Living Room Fabric Options for Kids and Pets

Many parents or pet owners are hesitant to replace their old living room chairs or sofa, thinking it would be better to wait until the children are older or the puppies and kittens are all grown up. But you can have your family – furry friends and all – and a new living room design too! Some fabrics are more conducive to the wear and tear of these specific family members, and choosing such a fabric for your living room upholstery will give you all furniture that you can live with.

Leather Living Room Furniture

A leather sofa or living room chair is a fantastic choice for a number of reasons. It is very durable and comfortable. Leather furniture will contour to the shape of your body when you sit on it but will also keep its shape. You can easily clean any spills or smudges with a damp cloth, and it doesn't attract pet hair. And, as asked in the Moms Write Stuff blog, “Who in his right mind wouldn’t want to sit in the lap of luxury? One way to do that is by choosing leather furniture.”
 
Microfiber Living Room Furniture

Microfiber is another fantastic option for your living room upholstery. This fabric has a seemingly flat weave, so your pets won’t easily get their claws stuck in anything by simply jumping on the furniture (which can be the case with some textured fabrics). And its smooth, tight feel makes microfiber easy to clean, however, you may need to use microfiber-specific cleansers, because the bleach and fabric softeners found in some household cleansers could damage the microfiber over time.

If you do fall in love with a living room set that is not upholstered in a durable fabric, like leather or microfiber, all is not lost. You might be able to treat the fabric for durability, however, be careful and consult manufacturer instructions – this could impact the fabric’s feel.

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A New Year, a New Look for Your Home

As you set your new year’s resolutions for 2013, don’t forget about your home. No matter where you live, 2013 should be the year you turn your space into a home you love! Whether you’re looking to refurnish every room or just want to freshen things up, these expert tips will help you get started:

Take Stock of What You Have

Walk through your home and consider your current furnishings and accessories. Even if you’re planning to buy an entire new set of living room furniture, it doesn’t mean everything in your living room has to go. Perhaps the end tables can find new life as nightstands in your guest room or the overstuffed accent chair would be perfect for creating a reading nook by your bedroom window. Create a list of the pieces you want to continue to use as you do today, those you would like to repurpose and those you want to remove altogether. Then create a list by room of other furnishings you might need. This will be important for prioritizing whether you want to shop for a new sofa or a new bedroom set first.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Sometimes what your home needs is some reorganization to give it the feel of a makeover. For example, your bedroom could be completely transformed by relocating your bed or even placing furnishings on a pleasing angle. This will create an artful look and completely refresh any tired configurations you’ve set up in your home.

Revisit Lighting and Window Treatments

Don’t force your beautiful decor to hide behind bad lighting. Consider how you use each space and then light it appropriately. Play around with different pieces of lighting and bulbs to find the right brightness for each space. A dimmer, for example, could be the perfect upgrade to take your dining room furniture to the next level for entertaining. And while you’re at it, be sure your windows are dressed in a way to accentuate your decor while also letting in or obscuring light as needed.

Consider Color

Color can dramatically change the look of any room. Whether you choose to paint the wall or bring in colorful new accent furniture, you will enjoy instant results. Don’t be afraid to go bold, but experiment slowly if this is something new for you and your home.

Remember: You Can Start Small
 
Rome wasn’t built in one day and neither will a new look for your home. But if you take it one room and step at a time, perhaps rearranging furniture today and adding a new accent table to your foyer tomorrow, you’ll be living in your dream home before you know it!

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10 Tips for Decorating Your Home on a Budget

Nothing turns a space into a home like filling it with items and furnishings you love, assembled in a style that is truly your own. Whether you’re moving into a new home or redecorating the one you already have, this is a very exciting time that can really improve your quality of life. But it’s also a time when your wants may not align with what your wallet can allow.

But don’t worry – you can have a beautiful home without breaking your budget. Our 10 tips cover everything from setting your spending limits to multifuctional pieces to help  you get the most for your money. So get started!

