setting up home office furniture decor

Tips for Setting up Your Home Office | Furniture, Decor, and More

As we move into the 2020s, more and more people are working from home for a number of reasons, making the home office all the more important.

When it comes to setting up a home office, productivity is key, so the choices you make for your space need to promote focus and efficiency.

Designate Your Home Office Space

If you don’t already have a room you can designate as your home office, consider using a guest bedroom or dining room that isn’t being utilized.

You can also turn a bare wall or an empty closet into a home office. Although these options aren’t the most ideal, it’s nonetheless important to have designated work space.

Choose Functional Furniture

Each piece of furniture in your home office should serve a purpose; otherwise, your setup will be cluttered and lose valuable space.

Take some time to think about what you’ll really need in your office. This will guide your home office furniture purchasing decisions.

For instance, if you don’t intend on keeping physical copies of invoices and other documents, then you likely don’t need a filing cabinet.

There are only a few furniture items necessary for a home office: a desk, a desk chair, and some form of storage, if needed.

Depending on your work needs, you may also need additional pieces like another chair or two and a table on which to set your printer.

If your home office doubles as a guest bedroom, you may also want to consider getting a sofa sleeper as this will save space when you don’t have guests.

Make Sure Your Furniture is Also Comfortable

In addition to being functional, your home office furniture should also be comfortable since you’ll be spending a lot of time there.

Invest in a quality desk chair that’s adjustable, offers lumbar support, and is the right size and height for you.

A good desk chair will improve your posture, have your arms, legs, and feet make 90-degree angles, and feel comfy and supportive instead instead of causing aches and pains.

If you have enough space, you may also want to get a recliner or chair and ottoman for your home office for those times you need to brainstorm ideas or take a break.

Strategically Place Your Furniture

Where you place your furniture can be as important as the furniture itself.

Well thought-out placement can make your office feel more open, relaxing, and harmonious open while just setting down furniture any which way can have the opposite effect.

Your best bet for setting up your home office furniture is to follow some simple principles of Feng Shui.

Keep your entryway and traffic areas clear, place your desk in front of a wall or corner facing the door (but not in line with it), and create visual balance.

Also, don’t take up all of your wall space, keep your cords, storage, and office equipment hidden, and avoid hanging mirrors in your home office.

You can research more Feng Shui tips if you wish, but the idea is to promote a good flow of energy with clear pathways and sight lines, minimal clutter, and comfortable positioning.

Work with Proper Lighting

Having correct lighting isn’t just important for your eyesight but also your productivity and even your overall health.

Try to get as much natural light as possible by choosing to work in a space with a window and sitting as close to the window as you can.

Be sure to supplement natural light with artificial lighting so you can better see while you work; a desk lamp would be especially useful if your desk isn’t close to a window or you’re working at night.

If your home office has little to no natural light, invest in getting some full-spectrum lights as these bright white lights are ideal for work that requires visual accuracy and have the same temperature as balanced daylight.

Utilize Shelving

Save space in your home office by using shelving for storage and display.

Whether you get a bookcase or some hanging shelves, shelving will save you space by neatly stacking your belongings instead of spreading them out horizontally.

If you have an empty closet in your home office, you can take down the clothing poles and racks and install your own shelving.

Hiding your storage like this will make your home office appear bigger, and you’ll feel more relaxed with this necessary clutter out of sight (and out of mind).

Use Energizing Colors

The best color to paint the walls in your home office is green because this relaxing color has just enough warmth to be refreshing as well.

Another good wall color that will boost your productivity is yellow, but make sure it’s a pale yellow or a subdued gold and not a bright-bright yellow.

Red and orange are energizing colors as well, but these colors should be used in accents because they can be overstimulating.

If you prefer neutral walls, pick a neutral with a warm undertone and add energizing accent colors through your decor.

Decorate Mindfully

Another element that sets the tone for your home office is your decor.

There are several approaches you can take. You can decorate your office with relaxing accessories such as a zen garden or table fountain.

Or you can incorporate creativity-boosting accessories like abstract art or sculpture.

You can certainly decorate your office with personal photos, favorite colors, and funny mementos, but make sure that your decor isn’t distracting.

