Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to Clean and Protect Your Upholstered Furniture

e all want to keep our furniture looking new and beautiful for as long as possible.  There are ways to do this that don’t involve plastic covers or making the new sofa, loveseat, or chair off limits to the kids.  No matter how careful we are, there are going to be accidents and a little knowledge can help to make sure that a spill is a minor incident, rather than a major catastrophe.


First, learn a little bit about your fabric.  When you purchase your furniture, ask the sales person about it.  Upholstery fabrics have cleaning codes and those codes will help you to know the best way to clean your furniture.  No one code is better or more desirable than the others; they just tell us the best way to preserve the appearance of the fabric.  The four codes are: W, S, WS, and X.

Always make sure to spot test in a small unseen area before cleaning!

The W code stands for water cleanable.  Use a soft white cloth that is lint free and a solution of water with a mild, dye free detergent such as ivory dish washing detergent.  Many ready made cleaners, such as resolve are also water based…just make sure to check that it is water based before using.  Dampen the cloth and squeeze out any excess water.  Gently rub the stained area until the stain is removed.  If you place a fan near the area you can speed up the drying process.

The S code stands for solvent cleanable.  Water based products should not be used on S code fabrics!  Instead, use a gentle dry cleaning product that is approved for fabrics.  Guardsman solvent based cleaner is a good choice.  Once again, use a white, lint free cloth.  Dampen the cloth with the cleaner and rub the stain in a circular motion.  For large stains keep changing to a clean area of your cloth.  You should make sure to use solvent based cleaners in a well ventilated area.

The WS code is exactly what you would guess….either water or solvent based cleaners will work for this fabric using the methods described above.
The X code stands for vacuum only.  Clean these fabrics only by lightly brushing or vacuuming the avoid buildup of dirt and dust.  Water or solvent based cleaners of any kind could cause staining, distortion of the pile, or shrinking of the fabric.

A good way to prevent spills from becoming a problem is to have your new upholstered furniture treated with fabric protection, such as Guardsman Fabricoate spray.  This protection is available in a “do it yourself” spray can, or can be professionally sprayed on before delivery.  Pre-delivery professional spraying of our Guardsman product includes a 5 year warranty against many kind of spills, stains, and even rips and tears.
Whatever upholstered furniture you have, if you give it a little care at the right times, it is sure to stay looking clean and new for years to come!

Monday, September 16, 2013

What is your Focal Point?


here does your eye go when you enter your room?  One of the best ways to turn an ordinary room into something special is to create a focal point.  There are many different things that can be done to draw people’s eyes to a certain spot in a room.  Where you make your focal point depends upon the shape and size of the room itself, what it is that you want to showcase, and your own creativity and personality.    

It can be a bedroom, kitchen, living room, family room, dining room, or some other room in your house.  No matter what the room, start by standing at the entrance.  Look around at the natural flow of the room.  What catches your eye?  Is this the first thing you want people to see when they walk in the room?  If not, the fix may be as simple as hanging a large, framed mirror over a sofa, or putting down an area rug that is vibrantly colored or in an interesting shape. 
A wall painted a different color than the others in the room, or a painting hung over a fireplace can go far in helping create your focal point. You can even try rearranging the furniture to make things pop.  If you have a bigger budget, you can even use track lighting over an area that you want to highlight, or buy a new sofa, chair, coffee table, or ottoman to bring a certain area into focus.

Is there an item in the room that isn’t getting as much attention as you would like it to?  Try placing it in different areas of the room to create the eye catching look that it deserves. Experiment with throw pillows, blankets and other accessories to make it more noticeable.  Take your time to move things around in the room until the first thing you see when you walk in is what you WANT people to see.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Key to a Good Night's Sleep

     While most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep can make us healthier, many of us don’t know how to achieve that elusive dream.  Choosing the right mattress and eating certain foods and having regular routines can help.   Part of the key to getting good sleep is to experiment.  What might work for some, won’t for others, but here are some helpful tips to get you started in the right direction.  

     First, it’s very important to have the right mattress.  For everyone, that means a mattress that fully supports your body, and has no lumps or dips, which can disrupt sleep even on the best of nights.  As far as comfort goes, some people will like a supportive mattress with a plush top and others prefer a firmer feel.  The best way to find out which is better for you is to go to a store and do your research by lying down and trying several different types and comfort levels.  Optimally you are spending 8 hours a night on your mattress, so you want to make sure to get the right one. 

The bedding experts at Spector Furniture can help you find just the right mattress!

