any defects and ask the salespeople if they know the history of the piece.

Wheeling and Dealing Your Way to Better Prices on Real Wood Furniture

Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price when you’re thinking about spending a lot of money on real wood furniture in one store. Furniture stores often offer on-the-spot discounts, especially at the end of the month when they need to make their sales quotas. Make sure to clarify that you still want to finance the furniture for same as cash or zero percent financing regardless of the deal.

If you buy furniture online, ask about financing options before you make your purchase. Make sure that you understand and agree with all shipping and handling costs, including costs to return the furniture if necessary.

When You’re Ready to Buy Fine Furniture: Finding the Right Retailer

Make sure you find a reputable furniture retailer when you’re ready to buy. Find a furniture company that produces each piece of real wood furniture in their own factory warehouse. They’re very knowledgeable about the furniture they create, they use superior craftsmanship in their designs and they can offer great deals by selling directly to you.

You should only work with furniture companies that provide top-notch customer service. You’ll get a feel for this quickly when you call to compare prices on furniture. Look for furniture retailers who employ helpful, friendly, informed salespeople and customer service representatives.

Research Your Furniture Retailer to Find Out More

Research a furniture retailer’s reputation before you buy. Check the Better Business Bureau to see if any reports have been filed against the company. Online message boards, customer testimonials and recommendations from friends and family can also tell you a lot about a company’s reputation.

And if you’re buying real wood furniture online, look for indications that the website is secure. This should be clearly indicated on the furniture company’s website.

Furniture Return Policies, Warranties and Guarantees

Find out what sort of warranties and guarantee a furniture company offers before you buy. Make sure the furniture warranty and the guarantee suit your specific needs and address your unique concerns. You should be able to return furniture or get a replacement if it arrives with any sort of defect. Look for lenient return policies that allow you to return the furniture if it wasn’t what you wanted. Note that custom made pieces and sale items may not be returnable. Finally, keep all of your receipts from your furniture purchase; you may need them in the event of a return or for the warranty.

How to Buy Furniture & NOT Get Ripped Off!

Before you shop for or buy furniture, you have to consider the quality of that furniture piece(s) carefully.

Typically, once we outlay the money for a new bed, for example, we keep it longer than we keep a new house! The average time spent living in a home is seven years; we keep beds on average for at least 10 years- and most people keep their bed frames in the UK (and their mattresses) much longer than that.

Tina educates you on just about everything related to buying furniture in a store or online. So, before you buy, consult our pages for the most up-to-date furniture and how to discern quality furniture from bargain furniture. Learn more about furniture construction, the types of wood used to make furniture, bedroom as well as living room and kitchen design ideas, tips on comparing furniture prices and finding the right retailer for your furniture purchase.

Here’s a list of things to consider before you buy your new furniture set or piece:

Buying Furniture Tip #1:

Be Aware of Furniture Trends in Home Décor, and then Buy the Furniture That You Love

Styles change. Think back to your parent’s old shag carpeting if you’re not convinced. Furniture styles change also. Buy furniture that you can enjoy, be proud of and that suits your needs for years to come. The newest home design ideas feature simple lines, found on Mission style furniture, and eclecticism, like you’ll find in French Country décor (some variations are lately known as “shabby chic”).

These decorating ideas can take you a long way in your quest to find the perfect set of furniture for your home.

bedroom decor

Buying Furniture Tip #2:

Home Decorating Ideas That Can Freshen the Look of Your Home

Just like buying clothing, buying pieces of furniture that you can easily mix and match and integrate into your home décor will save you a lot of money in the long run. And, purchasing furniture here and there is more affordable short-term too, allowing you to obtain large pieces without financing.

And finally, acquiring furniture piecemeal allows you to continue to freshen the look of your rooms with the newest home design ideas. Gradually implementing furniture design and home decorating ideas like adding an ottoman here, a new side table there, or by hanging a new clock, you’ll have guests convinced you’re a home decorating genius, at little cost to you.

timeless bedroom furniture

Buying Furniture Tip #3:

Be Sure of Home Design and Decorating Ideas Before Buying New Furniture

Think about future modifications to your living space when you’re buying new furniture. Perhaps you live in an apartment today, but you plan on moving to a bigger apartment or to a home larger than your current space in the near future. You have a couple of options: You can wait until you are settled in your new home before you shop so that the home décor seamlessly matches the color scheme of your furniture and home accessories.

