Furniture Checklist for First Time Homeowners

people planning their decorating

No amount of words can truly capture the overwhelming feeling of owning your first-ever home. Finally, after years of hard work, there stands the concrete manifestation of your dreams.

From the moment you open the door with your key to the time you unpack your bags, every second filled with joy and elation will feel surreal. Of course, you’ll come up with the words “satisfied” or “happy.” Whichever word it is, it’s impossible not to utter, “I’m home.”

A new house comes with a new set of a to-do list. And honestly, this has numerous sub-lists that can make even the best organizers take a step back to breathe. There are so many things to clean, transport, buy, and organize. It can get a little confusing to think of what should be prioritized.

Nevertheless, it is the kind of responsibility that can be exciting to take. Think of it as adding bits of sparkle to your already fully realized dream, then maybe, you will even find them to be stress-relieving.

When it comes to making your house a home, choosing the right furniture is a must for three reasons:

  1. Your furniture can make or break the visual appeal of your house.
  2. Your furniture can make your house more habitable through their respective functions.
  3. Your furniture and how you plan to arrange them contribute in initiating activities and habits in your home.

With that said, knowing where to invest your money is part of the difficult decisions you have to make when it comes to furniture buying. Understandably, purchasing quality furniture after buying a home makes it difficult to buy everything all at once. Applying the three reasons stated above, here is a checklist of furniture that you should be buying as a first-time homeowner:

  1. A bed that will last for a long time

A bed is a no-brainer. However, some choose to splurge on other areas of the house, particularly areas that guests can see. Having said that, your bedroom is the only place that is specifically yours. It’s only fitting that you get what you deserve.

Think of it this way; your bed is where you recuperate from all of life’s stress. Invest in the best thing your budget will permit because you’ll be using it for a long time. Consider your comfort and health condition, if you have any, when choosing the width, height, firmness, and surface.

  • A dining table where you can eat and entertain guests

Of course, a dining table is functional, so why does it have to be said on this list? Sometimes, when you decorate the dining table, eating there becomes uncomfortable, so you end up eating in the living room or kitchen, which shouldn’t be the case. Moreover, when you have a new home, it’s exciting to have friends and family over to share a meal.

Buying a dining table where you can eat comfortably by yourself and with other people is a good way of finding joy in eating and not seeing it as another necessity. Isn’t it exciting, too, when your dining table can start traditions and become a witness to celebrations?

  • A couch that is so inviting

A couch for your family room or living room is where you and your family will be spending most of the time together. This is why it’s best to make sure that your couch is comfortable enough to binge-watch your family’s favorite TV series in and large enough to fit all to initiate bonding moments.

This is the kind of furniture that can truly show how the power of design can affect one’s lifestyle and habits. And speaking of lifestyle, choose a fabric that is easy to clean if you have kids or pets are around.

  • Lighting for the chic vibe

Proper lighting can elevate the look and feel of a room. Since lighting also serves a purpose, see which part of your house needs ambient lighting and which one requires a bright LED. Even without much furniture around, with proper lighting, your home can feel sophisticated and complete.

  • Closets and drawers to organize with style

Some houses come with built-in drawers, and there are those that don’t. Both hold their respective advantages and disadvantages. In any case, it’s necessary to have closets and drawers to keep the things you brought with you to your new home.

Keep in mind that a clean house without unnecessary things lying around is more relaxing to the eyes. Consequently, it can leave you and your loved ones in a good mood. Plus, it’s visitor-friendly, even the surprise ones.

You are Home

The line “I’m home” says so much. “I’m home” is more than just stating the location of where you live. Perhaps, it is the closest thing to capture the emotions you feel once you’re ready to call it a day and your back hits the mattress of your bed. Therefore, it is safe to say that it is the feeling of comfort that we tend to look for in many places and events, and finally, you have it—your very own home.

About the Author

Serene Yu
Serene Yu   Serene Yu is the Vice President of New Manila San Juan, the premiere real estate marketplace for luxury properties in the Philippines. Serene is a well-versed writer and marketer that enjoys keeping up with the latest trends in real estate, interior design, and technology. Outside work she enjoys travelling, cooking, and baking.

For more useful articles, visit our blog.

Statement Pieces: Adding Pops of Color to Your Home

There’s no other feeling that compares to the comfort of your home, and decorating it with interesting furniture can be rewarding! Here are some ways to give your home a more inviting ambiance through color.