Regardless of your taste, having a plant or two in your office is always a good idea because they help improve the quality of the air and boost your mood.

Don’t have a green thumb? You can start off with simple succulents that require little care or get a Himalayan rock salt lamp.

Minimize Clutter

In addition to what kinds of accessories you, you should also be mindful of how many decorations you have.

An occasional accessory can add personality and atmosphere to your home office, but too many decorations can be distracting and even stressful because they create clutter.

Another way to cut down on the clutter in your home office is by going wireless.

Instead of dealing with a bunch of cords and wires, keep mess at a minimum by opting for a wireless computer/laptop, Internet connection, printer, mouse, and other computer-related accessories.

We hope our tips are helpful as you’re in the process of setting up or resetting your home office.

What’s the key to success in your home office setup? Tell us in the comments below!

simple easy crafts wall art

Simple and Easy Crafts for Wall Art

To celebrate of National Craft Month, we’ve compiled a list of simple and easy- and we mean easy– crafts for wall art.

You don’t have to be an artist to do these crafts, and, what’s better, you may even already have the supplies for some of these!

Canvas Art

Canvas art can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be. If you want to make something simple, round up stencils, tape, and spray paint (or regular paint) for quick canvas wall art.

Courtesy of Words of Bliss on Etsy.com

How to Give Your Space New Life with Things You Already Have

Wood Art

You can apply the previous idea to other surfaces, such as wood panels and pallet plaques. Opting for wood is a good choice if you’re making rustic wall art.

Courtesy of Blue Sun Boutique on Etsy.com

Pressed Plant Art

Pressed plant art is simple yet so pretty. Use a single plant or a variety of plants and flowers to showcase as wall art. Use flora that’s in-season for to turn this display into seasonal decor.

Courtesy of Sunnycirclestudio.com

Spruce up Your Home with These Spring Decorating Ideas

Yarn Wall Hanging

Yarn wall hangings are trendy and can be found everywhere from Anthropologie to Hobby Lobby. Make a yarn hanging that’s uniquely yours with your choice of yarn colors plus beads and ribbons.

Courtesy of Hgtv.com

Coloring Page Art

You can take a page out of your own book for this one… your coloring book! Simply choose a coloring page, color it using your desired colors, put your picture in a frame, and, viola, it’s wall art!

Courtesy of Sewlicioushomedecor.com

Sharpie Art

Sharpie art is very simple. Just freehand, trace, or stencil a design, then outline and color it in with Sharpie! Use black or color Sharpies, which ever you prefer.

Courtesy of Tatertotsandjello.com

Wood Plaque Art

Take a decorative wood cut-out plaque, paint it, and adhere it to a canvas for simple mixed media wall art.

Courtesy of Skip Tooth Creations on Etsy.com

Fake Succulent Art

Indoor plants are trending in 2020, and a different way to incorporate plants into your home is with fake succulent art.

Courtesy of Makingmanzanita.com

Top Ten Home Decor Trends of 2020

Abstract Art

Perhaps the easiest on this list, abstract art is just a matter of painting brushstrokes on a canvas. This craft would be especially fun to do with your child or grandchild.

Courtesy of Zoeoliviablog.co.uk

Fabric and Canvas Art

Another easy craft to make is fabric and canvas art. Simply choose a fabric, stretch it over the front of the canvas, and fold down and staple the fabric in the back.

Courtesy of Womansday.com

We hope you’ll enjoy making at least one of these simple and easy crafts for wall art. Show us your creations by reaching out to us on Facebook and Pinterest!

how to decorate with things you already have

How to Give Your Space New Life with Things You Already Have

You don’t have to go out (or go online) and buy a ton of accessories to revamp your home. Check out these ideas for how to give your space new life with things you already have.

Find Forgotten-About Accents

First, you need to know what you have! Take the time to go through your closets, boxes, and drawers- you might be surprised by what you find.

You could come across something you forgot about, a decoration you bought in the past but never used, or an item that you could re-purpose.

Reuse Holiday Decor

We know what you’re thinking: how? Some pieces can be easily reused like garlands or lights that can be draped along a mantel or entertainment unit.

Other pieces can be trickier to work with, like Halloween decor. Depending on the kind it is, even spooky things can be used as unique accents.

