Bedroom Design and Furniture Ideas for Couples

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furniture ideas for couples

Whether you’re a newlywed couple and looking to design your new home or want to do some bedroom remodeling, this article is for you! Today, we’ll talk about some trendy tips for designing bedrooms and selecting furniture. Ready? Let’s get started! But before that, make sure you know where to buy your furniture. Buying online will help you save time and money when looking for the right furniture.

Bring the Style that Suits You Both

The first and major challenge you will to encounter when designing your bedroom is that you have to consider your partner’s choice as well, not just your own personal ideas. Your goal is to come up with a design that will reflect the two of you. This can be plain and easy if you share the same design choices but could be extremely difficult if you have conflicting views. If this is the case, it is recommended that you seek help from a professional interior designer. If you don’t intend to hire someone, you just have to let your imagination and creativity take over, you can certainly come up with a design that both of you will like. There are great bedroom designs available on the web. Maybe you can just change some of the details to add your ‘personal touch’.

Selecting Bedroom Furniture

Once you already have a design, selecting bedroom furniture and fixtures is going to be easy. It is important that you have some kind of a ‘theme’ in mind. For instance, you have to choose if you prefer bedroom furniture made from wood, plastic, glass, leather, or a combination. When selecting bedroom furniture though, it is not enough that you just look at the design. You also have to consider the functionality as well as the durability of the furniture. For instance, wood is a great choice for bedroom furniture because it is sturdy, stylish and could last a lifetime (depending on the type of wood you choose of course). But it does have a downside too – wood is expensive. On the other hand, plastic might be cheaper but they may not be that durable as compared with wood. There are however types of plastic furniture that are known for their durability.

When you say bedroom furniture, you must not just focus on the bed, closets and cabinets. Make sure you pay attention to the lighting fixtures. Light is important as it gives extra appeal in the ambiance of your bedroom. Also consider matching your mattresses, draperies and other accessories with your bedroom design and furniture.

To help you find the right type and design of bedroom furniture, you can go to different offline and online stores. Many sites will be able to help you determine the best type of furniture for you.

How to Upholster Furniture

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Furniture upholstery (and reupholstery) is a fun and not-too-difficult project for the average person. The most common furniture item to reupholster for the first-timer is a chair or bench cushion. The average dining-room chair can be reupholstered with 2-4 hours of work, depending on your handiness skill level.

Upholstering requires being able to use basic tools like scissors, a staple gun, a glue gun, and pliers. Most people who have done any handy work around the house will qualify. Some of the work involves working with sharp objects, so parents should take care when letting children participate. Protective eye ware should also be worn when doing potentially eye-hazardous things like removing old staples.

One of the best features about doing your own upholstering is choosing your own fabric material and color. This enables colors to be matched or paired perfectly with other items in the home and can give a very expensive, custom look. Choose fabrics that are stain-resistant, medium-weight, and are specially designed for upholstery.

Step 1: Gather Equipment

Basic Equipment:

  • Standard Pliers
  • Needle-nosed Pliers
  • Large flat-head screwdriver
  • Upholstery tacks or heavy duty staple gun and staples
  • Glue gun
  • Sharp scissors
  • Upholstery fabric

Other Equipment (may be necessary):

  • Rubber mallet
  • Foam padding or cotton batting for cushioning
  • Welting: cording that makes edges more attractive
  • Digital camera – nice to take pictures before you get started
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Large piece of cardboard or paper for tracing fabric
  • Pen or pencil
  • Tape or straight pins

Step 2: Choose Materials

The most common upholstery project for first-timers is the chair cushion, generally one for the kitchen or dining room. The chair cushion is often the first thing to go, and is one of the easiest upholstery projects. If you have a good time doing the chair cushion, then you’ll be well suited to tackle additional projects.

Your first step in upholstery is to gather the tools you’ll need and pick out suitable, aesthetically pleasing fabric. If you don’t have an eye for interior design, ask a friend. It’s much easier to make the right color and material decision before you do the project! You can buy upholstery fabric at specialty stores (look up Upholstery Supplies in the phone book) and at the larger fabric stores. Don’t buy regular clothing fabric! It tears more easily and will wear out quickly.

