Monthly Archives: May 2020

  • How to clean wood furniture

    A woman cleaning a wooden table with a cleaning solution and cloth.

    Wooden furniture is a household favourite. Not only is a wooden finish simple, elegant and versatile, but it also requires very little maintenance. However, regular cleaning is necessary to keep the wood looking fresh and healthy. Knowing how to clean a wooden surface is important if you want to maintain the longevity of your favourite pieces and keep them looking timeless.

    Our Charlotte oak bed We have plenty of ranges which thrive under a little timely maintenance! If you need some inspiration, check out our Charlotte oak pieces for some real showstopping wooden detail.

    There are several ways to restore a wood appearance back to its fresh, original condition without causing any damage. A little dirt can accumulate on wood over time that which is easier cleaned as soon as possible so you don't risk any markings. This is especially prevalent with tables and cabinets, which could be prone to smudging and stains.

    Remember, the best cleaning methods will depend on the finish, stain and type of your wooden furniture. If you’re unsure on the details of your pieces, it’s always best to begin with a simple cleaning approach using mild solutions and determine how to continue from there.

    How do you remove smudges from wood furniture? 

     

    Before using any cleaning solution on the whole item, test a small amount of product in an inconspicuous location (maybe an area on the underneath). To remove dirt and smudges, start with a mild cleanser before moving to a stronger one if the gentler one fails and implement the following steps:

    • Add a drop of washing up liquid to a cotton ball or pad which is damp with water.
    • Wipe the ball on an unnoticeable part of the furniture, such as the inner part of a table leg. If you notice the detergent spoiling the appearance of the test area, continue without the soap. If there is no evidence of impairment, then you are safe to continue.
    • Mix the liquid and water into a bucket and use the solution to sponge down the entirety of the piece.
    • The furniture should not be soaking wet. Instead, wipe the sponge lightly over the surface. Dry it thoroughly just a few minutes after letting the solution linger.

    How do you get fingerprints off wood furniture? 

     

    The above process should work to remove most small blemishes from your wooden surfaces. Fingerprints, however, can be stubborn and you may need to use a different cleaning technique to achieve an impeccable finish. You can rid your wooden furniture of any unwanted prints in the following manner:

    Step 1: Polish the piece of furniture as normal using a commercial polish or you can make one from scratch by mixing one cup of mineral oil with a couple of drops of lemon extract.

    Step 2: Use a soft cloth to clean the wood with your polish. Always follow the grain of the wood and wipe down the surface area gently. Do not use any rapid or circular motions as this can result in swirling imprints.

    Step 3: Sprinkle cornflour over the polished wooden surface.

    Step 4: Buff the surface with a soft, thoroughly dry cloth. The cornflour is used to remove any excess polish and prints.

    How to remove water rings from furniture

     

    One of the most common marks to appear on wood furniture arises from people forgetting to put their drink on a coaster. Luckily, various household products are perfect for buffing out any water rings with ease. Try one of the below techniques to remove the stain and move onto the next if one does not work.

    Method 1: Baking Soda

    Make a paste using one teaspoon of water and one tablespoon of baking soda. Dip a soft cloth into this solution and rub the water ring gently until you see it disappear.

    Method 2: Petroleum Jelly

    Apply a blob of petroleum jelly lightly over the watermark and leave it to sit overnight. Wipe the jelly and watermark away in the morning using a cloth.

    Method 3: Toothpaste

    Place a ball of non-gel toothpaste onto a soft cloth and massage it onto the wooden surface to remove the stain. Wipe it off with a moist cloth and leave it until it dries thoroughly. If the watermark runs deep, make a stronger solution from baking soda and toothpaste. Use a dab of toothpaste and an equally-sized measurement of baking soda and mix together. Slide the paste along the grain of the wood, clean it off using a damp cloth and then when it dries, polish the wood using lemon oil.

    How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

     

    Despite it's strong smell, vinegar is a perfect natural cleaning product as it does not damage wooden finishes. Before you start cleaning, remove any cushions and items from the likes of wooden stools and dressing tables and dust the wooden surface with a cloth. You can either use white vinegar mixed with water for cleaning purposes or olive oil mixed with white vinegar for polishing.

    Step 1: Measure your solution by using three tablespoons of vinegar for every cup of filtered water. If there is no damaging effect when wiping an inconspicuous area, dampen a cloth with your solution and proceed to clean the entire surface.