Display Antiques and Heirlooms

If you collect antiques or have family heirlooms, then you’re in luck because vintage is trending in 2020!

Show off your all treasures on a wall, shelf, or table, or mix them in with your modern decor for a more eclectic look.

Top Ten Home Decor Trends of 2020

Set up a Vignette

If you have extra furniture, especially older pieces, you can arrange them with other decor you have to create a lovely vignette.

There are many ways you go about this, but most vignettes include some form of seating and another piece furniture so the space is semi-functional.

Spruce up Your Home with These Spring Decorating Ideas

Create Your Own Wall Art

Leave your mark, literally, by creating your own wall art using supplies you already have like canvases, paint, stencils, fabrics, etc.

If you’re not artistic or want something different, do an abstract painting and make it the focal point of your space for a refreshing change.

Bring a Plant Indoors

A little green goes a long way- in fact, studies show that having plants in your home makes you happier and healthier!

Take care to make sure that your indoor plant receives as much sunlight and water as it needs so you can enjoy the benefits for a long time.

Bring in the Patio Furniture, Too

Add a fresh feel to your space by bringing in your wicker chairs, metal tables, and other outdoor accents.

Even if you’re not going for a coastal or cottage look, these unexpected pieces will give you some variety to nail the mismatched furniture trend.

Re-Purposing

Instead of throwing them a way, use glass bottles as decor by reusing them as flower vases, filling them up with beads, buttons, or marbles, or displaying them alone if they’re eye-catching.

Other items you can repurpose as decor include odd dishes and glasses, soup cans, empty candles, light bulbs, boxes, leftover tile, and newspaper.

Paint a Piece of Furniture

Turn that old coffee table or rocking chair from drab to fab with a new coat of paint, preferably white or a bright color like teal.

Using chalk paint is particularly popular right now; it leaves a perfectly imperfect finish, which you can also distress for added character.

Move Things Around

When in doubt, move things about! Sometimes, simply rearranging furniture or swapping out some decor can renew a space.

Make moves that make your space feel bigger, lighter, and more open; this could even require removing something, at times.

Decorating with things you already have is simple and budget-friendly, making it incredibly easy to give any space new life.

Do you have any other tips for decorating with things you already have? We’d love to read your suggestions in the comments!

best recliner for back problems

What’s the Best Recliner for People with Back Problems?

The best recliner for people with back problems is one that provides lumbar support, can elevate feet above heart level, and is overall comfortable, of course; heat and massage features are a bonus.

If you’re experiencing back pain, especially in your lower back, having adequate lumbar support can prevent strain and largely relieve back pain. Using a lumbar support pillow can help, but these pillows don’t always stay in place and may be too firm.

Pillows are a solution of the past as some power recliners now come with adjustable lumbar support that you can easily adjust as needed to support your lower back. 

Recliners with adjustable lumbar support are ideal for those with back problems, but what if you don’t want a power recliner or a recliner with this feature is just out of your budget? 

You can check to see that your next recliner will provide enough lumbar support by seeing whether or not there’s a gap between the small of your back and the recliner- if there is, then the recliner won’t provide the lumbar support you need.  

When you’re trying out recliners, make sure that your back and bottom are against the back of the chair because you can’t judge the lumbar support if you’re not sitting properly; it’s also important to have correct sitting posture if you have back problems. 

In addition to having lumbar support, being able to elevate your feet above heart level is also an important feature for several reasons.

Elevating your feet naturally reduces the stress and inflammation in your legs, takes a lot of pressure off of your back and core muscles, and sends blood to the muscles and tendons of your lower back so they can heal. 

Some recliners such as Southern Motion’s Zero Gravity models can elevate your feet high above your heart- so high, in fact, that you can sit back at almost a 90-degree angle! But, of course, you can adjust the footrest to stop in any number of positions.

This may be a given, but it’s also important for your recliner to be comfortable if you have back problems. A comfy seat not only helps you to relax but also provides cushion to avoid experiencing circulation and nerve problems. 

You can’t be picky enough when it comes to choosing the right recliner for you. Make sure you find a recliner with the perfect levels of comfort and support by trying out as many as possible. 