     Second, keeping a regular sleep schedule will help to make you feel more refreshed and energized when you wake up.  It’s very tempting to change your schedule on weekends by staying up late and “sleeping in”, but doing this is bound to leave you feeling more tired.  You should choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired, as tossing and turning because you’re not ready for bed yet will disrupt your sleep cycle.  Once you have your body on a regular schedule, sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, you will probably find that you wake naturally, without the need for an alarm!  If you do need an alarm and keep finding yourself hitting that snooze button, you may need to choose an earlier bedtime to get the rest your body needs. 

     Third, try to create a relaxing bedtime ritual.  There are many things you can try to do to wind down at the end of the day.  For example, read a book or magazine under soft light, take a warm bath, listen to soft music, do some easy stretches….the possibilities are endless.  Don’t pay your bills or worry about tomorrow….give yourself much needed time to de-stress and relax before bed. 

     Fourth, eat right and get regular exercise.  Big meals shortly before bedtime will certainly keep you from a good night’s sleep.  Also avoid rich, fatty foods within a couple of hours of bedtime as your body needs to work harder to digest them and may keep you awake while doing so.  Alcohol also reduces sleep quality so try to stay away from it before bedtime.  Cutting down on caffeine is also a good tip if you have trouble sleeping.  Caffeine can cause sleep problems even 10-12 hours after it is consumed!  Higher protein foods will help make you sleepy.  Bananas and almonds have magnesium which help with muscle relaxation.  Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a chemical that promotes sleepiness.  Regular exercise is also a good way to help you sleep more deeply, on top of the obvious health benefits.

     These are just some of the ways you can try to get a better night’s sleep.  People who sleep less than 7 hours a night are much more likely to catch a cold.  Not enough sleep can also throw off your hormones and increase your chances of being overweight.  Insufficient sleep can even put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.  Experiment with the steps until you find the right balance for YOUR good night’s sleep. 

Sweet dreams!  Z Z Z Z…….

Friday, January 18, 2013

How to Find the Right Area Rug for Your Room

How to Find the Right Area Rug for YOUR Room


Searching for the right area rug to fit your space can be a daunting task, but with a little forethought you can find just the rug you need to spruce up your room and fit your lifestyle perfectly.  Area rugs come in many sizes, shapes, styles and colors and can serve many different purposes in a room.  They can be used to define a space, (such as a seating or dining area) to add warmth to a room with a wood or tiled floor, to bring together colors in a room, or even as a focal point for decorating.  Before choosing a rug it is important to think of the purpose it will be serving, as well as the color scheme and shape of your room.


Before you shop, take a look at your room.  Do you want or need a room size rug, or one or more rugs to accent a section or sections of your room?  If you want a room size rug you will need to measure your room and subtract three feet from the room measurements to figure out the size rug that you need.  This is especially important in smaller rooms as the bare floor around the edges will make your room seem larger.  If the rug is for a dining area it should extend about 24” from the edge of the table (with leaves in place) to make sure there is room for the chairs to stay on the rug when people are seated.  To define a smaller seating area in a large room use a similar formula, making sure the rug will extend a foot or two beyond the furniture you plan to use.  If you are using two or more rugs in the same room they should be of slightly different sizes.  Two rugs of the same size will cut the room in half.  If you want your rug in your bedroom so your feet will hit the warmth of the rug when you wake up, make sure the rug is big enough to cover an area past the bed and include any night stands or bedside tables that you may have.  An area rug can make a hallway quieter and warmer and should fill as much of the hallway as possible without intruding into the next room.  A hallway is also a great spot for a colorful, patterned area rug as the colors and patterns will help to hide soiling and wearing in high traffic areas.


Next you should think about style, color and texture.  If your room is subdued, with muted colors and few patterns, a rug with a “busy” pattern and bright colors will wake the room up and make it seem livelier.  If your room is already bright and lively, you might choose to go with a rug with more subtle colors and pattern so things won’t be too vibrant.  You can also use the rug to tie together different colors in a room, such as different colors on your draperies and upholstered furniture.  A rug that has both colors will bring everything together to give your room a more finished appearance. 


An area rug can also be used as a focal point on the wall, or on the floor.  Try painting the wall the same color as one of the accent colors of the rug you choose.  This will create interesting contrast in the room.  Have a beautiful antique table that you want to highlight in your room?  Think of putting it on a small area rug with an interesting shape, color, or texture to draw the eye.  If you have a large blank space on the wall, it can be filled nicely by hanging a colorful area rug.  Also, don’t think that an area rug has to be rectangular.  Depending upon the shape and size of your room and your furniture groupings, another shape may work better.


With these tips in hand, you should come home with the perfect rug for your room!


To see some area rugs to get an idea of styles available,  check them out on our website at: