Staging a Dining Room with Warm Colors

Staging a Dining Room with Warm Colors
Staging by A Goode Start Decorating & Home Staging.

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I have a passion for decorating! And, as a decorator and home stager who's helped many people transform their homes, I wanted to share my ideas and tips with others. Enjoy! My company's motto is: "Home Staging for Selling or Staying!"



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

THE NEW "HOT" COLOR FOR 2012 - HOT PINK!

Last year, it was purple -- but for 2012, I predict the new “hot” color in interior decorating will be, ironically, hot pink! The color is bright and fun. With the retro feel of the 1970s, I predict that hot pink will become a popular color and will be paired with many different colors – from lime green to cobalt blue, orange to violet. When used with those colors, the decorating color scheme will be daring and adventurous.
In my opinion, hot pink is a very versatile color. As most people know, pink is a mixture of red and white. It has many different tints (light colors, mixed with more white) and shades (darker colors, mixed with more black). Hot pink is an intense shade of pink, although different from “shocking” pink, which is closer in color to magenta (it has a little purple hue).
Hot pink is a very bold, almost florescent pink. For many years, it has been associated with the color of girls’ bedrooms. But it can be used as an accent in a sophisticated, neutral color scheme. To achieve this, pair hot pink with more subtle colors such as grey and dark brown. So don’t worry guys, if you want to add the new “hot” color for 2012 to your masculine decorating scheme, hot pink looks great as an accent color with neutral colors such as dark brown, grey and black.
So – have fun decorating with hot pink – it’ll add some ”pink punch” to your color scheme!
As always, Happy Decorating!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spruce up your home for the holidays!

If you are dreading the holidays because you’re unhappy with your living room or dining room - especially your worn-out sofa and/or chairs - here are some budget-wise decorating ideas to update your upholstered items:

- If your sofa or chairs need recovering or need to be replaced, consider slipcovering them instead! You can buy stretchable slipcovers at stores such as Walmart and Target. For even more selection, look at Surefit, J.C. Penney or Pottery Barn slipcovers online.
-If you can’t find a ready-made slipcover to fit your sofa, find a nice quilt or throw to drape over your sofa.
-Add accent pillows for some added color to your “new” sofa.
-Dining room chairs that have removable seats can be recovered easily.
Just unbolt the seat from the chair frame and stretch your new fabric over the seat. Make sure you have extra fabric to tuck around to the back and use a staple gun to attach it.

Hope these ideas will help you (and your wallet)get your home ready for the upcoming holidays! I'll blog some more ideas later this month. Check out my facebook page for pictures of rooms decorated by A Goode Start Decorating! I'd also welcome any comments
from you on my blog.

As always, Happy Decorating!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Benefits of Home Staging

The term, “Home staging” is being used more and more these days. Just tune into the HGTV and you’ll see a bevy of shows about staging and house hunting. But for many homeowners who don’t watch the shows, “home staging” is a relatively new term.

In previous years, it was left up to the homeowner to prepare their home for showings. Although some real estate agents are knowledgable and can advise the homeowners about home staging, most agents are experts in the field of selling and closing, not home design. Agents generally know what factors can help sell a home, but they don't have time to assist the homeowners in what can be a long process in getting their homes into selling condition.

Professional home stagers are experts in the art of preparing a home for resale. They can help eliminate clutter, arrange (or remove) furniture, assist in enhancing curb appeal and help the house look welcoming. With the assistance of a professional home stager, your house can make a positive first impression on potential homebuyers.

The first impression:

As the real estate industry often stresses, a potential buyer can make up their mind within ten seconds after they step in the front door. And they are already forming an opinion as soon as they pull up in front of the house. Given that first impression, curb appeal is extremely important – and you usually don’t get a second chance.

How to find a home stager:

These days most people have access to the internet. You find and select a professional home stager or other professional service by searching on internet for a stager in your area. Or you can ask your real estate agent for a recommendation, or you can ask around and get referrals.

