Category Archives: Tips

How To Hygge Your Home

When the weather outside is frightful, you want to make your indoors as warm and cozy as possible. You want to get hygge (hue-gah). Created as a concept and lifestyle by the Danish in the 18th century, it’s now a core part of their culture. What exactly does it mean? There’s no single English translation for the word but it embodies “coziness” and “enjoying the simple pleasures of life”. Pretty great, huh? The word may apply to a way of life but it also embodies decor too. Here’s how to get hygge this winter!

  1. The main point of hygge decor is creating a peaceful, serene space that’s free of clutter. That makes the first step – streamlining. You can’t truly relax in spaces that are overwhelmed with clutter and mess. So, do a Marie Kondo and get rid of any extra items or mess you have that don’t bring you happiness.
  2. Whether you’re making your entire home hygge or just a few spaces within, keep in mind the color scheme shouldn’t be bright or jarring. Stick to neutral colors like light greys, browns, and creams, that promote peace and harmony for a truly relaxing space.
  3. What’s more relaxing and stress-relieving than nature? Bring the outdoors inside by placing a few plants around your home. Or, if you have a black thumb and are capable of killing anything green, go for adding natural materials to your space – items like leather, wood, and stone.
  4. We all know how important lighting is in setting a mood, so to really get into the hygge mood, bring in lots of soft lighting. Turn off harsh overhead lights in favor of items like candles (electric or put in extremely safe places!) or twinkly strings of lights. This is guaranteed to make your space look more cozy.
  5. Finally, indulge in the ultimate cozy comfort by adding more soft and fuzzy to your hygge areas. Surround yourself with fuzzy blankets, fluffy throw pillows, shag rugs and the like to create a relaxing space you’ll love to be in!

The hygge concept is a truly lovely one and now that you’ve created your hygge space, it’s time to grab a book and a cup of coffee or cocoa, bundle up in all the soft, and relax. You’ll have no trouble making it through the rest of winter in your incredibly cozy home!

hygge-decor-ideas

Get Your Home Ready for a New Year

Lettering and firework in golden colors.

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

 

Get Your Home Fall & Winter Ready

cold

When it comes to getting your home ready for cooler weather, it’s not just the interior of which you should take stock. Taking care of the outside of your home is equally important. Performing just a few bits of home maintenance on your home can save you costly repairs later on. Get a jump on these tips to save time & money!

  1. Prepare your fireplace. If you’re one of the people who use their fireplaces more than central heat during the colder months, it’s a must to get your fireplace in shape. Start with having your chimney cleaned, then make sure the damper and flue are operating properly.
  2. Clean your gutters.Once the leaves have finished falling, it’s time to clean out your gutters. So many issues involving water in the basement come about because of clogged gutters. Clear out leaves, dirt, and other detritus, then examine downspouts for damage.
  3. Check for leaky faucets.A leaky faucet can lead to a busted pipe in the middle of winter – never a good time. Finding any issues before the weather turns super cold will save you a lot of trouble!
  4. Inspect the boiler & furnace.Go ahead and find a reputable heating company before the cold hits & they all get booked up, then have them take a look at your boiler & furnace to avoid either blowing out in the dead of winter.
  5. Examine your property.As lovely as snow looks, once it’s down on the ground it can cause a myriad of problems. Snowfall on cracked walkways or loose pavement can be a definite health hazard, so now is the time to walk around your property to see if anything needs to be fixed.
  6. Invest in a generator.If you don’t already have a generator, now is a good time to think about getting one. By now you’ve likely gone through one or more instances of living in a home without power for days at a time (Sandy, anyone?) – a generator will make another storm blackout that much easier to deal with.
  7. Change the filters in your home.Keep your family healthier during the colder months by changing out your air filters, plus filters in the stove vent, dryer vent, and room fans.
  8. Make your home energy-efficient. Repair any cracked windows, check for drafty doorways & caulk if necessary, and add insulation to keep your house warmer during the fall & winter and to cut down on heating costs.
  9. Bring your outdoor furniture inside.Don’t leave your patio furniture outside during the winter. Clean it all off, then store in a dry area for the next few months to avoid damage.
  10. Reverse your ceiling fans.Having your fans running clockwise after you’ve turned on the heat will create an updraft that pushes heated air from the ceiling down into the room (super-helpful in rooms with high ceilings). This simple tip might also enable you to turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees!

