A Brief History of the Mattress

Mattresses are a key component of bedding.  Because most humans spend over a third of their lives sleeping, finding a quality mattress is important for a high quality of life.  Normally comprised of foam and fibers, with metal springs on a wooden frame, mattresses help ensure a restful sleep.

Serta, Sealy, and Simmons are the three largest, most popular mattress brands in the USA.

Standard USA mattress sizes are Twin/Single (39” X 75”), Double/Full (54” X 75”), Queen (60” X 80”), King (78” X 80”).  Other USA mattress sizes include Olympic Queen (66” X 80”), California Queen (60” X 84”), and California King (72” X 80”).

Mattresses typically require replacement after seven to fifteen years of use, or sooner, if the coils or frame have experienced noticeable wear and tear.

A Brief History of the Mattress

In the Neolithic period (8,000-6,000 B.C.), people migrated from sleeping on the ground to simple man-made beds and mattresses.  These first resting structures were constructed of leaves and grass, held together with animal skin.  Around 3,500 B.C., Persians invented the first “waterbeds,” made of goatskins filled with water.  The more affluent inhabitants of the Roman Empire, circa 200 B.C., slept on mattresses filled with feathers.  Steel coils, which now support the vast majority of mattresses, were not patented for this purpose until 1865.

Mattresses have enjoyed many advances in the past few decades, including the advent of air mattresses, foam mattresses, and “memory foam” mattresses.  Increasingly, mattresses are being constructed from modern materials such as latex foam and polyurethane foam.  In addition, those consumers seeking affordability and convenience have chosen futons and futon mattresses to ensure their good night’s sleep.  And there has long been a core of waterbed enthusiasts who remain committed to waterbed mattresses, at least I think there are.

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5 Ways To Help You Remember Your Loved Ones

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. It is a process that can extend beyond the person’s death, and whilst it can be difficult to find the right words, there are several meaningful ways to remember your loved ones by. Memorial benches, for example, are just one way you can honour the life and memory of a deceased individual. Below, we explore popular ways to remember a lost loved one, and cherish the memories you made for a lifetime.

  1. Memorial Benches

If you know someone who is grieving a loved one, memorial benches make an ideal gift for remembering a loved one. It can be heart-breaking watching someone you care about grieve over a lost someone, and watching them try to accept the mourning can be somewhat saddening. Whilst you can send a bunch of flowers or a card, memorial benches have even more meaning. Complete with a plaque or inscription, a memorial bench is an effective way to help pay tribute to someone.

  1. Create A Memorial Garden

Memorial gardens have been a popular way to honour and remember people by, offering a physical place for loved ones to visit to remember those lost. Creating a memorial garden is easy when you know how. Once you have chosen your space, create a boundary to make the section of garden feel more special. Then, begin decorating your space. A decorative water feature, for example, can help create a relaxing atmosphere.

  1. Commission A Piece Of Art

An increasingly popular way people choose to help them remember their loved ones is to commission a piece of art. Today, there are several artists who offer to create decorative glass pieces using a loved one’s ashes that can be placed inside or outside the home, and is a comforting way to keep your loved ones near after they have passed away. Other forms of commemorative art include sculptures and paintings.

  1. Shine A Light

Something as simple as lighting a candle can be an incredibly powerful way to remember a loved one, particularly when several people gather for the occasion. Whilst long held candlelight vigils remain a popular choice amongst those celebrating the life of a loved one, numerous churches and cathedrals alike hold their own candlelight vigils whereby people gather in their masses to remember a lost family or friend as one.

  1. Preserve Your Memories

For a down-to-earth memorial, preserve the memories you have. A loved one’s passing doesn’t end the relationship, and thus you can use memories of the special person you lost to help you grieve. Going through memorabilia is healthy, and can help you to heal. Talking to others who knew the person can help you to preserve your memories, and you should be eternally grateful for the memories you were lucky enough to have made. Whilst it can be hard to accept, you should let yourself enjoy life the best you can, and wear a smile just like your deceased loved one would love you to wear.

7 Tips For Choosing A Rocking Chair

Do you sometimes find yourself wishing that your favorite TV chair can also be a rocking chair?  Is there a new baby in the family that you wish you can sing to sleep in your arms while sitting comfortably yourself?  Does your idea of unwinding after a long day’s work include reading a book by the fire in the winter or just contemplating the outside scenery in the summer?

American fondness for rocking chairs

If you answer yes to any one of these questions, then you are not alone.  A growing number of Americans either own a rocking chair which has become a member of the family or think of buying one.