    Step 2: Ensure that when you come to wipe down the whole piece of furniture that your cloth is damp and not overly saturated as too much liquid can be extremely damaging to the wood. Rub the furniture with the cloth and move with the grain to remove any marks. When the cloth becomes dirty, rinse it with clean water or replace it.

    Step 3: Buff the wood in circular motions to remove any excess moisture. If you realise you have missed any spots, simply use the cleaning solution again. Buffing away moisture should be the last step.

    Hope this helps! Fern xx

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  • How to move heavy furniture

    While everyone is inside protecting the NHS, it's important to remember to avoid injuries. Although we have outlined some basic principles here, we know that any heavy furniture moves can be risky and complicated. We urge our readers to do their own research and thoroughly evaluate the job at hand! At this time we are all doing our best to avoid unnecessary injuries, so we hope some of these basics can get you going.

    Two people attempting to lift a heavy cabinet.

     

    Attempting to move heavy furniture, especially if you’re alone, can be awkward and inconvenient. Trying not to damage the piece of furniture you’re moving, all while avoiding bumping into other household appliances can be somewhat of a hassle.

    There are, however, several techniques you can implement to save yourself from hauling hefty items around and potentially straining your back. Whether you’re moving home or simply repositioning an item of furniture, use these tips as inspiration for some safer moves:

     

    • Use furniture sliders

    Sliders are made of either single-part or multi-part plastic so that the furniture can be pulled with ease across most surfaces. Place a slider under each corner of the furniture, such as the legs of a dining table, creating a barrier between that and the floor. Available to purchase from most DIY and hardware shops, sliders work by reducing friction to allow for smooth movements across your surface without the risk of damage.

     

    • Try moving blankets

    Moving blankets are an alternative to sliders. Although they are generally used to wrap up the entirety of a piece of furniture for protection, placing the whole blanket underneath and holding onto one side will allow you to easily slide the item to the new location.

     

    • Break furniture down into smaller parts

    Although more time consuming, you can always make furniture sleeker and lighter by removing any detachable features. When moving a sofa, for instance, you can usually remove the feet. The same principle applies to other items - unscrew and dismantle any legs, knobs, shelves and racks. Move these smaller items separately to rebuild them in the new location.

     

    • Opt for a moving dolly

    A moving dolly is one of the most convenient methods of transporting furniture. With a square platform and four wheels, an item can be placed on top and wheeled to its new position. Alternatively, a hand truck is an L-shaped mechanism that stands upright with wheels on the bottom. With a handle on the top, you wheel the base under the piece of furniture and tilt the handle towards you so that it’s leaning backwards in order to wheel it around.

     

    Ideas for lifting up heavy furniture

    Moving furniture may require you to lift separate units completely off the ground, as opposed to merely sliding them across the room. Lifting heavy furniture is sometimes impossible if the weight of the item exceeds how much you are able to lift without risk of injury. Although, certain devices can be of aid in the lifting process.

    Shoulder dollies, for example, are carrying straps designed to take some of the weight off your back when you lift. Usually, two people will stand either end of the piece of furniture and attach it with straps which connect to a harness. The harness allows you to utilise your stronger muscle groups and gives you more leverage.

    Manual lifting procedures often boil down to these key principles:

    1. Bend at your knees (not your waist)

    Squat down at your knees as opposed to bending over and potentially harming your back, as the majority of the weight will rest on your legs and arms as you rise to stand.

    1. Carry the object close to your body

    Don’t attempt to walk while holding the furniture with outstretched arms. Ideally, you want to carry the item as close to your body as possible. This will help you to maintain your balance by transferring some of the weight to your upper arms and shoulders, instead of just your forearms.

    1. Don’t twist your body in the lifting process

    It’s important not to writhe around while carrying a piece of furniture, as twisting and fast movements can result in a drop. When you need to turn your body, lead with your hips and let your feet follow. Ensure that you can always see where you are going - lack of vision can lead to an accident.

     

    How to get heavy furniture upstairs

     

    The safest and most efficient way to move heavy furniture upstairs is by creating a makeshift ramp. You can do this either by folding up some moving blankets and placing them on each step, or by building a sturdy alternative like a plywood ramp. Then, implement the following steps with assistance:

    Step 1: Lower the longest surface of the piece of furniture onto the ramp. Make sure that the pathway up the stairs is completely clear.

    Step 2: Hold the bottom corners of the item and push it up the ramp. If you attempt to pull it up from the top of the item, there’s a chance it will slide off the ramp.

