Monthly Archives: October 2016

Furniture Makeovers You Need To Pin

This formerly blue and white bamboo dresser was refinished to be more vintage glam with white oil paint and by stripping the paint off the existing hardware to return them to their metallic finish.

 

It is hard to recognize after the beautiful transformation, but originally this blue burlap panelled dresser was just the regular 6 drawer Tarva chest from Ikea. With the addition of some decorative burlap, moulding, paint and some extra wood to thicken the legs the end result is absolutely stunning.

Add a glam finish with this easy Ikea Hack for the Vittsjo Nesting Tables by using gold spray paint on the frame and white spray paint on the bottom shelf to give the tables a new chic look.

Often it can be hard to find the space in a bedroom for a vanity to get ready in the morning in front of, but using Ikea’s Alex Shelf as a base, you can add wood legs and additional wall brackets for extra support to create your own narrow vanity that can fit even in small bedrooms.

A long black second-hand tv unit was beautifully updated with white paint and gold paint on the legs to give it a stylish new finish without spending much money.

Every creative needs a moodboard, and Thompson showcases a colorful one in her home office. It’s a true reflection of the color and pattern that she brings to her online boutique. With pieces from artists like Andrea Pippins and framed prints like the popular, “Keep Calm and Carry On” adage, the moodboard is true expression of the Interwoven aesthetic.

Get Rid of a Used Sofa

It is no secret that getting rid of a used sofa or sleeper can be difficult. Upholstered furniture may not find many takers, especially when it is damaged, torn, or stained. It can be frustrating to think about the fact that you once paid good money for a piece of furniture that now seems to be of no interest to you or anyone else.

Unfortunately, with the exception of leather, upholstered furniture can depreciate greatly with use.

It is difficult to get rid of it, even when you’re not looking to make money.

So, what is a sofa owner to do other than abandon his unwanted furniture by the road? As it turns out, there are plenty of options.

 

Hold a Garage Sale

While it is difficult to sell used upholstered furniture, it is not impossible. To a great extent, it depends on the condition of the piece. Only consider selling if it is in reasonable shape. Here’s a good way to gauge the condition: if the tables were turned, would you want to buy it?

If you feel your sofa is in good enough shape, get it cleaned professionally. It may not fetch big bucks, but it will sell more easily.

If you’re holding a garage sale, your sofa can simply be part of it, making it potentially easier to sell.

Read more about selling used furniture here:

  • How to Sell Your Used Furniture
  • Tips for Selling Your Old Furniture

 

Place the Sofa in a Rummage Sale

Consider placing your used couch in a church, community center, or school rummage sale.

Your participation could be limited to hauling it there, which eliminates any worry about organizing a sale on your own. Consider this if your sofa happens to be the only item you need to sell, as just one piece does not warrant holding a garage sale of your own.

Place an Ad Online

There are numerous online resources that can help you get rid of your used sofa.

Craigslist, eBay, and www.freecycle.org are some of them. You can try either selling it or giving it away for free. Don’t forget to mention whether you will deliver, or whether the buyer will be responsible for pick up.

Old Sofas for New

Some stores will take your old couch if you are buying a new one from them. It’s always worth asking.

 

Pass it On

Ask friends and family if they have any use for your used sofa. Chances are someone might, especially if they are heading to college soon.

 

Advertise to College Students

If you live in a college town, college students might be your best takers. Students are always looking for furniture that is cheap or free.

 

Donate to a Charity

Charities like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or St Vincent DePaul may be eager to take your furniture off your hands. Most charities will arrange a pick-up from your home and even give you a tax receipt.

Check to see if you have any furniture banks in your town. They will also haul away your sofa, give you a tax receipt, and find a new home for your unwanted piece.

You may also consider donating to a shelter for the homeless, your local theater, or school.

 

Have Your Used Sofa Hauled Away

Try everything you can to prevent any furniture from going to a landfill, but if your couch is badly damaged and beyond repair, have it hauled away. Consult your city before you dispose of it on your own. Many cities will have services for hauling away your items, often for a fee.

