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

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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

December 10, 2007

The Future Of Furniture Looks Modern?

Posted in furniture, loungeroom, moving home, sofas tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:56 pm by homesandfurniture

Beige Living RoomNow that we are in the era of modern living, there seems to be a steady influx of futuristic and shall I say “different” looking household and living room furniture that is starting to appear on the market, which are affordable to some and not so affordable to others. More of us are now starting to turn our places of sanctuary into something you more or less see in a Ikea or the Littlewoods catoulouge, which to some can get people thinking ‘that must cost a few bob’ to do. Though some of us often day dream of designing our next home looking very sheek and modelesque, the most important question that may come to a few of our minds is ‘How much is creating a contemporary home going to cost me?’.

There are many different means to styling your home such as rural, urban, expensive, cheap, contemporary or retro at prices that do not aim to dig a deep hole in your bank balance. All you need to do is ‘Shop Smart‘, in my opinion (and I hope most of you agree!) means shopping around for those all furniture sales which will add those desired effects that you are looking for in your home. Shopping at car boot sales, charity shops, clearance furniture sales and online furniture sites can leave you with you jaw wide open as you will realize that you do not have to give in to those extortionate prices you often see at those up-market furniture stores.

Take the Ideal Home Show for example, these are exhibitions that will give you a few ideas on how to style your home and also shows you the diverse range of furniture that you can buy to help you on your way to achieving your goal of completely re-designing your home. Even taking notes at these exhibitions can get you thinking that your the new up and coming interior designer ready to grace our TV screens!

Bedroom Furniture

Watching leading lifestyle shows such as House Doctor, Front of House, How To Rescue a House or Colin and Justin’s Home Show can open your mind to various design ideas which in turn could lead to that sought after ‘warped into the future’ effect! So instead of spending nearly over £100 on a futuristic looking lamp or £50 on a set of blinds, shop around and keep your eyes peeled for those low priced furniture deals that could turn your home into a new, young and vibrant pad.

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
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

Cushions
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.

Organisation
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.

October 17, 2007

The Five Do’s of Buying Furniture

Posted in furniture, loungeroom, sofas tagged , , , , , , , , , at 9:08 am by homesandfurniture

1. DO go shopping during the week. Avoid the weekend crowds and chaos if you can. Many are open late during the week and you can also purchase online. The madness in store will only add to the confusion to trying to figure out which coffee table has the best finish, or decide if the dark blue sofa will look better in your house than the light blue sofa! It’s better to go during quieter times when you won’t get carried away in the weekend buying frenzy nor feel rushed in to your decision.

2. DO measure everything! Before you leave the house know how much space you’ve got to play with, and also the size of your door frames – trust me, one of the main reason people bring sofas back for a refund is because they don’t fit through the Corner Sofadoor! Always measure the potential furniture before you purchase.

3. DO shop around for the best price. Look online or enquire if the store will have a sale soon. You never know, by waiting a week you could save yourself.

4. DO test the furniture. If you’re buying online, it still might be a good idea to test it out. Remember, you have to live with this! A friend of mine ordered a mattress from Argos to save money, took a day off work to wait for the delivery to arrive, only to discover she couldn’t get a good nights sleep on it.

5. DO take a photo and ask for a fabric sample. If you’re debating several pieces, they’ll all start to blur into each other once you leave the store. The beauty of technology means you can take a photo on your phone or digital camera and ask for a sample of fabric so you can really picture it in your home.

October 5, 2007

Moving house tips

Posted in furniture, moving home tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:36 am by homesandfurniture

As the saying goes, there’s two things you can’t avoid – debt and taxes. But what about moving home? It’s pretty much inevitable at some stage you have to move and it’s certainly a stressful event. It’s always seems so easy and exciting but once you get down to the packing you always realise how incredibly unprepared you are and wonder how you managed to accumulate so much stuff! Here’s a few tips that might make moving that little bit easier:

Before you start:
Preparation is key! It may seem like an obvious tip, but no matter how little or big your house is that you have, you still never really know where to start. Make a list of exactly what you need to do from booking a removal van, to finding cardboard boxes to sorting through your clothes and taking some to a charity store. This way you can see clearly what you have to do, and then can figure out what will take the longest and prioritise. Ask yourself – do I really need that old leather sofa and chipped bookcase? What do you really want to take to your new home?

During your move:
ist1_3279895_moving_house.jpg Make sure you leave yourself with enough time to organise everything and don’t leave everything until the last minute. Start by packing things you aren’t going to need to use. Clearly mark all your boxes just in case you need to find something you packed, and to also make it easier when you unpack at your new home. Moving house is the perfect time to de-clutter your house and get rid of things you no longer need. If you’re really prepared you could take your belongings to a car boot sale and try to come out on top.

After you move:
Many people get so caught up in the moving process they forget that after you leave your house, your mail doesn’t magically know how to find you. Remember to redirect your mail and inform people of your change of address or you could miss out on anything from birthday presents to phone bills! Although it would be nice to lose a few bills along the way, you don’t want to end up with overdue fees from a wayward bill you haven’t paid.

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.

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!