    Step 3: Attach a strap or a rope around the item and have a person at the top of the stairs hold it and guide it up the ramp. Communication is key to ensuring that each push or pause is made in unison.

     

    How to remove carpet dents from heavy furniture

     

    Small dents in carpets are caused by heavy and continual pressure from items such as large display cabinets. Place a few ice cubes in the dents and wait until it melts. Absorb any excess water with a sponge and use either a coin or spoon to lift the carpet fibres. You can also steam the dents on top of a piece of cloth with an iron before lifting the fibres. Your carpet will be looking as good as new in no time.

     

    Stay safe, stay home, Fern xx

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  • How to arrange a small bedroom

    Small bedroom decorated with a large window and area rug How to arrange a small bedroom

    Even the most bijou bedroom can be transformed into a luxurious, stylish and tranquil space with just a little interior design know-how. If your bedroom or guestroom is on the smaller side and you want to ensure it’s both beautiful and practical, we can help. The following pointers should ensure this part of your home is something you can be proud of.

     

    How to furnish a small bedroom

     

    Your bed is probably the most important purchase you’ll make when you’re kitting out this room, so be sure to choose carefully. It’s best to go for a double rather than a king or super king-sized model. Even if you can squeeze a larger bed into your room, chances are it’ll make an already small space appear even more cramped. Bear in mind that just because you might not be able to go for the biggest bed, this doesn’t mean you have to think small in terms of decadence and glamour. This piece of furniture should be the focal point of the room, so why not go all out and choose a fabulously grand French-style bed complete with ornate carved detailing and an opulent headboard?

     

    When it comes to your wardrobe, rather than going for a traditional design with doors that open outwards, you could select one with sliding doors that can be fitted closer to other items of furniture, such as your bed.

     

    You can also save space by choosing slimline units. For example, instead of opting for a regular dressing table, which might be too bulky in your bedroom, you could pick out an elegant console table. These slender units can slot neatly into small rooms and they’re ideal for storing cosmetics, jewellery and more.

     

    The right bedside tables can also make a big difference in petite bedrooms. Look out for compact models that feature drawers to give you extra storage for your essentials.

     

    How to utilise space in a small bedroom

     

    Some creative thinking can save you a lot of space in this part of your home. One example of this is including plenty of off-the-ground storage, such as floating shelves. This leaves your floorspace free while providing you with all-important extra space to keep various bedroom must-haves. Another top tip is to fit wall hooks. These simple accessories give you somewhere to hang your coats, bags, scarves and hats - meaning they don’t end up cluttering up the floor or your bed.

     

    Why not use the space under your bed to keep plastic boxes filled with spare linen and other items? This is a great way to use what would otherwise be dead space in this room. You can also free up the surfaces of your bedside tables by fitting wall-mounted lamps.

     

    How to furnish a small guest bedroom

     

    When square footage is at a premium in your guest bedroom, it’s a good idea to choose a few large but hardworking items of furniture, rather than cluttering the space up with lots of small pieces. For example, one big wardrobe can work much better than a smaller model combined with a separate chest of drawers. Simple is often the key to success in these rooms.

     

    Rather than going for a regular bed, consider using a sofa bed. This allows you to create a much more flexible room that provides extra floor space when you don’t have guests staying with you. Another option if you have high enough ceilings is to create a mezzanine sleeping area on a raised platform. If you do this, you can slot shelving, a wardrobe or a desk underneath.

     

    How to decorate a small guest bedroom

     

    Sticking to a few basic design principles when you’re decorating a small guestroom can help you to create a more spacious look and feel. The same suggestions apply if you’re choosing a colour palette and accessories for your own bijou sleeping space.

     

    Firstly, opt for light tones when decorating the walls. Predominantly white or off-white are often the best choice in small rooms as this gives a bright, airy appearance. You can then inject some warmth and personality with a few splashes of colour. This could be in the form of a feature wall, or simply your choice of bedding, artwork and rugs. If you want to use patterns in this room, it’s a good idea to stick to one single motif and run with it, whether it’s a heart, floral design or anything else. Using it in two or three different forms - for example on your cushions and artwork - will create a sense of cohesion and ensure the design scheme doesn’t look too busy.

     

    Arranging a small bedroom to perfection might pose a few challenges, but as long as you plan the layout carefully and take tips like these on board, you should achieve stunning results.

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