February 15, 2008

Moving home to shared accommodation – does it work?

Posted in furniture, how to, loungeroom, moving home, sofas tagged , , , , , , , at 10:15 am by homesandfurniture

moving homeMoving home to shared accommodation is alot different to moving into a property of your own or in with a partner as it is very unlikely that you will know the person that you are going to be moving in with.

There are many moving tips for a conventional home move but for those of us who want to share, there a few more fundamental rules that you must follow:

1) Ensure that you respect each others privacy and stick to the house rules. It is important that you both understand some ground rules such as the division of household chores and rules about people sleeping over, this is so you avoid any unpleasantness later on in your tenancy.

2) When you move into a shared property, you will have to limit the number of possessions that you take with you. Your roommates will not want to feel as though they are being swamped into your life. This has to be a home for you and your house mates, so keep your private belongings to a minimal and keep the majority of your possessions in your bedroom.

3) When your home move involves sharing with someone else, it is important that you stick to your end of the deal and regularly tidy the house. Cleaning activities can include dusting the sofas, washing the dishes, vacuuming the hallway, etc. The easiest way to make sure that chores are completed is to draw up a rota of cleaning tasks and highlight who is responsible for each weekly chore. Also, make sure that you and your house mates are happy with tasks that have been delegated.

4) When you move into a shared property, you have to respect and consider your roommates before doing anything which could compromise his or her safety or trust. The same also applies to living room furniture, for you and your house mates to live in a clean and safe environment; respect important assets of the household otherwise arguments about who will be chipping in to replace expensive furniture that is damaged.

If you follow these simple moving tips then you and your landlord should rub along quite nicely together


February 8, 2008

6 Tips On Updating Your Living Room

Posted in furniture, how to, leather furniture, lighting, loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:31 pm by homesandfurniture

Stylish living rooms

If your home needs a little updating, here are a few ideas that could give your home that much needed facelift!

1. Leather Sofas:

As most people know, a leather sofa can bring that look of elegance into your living room. With a wide range of leather furniture to select from in your local high street stores, any style can match a look. With leather being a very contemporary look, it can modernize and transform the look of your living room for as much as £400. By looking after your sofa well by using recommended  cleaning products, your leather sofa could last you a lifetime

2. Lick of paint:

Going for bright colours in your living room can help bring that that extra bit of life back into your house. When you have decided on a perfect colour for your living room, you will also be inspired to purchase new ornaments and furniture to help bring your living room up to date. Getting inspiration from the vast amount of home designs programs we have, you often see how designers transform a house on the brink of demolition to a fresh, new and modern pad without the need of heavy workloads or builders! So remember you do not need to spend a fortune on updating your home, choosing the right paint can add life and most importantly value to your property. Before under going a paint job, remember to cover up or move your sofas to another area of your house to avoid the disappointment of getting drips of paint forever marking your expensive furniture!

3. De-Clutter:

This is the most important step that most people need to bear in mind when they are looking to update their property. Some people (or even people you know) do not know how to let the past go! To start off the mission of de-cluttering your home, take time out by exploring every room in your house going through cupboards and drawers making a list of any old junk that you come across. Also make note of those items you think will be useful in other rooms and keep and eye out for the junk you may have thrown in the corner of the room; telling yourself that you will deal with it in the near future, but never got round to throwing it away! Another idea is to throw out those items you do not intend to fix or wear and any old clothing or ornaments you come across donate to charity!

4. Floors:

If you have a carpet that may have lost its colour over the years or if you have a visible stain that you just cannot remove with the best stain removers on the market, make that all important decision and throw that old carpet out! Also, if you notice that you have wooden flooring under your carpet, tear the carpet out, and get to work making that wooden floor stand out. Rent a Sander and sand down the wooden floor and wax to give it a smooth finish. To maintain the finish, sweep and vacuum the floor on a regular basis; if you want, place rugs and mats to prevent dirt, grit and sand from easily appearing

5. Lighting:

Lighting can make a huge difference of the way your living room looks. If you find that your living room may be a dull or dark in setting, buy a few more stylish lamps that will add character to your living room at the same time. Or alternatively, changing the brightness of your bulb could also work. e.g. Going from 60 to 120 watts.