Tip #1: Create a budget, either for the entire living space or by individual room. Then make a list of what you have, what you need and what you’d like to upgrade. This will help you to prioritize the project and may shed light on the fact that you could repurpose your nightstand as an end table for the time being.

Tip #2: Brainstorm on how you would like to decorate each room, and then narrow down each space to one or two solid ideas. This way, all of your furniture and accessories can work toward these primary themes for a cohesive look.

Tip #3: You don’t have to furnish your entire home at once. Versatile pieces, such as dining chairs, can float between rooms -- from dining to the home office, to the living room when you’re entertaining guests.

Tip #4: Look for a beautiful bed to be your bedroom’s centerpiece and make the room feel complete. You can add everything else-- dressers, chests and nightstands -- over time. And don’t be afraid to mix and match -- an eclectic mix will make your home cozy and unique.

Tip #5: Think outside the house when it comes to decorative accents. You’ll bring unique style to your home by decorating with garden ornaments, architectural elements and old building parts. They’re often cheap and always distinctive. Check salvage yards and antique stores for great finds.

Tip #6: Use a bookcase in your dining room to store and display china and serving pieces. Later, when you upgrade to a china cabinet or sideboard, you can easily use the bookcase in another area of your home.

Tip #7: Create your own artwork. You can frame anything, from a beautiful leaf to a photo from last year’s wall calendar, and voila, you have art! For inexpensive frames, look in discount stores for framed prints. Remove the back (needle-nose pliers are terrific for pulling out large staples) and replace what was in the frame with your own masterpiece.

Tip #8: Choose a dining room table that will give you choices down the line. For example, choosing a smaller scale table or one with a removable expansion leaf might allow you to use the table in your kitchen or another room should you decide to replace it.

Tip #9: Go ahead and accept hand-me-down furnishings, but only if you really like them. An unwanted dinosaur won’t inspire your imagination the way an empty room can. Don’t be afraid to live with the open space for a while and consider the room you’d really like to create.

Tip #10: Sell furnishings you don’t like or no longer have a need for at a consignment shop or online. Then you can use the money you make for the furniture you really want!

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5 Tips for Buying the Right Sofa for Your Living Room

The sofa is the centerpiece of your living room design. This single piece of living room furniture could end up being the most used item in your entire home. You want it to be beautiful and functional. Follow our five tips to bring home a sofa that embraces your style and creates the perfect look for your room.

Sofa Size: What Will Fit in Your Room?

You really can’t start shopping for your new sofa until you’ve measured and determined the maximum dimensions your room and doorways can handle. Nothing will ruin your day like watching the delivery people take back the sofa you had fallen in love with because it won’t fit into your home. Standard sofa widths can vary from 74 to 90 inches, so know your space limitations before you begin shopping.

Sofa Style Is Not About Stealing the Show

Since your sofa will likely be the largest piece of furniture in your living room, you may want to exercise some restraint in the pattern you choose. Think method actor, like Robert Deniro, rather than something over-the-top, say, like Channing Tatum. Your sofa will be a foil for everything else in the room, so choose a color and pattern that all your other furniture and accessories can play off of.

Remember the Classics

There is more to the look of your sofa than its fabric. When considering your sofa's silhouette and shape, remember that there’s a reason some furniture designs are considered classic – it is because they have stood the test of time. In a few months, you don’t want to hate your living room because it looks dated. Styles like the club sofa, the camelback or the chesterfield, for example, will help you create a smart, timeless look.

Think Inside the Box for Sofa Cushions

Much like a mattress, sofa cushions benefit from regular flipping. When possible, choose a sofa that has fully reversible cushions with supportive box construction. This will help your sofa keeps it shape and will limit the amount of sagging that makes a sofa look old before its time.

Or Maybe It’s Not a Sofa at All

There is no rule that living rooms have to have a sofa. Depending on the look you are going for and the size of your living room, other seating options might better meet your needs. You could consider grouping together four club chairs or opting for a couple of loveseats.

Buying your new sofa can be an investment of time and money. We hope these five tips make it an enjoyable and rewarding investment for you.

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