 

The Moral of the Story

While it might be too late for the sofa you are trying to get rid of right now, here are some steps you can take in the future to make things easier for yourself:

  • Buy a good quality sofa, which should lessen your need to get rid of it anytime soon. If you do need to sell it for some reason, you will be able to find more takers due to its high quality.
  • How to Judge a Sofa for Quality​
  • Top 13 Tips for Buying a Great Sofa
  • After bringing your new furniture home, take good care of it. It will last longer and should be easier to sell when you need to do so.​​
  • How to Clean and Care for Upholstered Furniture
  • Caring for Leather Furniture
  • Consider reupholstering. This may not work for everything, but if you have a good quality sofa with a sturdy frame, reupholstering is definitely an option.
  • Use slipcovers. They often end up being less expensive than re-upholstering and can be custom-made or bought ready to use.​
  • Slipcovers as a Budget Solution for Tired Furniture
  • How to Choose Sofa or Chair Slipcovers

How to Choose the Right Sofa Color

A sofa is one of the top three furniture expenditures at home, so choose your sofa carefully. Like other major furniture purchases, your new sofa will be with you for many years. Whether you call it a couch or a sofa, that large and (hopefully) comfortable piece of furniture in your living room can make a big impact on your color choices for the rest of the room.

If you’re starting a decorating project from scratch, a sofa can be chosen first so you can decorate around it.

A showpiece sofa as inspiration for a room could be upholstered in a vibrant luxury fabric, or covered in a colorful print. It is a focal point of the room.

If you are adding a sofa to an already decorated room or if you’d prefer the sofa play a supporting role, then choosing color becomes very important. Choosing a new sofa for an existing color palette means that you’ll have to decide if the sofa will be neutral, or if it will take on an accent role.

There are designers that favor a sofa that matches the wall color to unify the room and make the room look larger. This is a creative idea for a harmonious color scheme. If you are buying a sofa to match your wall color, then changing the wall color in the future could be complicated. The most common approach is to choose a sofa that complements the other decor and is not the center of attention nor camouflaged into the wall color. This is why neutral sofa colors are the most popular for most homes.

 Should You Choose a Light or Dark Sofa Color?

Once you decide if your sofa will be an accent or neutral color, you’ll need to decide if your sofa will be light or dark. Your floor color has a big effect on choosing the right sofa color. If you’re considering a potential sofa sitting on your floor, will it float on a sea of dark wood flooring or carpet or will it blend into it?

Because a sofa is traditionally large and upholstered, and most fabric absorbs light, it can darken a room considerably. A trick I use when considering a new sofa color is to find a sheet or blanket in a similar color and drape it over the existing sofa. This gives you an idea of how the color will look, and if the sofa will be too dark or too light for the room.

If you’re putting a dark sofa on a dark floor, it will appear to disappear into the room. If you would like to use a dark sofa on a dark floor, you should try to make it more visible. A dark sofa with metal or light wood legs can create visual space between the sofa and the floor. The use of a lighter rug under the front of your sofa can separate the dark colors and make the sofa color pop. A light wood or metal coffee table could also help to define the sofa from the floor.

A light-colored sofa has different challenges from a dark one. The biggest challenge of a light sofa is staining and wear. Before selecting a white or light sofa consider how the room is being used now, not how you hope it will be used.

If your dog is like mine and believes that a sofa is just another large dog bed, then you would probably not want to put a white sofa in your living room without some serious retraining. If your sofa will be used by kids and pets, and you still love the idea of a light sofa, then washable slipcovers are a stylish compromise.

Things You Should Know About Sofa Colors

Once you’ve considered the light and dark of your new sofa, it’s time to think about color. If you’re not working with a showpiece sofa, then a sofa in a neutral color is a popular choice. Neutral sofas are easy to decorate around, and can easily keep up with your style as it changes over the years.

Neutral sofa fabric includes beige, gray, taupe, and cream. A matte beige sofa fabric can appear dull around other colors, but a textured beige fabric with flecks of monochromatic color can create interest without adding new colors. Gray sofas can range from pale to charcoal colors. Considered a style chameleon, gray can be sophisticated, comfortable, cool or crisp. Neutral sofas can quietly complement your other decor, but still be stylish and attractive.

A sofa of any color can be beautifully integrated into your space if you treat it as another color from your color scheme. This means adding accessories or prints in the same color as the sofa, to spread the color around the room. A sofa is a large expanse of fabric, by repeating pops of the same color as an accent, it can balance your room.

All about seating and cushions

If you want to judge the quality of a sofa, go beyond what it looks like. Quality goes deeper than looks, and that is why two identical-looking sofas can vary so much in price. What lies inside determines how your sofa rates for quality.

The frame, seating support and filling not only determine your sofa’s level of comfort but also its ability to retain its shape and stability in the years to come.

Here’s a closer look:

The Frame

How long a sofa will last and retain its shape depends largely on the frame, and a high-quality sofa always has a strong, sturdy one.