Heat and massage are also good features to have in a recliner if you have back problems. Heat especially helps with relieving upper back pain by stretching muscles, and a gentle massage setting can help alleviate back pain by relaxing your muscles.

Southern Motion’s SoCozi line of recliners have it all, including heat and massage technology from leading massage chair company Cozzia.  

Although not a cure, the best recliners for those with back problems can greatly help by providing your back the support and comfort it needs.

The best recliner for people with back problems is one that provides lumbar support, can elevate feet above heart level, and is overall comfortable, of course; heat and massage features are a bonus.

Are considering getting a new recliner soon? Come see us at Sims for the area’s largest recliner selection and find the right fit for you!

buying furniture online in-store

Furniture Shopping: Buying Online vs. Buying Brick-and-Mortar

Like everything else in life, there are both pros and cons of buying furniture online and from brick-and-mortar stores.

Buying furniture online is a relatively new concept that’s appealing to today’s online shoppers, but there’s also some understandable skepticism- after all, you can’t see and touch the products for yourself.

Brick-and-mortar stores, on the other hand, give you the chance to browse furniture in-person and receive assistance, yet more and more people are looking to online stores for their furniture needs.

So which mode of buying furniture is better? Honestly, that answer depends on your personal preferences and values, but we hope our list of pros and cons for each will give you some insight for your future purchasing decisions.

Buying Online

Pros

  • You can visit an online store anytime, anywhere as long as you have a device and internet connection.
  • Although digital marketing tactics may create some sense of urgency, there’s no salesperson who can pressure you into buying anything.
  • Navigating online stores is easier and faster than browsing brick-and-mortar stores because they’re highly organized and don’t require walking or travel.
  • You can see all of the products an online store has to offer since retail floor space isn’t a factor.
  • Fabric options and product information are readily available on a product’s web page.
  • Some online stores have interior virtual design tools that you can use to create a customized piece or see how furniture would look in a room.
  • Online store prices can be lower than those in brick-and-mortar stores because they don’t have physical locations with substantial overhead.
  • It’s easy to comparison-shop furniture between online stores.
  • Some online stores offer free shipping.

Cons

  • You can’t ask questions or get recommendations from a knowledgeable professional.
  • You can’t see, touch, or try out furniture for yourself to see if you truly like it.
  • Sometimes product pictures aren’t reliable as editing and lighting can change the color of a product in a photo.
  • There’s no room for negotiation on price.
  • You may have to assemble and move your newly-purchased furniture as some online stores will have your order dropped off at your door.
  • If an online store accepts returns, they may require your item be in its original packaging and for you to pay return shipping.

Buying Brick-and-Mortar

Pros

  • You receive the assistance of a salesperson who will add a personal touch to the buying process and make your experience more enjoyable.
  • If you have any questions or need suggestions, a knowledgeable professional is there to help you.
  • You can feel more confident in your purchase because you’ve seen the piece(s) in-person.
  • When placing a custom order, you can see fabric and finish swatches.
  • You can gain inspiration from brick-and-mortar stores by seeing how they arrange and group furniture.
  • If you’re buying from a local business, you’re supporting your local economy.
  • Prices can possibly be negotiated.
  • Delivery of furniture includes assembly and placement.

Cons

  • Brick-and-mortar stores are only open during certain days and hours.
  • It takes some time to walk through brick-and-mortar stores and see everything they have to offer.
  • Brick-and-mortar stores may charge a delivery fee.
  • By purchasing from a brick-and-mortar store, you may not be getting the lowest price possible.
  • You may not be able to physically see everything a brick-and-mortar store offers due to limited retail floor space.

Do you prefer to buy your furniture online or from a brick-and-mortar store, and why? We’d love to read your answer in the comments section below!

Disclaimer: The author has worked in a well-established furniture store for ten years. While writing the pros of buying from brick-and-mortar stores, the author reflected on time working with customers, and she notes that the experience has been largely enjoyable and uplifting.

spring decorating ideas

Spruce up Your Home with These Spring Decorating Ideas

Spring cleaning is a drag, but spring decorating- that’s different! Fun and refreshing, the tradition reflects this season of growth in the prettiest ways.

Nothing quite revives a home like pastels, florals, and charming trinkets, so clear the cobwebs and spruce up your home with these spring decorating ideas.