1. Plan Out Your Theme
 room with red chair

Image from deborah cortelazzi on Unsplash

Do you have a certain look or feel in mind for your home yet? Picking out a theme is essential to guide your decorating journey. If you aren’t sure which palette to use, you can stick to neutral colors first and explore 1-2 accent colors to incorporate.

2. Put Art on Display
sofa with floral art

Image by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Never underestimate the power of displaying art pieces like a canvas painting or unique sculpture to place in the center of the room. Art can be a striking conversation piece and accentuate your interiors! Choose a masterpiece that most resonates with you and aligns perfectly with the theme of your home.

3. Combine Aesthetics with Functionality
red oven

Image from Smeg Philippines

Take advantage of the things you use to bring life and warmth into your home. Furniture, kitchen appliances, lighting, and other items can serve more than just one function – they can be accent pieces! Many of these pieces come in unique, non-standard colors or shapes that you can work with.

4. Paint Over a Wall
orange wall paint

Image from Matt Wildbore on Unsplash

Accent walls can be a great way to add contrast or distinction to your rooms, or even create the illusion of a different section. Although you can easily paint over a wall to do so, you can also use stone, tile, wallpaper, or even a gallery of photos.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Image from Filios Sazeides on Unsplash

You can get creative with how you decorate. Make your dream home a reality! Whether it’s changing up your wall colors or adding a fascinating piece of furniture, decorating is a process. Experiment with different combinations until you find something that works for you.

Don’t hesitate to rule out color psychology and mix-and-match different shades, and see what best fits the aura you’re looking for in your home. This is your home you’re decorating, so if you’re going for a dark and dramatic look, don’t hesitate to go for bold colors and art pieces.

Making a Colorful Statement

There isn’t one primary way of decorating and transforming your home. For color, always take advantage of neutral palettes if you want something that blends with any piece of furniture or art. Try to find the balance between aesthetics and functionality because no matter how elegant a piece of furniture looks, it can feel like an unneeded addition to your home.

Feel free to be as creative and experimental as possible! This is your home that you’re decorating.

For more useful articles, visit our blog.

About the Author

Mykie Concepcion is a marketing professional from Smeg Philippines, an Italian kitchen appliance brand. In her free time, she enjoys channeling her creativity through writing about home and lifestyle.

Tips for incorporating old furniture into your new home

A living room with big windows

When you successfully move your belongings, it’s time for incorporating old furniture into your new home. However, that comes with some challenges. Maybe your old sofa will be too big or too small for your new living room, or your old bedroom furniture won’t fit anymore. Moving pieces until you find the ideal setting and creative furniture arranging should solve your problems. You may need to add few additional pieces and get rid of some old ones. Still, the majority of your old furniture can look like it was meant for your new home.

Repurpose and give new life to your furniture

If you have any problem with dimensions or aesthetics, keep in mind that you can give a second life to your furniture. For starters, forget how you used it in your former home and think of new ways of using it. Your old dresser doesn’t exclusively have to be placed in your bedroom. Instead, you can use that chest of drawers for your new dining room or living room. It can have a new purpose as a bar for entertaining or something else entirely. You are free to make various modifications or a complete makeover to your furniture. Re-paint it or re-upholster it to get a perfect match for your new home, in whatever shade you prefer. Even a simple change can make furniture feel more like it belongs in the new space.

Incorporating old furniture into your new home means giving them a new life.
Incorporating old furniture into your new home means giving them a new life.

Dare to mix different styles

People moving from historic homes into new construction usually think that their wooden furniture and antiques will feel more dated in the new house. However, that’s not always the case. Your antique collections can look charming in a modern place as well. Try mixing your existing furniture with fresh pieces to create a better style for your new space. That can help you see your old furniture in a new light.

A living room with two white sofas and a wooden chair.
Mix styles from different eras to create a unique look in your space.

Keep your favorites, but make some compromises

You certainly have some pieces that you love more than others. Keep your favorites but make some compromises if needed. If you don’t have the budget for a new sofa, but you don’t like the one you already have, try to sell it. Then you can look for a new sofa that you’ll like better.

A gray sofa and dining table with few chairs.
Keep your favorite pieces of furniture, but buy something new to freshen up the room.