Some facts about home staging to consider:

Based on statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes sell 50% faster and on the average sell about 6-10 percent more than homes that are not staged. In addition, a 2011 Home Gain Survey showed that hiring a professional Home Stager yielded a 299% return on investment.

Another consideration for home sellers is generally the longer a home stays on the market, the more the price drops. The faster you sell your home, the more you save in mortgage payments, the less you will lose in time spent on the market and the sooner you can move on to your next home!

So, if you're thinking about selling your home in the near future, I encourage you to seek the advice and guidance of a professional stager.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me. As always, Happy Decorating!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Home Staging FAQs

Do you have questions about home staging or property presentation services? I've found that a lot of people do not know what a home stager does or how they can help a home seller. So, here are some of the most commonly asked questions that will shed some light on what home stagers can offer you if you have decided to sell your home:

Q. What is home staging?

A. Home staging is a way of showing a house in the best possible light to prospective buyers in order to sell the property faster and for a better price. Home staging usually involves reducing and reorganizing a clients' belongings, rearranging their furniture and accessorizing the home. The home stager's objective is to transform the property so that it appeals to the widest range of prospective buyers.


Q. Is there any difference between a home stager and an interior designer?

A. Although these professions seem to have similarities, they in reality are worlds apart. An interior designer’s role is to make your home in your style, tastes and preferences. A home stager actually aims to turn your property into something that a majority of people will prefer in order for it to appeal to the maximum number of buyers at sale time.


Q. Will furnishing my vacant property actually make a difference to the buyer?

A. Yes, but just placing any old furniture in the room is not the answer. We can use furniture that enhances the property and shows the property like a "model home" and clearly defines the room purpose. We then style the room to give it a finished and complete look.



We will use quality furniture and accessories that give your vacant property the greatest chance of appealing to the widest possible buying audience.


Q. Does home staging work?

A. Quite simply, yes! Nothing appeals more to a buyer than a clean and defined space without all the clutter and personal effects of the current owner. This helps the potential buyer envision themselves living in the property and leads to a faster sale and often for more money.


Q. How much will it cost?

A. The aim of home staging is not to cost you money, but to make you money through better presentation -- which increases the demand for your home. The cost will depend upon the condition of your home and how much needs to be done to transform the property to appeal to the widest range of buyers.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at AGoodeStart@hotmail.com.

Until next time, Happy Decorating!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Designing Study Areas for Your Kids

Now that the summer is over and school is back in session (for most of us at least), it’s time to think about the dreaded homework scenario for your kids. Since doing homework is a vital part of their education, I think it’s really important to have a dedicated area in your home for the kids – of all ages -- to do their homework.

This is especially important to teens. Although the usual spot for studying may have been the kitchen table, teens need another area of the home that can be quiet for studying and provide a decent amount of space to “spread out.”

If the space in your home is limited, then a folding screen or divider, even a bookcase, can offer some privacy or divide the space between the other areas of the room and the study space.
Here are some ideas when you’re designing your kid’s study area:
A computer desk is essential these days – and, if possible a good-sized one so that they can spread out their books, folders and other homework materials. Of course, a desk chair that provides good back support (and I like the ones on wheels) is another essential item.
Good lighting is very important in the study area – provided by a desk lamp (task lighting) and, if possible, some overhead lighting and/or natural light as well.
Some other items such as a bookcase is very useful in organizing reference books and other materials that they’ll need. And since kids love hanging things on the wall, I think a cork board or memo board over their desk is a nice addition so they can post notes, calendars, or messages.
So…there are some ideas for the study area. I’ll talk about decorating the study area in my next blog.
If you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me, feel free to e-mail me at AGoodeStart@hotmail.com or post your question under my blog.
Until next time, Happy Decorating!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Decorating Items with Spray Paint

They call me the “Spray Paint Queen” – but it works so well and is so affordable!!! It’s amazing that they make spray paint that can cover almost any surface, not just metal but plastic, wicker, and rattan and wood. But I caution you to READ THE LABELS before you purchase!