Or you can buy your furniture while in your current space. If this is the case and you think you will have more space for home decorating in a newer home, buy your furniture in larger sizes or at least sizes commensurate with the imagined goal of that new space.

Durability and Strength Important Factors in Buying New Furniture

Durability is important when you’re buying new furniture. Look carefully at the underside of the furniture, and on the insides of the wood frame and cushions, too. Shake and move the furniture. Do you feel looseness in the wood frames, are the legs connected to the frame, do you see impressions in the cushions or fraying in the fabric?

If you do, walk away from the furniture quickly. Furniture quality determines durability and comfort whether it’s a sofa couch, loveseat, upholstered chair, ottoman or bed.

 

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Room by Room Design Ideas

Is your home in need of a makeover?

TIna4homedesign is not just about furniture but about how to use that furniture to create leisurely, airy, non-chaotic, casual or even extravagant interior designs for each room of your home. Our room by room design ideas will feature the bedroom, living room and kitchen. But, before you buy furniture to decorate that particular room, first understand the differences in furniture quality.

It will save you thousands of dollars and years of discomfort and headache.

Bedroom Design Ideas Brighten Your Days and Nights

While searching for bedroom design ideas, there are a host of resources to access. Entire TV shows are dedicated to bedroom makeovers, providing us with helpful tips and design trends. Your bedroom design ideas should reflect your style and personality, your unique sleeping and living needs. Most likely, once you makeover your bedroom, your living room or kitchen, you won’t re-do it again for several years. So take your time discovering what you like, and what you can live with, before you start buying furniture.

Popular Bedroom Design Ideas have Distinctive Characteristics

Traditional, contemporary and country furniture are the most popular types of furniture today. Together, they incorporate a host of universal design traditions. Traditional bedroom design ideas use yards of beautiful upholstery fabric draped on everything from the bed to the windows, and usually feature dark wood furniture of classic design. Contemporary bedroom makeovers focus on form, and often have a minimalist feel with punches of bright color.

Country furniture often uses beautiful plaid upholstery fabrics for emphasis and furniture that’s sturdy and somewhat chunky in design.

In addition to TV, there are thousands of magazines and books that provide furniture design ideas for bedroom makeovers. Start at your local library, where you can check out decorating books, DVDs and sometimes magazines for free, to start gathering some new ideas.

Visit designer furniture showrooms to see how they arrange their bedroom displays. Put all of your ideas for bedroom makeovers into a journal, taking photos or clipping articles of designs that you love. Give yourself time to make a decision. You’ll live with your redesigned bedroom for a long time, and it should be a harmonious, comfortable and beautiful place to be.

Some popular bedroom design ideas to consider:

  • Bold yet Subtle: Blue bedrooms with blue shades on the wall and tan furniture complements create a bold yet serene sleeping space.
  • Calm havens: tone on tone color schemes with matching furniture.
  • Combining the masculine with the feminine: one light blue wall and one cream colored wall with traditionally dark furniture. Use lamps and lampshades to emphasize both masculine and feminine angles.
  • The Traditional Master Bedroom: eliminate colors that signify chaos and choose colors emphasizing calm, serenity and reconnection. Try cream, fawn, tan and wheat on bed duvet, walls and carpet – all neutral colors that are inviting. Incorporate subtle floral patterned fabrics on the drapes and upholstery. Divide a large bedroom into two areas: one the bedroom, the other a sitting area.
  • Zen thinking: Incorporate taupe and robin’s egg blue on the walls and bedroom furniture to create a soft, high frequency energy. Hanging curtains as a sort of canopy is a smart way to absorb outside noise.

A Note about the Best Bed Mattresses

The best bed mattresses come in a variety of styles, encasing you in comfort while you sleep. Plush top bed mattresses are soft, and provide an added layer of comfort to your sleeping experience. The best pillow top mattresses have even more softness due to the large pillow that rests on top of the mattress. It’s hard to say which mattress is the best, but a Tempur-Pedic® mattress is definitely the ultimate in luxurious comfort. The Tempur-Pedic mattresses adjust to your body weight and temperature, molding to your body’s natural contours for a really good night’s sleep.