Choose pieces wisely

The main furniture pieces in your home should be classic in style and neutral in color, but also functional and with multiple purposes. If you are buying furniture for your new home in advance, choose something practical and something that can be disassembled and assembled easily. Pieces that can be separated into smaller parts or expanded into large ones as needed are always a good choice. Whenever you decide to move house again and want your furniture to come with you, it’s good to know that there is a right way to take it apart. There is less chance that disassembled furniture will be damaged in transport. Always opt for multi-functional and modular furniture, especially if you’re moving into a smaller space.

Be excited about incorporating old furniture into your new home

You can make the most of incorporating old furniture into your new home and get a unique, fresh look, only with a little bit of creativity. There are endless opportunities if you like experimenting. Stay true to your style, use your imagination and enjoy your new space!

Remember that Furniture Works sells gently used and consignment furniture. Visit our blog for more useful tips.

How to Maintain Different Sofa Fabrics

Almost every home has a sofa, and it’s oftentimes right in the middle of the room, so it must look presentable at all times. However, different materials require different cleaning routines. You can’t clean a velvet couch the same way you would a leather one. What can be suitable for one fabric is often fatal for the other one. 

This is why we’ve created this helpful guide that will help you clean up the most common types of sofas – leather, velvet and polyester. By following these valuable tips, you will always be ready to battle any surprise stains and prolong the life of your furniture. 

So without further ado, let’s see how to maintain different sofa fabrics. 

How to maintain a leather sofa 

Leather is a beautiful, luxurious material often used with many different types of furniture. However, it’s also the most sensitive one that can be easily damaged. For example, it cannot be cleaned with the hot water extraction method, and most stains are quite hard to get rid of. 

That’s why we recommend that you implement a weekly cleaning routine so that it doesn’t start looking worn out only after a few months of its life. Here are some easily applicable tips that you can follow to clean your leather sofa and maintain its excellent condition. 

Cleaning a leather sofa 

  1. Brush off all the loose dirt with a soft clean cloth. If you have a specialised vacuum attachment, use that to help you get to all the tiny cracks and crevices. 
  2. Fill a bowl with distilled lukewarm water and wipe the couch with it carefully. Tap water can contain many harmful bacteria that will damage the finish of your leather sofa, which is why you shouldn’t use it. Don’t apply too much water. 

Tip: Apply a bit of the water to a small hidden area of your sofa to see how the material will react and avoid any severe damage. 

  1. Once a week or fortnight, use a specialised cleaning product to clean up your leather sofa. Look for solutions made specifically for leather, and don’t trust any multi-purpose cleaners or baby wipes. A lot of them can be extremely harmful to the gentle leather and will damage it for good. Depending on the product you’ve chosen, follow the instructions carefully and don’t forget to put on a mask and gloves. 
  2. Let your sofa air dry, and don’t sit on it until it has finished. Open up as many doors and windows as you can so that any leftover product has the chance to evaporate entirely and there are no creases on the sofa. 

Maintenance tips 

  • Apply conditioner regularly. Leather is a material that contains special oils that give it that exceptional shine. Replenish them by applying leather conditioner every two or three weeks and keep your sofa healthy and prevent cracks. 
  • Keep your leather sofa away from heat. No matter how much you condition your couch, if it’s constantly exposed to heat, tears and cracks will appear. Position the sofa as far away from heat sources as possible, and that includes under an AC unit, close to fireplaces, radiators etc. 
  • Plump the cushions daily. It’s very easy for leather cushions to get flat and lifeless, so make sure that you plump them regularly. Fibre and feather fillings don’t have the natural ability to bounce back, so you have to do it for them. 
  • Keep non-colourfast clothes and materials away. They can dye your sofa forever, especially if the leather is a light coloured one. Check out which cushions, blankets, clothes are non-colourfast and keep them away from the sofa. Otherwise, the pigments will transfer before you even know it. 
  • Keep the pets away from the sofa. Even though that’s a given with any type of sofa, it’s crucial with leather ones. Any scratches and bite marks will stay forever and cannot be fixed. If you’re very keen on having your pet on the sofa, at least place a protective blanket on top. 

