Tip on How to Clean Patio Furniture Cushions

Quality patio furniture needs occasional maintenance to keep the cushions looking like new. It’s easier to clean patio furniture cushions than you think and with the right products and a little elbow grease, you can keep your cushions in top form year round.

Unlike cheap patio furniture, quality pieces are made to last. And while they are made of top quality materials, they still need to be cared for. While a lot of information is out there about taking care of the wood or metal frames, there’s not a lot of information about how to care for the cushions that come with them. And these can add up to big money if you need to replace them.

First you want to figure out what your cushions are made of. That’s easy enough to do. Check the product tag that hangs off of it. It should not only tell you what the cover and the stuffing is made of, but also have some basic instructions about how to clean it.

Most of the new cushions on the market are treated to keep them from fading in the sun. The covers are usually made of acrylics that simulate the feel of canvas, vinyl or woven polyester. The filling is typically polyester, so it doesn’t hold on to the water.

If the tags don’t mention that your cushions have been treated with water repellent you will want to keep them stored indoors. They will take an occasional soaking from a rainstorm but if they are exposed to continual heavy rain, the may not perform as well in the long run.

No cushion can resist suntan lotions and oils. If you’re going to lotion up, make sure you use a towel on the chair. Some lotions can even stain the fabrics and over time they can weaken vinyl cushions or those covered with PVC.

Follow the manufacturers recommended for normal cleaning. During the summer you should clean the cushions monthly so that any dirt is loosened and removed. Any spots can be cleaned with a mild detergent and sponge. To make cleaning easy, consider adding a quarter cup of detergent to a gallon of water and store it in a container in the garage. If stains are particularly tough to remove, use a brush.

At the end of the season you’ll probably want to store your cushions indoors. Before you do, give them a deep cleaning. Depending on the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations, you can use a diluted bleach and laundry detergent solution to keep the cushions from getting mildew in the off season. If you deep clean fabrics remember that you may need to reapply a coat of water repellent when you’re done.

If there is mildew, put a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Spot test an area before cleaning the whole cushion. Allow the area to soak about 10 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly. Let it dry completely.

Even if your cushions are treated with a water repellant, it doesn’t last forever. You’ll need to reapply it every once in a while. You can get a fabric guard at most home improvement centers. Once your fabric is clean and dry, spray a light coat of sealant over the entire surface. A second coat is usually a good idea. If you want to be sure your cushions are ready for the first sunny day, do your cleaning and sealing at the end of each season.

When it comes time to put the cushions away for the season, you want to make sure they are completely dry before putting them in your garage or storage shed. While it may be tempting to wrap the cushions in a plastic bag, don’t do it. This may trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew.

French Reproduction Furniture Offers Lots Of Flexibility To Interior Designers

French reproduction furniture is fast becoming a popular trend among home interior designers and eclectic furniture collectors alike. This style of furniture is classic and reminiscent of antique European collections of yesteryear. The beauty of this furniture lies in its intricate details and distressed finishes that complement any home furnishing décor.

If your budget is more Home Goods than Sotheby’s Antiques, fear not, because modern day remakes of French style traditional home furnishings are available in almost all price ranges. Whether you are looking for an entire seating collection for your living room, or a simple accent piece to draw attention to your dining or bedroom area, French inspired vintage furniture fabrications make for affordable and classy additions to your home.

Living room options include french styled chaises and sofas typically have wooden accents with soft fabrics in a variety of colors. Club chairs, settees and wing back chairs make other great accent pieces. Rich burgundies and sapphires or soothing camels and sages give plenty of color options to coordinate with your existing furniture pieces.