My latest projects were two wicker chairs and - believe it or not – the motor of a ceiling fan. I found a really nice, inexpensive wicker-look ceiling fan for my sunroom, but the motor was black. Since I determined that this would not look good in my tropical-inspired sunroom, I decided to spray paint it a multi-color bronze that looks fabulous in the room!

So – if paint will adhere to other surfaces, you could repaint lamps and other accessories as well. Using a tarp or lots of newspaper to cover the floor or ground, I always paint outside or in a well-ventilated garage or basement.

Hopefully, you’ll start looking at some of your older pieces or garage sale finds as potentially new decorative accents. As always, Happy Decorating!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Refurbishing Furniture Ideas

I'm just like everyone else - I don't have much money to spend on lots of furniture and accessories. Especially as a home stager. Although the owner's rent furniture, I try to keep the cost to the owner to a minimum by adding some of my own furniture and accessories. And it pays off - I always have very satisfied clients who sell their homes quickly and for more money!

But - back to repurposing furniture and accessories. Believe it or not, I have always been shy about visting other people's yard and garage sales. As I've always heard...one person's junk is another person's treasure.
One reason I avoided garage and yard sales was because I hated to walk away without buying something. The sad and desperate look on the owner's faces always make me feel pressured. But no more - I finally have transcended to a different state of mind and have evolved to a shop-aholic at garage sales.

After a recent impromptu visit to a local yard sale, I have decided that yard and garage sales are a worthwhile use of my time. Since I'm getting ready to stage another home, I have been researching and pricing bistro sets. The most inexpensive set was from Walmart at $200. I resigned myself to keep looking, but this time I started visiting yard and garage sales. Well, my perseverance finally paid off. I found a cute bamboo and wrought iron set, sans a glass table top and with only three, versus four, bamboo iron chairs. Although they had that worn out, weathered look, I knew that I could refurbish them with a can of spray paint. So, I purchased the table base and three chairs for $25. What a deal! And after one coat of primer and two coats of spray paint, a cute bistro table and chairs have emerged. I found a 30 inch glass tabletop at Pier One for $60. So for a total of about $90 (instead of $200 plus), I have a cute bistro set.

So, don't rule out yard and garage sales. Be a garage sale shop-aholic and look for bargins that you can redo to look like new!

As always, Happy Decorating!!

Deborah Goode, CID
Certified Interior Decorator & Accredited Home Stager

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Make Your Rooms Feel More Spacious

If you're like me, I don't like to walk into a room and feel that it is closing in on me - this probably means that it is crowded with too much furniture and accessories - or just "stuff". I love an open, spacious feeling in a room - even if the room is small. Whether it is in a house, an apartment, condo or dorm, decorating small areas can be challenging.

One of my "fans" has asked me to address some solutions to the crowded feeling. In response to her request, I've enumerated some decorating tips below that may help with those rooms and areas that are smaller than we'd like.

Some of my suggestions are merely optical illusions which attract the eye and center it on the focal point. The end result is a room that feels larger than it is and much more spacious.

One thing to remember: dark colors usually make a space feel more intimate and cozy while light shades make a room feel more open and spacious. If you want that spacious feeling, choose white or light neutral shades for best results. "Neutral" colors can range from off-white to various tints of beige and grey. But any light color - green, blue, yellow, etc., can make a room feel more spacious. I'd like to suggest that you paint the ceiling white or off-white to draw the eye upward.

However, if you're in love with a dark shade of paint color, it will make the room feel more cozy and less spacious. So if you have your heart set on a darker paint color, you could use it as an accent wall. An accent wall can be dramatic and can be the focal point of the room.

Here's another idea if you're stuck on a dark color - use a high gloss shade of the paint. Light will reflect off the gloss paint like a mirror. Still another suggestion - paint the ceiling a deeper shade than the wall color. The ligher color on the walls will expand the space, while the darker ceiling color will make the room feel cozy.

I love vertical elements, such as moulding, which can draw the eye upward and make the ceiling appear higher. Make sure that you paint the molding a high gloss white for it to pop!