How to maintain a velvet sofa 

Velvet sofas are a trendy choice because of how amazing they can feel, but they can be quite tricky when it comes to maintenance. Let’s see how you can maintain your velvet sofa in top-shape: 

Cleaning a velvet sofa

  1. Similar to other types of sofas, you always start by removing the detachable parts, blankets and accessories.
  2. Clean thoroughly with a special vacuum attachment by getting into all of the little crevices. Velvet sofas can easily detain dirt, so this part is crucial. 
  3. It’s important to note that velvet sofas can be created by mixing many different fabrics that include but are not limited to linen, wool, cotton and silk. To avoid damage and keep the couch safe, see what the exact material is and get a cleaning solution made for it. 
  4. Even if the label says that it’s safe, always test the cleaner on a small area before doing the whole sofa with it. Let it develop for a few hours and if everything is okay, continue. 
  5. In any case, use as little water as you can, since natural materials can develop mould and kink with ease. 
  6. Leave your sofa to dry up, shake and plump the cushions, and you’re ready! 

Maintenance tips 

  • To recover pressure marks, apply steam to the area. After that, gently and slowly brush the sofa in the direction of the pile in question to lift it. 
  • You can do the opposite technique if you want to return the velvet sheen to your sofa – just brush against the pile. 
  • If you spill something on it, get a clean fibre cloth and blot the spill to remove as much liquid as possible. Use a hairdryer from a distance to take care of the rest. 
  • If the stain is already too deep or it has already penetrated the sofa fibres, call a professional. Any DIY methods will most likely damage the fabric instead of cleaning it. 

How to maintain a polyester sofa 

As we mentioned earlier, polyester sofas are quite popular as there are quite common and a lot more affordable than other materials. With that being said, they still require regular cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning a polyester sofa

  1. Remove all the detachable parts like cushions and armrests so that you have access to all the parts of the sofa. 
  2. Sprinkle deodorising baking powder on the sofa and then vacuum carefully with the appropriate attachment. Go as deep as you can in between the different parts, and don’t forget the underneath. 
  3. Check the label, and if your sofa can withstand water, clean it with the following solution. Mix one teaspoon of mild laundry detergent and one teaspoon of white vinegar with a bit of lukewarm water. Just to be on the safe side, test this cleaner on a small area of the couch that is not visible. If it doesn’t react in a bad way, continue cleaning the rest of the sofa with a soft clean microfibre cloth by using a dabbing motion. 
  4. When you’re done, soak another cloth with cold, clean water and rinse the area. 
  5. Leave your sofa to air dry, and don’t sit on it until it’s ready. Open up windows and doors, and even turn a fan or the AC on to prevent mildew and mould growth. 
  6. Once the sofa is fully dry, go over it with a soft bristle brush. Remember to do it in a circular motion. It will help the fibres to return to their normal soft state. 

Maintenance tips

  • Regularly go over the sofa with a lint roller to remove pet hair and small dirt particles. You can also use rubber gloves. 
  • If you have pets that regularly go on the sofa, refresh it with a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to remove smells and other pet soils like urine and vomit. 
  • If you see chewing gum on it, just rub it with an ice cube until it hardens, and peel it off. 
  • DIY solutions can be great for a quick freshening but if there are any more serious stains or you haven’t cleaned your sofa in a while, just call a professional carpet cleaning company. They will know how to treat the material without damaging it and can take care of most hard-to-remove stains. 

Conclusion

Sofas are oftentimes the centrepiece of your living room, so it’s essential to provide them with proper maintenance. We advise that you take care of spills immediately because they become harder to remove with time. And no matter what the material of your lovely sofa is, regular cleaning and taking precautions will always help to ensure a longer, healthier life. 

Author bio: Jane Wilson is a mother, blogger and marketing executive living in Melbourne. She works for the local branch of Fantastic Cleaners, a licensed cleaning company that provides a broad range of services. She also owns a small lifestyle blog called Modern Housewives, where she shares all kinds of home improvement and parenting tips.

Furniture to Lights: 6 Ethical & Eco-Friendly Ideas to Decorate Your Home

We all need a change in our lives from time to time. Experts say it’s healthy to keep moving on and evolving. That’s why most people like to keep travelling and find new hobbies. But for some people, designing, decorating, and renovating their homes is quite cathartic. So, if you have been thinking about a change of scenery, you should consider eco-friendly décor ideas.

What’s healthier than challenging yourself and coming out of your comfort zone? Ethical and eco-friendly furniture, décor, and accessories to revamp your place. Imagine how healthy and useful it will be for not only you but the rest of the planet as well.