  • The best frame is made out of kiln-dried hardwood. The process of kiln drying removes all moisture from the wood, enabling it to retain its shape and stability over a long period of time. A frame made of green wood can shrink or crack as it dries. Soft wood can bend and break easily, while knotted wood is prone to cracks.
  • In a good-quality frame, the joints get special attention. They are glued, dowelled, and screwed. The corners are further strengthened by the addition of reinforcing blocks for extra support and strength.
  • Generally speaking, plywood and particleboard frames are inferior, especially if they are held together with staples. However, additional layers of plywood can help reinforce the frame, so as you can see, construction matters as much as material. If you must choose a sofa with a plywood frame, make sure it has at least 11 to 13 layers of plywood.
Seating Support

The seating support is also an important component in determining the quality of a sofa. It works in tandem with the frame and the filling. A sturdy frame provides an anchor for good seating support and filling augments it. You should always test the quality of seating support by sitting on a sofa before you buy it.

It shouldn’t sag, and it should provide good support in the seat and in the back.

  • The eight-way hand tied springs system is one of the best support systems. The craftsman connects each spring to the adjoining one with a strong twine. The twine passes front to back, side to side and then diagonally in both directions, thus tying each spring securely.
  • Another method is sinuous spring construction. Sinuous springs are “S”-shaped and run from the front of the seat to the back. These springs are supported by additional wires that cross from side to side. This also makes for a strong seat, and it might be the preferred option in a sleeker style or smaller frame because it requires less space.
  • The third option is web suspension, in which bands of webbing cross the seat and back. These are then attached to the frame to make a platform for the cushions. Webbing can be made of either natural or man-made fibers, and if it is used alone doesn’t make for very strong support. However, in better-quality sofas, it is used with a tensioner that fastens the webbing securely to the frame. The web suspension is the least preferable of the seating support options.

 

Cushion Filling

Now that you have considered the frame and seating support, it is time to look at what kind of filling is used for the cushions.

  • The most common filling is high-density polyurethane. Obviously, the higher the density, the firmer the cushion will be. Foam can be wrapped in softer material or cotton to make it softer. Dacron-wrapped foam is the cheapest option, but it won’t last as long.
  • Make sure that you are getting high-density foam because lesser-quality foam can start breaking down pretty quickly, causing sags, and the fabric does not stay taut when that happens.
  • If you want a really soft seat, consider down cushions. These are considered to be the premium choice, and as you might imagine they are also among the most expensive. High-quality cushions have down-proof ticking under the upholstery fabric to prevent feathers from poking through. Cushions filled just with down are high-maintenance and can need daily attention.
  • Down used in combination with other materials is also a good option but also another expensive option. Pads made out of a Dacron polyester fiber and down, known as Blendown pads, are wrapped around high-density foam.
  • These pads can also be used with springs that have been wrapped up in foam. High-density foam surrounds the springs, which are then wrapped in down pads. The result is a soft surface with a strong, resilient support inside. This is a good option because the cushions do not lose their shape easily.

Bottom line: Quality doesn’t come cheap, but a good-quality sofa will stay more comfortable and retain its looks for a long time. So consider buying the best quality that you can afford.

The Most Money When You Sell Used Furniture

The need to sell used furniture results from several situations. They include simply wanting to replace old furniture, moving, or needing to get rid of furniture that sits in storage. Get the most out of selling used furniture by following these tips.

 

Determine Value

Buried treasure status or trash? If you are selling furniture that is in good condition or you think is valuable, get an idea of how much it is worth.

Do you own antiques that belong to a period valued by collectors? Do you know if your furniture was made by a famous manufacturer?

In the case of antiques or valuable collections, consult pricing guides at the library or online or ask an expert. Visiting local consignment stores and looking at newspaper and internet ads for similar objects can also give you an idea of how much your furniture is worth.

Even if your furniture is not old enough to be classified as antique or have value as a collector’s item, it is still worth something. Consider how much you paid for it, who manufactured it, how long you have used it and its present condition.

Another fact worth remembering is that upholstered furniture is the hardest to sell, and you will have more takers for case goods.

 

Price Appropriately

This can turn out to be tough. You don’t want to undersell, but you don’t want to price it so high that no one wants to buy it.

Be realistic when pricing your old furniture. The memories you might have attached to a piece are yours alone and provide no added value to the buyer. Similarly, a customized couch might not have any special value for a buyer either, and customers are usually savvy enough to recognize if you have inflated prices or overstated the value.

When pricing, also take into account any stains, scratches, tears or dents, just as you should make a note of a well-maintained or mint-condition item.

