The Secret to Caring for Leather Couches

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Few pieces spice up a room as well as a leather couch

When it comes to spicing up a room with style and drama, few things do the job as well as leather furniture. Obviously, anything this valuable demands the best of care. To ensure that your purchase remains in tip-top shape, here’s what you need to do.

Keep Your Leather Sofa Clean

With any leather couch, a regular wipe-down with a clean, dry cloth is best for routine maintenance. Concentrate on the crevices and less accessible areas, for this is where dust bunnies tend to congregate.

Vacuum Cracks and Crevices

Although most dust is easily removed with just a cloth, the same is not true of sand and other gritty substances that can actually damage the leather’s finish. When you’re vacuuming your room, take a few minutes with the crevice attachment to root these culprits out.

Never Use Water, Soaps or Solvents

Leather is not plastic, and water is not its friend. Although a quick once-over with a damp cloth may seem expedient, this quickie method is a definite no-no. Always use a cleaner especially made for leather. Never, ever resort to detergent, ammonia, cleaning sprays, bleach or furniture polish. These things can damage your upholstery beyond repair.

Condition Your Leather Couch Twice a Year

When leather dries out, it can develop cracks. Fortunately, a regular treatment with leather conditioner can prevent this. These creamy products buff easily into the upholstery and leave it looking rich and feeling soft.

Shield Your Sofa from Heat and Sunlight

Some things are as bad for leather as they are for your own skin. Either keep your sofa situated far from fireplaces and sunny windows or find a means of blocking their production of heat and sunlight before these offenders reach the couch.

Protect the Most Popular Areas

With any piece of furniture, certain family members are bound to choose a spot to call their own. Unfortunately, over time, the extra wear in these locations can mar the item’s appearance. To keep your leather sofa looking new, cover these spots with a heavy-duty throw that you can stash in a hurry when company comes to call.

Wipe Up Spills Immediately

Whether it lands there on purpose or by accident, anything not specifically made for leather will only do your sofa harm. Wipe up all spills quickly with a dry cloth, and if any discoloration remains behind, resist the temptation to reach for a damp sponge. That will only make matters worse. Instead, keep a leather cleaner handy for such emergencies.

Take Advice from Those Who Know

Your leather couch will always be the centerpiece of your living room decor, and a little extra care will help it shine. Residents of MA and RI can always trust Cardi’s Furniture stores for the best advice in maintaining the elegant appearance of their furniture pieces for years to come.

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Make Your Wood Furniture Last Forever

March 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Wood furniture can make a gorgeous addition to any home, but can deteriorate without proper care. Here are a few maintenance tips for extending the life of your wood furniture and keeping it beautiful in the process:

Keep It Clean

Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is one of the best things that you can do for your wood furniture. No matter how smooth the finish is, the surface is always rough enough to accumulate dust, dirt, and other debris. Regular dusting and an occasional cleaning with a slightly damp cloth will keep most furniture disasters at bay.

When you’re cleaning your furniture, you don’t need to use a very damp cloth. If you use too much water, it can damage your furniture over time. You can also use a mild soap product that’s approved for use on wood surfaces. After you finish wiping down the wood, use a new cloth to dry the surface.

If you want to give your furniture some extra protection, consider using a good wood polish. Read the labels or consult a furniture dealer to find out which polish is appropriate for your furniture’s finish.

Have a Protection Plan in Place

For new wood furniture purchases, make sure you receive a protection program. At Cardi’s, we offer a Pure Protection plan that ensures the condition of your furnishings. Read more here.

Keep It Stable

According to Keen to Clean, you can prolong the life of your wood by properly arranging your furniture. If your wood furniture is exposed to excessive direct sunlight or sources of extreme heat or cold, permanent damage may occur. You should try to put your precious wood furniture in an area of the home that has relatively low exposure to sunlight, heat, and cold.

Keep It Covered

Dining tables, night tables, and coffee tables are often the victims of normal wear and tear. A tablecloth, runner or decorative covering will protect the surface from stains, scratches, and rub marks.

If you plan to serve hot food on your table, you should always use a hot pad to protect your dining table from warm serving dishes. Additionally, placemats will protect the wood from heat, moisture, and other furniture hazards.

Contact us at Cardi’s Furniture if you have any questions about extending the life of your wood furniture. We are a family-owned business with several furniture stores in the MA and RI areas, as well as a wealth of experience when it comes to selecting and maintaining the perfect piece.

When to Repair vs. When to Replace

October 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

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If you have a damaged piece of furniture that you want to continue using, you’ll have to decide if it should be repaired or replaced. Both solutions cost money, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. The first step is to figure out if it’s a good idea to repair the item in question.

Problems You Can’t Fix

Excessive moisture frequently destroys furniture. It isn’t possible to fix low-pressure laminates or printed vinyl coatings with water damage, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Moisture can permanently ruin most types of wood, but particleboard is more susceptible. Fire often causes irreparable harm as well.

