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Get Your Home Ready for a New Year
Before you know it 2020 will be here – is your home ready for a new year? Forget spring cleaning, now is the time to get your house in tip-top shape. Setting your home to rights is the perfect start to the new year and these tips will help you get ready. Read on and get a head start on a brand new year!
- Get your home ready for rough weather. December might be over and done with but there’s still a few months left of cold, snowy, icy weather. Get your home prepared for that by cleaning out gutters, weatherstripping exterior doors & windows to stop water & cold air from leaking in, and install surge protectors to make sure your electronics are safe during any storms.
- Clean your windows. The more sunshine you get inside during the winter months, the better. Deep cleaning your windows inside & out is essential. Wipe your windows down with rubbing alcohol after cleaning to make them shine even brighter!
- Go on a dusting spree. No one wants to start a new year with dust bunnies roaming around their home and making people sneeze. A thorough dusting & vacuuming session is vital to an allergy-free start to the brand new year.
- Streamline your stuff. One of the easiest & best ways to feel better about your home is to get rid of the clutter. It makes a WORLD of difference! It’s easy to accumulate stuff, but we often forget to get rid of the old stuff when we get the new. Go through each room of your home and clear out drawers & cabinets & closets, clean off counters & tabletops, and stash useful items (remotes, batteries, shoes) into some lovely baskets. Your home will thank you.
- Work out a weekly cleaning system. It’s easy to leave chores till the last minute; once dishes have piled up high enough in the sink that we can’t run the faucet, you’re kind of forced to do them or suffer consequences. But making an actual cleaning system will keep your home looking (and feeling) better. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – make sure dishes go in the dishwasher or are hand-washed every evening, make sure dirty clothes are immediately put into the hamper, try your best to bring things back to their assigned place when you’ve finished with them, focus on one type of cleaning at a time (don’t clean the entire living room, first dust everything in your home, then vacuum it all, then wipe down counters, etc – it makes cleaning go faster), and make a chore list so the whole family can pitch in!
- Make sure your home is safe. By making sure things are working properly in your home, you’ll keep your family that much safer. Check temperature & air-quality control devices and make sure they’re clean & in working order. Check your smoke & CO alarms and replace batteries if needed. Watch out for dryer lint – clean the lint trap every time you use your dryer & have your vents properly cleaned at least once a year. Make sure your family has a fire emergency plan with exits planned out. Finally, make sure you have a disaster kit on hand for storms that knock out the power for days & weeks at a time, etc.
- Lower your bills. Reducing your household costs is as easy as living a little greener. Turn off all lights when you leave the room, turn down the air/heat when you leave the house, turn off power strips when not in use and unplug appliances when not in use, and use insulation curtains to keep in heat or cool air.
The new year is the perfect time to get your home in a cleaner, safer state. It only takes a bit of time and you’ll be set!
From everyone at Suburban Furniture, we hope you have a happy & healthy New Year!
Taking Care of Your New Mattress
After continuous tossing & turning, you’ve finally decided to purchase a new mattress. Congratulations! Now what comes next? Besides a restful night’s sleep, it’s now up to you to invest in proper care of your mattress so it lasts the 7-10 years it should and to prevent damage not covered by the warranty. Here are a few tips on proper maintenance and cleaning that will help you achieve that goal.
First things first, you need to make sure you have the proper foundation for your mattress. Improperly setting up your mattress can not only void your warranty but can also create unnecessary sagging/dipping which will lead to problems further down the line. Damaging the integrity of your new mattress is the last thing you want to do, so be sure to do this all important step!
Sometimes when you purchase a new mattress, you might notice an odor when you first get it home (think along the lines of a very strong “new” smell). It’s normal and nothing to worry about, as well as easily remedied. Leaving the mattress and it’s foundation bare in a well-ventilated room for a day or so will help.