1.Springtime Wreath

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Chatham Lane Boutique on Etsy.com

Do you miss having a wreath on your door after the holidays? Hang up a lovely spring-themed one and show off your favorite blooms.

2. Bold Welcome Rug

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Beautyforasheshome.com

A bold welcome rug definitely makes a statement. This spring upgrade is also timely because your old mat probably has some wear and tear by now.

3. Big Mirrors

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Kirklands.com

Make your home look brighter, lighter, and more spacious this spring by hanging up a big mirror.

4. Small Groupings

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Checopie.com

Small groupings of decor are quick and easy to make, and, if they’re on a tray, they’re also portable!

5. Vintage Accessories

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Followtheyellowbrickhome.com

Vintage is trending in 2020, so breathe new life into your home this spring by repurposing older accessories whether they’re from the attic or the flea market.

Top Ten Home Decor Trends in 2020

6. Antique Furniture

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Homeremodelingtips.info

Take your love of yesteryear to next level with antique furniture. You don’t have to refurnish your entire home, either- just a piece or two will add interest and character.

7. Simple Vignette

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Andersonandgrant.com

Vignettes are small setups involving one or more furniture pieces. They can be functional or purely decorative for spring, whichever works for you.

8. Colorful Tulips

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Hikeandip.com

Tulips are the quintessential springtime flower, so show your love for this season by displaying colorful tulips in your home.

9. Eggs in a Basket

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Goodhousekeeping.com

It’s OK to put all of your eggs in one basket, if you ask us. Decorating with eggs calls for egg-stra creativity because you have so many options when it comes to egg colors and containers.

10. Bright Whites

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Futuristarchitecture.com

Another way to brighten up your home this spring is by decorating with white accessories and accents. Your home will even look cleaner, too!

11. Pops of Color

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Homedecoroutlet.top

Spring is all about freshness and vibrancy, so add some pops of color around your home for a delightful effect.

12. Crafty Crates

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Findzhome.com

Crates are wonderful to decorate with because they’re versatile and functional. Paint them in poppy spring colors or use them as they are.

13. Distressed Accents

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Wayfair.com

Distressed finishes have been popular for years and show no signs of going away any time soon. You can take a hands-on approach with this spring decorating idea by painting and distressing something yourself!

14. Planters with Patina

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Dahliasanddimes.com

Decorating with planters that are aged and imperfect adds a vintage quality and makes your space look like a springtime garden.

15. Succulents

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Copper Candle Co. on Etsy.com

Indoor plants are also trending in 2020. Don’t have a green thumb? Start off with some small succulents- they hardly require any care!

How to Give Your Space New Life with Things You Already Have

16. Toolbox Planter

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Cherishedbliss.com

Toolbox planters are another easy way to bring plants into your home this spring.

17. Unexpected Plant Holder

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Goodhousekeeping.com

An unexpected planter adds fun and whimsy to any space. Just about anything can be used a planter, and boots are a popular choice in spring.

18. Hanging Plants

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Hercottage.com

If you have limited space, hang some plants in your home this spring. They might be especially useful to have in the kitchen if you’re planting herbs.

19. Plants in Windows

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Lowes.com

Another easy way to incorporate plants this spring is to simply put a pot (or two) on the window sill along with some accessories.

20. Festive Banner

spring decorating ideas
Courtesy of Dancingdogcabin.com

Celebrate spring with a festive banner on your fireplace mantel or console table. You can even put a banner on a wall along with other wall art and photos.

Happy spring, and happy decorating!

Which of spring decorating ideas do you love for your home? Tell us by commenting below!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our spring Pinterest board.

how to clean and disinfect furniture in your home

How to Clean and Disinfect Every Piece of Furniture in Your Home

During cold and flu season, we all know to wipe down frequently-touched surfaces like doorknobs, remotes, and toilets, but what about our furniture?

In the fight against viruses, furniture is often forgotten about but shouldn’t be. Think about it: after we go out into the world, we come back home and immediately plop down on the couch!

If you want to keep your home sick-free or prevent the spread of the cold/flu in your household, it’s important to learn how to properly clean and disinfect every piece of furniture in your home.