It’s best for your sleeping “health,” and your back, to flip your mattress every few months or so to ensure that it wears evenly. And, use a mattress pad on top of your mattress to help protect it from stains and general wear.

You might be wondering why there’s so much fuss about goose down. Down featherbeds, which lie on top of the mattress but under the sheets, and down comforters and duvets used as bedspreads provide extra softness and warmth. They last for ages, and the newest versions have covers which can easily be removed and cleaned. They add an extra layer of comfort to even the best mattress, making them a highly desirable addition to any bedroom.

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Furniture Construction

Things to Look For Before You Buy Upholstered or Leather Furniture

Before you buy furniture like upholstered or leather sofas, loveseats, dining room or bedroom sets, make sure you are first familiar with the basics of high quality wood furniture construction. Get to know the difference between solid wood furniture and average furniture of lesser quality. Look for furniture made of fine wood, like oak or mahogany. Closely examine furniture tags or websites to learn more about the construction of the furniture you want to buy. You might (no, you will!) pay more for high quality wood furniture, but it’s worth

it in the long run- the furniture’s strength, durability and comfort ensures it will last for decades.

Learn more about what you need to know before you buy furniture with help from Stuff about Furniture’s contributors.

Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York tells us about buying furniture with high quality frames and Catherine Woods of Mobulls in West Plains, Missouri provides helpful information on how to find the best upholstered wood furniture and more.

High Quality Wood Furniture Frames

“We’ve spent a lot of time and money redecorating our home over the last several years. And we learned some valuable tips that helped us to find high quality wood furniture that’s durable, well-made and built to last,” says Darrin Gleeman.

When you shop for furniture, take the time to conduct a close inspection of what you want to buy. Shake and move the furniture frames whether it’s a sofa, loveseat, chair or bed. Listen for creaking or movement of any kind when you sit or lie on the furniture.

Pick up one end of the furniture piece and move it back and forth in the showroom. Does it feel like heavy, solid wood furniture or does it feel lightweight? Look under the furniture too. Are the legs separate pieces or are they firmly connected to the frame?

High quality wood furniture has a frame made with kiln-dried hardwoods like alder, oak, mahogany birch or maple woods. Kiln-dried furniture heats the wood, removing excess sap and moisture which can warp or shrink the wood. Once a frame loses its original shape, it loosens the joints and fastenings.

Over time, that piece of solid wood furniture piece becomes unsteady and unsafe.

Look for wood frames constructed of the finest kiln-dried solid wood and built with interlocking wood components, glue and screws that match industry standards for high quality furniture. And frames should be double-doweled or interlocked and fitted with wood blocks that are glued and screwed into place.

After you buy your furniture, place it in an area that isn’t subjected to wide temperature swings. Keep furniture away from windows, heating systems, air conditioners and vents.

Finally, if you’re buying furniture online, call or email the company and ask them about its durability, weight, and measurements as well as the company’s furniture shipping policy. Does the company deliver the furniture themselves or use a respected furniture delivery company? And will the furniture deliverer unpackage the furniture and warranty any transportation damage?

Find out what sort of wood they use, and ask about wood frame construction. A reputable seller of high quality furniture will be able to answer your questions and put your mind at ease before you buy.

Upholstered Wood Furniture Basics by Catherine Woods of Mobulls in West Plains, Missouri

There’s more to buying furniture than just finding something that you like, or that fits into a room in your home. High quality upholstered wood furniture has specific elements of design that are always evident in construction.

Look for a sturdy deck, well-made springs and durable cushions and slipcovers in couches and loveseats. And consider a sleeper sofa, loveseat or chair or leather furniture for a long-term investment the whole family will love.

Upholstered Wood Furniture Construction

Upholstered wood furniture features a deck, the area underneath the sitting cushions that looks and feels like a mattress box spring. The deck is the foundation for sitting support and comfort. High quality furniture decks are made of springs. The highest quality deck springs are made of 8-way, hand tied springs or S-shaped sinuous springs.