Rocking chairs began to appear in the late 1700s when someone ingeniously thought of adding skates or rockers to the bottoms of adult furniture, similar to a child’s rocking cradle or rocking horse.

Since then, owning a rocking chair has become a distinctly American proccupation, with most Americans, including some of America’s famous presidents, showing great fondness for their rocking chairs – whether they be the elegant American designer Sam Maloof creations with the elongated curved runners or the homely white wicker rocking chair that usually has been with the family for more than 30 years.

But how do you choose a good rocking chair. Below are some tips on how to choose a rocking chair that is right for you.

Tips on how to choose a rocking chair

The first thing to ask yourself is where are you going to put your rocking chair? If indoors by the fireplace or the family room, you can choose a cushioned or timber rocking chair made of light maple or yellowish oak. Or if outdoors in your garden or front porch, you can choose a sweetly-scented cedar, a painted brazilian cherry wood or teakwood durable enough to withstand the elements.

A very important priority in rocking chairs is comfort. Rocking chairs have been used for therapeutic purposes – John F Kennedy’s rocking chair being a famous example. It is said that President Kennedy found hours and hours of relief for his bad back from this Appalachian oak rocker which has a steam-bent curved backrest and woven seat made of Malaysian rattan.

Answering the following questions may help you to judge whether the rocking chair you are choosing will give you the level of comfort that you need.

–  Does the rocking chair provide seating comfort and support?

–  Is the chair set low enough for comfortable elbow support?

–  Are the armrests wide enough to rest your arms and provide the right balance?

–  Do the seat and back offer both firmness and flexibility?

–  Do the seats slant downward to fit the whole back while supporting the lower back?

Is the rocker pitched correctly? In layman’s terms, does the rocking chair provide a smooth and even rocking motion without tipping, even when you are in the reclining position? Or does it feel like you are about to flip backwards when you are rocking? Does a single push keep the rocking chair rocking for a few minutes or does it stop after only a few seconds?

Was the rocking chair constructed using techniques that have been proven to result in stronger and more durable rocking chairs that can withstand everyday use? Some of these techniques include construction without glue, interlocking joinery and the famous Maloof technique of using seven laminated strips of wood to strengthen each of the long, elegant skis that are used in his rocking chair designs.

What style of rocking chair will fit your decor? Do you want an upholstered rocking chair or do you want to see the timber’s natural wood grain enlivened by an oil finish? Do you want charming white wicker chair or casual rattan? How do you want the back of your rocking chair – traditional ladder back horizontal slats, vertical slats or woven cane?  Do you want it stained, oiled, varnished or painted?

How much do you want to spend for your rocking chair? Whatever your budget, there seems to be a rocking chair for everyone’s fancy – whether its the $20,000 Sam Maloof with a two-year waiting list for the ultimate in rocking chair experience or the vintage white wicker rocking chair you’ve just bid successfully on ebay for $20, or somewhere in between. And we usually have a few  in different styles at Furniture Works.

And last but not least, do you want your rocking chair shipped to you assembled or are you handy with tools and don’t mind assembling it yourself if you can save some money?

I hope these tips will make it easier to find the rocking chair that’s just right for you – whether you’re the couch potato looking for a more comfortable seat in front of your favorite TV sitcom, the delighted parent of a newly-born baby or the urban worker trying to relax in the evening after dinner with a book or the quietness of the night by the front porch.

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3 Steps To Arranging Home Décor Accessories

One of the biggest home decorating dilemmas is how to arrange your accessories, whether it be a bookcase, shelf, or tabletop. Here is a three step system that will transform your boring or cluttered spaces into charming vignettes!

Harmony and Contrast

When arranging a space with accessories, one has to keep in mind that the most important thing to avoid here is boredom! This has a lot less to do with the objects you choose than how you choose to display them. To keep an arrangement from putting the neighbors down for their afternoon nap, remember to keep a balance of harmony (things that feel like they go together, like similar colors or styles) and contrast (things that spice things up by being different…smooth against texture, round against straight line, et…) You want a bit of both in your arrangement. Perhaps you could create harmony by repeating a square shape or the color purple, and then add contrast by sitting a smooth candlestick next to a rough basket.

Scale and Shape

Make sure that the items you are using fit into their new homes scale…you don’t want one tiny paperweight on a large kitchen table, and you want to steer clear of using a huge ceiling high arrangement of flowers on a tiny end table. Most people tend to use things that are too small for their surroundings however. If you have small accessories you would like to display, but need to give them more oomph in the arrangement, try grouping them on a plate or a fabric covered box. You can also give them height by perching them atop stacked books or baskets.