All disinfection methods listed in this article are also effective or thought to be effective against the new coronavirus, and coronaviruses are said to be easily killed with the appropriate products.

Upholstery

First, consult the hang tags that came with your upholstered furniture. Unless there are specific cleaning instructions, clean and disinfect your upholstery in the following manner.

Clean: If your upholstery material is fabric, vacuum using the upholstery brush feature. If the material is leather or leather-like, wipe down using a damp cloth then dry with another cloth.

Disinfect: Lightly mist isopropyl alcohol* of at least 70% over upholstery fabrics**- do not dampen furniture and allow time to dry before use. For leather products, lightly mist a cloth with isopropyl alcohol and wipe down; dry with another cloth if necessary.

*When cleaning with alcohol, open windows or doors or use in a well-ventilated room to avoid breathing in fumes.

**Alcohol doesn’t work well with fabrics made from delicate or synthetic materials like acetate, rayon, wool, and silk. Instead, use a fabric-safe disinfectant that works on all surfaces like Lysol disinfectant spray, which may work against the new coronavirus.

Hard Surfaces

Hard surfaces include everything that isn’t upholstered like tables, dining chairs, consoles, bed frames, and other bedroom furniture.

Clean: Wipe down furniture using a damp cloth and dry with another cloth if necessary.

Disinfect: Wipe down furniture using Lysol, Clorox, or any other disinfectant wipe that’s safe for all surfaces and is effective against Human Coronavirus (information which can be found on the label).*

*Although Human Coronavirus and Covid-19 aren’t the same strand, experts say that these products may still work against this new coronavirus.

Bedding

Clean: Remove sheets and blankets and vacuum your mattress using the upholstery brush feature. Next, air out your mattress by putting it outside for a few hours or prop it up against an open window. Then run a steam cleaner over your mattress or sprinkle baking soda on your mattress, leave it on for a few hours, and vacuum.

Disinfect: Lightly mist your mattress with isopropyl alcohol**, hydrogen peroxide, or Lysol disinfectant spray* and wipe clean with a cloth. Allow dry time and

*Lysol disinfectant spray may be effective against the new coronavirus.

**When cleaning with alcohol, open windows or doors or use in a well-ventilated room to avoid breathing in fumes.

These cleaning and disinfecting techniques are easy and only require typical household products. It’s usually recommended to clean/disinfect your furniture every six months, but you can do it an additional time or two during cold and flu season.

Do you plan on cleaning and disinfecting your furniture this cold and flu season? If so, do you have any cleaning/disinfecting tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!

Things to Do Before You Go Furniture Shopping

There’s more to furniture shopping than sitting on a sofa and saying “I’ll take it!” The process involves a bit more thought and preparation.

If you don’t know where to start, then read on for our list of things to do before you go furniture shopping so you’ll be more than ready to hit the stores.

Do Some Research

Before you go furniture shopping, do some preliminary research on the piece(s) that you’re interested in. You’ll get an idea of price ranges as well as style and feature options.

You might also discover that you want something different or what you wanted isn’t available or financially feasible; these are especially important things to know.

Think About Your Lifestyle

Seriously think about your lifestyle and day-to-day activities. Sure, a formal dining set would be attractive in your dining room, but it’s of no real use to you if you have a small household or rarely have company.

You should also consider the members of your household. Do you have kids or pets? Then you may want to stay away from white and make sure cleanability is one of your top priorities.

Start Getting Ideas

Start getting product and design ideas online; you’ll find a ton of inspiration on websites of home and garden magazines, interior design blogs, and apps like Pinterest and Instagram.

Save all of the ideas you like in your phone, folder, or whatever is easiest for you to utilize. You can even make a vision board and take a picture of it before you go furniture shopping.

Set a Budget

After researching price and considering your finances, you should have some kind of budget in mind.

Even though you possibly might need to adjust your budget later, it’s important to set a budget because this will focus your selection and help ensure that you’re making a reasonable purchase.

Check Your Credit Score

If you’re considering financing your furniture and don’t already have a personal finance account, check your credit score before you go furniture shopping to see if you might qualify for in-store financing.

Avoid applying for financing if you’re in the process of buying a house because lenders don’t like to see hard inquires or large credit card purchases before closing.