Without this support, your furniture will cause discomfort and long-term back and joint pain.

Eight-way, hand tied springs have polypropylene sheets stapled to webbing on the bottom of the solid wood furniture. The springs are tied with twine at the top to prevent shifting and collapsing. Sinuous S-shaped steel springs in your upholstered wood furniture indicate expert and quality craftsmanship.

S-shaped sinuous springs are two-dimensional S-shaped steel wires that stretch from the front to the back of the furniture. The S-shaped sinuous springs make seats softer and are often used in low-slung contemporary upholstered furniture.

Lesser quality average furniture decks are pieced together with tacked or stapled straps. If you look inside or underneath your furniture, you might see helical springs attaching the deck to the frame. To determine if the sofa or loveseat you like is made with good quality springs, sit down on the furniture or rock it back and forth in the showroom.

Listen for a thumping or a knocking noise indicating that the springs may be rubbing against the frame. If you’re buying furniture online, contact the company and ask them about how the deck is made.

Cushions for Upholstered Wood Furniture

Furniture cushions on upholstered wood furniture are typically made of cotton or polyester fiber, polyester foam or polyester down. Look for furniture that’s constructed with durable, heavy high-density polyurethane foam cushions.

Polyurethane foam cushions are wrapped in Dacron batting, making the cushions more luxurious and providing you with not just added plush comfort but comfort that will not diminish for years.

Slipcovers for Upholstered Wood Furniture

Popular fabric selections for upholstered wood furniture include cotton, linen, chenille, velvet, suede and mohair. Choose the fabric covering that’s best for your needs. If you have children, sturdy cotton duck might be the best option for you.

Fabric slipcovers are a marvelous option for covering your wood furniture. Look for slipcovers that can be machine washed or easily removed and dry cleaned.

Sitting on a couch or loveseat with a freshly cleaned slipcover is heavenly; not worrying about daily spills and messes is divine.

Consider Buying A Sleeper Sofa, Loveseat or Chair

The sleeper sofas of today are a far cry from the ones produced 20 years ago. Comfortable, stylish and easy to open and close, a sleeper sofa gives you the flexibility of a couch combined with the authentic feel of a bed. In addition, pull-out sleeper furniture comes in loveseat and chair form.

Today, you can find sleeper furniture in twin, full or queen bed sizes, so they can easily fit into any room in your home. Look for specs on sleeper sofas to include solid steel tubing, a polypropylene deck and a mattress that’s at least 5″ thick.

What to Look for Before You Buy Leather Furniture

High quality leather used for furniture is cut and tanned to retain its unique characteristics. Top grain leather has scratches, brand marks, and some wrinkles and stretch marks. These markings are natural and they don’t alter the strength, durability or the appearance of your leather furniture.

Look for hand-cut leather when you buy furniture; it’s beautiful, durable and will improve with age.

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Things to Know Before You Buy Furniture

How to Buy Furniture & NOT Get Ripped Off!

Tina4HomeDesign is your resource for buying furniture. Before you shop for or buy furniture, you have to consider the quality of that furniture piece(s) carefully.

Typically, once we outlay the money for a new bed, for example, we keep it longer than we keep a new house! The average time spent living in a home is seven years; we keep beds on average for at least 10 years- and most people keep their bed frames in the UK (and their mattresses) much longer than that.

Tina educates you on just about everything related to buying furniture in a store or online. So, before you buy, consult our pages for the most up-to-date furniture and how to discern quality furniture from bargain furniture. Learn more about furniture construction, the types of wood used to make furniture, bedroom as well as living room and kitchen design ideas, tips on comparing furniture prices and finding the right retailer for your furniture purchase.

Here’s a list of things to consider before you buy your new furniture set or piece:

Buying Furniture Tip #1:

Be Aware of Furniture Trends in Home Décor, and then Buy the Furniture That You Love

Styles change. Think back to your parent’s old shag carpeting if you’re not convinced. Furniture styles change also. Buy furniture that you can enjoy, be proud of and that suits your needs for years to come. The newest home design ideas feature simple lines, found on Mission style furniture, and eclecticism, like you’ll find in French Country décor (some variations are lately known as “shabby chic”).

