September 27, 2007

The Five Don’ts of Buying Furniture

Posted in furniture, loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:59 am by homesandfurniture

Kitchen furniture1. DON’T Start shopping until you have a good idea what you want! Prepare yourself by taking measurements, browsing catalogues and looking online before you hit the stores regardless if it’s bedroom or living room furniture.

2. DON’T Impulse Buy – You have to live with it for a long time, and you could be looking at spending a lot of money. Ask to take a photo on your mobile or digital camera, a sample of the fabric, and the measurements and go home and see if it’ll work in the room and you really want it.

3. DON’T Take an Entourage – the more opinions you get will lead to more confusion! Go with the other person you live with or a friend for a second opinion on if that table is big enough for the dining room, or if that sofa is the right colour for the lounge room.

4. DON’T Ignore the salespersons help – yes, they do want you to buy something, but remember, they also know a lot from what the product is made of to what the difference is between products and can decipher the codes and warranties.

5. DON’T Leave home without a tape measure! More often than not the dimensions will be there for you, but it’s Murphy’s law that the desk you want won’t have it’s measurements and all the staff are on lunch the second you walk in the furniture store.


September 21, 2007

Tips for buying a Sofa

Posted in loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , at 12:38 pm by homesandfurniture

Furniture can cost a lot of money. When you’re buying a sofa you need to know it’s going to last you years – both in durability and style.

Remember that although you would probably like to replace it in a couple of years, realistically people keep their sofa for at least ten.

Room size & décor
Consider the size of the room and the décor, and try to stick to that theme. What kind of room are you getting the couch for? A formal lounge area or a casual space that people can relax in? Would a modern leather sofa match what else you’ve got or would a chaise lounge look better?

Before you purchase – do all the measurements! Firstly measure the space to so you know what size sofa you want. Secondly, measure things like doorways and consider how you are going to get it in the room – will it fit up the staircase and through the door frame? Are the legs removable?

When thinking of colours – think of your lifestyle! Light colours look great, but if you’ve got small children they can be a recipe for disaster. Patterned and coloured fabric sofas will hide stains better.

Small areas
For smaller house, try an armless sofa. That little bit of extra space can fit another person on and, without arms, can usually be a good make shift bed for unexpected visitors.

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.

July 18, 2007

Fitted furniture – yes or no?

Posted in furniture, loungeroom tagged , , , , , at 1:15 pm by homesandfurniture

Fitted FurnitureThere has been a long standing myth that fitted furniture in your home is a bad idea! Why exactly has this ideal come about? Sure there are some cheap deals you can get for fitted furniture, they look cheap because they are cheap and if its value you are looking to add to your home this is not the way to go about it.

Family Room Furniture

However fitted furniture can really add significant value to your home if say you have some awkward alcoves and corners, you can utilise the space far better if you have a bespoke piece of furniture, say a side table, bureau, sofa or built in wardrobe. Made correctly by skilled carpenters and joiners, if you can add a piece of furniture that has been built to fit the exact dimensions and character of your home, your room will look truly individual and not only will you add value to your home but you will get great satisfaction out of your newly designed furniture for years to come!

Where shall I put the telly?

Posted in furniture, loungeroom tagged , , , at 12:27 pm by homesandfurniture

Well ok maybe not the telly, but knowing where to place your furniture in your home can be a real dilemma! Homes need to feel like homes and furniture needs too complement that. It is no good simply whacking your belongings in a room and hoping that it all fits and then wonder why your agitated a few days later when the symmetry and balance of the said room has not been arranged.

It sounds obvious but its not, so here are a few pointers as to placing furniture around your home to create the harmony and peacefulness that you deserve!

  • Balance your furniture out, a room where most of the furniture is in one corner will look unnatural and will subconsciously annoy you. Draw an imaginary line through the room and balance the furniture placed in each half.
  • Symmetry – by keeping up a few simple symmetrical rules, like if you have two sofas place them so they face each other with a coffee table in the middle etc will help you to be aesthetically pleased with the layout of your home.
  • Traffic – When placing furniture in your home, or more specifically a room be aware of what item is used and what is not used! Make sure that the lovely comfortable sofa has a clear walk way too it, people will be calmer and happier if they can get to their beloved piece of furniture without having to hurdle everything else in the room – it sounds obvious but you would be surprised!
  • First impressions – too much clutter, in this case, furniture, in a room can be off putting, again think about the balance of the furniture in the room. A few accessories can really make a difference, try buying some flowers to place on a side table on a table, this will make the room look inviting!
  • Convenience – a home and its furniture must ultimately be adequate for the functions they perform. You may have bought the trendiest piece of furniture for your home but if it isn’t comfortable or isn’t positioned in the right place so that it can be used correctly, something has gone wrong!

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