Is it Worth Fixing?

Furniture repair services can reverse most other types of damage, such as torn upholstery or broken legs. Even Fluffy and Fido would have difficulty destroying a piece of furniture beyond repair. Nonetheless, it’s only cost-effective to fix well-made items. Quality products contain costly materials like solid wood, leather and steel coils.

Several other factors affect the value of used furniture. An old piece might be worth repairing if it’s hard to replace. Unfortunately, repair may not restore the full value of a damaged antique. Collectors prefer items that retain the original materials and finish. Nonetheless, it’s also important to consider the sentimental value of old furniture.

Remember to assess the style of an item before you repair or replace it. Take a good look at the piece, and don’t forget to ask your spouse if he or she secretly hates it. Repair might be the best option if the furniture fits your home’s decor perfectly. On the other hand, you may benefit from replacing a piece that looks outdated or out of place.

Finding an Affordable Solution

If you’re still not sure what to do, start comparing prices. Request a quote from a local repair service, and visit us at Cardi’s Furniture in MA or RI to find out how much a replacement would cost. We offer a fantastic selection of quality furniture at affordable prices. Ask our friendly staff about warranty details. There are few things more disappointing than spending money on a repair or replacement that only lasts a short time.

How to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture from the Elements

August 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

furniture mattresses ma riYou purchased a brand new set of patio furniture last year, but it’s already starting to show some fading and mildew. If you don’t do anything, the wood will begin to crack, and the fabric will become permanently stained. Too many patio owners forget about protecting their furniture, or they put it off until next year, and they end up replacing it twice as quickly. Fortunately, protecting your outdoor furniture in MA and RI will only take a few hours, so you can complete it in a single afternoon, and it costs next to nothing.

Basic Dos and Don’ts

If you have a wood deck, you probably power wash it every other year to remove mold and mildew and restore it to its original color. However, you’ll want to wash outdoor furniture by hand. In his Chicago Tribune column, Tim Carter explains that pressure washers “absolutely will damage the wood.” Instead, use a vacuum to remove the worst of the dirt, and follow up with an oxygen bleach or acid to wipe off any remaining grime. Allow the wood to dry, and apply a wood oil or other sealer to give the wood a vibrant color. Oil-based products will attract mold and mildew after a few months, but they shouldn’t pose a significant problem if you clean your furniture twice a year.

Caring for Cushions

If you want to ruin your cushions really fast, leave them out in the rain. You won’t be able to sit down on them for days after a good thunderstorm without soaking your pants, and the rain will gradually destroy the foam padding. A light shower now and then won’t cause any significant damage, but if you know a big storm is coming, take the cushions off and bring them inside.

To help protect against lighter precipitation, use a fabric sealer like Scotchgard fabric protector, which you can find at your local home improvement or furniture store. The sealer will repel water, protecting the foam padding, and the cushion will dry off after an hour or two, so you’ll be able to use and enjoy your furniture the same day if the rain lets up.

Covered and Open Patios

Your furniture is going to last much longer if you own a covered porch or patio. It won’t fade as much from the sun. The wood will still warp and crack over time if you don’t clean and seal it, but you won’t have to do it as often unless you live in a very humid area. If your furniture is sitting out in the sun all day, then you’ll want to maintain it at least twice a year.

Old Furniture With a New Purpose

June 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

outdoortable_istockFurniture typically has an unwritten expiration date when it gets overly worn or is no longer in style. Although shopping for new furniture is always fun, what should you do with those old pieces? Instead of throwing them out, check out these unique ideas and consider giving them a new purpose.

Create Your Own Play Kitchen

Any family with small kids can repurpose an old media center into a toy kitchen for the play room. A little paint and ingenuity can go a long way. An added bonus of reusing a media center (instead of having to purchase a new and expensive play set) is that your little ones get to pick out their favorite colors for the cabinets and counters. This way, you don’t have to settle for the colors Fisher Price decides are appropriate.

Learn more about this fun DIY project from Babble. Babble has many additional ideas for turning old furniture into new household items.

From Indoors to Outdoors

Coffee tables that have served their purpose indoors can make their way outdoors and be used as porch furniture. Whether your coffee table has seen better days or just isn’t fitting into your new, modern home, there’s no need to take the table to the curb. All you need to do is sand and paint the piece in a color that matches your outdoor décor. Add a coat of sealant to protect your new patio furniture from the elements and it’ll last even longer.

Depending on the amount of room you have outdoors, you could also use this idea for a dining room table. Outdoor dining areas are very “in” right now and converting an old table can help you host some great summer parties.

Kitchen Islands

Old tables and even desks can be turned into a kitchen island with some sanding, paint and a piece of butcher block. When you’re redoing your home office, consider salvaging that old office furniture for use in the kitchen. Homes that don’t have islands instantly gain counter space, without the need for a costly renovation. Drawers or shelves can be used to store dishes, linens or even non-perishable food items.