6. Re-arranging Your Furniture:

Re-arranging your furniture can also make a difference in the way your home looks and most importanly the way you feel about your home. Try moving your furniture to spots that your guests will notice, for example moving your sofas around the fire place or bring items from other rooms which are better suited for the living room. Use as much items as you can to characterize your living room and always remember to leave some open space as a room always needs room to breath! It will feel like moving home all over again!

December 27, 2007

Tips On Cleaning Your New Leather Sofa!

Posted in furniture, how to, leather furniture, loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , at 12:18 pm by homesandfurniture

Leather Sofa

A brand new leather sofa should come with a well detailed instruction manual on how to clean your leather sofa. It is very important that you refer to the manufacturer’s advice and key points before you start cleaning. It is also best to do a test run like at the back of your leather sofa, to test for colorfastness. If you are still unsure, contact the sofa manufacturer or a professional cleaning company.

General sofa cleaning:
To maintain your leather sofa, use a good quality soap, such as Dove. Use the soap on a soft dish cloth and wipe the sofa to remove dirt. Be careful not to soak the leather too much, and do not rinse after washing, as this will totally ruin your sofa. Gently dabbing with a soft dry cloth allows the moisturizing soap to condition the leather. For best results try and polish the sofa to get that brand new look.

Feed your leather:
Use an over the counter good leather conditioner which you can find in most furniture stores or supermarkets. To get the best results, rub the conditioner in a circular motion, covering the entire surface. Rub the conditioner in thoroughly and let it settle for about 10/15 minutes, then buff the sofa with a soft cloth to bring a shine to the sofa’s surface.

Cleaning Products: liquids:
Some water-based liquids will stain your leather sofa. For this problem, simply dab up as much of the liquid as possible. Be careful not to rub it as you will risk spreading the spillage to other areas of the sofa; therefore creating a much bigger job for yourself. Keep keep dabbing your sofa until the cloth comes back completely dry and then let the leather air dry.

Butter/Grease stains:
If you have a butter or grease stain on your..lets assume ‘new’ leather sofa, do not use water to clean it! Dab the spill until the cloth comes back dry. After you have done this, allow the stain to settle over a day or two before going back to it. The oil will settle in the leather and will not be very noticeable. If the stain is still visible, try using a leather sofa cleaner which you can at any supermarket or sofa store.

Pen Ink stains:Sofa Cleaning
If you have children…you will be no stranger to seeing pen ink all over your furniture…..A good way of removing ink stains from your leather sofa is to dip some cotton wool or even a cotton bud in some alcohol or vinegar and then rub it over the stained spot, then dry the area with a blow dryer or a fan. If the stain is still visible after the drying, you may want to try using some really cheap acetone-free nail polish remover, rub a small amount over the ink stain with a soft cloth. The stain should disappear instantly.

The Finish:
To keep your leather sofa in tip tip top condition, any leather cleaning should generally be followed by a quick application of quality leather conditioning cream; which again you can buy from any supermarket or sofa store

October 31, 2007

Quick and Easy Room makeovers

Posted in furniture, how to, loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:36 pm by homesandfurniture

Is your room in need of a breath of fresh air? Here’s some ideas on putting some life back in – without buying a new coffee table, bed, sofa … or spending a whole weekend doing it!

Bring some outdoors, in!
A bunch of fresh flowers or a small plant on your coffee table instantly adds a bit of life into a room – just stick with the real stuff!

Mirrors add light and depth to a room. Different frames and sizes means you can spend as little as a few pound or up to hundreds on decorating with mirrors.

Throw rugs
A throw rug can be used in many ways, such as being slung over the back of a lounge. you can change the look and colour of your lounge by using one.Living Room Furniture

These are cheap to buy or easy to make if you have the inclination. A couple of cushions thrown on a sofa can change the whole feel of a room and introduce new colours, textures and style.

New covers (couch/cushions/chairs)

If you have a loose cover sofa, cushions or chairs have removable covers, replacing these can be a cheap way to change the colour theme of a room.

It can help just to get rid of the clutter. Buying a magazine rack, CD/DVD holders and storage boxes is a great way to get rid of the chaos. Ikea is great for this kind of stuff.

September 14, 2007

Stain removing tips

Posted in furniture, how to, sofas tagged , , , , , at 1:52 pm by homesandfurniture

Remove Red Wine StainsRed wine – white cushion – just the thought of them mixing is enough to make you cringe. Sometimes it seems like wine, coffee and pasta sauce are a magnet for your light coloured carpets, white sofas and linen.