Now that your mattress is home, ventilated, and properly set up, it’s time to look at the long-term. This is where regularly cleaning your mattress comes in. Each time you wash your sheets (recommended every couple of weeks) also vacuum up any dust/pet fur/hair on your mattress with a hand-held vacuum attachment. And if you spill anything on your mattress, you should follow the instructions on the mattress tag (although generally, spot cleaning with soap and warm water is acceptable – just let the area dry completely before putting the sheets back on). Using a mattress protector will assist in your maintenance upkeep greatly as it will, well, protect your mattress from spills and dust.
You’ve heard the adage that you should regularly flip your mattress, and it’s true – with some caveats. For new mattresses, simply rotate end-to-end for the first few months. After that you can do so seasonally. But why should you rotate and flip your mattress in the first place? When we do things like sitting down on the end of the bed to put on shoes, the repetitive motion can wear on that specific area quickly. Distributing the spot you sleep and sit on can help keep your mattress extra comfortable for longer. Another helpful tip? Flip your foundation occasionally as well! This way you’re distributing the weight so there’s less sagging and dipping.
Following these tips will help ensure that your new mattress will last as long as possible. It will also enable you to get the best night’s sleep possible for the maximum amount of time. If you’ve been on the hunt for a new mattress but haven’t yet found the perfect one, drop by Suburban Furniture and we’ll help you find the one that’s right for you!
Get Your Dream Room Design
Getting the perfect room design is easier than you think! With Suburban Furniture’s help, you can create the room of your dreams in just a few simple steps. Our Design Department will help you identify your decorating style, make furniture recommendations that fit your lifestyle, and present a detailed plan perfectly suited to your budget. Here’s how to get started.
- Start with measuring & taking photos of your room. This part is vitally important so try to be as accurate as possible with the measurements and take photos from different angles (from the doorway, from the corner – get the entire room in there!).
- Design a dream board. Gather together your furniture inspiration in the form of a Pinterest board or magazine photos or furniture images from our website. Pick as many or as few as you want – go wild! Include anything you might want even a little bit; it can be narrowed down to a particular style or want later.
- Sit back and relax! Now is our time to shine. From here, our expertise will work to help you avoid making any costly design mistakes. We’ll create a room plan and make furniture recommendations drawn from your dream board.
Ready to get started on your desired design? HERE’S how to get us all the above info. And if you’re interested in just browsing or have a question for us simply visit our site, give us a call, or drop by our store. We’re always happy & ready to help!
How to Get the Perfect Dining Room
The dining room is often the heart of the home, even more so than the living or family room, because it is where the family gathers to eat, where children do their homework at night and is often a catch-all for the odds & ends that accumulate during the day (such as mail or gloves or important things to remember for the next day). The dining room is a pretty big deal is what we’re saying. So, it’s important to create a dining room that fits your & your family’s needs while maintaining the air of “family center” that you’re looking for. Creating that dining room is only a matter of knowing a few simple things about the art of dining furniture. After that, you’ll be on your way!
The most important decision you’ll make for your dining room is the dining room table. You’ll need to make sure the table fits into the space first of all. Then you’ll need to decide if you want to go formal or informal. You’ll also want to offer as many seats as you can, while still leaving enough space for people to move around the room. This is where deciding which shape your table should be comes into play. There are four shapes to choose from – square, rectangle, round, and oval. A rectangular shape is the classic dining room table look, while a square shape provides a more contemporary look. Round tables are great for small spaces (and make for cozy meals!), while oval tables are essentially rectangular tables without all the sharp edges. After you decide which shape is best for your dining room, you should make a decision on whether you want to add leaves to extend your table as needed. There are several different types these days and they definitely come in handy. We have a super guide on the types and their differences on our site.
Now that you have your table, you need to decide where you want to place it. Dining room tables tend to be centered but placing it off-center may strike a balance that makes for an intriguing visual. You could also place it against the wall for more space and simply pull it out when more people are there. Whichever you decide, make sure there’s still plenty of room to move through the dining area.