These decorating ideas can take you a long way in your quest to find the perfect set of furniture for your home.

bedroom decor

Buying Furniture Tip #2:

Home Decorating Ideas That Can Freshen the Look of Your Home

Just like buying clothing, buying pieces of furniture that you can easily mix and match and integrate into your home décor will save you a lot of money in the long run. And, purchasing furniture here and there is more affordable short-term too, allowing you to obtain large pieces without financing.

And finally, acquiring furniture piecemeal allows you to continue to freshen the look of your rooms with the newest home design ideas. Gradually implementing furniture design and home decorating ideas like adding an ottoman here, a new side table there, or by hanging a new clock, you’ll have guests convinced you’re a home decorating genius, at little cost to you.

timeless bedroom furniture

Buying Furniture Tip #3:

Be Sure of Home Design and Decorating Ideas Before Buying New Furniture

Think about future modifications to your living space when you’re buying new furniture. Perhaps you live in an apartment today, but you plan on moving to a bigger apartment or to a home larger than your current space in the near future. You have a couple of options: You can wait until you are settled in your new home before you shop so that the home décor seamlessly matches the color scheme of your furniture and home accessories.

Or you can buy your furniture while in your current space. If this is the case and you think you will have more space for home decorating in a newer home, buy your furniture in larger sizes or at least sizes commensurate with the imagined goal of that new space.

Durability and Strength Important Factors in Buying New Furniture

Durability is important when you’re buying new furniture. Look carefully at the underside of the furniture, and on the insides of the wood frame and cushions, too. Shake and move the furniture. Do you feel looseness in the wood frames, are the legs connected to the frame, do you see impressions in the cushions or fraying in the fabric?

If you do, walk away from the furniture quickly. Furniture quality determines durability and comfort whether it’s a sofa couch, love-seat, upholstered chair, ottoman or bed.

 

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Types of Wood Furniture

Find the best wooden furniture for your home

We have detailed information about some of the most popular types of wood used to make furniture, like oak, mahogany and maple, to help you find the right furniture to buy. The cost to buy wood furniture is not as costly as you might think- it’s sturdy, strong and doesn’t require too much maintenance. Wood furniture is very durable, and built to last a lot longer than furniture made with lesser materials.

It’s also easier to touch up scratches or gouges on wood furniture; furniture made of synthetic materials requires more intricate repair work if they can be repaired at all.

Every type of wood has its own unique grain patterns, making certain types of wood furnishings more desirable. Oak wood is somewhat porous along the surface, and stains and finishes pool into the pores leaving darker marks that appeal to furniture collectors.Maple has natural patterns in the wood grain that appear like magic when the furniture is sanded and finished. It’s these kinds of unique characteristics that make wood furniture such an enduringly popular choice for furnishing the home.

Wood furniture is also very versatile. You can buy the best wooden furniture unfinished, finished, hand finished or even painted. Connoisseurs of wood furnishings typically refrain from buying painted wood grain furniture, but it can often be quite charming, especially in a child’s bedroom.

Less Expensive Wood Furnishings Don’t Have to Look Cheap

Some of the best wooden furniture can be purchased inexpensively without sacrificing quality or durability. The less expensive woods on our list include soft woods and hardwoods. Soft woods are woods that come from coniferous trees, or trees that hold their needles all year long. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees that drop their leaves each year. Some soft woods are more durable than hardwoods, so don’t be fooled by these terms when you’re buying furniture.

Alder Wood Furniture Adds Affordable Style to Any Room

Alder is a hardwood that features unique knots, or naturally-caused imperfections, that often show through the finish. Alder does not handle moisture or damp weather well and is best kept indoors, in a cool and dry climate. Alder wood is usually less expensive than other types of wood furniture because it is a lesser quality hardwood. Alder is similar to cherry or maple in appearance and has a very smooth finish.

Maple Wood Furniture Makes Buying Furniture Inexpensive

Maple is a hardwood, and it’s more durable and heavier than most woods, especially alder. Maple is often used for bedroom furniture- and even bowling alley floors- because of its strength. Maple wood is moisture resistant, so it has a long life span. The rare burled (swirls and twists in wood grain that occur naturally) and birds eye (a small repeating pattern in the wood grain) maple woods were used to manufacture American furniture in the early 1900’s and are considered highly collectible antiques today.

