jackie's blog

Tips for Transitioning to a "Big Girl" Room

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When your 5-year-old daughter wants her princess room redecorated, you’ll want to transition it from a toddler room to a big girl room that can last for years to come.

Of course, little girls and big girls love fancy, romantic, fairy tale beds – how about a canopy bed? Or, if she is more of a tomboy, try a bunkbed set for sleepovers.

Decorating for an Active Family

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Finding the perfect family-room sofa to accommodate three young children and a dog can be challenging. Aside from considering how the style of the sofa works with your overall home environment -- and whether its size will fit in the room itself -- elements like durability and sustainable are much more important than what a smaller home might need.

We say consider starting with leather (whether real or synthetic). It’s an excellent choice for children and pets. It is easy to care for and clean. Other alternatives are denim or canvas slipcovers for a sofa and chairs.

Safety Tips for Tip-Over Prevention

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According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 8,000-10,000 people are injured by falling furniture each year. A majority of these victims are children.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance is at the forefront of efforts to update the industry’s voluntary furniture tip-over standard and offers these tips for preventing furniture tip-over hazards in your home:

Keeping Rooms Safe for Toddlers

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We recently got a question from a mother who said,

Our three-year-old is a real climber! We have several bookshelves in the family room, and I'm afraid he'll pull one over on himself trying to climb it. How can we make the room safer?

A lot!

Quick Tips to Care for Indoor Furniture

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Furniture plays an important part in our lives and in our homes. That is why it is essential to care for our furniture to ensure its longevity and cleanliness. By using a little common sense, a little patience and some elbow grease, our home furnishings will last several lifetimes.

Here are a few basic tips to keep our home furnishings looking their best:

Cleaning

Quick Tips to Care for Outdoor Furniture

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With a few simple steps, you can keep your outdoor furniture looking fresh and new for many years.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance offers the following care and maintenance tips:

Aluminum Frames

Clean with mild soap and water. For non-textured surfaces, apply an automotive wax every few months. On textured finishes, periodically apply baby or mineral oil. Occasionally spray oil lubricant on chair swivels or glides.

Tempered Glass

Starting from "One"

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Here’s a question we recently received (and hear relatively often):

My fiancée and I will be married soon. We don't have much furniture and we'd like to purchase one nice piece to start our married life together. What do you suggest as a good first piece for a young couple?

A new bed or sofa are two wonderful starter pieces. I would suggest a new bed, if you don't already have a queen or king size bed – unless you prefer a double.

A sofa is also a great place to start – wonderful for everyday use, watching videos and entertaining friends.

Finding Your Personal Design Style

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If you’re having a hard time figuring out your particular design style, you’re not alone. Most people take a hybrid approach when it comes to their decorating style.

To make the most of your competing style preferences -- in a complementary way -- one suggestion is to pick a dominant style and then have accent pieces and accessories in another style. Read through some home decorating magazines and watch some home decorating shows – doing so will help you decide which style is best for you and your home.

Guard Against Furniture Tip-Over

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Thousands of children visit emergency rooms each year with injuries received from climbing on or pulling over furniture.

Despite warnings about furniture tip-over hazards from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of these injuries has increased since 1990.

"Parents and caregivers need to be aware that these accidents tend to happen quickly — usually while a child is left briefly alone in a room," notes American Home Furnishings Alliance Vice President Bill Perdue, who recently helped update a voluntary furniture tip-over safety standard for manufacturers.

Writing Your Own Style Rules

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Maybe you know the answer to this already, but we’ve been getting this kind of question a lot recently:

“So many of the decorating books suggest how to decorate if you are a ‘country’ or a ‘traditional,’ but I like a lot of styles. Do I have to follow the ‘rules?’”

We’re going to make this easy on you: Rules are made to be broken! If you like it, buy it – those are my decorating mottos!

Do what feels best for you. If you want to do a mix of country and contemporary, go for it. Your home is an outward expression of who you are and your passions in life – go for it and enjoy!

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