5 Tips to Protect Your Wooden Furniture from Damage

Wooden furniture is a timeless piece. It’s perfect for rustic or even contemporary interior designs. They have a very traditional and elegant look and they’re affordable too. But as with any other things in life, the cons will always be there to haunt us.

Even though wood’s natural beauty is perennial, different external elements like the sun, moisture, and varying temperatures are culprits to wooden furniture damage. They’re also easily chipped and scratched so no playing with sharp objects near the furniture! And if you’re a wine aficionado, better be careful of spills because stains are hard to remove from these types of furniture.

So is wooden furniture worthy of a place in your home? Of course! You just need to make sure to protect them. Here are the top 5 tips on how to care for your wooden furniture.

1.  Clean Them Regularly

Cleaning your wooden furniture especially those in patios and outdoor kitchens will go a long way. FYI, moisture is one of the major enemies of wood; and dirt and moisture work hand in hand. Dirt invites moisture and moisture is usually the cause of furniture decay. When you wipe them clean, you ensure that the dirt doesn’t dry out on the surfaces. Oakwood is the most winter-resistant out of all the other types of wood.

2.  Use Oil-Based Varnish

If you’re a bit on the clumsy side and always spill your drinks, it’s advisable to protect your wooden furniture’s surface by using varnish. Oil-based varnish is known to be more resilient to water due to the synthetic resins mixed with drying oils and a thinner.

3.  Color Paint Wash

Like the human skin, wooden furniture also needs protection from the UV rays. One way to do this is by painting. But there is a drawback when painting wooden furniture – it covers the wood’s natural appearance! One way to go around this is by color washing. All you have to do is to mix two parts paint and one part water. If you like to see more grain on the wood, continue adding more water until you reach the right consistency. Test on a wooden swatch first before applying on the furniture.

4.  Water Repellent Preservatives

You can use a water-repellent preservative on bare wood before painting. This helps the paint’s service life last. Water-repellent preservatives have a minimal amount of wax that makes it great for keeping water, rain, or dew from seeping into the wood. And we all know what these elements do to wood – they cause shrinking and swelling!

5.  Proper Furniture Arrangement

This is actually the easiest trick in the book. Since the seasonal elements are extremely detrimental to wooden furniture, make sure that you position your furniture away from open sources as much as possible. Like if you’re living in a tropical country, keep your furniture away from windows where the direct glare from the sun hits your everlasting pieces.

Getting wooden furniture for your lovely home never goes wrong. It’s a top home décor pick that has transcended from generation to generation. These ageless pieces will stand the test of time if you adhere to these top five tips to protect them from damage.

Author Bio: Evelyn Paulson is a passionate blogger who loves to write about home designs, renewable energy innovations and more. She spends her free time hiking, swimming, camping and spending time with her family. She also blogs at TheGeneratorLab which is a site filled with home energy tips and guides.

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The Ins and Outs of Furnishing Your Rental Property

rental apartment furniture

There is a lot of debate out there about whether or not it’s worth a landlord’s time to furnish the properties they have for rent. The merit of including a basic arrangement of furniture does, after all, depend on a lot of external factors, and there is no advice that’s suitable for all landlords in all cities across all nations. However, with 69% of people under 40 renting apartments instead of buying homes, offering a furnished living space may make your rental more appealing for a more frugal generation.

Assessing Your Space

First thing’s first: when you start looking into whether or not you should furnish your rental space, you’ll need to consider the kind of people you want living in your units and, in turn, what kind of furniture will fit your mutual needs. Is your rental near a university or in the middle of a thriving city? If so, you can assume that your potential tenants are likely to move frequently and carry little with them, making furnishing your rentals the right move. These college students and twenty-somethings are more likely to want furnished apartments than more settled business professionals so that they can chase their education and careers, and you’ll be able to entice them into your property if you show that you’re willing to meet their needs.

Furnishing Basics

With that in mind, you’ll be able to proceed with setting up the basics of a furnished apartment. Think about a space that you’d like for yourself when picking out the furniture you want to introduce to your rental, but keep in mind that this furniture also has to hold up to wear and tear. Also remember that accessibility is essential. If a potential tenant tours your rental and can’t navigate the space appropriately due to the furniture you’ve included, then you’ll lose out on that business opportunity.

What Not to Include

However, you’ll also want to take care to not go overboard in furnishing your rental. Basic furnishings include a dresser, lighting, a bed, and major kitchen appliances, not expensive electronics, dinnerware, or even shower curtains. Not only do you want to allow your potential tenants room to personalize their space, but you’ll want to keep your presence in the rental balanced. In other words, you’ll be providing basic décor, but you won’t be parenting the tenants who rent from you.

Strategies to Make Your Living Room Pop

Your living room is the heart of your home, so what better place to showcase your sense of style? It doesn’t take a whole remodel to make some big changes either. Check out these eight simple tips, tricks, and techniques!

1. Paint an accent wall

This is a quick project that can add a lot of bang for your buck. Choose just one wall to feature a coat of bold color, and roll it on! But which wall should you choose? A good rule of thumb is the darker the color, the smaller the wall. Dark colors tend to absorb light and make a space feel smaller. Consider the way natural light moves through your space, and choose your feature wall accordingly. Not quite ready to commit to a whole wall of color? Divide the wall with a chair rail, then use the space below for your bold accent color.

