Should You Buy New Furniture or Restore the Old Stuff?

When it comes time to remodel the interior of your house, you have two basic options for what to do with your furniture. You can throw out the old stuff and get new furniture. This will be the easiest option that requires the least work from you; however, it will also be the more expensive option. You can offset the cost in some cases by selling your old furniture. Alternately, you can choose to restore your existing furniture. This is especially good  if the furnature has sentimental value or are antique. Restoring your furnatiure will give you the most control over the look of the furniture but it will require more work from you. Each has pros and cons; here is a quick rundown.

Pros and Cons of Restoring Furniture

If you choose to restore your own furniture, you need to make sure you have the right tools. If you just want to refinish your furniture, you’ll need sandpaper, wood stain, polyurethane, and some drop cloths. If you want to do more extensive remodeling, you’ll need tools. A cabinet table saw, even a budget priced one is a great choice for cutting wood for furniture frames.

You could also make furnature from recycled  objects. For example, if you decide that you want to remove a door from your house or you get one from somewhere, you can cut it down to a manageable size and use it as a kitchen table. Repurposed wood is very popular for contemporary kitchens. The cons of this approach are basic; you have to buy the tools and do the work yourself. If you don’t want to do the work, you can buy new furniture.

Pros and Cons of Buying New Furniture

The most basic benefit of buying your own furniture is that you will be able to have new furniture without lifting a finger. You can buy furniture in many different styles to match your interior design. It will also allow you to trust that it is durable and reliable. Restored furniture might have some technical problems that you don’t notice or can’t fix. New furniture of good quality should last you for years.

The con is that you have to pay for it; you will likely spend more money on new furniture than you would restoring furniture. Also, you might have limited options. For example, the dining room table that you prefer might not come in the stain or the type of wood you prefer.

Price Comparison

 To restore a kitchen table and chairs, you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brushes
  • Power Sander

All together, those will likely cost you about $90 at a big box hardware store. It will require about three hours of work and about forty-eight hours of drying time for the stain and polyurethane.

A table and chairs at a big box furniture store will cost you between about $100 and $500. It will only take as long as it takes to order it and have it delivered.

If you’re trying to save money, you should probably restore your own furniture. If you’re trying to save effort and time, you should buy new furniture. A happy middle ground is hiring someone to restore your furniture; that gives you the control of restoration with the ease of new furniture.

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5 Keys to the Perfect Patio Furniture Choice

Are you looking forward to spending more time outdoors? Building and furnishing a patio is a great way to boost your usable outside area at minimal costs and make your home a more exciting place to be at.

The patio is a paved area that is, unlike a deck, typically situated directly on the ground. Whether you want to utilize it to throw parties or to relax during warm summer evenings, a properly furnished patio will provide you both with comfort and functionality. On the other hand, you can also choose to build a deck, which is typically a raised area, usually made of wood, but which serves the same purpose – allowing you to spend more time in the fresh air.

Where Do I Start?

If you want to take on the role of designer, you will first need a patio to work with. While construction costs vary based on the available size and materials used, patios can be up to three times cheaper than decks, depending on where you live.

On the other hand, if you go for a deck, make sure you invite the pros in to do the work for you. Levelling a deck is not an easy feat, and you are better off leaving it to someone with some experience under their belt.

1. Arrangement

Depending on the size of your patio or deck, the proper arrangement of furniture is essential if you want everything you need to fit.

Start off by defining the focal point of your patio. This point is the centre of attention and action, and that’s where the table is usually located.

Continue to distribute the furniture around the focal point. Make sure there’s enough space to walk around freely.

2. Consistent Style

Whether you’re after a natural, wooden look or a modern, metal-based design, you will want to make sure the style of your patio is consistent.

There will likely be many furniture pieces that you will want, despite them being entirely different from one another. In this case, you’ll have to stop yourself and think about what you really want and need. Then, stick to that style in everything you buy.

3. Activities

The way you intend to use your patio will determine the type of furniture you’ll need.

  • Will you use it for relaxation?
  • Will you throw parties and BBQ bashes?
  • Do you want to use it for sports, reading, or entertaining your guests?

Whatever the case, some general furniture pieces you should consider are quality-made benches, chairs, a table, pillows, and systems such as LED lighting that can boost the mood. You can also opt for outdoor speakers, colourful finishes, and selected plants to make the area livelier.

4. Quality

Since your patio will most likely be exposed to harsh weather conditions, you can settle for nothing less than top-notch quality when picking the furniture. Look for weather-resistant pieces that will take whatever nature throws at them.

Buying a new set of chairs or pillows? Make sure to test everything before you buy it. Keep in mind that even if it looks good on the picture, it might disappoint you when you see it and try it out in person.

5. Easy-Care

You want your patio to serve you and not the other way around. For that reason, opt for easy-care furniture with an extended lifespan.

Most metal, cedar, teak, and other weather-resistant pieces will make your maintenance job easier by not getting affected by fierce weather.

