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How to Choose Living Room Furniture

how to choose living room furnitureA comfortable living room invites people to gather, hold conversations, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s important then, that you spend some time considering what furniture pieces make the most sense in your living room. Below, you’ll find some helpful ideas on how to choose living room furniture.

The Main Furniture Pieces

Flexibility makes a lot of sense when it comes to furnishing your living room. Individual pieces that can be moved around allow for occasional rearrangement – either out of need when hosting a large gathering or out of the desire to simply mix things up. We also recommend, when purchasing living room furniture, that you keep the colors neutral for the main pieces. Neutral colors last longer in terms of trends and can be accented with throw pillows allowing you to add different splashes of color and mix things up easily..

The Sofa

When it comes to the sofa, size matters. Most sofas range from 84” – 90” and will fit a variety of spaces. If you have a smaller area, you can find more petite sized sofas in the 75” – 80” range. Do know, that an overstuffed sofa, although comfortable in the show room, will often appear massive and out of place. And, even though they are quite popular, a sectional may be too inflexible when you want to rearrange for a gathering or bring a Christmas tree into the space. Often times, you can achieve a similar look and feel with two sofas.

Also, think about how many people you want to seat on your sofa. If you choose a sofa with three cushions, three people will naturally sit there. If you get one with one or two larger cushions, you can often seat up to four allowing for more seating flexibility.

The Chairs

In terms of chairs, we recommend chairs that are attractive both from the front and the back. We also recommend chairs that have arms on them. People like to lean. Once again, flexibility is key when selecting chairs. You’ll want to be able to float them in the room or place them in a corner. Look for chairs that are 30” – 38” wide. Anything bigger takes up a lot of space and becomes too big to be useful. Look for chairs that seat one person comfortably.

The Ottoman

An ottoman allows for a little variety, and a comfortable place to rest the legs. Your ottoman doesn’t have to match your furniture. You can add some texture, patterns and color to the area and play with your ottoman more easily than with your main pieces of furniture. Once again, think about where you will keep the ottoman and how large it is. It should be a very flexible piece of furniture.

The Coffee Table

We love the look of a square coffee table, but let’s face it, they’re not very flexible. We almost always recommend a rectangular table due to the flexibility for different placements around the room. Don’t purchase the largest table you can find. You want people to be able to walk around it comfortably in relationship to the other furniture pieces in the room.

Quality Matters

You want furniture you can live on. Get pieces with nice quality upholstery. They last a long time. Make sure the cushions upholstered on all sides. If you do end up with a spill that won’t come out, you can flip it over and hide the stain. When you sit on a sofa, you shouldn’t be able to ffel the frame. If you do, don’t buy it. It won’t last. Look for 8-way hand tied pieces. This is a great marker of quality. There are also many performance fabrics available too. These resist spills and fading and typically last longer. If you have kids, a pet or a messy spouse, you’ll definitely want performace fabrics. They also come in a variety of attractive options these days.

Get an Opinion

We love to visit people’s spaces and walk them through how to choose living room furniture. If you’re in the market, stop in and talk with us. We can arrange a visit and help you think through your plans.

Looking more for a living room refresh rather than refurnishing? Read How to Do a Living Room Refresh.

How to Avoid Project Creep and Stop Home Improvement Mistakes Before They Happen

Not a week goes by that we don’t help someone out who is experiencing project creep. Project creep, one of the top home improvement mistakes, happens when homeowners set out to change one “simple” thing in their home only to realize, halfway in, that to do the job right, more is needed. The following example should help you avoid project creep and can be applied to a change in your bathroom, a change with your flooring, a change with anything, really.

Your Hideous Kitchen Countertops: An Example

We all hit that point where we know the kitchen countertops must go. They’re outdated. They’re worn. They’re ugly, hideous in fact. You’ve lived with them long enough and it’s time for them to go. But, you still like your backsplash – you had it changed a couple of years ago – and you see no need to change your cabinets right now. You plan to do that in a year or so.

So, you decide to move forward with just the countertops. You’ve picked out your pattern, measurements have been taken and installation has been scheduled.

