Monthly Archives: February 2018

Brighten Your Home with These Furniture Cleaning Tips

There’s nothing like a deep cleaning to give you a mood boost and make your home sparkle. But different types of furniture require different types of care. And even those who are most loyal to their Saturday chores may find their space looking a little dull after a while.

Here are some tips for getting any type of furniture back to peak condition.

Cleaning Upholstery

Cleaning upholstery by hiring a professional can be an expensive undertaking, but luckily any layman can do the job by learning a bit about different fabrics. Upholstery tags can be an excellent indicator of how to care for your sofa or chair, so start by looking for a tag to advise on how to clean your piece.

Make your own water-based upholstery cleaner by mixing one cup of water with ¼ cup of dish soap. Beat the liquid with a mixer until it turns into a thick foam. Soon you’ll use this mixture to clean the cushions, but first make sure to vacuum all sides of cushions and detach anything that can be taken off the furniture.

First, use the cleaner in a discreet place to make sure your fabric does not water stain or have any other unpleasant changes. Use a soft-bristled brush to rub the foam around on the cushions in a circular motion, especially focusing on any furniture stain areas. Then remove all the foam and wipe away with a washcloth. Keep liquid and foam away from wooden parts of the furniture. Allow the cushions to dry before replacing.

Cleaning Wood Furniture

Years of polish buildup will leave your furniture looking dull, so the first step is to remove old polish by soaking a washcloth in tea and wiping it aggressively on the furniture. You can even remove water stains with the help of non-gel toothpaste wiped around the spot with a washcloth. Ink marks and other stains can be removed with one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with one teaspoon of water.

Once your furniture is free of stains, watermarks, and built-up polish, it’s time to add a new layer of polish. Use lemon oil or one cup of olive oil mixed with ¼ cup white vinegar to buff until shiny.

Cleaning Metal Furniture

Cleaning metal coffee tables, dining tables, or other furniture is a relatively easy task since it can be done with materials you most likely already have at home. For steel, galvanized metal, or tin, you can simply dust the surface, run a wet cloth over the top, and finally use a general household cleaner to pick up spots or spills. Toothpaste or stainless steel cleaner can be used for added shine.

If you have a copper table top, cleaning will be a slightly different process. In this case, you will need to use cleaner specifically made for copper furniture. Another option is to cut a lemon in half and dip it in salt to scrub the surface clean.

With these tips, we’ve covered how to clean living room furniture of all types. It may be overwhelming to think about cleaning your furniture, but with additional information and tips it’s something that can easily be done. Hopefully cleaning your furniture will be a less overwhelming task from here on out.

4 Tips For a Clean & Pet Friendly Home

Pets are wonderful companions to have around—they’re part of the family, after all. Pet ownership can help prevent loneliness & help you stay fit. Pets are increasingly used for purposes like physical therapy, music therapy, and help with autistic and elderly populations.

Despite all their positive qualities, pets can take some adjusting to. Though they’ve been domesticated for quite some time, animals like dogs and cats can sometimes do a number on any pet owner’s living space.

By taking these tips into consideration, you’ll be able to minimize pet hair and fur, prevent furniture damage, and maintain a level of cleanliness that will leave your guests wondering if you hired a full-time cleaning service.

  1. Learn about the reason for your pet’s behavior

There are many things our pets do that humans misunderstand and deal with incorrectly. By learning the motives and natural tendencies behind your pet’s habits, you’ll be able to find healthy compromises to make you both happier. Case in point: pets love chewing. Puppies and kittens especially love to chew because they are teething, just as human babies do. Dog toys or catnip are good distractions to keep dogs and cats from chewing other things. Give your pet a healthy outlet for their natural tendency to chew, and they’ll stay away from your cords and furniture. That being said, when purchasing furniture consider if your home has a pet or if it will in the future. Consider getting durable pet friendly furniture that won’t stain easily. Replace your wooden coffee table with a durable coffee table that has a metal frame instead.

  1. Minimize shedding

Shedding is one of the biggest giveaways of a pet house versus a non-pet house. Hair can collect on furniture, transfer to clothes, and make its way to the car and all over your belongings. The best way to keep shedding down is to regularly brush your pet. But you can also try these tips:

    1. Sprinkle baking soda on carpet before vacuuming to loosen pet hair and more effectively act as a pet hair remover.
    2. Use a microfiber dust mop on hardwood and tile surfaces at least once a week.
    3. Use natural pet shampoos that help rid your pet of their undercoat.
    4. Try using “self-grooming” brushes, so pets can rub up against them as they walk by.
  1. Use stain-resistant fabrics

The quandary of how to protect pet furniture from pets is a decision all pet owners have to face. No matter how much time you spend potty-training your pet, there may still be circumstances where they pee or make a mess of your furniture. You can protect furniture from pets by using stain-repellant sprays and couch covers, but a big part of a pet-friendly home is buying chairs and sofas that have stain-resistant fabrics. Crypton fabrics, leather, and ultrasuede are great for pet-friendly furniture that can stand up to handwashing and spot-cleaning.

  1. Keep things smelling fresh

Smells are another dead giveaway that your pet rules the roost. But there are measures you can take to keep smells to a minimum. If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is in an area that allows for ventilation. Frequently sprinkle the box with baking soda and scoop it daily. For other pets, air purifiers and humidifiers will greatly improve smell and overall air quality. Bacteria-killing sprays and plug-in scents can go a long way to keep your house smelling fresh as well.