Bedroom decoration choices include vintage style French beds, occasional seating, side tables, bureaus and chests with distressed painted or stained finished. Popular bedroom French style fabrics include blue, black or red toile patterns. Small checkered patterns are another popular French country look and can be easily paired with coordinating striped or toile fabrics. Toile is a French word that means ‘cloth’. The cotton or linen fabric often has a repeating pattern that typically reflects a French country scene. The scene usually reflects the people dressed in French styled attire and shows a pastoral working scene. Some manufacturer such as Waverly, offer coordinating wall paper and fabric pattern that can be used separately or paired together for a designer look. European antique styled hardware and drawer pulls add special detail to these fine furniture accent pieces that draw one’s attention to the look of the overall piece. Dining room selections offer formal or casual dining room tables, upholstered side chairs, buffets and servers and pedestal accent tables.

French reproduction accent furnishings are not limited to just tables and chairs. Wall art is a furnishing accent that is often over looked. Plain walls do not add visual or textural interest to a room décor. Wall hung vintage inspired tapestries or reproduction oil paintings can liven a room with rich color, vistas and textures, quickly and easily. Mirrors framed in ornately carved gold gilded frames, promote a French inspired casual elegance to any room.

French country motif is about elegant comfort. Reproduction European style furniture can be both attractive and comfortable. Overstuffed chairs and ottomans offer options for spaces that require flexible furniture arrangements. For people who entertain a lot, ottomans provide easily moveable seating for larger gatherings, and also provide much needed table space for serving trays to hold drinks and appetizers.

French inspired accent lighting is another easy way to introduce a western European influence into your decorative accents in your home. Table lamps, wall sconces and ceiling mounted chandeliers are all available options that you can use to update the look of your home interior. Faux marble painted lamp bases or accent lighting created from contrasting materials such as wrought iron and crystals make for visually interesting pieces. Wall sconces can be hand painted with a fleur de lis design, or have a distressed patina of white washed iron taking on the appearance of a lighting accent from another era.

Vintage reproduction French rugs make for a useful and decorative home accent. Color patterns can range from classic blues and yellows to jewel toned patterns flaunting a French Aubusson or Savonnerie design. These rugs add an intricate detail to any room including a foyer, formal living room or bedroom.

Window coverings are another complement to French reproduction furniture and often are lavishly full window sheers or drapery treatments in traditional French inspired patterns. Billowing layers of fabrics in crisp clean white or cream, or more traditional blue and white sheer pattern add a comforting, elegant touch to any room décor.

Guide to Audio Video Furniture

You just bought you new plasma, LCD, DLP, flat panel TV or projector. If you can’t find a proper place to mount on wall or you need to house your audio video components, you will most likely need an Audio cabinet for you components, a TV stand, or base to house both the TV and your home theater components. This guide will tell you all about audio video furniture.

Knockdown vs. Assembled

Most home theater audio video furniture either is KD (knockdown) or assembled in one piece. What’s the difference? KD means that the unit ships un-assembled in pieces and you have to put it together with your time or hire someone to do it. The advantage of KD furniture is that it can usually ship quickly for those people that need to meet a time deadline. The other advantage it usually is less expensive than assembled furniture quality pieces. The quality of KD items varies greatly. AV furniture first and foremost must be able to handle heavy televisions and components and we believe that KD furniture must be made with MDF, not particle board. A term associated with KD (knockdown) is also RTA (Ready to Assemble). These terms mean the same thing. The customer pays a little less, but has to put the item together on their time. The other small advantage to KD or RTA audio video furniture is that if it gets damaged, replacement parts can be sent to fix the issue readily.

The best quality furniture pieces have furniture “styling” which is made to be sen, not to be hidden in a closet. The hardware on these pieces are of higher quality including hinges and handles. Most assembled furniture is made with MDF with real wood veneers.

Assembled furniture is a convenient option for those with people with little time or patience for assembling furniture. The assembled option in most cases is of higher quality than most KD pieces.. You would need to check the manufacturer as the market is flooded with many importers where quality can vary and the packing of the furniture may be sub standard for shipping on a freight truck. All assembled furniture is inspected by our delivery centers prior to delivery. This level of quality control does not exist with many other on line retailers. Who you buy from is just as important as what you buy in the world of on line furniture retailers. You should always call the toll free phone number of any web site before ordering assembled furniture. Be sure to check the hours of the web site first before calling. The key consideration is longevity of the company. It’s best to make sure a company has been in business at least 5 years.