You’ll want to choose fabric that is not too heavy-weight. It’s much more difficult to work with heavy, thick fabric. A medium weight fabric that can stretch a little is your best bet. The fabric should also be stain-resistant, as spills are inevitable. You may love fabric like leather or suede, but don’t pick it. You’ll also want to make sure to buy enough fabric to cover your piece and plan to have a little left over. It’s much better to have a bit extra than not enough. Plus, you can often find crafty ways to use the extra fabric that will match your upholstered furniture.

Step 3: Prep

If you’re doing a new upholstery and aren’t working with existing fabric, you’ll want to take the chair bottom, put it onto a large piece of cardboard, and trace a line around it. Now make another line around the trace, 3-4 inches further out (you’ll need to adjust for the height of your cushion, usually 1-2 inches tall). This is the slack. It’s much better to cut too much than too little, so if you’re unsure of how much slack to provide, give it more.

The second line will be the template for your new fabric. Cut out the template and trace this directly on the fabric. Then cut the fabric in your desired shape. Don’t be too disheartened if you don’t get it right the first time. Hopefully you will have cut too much fabric and just need to trim it a little with scissors.

If you’re reupholstering, the task of getting the right fabric size is much easier. Take your piece or pieces of the old fabric and affix them directly to your new fabric. You can affix them with tape or use straight pins (be careful!). Then simply cut out the new fabric, matching the outline of the old.

The chair seat will be made of wood or plastic. Less expensive furniture will have fiberboard type of wood, while more expensive furniture will be solid wood like pine or oak. The softness of the wood or plastic will determine how difficult it is to take staples and tacks out, and put them back in.

Step 4: Take Pictures

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to pull out your digital camera and take a few pictures of your chair. You’ll want to photograph how the cushion is attached to the chair.

Step 5: Remove the Cushion

The next step is to figure out how to remove the cushion from the chair. Often it is a matter of unscrewing it, you’ll need to make sure you have the right screwdriver for the job. Once you remove the cushion from the chair, take photos of how the fabric is attached to the cushion.

The fabric will be attached by staples, tacks, or less often with glue. Take out the staples or tacks with a pair of needle nose pliers. Make sure you wear protective eyewear while doing this. It may require a bit of muscle. If you run into particularly strong staples or tacks, you can wedge them out with a large flat head screwdriver.

The fabric may be a single piece or multiple pieces stitched together. Once you take the fabric off the cushion, you may want to take a couple pictures of how the fabric may be stitched together. If there are multiple pieces, carefully separate them. You’ll want to save these pieces as templates for your new fabric.

Step 6: Upholster

Next, you need to evaluate if you want to add/replace the cushioning. Use a heavy polyurethane foam or cotton batting. You can also add a layer of thin memory foam for an extra cushy sitting experience! Foam is held in place by the fabric around it. Batting can be put on top of the chair seat, pulled over the sides, and stapled or tacked into the bottom of the seat.

To cover your chair cushion with the new fabric, lay your fabric down on your work surface, and then lay the chair seat, cushion-down, over the fabric. Pull your fabric up over the sides of the seat. Then begin stapling or tacking the fabric in place. Make sure the fabric is pulled tight with each new staple or tack. The corners of the chair seat can be tricky, make sure that the fabric on top is held in place neatly. You may need to trim any extra fabric underneath the seat.

Once you’re happy with your upholstery, attach the seat cushion and you’ll have a beautiful new chair!

Once you’ve done the chair cushion, you’re ready to move on to new projects. You can reupholster fabric covered benches, armchairs, loveseats, and couches. These projects are more difficult, but the basic process is fairly similar. You will need to do some sewing with projects like armchairs or couches.

Good luck, good skill, and make sure you take adequate safety measures. You’re only a small project away from making something much more beautiful in your home!

How to Strip Paint from Wooden Furniture

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Before you can refinish wooden furniture, you must take off any existing paint. Sometimes you can find that one piece of furniture has multiple layers of paint that must be stripped to get to the bare wood. The process to remove paint from wooden chairs, tables or even coffee tables is simple, but requires time and the right products to make it a success. This guide will help you learn how to strip paint from wooden furniture.