Horizontal elements, such as chair rails, borders or picture frame molding below the waist, draw the eye downward and make walls seem farther apart.

If you deside to keep or add a chair rail, paint the wall in two different colors, with the darker color on the bottom.

Picture rails and moldings generally lower the perceived wall height. If you wish to have them, for a more spacious feeling, paint the picture rails the same color as the wall.

Baseboard and crown moldings should be kept thin to ensure that the walls are accentuated.

To draw the eye upward, mount drapery rods for curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. The optical illusion will make the ceiling feel higher and may also may the window appear higher.

Vertical striped curtains from ceiling to floor will make the walls seem taller. (Match one of the stripe colors to the wall paint if possible.)

Sheer curtains will allow more light to enter the room -- adding more natural light in a room.

Ceiling lighting casts the light downward and creates shadows which can make a room feel smaller. Wall sconces and accent lighting (and uplights) reflect upward and make the ceiling appear higher.

Reduce visual clutter — try to keep it clean and clutter-free.

Make sure your furniture placement and arrangement is open as well. In furniture arranging - if you have room - pull the furniture away from the wall into a conversation area. This is an optical illusion but it will give the room the appearance of more space.

You can use mirrors to help to reflect light and expand the room. Tall mirrors can help draw the eye upward and make a ceiling feel taller. Be sure to consider what the mirror is reflecting for best placement.

Although decorating small rooms is challenging, it can be fun. Hopefully these ideas will help you - happy decorating!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ideas for Decorating Your Outdoor "Rooms" on a Budget

Summer is almost upon us, and most of us want to spend more and more time outdoors. If you love relaxing on your deck or porch like I do, here are some ideas for decorating your outdoor space. Since outdoor rooms are very popular now, there are many more options to the homeowner. Your outdoor room can be an extension of your home and you can personalize it with some exterior decorating ideas.
Selecting outdoor furniture which suits your personal taste and style may be challenging. Prices range from the inexpensive (resin or aluminum) to the more expensive (wrought iron or wooden) – for example. You can choose from many different styles and colors to meet your needs. And there are many bright new colored accessories (pillows, cushions, umbrellas) featured this year!
If you’re on a budget, discount stores usually have less expensive outdoor furniture available or you can pick up a white Adirondack resin chair for a very reasonable cost. This year, you can even choose some brightly colored Adirondack chairs. Fun! Once you add throw pillows on the chairs, they look great in most settings. You can even find some bargain outdoor furniture at consignment shops and garage sales. If they are wooden or metal, you can usually spray paint them – but make sure you read the label to ensure that you buy a paint that will adhere to the surface.

So - start planning for your time outdoors this summer now - while the selection is great! And please check out my "A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging" Facebook page and my website at www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com. Happy Decorating!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning Tips - from Ceiling to Floor!

Spring is finally here! If you're like me, I'm now in the mood to start spring cleaning. If you'd like some ideas to begin your mission, here are some suggestions - from ceiling to floor:
1. Ceilings – Dust from corner to corner and wash if possible. Remember to clean the light fixtures, ceiling fans, smoke detector covers you may want to replace, light bulbs and smoke detector batteries while you’re up there.

2. Walls – Dust corner to corner, floor to ceiling; wash & scrub walls & everything on them (fixtures, pictures, mirrors, doors & door frames, hanging shelves, clocks, etc.). I often find little dust bunnies and cob webs in the corners of room, which I tackle with an extendable cleaning mop.

3. Windows – Clean them inside & out, including the tracks & frames; wash or have curtains professionally cleaned and clean the blinds.

4.Cabinets, Counters, Drawers, Shelves – Empty shelves and drawers, remove shelf paper, wash inside & out, top & underneath, line with fresh shelf paper, sort items as you put back (keep/trash); (I found a can of five-year old tuna fish in my cupboard!).

Wash all knick-knacks; tighten, repair or replace handles and knobs where needed; declutter & organize all items in drawers and on shelves.