But…

  • Have you considered your sink? Is your current one acceptable? What about when you decide to change your cabinets? Will it still be okay?
  • Have you considered the height difference between your new countertop material and your old ones? Will there be a gap between your backsplash?
  • Have you considered how you will slide your old cabinets out from under your new countertops when you decide to change them next year?
  • When you change your countertops next year, will you want to stay with the same kitchen layout?
  • If you think you may want to change your kitchen layout, what will you do about flooring?
  • And if you think you may want to change your kitchen layout, what about the plumbing? Will you want to move your sink? If you want to move the oven and microwave, how will you get the gas and electric lines moved?

We could continue asking questions about the kitchen, but what we really want is for you to avoid home improvement mistakes altogether by asking yourself:

“What else is related to this project?” and “What else could possibly be affected if we decide to change X?”

After you’ve asked these questions, make a list – a thorough one. You may be surprised about how things are interconnected and how changing one “simple” thing may mean changing many.

And always, after you’ve made your list, seek a second opinion. Or, if you have no idea how things are connected in the area you’d like to change, ask for help. Talk to a friend who’s been through a remodel. Talk to a contractor. Or, better yet, bring your plans and ideas with you and stop in to see us at Eheart. We’ll be happy to take a look. In the end, your project will go much more smoothly if you are proactive and work to understand the complete picture ahead of time.

Also, if you’re just starting to think about remodeling, check out our handy Home Remodel Return On Investment Guide  It’s full of stuff we think everyone, who’s doing a remodel, should think about and will definitely help you avoid additional home improvement mistakes. 

 

 

Remodel or Move? That is the question.

If you are like most homeowners, you have a list of things you’d like to change in your house. You may not have written it down, but it’s definitely in your head. In fact, if someone asked you what you’d like to change, you’d rattle off an answer with the few top things. Some of those things may be small. Some, on the other hand, may be big, like a remodel. If it is a remodel you’re thinking about, and you know you have the finances to move a project forward, then we have some things for you to consider..

Should You Remodel or Move?

Most people, when thinking of  a remodel, don’t think about moving, but in our experience, we think the “remodel or move” option must be addressed. First off, ask yourself this, “What about my home isn’t meeting my needs?” If the answer is location, it’s probably time to consult a realtor. If the answer is, “I don’t like where the staircase sits,” it’s also probably time to consult a realtor. Although we are regularly amazed at what a contractor can do to the internals of a house, there are certain structural things that financially put a remodel out of the question.

Considering, however that a contractor can do a lot to the interior, and your answer lies more along the lines of, “I don’t have enough space in the kitchen,” or “I don’t like the layout of the master bath and bedroom,” or “I wish the space between the living room and the kitchen didn’t feel so closed off,” then it’s time to explore a remodel.

A Set of Fresh Eyes

Once you’ve addressed the “remodel or move” question and hit on remodel as an answer, it’s time to get some help. You look at, and live in, your house each day. This makes you biased about certain things. You may not see some possibilities that someone else may see. We recommend you bring in a neutral party who does this regularly, who can look at your house and give you options you might not even consider. Preferably, that person can also look at your house, listen to your suggestions and say, “Yes, that’s possible within your budget,” or “No, that’s not possible within your budget but you might consider doing this.” You’ll be amazed at what someone else can see that you might not.

Can You Live in Dust and Chaos?

If you’ve never lived in a home during any sort of remodel, you might not realize what an impact it has on your day-to-day living. Imagine your master bath being out of commission for a week. Now imagine it being gone for four weeks. You’re sharing with your kids, trying to get ready in the morning, routines get thrown off…It can be hard. And it’s not only bathrooms. Ever thought about life without countertops and a stove? Microwaves and crockpots and takeout only go so far.

A remodel will most certainly disrupt your daily patterns.Workers will be coming in and out of your house all week and often times on the weekend in order to meet deadlines. And no matter how neat and tidy your contractor is, there will still be dust, dust and more dust. (Hint to avoid a big portion of the nuttiness: Figure an 8-week furnished apartment or short-term rental house into your remodel budget. The people we see who do this have a much better experience and the work can often move faster as the contractor doesn’t have to work around a family living in the home.)