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Tips on keeping your upholstered furniture clean

Remember when you bought your sofa? How nice, clean and new it looked? You swore that you were going to treat this one right. The kids would not be allowed to eat or drink on it and the pets would not be allowed to sleep on it. Then by the end of that first week, it has had a bowl of Lucky Charms dumped on it and the cat has taken up permanent residence on the left arm of the sofa!

Well, today I am sharing with you some tips on how you can keep your upholstered furniture clean. The cushions, the pillows, and the whole area, in general, will stay looking good and also feel good for many, many years as long as you treat it just right. Best of all it is not hard or very time consuming at all!

Vacuum On A Regular Basis

I cannot stress this one enough and if you do this, you will extend the life of your upholstered furniture for many years. I am not talking about just picking up the vacuum and running it along the sofa, I am talking a real cleaning here. Use the wand/hose that your vacuum has and clean each cushion, get in the crevices and take as much care cleaning the area as you would the floor. Many people have issues with their upholstered furniture because they do not clean them enough. If you have kids this is especially true as they have a habit of spilling stuff and just leaving it. Or even worse they ram it down the sides of the sofa!

Get A New Vacuum

If the vacuum cleaner you have is not cutting the mustard when it comes to getting rid of things like pet hair, consider getting a new vacuum. One that has various attachments like a pet tool and a crevice tool is ideal. I found that when we got a new vacuum and it had all these little attachments, it made cleaning the upholstery so much easier and it also actually made sure the whole area got a real good cleaning. A cordless vacuum will usually give you more flexibility as opposed to being tied to a cord.

Put Pillows In The Dryer

Now, before you do this make sure that the throw pillows you have are able to go in the dryer, chances are that they will be able to. What this does is, first of all, it will get rid of any dust and dirt that is on them. It is also going to give them a real good fluffing and make sure that they are nice and soft for you when you are kicking back watching Netflix. I used to make the mistake of ignoring the pillows, tossing them on the floor while I vacuumed the sofa! Do not make that mistake, show your pillows some love.

Protect Your Upholstery

You may have visions of the awful plastic sofa protector that your grandma used to have. You know the type? It is see-through, it feels hot and sweaty in the summer and cold as ice in the winter. Well thankfully, upholstery protectors have come a long way over the years. You can get some very nice ones for the arms of your sofa that will keep them clean when the kids wipe their face, hands and yes even their nose on them. Plus they are great if the cat likes to sleep there as you can throw them in the washer when they are dirty. I know that this is not for everyone, but if you really want to make sure you get many years of use out of your sofa, protection may be something to consider.

Treat Any Spills Right Away

If you spill your morning tea or your late night white wine, clean that mess up right away and clean it properly. Far too many nice cushions have been lost and have had to be turned over forever because of a spill. The hardest part of this is the kids and pets. There is not really anything you can do about the pets. When it comes to the kids, you really need to make sure they let you know right away if they spill anything on the sofa and that they know not to just leave it or even worse, try and hide the evidence somewhere else on the sofa!

Try And Keep It Out Of Sunlight

We are not talking about protecting a Mogwai here! We used to have a very nice sofa in the backroom. Now, this was not the most expensive sofa in the world, but it was comfortable and I loved the design it had. Unfortunately, we decided to make the backroom a “sun room” for the summer months and took down the large curtains. The sofa being in constant sunlight resulted in nearly ¾ of it becoming really faded and dull looking. I swear it was not as comfortable either, but my other half says that was my mind playing tricks. The point I am making is, think about where you are placing your sofa and try to not allow the sun to beat on it all day as it will start to fade.

Call In Someone Who Knows What They Are Doing

In all honesty, as long as you vacuum the sofa regularly, you will find that keeping your upholstered furniture clean is not hard at all. While I think that a vacuum cleaner with a range of attachments is the way to go. If you find that cleaning the upholstery is the last thing on Earth you want to do, a last resort can be calling in a professional to make sure it is cleaned. They will know exactly what they are doing and have it as clean as possible. This, of course, will not be cheap, but it is always an option if you do not feel you can get it as clean as you would like.

There you have it! See I told you that keeping the upholstery was not that hard. Keeping on top of the cleaning and making sure you deal with any “accidents” as soon as possible are the man ways to keep your upholstered furniture looking awesome.

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How to Measure Your Space Before Furniture Shopping

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Once you know which furniture pieces to buy first, it’s time to do one of the few exciting activities for first-time or new homeowners—furniture shopping.

However, you cannot do that without the right numbers. Whether or not you managed to purchase a fully-furnished space, measuring your home or condo’s area is a must.

After all, you’re still bound to buy stuff for your place that will occupy a specific area, and you best be prepared and know if it will fit perfectly. Otherwise, you risk the hassle of returning those things.

When furniture shopping, make sure to have a list of measurements with you. These measurements include not only the size of the furniture you need, but also other specifics that will make shopping and shipping easier.

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Having a blueprint or floor plan of your home can also help you see the big picture before making the furniture purchase.

  1. Measuring the Furniture

Sofa: The width of the couch is its widest point or from one arm to another. Measure the back’s highest point down to the floor to get height.

Depth is measured by from the outside edge of the seat to the back. Diagonal depth, meanwhile, is measured by placing the tape measure from the top back of the frame to the bottom front.

