Antique and Distressed Finishes Learn how an aged appearance adds character to your furniture.
When a piece of furniture or object is lovingly used over time, it can develop a rich, distressed patina that tells its whole life story. Think of a wooden table from an old workshop with metal drawer pulls that are darkened from years of use, or a marble countertop from a decades-old hotel kitchen, discolored and buttery smooth from wear. These characteristic imperfections are often indications of a time when furniture and household items were handcrafted, when country life prevailed, and homey, rustic objects were used, handed down, and reused. Today, this type of "farmhouse style" – which, incidentally, blends easily with boho, shabby chic and industrial styles – has become one of our most enduring decorating trends. And, short of incorporating actual antiques into your home, it's easy to find new furniture and objects intentionally made to look like weathered antiques. The secret to distressed pieces is simplicity. They look and feel lived-in, comfortable, unpretentious – the opposite of slick and shiny. Furniture || The idea behind distressed furniture – and why it has such charm – is that each piece has subtle variations in surface appearance, so no two are exactly alike. Before the Industrial Revolution, variations were naturally occurring, but once items became mass produced, each one started out exactly alike with uniform surfaces and details. For today's distressed furniture, surface imperfections are desirable, with variations in color and finish intentional. In addition to wood, other materials, including metal, glass, stone, and plastic, can be made to look distressed.   Area Rugs || Previously, the only way you could really get a "distressed" rug was from years of walking on it. Now you can find new rugs that have worn patches of faded color that truly look vintage, but are deliberately created in factories using special manufacturing and finishing techniques. Most rugs were and are built to withstand plenty of wear and tear, and can become more beautiful as they age. Finishing Touches || Mirrors, clocks, plaster busts (more popular than ever!), woven baskets, architectural salvage, metal gates and grates, stained glass window panels, books and other items, can all be found in true vintage distressed form. Or, you can buy attractive reproductions made to look as though you've curated them from years of global travel. Ideally, your home will look more unique if you mix true vintage items with newer items. It's even more interesting if you mix styles and time periods for an eclectic look that tells your personal design story.
Whether you call it rustic chic or modern farmhouse this contemporary home design trend is unwavering in popularity. Famed by the interior design talents of Joanna Gaines this look creates a warming sense of laid-back luxury that has many wanting to redecorate their home ASAP. The good news is that you don’t need to redecorate your entire home to achieve this look – just pepper your home with a few of these design elements… Reclaimed Wood || The options are endless with this ever-so-popular material. Even if it’s not reclaimed, any wooden furniture piece that is heavily distressed will do the trick! Larger scale furniture like a dining table, bed, or media console is a great way to anchor your design, and then you can build around it with other complimentary rustic pieces. Earthy Textiles || If you opt for a distressed dining table, pairing it with chairs upholstered in earthy textiles like linen or burlap is a great way to soften the look creating a balance in design. Area rugs in jute or any other natural fiber is another great way to incorporate this trend in your home; however these rugs are best for low-traffic areas so be mindful of where you place them. Primitive Lighting || Switching out your current lightbulbs for Edison bulbs is an easy way to give your home that farmhouse glow. They even make them in LED now so no need to worry about wasting energy! If you really want to get fancy, invest in some pendant lights or a lamp that exposes the entire Edison bulb!
Do you ever wish you could move a table, chair or sofa yourself, without relying on your partner, neighbor or friend to help you move it? Sometimes you just want a change and feel like trying a different furniture configuration without a hassle, or you want an easy way to vacuum underneath an item. This is where casters can help. From discreet mini casters on a shiny bar cart to large, industrial cast-iron wheels on a distressed wood table, you can make rearranging furniture easy and stylish. Make it Multifunctional || Suppose you need a new cocktail table for your living room but frequently use the room's sleep sofa for visiting guests. A table with casters is the ideal solution. You just wheel it out of the way when you set up your sleep sofa. Or, if you like to entertain guests in the living room, but during the holidays, the dining room holds more people, a bar cart on casters will be the perfect multitasker. Work in a Rustic Element || If you like the vintage industrial look of rustic pieces but don't want to incorporate a total factory into your home, an accent piece on casters is a great solution. Place a multi-drawer console with casters in a home office, for example, and it will add character to your space, and work smarter by giving you more flexibility. An office chair on casters will be an asset, too, and a rich, leather upholstered one can add a warm rustic element to the room. Roll it This Way || First patented for use on furniture in the 1800s, casters were originally made of metal. Today, you'll find casters made of myriad materials, including metal, plastic, glass and rubber. In addition, there are different caster types. In general, rigid casters (like the back ones on a shopping cart) will allow you to move the item forward and backward, and swivel casters (like on many office chairs) let you move the item 360 degrees. Some items feature locking casters, which are especially important on heavier furniture for safety.