Maple wood’s natural pale color, like ash and birch woods, easily accepts any type of stain or paint.

The Simple Beauty of Pine Wood Furniture Perfectly Fits into Your Home

Pine is a soft wood which makes it a less durable wood than maple or alder. Pine is lightweight and furniture made of pine is easier to lift and move. Pine is inexpensive and durable, and resists swelling and shrinking. Eastern White, Ponderosa and Sugar Pine trees are often used to make wood furniture in the United States.

Pine woods usually need a primer before painting or a sealant before applying stain to achieve a more even finish. Knotty pine is often used for country style furnishings.

High End Furniture Made from High Quality Hardwoods

If you’re going to buy wood grain furnishings or upholstered wood furniture, consider your purchase, even your furniture research, a smart investment of time and money. It may cost more to buy furniture made with the high end woods on our list, but they’ll last a lifetime- or longer. High quality wood furniture will become an heirloom that you can pass down from generation to generation.

When you buy cherry, mahogany or oak wood furniture, you often have options available to customize your purchase. Hand finished and handcrafted furniture give you more alternatives for colors and shading. This comes in handy if you need the piece to match your existing home decor. And, you can often have oak, mahogany and other types of wood furniture custom designed to suit your specific space needs. This can be especially helpful if you have a large room that needs oversized furnishings.

Cherry Wood Furniture Charms with Old World Splendor

Cherry wood is a hardwood, strong and built to last. A lot of the best antique wooden furniture is made of cherry wood and it looks as good today as it did 100 years ago. Cherry wood and cherry stains for wood furniture often have a warm red hue. Don’t be afraid to mix and match cherry furnishings with furniture made of different woods or with varying finishes. Cherry wood complements most woods, working well with other furniture pieces and décor in your home.

Mahogany Wood Furniture Looks Magnificent in Your Home

“We chose mahogany wood furniture for our home because it was less expensive than oak or cherry, but still durable and beautiful,” Anthony  remarks. Mahogany is a hardwood with a deep reddish brown color. Mahogany wood furniture is very resistant to insect infestation and it repels moisture. These two qualities mean that the wood will easily last for years and years. Some manufacturers specialize in designing and creating high quality antique reproduction furniture made of mahogany wood.

Oak Wood Furniture Gives Any Room Timeless Beauty

Oak is among the most popular hardwoods used to make furniture. Red Oak often has a red or pink tinge, and White Oak tends to be greener, though both take different colors of stain really well. The best wooden furniture made of oak tends to be more costly than other hardwoods, because of its enduring reputation for strength and beauty. Oak’s lovely open wood grain easily mixes with the other furnishings in your home.

Walnut Wood Furniture Will Beautify Your Home or Office

Walnut is another hardwood known for its strength and the beauty of its wood grain. Unlike maple, it isn’t terribly heavy, making it a lot easier to move around. It is typically finished in a dark brown color, but walnut colors range from white to brown shades.

Walnut is often used for formal or office furnishings and has a straight wood grain that glows warmly with a satin finish.

My Love For Wood Furniture

I believe that wood brings warmth to any space, making it appear more natural and more welcoming. I love to spend time in a room featuring a wall of exposed bricks and a stylish thick slab wooden table. Although we have to cut trees to make wood furniture, the situation isn’t as bad as it seems, because there are tree farms created on purpose to be turned into wood for furniture.

Wooden furniture isn’t only durable, but also valuable. A cheap plywood desk from Ikea won’t be worth anything within two or three years.

On the contrary, a wooden desk you buy for your home office can only become more valuable in time. Even if it gets scratched, these imperfections will only add to its character, making it even more desirable. If you don’t agree with this, you can easily fix those scratches.

If you know how to appreciate wooden furniture, you’ll see the advantages of buying a used wooden desk, table or dresser at a reasonable price. You can bring these old items back to life by giving them a touch of finish that’s going to make them look like new. For me, the only options when it comes to buying furniture are wood and iron.