Take Pictures of Your Space

Having pictures of your space comes in handy when you’re in a store and trying visualize how a sofa would look/fit in your living room.

After seeing a picture of your space, your salesperson can better help you find the right furniture plus make suggestions you hadn’t even considered.

Measure Your Space

If there’s one thing you do before you go furniture shopping, measure your room and existing furniture.

Having your measurements is important because there’s nothing worse than getting new furniture into your house and finding out that it doesn’t fit!

Gather Swatches

If color is a concern, bring swatches of your wall color, flooring, and any other accents or furniture that are in the space.

You can also take photos of these things; just make sure that you take higher-quality photos with proper lighting so that the photos aren’t misleading.

Make a Game Plan

If you haven’t gone furniture shopping in a while, you forget that the experience can feel overwhelming or nerve-wracking at times.

Minimize the stress factor by making some decisions in advance. What exactly are you looking for? Are you looking to buy today, or are you just looking? Is your budget firm, or do you have some wiggle room? Are you willing or able to haul the furniture yourself, or do you need delivery?

Plan to Bring Who’s Necessary

Sometimes, purchasing furniture is a team decision. For example, if you share your bed with someone, the two of you should try out mattress sets together.

Then there are times when only one person’s opinion truly matters. A common mistake people make is helping an elderly parent buy a recliner but not bringing Mom or Dad along to try out chairs.

As a furniture retailer, we definitely encourage customers to come shopping prepared so that the process is easier and they make the right purchase for their home.

Is there anything else you do before you go furniture shopping? Tell us in the comments!

how to set up your bedroom for ideal sleep

How to Set up Your Bedroom for Ideal Sleep

We all know that getting adequate rest is important for our health, but how many of us can honestly say that we sleep well on a regular basis?

If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up still feeling tired and groggy, look around you- your bedroom could be contributing your sleep troubles.

Luckily, better sleep is just several small changes away. Just follow these tried-and-true tips and tricks on setting up your bedroom for ideal sleep.

Declutter Your Bedroom

The easiest way to set up your bedroom for ideal sleep is to simply get rid of clutter and tidy up your space- it makes a difference without costing a thing!

Many studies have shown that clutter raises anxiety and stress levels, and that’s one of the last things you want to happen when you’re trying to sleep.

Paint Your Bedroom in Soothing Hues

While painting the walls will cost you some money and time, the pay-off is well worth it because the color of a room significantly impacts your mood.

If you want your bedroom to feel relaxing and peaceful, paint your bedroom walls blue, which happens to be the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year.

Top Ten Home Decor Trends in 2020

If you want your bedroom to feel warm and cozy, opt for gold walls- gold carries the warmth of yellow without being too bright or stimulating.

You can also style your bedroom in these colors with your decor or bedding; for added affect, include serene scenes from nature, plants, or even a table fountain.

Keep Your Bedroom Dark, Cool, and Quiet

We have an easier time falling asleep under certain conditions because our bodies naturally respond to the stimuli in our environment.

Light tells our biological clock that it’s daytime, so any form of light- lamps, night lights, screens, streetlights, moonlight- can disturb our sleep.

For ideal sleep, it’s best to sleep in complete darkness, so turn off all lights and electronics, hang up black-out curtains, and wear a sleep mask, if necessary.

If you want some light in your bedroom, use warm, dim lighting as it signals your brain that it’s time to wind down and dim your alarm clock screen as well.

Some like it hot, others like it cold, but studies show that the ideal room temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to adjusting the thermostat, you can also regulate your room temperature by turning on a fan, using a space heater, installing window treatments, and changing your bedding.

Noise level preferences may vary widely, but sudden noises- or the lack of consistent sound or silence- can disrupt our sleep.

If you prefer quietness but there are noises out of your control, a white noise or sound machine- or even a fan- can help drown out those sounds, providing more consistency while you sleep.

These are also good options for those who don’t like to sleep in silence. If you can only fall asleep to music or video, set a timer for it to turn off after you’ve fallen asleep so you aren’t woken up by any sudden noises.

Sleep in a Comfortable Bed

Having a comfortable bed is especially important for a good night’s sleep. To make your bed more cozy, invest in quality blankets and bed sheets and get a new pillow every one to two years.