5. Furniture – Pull out the furniture and clean floor & walls, including the sides of furniture or appliances (inside & out); if possible, have upholstered furniture professionally cleaned (check the labels first).

6. Appliances - Clean the kitchen appliances. Dust all electronics; clean lamps as well as lamp shades (that could consist of a thorough dusting!).

7. Floors – Sweep well and clean; vacuum & clean carpets and rugs. Make your non-carpeted floors sparkling clean!

Organize and Declutter as you go! Sort through bedding, linens and towels. Discard ones that are getting threadbare or too stained, or cut into cleaning rags for future cleaning projects. (Animal shelters always appreciate donations of old towels and sheets for the animals).

Clean and sort clothing to be given away, pull items that you can repurpose;
store off-season clothing in plastic boxes. Pack away household files from the previous year and prepare new folders for the upcoming season. If you don’t have a filing cabinet, a cardboard filing box will suffice.

Items to be tossed are sorted: box them up for charity or a garage sale. Toss food items that have no expiration date, especially if you’re not sure of their age. Replace spices and herbs you don’t regularly use. Make a list of all food items that need to be re-stocked on the next grocery trip.

Be inspired to get your home sparkling clean and ready for the busy summer!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Check out Real Estate Tips and Spring Cleaning advice on this link

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dunkirk-MD/Calvert-Anne-Arundel-Real-Estate-Tess-Armiger-Century-21-New-Millennium/118725231505345

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ADD SOME SPRING TO YOUR HOME!

Spring is in the air here in Maryland – at least for a day! The nice weather inspires us to get going if you’re thinking about any remodeling, redecorating or putting your home up for sale.
If you want to bring a touch of spring into your household, here are some budget-wise ideas:
-Bring some live plants into your home by clipping outdoor ivy and then rooting them in water. Or purchase some inexpensive annuals, such as impatiens, begonias, primroses,or fushias, and keep them indoors. These flowers like low-light so they will live indoors, as long as you keep them watered.
-Embellish candles for an expensive way to decorate your home. Attach dried flowers, shells, pebbles or twigs for a new look. Then you can group different sizes together for an arrangement on a table or shelf.
-Spray paint or stencil some old houseplant pots to add some color to your table or shelves. Pot your shade annuals or cuttings into the “new” pots and you have a new decorative item at a minimal cost!
-If you have an old metal or wicker shelf sitting in your basement or garage, you can give it new life with two coats of spray paint. You can use it to display plants or flowers either inside or out on your patio.
-Speaking of garage finds, you can refurbish an old wooden stepladder with a coat of paint or varnish and use it either outdoors or indoors as a bookcase or a plant stand.
- Do you have old magazines or picture books with beautiful botanical pictures that you love? If your answer is yes, perhaps you could add some spring color to your walls or shelves by framing those pictures.
By the way, I am now juggling many different projects since spring has sprung. I hope to at least post a blog once a month but my busy schedule may preclude my ramblings until summer. Don’t give up on me – I still have lots of ideas to share!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tips for Buying Upholstered Furniture

After selling furniture for a couple of years and 20 years experience as an Interior Decorator, I’d like to suggest the tips below if you are in the market for new upholstery. When looking for upholstery, you should ask the salesperson for information on fabric and construction before making your decision to purchase.



Fabrics:

Durability and function should be paramount in selecting which fabric you choose for your upholstery. Fabrics can add color, character and charm to your room.

-Leather has features which can make it superior to other upholstery materials since it will not tear along the seam lines or easily rip as some other fabrics do. Leather is made to provide you with years of timeless beauty, however, it is a bit pricy.

-Leathermatch is a more economical material choice. Leather match upholstery means the piece has a combination of real leather and dyed-to-match vinyl. It features the look of leather at a more affordable cost.

-Microfiber features superfine filaments that are manufactured and woven together to create synthetic fabric. It has a softer, almost suede-like texture and is generally lighter than conventional fabrics. In general, microfiber fabrics are resilient or resist wrinkling; have a luxurious drape and body; retain their shape; and resist moisture very well. In addition, they are relatively strong and durable in relation to other fabrics of similar weight.

