Decorating Tips & Advice – Furniture

Dear Rhonda:

I’ll soon be buying new family room furniture. It will be mainly used by my husband and teenage son, who both like to eat while watching TV. On top of that we have 3 dogs and a cat! I am at a loss as to what type of fabric to buy that will hold up with tough use.

A polished cotton chintz or a denim fabric would work best, something with a very tight weave. If you have a fabric with a very loose weave, the lightly hood of your cat or dogs catching that on a nail or a collar (yes, every animal should wear a collar with name tags!) is very high and will pull the fabric. If you have a denim or tight woven chintz fabric, there is not as much chance for the fabrics to be pulled.

As far as staining with your husband and son, use a Scotch guard or Guardian Protection. Guardian protects against mold, mildew, dry rot and staining. I have actually put Chintz fabric to the water test with and without Scotch guarding. Typically if its a “true” Polished Chintz, water will not penetrate the surface, regardless of Scotch guarding. I can not suggest highly enough to get a finish on your fabric. And once its there, its always there. It does not go away!


Dear Rhonda:

I saw this product on TV on an interior design show. It is a couch cushion saver. It is something laid under the cushions to prevent them from becoming deformed or sagging. Supposedly, according to the show they work very well and would be a perfect gift for my mother for Christmas. If you know of this product where might I be able to find it?

Thank you for your time.

I have seen this product too on an infomercial. I am really not sure where you would find such a product.

This has sparked a little lesson on furniture in my mind. When you are buying furniture always check to see what is on the inside under the fabric. Upholstery furniture should begin with a very solid base. It should be ONE piece. There is a company right now marketing furniture that comes in parts. If the arm gets soiled, just order up a new arm and replace it. If the middle cushion section is not holding up, order the middle section. I can not warn enough about buying furniture this way. If you are replacing parts yourself, isn’t there a possibility that those pieces will fall apart all by themselves?

The springs should be sturdy and at minimum 8-way hand tied. What that means basically is that the springs are tied to other springs in 8 different directions. It provides support. Really good furniture will either have extra springs or more ties in the back and sides to prevent cushions from scooting down.

The padding sits upon the springs and has many different fillings. They sometimes loose their fluffiness and can either be replaced or fluffed.

I am in the midst of writing an entire article on upholstery furniture and what you should look for when purchasing it. I apologize that I do not know where to find such a product. I will suggest however that you have a reupholsterer look at the furniture to see if something needs to be fixed on the inside of the piece.


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