Furniture Tips: Oops!

Just like the rest of life, it’s usually better to prevent a bad thing from happening than it is to fix it afterwards. You made a significant investment in your wood furniture, to keep it beautiful for longer:

• Maintain even humidity in your home since the rise and fall of moisture in the air can lead to the splitting and cracking of the wood.

• Use a pad under your writing paper to avoid bleed through marking or the scratches caused by a pen.

• Keep your furniture out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can fade a finish.

• Toss those rubber-based plastic placemats. The materials in them can discolor furniture.

• Never clean your furniture with glass cleaner. The ammonia base can discolor and dull a finish.

• Use trivets and hot pads. Hot kettles, pots, etc. will damage the finish on furniture.

• Be picky about your coasters. Metal coasters can sweat moisture underneath them and plastic ones can cause a chemical interaction with the finish, marring it. Those with a cork or felt underside are best.

• Wipe up spills immediately. Water marks can cloud a finish.

• Avoid silicone-based furniture polishes. They can bleed into a finish over time. To tell if it’s silicone-based, run your finger over the piece after you’ve polished it. If you can see the line, there’s silicone.

Despite the best of care, accidents happen. When something happens to your wood furniture, you’ve got 2 choices.fix it or hide it. Refinishing is best but it takes a lot of time and some skill, so here’s a bunch of sneaky little tips for hiding what’s wrong.

Water Marks and Rings: Often, rings are in the wax, not the finish. Cover the stain with a clean, thick blotter, press down with a warm iron, and repeat. Or rub with salad oil, mayonnaise or white toothpaste. Wipe dry and wax or polish. Why toothpaste? It has just a little grit in it so it works like a very, very, very fine sanding.

White Marks: Rub with a cloth dipped in a mixture of cigarette ashes and lemon juice or salad oil. Or rub with a cloth dipped in lighter fluid, followed by a mixture of rottenstone and salad oil. Wipe dry and wax or polish.

Milk or Alcohol: Use your fingers to rub liquid or paste wax into the stain. Or rub in a paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone with the grain, substituting pumice for dull finishes. Or rub with ammonia on a dampened cloth. Wipe dry and wax or polish.

Dark Wood or Stain: Fill scratches with shoe polish that matches the lightest shade of the finish, or rub with walnut or Brazil nut meat in the direction of the scratch. A child’s crayon or felt-tipped marker can also be used.

Cherry: Fill the scratches with cordovan or reddish shoe polish that matches the wood, or apply darkened iodine with a cotton swab or thin artist’s brush.

Light Wood or Stain: Fill scratches with a tan or natural shoe polish, or apply darkened iodine diluted 50 percent with denatured alcohol. There’re several commercial products on the market. My favorite is Howard’s Restor-A-Finish which comes in several different colors (golden oak, cherry, mahogany, etc.). It’s basically a wipe-on, wipe-off refinisher. Although I rarely use them, some folks really like the marking pens made to cover scratches. And they come in a variety ofcolors.

Unless the piece of furniture has a really uniform finish that hides the grain of the wood, like a highly lacquered piano or a coat of paint, you can use the variation in the wood grain to your advantage. Imperfections in color or variation in the grain will mostly go unnoticed. It’s the variation in the shine that will be most noticeable. The good news is that this can usually be fixed by applyinga good uniform polish over whatever fixes you’ve made.

If you have questions about any of these articles, or suggestions for future columns, you can always drop me a line at ken@olyfurnitureworks.com.

Importance of Choosing Furniture for Your Home

You can’t help but adore the gorgeous pieces of furniture you see whenever you flip through the pages of a lifestyle magazine. After taking a transform your home survey, it makes you wish you own some of them or even find a cheaper version to match your own house. While it makes your interior look good by adding character to your home decor, you have to keep in mind that furniture should be a combination of both form and function.

Having the right furniture could spell the difference between a charming and comfortable abode, and a cramped house that’s simply an eyesore. This is the reason why it’s essential to choose the pieces that are fit for your home. After addressing the need for a piece of furniture’s functionality, here other reasons why it’s important:

The Right Fit Matters

It is important to know the measurements of your house, so you can choose the right sizes of furniture you plan to purchase. Having stunning pieces won’t do much if you can’t even comfortably navigate through the rooms. They take up the majority of your floor space, so it’s prudent to pick wisely while considering both form and function.

If you have a few pieces that you want to own, it’s always a good idea to measure the space you plan to put them. Arm yourself with a carpenter’s tape measure and determine the size of the area you want to place a certain piece of furniture. Make sure it fits the floor area of the room and there will be enough space to comfortably move around.

A Reflection of Your Taste

The design and theme of your house should also be considered when choosing furniture. Your style is a reflection of personal taste, so try to stick to a design that blends well with the house. It’s okay to blend different styles as long your pieces don’t clash and make a certain room of your house look tacky. Antique pieces in a modern home? That works if you do it right.

It is worth noting that you don’t have to be dictated by the current trends. As long as the look appeals to you, nothing is going to stop you from having it as a part of your home.

Both the size and look are two important factors to consider in choosing the right furniture for your home. They can help you decide which one has the right fit and design that complements the room where they will be in. Choose wisely, so you can live comfortably in your own home with a delightful disposition.

For more useful articles, visit our blog.

About the author:

Christina Santos is a real estate agent for Hoppler.

A quick note on furniture tariffs

On September 17, 2018, the President of the United States announced that imports from China will be subject to a 10% increase on tariff which went into effect on Monday, September 24 and last up till the end of the year. Subsequently, on January 1, 2019, the tariffs will again be raised; this time up to 25%. The final release of the so called “List 3” covers most of furniture products imported from China.

Although many of our vendors are working to absorb costs as much as they can, we can expect that several of our vendors will be raising their costs on November 1.  Since this increases what we have to pay for new furniture there will inevitably be increases in the retail prices as well.  We do not yet know what those impacts will be.

Please note that the increases mentioned about are an increase in the tariffs only, in other words, retail pricing will not be going up 25%, it is the tariff that is increasing by that percentage.  However, if you have plans for purchasing new furniture for your home, you’d be wise to buy before the end of this year.

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.

Visit our blog for more useful articles.

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.

For more useful articles, visit our blog.