Inspiration and Ideas From Our In-House Experts & Customers

10 Steps to Clean Your Upholstered Furniture

Remember that wonderful feeling when you’ve just purchased your brand new furniture, and it sits pristine and beautiful in your home? It’s exactly what you wanted, and it looks even better than you had hoped. That new couch, those lovely dining room chairs, that fluffy ottoman.

Unfortunately, though, people actually use this furniture you’ve so carefully selected, and it seems that in no time there are slight stains, faded color, pet hair, and other imperfections that mar the appearance of your once perfect room.

This can be especially challenging with upholstered furniture, that fixed fabric that says “clean me!” with no easy way to accomplish the goal. With slipcovers, it’s as simple as throwing it in the wash. With leather, often as easy as wiping it down. But the upholstered stuff can be tricky.

If your teenagers or grandbabies or beloved bichon frise are leaving your beautiful couch a complete mess, here are some easy tips for getting that once pristine piece looking brand new again.

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15 Amazing Throw Pillow Ideas

Styling a couch with throw pillows shouldn’t be stressful, it should be fun! With so many fun ideas circling the internet, it’s easy to find the perfect throw pillow ideas for your space. Unique throw pillow arrangements, styles, and colors can help liven up even the most boring rooms and create an inviting atmosphere.

Gone are the days of drab, matching throw pillows you used to see in your grandmother’s home. Now, it’s all about mixing and matching, using a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.

Don’t forget that throw pillows aren’t just for couches. Using throw pillows on your bed can create the perfect mood for your bedroom. These throw pillow ideas are sure to spark your imagination to create the perfect look for your bedroom or living room design.

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Perfect Blues for a Beach House

We've added a couple of new blue fabrics today with decorating a beach house in mind. Recently a customer sent in her own fabric in similar colors so that we could make some chairs for a beach house. We were really impressed with the way they turned out. It's too bad we didn't take any pictures to share.

The new fabrics are called Tanya Harbour Blue and Tanya Bimimi Blue. They're both 100% cotton and have a nice tight weave that gives them some texture. Although many people consider pastels the perfect color for beach decor, we think these darker solids will work well, especially since they have a washed look.

Tanya Harbour Blue

Tanya Bimimi Blue

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Even More Choice -- 3 New Fabric Collections

Our fabric buyers not only try to keep up with the latest trends, but also have the unenviable job of ensuring we offer a little something for everyone. It's not an easy task to determine what other people are going to like, especially since tastes are relative. Occasionally, I'll hear something like "This is not something that I'd pick out for myself, but we've had several customers requesting something like this."

Luckily, I can honestly say that I like all the new fabric collections we're adding to our line. First up we have Cheryl. The design is pretty unique, but the colors are classic. We've had great success with toiles in similar colors and hope that these two continue the tradition.
Cheryl Coral
Cheryl Porcelain Our next fabric is called Polly Spice. This look goes way back and is what many would describe as "Country French." It's a simple design in a light mustard color with red roosters.
Polly Spice Finally, we have the three fabrics in the Celia family. I'm really a fan of these because they are a traditional floral print with a twist: they have a slightly washed look (especially the Primrose and Wedgewood). When I say washed, I do not mean worn out. The background colors on the fabric are muted just enough to make the floral designs really pop.
Celia Balsam
Celia Primrose
Celia Wedgewood

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5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Upholstered Furniture

I was visiting our production manager's home the other day where I found him restoring an antique chair. It wasn't a big job--nothing that couldn't be take care of with some wood stain and fabric. This got me to thinking about just how long a piece of modern furniture will last.

A well constructed piece of upholstered furniture will last decades. If you think about all the materials that go into the construction of a chair or sofa there is not a lot that will degrade quickly. Wood frames, steel springs and foam cushions will last longer than most people. Relatively speaking, the fabric is the only part that has potential to wear out quickly. No mater how heavy the material, upholstery fabric is subjected to a lot. I'm not talking about stains and spills, but the constant friction generated when a person sits. Being a woven material, it is bound to eventually fray and break down.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Fabric fashions come and go just like clothing. So if you take steps to care for your upholstery, you'll be able to make it last until you tire of it and are ready to have it replaced or reupholstered. Here are five ways to prolong the life of your furniture:

  1. Vacuuming - Most people vacuum their floors, but rarely do their upholstery. It's a good idea to vacuum your fabric covered furniture once per week. This removes surface dust and dirt before it becomes embedded in the fibers. It also decreases wear from the "sandpaper effect" which occurs from friction between the body, dust and the fabric.

  2. Turning Cushions - If your sofa, love seat or chair has loose cushions, flip them on a regular basis. This will allow the fabric to wear evenly and keep the piece looking newer for a longer period of time.

  3. Avoid the Sun - The UV rays of the sun are just as damaging to fabrics and finishes as they are to skin. Keep upholstery out of direct sunlight when possible. If you can't keep it out of the sun be sure to use blinds, shades, curtains or have the windows treated to block UV radiation.

  4. Use All of Your Furniture - I'm sure that in almost every room there is one piece of furniture that gets used the most. You have a living room that may be filled with many different types of furniture and the only piece that ever gets any use is the sofa. Make a habit of sitting in the less frequently used furnishings. The same goes for the dining room. If you always sit in the same couple of chairs rotate the chairs around occasionally. You can still keep the same spot--just use a different chair.

  5. Consider Fabric Protection - Fabric protection can be a life saver, but don't rely upon it solely. It will help block absorption and ease the removal of stains, but it's not an invincible plastic cover. You may especially want consider fabric protection on light colored natural fabrics, but it is probably unnecessary for dark fabrics made from synthetic materials. Ultrasuedes and microfibers are particularly stain resistant and may not need any additional protection.

Following these guidelines will help you get the most from your upholstery. As I said before, fabric will eventually wear out. It is inevitable fact of nature, but how much life you get from it is up to you.

One last thing I'd like to mention--before you clean any stains or dirt from fabric be sure to look up the cleaning code. Every fabric on our site has a cleaning code and it explains the best treatment to use. Some fabrics can be cleaned with soap and water, others need solvent based cleaners while a few can only be professional cleaned. If you use the wrong cleaner serious damage could occur such as fading. As always, if you ever have any questions about cleaning upholstery from Carrington Court feel free to call one of our design consultants (828.396.1049) and they'll be more than happy to assist you.

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