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Month: July 2015

Contemporary Ottomans and Benches

Contemporary Ottomans and Benches

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Benches and ottomans have been hot this summer. Their casual, versatile designs are easy to add to any room while enhancing both the look and functionality of the space. In most cases, contemporary ottomans and benches provide both auxiliary storage and seating in an attractive package. Most of the time, these pieces are merely accents set off to the side of the room, but when additional seating is needed for a get-together or other occasion, simply pull them out to use for extra seating. Many pieces, particularly ottomans, also make great footrests or temporary tabletops for setting items like a book or TV remote.

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Contemporary ottomans and benches are popular in the living room, family room, bedroom, and even the dining room. The function of these pieces changes slightly depending on the room, with them serving primarily as footrests and accent pieces in the living and family room, as a seat and storage solution in bedroom, and as a fun seating option and auxiliary storage piece in the dining room. The shared nature of the bench adds a fun and casual mood to a dinner or social gathering, without damaging the prestige of the event by eating dinner on a couch. It is this focus on functionality and design that makes contemporary ottomans and benches embody the modern ideals. In the bedroom, benches and ottomans often end up as a place to sit when getting dressed in the morning (rather than sitting on the edge of your bed) while providing storage either inside or out. Internal storage pieces can offer a good solution for tucking away seasonal bedding, additional pillows, etc., while in many cases ties, belts, and other frequently used clothing items and accessories end up being stacked on top of the bench or ottoman for convenient access. As mentioned previously, contemporary ottomans and benches usually serve the dual purpose of auxiliary seating and a stylish accent piece in the living and family room. So if you are looking to augment the style and functionality of your modern home, contemporary ottomans and benches can be an easy and effective way to do so.

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Redecorating with Apricot Curtains

Redecorating with Apricot Curtains

Apricot Curtains

Inevitably, you will one day walk into your living room and think “I’m so sick of looking at this room.” It’s not actually the room, per se, it’s just that you’ve grown so accustomed to to decor that you’re tired of it. When this happens, you have a few options: A) a complete remodel of the room, B) replace a piece or a few pieces, but not everything, or C) simply rearrange the room for a small change. Now these options go in order from most expensive, time consuming, and effective, to least. For some people, option C will work for a time. Simply rearranging the couch, chairs, tables, and TV can create new open spaces and angles for a refreshing change of pace without having to replace your current furniture. But the novelty of a newly arranged room will likely fade without a change in color or patterns. Although you might daydream about a complete remodel of your living room — with new carpet, paint, and all new furniture — it probably isn’t realistic to spend the time and money on something like that without good reason. This leaves you with the compromise of option B, for a way to seriously change up the space without investing too much time and money into it.

SIS Alexa Apricot Curtains

By replacing only a few pieces of furniture, and making other minor tweaks to the room, you can give the space a new life while retaining some of its old comfort. Replacing your old couch with a new sofa can have a major impact on the atmosphere of the room, while a few new pieces of wall art can also help change the color and feel of the space. Some really easy tweaks you can make to the living room, family room, or bedroom are changing curtains, pillows, and throws. These quick and inexpensive alterations and breathe new life into a room without changing the overall functionality. A hot color this year has been Apricot for a warm and relaxing mood that complements most wood and leather finishes for easy matching. Another neat thing about Apricot is it works well in every season. Its borderline pastel color is perfect for the spring, while the warm tone is also fitting for the summer. Being part of the orange family, Apricot is perfect for autumn as well, a nice accent for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Apricot is probably least fitting for the winter in terms of color, but its warm tone might be just right for creating a cozy indoor environment when the temperature outside is dropping. Apricot curtains, especially, can give the sunlight shining through the window a warm glow that might just make you forget about the mountains of snow building outside.

Kitchen Apricot Curtains

So if you’re looking to make a change in any room of your home, consider starting with some small, quick alterations. You might just find that a change of color is all you needed to give the space new life. In addition to that, small decor changes like curtains and pillows can be stored and swapped again in the future, unlike couches that you can just fold up and toss in the closet. And with autumn fast approaching, a set of Apricot curtains might be just the thing to transform your boring living room decor into a more vibrant, seasonal experience for your family and friends to enjoy.