Whether you define your style as traditional, contemporary, minimalist or "something else," it's that "something else" part that really makes your home yours. There are many ways you can augment or change a room's perspective, and two ways are by incorporating glam or rustic elements into your space. Often inspired by antiques, glam or rustic furniture pieces, when combined with the right accessories, give a room more eclectic character. It's really how you mix all the elements of a room that defines your personal style. Glam || Whether it's a mirrored nightstand, shiny metal table or whimsical accessory, these are the pieces that always look on the bright side. Metallic finishes, gilded accents, ornamental fabric trims and glossy paint surfaces can add a touch of chic opulence, especially if you contrast them with traditional pieces and rustic surfaces. And, when you include sensual curves, animal prints and intricate textures, you'll elevate the glam factor to superstar status. Rustic || On the other side of glam are rustic furniture pieces that exude an industrial, down-to-earth vibe with matte distressed finishes, knotty wood grains and straight-lined geometrics. They have an authentic lived-in look, and they're often in darker colors. Think of natural brick or stone walls, exposed ceiling beams, nailhead trim, and corrugated metal. One of the easiest ways to achieve rustic style is with a leather sofa, chair or sectional, which will just get better with age! Extras || To make your space truly eclectic, add personal items like photos, artwork, antiques collections and one-of-a-kind pieces that you've gathered from your travels. The way you mix, arrange and display these elements will reveal your true style personality – your blueprint for living your best curated life.
Nature is often equated to a feeling of peaceful serenity. Promoting a calming, nourishing vibe in your home can be simple with the addition of a few earthy home décor elements. Wood || Create a focal wall of distressed wooden planks or decorate with wooden furniture. Furniture that is crafted to look as though the wood had just been freshly cut is great for blending styles as these pieces will work as the neutral in the room. Driftwood is ideal for creating a more coastal vibe and comes in various sizes from a simple tabletop accent to a dramatic floor piece. Geodes || They are the most organic source of striking color and have quickly become the latest home décor trend. Anything from agate book ends to slices of amethyst used as coasters; these vivid gems will add enchanting color and brilliance to your space. Plants || Improve air quality while adding lush texture and color to your space by decorating with plants. Succulents thrive on neglect as they only need to be watered once a month and come in a beautiful range of colors from vibrant green to dusty purple. Air plants are also an easy, low-maintenance option since they don’t require soil and can be placed anywhere there is bright, indirect light.
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Wood Maintenance These useful tips will help keep fine wood furniture looking good for years. Caring for Wood Furniture Polish wood furniture with the Peace of Mind polish at least four times a year to keep it moisturized and protected. Regular dusting with a soft cloth is recommended. Paper towels have a rough surface and can scratch wood surfaces. Surface scratches, burns and water marks are preventable. Using coasters, placemats, and table cloths will help protect wood finishes. A quality heat-resistant table pad is recommended. Apply protective felt pads to the feet of decorative objects and electronic equipment to prevent scratching and sticking. If a fifth center support leg is included with a new dresser, be sure that it is screwed in place to maintain structural integrity. Beds should be disassembled before moving. Lifting one side of the bed or dragging the bed to move it can break the rails, and/or the headboard and footboard. Understanding the Appearance of Wood Furniture Because wood is a natural product, color and grain variations, along with the appearance of natural characteristics is to be expected. Manufacturers often take great care to add "distressing" to a new piece of wood furniture. Common distressing techniques include filing down edges, adding nicks and holes to a surface, and rubbing paint finishes. Distressing lends a time- worn, aged look and great character to the piece. Often overlooked in the store, it's an intentional extra step taken to enhance the overall appearance. Color Change in Wood Exposure to natural light can cause wood surfaces to change color. Cherry will become noticeably darker; natural maple and birch will acquire a yellow patina. Some wood surfaces can fade in direct sunlight. If fading is a concern, covering the surface can help protect wood finishes. Tables and table leaves are an example of when color difference is most noticeable. If leaves are stored most of the year, and then inserted for holiday gatherings, it can be expected that the color of the table and the leaves will be different, taking into consideration that the table has been exposed to more light than the leaves. Odors: The "New Smell" of Wood Most new furniture often has an odor. The odor is not harmful, and will dissipate in a short amount of time. Air out the room by opening doors and windows if possible to reduce the smell of the new furniture. Using dryer sheets, or coffee grinds in an open container, near the furniture can help neutralize any odors. Expansion and Contraction: Wood Furniture on the Move! Wood furniture constantly reacts to the humidity level in the environment. Increased humidity causes wood to expand; colder drier air causes wood to contract. In humid months, drawers might "stick" and open with resistance. During dry winter weather, wood contracts. Consequently, furniture can show gaps, especially where a table leaf fits into a table top, or around dresser drawers. Both of these issues are temporary. When moisture levels in the home stabilize, wood furniture will return to its regular appearance and performance. Leveling and Tightening Components As a house "settles", floors in the home can become uneven. This is mostly noticeable in hard surface flooring, like wood or tile. Armoires, TV cabinets and other wood furniture often have built-in leveling systems to help furniture stand securely. Look for leveling instructions that are included with the furniture, or call Jordan's Customer Service Department (1-866-8-JORDANS) for assistance. Leveling procedures booklet With use, chair legs can loosen. Periodic tightening of the hardware will help keep chairs level. Table Leaves Unless a dining table has a fifth center support leg, leaving table leaves in place for long periods of time can cause the table to sag in the middle. When not in use, table leaves should be wrapped in a soft cloth or in a specially designed storage bag and stored horizontally. Storing leaves face down and flat in a protected area, such as under a bed, is recommended.