Tip 1: Use cotton swabs and toothpicks to help remove paint from small areas

Tip 2: If you get any wood stripper liquid on you, remove it quickly with water

Tip 3: Wear old clothing since it is easy to damage clothing when you are working with chemical paint strippers

 You will need the following supplies to strip paint from wood furniture:

  • Tarps or coverings for the area
  • Wood Stripper- Opt for a thick stripper to make it easier to strip paint
  • Metal Putty Knifes
  • Sandpaper
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Rags
  • Gloves that can withstand chemicals
  • Eye protection

Step 1: Prepare your Work Area for Stripping Paint

Stripping paint from wood furniture can be a dirty and dangerous. Keep safety in mind and prepare your work area by:

Prepare an area that gives you ample space for your task. Move away any items that could get in the way, or get damaged during the paint stripping.

Increase the airflow in the area by opening windows and doors to increase air circulation.

Place tarps over the floor and any items that you are unable to move that could be damaged.

Place a container of water close to your work area that you can use in case of accidents or spills.

Step 2: Strip Paint from your Wooden Furniture

Place your piece of furniture that you want to work on in the tarp in your work area.

Put a liberal coat of paint stripper on the painted surfaces and allow it to set for 5 to 10 minutes. Look at your stripper brand’s instructions for the proper wait time.

Scrape of stripper and paint with a putty knife.

Continue alternating stripper and scraping until the stain is removed.

Repeat the process on smaller areas and non-flat surfaces carefully.

Step 3: Clean your Wooden Furniture

To finish preparing your wooden furniture for a new finish.

Sand the wood in the same direction as the wood grain.

Start with a coarser grade of sand paper.

Finish with a fine grain sand paper.

Apply denatured alcohol liberally over the entire surface to remove dust, paint remnants and any remaining paint stripping solution.

How to Stop a Cat From Scratching Furniture

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Everyone loves their pet cat but one of a pet owner’s worst fears is a cat that scratches their furniture. One can can destroy a good couch in a matter of months. As a pet owner it is important to know how to stop a cat from scratching furniture.

Cats scratch for a number of reasons, first and foremost that it is their instinct. In the wild cats scratch to tell other cats that they were there. Scratching is a way to mark territory and communicate with other cats without having to actually see them. Cats also scratch to break up the dead outer layer of their claws and to keep in shape. Cats, like all animals, are creatures of habit and it is nearly impossible to stop the scratching behavior all together. It is a perfectly natural occurrence. The best way to stop a cat from destroying the furniture is to distract it from the furniture, attract it to a proper scratching area, and make scratching their own designated areas more appealing than scratching that which is off limits. Anyone can save their furniture from cat scratching simply by working with their animal and providing all that they need to live a healthy and happy life.

Step 1: Provide Other Options

One of the surest ways to prevent furniture damage is to provide your cat with something else to scratch. Scratching is an instinct that a cat will not overcome so finding a new, proper place for them to spend their energy is key to having a happy, damage-free home.

There are many different scratching options on the market that may suit your cats needs. Before you purchase anything, take a moment to think about what your cat likes to use as a scratching post. All cats have a preference when it comes to texture, location, height etc. and these usually vary from cat to cat. Think of how your cat scratches. Do they like to stretch up and scratch in a near standing position or do they like to scratch at the floor. Keep their preference in mind when purchasing a scratching tool. You can find all different variations, from tall scratching posts to horizontal beds. Pick the one which most closely resembles what your cat already enjoys scratching.

Also keep in mind the textures that your cat enjoys. Some cats like to scratch at the carpet while others might enjoy firmer fabric. Other cats actually enjoy scratching wood, plastic, or even glass. If your cat likes smooth surfaces, like plastic or glass, try to get a scratching tool that mimics that feel. Scratching posts and accessories come in all different types of material, including wood, burlap, carpeting, cardboard, etc.

Whatever type of scratching tool you buy should be sturdy and high quality. If you buy a tall scratching post make sure that it has a large enough base to prevent it from falling over, especially when your cat is using it. If a post falls over on your cat he is much more likely to never use it again. Try sprinkling or spraying catnip on your new scratching toy to entice your cat to use it. Once they find that the new toy is fun to use they will begin to prefer it over your furniture.