Consider the Placement of the Home Theater Furniture

When planning a home theater or media room, you will need to consider where to place your av rack. Will it be hidden from view in a closet, a utility room, a special av cabinet, or piece of furniture. If you are hiding your furniture in a cabinet or closet, consider rotating AV racks that can pull out and rotate.

If you plan to position the mount in the front of your room, you will need to consider a cabinet that has furniture styling, since it will always be in view.

If being placed in the back of room or off to the side, you may consider knockdown options.

Wood or Metal Glass

Furniture construction can vary. In general, the look you want to achieve comes down to wood or glass. If you like a traditional approach, wood AV furniture may appeal to you. Most choices include black, cherry or oak finish. A maple or walnut finish is available in certain styles. If you prefer a more contemporary look, you may consider a metal glass combination. The glass is typically tempered to make it extremely strong.

Dimensions and Weight Considerations for AV Furniture:

The most common issue with choosing AV furniture is the size. If you are using for a tv stand you will need to find out the width of the TV, not the diagonal measurement. Most manufacturers use diagonal measurements on TV’s versus width measurements, you will need to find this specification to choose the correct tv stand size. The other common measurement needed is interior shelf dimensions. This is very important if you have some oversized av equipment, less important if you have normal components. Last but not least, consider the weight of your television and the weight of your components. The heaviest two pieces are usually the TV and the AV Receiver/Amp. Most top shelf designs of our tv stands can handle up to 250lbs, but check the specs to be sure. The other consideration is the interior shelf load bearing. Some amps can weigh up to 100lbs! It’s best to place the amp on the lower shelf, which is best for weight and sound absorption.

Is Ready-To-Assemble Furniture Cheap? Hardly!

Build-it-yourself furniture has come a long way through the years. Once thought to be “cheap” furniture, a few manufacturers nowadays make quality, long lasting furniture that you must assemble yourself.

Thirty years ago, assembling a desk or hutch was a real challenge. The instructions were difficult to read (some desk models would print an exploded view picture of the desk and expect you to build it from that!), holes weren’t drilled, or were drilled in the wrong places, and many pieces simply didn’t fit together as intended.

Sometimes everything fit together great, but the manufacturer forgot to include the hardware!

Technological advances in the past twenty years have improved things greatly. Seldom are pieces or hardware missing from the boxes. Holes are drilled where they should be. And most importantly, the quality of the wood has improved dramatically.

Most of the credit for the improvement goes to three manufactures: Sauder, Bush, and O’Sullivan. These companies have set the bar when it comes to furniture quality and are responsible for such innovations as the cam lock system – cam bolts and locks are connected with a quarter twist of a screwdriver. There is no worry that you will “strip out” a cam fastener.

Sturdiness plays an important part in good furniture. Next time you’re out shopping at a big box or office store, try to find a box that contains a desk made by Sauder. The first thing you’ll notice? That box is HEAVY!

And if by chance, as you are assembling your furniture, you notice a piece is damaged or there is hardware missing (this is rare – usually you are given more hardware than you need in case you drop and lose a bolt or screw, etc.), you can call the manufacturer’s Customer Service line and order the part you need and it will be shipped to your home within a few days.

Even though Sauder, Bush, and O’Sullivan make quality, ready-to-build furniture, be aware that there are several other brands that are sold by big box retailers, usually at a less expensive price, that can still be labeled as being cheaply made.

In these boxes you’ll find incorrect instructions, parts that aren’t drilled correctly and defective hardware. But if you stick to furniture manufactured by the Big Three – Sauder, Bush, and O’Sullivan, you’ll be sure to get quality, long lasting furniture that’s easy to put together.