Next, it’s time to choose chairs. The most important aspect of chairs is that they be comfortable. The second most important aspect is most likely the height of said chairs. Dining room chairs these days are more widely varied than ever and come in standard height, counter height, and bar height. Standard height is obviously the traditional dining room chair height and tends to give you more variety to choose from. Counter height is just a smidge taller than standard height and gives your dining room a unique feel, plus it’s great for smaller spaces. Bar height is the tallest and is perfect for entertaining. You can also go with adjustable heights. Other things to consider when it comes to chairs is whether you want arms, whether you want them to have backs, and whether you want them stationary or swivel. It’s a lot to take in but play around with heights, fabrics & patterns till you hit that perfect melody that’s uniquely you. We have a dining room chair guide on our site that better explains the differences in chair heights that is incredibly helpful!
When you’re setting your chairs up, be sure to leave plenty of elbow room plus room for plates, silverware, etc. Two feet of space between chairs is a good standard to go by. So long as chairs aren’t so far apart that people have to talk loudly to have a conversation, you should be good!
You’re not quite done yet. Think about the floor. Your dining room floor is going to see a lot of foot traffic and will eventually have food, drink, and who knows what else spilled on it. What kind of floor do you have? If you have a floor that’s easy to wipe up spills from you may want to leave it as is, but if you have a floor that’s harder to clean or stains easily you should consider getting a durable rug to place underneath your dining room table. (Yes, the rug will get stained but it’s far better than letting your actual floor go through all that.) Plus, a fabulous rug will add visual weight and frame the dining area. Just make sure the rug is large enough so that when chairs are pulled out as people sit down, the chair legs don’t move off of it.
Focus on lighting next. Do you have an overhead light of some kind or a lamp in the corner of the room? People need to see what they’re eating (and each other!) during meals, plus lighting can make or break a mood when it comes to entertaining. Placing lighting of some kind above the table – whether it be a chandelier or pendant – creates the perfect light balance.
After all that, it’s simply a matter of decorating your space with wall pieces that reflect your family’s personality & style, maybe throwing in a sideboard for storage, and voila! You have created the perfect dining room. Congratulations, you’re going to love it!
Choosing the right table shape/size and choosing the right chair heights might seem a bit overwhelming which is why Suburban is here to help you on every step of your journey to your perfect dining area. Call us anytime at 973-927-7100 or stop by our store with any questions you might have and we’ll be happy to help out. Happy decorating!
Time for a Furniture Inventory!
Look around whatever room you’re sitting in. Go ahead, just a quick look around. What do you see? Do you see a sofa or a bed or a desk? Or do you see piles of mail in the corner of the dining table and that one cushion on the sofa that sags in the middle? Take another look around, but pretend that you’re a guest in your home and you’re seeing it all for the first time.
Taking a good look at your home through the eyes of another is a great way to inventory your furniture to see what might need to be replaced or updated. Think about it – when you’re expecting guests to your home, you’re never more aware of what your home looks like right? So, think like that. Grab a notebook and pen/pencil, then go around your home. Walk out the front door and walk back in if it helps you get in the mindset. Then look around. Does your sofa look more worn that you remember? Is that lamp older than you thought? Maybe you’ll decide that you need a new accent chair, or a new paint job.
You can also figure out what might be able to be moved to a better place. Maybe you have a piece of furniture in the attic that you can actually use somewhere in the house. Or perhaps you can move your sofa to the opposite wall and change the entire focus of the room. Even swapping chairs or lamps will freshen up the look of a room.
Take a look at your accessories while you’re at it. If you’ve had your family photo in the same frame for years, it’s not even being noticed anymore. Get a new one! Move your favorite art piece to a new place where it can always be seen. Don’t take the small things for granted – they can make a world of difference!
Doing a furniture inventory is a good way to start out a new year. Repainting, replacing, or just moving the furniture in your home can spice things up and give you a sense of renewed pride in your living space. It’s simple to do and if you decide you want or need new furniture just call us at Suburban Furniture or visit one of our stores. We’ll help you find what you need in no time!
Is it Time to Switch Your Mattress?