Step 2: Distract Your Cat from Scratching

Once you’ve bought your cat a new scratching toy it is time to make sure that they would rather use it instead of your furniture. A way to do this is to distract your cat whenever it is scratching your furniture. If you see your cat scratching or looking as if it might start scratching any second, try throwing a toy for it or turning on a laser pointer for it to chase. Your cat will not want to scratch if it has something more entertaining waiting for it across the room. Some of the best toys are laser pointers, feather toys, balls, and toys on a string. Some cats also love catnip and will play with a catnip filled toy for hours. Make sure that you pick safe toys for your cat and take any that might be unsafe away when you aren’t around to supervise.

Playing with your cat and ensuring that they get enough exercise is important. A healthy cat is a happy cat. Make sure you devote time each day to playing with your cat. A big part of scratching can be boredom, need for exercise, or stretching. If you make sure your cat is entertained, fit, and had plenty of opportunities to stretch throughout playtime, it will not even think of scratching as often.

Step 3: Aversion Therapy

Punishing your cat after it has scratched furniture is never a good option. However, if you catch your cat in the act, you can use a form of aversion therapy to make sure they don’t want to scratch your chair again. While a cat is scratching try making a loud noise to scare and distract them. If you make a noise each time you catch them they will associate the unpleasant noise with the act of scratching your furniture. Make sure never to make distracting noises when your cat is scratching their post or other toys.

Another way to dissuade your cat from scratching is to lightly spray it with a water bottle. Do not drench your cat, use a strong stream of water, or spray them in the face. When you see your catch scratching your furniture lightly spray their back or side with a water bottle filled with room temperature water. This will teach your cat that bad things happen when they scratch where they aren’t supposed to.

You can also teach your cat not to scratch by covering their favorite scratching spot with a texture that they don’t like. Many pet stores sell double-sided tape that can be placed on the legs or arms of furniture. Cats do not like having their paws and claws stick to the tape and will avoid it at all costs. Once they’ve learned not to scratch you can remove the tape. You can also try aluminum foil and sand paper.

Cats have an aversion to some smells so a great way to teach them is to spray your furniture with a scent that they hate. There are many options that smell offensive to cats but not to people so you don’t need to worry about making your house smell unappealing. Try looking at your local pet supply store for all of the various options.

Step 4: Declaw Your Cat

Declawing your cat can be an option when trying to prevent the scratching of furniture. However, it is important to keep in mind that this should be the last solution. Declawing your cat is not training your pet but rather removing that which causes the problem. Many experts and pet owners believe that declawing a cat is highly painful and even cruel. Before you take this step remember that regularly trimming your cat’s claws can help significantly. Remember that declawing your cat is a surgery. Not only do the doctors remove the cat’s claws but they also remove the the bone joint which connects to the claws. Your cat will need time to recover but must still walk on their feet during the recovery process. Declawing is not something to be done lightly.

An alternative to having your cat declawed are nail caps. These caps are tiny vinyl claw covers that can easily be applied to your cat’s claws. They last 4-6 weeks and can be replaced over and over for life. This prevents your cat from harmful scratching while still allowing them to keep their natural defenses. Remember that a declawed cat is at a huge disadvantage in the wild and, if your cat got lose or lost, it would not be able to defend itself against predators.

How to Restore Furniture

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Furniture restoration falls under three basic processes: clean, repair and refinish. Each process requires specific equipment/tools, supplies and knowledge necessary to obtain the desired results. Picking the right process for the item to be restored is a process within itself and should be approached with deliberation and decided upon with conviction.

The restored item will not only bring you pleasure at it’s appearance but in your newly developed skills and confidence towards other projects.

Introduction

A thorough knowledge of the item you are looking to restore is essential to the final outcome. Take pictures of the item before you do any work on it. This will help if you have to replace or repair anything during the restoration.

Restoring an antique is usually best left to the professionals in order to keep its value. If you are unsure the item is an antique or not then seek the advise of a professional.