So check out our best-selling SIS Custom Fabrics Panel Curtains in Alexa Apricot at FurnitureCrate.com today!

Coastal TV Stands for the Home

Coastal TV Stands for the Home

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This might sound pretty strange, but I love to watch TV on vacation. Maybe there are some deep down psychological reasons for that, or maybe I’m just boring, but something about laying in a freshly made hotel bed and exploring the unusual (and sometimes entirely foreign) TV channels is fun and relaxing. My wife usually scolds me for “wasting time watching TV when we could be doing something we can’t do at home,” but there are times when it’s too late or we’re too tired to do any of those things and I just get to channel flip and snack on hotel food; It’s awesome.

Tommy Bahama Coastal TV Stand 2

Although I doubt too many people are finding this quirk of mine relatable, I think most everyone can relate to loving the feeling of being on vacation. And for most, at least where I’m from, Coastal and Tropical styles are predominant for encapsulating the feel of an exotic, relaxing vacation. So why not bring that feeling home? Coastal furniture is a great way to get that vacation feel in a specific room or throughout your entire home. From exotic Rattan furniture to beach inspired finishes, there are many types of Coastal furniture, each with a specific inspiration or influence. And if you do share my love of watching TV on vacation, Coastal TV Stands for the home are perfect. Although you will probably be familiar with the channels that you flip through, and probably won’t find an entertaining new show in a language you don’t understand, Coastal TV Stands are still a good way to enhance your downtime by pretending you are relaxing in paradise away from all the troubles of everyday life.

Tommy Bahama, in particular, excels at Coastal inspired furniture including Coastal TV Stands. This brand has many types and styles of Coastal furniture available and is a great place to start if you are looking to bring that vacation feeling home.

Tommy Bahama Coastal TV Stand 3

 

Guest Bedroom Furniture (Part II)

Guest Bedroom Furniture (Part II)

Last week we covered the essentials of guest bedroom furniture to provide tips for planning the basic pieces necessary to provide your guests with the functionality they need for a comfortable and convenient stay. This week we will expand on some of those ideas, and go even further with others, to suggest ways you can go above and beyond the essentials and provide outstanding hospitality for your guests. Topics to consider are the Comfort Scale rating of the guest bedroom mattress, proper bedding, extras in the room such as decor and a TV, and lastly room layout/location for those still in the stages of floor planning. With these topics covered, in addition to Guest Bedroom Furniture (Part I), you should be prepared to develop a game plan and begin shopping for the right pieces of guest bedroom furniture for your home.

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Last time we covered the ideal mattress sizes for your guest bedroom, but not mattress comfort. This might not be something you immediately realize as important, but keep in mind that the type of mattress you find comfortable might not be the type that others find comfortable! Perhaps you fall on one end of the spectrum, say a Comfort Scale rating of 1-3 or 8+; if you give a mattress for your guest bedroom the old 2-minute lie down test in a showroom and pick the one you like, it might not be right for others or even the majority of your guests. For example, if you like an extra soft mattress, say something plush scoring a 9 on the Comfort Scale, and then your parents or grandparents come to visit, the lack of back support and difficulty getting in and out of such a giving mattress would be brutal. On the flip side, if you like the supportive feel of a firm mattress for your own back problems, say a 2 on the Comfort Scale, and have grown accustomed to the less forgiving feel of such a mattress, you might by one like that from your lie down test in a showroom. Then you have some friends from out of town come stay for the weekend, and compared to their plush mattress back home, they feel like they are sleeping on a rock in your guest bedroom! Although it is virtually impossible to please everyone, there are steps that you can take to minimize the discomfort of your varied guests, and come close to the preferred Comfort Scale for the majority.