Layer and Soften

Once you’ve chosen your objects for the space following the design principles above, now it’s time to layer and soften. Start with a larger, taller piece slightly off center…this will be the defining piece in your arrangement. Now work to the outer edges in layers…Add a taller background layer, a middle sized medium height layer, and your tiniest objects in the front. Keep the eye moving up and down as it purveys the arrangement from left to right for interest. Add some fabric or twisted ribbon to soften the edges of the shelf or table, to bring in color, and to highlight certain objects.

Above all, keep trying new combinations of items until you find an arrangement that works for you. Use things in unusual ways. Tuck flowers or a live plant into an arrangement that seems too static. Even professional designers will occasionally be surprised by trying things in a new way! And remember, if your arrangement still looks cluttered and lost, chances are you are trying to display too much. Develop a prop box or closet where you can keep some of your treasures, and switch them out a couple of times a year for a fresh new look without spending a dime! We arrange our furniture in vignettes and you’re encouraged to stop by Furniture Works to pick up new decorating ideas.  We have several books available for your use to show you some new ways to make your home more comfortable and interesting.

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Guide to Buying Furniture for a Small Home

A home that is small can still be turned into an elegant, spacious and comfortable living space with the right type of furniture and home accessories like mirrors and tables. Always make an estimation of the overall size of your home before purchasing your furniture – this will help you determine the most optimal layout that is functional and won’t make your home look cramped and cluttered

Using the right design strategies, you can turn moving a small home to Sydney into the best experience and create a homely, comfortable and elegant home. This guide outlines the various ideas that will make your dream home a reality even if you are short on space.

Choose Something Multi-Functional

The furniture that you choose to purchase needs to serve more than a single function. Small spaces require furniture for storage, seating as well as providing surface space for placing items like jars, or drinks. Secondary storage is very important when you are trying to save on space and want to avoid making your home look congested.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emilysnuffer/8588839137

In spaces like the living room, consider furniture like ottomans and trunks with hidden compartments for storage of items like books that can be used for seating when you have guests.

Pieces of furniture that functions both as pullout beds, sofas like bunk beds and convertible sofas are excellent additions to a small home for convenience and storage purposes. A convertible sofa will come in handy when you don’t have a guest room yet tend to have guests over who require an extra bed.

A coffee table with drawers is also a great choice for storing books and displaying decorative items. Pair it up with stools that can be used to store items as well. Nesting tables are a great stylish option since they can be slid out easily whenever you have guests and tucked away to save space.

For the bedroom, a custom designed bed with storage drawers and a storage bench provide additional storage for clothing and extra seating space when you need to get dressed. Tall beds with storage areas underneath also provide extra space to tuck luggage away.

Make Use of Mirrors

Mirrors have a great effect on the overall final appearance of a room. Apart from enhancing décor and complementing your furniture, they make a room appear larger than it is. Wall mirrors and furniture with mirrors like dressing tables give reflections that boost natural light entering the room.

Source: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Fireplace-Room-Living-Room-Chair-Interior-Table-902345

Large wall mirrors can be hanged or leaned against an empty wall, maximizing the use of an otherwise plain wall while adding a touch of elegance to your décor. You can also place metallic accessories if you still desire to add more light to the room – go for metallic trays or metallic table lamps.

Do note that due to the reflective ability of mirrors, light-coloured paint tends to blend well with mirrors while dark coloured paint tends to absorb light.

Small is Good

Bulky furniture might be comfortable, but they take up a lot of space and aren’t convenient for small homes because they utilize such a large floor space. Choosing small furniture will make more sense for a smaller home, despite your temptation of picking that huge soft couch.

The shape also matters when choosing small furniture. Slender-shaped furniture suit small spaces – choose a dining table with slender legs to avoid making your kitchen look cramped.

The same applies to sofas which should feature lines and narrow arms. Armless chairs like love seats and those with an upholstered back are a great choice as compared to bulky sofas.

Open sided vertical or horizontal bookcases placed leaning against a wall are also ideal for book and artwork displays. Shorter bookshelves provide a nice platform for television. You can also mount a television on top of a bookshelf, enhancing the room appearance while still making use of the empty wall. A compact dining or kitchen table design blends in well with a small home compared to one with a rectangular or square design.

Conclusion

Collapsible, round and wall-mounted furniture are convenient options to choose from when selecting furniture for small spaces. Small homes can be turned into elegant, comfortable and classy setups with the right décor, layout and the perfect pieces of furniture. Don’t worry about what you will do with the smaller, slender furniture that you choose- you can still use them when you move into a large home and set them up in a unique arrangement.

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