Mattresses – large, bulky, and no fun to buy, right? (Well, not exactly. We make it pretty fun!) But sometimes they have to be replaced. How do you know when that time is though? Here’s how to tell whether it’s time to replace your mattress.
How old is your mattress? Consumer Reports magazine recommends mattresses be replaced between every 7-10 years so one of the first things to consider is the age of your mattress. It can be hard to remember when exactly you purchased an item, so when you buy a mattress try writing the date of purchase on the mattress label.
How are your allergies? If you wake up sneezing or sniffling or find that your allergies seem worse at night when you lay down, it might be time for a new mattress. That’s because dust mites are one of the leading causes of allergies and they love to bed down in…well, bedding. These guys love to hibernate and multiply in the cotton felt layer that is found in most spring mattresses. They’re tough to get rid of so getting a new mattress is the easiest way to go. Then, use a dust mite resistant mattress cover and frequently wash your pillows and bedding to help alleviate dust mites and extend the life of your new mattress.
How well-rested are you in the morning? The whole point of sleep is to refresh your body. If you consistently wake up still tired and feel sleepy throughout the day (and you don’t have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, etc), that means you’re not resting well. Most likely it’s due to tossing & turning all night long because your body can’t get comfortable. And that means it’s time for a new mattress.
How does your body feel in the morning? Likewise, take inventory of any aches & pains you feel when you wake up each morning. If you’re waking up each morning sore & achy, chances are you need a new mattress. As mattresses get near the end of their lives, they lose their spring and ability to bounce back. That means no support for you and directly sleeping on springs, yikes!
How does your mattress look? If you are feeling pain, take a good look at your mattress. If you can see visible signs of sagging (think lumps or valleys), then you’re definitely not getting quality support. If you don’t see any visible signs of sagging but you still feel like you’re sagging into the mattress, particularly in the middle of the bed, it’s likely the core of your memory foam is softening.
Are you more comfortable elsewhere? This is pretty obvious but if you find yourself sleeping better on a hotel mattress than at home or purposely going to sleep on the sofa some nights instead of your bed because you like it better, you have an issue and you definitely need a new mattress!
Have you experienced significant weight change? Weight fluctuates as we go through life, sometimes minutely, and sometimes greatly. It happens for a variety of reasons (surgery, pregnancy, etc) and, believe it or not, it can affect how your mattress supports you. A mattress that was comfortable 6 years ago might not offer the same level of comfort if you weigh much less or more, due to pressure points. Sometimes this can be fixed, at least temporarily, with a mattress topper but if the mattress is simply too soft and unsupportive, it’s time to bite the bullet and shop for a new one.
Shopping for a new mattress can seem like an overwhelming experience because it’s a large purchase, but when it’s time, it’s time. At Suburban, we make the experience simple and painless with our wide array of mattresses suited to fit a variety of different needs. Our knowledgeable salespeople are also available to answer any questions you might have and to help you find your next perfect mattress. Now that you know how to tell whether you need a new mattress when you decide it’s time, come by Suburban. We’ll be waiting to lend a helping hand!
Get Your Home Fall-Ready
Autumn is officially here and while the weather may not have gotten the memo just yet, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for fall weather. Now is the perfect time to get your home fall-ready with the help of a few easy tips. Have a look below to see what you should be doing to get ready!
Cozy bedding – Cooler weather means it’s time to break out cozy everything! Don’t forget to include your cozy bedding like down comforters, cotton sheets, & knits. Take ’em out of storage and give ’em a good wash, then you’ll be good to go when the nights get truly cold.
Clean off outdoor furniture – It’s time to get your outdoor & patio furniture ready for next year. That means hosing them down to remove dirt & stains, cleaning off any cobwebs, and removing the cushions. After that, simply store them till you need them again.
Clean your chimney – You’ll likely be using your fireplace a lot come winter so schedule a chimney cleaning now to avoid chimney fires!
Stock up on firewood – While you’re at it, this is also a good time to get a start on your firewood pile. Trust us, you’ll be super glad you did when winter comes around.