If fabric durability is a concern when purchasing your upholstery, a fabric constructed out of synthetic fibers (such as Viscose and Polyester) may be the right choice for you.



-Organic fabric:You can also consider wools and heavy cottons, which usually wear well. Cottons can range from twills to chintz (polished cotton). In my opinion, I prefer chintz because they clean better than twills.

In summary, all fabrics are subject to wear-and-tear. Sunlight and humidity can affect the quality of your upholstery. I highly recommend taking proper care of your furniture to ensure that the quality and appearance of your furniture does not change.



Furniture construction:

Comfort is key to a great piece of furniture. When deciding upon the construction of your furniture’s cushions, it is important to keep in mind that both down and synthetic cushioning have different advantages. Synthetic cushions (i.e., foam) tend to give firm yet comfortable support for upholstered seating. Down filled pieces will provide a smoother seat, allowing you to feel like you are "sitting on a cloud."

The other important aspect of your furniture's construction is the spring foundation. If you prefer sinking into the softness of the cushion, you should explore styles that are supported by 8-way suspensions. This type of support is achieved when single coil springs are attached to the webbing with link and then hand tied to each other to create superior elasticity in the seat. This gives the entire cushion a durable but very soft feeling with little support from the frame.



Sinuous Spring support is made up of S-shaped wires that are also known as “S coils” and “zigzag springs.” Springs are fastened with clips and no-sag nails to be staggered every few inches from front to back or top to bottom under the seat cushion and behind the seatbacks. This tightly held formation provides a slightly firmer support for your sofa, chair or ottoman.

Furniture frames are most commonly constructed out of kiln-dried hardwoods. Typically, Oak, Maple, and Poplar woods are used in this type of frame construction. Kiln-dried hardwoods provide sturdy structure and long-lasting durability to your furniture. Other pieces are constructed with rattan or metal, making your furniture stylish as well as strong.



Function of the Room:

Before selecting upholstery for your room, consider the function of the room. Is it a formal seating area? What about a casual living room where friends and family can feel at ease?

Furniture styles and fabric choices can aide you in creating a space that will meet your needs and provide your room a great new appearance. Fabrics with details (such as damask, tapestry, brocade) and matched with elegant framing structures create a more formal appeal. While furniture with darker fabrics and softer style-lines (such as microfiber or leather) are ideal for high-traffic areas in your home.

Style of your Room:

Style is a channel through which you are able to express your imagination and individuality. Here are some common style themes that are useful to consider when purchasing furniture for your home:



-Traditional Style: Calm, orderly, and conventional. This style is functional and uncomplicated. Traditional furniture pieces tend to accommodate a busy lifestyle, by being easy to maintain and child-friendly. However, there are many traditional pieces that adhere to the non-trendy design principle (for example, 18th century furniture) which can create a more formal atmosphere.



-Transitional Style: Transitional style is the synthesis of traditional and contemporary furniture. Finishes, materials and fabrics are combined to create a timeless and versatile design. This furniture is simple yet sophisticated and utilizes straight lines and very carefully balanced proportions.



-Modern Style: Modern style features clean lines and unique shapes. You will notice neutral elements accentuated by bold colors and geometric patterns. Modern style can be both casual and formal in appearance.



-Casual Style: Casual style is warm, comfortable and inviting. This style is defined by simple details, neutral colors and comfortable seating. Textured elements of fabrics along with softer choices of fabrics create an informal, welcoming atmosphere.



-Formal Style: Formal style features delicate, opulent fabrics which are ideal for light-use and if the room is used only for entertaining or conversation.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tips for furniture buying - Part 1

During January and February, many furniture manufacturers decide to have sales. If you're in the market for some new furniture -whether you need one piece or an entire room full of furniture, this is usually a good time to shop. For the furniture-buying novice, I'd like to pass along some advice to my readers before you go shopping. Since I've had some experience with furniture in my career as a designer-salesperson at two well-known furniture stories in Annapolis, I hope you will benefit from some of these tips:


First, when searching for a particular piece of furniture, ask a salesperson about the construction of the furniture.