The best way to go for finding the right type of mattress for a guest bedroom is to look for that elusive “Goldilocks” mattress that has a mid-range comfort that will work well, or at least not be on the opposite end of the Comfort Scale, for the majority of guests. With that strategy, shooting for something with a Comfort Scale rating of 5 is probably ideal. You may encounter instances in which the brand you are loyal to, or the price range you are looking at, does not offer a mattress in the ideal size and Comfort Scale rating you had in mind. In this case, shifting up to 6 is probably the best way to lean, then down to 4. Although it is a 1 point shift on our Comfort Scale either way, some side sleepers may experience pressure related discomfort in the hips and shoulders if they sleep through the night on one of their sides on a mattress erring towards firm. Whereas a guest who needs higher-than-normal back support will probably be okay for a night or two on a slightly softer mattress with a 6 Comfort Scale (and they are also more likely to be used to comfort discrepancies from hotel visits if they have a very specific preferred comfort zone). Of course, if you can predict your guest population will be primarily leaning one way or the other, it would be wise to adjust the mattress comfort accordingly. But a universal or, at the very least, a compromising mid-range comfort mattress is a smart way to go when choosing your guest bedroom furniture. And this is just another reason why shopping online using an objective, quantifiable scale can be better than the 2-minute showroom test.

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In addition to the mattress itself, the bed and bedding to go along with it can make or break the comfort of a guest’s night’s stay. Although the type of bed isn’t overly important, consider the platform bed which does not require a box spring. This type of bed usually offers extra storage space underneath, and usually has a lower height which makes it easier to get in and out of bed. Next, for guests who don’t bring their own pillow, it may be wise to have a selection of pillows available. At least a mix of low- and high-loft pillows would be wise. To cover all of your bases, pillows and pillowcases with allergen-reducing properties will ensure your guests won’t have to suffer through a sensitive allergy issue you may not have been aware of. Lastly, either a universal bedding set or the appropriate number of seasonal bedding sets will ensure your guests will be comfortable no matter what time of year they visit. You don’t want summer guests using a thick winter comforter or winter guests freezing underneath a thin sheet! It would also be a good idea to have at least two sets of the proper bedding in the event of a spill or other accident that might require the set in use to need washed. Planning ahead can save you headache and embarrassment as host!

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Getting less essential as we go down the list, decor can be something worth thinking about when planning your guest bedroom furniture. Do you want to develop the room with a theme in mind? An overall style influence? Purely comfort and functionality? It is best not to use a guest bedroom as the catchall for all of your secondhand pieces and knickknacks, though you know what kind of effect you are going for, if any. Avoid valuable or delicate decorations, not only for your sake, but for the sake of an unfortunate guest who might knock something over being unaccustomed to the layout and feel terrible for an accident that could sully the entire visit. But simple and interesting decor such as paintings and other wall decor can make a guest feel relaxed and have something to take in when just passing a few minutes in the privacy of their room. Another similar consideration is the inclusion of a TV in your guest bedroom. Obviously the intent is not to keep your guests pent up in their room where they need a TV, but during the off-hours or right before bed, many guests may find a bit of comfort in being able to kick back and watch something familiar in the privacy of their own room. This can be a good way to combat homesickness, and just a way to give your guests somewhere to escape to if they need some time to themselves.

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Although this last bit is not intended for those looking to furnish a guest bedroom, it may be worth touching on for those who are still planning the layout of their new home. If you plan on having overnight guests, and are deciding where a guest bedroom should go and how it should be laid out, here are a few suggestions: Proximity to bathrooms is important. If the guest bedroom doesn’t have an attached bathroom itself, try to locate the guest room near a bathroom with as few turns as possible. Waking up in the middle of the night and being afraid to wander around your host’s home looking for the bathroom can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. Similar to that, placing the bed and light switch for the guest bedroom as close as possible is a good idea. You don’t want your guests fumbling around in the dark in a foreign room searching for the light switch! A nightlight would be another thoughtful addition for guests. Likewise, having plenty of power outlets for your guests to charge cell phones and other devices is important in a guest bedroom, and make sure there is at least one within reach of the bed/nightstand. Finally, and this one may seem obvious, don’t put your guest bedroom in a windowless room. Windows provide natural and comforting light which is great to wake up to, offer temperature regulation and something to look at, and also provide peace of mind as a fire escape.

With Guest Bedroom Furniture (Parts I and II), we have no covered a substantial amount of information that will hopefully help you when planning a guest bedroom in your home. At the very least, I hope something in this series has given you an “aha moment” as something you might have overlooked or not considered previously. Either way, you should be more prepared now to begin the potentially daunting task of creating a room for your guests to consider their home away from home, and we here at FurnitureCrate are happy to help you with your guest bedroom furniture needs every step of the way!