Organize your garage – We know, we know; organizing your garage is probably the least fun thing you could do. But come fall, when you aren’t tripping over things while looking for the rake and you find it in one try, you’ll be thankful you did. It’s also a great opportunity to see if you need any new tools.
Flip your rugs – Help your rugs live long, healthy lives by flipping them every fall. Chances are if you have rugs in a room, parts of them are covered by furniture. This results in the parts underneath the furniture looking brand new while the other parts get faded by the sun and look worn & traveled. Flipping will alleviate this problem.
Check the furnace/boiler – Whichever of these you have, you need to have it checked to make sure it’s working properly. Also, if you have a furnace remember to change the filters regularly throughout fall and winter. It will keep energy costs down!
Reverse your ceiling fans – This one is as easy as flipping a switch. Reversing your ceiling fan so it turns in a clockwise direction moves warm that is close to the ceiling down to the floor and can help you save on heating bills.
Fall Gardening – Prep your garden for spring! There are plenty of flowers to plant in the fall that will bloom in the spring such as tulips, iris, daffodil, hyacinth, and lily.
Wash the outside of windows – How often do you clean the outside of your windows? Bring in a little extra sunlight on those cold, dreary days by doing just that! Simply attach a window cleaner to your hose and you’re set!
These tips will not only make fall a breeze, but they’ll help you & your family stay safe AND help you save money. It’s pretty win-win all around. Cheers, to fall!
Back to School Sleep Hacks
School is starting soon and that means so do back to school routines such as early to bed, early to rise. It can be hard to get back into the swing of the sleep routine after a summer of fun & late nights, but there are ways to make it easier on yourself and your kids. Try these tips and hacks, and you’ll be back on track in no time.
To start, ease everybody back into the swing of routines, especially earlier bedtimes. A couple of weeks before school starts, start having the kids go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night till they hit their schooltime bedtime (ex. If they’ve been going to bed at 9, but need to go to bed at 8 during school, you’d start the first night at 8:45, the next at 8:30, and so on). This way it’s less of a shock and they’re less likely to put up a huge fuss.
Speaking of times for bed, set a regular time between 7pm & 8pm. Every child has different sleep needs, but generally most school-aged children need between 10-12 hours of sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offers these sleep guidelines for parents:
- 4-12 months: 12-16 hours
- 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
- 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
- 13-18 years: 8-10 hours
- 18+ years: 7+ hours
Once you have a set time and are working on getting back to that set time before school actually begins, it’s good to create a night time routine. About an hour before lights’ out, get things done like laying out clothes for the next day, taking showers/baths, brushing teeth, and putting on PJs. If you do the same thing each night before bed, the routine will start becoming a cue that it’s almost time for sleep.
A wonderful thing to have as part of your kids’ bedtime routine that children universally love? Bedtime stories! It winds kids down if they’re still energetic, creates a wonderful opportunity for bonding, and helps kids with their reading. It’s win-win all around. Something to avoid, however, is reading e-books – or looking at screens (tv, phone, computer) in general – at any point in the half hour leading up to sleep. Electronics emit blue light which causes a delay in the natural release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. No melatonin means no Mr. Sandman. (The avoiding electronics 30 minutes before bed rule is an excellent one for adults as well!).
Finally, make sure your child’s bedroom is primed for the perfect sleep. Blackout blinds are handy as bedrooms should be as dark as possible (though nightlights are useful too if your child doesn’t prefer complete darkness). Letting your child pick out their own sheet set will go a long way to getting them excited for bed too! And, of course, there’s the matter of making sure the mattress is comfortable – not too hard, not too soft (the kind of mattress Goldilocks would prefer). We have a great selection of mattresses at our stores and online PLUS a slew of more awesome information on sleep health on our website as well if it’s a mattress you need. Just drop by or give us a call!
Change can be hard, especially when it’s time to end summer fun and go back to school. These back to school sleep hacks should make the change a bit easier and give you and your kids one less thing to stress out over as the school season starts anew.