If shopping for case goods (dressers, tables, chests) -- are the drawer corners dovetailed and glued? Or just glued and stapled? The best drawer construction is dovetailed and glued. Lower end furniture drawers are made by stapling and gluing the corners. This is sufficient, but it is not the optimal way to build furniture. If you want your furniture to last a long time and withstand a lot of abuse - choose furniture with dovetailed corners or glued and screwed corners, instead of only stapled.

Speaking of drawers - make sure you check them out. Are they easy to pull out? Are they on glides? With time, most drawers start to stick a little, but the best made drawers glide easily and effortlessly. This is a good sign that they are properly made and will not stick on you in a year.

Are the tops veneered or solid wood? Or if it is veneered with only one layer or more? Some well-made veneer tops are very resilient to wear because they are constructed of thin sheets of wood that are adhered together in alternate directions and generally attached to particle board. For example, Thomasville furniture's veneers are seven layers thick.

Although solid wood furniture is very nice, the wood could prone to cracking with age or a lot of abuse. However, solid wood furniture is preferred by many people.

For me personally, it depends on the manufacturer which one I prefer. Solid wood furniture is always beautiful. An advantage to solid wood furniture is that you can refinish it without being concerned about sanding through the veneer to particle board - just a thought if you're planning on keeping the piece in the family or you have a penchant for refinishing furniture!

If painted wood is your preference, it is still popular. If the piece is painted, it's important to know that the top (and sides) could get scratched and there may not be any way to fix it. I'd like to suggest that you ask the furniture manufacturer for some touch-up paint in the same color paint (which could be hard to find but I wholeheartedly recommend it). Otherwise, if your furniture will be used regularly, consider covering the top with a runner, doily or maybe a piece of glass cut to fit the top.

Last of all, please remember that woods range from soft- to hard-wearing. Pine tends to be a soft wood; whereas, oak and maple are hard woods. Therefore, pine furniture may not be a good choice for children's bedroom furniture!

So, I will give guidance on purchasing upholstered furniture in my next blog. Until then, Happy Decorating!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January is the Time to Buy Bed Linens

Did you know that the average person spends about a third of their life in bed? Since most of us spend between 6 to 8 hours (and for the lucky ones, 8-10 hours) in bed, it’s important to choose the right bed sheets for your bed. And – it’s an added bonus if the sheets enhance the overall décor of your bedroom as well. Since January is the best time of year to shop for new bed linens, here are a few tips to be aware of before you start sheet-shopping:



Size: Before you go out and buy new sheets, I’d like to suggest that you measure your bed (including the width of the side of your mattress). In the past, sheet sizes such as “twin,” “full,” “queen” and king” were reliable and would fit all beds according to size. But recently, many mattress manufacturers have added extra comfort features, such as pillow top mattresses which are deeper than older mattresses. There are so many different size mattresses now that it is important to know before you venture out on your quest for new bedding. Some sheets are now made specifically for deeper, more luxurious mattresses or longer bed sizes – and they usually state it on their packaging.



Threat Count: The TPI (or threads per inch) is an important factor to consider before purchasing bed sheets. The rule of thumb is – the more threads per inch of material, the softer the sheets. Therefore, I would highly recommend purchasing sheets with more than 250 TPI for more comfortable bed linens. Of course, they are usually more expensive, but they are worth it in my opinion.



Decorating with Bed Linens – if you’d like to accent or create a new ambience to your bedroom, consider buying new bed sheets! You can add complimentary colors or prints to your bedroom’s color scheme; opt for a rich, opulent feeling to your bedroom; or create whimsical surroundings. Enhance your bedroom’s décor by adding new bed sheets – it’s the easiest way to redecorate your bedroom.



As always, Happy Decorating!

NOTE: Sferra and Pottery Barn bedding pictures are featured in this blog. However, this does not imply endorsement of any specific product.

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