For a sectional sofa, the overall length is from the one arm to the other, plus the corner chair. Width, meanwhile, is the total measurement of the components along the back.

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Cabinet: Height is the vertical measurement from the floor to top. Width is the cabinet from front to back. Length is simply the one side to the other.

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Bed Frame: This is measured almost the same way as a cabinet, except you need to make sure that the headboard or the canopy is not taller than the ceiling and does not interfere with any ceiling fixtures.

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  1. Measuring the Room

You need to make sure that there is enough space in the room to place the furniture you bought. Aside from that, all other details in it should also be measured.

  • Measure the length and width of the room and the height of the walls. Standard height size of the ceiling is around 8 feet, but newer models may have higher or lower ceilings.
  • Make sure that its location won’t obstruct the doorway, window, fireplace, outlet, or any other features in the room. It should be at least 40 inches away from any entrance.
  • If you’re placing the furniture against the wall with windows, get the distance of the window from the floor and its width and total height.

Having a clearance space between the furniture and the walls of the room or other furniture is also worth noting:

  • Dining Table: Leave at least 36 inches between so that your chairs can slide out quickly and there’s enough space to walk around.
  • Dining Chairs: Keep at least 20 inches between chairs for elbow room.
  • Living Room: Allot 18 inches between table and sofa to give you enough legroom, while allowing you to reach out to the table comfortably.
  1. Measuring the Entry Points

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How can your new furniture get inside your home for you to use it if it won’t even fit through the door? Take note of the entry points, passages, and stairways where stuff will pass through to reach the area of your home where it’s going to be placed.

  • When measuring, make sure to get the actual width, height, and diagonal width. For staircases, measure diagonally, too.
  • Take note of any corners as well.
  • Doors should be measured for height and width, as well as diagonally from top left to bottom right. Make sure to measure inside the door frames, too.
  • Obstructions on the way like light fixtures, railings, and other fixed appliances can potentially damage your furniture, which may incur additional costs for you.
  • Ideally, anything that you would buy should have a clearance of at least 4 inches less than the passage’s measurements so that the delivery people can move around.

Keep these tips in mind to make furniture shopping a breeze!

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About the Author

Oscar Florea

oscarOscar is a content contributor for Avida’s lifestyle blog Pursuit of Passion. He is an engineer by profession but a multipotentialite by destiny. Just like a normal dude in a basketball-crazy country, one of his passions is shooting hoops. Grant Hill is the older brother he never had.

 

3 Types of Entertainment Units Are Available, Which One Do You Have?

Entertainment units are a type of furniture. These are used to keep or to place the entertaining devices such as television, Radios, Compact Disk players, DVDs, Tape Recorders and home theater system etc. Entertainment units are on par with cabinets as these also has drawers, Shelves, Doors and areas to serve your purpose. The reason for using this is to create a convincing feel for the viewer or the owner while relaxing.

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Entertainment units are not only meant for holding the entertainment appliances, but it also has to serve a major purpose of making the living room look elegant and to portray the overall look as rich and grand.

Different styles:

  • Traditional styled units will give a timeless appeal and rich look in wooden tones and provide the natural and solid appearance.
  • Rustic styled Units are otherwise called as the countryside design; this is somewhat old fashioned and vintage. Generally aged woods and metals are used to build this type of unit to provide the old and vintage feel to the house.
  • Contemporarily designed units are the present-day designs. Wood, metal and glass can be used to make this wall unit. The trendy design makes it look appealing and bold and it brings about a definite change for the house.

How are Entertainment Units made?

Before building an entertainment unit it is important to decide where to place it in the living space. The measurement size will be finalized only after knowing the available space to position the entire unit. After deciding the place in the living area, one has to decide the size of the unit. The size may cover the whole area available or people may prefer to leave some space. Then, the frame will be made based on the measurement using ample wood. After setting the frame, sub parts of the unit will be constructed. The shelves will be placed within the frame of the unit. The shelves will be attached using hard stick gums or the nuts and bolts based on the weight of the plywood or the material.

The sliders or the doors should be visually appealing as they will be the front portion of the entire unit. To fulfill this people, try to make them attractive by adding glasses or other decorative elements. The sliders should be made by using the Polyethylene sheets or colored wooden sheets based on the texture of the wall or the appliances that are to be placed within the unit. The drawers can be made by using single piece of wood, the reason is building the drawers with nuts and bolts will make it heavier.

eu2Materials to make Entertainment Units:

 An entertainment unit should be light and replaceable, but it also has to be firm and sturdy. To meet all the above needs the carpenter will select Douglas fir or Fir plywood as they are light and strong, this is used only for inner frame of the unit. The overall frame is being made by using hardwood for strong and firm structure, metals are also used to make the frame as they are stronger than wood and can tackles any kind of weather. But, the drawback is that it is hard to relocate. The shelves are made by using plywood or crates.  Plywood is the choice of most of the designers as it is sufficient to hold the weight of the entertainment appliances.

To make this entire unit attractive, glasses are majorly used. There are types of wood with vinyl coating or with colored texture that are used as decorative for the front portion of the unit.

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