We are often careless about how much we impact our ecosystem. It’s a good idea to start investing in sustainable décor because you’ll have a quality life, and you can give back to the world as well.

However, if you’re still confused about how you can contribute to the well-being of this planet by decorating your house, here are some ideas;

1.     Buy Recycled Furniture

Recycling is one of the most commonly used tactics against climate change. It’s always an easy option to go to a store and buy whatever you like. But we don’t ever think about how a furniture piece was made and which materials an accessory contains. Humans are used to getting everything handed to them on a silver plate, but these things have long-lasting effects.

You might be destroying a local habitat and disrupt an ecosystem if you choose to buy new wooden furniture. You can always go vintage. There’s nothing wrong with buying pre-used or recycled furniture for your home. If you want a chic or minimalistic look, the chances are that you can always find a few pieces that match your style.

You will be doing yourself a favor and helping the environment as well. On the other hand, some people prefer a worn-out and used look when it comes to décor because you can never go wrong with vintage. You can visit flea markets or look up online, and there’s always a sustainable and recycled piece waiting for a new home.

Furniture Works sells gently used and consignment home furnishings. You can visit their brick and mortar store in downtown Olympia, WA, or buy online by clicking on the tab Shop at their website https://olyfurnitureworks.com.

2.     Look Out For Any Handmade Accessories

If you have ever had a chance of living in a noisy neighborhood or near an industrial area, you know what it’s like to have health hazards around you. Factories and facilities use harmful chemicals and materials to create everyday products.

It’s not the only way they are harming the environment. All the excess waste from these factories is disposed of in the environment and results in damage to nature.

There have been several cases reported where people living near a factory had serious health problems. You have all the reasons to start supporting your local small businesses and buy handmade accessories.

When decorating, people often want a unique piece in their house, and when you buy handmade stuff, every product is made with love. Your furniture and accessories will tell a tale of their own because small businesses put in all their effort.

3.     Eco-Friendly Flooring and Textiles

It does not matter whether you’re conscious about your environment or not; it’s always a good idea to give back to the place you live in, i.e. the earth. As we know, most flooring and textiles materials are quite harmful because they are made with harsh chemicals.

You can never predict if you or your loved one might contract something because of all the harmful materials around you.

It’s a good idea to invest in eco-friendly flooring and textiles. You won’t be putting your life at risk, and sustainable flooring lasts a long time. You can buy bamboo, glass tiles, or cork because there’s a wide range of healthy options to choose from.

You will be avoiding any health or safety disasters and have a home that is beautiful and inviting for all. You can buy wool carpets for all your floors and don’t worry about aftercare because carpet cleaning has your back. You can get them professionally cleaned without any worry.

4.     Avoid Toxic Paints

If you want to give your home a new and improved look, it’s always a nice idea to have eco-friendly paints. Normally paints have a lot of toxic materials, and inhaling even a bit of paint fumes can be quite harmful.

If you have children in the house, you can never be too careful. It’s better to make sure that you use green paints around the house.

You might think that you can find any color of your choice if you opt for conventional paints. The truth is that industries use a lot of toxic pigments to get the color you want, and risking your health for a matching wall is not a good idea. You can have a healthy and bright home if you use natural materials in your house paint.

5.     Use Sustainable Sources

Think about your carbon footprint on the earth; it’s about time you start thinking about how much water and energy you consume. Natural resources are getting popular these days to avoid overconsumption of fast-depleting natural resources.  

It’s not sustainable to use as many lights and décor you want when most people in the world still don’t have access to any of these luxuries.  Besides, a balance in the ecosystem is always a healthy choice.

You can save water and energy by investing in solar panels and rainwater tanks to make the most of all the natural resources.

6.     Plants Are Your Best Friend

We know how important plants and nature are for the well-being of every living being around. Both animals and human beings benefit from plants because we get clear and crisp air to breathe.

Why not have this inside your home as well? Plants purify the air for us and make it easier for us to breathe. You can add indoor house plants to different corners of your room and liven it all up.

Invest in Ideas that Will Help You and Others in the Long Run!

It does not matter if you have a very particular style or choice when it comes to decorating your house. The thing is that most of us are not aware of all the other safer options available. It’s easier to buy to any furniture shop and get what you like.

However, exploring all your options and finding eco-friendly alternatives will not harm you. You can live a long and healthy life and not be worried about any consequences of your décor choice.

Author Bio: 
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning London.