One of nature's most prominent hues is about to make a welcome return with the start of spring this month. From an interior design standpoint, green can be tricky to work with, often because it takes on so many different casts depending on lighting and the other colors used around it. This is especially true of paint colors. The classic adage, "if it works in nature, it will work in your home," definitely applies to green. Just think of how great live plants look in any room. Depending on saturation, texture, and which variations you use, green can be soothing or energizing. If it's been awhile since you've considered it, maybe now is the time to put some fresh greens on your design plate.   Calming Approaches || Sage. Mint. Forest. Moss. Seafoam. Olive. Aloe. Celery. These are some of the greens that nourish and soothe, much as they do in the natural world. Note that many of these can be dark and saturated and still exude calm, much like a dark forest with filtered sunlight through treetops can feel very peaceful. In the same way, mint, celery, seafoam and aqua are often associated with tropical beaches, which can feel both peaceful and visually lively at the same time. In terms of your interior space, almost any type of wood furniture looks great with greens, whether it's a green upholstered chair or a walnut credenza against a mint green painted wall. Or, place a wood cabinet with a green distressed painted finish in a kitchen or hallway to add vintage character.   Wake-up Call Approaches || Shamrock. Kelly. Emerald. Chartreuse. Lime. These tend to dazzle the eye, create excitement, and energize the soul with their sharper intensity. They will gain even more strength when paired with other vibrant hues like royal purple, hot pink or the traditional holiday pairing with red, which works well because green and red are opposites on the color wheel. In terms of a room, a modern glass-top table, for example, will pair beautifully with lacquered emerald-green walls in an entranceway. Mixed Greens || Much like a grouping of plants, different greens can blend beautifully. For example, pair two upholstered accent chairs, one in chartreuse next to one in kelly green, and it will make the room look fresh, lively and eclectic. Fabric patterns on throw pillows can also coordinate well, such as a palm frond print pillow mixed with, say, pillows with small-scale green and white stripes. Mix in a pair of ceramic garden stools and live plants, and you can easily create a lush garden feel indoors, even if you live in a city apartment. It's easy using green. Green is everywhere!
Jordan's Furniture in Masachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island offers tips on how to care for wood furniture, including leveling furniture and storing table leaves.
There is no better time like the start of a new season to test out new trends! From fashion to home décor, spring is a time of renewal so refresh yourself and your home with one or all of these budding trends… Pastels || Candy-colored hues like mint green and the ever-popular blush have been flooding the scene in the form of linens, accent chairs, and even walls! This cheerful yet somewhat subdued color story evokes a whimsical vibe that is sure to enliven your home. Botanicals || Bring the outdoors inside by filling your home with plants! Don’t have a green thumb? That shouldn’t stop you from participating in this revitalizing trend. Cacti, succulents, and monstera plants are great for first-time plant owners because they require little maintenance! Textures || Whether it’s macramé wall hangings, distressed or carved tables, or textured ceramics, texture is prominent this season. Texture adds a layer of luxe without competing with existing colors and patterns making it an easy trend to incorporate in your home. Terrazzo || Like sprinkles on an ice cream cone, terrazzo is marble and granite’s playful cousin. From bathroom tiles to accent tables to hardware, this surface can make its debut in your home in a small or big way. Metallics || The element that is so consistently on trend that at this point it is a design staple. However, they remain on “trend” lists because the way they are styled is forever evolving. Right now it’s all about mixing metals to create an effortlessly glam look.
Whether it’s your summer or permanent home, a common mistake people make when designing with coastal décor is over-styling the space which can result in your home resembling a surfside gift shop. Go beyond the seashell clichés and create that serene, coastal feeling in your home with elements that are a little more unexpected… Color || The most subtle way to create a laid-back beachy vibe is by painting a room or two in nature-inspired colors. Try layering aqua hues with muted seagrass greens; a combination that has a way of calming your senses yet leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated like a summer breeze.   Furniture || Rather than choosing the typical whitewashed furniture, consider picking out pieces that are a bit darker and evoke more of a rustic or industrial vibe. Many of these pieces resemble driftwood with their coloring and distressing and will pair nicely with pops of coastal or nautical décor without appearing cliché. Adding a jute rug or linen drapes to a space is another neutral way to impart coastal flair.   Accents || Juxtapose style-neutral décor with coastal accents so the room doesn’t become too themed. Get creative with your coastal décor. Seek out a vintage nautical map to hang on the living room wall or an antique compass to place on a side table. Brighten up a window sill with potted seagrass or create a “coastal corner” in your bedroom by placing hurricanes filled with white pillar candles on the floor and scattering air plants all around.
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