Furniture Shopping 101

Since Red Knot first started, we have always believed that this store had a little something for everyone; we’re more than just a store for “young” people. We are a store full of fun, modern, and transitional pieces perfect for people of any age. We can’t ignore a huge part of our demographic though. Red Knot is the perfect place for those who are buying their first pieces of furniture because of our affordable style.

Shopping for furniture for the first time can be very daunting. It’s one of the first steps to becoming an independent adult and can sometimes be a challenge when you don’t know what to expect. Thankfully, here at Red Knot, we have a great team of professionals to help make your first time just a little bit easier. I asked my team members to help me out on what they think are important tips for shoppers to remember when buying their first pieces of furniture.

Jake Javier

  • Get as many measurements as possible. Knowing just how much space you have is vital to your shopping experience. Not only get measurements of your room but also the pieces of furniture you might already own so you know right away what will work and what won’t. You don’t want to fall in love with something, plan your whole room around it, and then find out the piece isn’t going to fit.
  • Pick a theme, color, and a style that you want with in your space. Showrooms can be overwhelming with the many options they offer, so narrowing down what you’re looking for can help make shopping go a little quicker.

Tobias Vidaurri

  • Do your research. Be knowledgeable about the basics of furniture (i.e. types of wood, fabrics, quality) so that you know what to look out for when you’re shopping.
  • Ask a team member for help. Now that you know the basics, you can ask your team member to help teach you about the pieces they have in their showroom. Not at all furniture is created equal and your team member should be able to help you find what works best for you.

Alex Takeda

  • Consider setting up an appointment. Here at Red Knot, you can either call or go online and schedule an appointment with a team member of your choice. This is a great way to communicate early on and save time by going over your needs and wants before you even come in to the store.
  • Figure out your budget and consider any financing opportunities. Furniture is a big investment so it’s important to know what your budget is and whether or not you can be flexible with it. There are often financing opportunities you can take advantage of if necessary.

Anson Barros

  • Watching out for your needs vs wants. We get it – shopping is so much fun and everyone can get a little ahead of themselves. It’s important to understand the difference between what you want and what you need. For each item you’re considering, look at the pros and cons it offers so you can find a way to fulfill both.
  • Take a look in person, especially when testing out sofas, chairs, etc. It’s one thing to look at an item online and it’s another to actually test it out in person. Testing out different sofas can help you determine what your personal comfort level is and how to find the right piece for you.

Stephanie Vierra

  • Never impulse buy furniture. I always tell my customers that it’s so important to make sure you really want a certain piece before making the commitment to buy it. Again, buying furniture is a huge investment so make sure what you’re getting is something you can live with for all the years to come.
  • Give yourself time to shop, especially if you’re looking at a specific deadline of when you’ll need furniture. Sometimes pieces are out of stock and you’ll need to wait for it to come in. Sometimes you’ll end up wanting to special order something. It’s also great to be able to look at more than one store to make sure you know all of your options. Give yourself time to have options or you’ll end up having to settle for something you don’t absolutely love.

Rogierick Ramil

  • Mix and match what you already have to compliment what you’re going to get. Some of us are fortunate enough to be passed down pieces from family members and friends. Who can pass up free furniture? Pick out pieces that compliment what you already have in your home to save money on having to buy new pieces.
  • Check the stock availability with your team member. Popular pieces tend to sell out quickly and the reality of living in Hawaii means that shipments can take awhile to get here. If you need something by a specific date, be sure to discuss that with your team member so they’re able to assist you better.

Micah Eugenio

  • Shop big pieces first like your sofa, bed frame, kitchen table, etc. and then finish with smaller items like occasional tables, wall art, and accessories. Once you have the bigger items selected, you’ll be able to find out how much space you have left to accessorize.
  • In furniture shopping, you need to be optimistic and have a plan B. Whatever the case might be for not having your first choice, keep an open mind on other options that work for you.

Honey Millon

  • Design your space to tell a story; let your space show a history about you, what you value, and what inspires you. Regardless of what it is, anything that you purchase should always have meaning to you. Find pieces that show who you are and can help turn your house or apartment in to a home.
  • Invest in an interesting piece of art. They make great conversation starters, brain teasers, and aha! moments. Think the Mona Lisa smile and the effect it has on the viewer to this very day. Even just one piece of art can be the finishing touch you need to make your place truly feel like home.