Taking care of the outside of your home before the weather cools off will help keep the inside of your home (and everything in it) better protected. By heading off busted pipes, blown out furnaces, dirty gutters, and potential tripping hazards outside, you’ll save the precious time & money you would’ve spent doing things like de-flooding your basement, buying new furniture to replaced the ruined, or having to temporarily live in the cold. Take a couple of hours to do the above tips and keep your family happier, healthier, and safer this fall and winter!

Decorating Small Spaces

small-space-1

Just started a new year at college? Stuck in a dorm or tiny off-campus apartment? It may seem like there isn’t much to be done with a tiny space when it comes to decorating and furniture, but that’s actually incorrect. Small spaces don’t necessarily equal flat & simple; there’s a world of decorating you can do. Read on to make the most out of your small living space!

One of the easiest things you can do to make a small space look larger is experiment with mirrors. Mirrors can be your best friend in a small living area. If you have a room with no windows, grab a mirror designed to look like a window to make things feel less dark. If you have a room with just one or two windows, position that mirror across from the real window to catch extra light. Adding mirrors to each end of a narrow space will create the illusion of a larger space. Wide, horizontal mirrors on narrow walls stretch them out, while tall, slender mirrors will make low ceilings feel much higher.

Lighter colors in a small space will make things feel airier. If you can paint the walls, paint them in light colors or choose those colors for large furniture pieces such as a sofa. You can build on that by adding bright-colored accents or art. It will make a world of difference! Also, stay away from patterns when possible – they can make a space feel smaller.

Storage makes a world of difference in a tinier living space. While you can store things in baskets under the sofa or tables, buying furniture with built-in storage wouldn’t be remiss. Look at beds with built-in storage, for example. And remember the importance of items such as chests & bookshelves. Having a tall chest in the bedroom with save floor space with its lack of width and give you lots of drawer space. Bookshelves with open shelving & no backs can make for a fabulous room divider in an open layout whilst keeping you away from clutter. Try new things out when it comes to storage to see what interesting combos you can come up with.

And speaking of furniture, always make sure your furniture fits the size of your space. If your bedroom is the size of a box, purchasing a sleigh bed is not going to help it seem larger. It doesn’t matter how light your colors or how many mirrors you use if the entire room is swallowed by an enormous piece of furniture. In fact, lots of furniture designers now create items such as small scale sofas that offer lots of space but don’t take up a lot of room.

No matter what size space you’re currently living in, there are plenty of ways to make it airy, inviting, and homey. If you’d like a bit of help figuring your space out, visit our website or stop by our store today to chat with one of our sales associates or designers. We’re always happy to help you get on the right track. Happy decorating!

Taking Care of Your New Mattress

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!

Things to Know Before Buying Furniture

shoppingatikea

Buying furniture can be a bit overwhelming. If you know exactly what you’re looking for it can make things easier, but if you have no idea…well, that’s an entirely different creature. There are so many factors to consider when purchasing a new sofa or mattress or dining room table. How do you know what you’re buying will last? What’s the best material? What questions should you ask the salespeople before purchasing? Will it fit into the space you want? These tips will help make the process a whole lot easier.

