Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tips On Cleaning and Storing Your Bedding

The bed is usually the focal point of a bedroom and new bedding can really give a room a fresh, new look. Bedding can get expensive and even if you find a great deal on a new bedspread or comforter, taking good care of it will help keep it looking great.
It’s not uncommon to have different sets of bedding for different seasons. A heavy, thick comforter is good for the winter months, while a lighter quilt or bedspread is appropriate during the warm summer months. Here are some tips for cleaning and storing comforters and bedspreads.

Make sure you read the label first. Do not machine wash an item that says "dry clean only". Commercial washing machines or very large machines designed to handle oversized loads are best for proper agitation and better aeration after the rinse cycle. This also helps to remove dust mites more effectively. Use a mild detergent and warm, not hot, water. Avoid pouring the soap directly on the fabric.

A commercial dryer or extra large capacity dryer is best again for aeration. Avoid over drying, dry on high for 30 minutes and then finish drying on a lower setting. Drying outside on a clothesline is a great way to air out your bedding. It is best to use multiple lines though, to help support the weight. Be careful to avoid direct sunlight which can fade colored fabric.

A great way to store bulky comforters and bedspreads is to use vacuum sealed storage bags. All the air is sucked out of the bag, making it much smaller. It also keeps dirt, dust mites, mold and bugs away from your bedding. When you need to use the bedding again, it will come out as fresh and clean as when you stored it.

Special care should be taken when cleaning and storing quilts, especially when they are handmade. Follow these tips when caring for quilts:

To wash a quilt by hand, fill up the tub with warm water and add a gentle, non-abrasive detergent. Wash the quilt using slow, gentle kneading motions. Be careful of any stitching, ribbon or fringe that may tear easily. Never use a brush or abrasive scrubbing tool that can harm the fabric. To rinse, drain the tub and refill with fresh water, and gently work the detergent out, then roll it to squeeze out the excess water. If the tag says you can machine wash, make sure to use the gentle cycle with a mild detergent and never use bleach. Dry cleaning is generally not recommended for quilts.

The safest way to dry a quilt is to lay it flat. You can use a fan to help it dry faster. Do not hang a quilt over a clothes line, or in direct sunlight. The weight of the quilt, especially when wet can cause the threading to break where it touches the line.

If you need to fold the quilt to store it, make sure you fold it differently each time to avoid the creases becoming permanent. Wrapping an old sheet around it will help protect it and keep it clean.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Choosing Quality Outdoor Furniture

When deciding what type of outdoor furniture would look stylish as well as surviving through weather extremes, material and craftsmanship are key factors. It’s important to choose quality, well made furniture that can stand up to the elements.
One of the best choices for quality outdoor wood furniture is teak. Even untreated, this sturdy hardwood can survive years of the harshest weather conditions, with an average life span of 75 years. Teak is naturally resistant to water, warping and weather. Over time, it gracefully ages to a beautiful soft silver color. Or, if you prefer the "new" look, just apply teak oil to the wood once or twice a year.
Rattan is another good choice for quality outdoor and indoor furniture. All-weather rattan is the choice for outdoor furniture. Made from the very best synthetic fiber, all-weather rattan is maintenance free and can be left outside year round. The color runs through the fiber, so you never have to worry about it flaking or peeling. Natural rattan is a good choice for fine quality indoor furniture.
Some of the finest teak and rattan are grown in Indonesia. Our supplier of this quality outdoor furniture, Jewels of Java, works closely with Perum Perhutani, the state owned agency that oversees the conservation of the Indonesian teak forest. For every tree that is harvested, a new tree is planted. Only a limited number of trees can be harvested each year, with strict controls on their size and maturity. Jewels of Java is also helping to support the local Indonesian community by providing a positive and professional factory work environment for the highly skilled craftsmen that they employ.
Take a look at our selection of quality outdoor teak furniture. This outdoor furniture is built to last a lifetime, so paying a little more for high quality and craftsmanship the first time will actually save you money in the long run, instead of having to replace cheaper outdoor furniture that couldn’t hold up to Mother Nature.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rustic & Western Decorating

One of the most popular design schemes today is rustic and western. Rustic decor is usually anything that is hand made, having many different influences such as colonial, Victorian and western.
Western decor reflects the rich history of the Old West, ranch style living and is also heavily influenced by Native American art and culture. It is the design scheme of choice for ranch style homes, log homes and cabins and the lodges of our National Parks. There are also different variations, such as Southwestern decor, which incorporates the warm earthy tones of the desert environment, with a lot of Mexican and Native American influences. In the Pacific Northwest, the decor reflects the cooler tones of the rainforests and the coastal lifestyle.
Rustic and western decor is more than just a design scheme. In many cases, it is a lifestyle as well. It reflects the passion one feels for the country, the history of their area, of their culture.
The appeal is also having furniture and decor that is handmade. We all love knowing we own something that is unique or one of a kind. Usually, more care is paid to the fine details.
Take a few minutes to browse through our selection of rustic furniture, rustic lighting and rustic decor. These beautiful products are handmade and you can request custom pieces, designed exactly the way you want them. Buy through us and save hundreds off the suggested retail price!