Cleaning Windows and Glass

glassinteriors

Achieving a streak-free look when cleaning windows, mirrors and glass furniture around your home can be a bit challenging. Sometimes it is frustrating to see cloudy streaks especially after you just cleaned them! However, with the right cleaning solution, tools (and attitude), you can get your glass effortlessly sparkling clean.

THE (CLEANING) SOLUTIONS

Choose ONE of the following:
-Mix one part vinegar and four parts water
-Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
-Mix 1-2 teaspoons of dish detergent in a large bucket of warm water. Add ½ cup of vinegar for excessive grime.
-If you have glass cleaner, dilute it using distilled water. Tap water has minerals that may leave streaky deposits on glass and mirrors.

THE TOOLS

-Squeegee – the best cleaning tool for glass windows as the smooth rubber blade allows for streak-free cleaning
-Microfiber cloth – soft and lint-free, won’t leave residue like papertowels
-Newspaper or an old t-shirt – they don’t leave lint and make great buffers and polishers after wiping the glass. Old t-shirts are absorbent and don’t worry, the ink on the newspaper will not transfer onto the glass.
-Cotton swabs- for those hard to reach areas, such as corners and edges.

THE TRICKS

-Pre-clean mirrors that have an accumulation of dust and dirt. Wipe with a dry, soft cloth.
-Clean from top to bottom. Always begin at the top and work your way down to avoid drips.
-Wipe glass surfaces in a circular motion, then vertical strokes and lastly, horizontal swipes.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

-For glass or windows with hard water stains, use pure white vinegar (do not dilute)
-The best day to wash windows? On a cloudy day, because the sun’s heat can dry windows too quickly causing unwanted residue and streaks.
-The best way to spot streaks? Dry the inside of the window the opposite way you dried the outside. For example, dry vertically inside and horizontally outside.
-Windows should be cleaned thoroughly, at the very least, twice a year.

 

References:

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/5-tips-for-cleaning-glass-without-streaks.htm

http://www.topcleaningsecrets.com/house/how-to-clean-glass-and-mirrors.html

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1298133

http://housekeeping.about.com/od/bathrooms/tp/10-Glass-Cleaning-Tips.htm

http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-clean-mirrors/

Choosing That Perfect Rug

SuryaAreaRug Image Courtesy of http://www.decoratorsbest.com

Area rugs are the essential decorative accessory in a room. It is a functional piece (protects the floor and your feet) while enhancing design elements to the space. The styles, colors and materials to choose from are endless! Sometimes it can feel like it’s tricky business when it comes to selecting that ideal rug, but it’s a lot simpler than you think.

There are several main elements to keep in mind during this process. Finding the right rug can create a space to perfection but the wrong one can make it feel unfinished, awkward and even uncomfortable.

Color, size, texture and materials are some things to carefully consider.  Read on for tips on mastering the challenge of choosing the perfect rug.

sURYA

Image Courtesy of http://www.obeliskhome.com

COLOR

Color and style choice is important as it sets a mood and creates a story or relationship between your room and the rug. About one-third of a room’s color is dominated by the color of the floor covering, so a rug will seem as one of the largest pieces of “furniture” in the room. Plan your color scene depending on the colors of the rug.

Darker colors help define a more intimate space while lighter colors create a more spacious feel. Fiery hues such as yellow, orange or red add warmth while cool colors (blues, greens) creates a calming mood. For a cohesive look, choose a rug that compliments two or three main colors in the room. If there are a lot of color and pattern going on in your space, then choosing a neutral color rug is okay, but don’t play it too safe. Choose patterns and bright colors if your primary furniture is a solid color. Geometric prints are best for modern settings while floral prints work better for a more traditional look.

SIZE

Since rugs come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, remember that choosing your rug is also dependent on room size.  A rug should fit the size of your seating area. All furniture should be placed on the rug. In a living room the rug should be large enough so at the very least the front legs of the furniture are on it. In the dining room, area rugs should cover beyond the chairs. To get the correct measurement, measure the table and add roughly about two feet. You can also sit on one of the chairs and measure the distance from the table, and add it all around. In the bedroom, you want to feel the luxurious rug on your feet so that you wake up every morning on the soft side, not the wrong side, of the bed!