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How Do I Clean My Window Coverings ?

How do I keep my window coverings looking as good as the day they were installed?

If you are not sure about how to care of your window coverings, don’t jump in and clean them with just anything. Get the facts first. To make it a little simpler, I will lay out some different cleaning options below.

Dusting

This time tested method is a good way to clean most of your window covering products. There are a couple of things to be aware of though.

First of all, if you are using a wand type duster, make sure that it is a dry dusting type. The ones that have lanolin, or furniture wax, or any other type of additive may leave residue on your coverings making them harder to clean in the future.

Also, if you were to use this type of additive on a cloth shade or drapery, you are actually minutely staining your coverings, which over time can turn into a permanent stain as the sun reacts with the additive and discolors your products.

Secondly, if you have any type of pleated shadings, like a cellular shade, motorized blinds or something similar, be careful that you don’t press too hard on the pleats as they can become misshaped, leaving a permanent crease.

A special note on dusting. Please remember to dust the back of your window coverings. Over my many years in the industry, I have noticed a trend in how people care for their window coverings. Often, they are fastidious in maintaining the front of their coverings, but lax in caring for the back. This is especially true in shadings.

What happens, especially in localities that have a high UV index, is that any dust that sits on the back of the shades eventually bonds to the shade itself after reacting to the sun’s powerful rays, and creates an ugly dinge that is extremely hard to remove. If this dust is untreated, it can actually break down the chemicals in certain cellular shades, causing the cells to delaminate.

Under certain circumstances, the manufacturers may refuse warranty claims on such a shade due to negligence.

Submersion

For certain types of window coverings, submersion is a viable option. I remember going to a seminar once where they took a bright white piece of shading material and squirted it with Ketchup. We all watched as the representative submerged the fabric, and wiped it off with soapy water and the fabric came out spotless. There are a couple of things that we can learn from this.

First, if you get a stain like this, try to get it out immediately. If you let it sit, especially if the sun hits it, it will set up in the fabric. The next thing to keep in mind is that you verify that ALL of the shade can be submerged.

For example, wood blinds, motors, any specialty lift system and many other types of window coverings, should never touch water at all. Verify with your original paperwork as to the proper care and cleaning of your product, and if you can’t find it, search the internet for the manufacturer’s website, where these instructions should be found.

Spot Cleaning

This is the type of cleaning that many people think to use after some sort of accident. These are probably due to splashing from a sink, or kitchen accidents or even pet stain removal.  We are all probably picturing the two year old in their high-chair flailing their arms wildly with food flying off of their spoon onto the window coverings.

Aughhhh! Never fear, spot cleaning is here. Your best bet: water. Next: soapy water. Next: spot cleaning solution (think Shout Wipes, Tide Pen or similar. Do follow the manufacturer’s instructions as some solutions can fade colors and cause other damage). Act quickly, and be gentle.

Some materials are very delicate, and heavy scrubbing can erode the fabric quickly. Even the paint on wood blinds or shutters can wear through very quickly causing a bigger problem than the original stain.

Vacuuming

For many types of window coverings, namely shades and draperies, vacuuming is an excellent option for cleaning. Some of the materials that you will be cleaning are delicate, as mentioned before, and if you don’t take precautions, you run the risk of sucking the material into your vacuum hose, and ruining the material.

Most manufacturers recommend using the brush attachment and running your cleaning pattern in the direction of the pleating. On horizontal shadings, this means moving your hand side to side, and on vertical shadings, this means moving your hand up and down. If you vacuum, just like dusting, don’t forget to do the back side of the product.

Ultrasonic and Dry Cleaning

These are excellent options for cleaning your window coverings. They are pretty easy to research on the internet, and I suggest that you consider these options when looking for a deep and thorough cleaning of your draperies, and window coverings. You can even go with a steam cleaner as a last resort.

Keep in mind though, that these options have drawbacks too, and that you are best served having all of the facts before you jump in.

In the future, I will discuss how to clean specific products, for example the Hunter Douglas Silhouette Shades. This is a generic list of options for cleaning window covering products and not an exhaustive guide. For specific instructions on how to clean your window coverings, see the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a window coverings professional near you.

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