Of course, your mattress should also be comfy, encouraging you to relax and fall asleep. If your mattress is less than ideal, though, you might want to consider replacing your mattress because it could be hindering your sleep as well as your overall health.

When Should You Really Replace Your Mattress?

Utilize Aromatherapy

Some scents like lavender are known to promote sleep, so plug in an essential oil diffuse or use a scented spray around your bedroom before you go to bed.

Vanilla, sandalwood, and frankincense are other good scents to use in your bedroom, but any other relaxing scent that you like will also work, too.

If your sleep could be better, we hope that these tips and tricks for setting up your bedroom will help you get closer to ideal sleep.

Do you have any other bedroom solutions that help you sleep better? Let us know by commenting below!

replace mattress

When Should You Really Replace Your Mattress?

A number of commercials and ads say that you need to buy a new mattress every eight years, but when should you really replace your mattress?

Honestly, it depends. 

The lifespan of a mattress depends on a few factors: the type of mattress, the quality of the mattress, and how it’s been taken care of and used.

While there’s not a single, clear-cut answer to this question, these nine signs will tell you when it’s time to replace your mattress.

1. Your mattress is uncomfortable.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but your mattress should be comfortable! Having a comfortable mattress isn’t only important for a good night’s sleep but for your overall health as well.

A mattress can be uncomfortable to sleep on if it’s broken-down due to age or simply just not the right mattress for you; in either case, you should consider replacing your mattress.

2. You wake up with aches, pains, or numbness.

If your mattress doesn’t provide the support and comfort your body needs, then you’re guaranteed to wake up with aches and pains (especially in your neck and back).

You might even wake up to find your arms and legs asleep; this results from a mattress that’s too firm and doesn’t contour to the body, restricting blood circulation and causing numbness.

Sleeping in your bed should make you feel better, not worse. If your mattress is causing you undue pain, then you should replace it.

3. You find sleeping in other places to be more comfortable.

Do you often fall asleep in your recliner or on the couch? Or does returning from vacation mean coming back to sleepless nights?

Sleeping in other places is fine, but you shouldn’t be avoiding or dreading your own bed. If you do, then you’re probably long overdue to replace your mattress.

4. Your mattress is sagging or has indentations.

A mattress that sags or has indentations is more than an eye sore- it’s uncomfortable and annoying!

Rolling into the middle or lying on a lumpy bed makes it difficult to sleep and is a sign that you definitely need to replace your mattress.

5. Your mattress shows signs of wear and tear.

If your mattress looks worn and torn on the outside, then the internal structure of the mattress could also be damaged.

A damaged mattress won’t be able to fully provide the support and comfort your body needs, so you might want to replace your mattress before it starts causing problems.

6. Your allergies or asthma are getting worse.

Dust mites will naturally accumulate in your mattress overtime, so the older your mattress is, the more dust mites it has.

Dust mites aggravate conditions such as allergies and asthma, so if your symptoms are getting worse despite medical treatment, it could be time to replace your mattress.

7. You gained or lost weight.

If you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight, you might find that your mattress has suddenly become uncomfortable.

As your body changes, so will your support and comfort needs. You can try putting a topper on your mattress to see if that helps, but you’ll need to replace your mattress if there’s a structural issue.

8. You can feel the other person moving around in bed.

You’re going to feel a certain amount of motion transfer if you share your bed with someone, but older beds are going to be worse about that than those in better condition.

If the motion transfer has gotten worse or is causing you to lose sleep, then it’s time for you to replace your mattress.

9. Your mattress is squeaky.

Your bed can be squeaky due to your bed frame or foundation, but, more often than not, the squeaking is caused by worn-out coiled springs in your mattress.

In addition to being noisy, a mattress with a compromised coil system won’t properly support your back and neck, so it’s likely that your mattress needs to be replaced if you hear squeaks in the night.

10. You can’t remember how old the mattress is.

If you can’t remember when you bought your mattress, that’s a sign that you might need to replace it.

You especially might need to replace your mattress if it’s causing you one or more of these other problems and you can’t remember how old it is.

We hope our list has helped you decide whether or not you need to replace your mattress. When did you know it was time to replace your last mattress? Tell us in the comments below!