A 5×8 area rug is a good choice for a medium sized room, such as the bedroom or under the coffee table in the living room. 8×10 rugs work best in dining rooms and master bedrooms. Square or round rugs are great choices for square rooms, and rectangular rugs oriented in the same direction in rectangular rooms.

TEXTURE

Texture adds layers to a room so don’t overlook this aspect when choosing your rug. The way the rug feels also (literally) adds to the feel to the room. Shoot for contrast- use the texture of your existing pieces to guide you. Sleek leather sofas go great with shag rugs or rugs with fluffier pile. A soft, velvety sofa go best with hard rugs like jute and sisal. Wool rugs are elegant in texture and add warmth and definition to a room that has shiny or smooth surfaces.

MATERIAL

When selecting rugs, think practical and choose materials depending on the traffic area of the room. The material that dominates the world of rugs is wool due to its low maintenance and high durability; however some people may be allergic to the fibers. Shag rugs can become a tripping hazard for elderly people because of the raised pile. Also keep in mind the maintenance of the rug. Jute, grass and sisal rugs have interesting textures and often cost less, but they stain easily, difficult to clean and don’t last as long. If you spill coffee or red wine, it’s time to say bye bye.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

Surya-Rugs-Pillows Image Courtesy of http://www.arearugsclub.com

*Consider adding a rug pad, especially to flat weave rugs to add a layer of comfort.
*Place dark-colored or patterned rugs under your dining table as they are better at hiding stains.
*There is a huge misconception to buy the rug last. Big no-no. When it comes to decorative accents, choose the rug first because it is THE piece that creates a dramatic impact and ties the room together.

After finding your perfect rug, you can move on to your throw pillows, then curtains and other decorative pieces like wall art and table tops.

Wait… did someone say pillows? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on layering pillows.  Meanwhile, shop for your perfect rug  here.

Turn The Light On!

There’s something about having perfect lighting. Whether it be for photography, dinner parties, or even working from home– there are many different types of light you can use.  In this post we feature the characteristics of various lighting types.  Since they are all designed with a certain use in mind, let’s go over where they would work best in your home.

DiffLights

 

INCANDESCENT
The oldest form of lighting, incandescent is the most common bulb most people are familiar with. It provides a warm, steady light and is used mostly in residential applications. It is also compatible with control dimmers, timers, and photo sensors so they are also widely used in commercial lighting. Life span is between 700 – 1000 hours. Incandescent light is inexpensive to manufacture, however, it is not as energy sufficient as other lighting options.  Fun Fact- Incandescent light is on its way out, as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandating that low-efficiency light bulbs be gradually removed from production. 

HALOGEN
Halogen lighting has the advantage of being more efficient and a longer life than the incandescent bulb. Halogen lights are smaller in size and are compatible with dimmers.  They are more expensive and burn at a higher temperature.  They emit “white light”, similar to natural daylight in which colors appear sharper.  Halogen bulbs are fragile, so be careful with handling- never use your bare hands to change the bulb as the oil can shorten or even end the light bulb’s lifespan.  Design Tip- Halogen bulbs are used for car headlamps and work lights. At home, they work best as under-cabinet lighting.

halogen0contemporary-kitchen

CFL
Fluorescent light gives a flat, cold light, often bluish and harsh and can also be loud and flickery.  CFLs are the compact fluorescent bulbs- they can be used anywhere you would use an incandescent light bulb.  Contrary to regular fluorescent lights, CFLs are quiet, instant-on and have warmer, color-corrected tones.  A normal lifespan is up to 10,000 hours and because of the small amount of mercury contained in the bulbs, they should be recycled when burnt out.  Unlike incandescent and halogen light, most CFL bulbs cannot be used with dimmers.  Design Tip- Use CFL bulbs for indoor and outdoor lamps, and decorative lighting.  

CFL

LED
LED light, or “Light-emitting diode,” provide only directional light, making them ideal for task lighting.  They are low in power consumption and have a long life span. LEDs are small, with common colors such as amber, red, green, and blue.  Many LEDs have a rated lifespan of up to 50,000 hours.  Since LED is not diffused light, the bulb will not work solely for general room illumination.  Because of these features, LED lights provide unique design opportunities.  Design Tip- LED strip lights = unlimited DIY projects, including  illuminated closet rods.  How brilliant! 

LEDcloset

**images courtesy of houzz.com**