Have Fun With It

All of the things we have mentioned take time and energy during any remodel. But once you’ve decided to move forward, for the right reasons of course, make sure to enjoy the process. Too often we see people get stressed out about colors and fixtures and floor plans and more. They lose sight of why they want to do the remodel instead of making the entire process enjoyable. Remember, you’re choosing to make your home a better one than you have right now, and what could be more fun than that?

Remember, there are other things to take into consideration when it comes to remodeling. Here’s a handy Home Remodel Return On Investment Guide we think everyone, who’s doing a remodel, should think about. 

 

 

Hardwood Floor Tips

Hardwood floors offer natural beauty, elegance, long-term value, and ease of cleaning. Here’s a list of hardwood floor tips to help you select the appropriate design for any room in your home.

 

  • Make your floor the center of attention: This technique adds depth and dimension to any room with an overall light aesthetic. Use a dark hardwood with subtle variations in graining to contrast bright lighting or light colored walls.

Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Make the room seem more spacious: Use natural colored hardwood in a room with darker walls. Bright hardwoods with less grain are perfect for these interiors and make the room seem more open and inviting.

Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Make a smaller room seem larger: By laying the boards across the width of the room, as seen in the example, you can make a narrow room look wider. This little trick can help you make the most of limited space and welcome visitors into cozy areas.

Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Achieve a hand-crafted appearance: Wire brushed or hand-crafted wood gives a distinctive appearance thanks to character markings and differences in shading.

Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Make a bold statement: Take over the room with orange and red hardwood floor tones by using a vibrant copper or russet toned hardwood. This directs visitors’ attention to the exquisite wood floors while generous lighting and bright walls offset some of the commanding presence of this elegant floor.

Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Use the same species and tone of wood throughout your home: This will make each room appear and feel bigger and provide a cohesive look. You can adjust the width of the planks for individual rooms to achieve different aesthetics.

Hardwood Floor Tips

Equipped with these hardwood floor tips, you’ll be prepared to take charge and get creative with your next floor remodel.

 

 

Posted in Design, Hardwood

Brazilian Decorating Tips

Summer is in full heat now and there’s still so much left to look forward to. One of the most exciting upcoming events to take place within the next month is the 2016 Summer Olympics transpiring in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The best athletes from all over the world come to represent their countries and compete in the biggest collaborative competition ever created. However this tournament isn’t just about competition, it has an overlying message of peace and collaboration among all of the world’s countries and it is a beautiful celebration of the human spirit. At Eheart, we can’t wait to be part of the celebration and would like to share our vibrant Brazilian decorating tips with you early.

Brazilian decorating

Brazilian Decorating

There’s no denying that the Olympics influence a wide variety of things across the globe when they are in session. One major cultural aspect being affected by the Olympics is design trends for the summer of 2016. This summer is the summer of Brazil and all the bright and audacious colors that come with the rich heritage of the country. Designers are taking hints from Brazilian culture and incorporating them into their designs and we suggest you do the same. Brazilian decorating themes such as bold patterns, mixed themes, and exotic bright colors are great ways to get into the spirit and liven up your living area.

Brazilian decorating living room

Hosting Olympic Gatherings

Synonymous with big sporting events are the gatherings and parties that arise dedicated to watching them, and if the idea of hosting such an event appeals to you then we have a few tips to help you along the way. Dive into the culture, spice up your living room with Brazilian decorating and wow guests with Brazilian inspired dishes such as pastels, acai smoothies, or Pão de queijo. It’s also a good idea to have some alternative activities available for those that aren’t interested in watching the events. Keep the atmosphere as relaxed as possible and enjoy the company of those around you.

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The Olympics and Cooperatives

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part”-Olympic Creed. Not only is participation the most important thing in the Olympics but the same goes for our business. Eheart Interior Solutions is a locally owned business which is part of a larger cooperative that relies on all the support and participation of its members. We work together to offer competitive prices to our customers while maintaining our local identity and participating in our respective communities.

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We hope that you and your family enjoy the rest of summer and watching the Olympic Games just as much as we do!