These are just a few of the ways you can repurpose old furniture, giving it a new life, style and purpose. However, if your old furniture is really cramping your new style, visit us at Cardi’s of MA and RI to browse our wide selection of high-quality, stylish furniture pieces. We can show you how affordable the furniture of your dreams can actually be.

3 Signs That It’s Time for a New Mattress

May 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

When it comes to comfort and health, your mattress is easily the most important piece of furniture in your home.

If you sleep at least the recommended eight hours a night, you’re spending a third of your life in bed—and that doesn’t count the time spent there while reading, watching TV or otherwise relaxing. When it comes to comfort and health, your mattress is easily the most important piece of furniture in your home.

Unfortunately, not even the best mattresses can last forever. They all need to be replaced around every 10 years or major health problems can ensue. Are you starting to suspect that it’s time for a new mattress? Here are some signs that your old mattress is at the end of its life:

1. You wake up with aches and pains: Waking up with a sore back, a stiff neck or numb and tingling extremities is a sure sign of problems with your sleeping surface. If you’ve recently begun to feel more tired than usual when you wake up in the morning, your mattress might be to blame. Similarly, if you start raving about the mattress in your uncle’s RV or a cheap roadside motel, your own bed might be lacking.

2. Your allergies worsen overnight: Like all soft home furnishings, mattresses are a safe harbor for dust mites, pollen and other allergens that can lead to or exacerbate asthma, congestion, coughing, skin rashes and a host of other unpleasant conditions. And this is no minor problem. According to WebMD, over the course of 10 years, your mattress may double in weight as it fills up with dead dust mites and their droppings.

You can protect yourself from allergens by washing your bedding frequently, cleaning your mattress twice a year and using a hypoallergenic, easy-to-clean mattress cover made of plastic or vinyl. But eventually, all mattresses need to be replaced—your health is at stake!

3. Your mattress is visibly damaged: A mattress stops providing optimal support long before it looks worn out. So if your mattress is saggy, lumpy or misshapen, it’s a safe bet that it is overdue for replacement. The edges are usually the first part of a mattress to break down, so check those out to test your mattress’s health. And if your mattress has started creaking, sighing or otherwise trying to join in your bedroom conversations, you know what that means: it’s got to go!

If any of the conditions above apply, it’s probably time to invest in a new mattress. No matter how well you care for them, mattresses don’t stay in good condition for more than 10 years. So, don’t delay! Head down to Cardi’s furniture and mattress stores in MA and RI for a mattress that will leave you feeling well rested and ready to start the next day.

So You’re Ready to Re-Upholster?

December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

furniture stores in MA and RIHaving a piece of furniture re-upholstered can be a rewarding and worthwhile investment. At the same time, re-upholstering can be far more trouble than it’s worth. Before beginning a re-upholstering project, there are some important things to consider that can eliminate some of the potential problems.

A professional re-upholstering job can easily cost thousands of dollars. Here are a few questions to answer before embarking on a re-upholstering project:

Is that particular piece of furniture worth the time and money required?

How durable is the furniture?

Does the furniture hold sentimental value?

Some modern furniture is not worth re-upholstering because many newer pieces are not sturdy enough to justify a makeover. Older furniture and solid wood pieces that you can find at Cardi’s furniture stores in MA and RI are usually more durable, so in this case, a re-upholstering job is worth the considerable time and money because it will survive the makeover and provide many years of enjoyment.

Once the decision to re-upholster has been made, it is important to select all of the materials and tools before the project starts. Discovering a missing part or tool is frustrating, and many re-upholstering projects end up gathering dust in a spare room or garage. When it comes to fabrics and cushions, it is important to consider the purpose of the furniture. Sitting on a piece of furniture can lead to a great deal of wear and tear, so selecting durable fabric and filler is key. Here are some key points about fabric and filler:

  • Some expensive fillers such as down are extremely comfortable but can lose shape quickly. For that reason, less expensive fillers such as foam may be more appropriate.
  • When it comes to fabric, stripes and patterns might be tempting, but these patterns can become warped or worn on rounded pieces of furniture.
  • Select a fabric with a texture that will not collect dirt, animal hair and other debris.
    Fabrics that are stretchy may be comfortable, but many of the stretchy fabrics will begin to pucker.

Additionally, some re-upholstering projects can be accomplished with very basic tools that are already found in most households, but some projects require specialized tools. In many cases, appropriate tools will result in more professional results. Either way, tool selection is important.

Choosing to re-upholster a piece of furniture is a big undertaking, but the results can be beautiful and very rewarding. Whether the project is a do-it-yourself adventure or a professional job, the above considerations are necessary before making the decision to re-upholster a piece of furniture.

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