2. Feature your window treatments

Too often, windows are neglected, especially in small spaces. It’s a bit nerve wracking to risk reducing light in a room that already feels dark, but drapes or other window treatments can actually help a space feel larger. With dark spaces, choose lightweight, semi-transparent curtains, and always hang them all the way to the floor. This creates the illusion that your windows are larger than they are. Add a valance or draped swag for a luxurious, welcoming look. Want something more modern? Bold, geometric print drapes set on cast-iron piping instead of traditional curtain rods make quite a statement.

Keep in mind that curtains are a style statement and can also help cut down on heating and cooling costs. In the summer, keep the drapes closed during the brightest parts of the day to reduce heat; in the winter, choose heavier curtains that keep out drafts at night.

3. Choose a single statement piece

The key to creating a cohesive look that changes and adapts to your family’s needs is sticking with classic or understated pieces for the majority of your furniture and choosing just a piece or two that really drive home your style sense. For example, a trendy pair of armchairs or a vintage sofa can really set the tone without needing every other item in the room to match. Look for classic pieces in neutral colors that compliment your feature furniture without stealing the show. Need a little help tying it all together? Rely on color, with matching throw pillows or a multicolored rug that brings different elements into one pattern. When you want to change things up, swapping out these accessories can refresh the look of the space without needing to completely upend your interior design.

4. Feature your coffee table

In many living spaces, the coffee table is central to the space. Make it a focal point in your interior design as well with a striking natural stone table. Natural stone is a design feature that can blend seamlessly into a whole range of aesthetics, from industrial chic to rustic to clean and modern.

The key is choosing the right stone for your table. Granite, for example, is a dense stone available in a whole range of colors, from red to blue. Light shades are typically filled with darker flecks, though, so if you want something uniformly pale, consider marble. Filled with swirls of subtle color, marble is a classic choice often seen in bathroom countertops and antique designs. Limestone is softer and more prone to scratching; though it may not be ideal for kitchen countertops, the lighter use in a living room makes it the perfect place to show off limestone’s unique texture.

5. Create a gallery wall

Showcase your memories with a wall of framed images. This is a great place to let your imagination run a little wild. While a mix of images always looks best, try to have a consistent theme. For example, you could choose family portraits or vacation photos, opt for kids’ artwork or handwritten notes. Maybe the unifying theme is that all the images are black and white, or all feature a chosen color prominently.

Once you’ve decided on a number of images, gather your frames. A mix of different shapes and sizes gives the gallery wall a homemade look, while identical narrow frames and white matting looks sleek and modern. Whatever you decide, take the time to test out different arrangements on your wall. The easiest way to do this is to trace your frames on paper, cut them out, and tape them up using painters’ tape, which won’t damage your wall. When you like the arrangement, it’s time to attach hanging hardware and put your gallery on display!

6. Scale up your artwork

The reason a gallery wall is so striking is because it takes up far more space, and in a more visually interesting way, than having the same frames and images scattered around the room. You can achieve a similar effect with a single oversized piece of artwork. This works particularly well in rooms that have unusually high ceilings, or large expanses of wall that are uninterrupted by doorways or windows. There are many resources online to find oversized artwork, and even more DIY options if you feel up to the challenge. It’s important to make sure that you take the weight of your oversized artwork into account when it comes to hanging it. Bigger artwork is often heavier therefore make sure you’re either drilling directly into studs when attaching hanging hardware to the wall or using the appropriate drywall anchors.

7. Try something smaller

Big artwork can make a bold statement, but so can something smaller. In fact, smaller furniture can be quite striking. Today, it seems furniture just keeps getting bigger—oversized sectional couches, extra wide, overstuffed chairs. There’s no denying it’s impressive and often comfortable, but it’s not always suited to the layout of your space. Think about how you most often use your furniture, and see if you can make your space more dynamic by, say, switching out a loveseat for a pair of armchairs instead. This also gives you more options when it comes to rearranging the room and creating different seating areas. Whenever possible, keep large pieces of furniture pulled away from the walls to allow for better traffic flow throughout the room.

8. Let there be light!

A beautiful room can really be dampened by a boring lighting fixture. Not only is the fixture itself a focal point of the room—after all, it’s literally glowing—but it also helps set the tone for the rest of your decor. Choose something that provides the light you need, but also makes sense with your design. An industrial-inspired space might use pendant lights with exposed incandescent style bulbs, while a textured globe light provides a softer, cozier look for a modern cottage style.

Ready to get started?

You don’t need to plan a major overhaul just to get your living space up to speed. With just a few focal elements and a little bit of planning, you can completely transform a room. Just remember to keep things cohesive by choosing one or two things to highlight and letting the rest of your decor play a supporting role. Before long, your living spaces will look like something straight from a design catalog!