Your prices should not be any higher than the asking rate for similar products that you see advertised or displayed in used furniture stores. Decide ahead of time how firm you are going to be on your price and whether you are open to bargaining.

For ideas on how to price your used furniture, read these tips for pricing used furniture.

 

Decide How to Sell

Garage sales, yard sales, or moving sales might work for you, depending on how much time and inventory you have.

If you want to use the internet, include pictures and details in your ad to encourage serious buyers to contact you. Be prepared to meet with potential buyers, depending on how the site you choose works. If possible, move the furniture to an area where you don’t have to let strangers inside your home.

Contact a consignment store or a used furniture dealer. They will come to your house, make you an offer and pick up the items if they think they can sell them at a profit.

Although this is very convenient, you might not get the best price for your furniture because they will only buy it if they think they can make a profit and will not give you top dollar. If you are short on time, don’t want to bother with trying to organize a garage sale or need to get the stuff out quickly, this might be a good way to go.

Contact a professional liquidator if you have a lot of furniture to sell, and they will suggest the best method for disposing of your furniture. They might suggest an on-site auction, moving everything to an auction house or having a tag sale. They will set the prices for all items, and you can expect them to charge 20 to 30 percent of the sale proceeds. Go through all costs and commissions before you sign any agreements. To find liquidators look online under “estate sales.”

In the end, if you are left with items you were unable to sell, consider donating to charities or furniture banks. You get the satisfaction of helping someone and a receiving a tax break.

 

Create an Attractive Ad

If you are selling the furniture yourself, you need to create an attractive ad that describes your furniture and creates a little excitement around it.

You could also mention a need that your furniture might fill to nudge potential buyers into action. A word of caution, though: Refrain from false advertising. Be honest about the condition of the furniture. Don’t call a sagging couch “practically new.” If you are advertising online, include a photograph. Most users click on listings that have images attached to them.

If you are holding a garage sale, in addition to advertising in the newspaper and online, create signs announcing the date and venue of your garage sale. List a few items to give an idea of what you are selling.

Check out regulations concerning signs in your area. You don’t want to put a dent in your profits by having to pay fines.

 

Learn How to Negotiate

You might find that you have to negotiate with the buyer for the price on your piece of furniture.

You want to get the best price for your furniture, while the buyer is looking for the best deal. It might seem that both of you are looking for completely different things, but there is a meeting point: the place where both of you find value in the transaction.

You can make a counteroffer if the buyer’s offer seems too low. Haggling is part of this process. But in the end, it depends on your level of comfort with it. Haggling might get you the price you want, or you might simply find greater value in finally being rid of the item and sell it for less than what you wanted.

Run a Successful Furniture Retail Store

If you think about it, a furniture retail store should be among the most successful businesses out there. Everyone needs furniture. But only a few furniture stores succeed, while most flounder, so what makes a furniture store successful?

 

While there is no single formula that applies to all furniture businesses equally, some rules do apply, such as offering value and outstanding customer service.

 

To offer value, you have to know and understand the community in which you set up your store. You have to understand their needs, desires and aspirations. That understanding should guide and inform your merchandising, advertising and pricing.

 

To offer value, you also need to understand the product you are selling. Value never goes out of style whether times are tough or whether there is a boom.

Outstanding customer service is also part of offering value. What customers experience in your store counts for as much as what they buy. Hire people who reflect your values, and treat them with the same respect you want them to extend to the customer.

You have to get the word out. All advertising is not expensive, as there are many different ways of getting the word out. Pick one that suits your budget and market.

 

  • Know your market. Target your advertising to your customer’s needs.
  • Emphasize your strengths and never misrepresent.
  • Mention if you are offering a free service or item. More than discounts offering something free can bring customers in. You can offer free sales tax or free delivery. Think about ways of making this possible and the trade-offs.
  • Make your advertising more concentrated. Instead of advertising within a 25-mile radius, bring it down to 15 miles and advertise more intensively.

While advertising will bring people to your furniture store, you need to have quality furniture to back it up. If not, you’re throwing money down the drain and actually doing yourself a disservice.

 

  • Offering quality furniture and other home furnishings will earn you respect and a reputation for reliability.
  • Compare what you carry with what the customer wants. Always monitor customer complaints about the furniture you carry, as returns and complaints will give you a good idea of what the customer does not want.
  • Continuously adding new collections to your merchandise offerings will keep it exciting.
  • Offer choices.
  • Offer unique accessories that complement your furniture mainstays.
  • Create an exciting floor display by arranging vignettes.