Knowing the type of finish that is on the wood will help in determining the best way to restore it. Again, if you are not sure, ask. Some of the most commonly used natural clear finishes shellac, varnish and lacquer. Some of the most commonly used true oil finishes include: tung and linseed oil, urethane and paint.

Knowing the type of finish that is on the wood will also help in the decision making process for the type of restoration you do. Restoration may include upholstery as well, which still falls under the “clean, repair or refinish (replace)” processes. The basic requirements for all three processes are the same and following them will make the restoration much easier and go much faster.

Have a clear work space where you can move around the item without having to move it any more than absolutely necessary.

Cover the work area with a disposable cloth or paper for protection and ease of cleanup.

Wear protective clothing, eye protection, gloves, breathing mask and shoe covering (or old shoes you intend to dispose of).

Ensure good ventilation prior to using and chemicals or doing any sanding.

Make sure someone knows you are working on this process and checks up on you regularly.

Utilize the help at your local hardware store or home center to understand the chemicals you need and how to best use them for the process you will perform. Read the instructions and follow them closely for best results.

Set aside one hour for set up and one hour for clean up for any restoration job. The length of time for any project depends on the size of the item, your skill level and how much work the item will require. If the project will take more than six hours then plan the restoration in stages and take your time. Hurried projects usually require being redone.

Step 1: Cleaning

Cleaning an item to restore it is just as important a process as repairing or refinishing it. Cleaning chemicals and/or a combination of cleaning chemicals can seriously damage the item if not properly used. The container should tell you what the product will clean/remove, what type of surface it works best on and what equipment/tools and supplies you will need to accomplish the task (only use products that supply this information).

Working from the top down, clean the item in the order you have preplanned the work (whole or partial areas). Remove the cleaner as soon as the area is cleaned and before moving to the next area to be cleaned. Allow the item to dry thoroughly before your final inspection as it will look different when dry and may need additional work in some areas.

Any areas that do not clean up to your expectations may need a different type of cleaner or process to correct the problem. Check with your local hardware or home center help section to see if cleaning is still an option or if you need to do some repair work. See Step 3 if, after cleaning, you need to “refresh” the finish by reapplying a new coat.

Step 2: Repair

Repairing an item to restore its finish or covering is usually something that is done in a small area on the item. If you have multiple areas on the item that are in disrepair then you might want to investigate cleaning or refinishing (recovering). Repairing falls in-between cleaning and refinishing as well as physical repairs such as gluing, nailing or tacking.

To repair an item by gluing, nailing or tacking remember to remove the old glue first, don’t nail or tack back into the same hole and protect the finished surfaces when clamping. Make sure you use the correct glue for the repair and if the joint is loose you will need to use some sort of filler to make up the gap. Check with your help section at your local hardware store or home center to determine the best product to use.

Step 3: Refinish

Refinishing an item to restore it is probably the most time consuming of all the restoration projects and requires the most aggressive chemicals and processes. If at all possible, try to refinish the item by lightly sanding and reapplying a new coat of the same finish. Some finishes will reactivate the surface of the old finish if they are the same type. Check with your local hardware store or home center to see if there are other finishes that will cover the old finish without disrupting it’s bond with the surface.

There are only two ways to remove an old finish, chemical or physical (sand/scrape). It is always best to use eco-friendly strippers when you can but sometimes you have to use a more aggressive stripper to get the job done. Regardless of the type you use, it is very important to be safe and protect yourself from these chemicals. Using a wire brush to remove the stripper is not recommended as it will spatter it everywhere and could damage anything it lands on. When the stripper has been removed from the item and been neutralized, the item must be allowed to dry thoroughly before any further work can be done.

Sand all surfaces with 220 grit or finer sandpaper to remove any raised fibers. Clean with a tack cloth or rag soaked in mineral spirits to ensure the surface is ready to be refinished. Follow the instructions on the container for the best application and final finish. Do not skip any instruction concerning sanding between coats as you will just be wasting your time and the finish will not look smooth.

If the refinish at this point is to re-upholster then use the old cloth you removed as a pattern, replace the padding with comparable material, keep the material pulled tight and don’t use the same tack holes when replacing the tacks.