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!"



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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