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Setting Up A New Home and Expressing Your Individuality

Whether you rent or own, moving into a new address provides the perfect clean slate for redecoration. Ultimately, you want to build your home around pieces that mix personalization with functionality for a unique look. But variation aside, there are some basic, elemental home strategies to help you ease the transition between residences as you envision a new chapter in your life with an eye towards customization.

Woman and dog

Keep It Simple 

Moving is the perfect opportunity to reconsider what common household items go unused in your home. Paring down your baggage will make moving easier, but it will also make unpacking and homemaking a less chaotic undertaking as you’ll have only the essentials to work with. When shopping for furniture, read up on expert reviews of staple pieces so you have an advanced idea of which items best stretch your budget. For instance, futons are a great option for versatility and welcoming overnight guests, but not all futons are created equally. Often, secondhand and upcycled furniture are ideal for adding a personalized touch to staple pieces to preserve your home’s individuality. 

Make A Bedroom Perfect For Unwinding

Everyone deserves a bedroom that feels like a sanctuary: your room is a place to unwind and relax after the stressors of a busy day. To keep it calm, opt for neutral, low-impact colors and a room free of excess distractions that prove pesty when you need some sleep. When setting up a bedroom, it’s important to be health-conscious: bedrooms are often the most likely culprit of sinus issues in the home, as allergens exacerbate problems with sleeping. To protect against dust mites and allergens, keep your mattress at least 6 inches off the ground and wash all linens etc. once you arrive on the property. You can also achieve a calm bedroom through indoor greenery and aromatherapeutic oils, such as lavender or orange peel, which induce relaxation without harming the environment.

Use A Kitchen Checklist

Apart from furniture, your biggest purchase when setting up a new home from scratch will likely be the money you spend setting up a functional kitchen. Kitchens involve a surplus of big appliances and small household items that you’ll need on a moment’s notice and it’s hard to last very long in a new residence without a well-stocked kitchen. To prepare, take inventory of the items currently in your kitchen and keep a running list of what you’ll need down the line. Often, many residents find that they use extraneous kitchen appliances less frequently than they anticipated: by decluttering, you are paring down your kitchen to the elemental needs. Moving is the first big step in a bigger, sometimes lifelong, project of adding and building to the space around you to make a home truly your own. Once you settle on a new residence, it’s time to be strategic about what furniture and stylistic decisions will best serve your changing needs.

Author: Katylin Miller

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4 Ways To Deck Out Your Rec Room

Rec rooms are the ideal place to gather with friends, have a little fun, and hang out. While the idea of pool tables, foosball, and ping pong tables may turn your stomach, there are plenty of possibilities when it comes to decking out your rec room. You can transform your rec room into the ultimate entertainment space with an elegant touch by with these simple steps.

Make It Your Own

Depending on the activities you have planned for your rec room, you can make it an additional living space that doubles as a bonus room. This is the ideal place to host family get-togethers or game nights with friends if it is done right.

You need to consider exactly how you will use your rec room and make it functional for these activities. Once you have decided on how you will spend your time in the space, you can go about designing a room that fits your lifestyle.

Have A Place To Sit

To make your rec room as livable as possible, you need to start with some quality furniture. Let go of those hand-me-down pieces that are just taking up space and invest in some elegant furniture that will set the mood. Think comfy and plush with a bold color that will create an inviting living space.

You will want plenty of seating for your family member and friends, so don’t skimp on making sure you have a seat for everyone. You can add additional seating with ottomans, pillows, or stools that compliment the couch, loveseat, and comfortable chairs that you have purchased. Try to incorporate some texture to give your room some warmth such as suede or leather with your accompanying seating options.  

Do Up The Lighting

Lighting is an essential part of your lower level, and you need to incorporate more than a few lamps. While this may take some mastery skills the results will be well worth the effort. Be creative with your lighting both in your room décor and accent pieces. Neon lights can provide a tasteful touch to your rec room by lighting up areas that would otherwise be dark.

Add neon strip lights under cabinets or along the flooring. This will add some ambiance and allow you to create a fun space that your guests will enjoy. Neon lighting is also a bold choice when used as a wall hanging or sign. Neon lights can provide a fun focal point to the room in lieu of a fireplace or add some drama to your favorite wall pieces.

It’s All About Accents

Accenting your room with accessories will help pull everything together. You enhance your room theme or go bold with pieces that tell a story of places that you have been. Carefully place your mementos around your rec room and incorporate items that mean something to you. This will make your rec room a place that you will want to spend time in as well as making for great conversation starters.

If you don’t have many trinkets from your travels, not to worry you can pick unique and interesting items at flea markets that are fun and whimsical. Make sure they pair well with each other and provide a nice accoutrement around the room. Think interesting artworks, wall hangings, and shelf pieces that can create that ultimate oasis in your rec room.

With a little ingenuity, you can overhaul your rec room from drab to fab and make it a place where spend the majority of your time with friends and family. You can have the dream rec room you have always wanted without giving in to the traditional storage space the basements tend to end up as. Let your imagination run wild as there are tons of possibilities when it comes to designing the ultimate rec room.

Lara Douglas is a young woman who loves interior designing and home decor. She is passionate about new trends and fashion forward home décor ideas. She regularly posts at Neon Signs Depot.

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