First step is to minimise the damage:

Act immediately! The more you get off before it dries, the more likely it’ll come off

If it’s a solid, remove all you can by scooping it up with a spoon. Start with the outside as starting in the middle will spread the stain, then follow on with the next step.

For liquids, Blot the area, do not rub! Rubbing spreads the sofa stain and pushes it further into the fibres. Use absorbent paper towels or a fabric cloth – just make sure the cloth is already clean.

If you drop something dry, like an ashtray for example, vacuum the area then brush it with your hand.

Once you’ve gotten rid of any excess you can use a stain removal product, blotting carefully from the outside ring into the centre, and follow the recommended instructions.

If you haven’t used the product on the fabric before, do a quick spot test on a part of the fabric that is unseen, like on the back of a sofa cushion, to check the stain remover wont discolour the fabric and leave you with something worse. Dry the area (a hairdryer with a ‘cool’ setting does a great job) then if you are still left with visible markings, use the stain remover again.

September 7, 2007

Fabric Furniture Tips

Posted in furniture, how to, sofas tagged , , , , , at 9:34 am by homesandfurniture

For fabric based furniture, like chairs and sofas, proper care can keep them looking better for longer.

White Sofa

When you vacuum your house – vacuum fabric furniture too. The build up of dust and dirt on your furniture will create markings and discolouration.

Rotate cushions on sofas and mattresses on beds to get an even wear of the fabric.

Choosing fabrics that are removable and machine washable will also mean you can clean it properly. If they aren’t removable, you may be able to steam clean them using a carpet cleaner – but check the manufacturers specifications first.

Airing cushions will keep them fresh and remove any stale smells.

Have some good quality stain remover on hand for unexpected accidents and read our blog on stain removing tips!

August 30, 2007

How to shop around for cheaper furniture

Posted in furniture, how to, loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , at 3:47 pm by homesandfurniture

If you thought Ikea was your only option for budget furniture – think again. There’s a few clever ways to save money on buying furniture – you just have to know what they are..

Step One:

Research online! Shopping online has a couple advantages. Firstly you can see a huge range of styles before you decide and, quite often, can get them cheaper.

Cream SofaStep Two:

Compare prices at Outlet and Factory Direct furniture stores. Finding the manufacturer and buying it from them may save you a considerable amount

Step Three:

Try a second hand store. A second hand store will have several to choose from, and you know they’ve had a really good cleaning.

Step Four:

Wait for the sales. Just like clothes, furniture store have big post Christmas/New Year sales, as well as mid year reductions. If you are a couple months away from January or July, why not wait a bit longer and see if you can save on a discontinued table, sale sofa or other furnishings?

August 17, 2007

Let there be light!

Posted in curtains, how to, lighting, loungeroom tagged , , , , , at 4:49 pm by homesandfurniture

Home LightingGet the most out of your room and save on your power bills by optimising the amount of light in your house. Before you run around ripping down your curtains, follow these easy tips first:

  • When choosing curtains, avoid ones fall inside the window, instead choose ones that will frame the outside of the window. This way when your curtains are fully open non of the light will be blocked.
  • Clear the outside view. Many people cover up their windows simply because there is not much of a view or the garden doesn’t let in light. This can be fixed by clearing out the area the window looks out to allow light in and a more pleasant view.
  • Cleaning the glass and ventilating your house can make a big difference. Dirty glass and closed windows will only block the light. These two tips give a better flow to your house and give that lovely feeling of ‘bringing the outdoors in’.
  • Mirrors can help bounce light from one surface to another. Try this trick: place three or so candles in a dark corner of a room, then angle a mirror behind the candles so they are reflected. It’s is a sneaky way to get double the light in an otherwise gloomy corner – but just make sure you use candles safely.
  • When it’s time to repaint a room, choosing light, bright colours will respond well in lighting up rooms and will also help reflect the outdoor light. You can also use lighter colour woods and fabrics for your living room furniture.
  • If you use lamps, take a good hard look at your lampshades – you might find changing to a thinner shade with a lighter colour will let extra light escape.
  • And finally – whilst we’re on the subject of lighting – choose energy saving light bulbs. The actual cost for them is higher than your standard bulb, but the money you’ll save on your bills added with fact they last about 8 times longer will save you money in the long run. They emit the same amount of light and you’ll be cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.