Having a pet can be a very rewarding experience, but it comes with hard work as well. However, it’s easily manageable if you have some tips and tricks under your belt. With these four tips, you can keep your stylish, pet friendly furniture in excellent shape—and enjoy your furry friends, too.

Living Room Decorating Ideas to Push Away the Winter Blues

The early setting sun and chill factor that winter brings sometimes contribute to feelings of lethargy and gloom. In fact, mild symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder affect 10-20% of Americans.

The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do around your home to lift your spirits and spark a sense of contentment. Here are six living room design ideas that can go a surprisingly long way to help restore your feel-good mood, no matter the weather.

Get the Light Right

Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have access to light’s healing effects. Simply changing your standard light bulbs to full spectrum lighting will give you some of the benefits of natural light, right inside your home. Revealing colors as they are seen in broad daylight, rather than colors tinged yellow or blue, means full spectrum light bulbs can improve your quality of light (and life) by increasing clarity and mental productivity.

Replace Worn Furniture

Seeing, walking past, and sitting down on shabby furniture every day is sure to make you feel, well, dowdy. Who needs that in the depths of winter despair? Do yourself (and your room) a favor by saying “goodbye” to the old and “hello” to the new. There’s nothing like sinking into a fresh, beautiful sofa or armchair. With some high quality indoor furniture, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to make the change.

Rearrange Furniture for the Best Outdoor View

Coming up with small room interior design ideas for rearranging your furniture can change the mood of the room and also give you an opportunity to harness more natural light. Open the blinds, swap out light-obstructing drapes in favor of sheer curtains, replace bulky bookcases with high quality shelves that are more open, and rotate your sofas and chairs to face any windows. Take a few minutes, a few times a day, to sit and look out at the scenery. Observe the weather, notice birds or critters, and enjoy people-watching while sitting wrapped in a blanket, sipping a hot drink, or lounging on your comfortable sofa.  

Introduce Live Plants and Fresh Flowers

Even though your outdoor plants may lay dormant, it doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of nature’s bounty. There are so many incredible indoor varieties to choose from, you can have a lot of fun with all of the options. Plants are nice to have because their caretaking needs gives one a sense of responsibility and can bring more color inside of your home.

Add Meaningful Photos

Chances are you already have meaningful family and friend photos on your living room coffee table. However, chances are these photos haven’t been updated in quite some time. Well, now is the time. Sort through all those newer, adorable candids and find just the right memories to show off.

Earn extra satisfaction by having these special pictures properly matted and framed before putting them on display. Or, for something unique and fun, have your photos professionally printed on metal, wood, or glass.

Inject Color

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a neutral room. In fact, when done right, neutrals feel quite clean and relaxing. But, if you’re feeling bored or unsatisfied, color is a quick fix. Fun colors that wake up winter blues are those that occur naturally in nature, such as ocean blue, sunny yellow, raspberry red, and evergreen. Benjamin Moore suggests the paint color trends for 2018 will include Caliente, Dreamy Cloud, and Pleasant Pink. So pick your pigment passion and go for it.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking these winter home decor ideas for the living room won’t have any effect on your somber mood. After all, even just the act of working on a project will give you a sense of purpose and joy. Then, once you’re done, you will be left with a room that makes you feel good and settled when at home during these colder, shorter winter months.

How to Deal With Post Christmas Decorating

The holidays are over and the New Year is here. To many, this means setting new goals or starting the year with a new look. Another great way to start the new year is to focus on your home and convert it into a space you love. Let’s look at a few ways that can be done.

Winter Cleaning

Who said that you have to wait until spring to give your house a good cleaning? Just opening the windows for a few minutes on a cold winter’s day can make you feel as if the air that you are breathing in your house is a little cleaner. It’s also a great opportunity to get your carpets deep cleaned to clean up pine needles and debris that might be embedded in your carpets or furniture. While you’re getting your carpets cleaned, take care of your furniture, too. Many cleaning services can do both during the same visit.

Make-Over

Shake up your house’s look and give it a makeover. You can be as drastic or as subtle as you please, and it doesn’t take much. Adding new cushions to your couch or moving the furniture around can make your living room, for example, look completely different. Also, adding a touch of décor such as a mirror can make the room look bigger.

You can use this opportunity to get rid of furniture you don’t want or need anymore and maybe get that new coffee table that you have been eyeing for a while. If you can, donate unwanted furniture to a charity.

Add Some Color

You’d be amazed at what a splash of color can do to a room. Did you know that color has the potential to affect our moods? Have you ever felt uncomfortable in a really bright red room or soothed in a light blue room for no particular reason? It could quite possibly be the color of the walls that produced this effect.

Some colors and their associated emotions include:

  • Orange: happiness, warmth, energy, and wealth
  • Blue: balance, authority, peace, and caution
  • Purple: ambition, dignity, pride, and mystery
  • Yellow: laughter, optimism, attention-getting, and intensity

Get Around to Decorating

Maybe you’ve lived in your house for a while and just haven’t had the time to decorate, or maybe you want a change. Investing time in planning to decorate your house is not only wise, but you’ll be pleased with the final product as well. Think about factors such as the layout of the room that you want to decorate, or the type of look that you are looking for (modern, traditional, or eclectic). By envisioning what you want and planning before you buy, your home can be the perfect space that you won’t want to leave.

Your home is your sanctuary, so why not start the year by giving it the fresh start that it deserves? There are many steps that you can take to deal with the post-holiday cleanup, but the best way to face it is to look at the cleanup as an opportunity to make the changes to your home that you have been wanting to make for ages.