  1. Before buying, there are several questions you should get answers to, from the retailer you’re using. Ask if there’s a warranty on the item and what the store’s return policies are. Ask about the business’s product guarantees. And be sure to ask how long it will take for your purchase to be delivered plus how much that delivery will cost.
  2. What should you invest in? You want to invest the most in pieces that you’ll be using on a daily basis and/or that get a lot of traffic – think sofas, dining room table, rugs, and beds. Your mattress is another item where you should get the best quality you can afford. Sleep is important! You can save money on smaller purchases such as side tables or mirrors or consoles.
  3. Your sofa may be the second most important piece of furniture in your home (after your bed) so you want to make sure you’re buying one best suited for your needs. Check that the material is suitable for pets, children, & spills if you have those in your life. Look at the cushions to make sure they’re stuffed properly. Check that seams are well-made. And finally SIT on every chair & sofa you can. Having a beautiful sofa means nothing if it isn’t also comfortable!
  4. When it comes to fabrics, you should always ask the salesperson what the “rub count” is. The more “rubs” a fabric has the more durable it is.
  5. Do your research. Before going to a store, look online – find out where the item you’re looking at is made and what it’s made out of. Check reviews for not only the item but also the store itself. Ask friends who might have the same piece you want what their opinions are. The better prepared you are beforehand, the easier the process will be (and with less surprises!).
  6. Whether an item fits into your home is essential. Measure the space where you want to place the piece before purchase – the best way to do this is to take a measuring tape + painter’s blue tape & mark the dimensions on your floor. With the area marked, you can better visualize how the space will look.
  7. Look for sales. Sometimes stores (like us!) will have their current ads on their website, but if you come across a place that does not, just ask a store manager whether they have any discounts or sales going on (or coming up). Most of the time they’ll be more than happy to let you know!

Purchasing furniture doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. Doing the above will help you be better prepared for your furniture buying journey and help negate any unpleasant surprises.

Here at Suburban we’re more than happy to help you out with whatever you need. Our salespeople are knowledgeable & ready to answer any question you may have. Plus, you can visit our website ahead of time to look through our selection and find out current ad. So, call us anytime at 973-927-7100 or stop by. Happy shopping!

Happy Better Sleep Month!

better-sleep-month

Welcome to May, also known as “Better Sleep Month”! (But really, shouldn’t every month be a better sleep month?) If you’re like most Americans you either aren’t getting enough sleep or you aren’t getting quality sleep – both of which have a huge impact upon your life. In fact, 8 out of 10 people say they would feel better if they got more sleep. What does good quality sleep do for you?

We can tell you what the lack of it can do. Inadequate sleep can increase your blood pressure and cause your body to become more stressed. Poor sleep can also create brain fog, increase irritability, cause mood swings, and weaken the immune system. It creates a lack of productivity and decline in judgement in the work place. And serious sleep problems cause issues like restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and insomnia. Yikes.

There are A LOT of factors that can interrupt your sleep and cause you to sleep poorly. The most common one is, of course, stress. Stress can manifest in different ways such as family drama, trouble with friends, break-ups, financial worries, and anxiety in general (let’s face it, we can all find something to be anxious about at any given time). Physical factors can also disrupt your sleep – factors such as body aches & pain, a frequent need to urinate, or snoring from a partner. Then there are external factors – caffeine intake (especially close to bedtime), how light or dark the room is, room temperature, and noise. Looking at it this way, it seems like there’s a lot keeping us from sleep.

BUT there are plenty of ways to change things up and create an environment in which you can sleep well. The whole aim of “Better Sleep Month” is to encourage people to establish better sleep patterns after all! Here are some fabulous tips from the Better Sleep Council designed to help you get a good night’s rest.

  1. Make a sleep schedule and stick to it. We’re talking going to bed and waking up at the same time each & every day, including weekends. This helps your body find its natural rhythm and settle into a consistent sleep-wake cycle.
  2. Exercise regularly – just not in the two hours before bedtime. Exercise will wake you up which is what you want to avoid.
  3. Don’t eat large meals right before bed. Going to bed while your body is digesting a large meal can lead to problems like heartburn and indigestion.
  4. Do something relaxing before bed. Instead of stimulating activities that will wake you up, do some light reading or meditating, just whatever you find relaxes you.
  5. That said – turn off the television and other screens an hour before bed. “But I find TV relaxing!”…”How can I read without my Kindle?”…yes, well, the light your screens give off affects the production of melatonin in your body – and melatonin is one of the sleep-inducing chemicals your brain produces. So, unfortunately, electronic devices close to bedtime are a bad idea.
  6. Something else to avoid before bed? Alcohol and nicotine. A glass of wine before bed may help you relax, but it will actually disrupt your sleep because it reduces REM sleep (the most important kind). And nicotine is a stimulant.
  7. Re-evaluate your mattress every 7 years to make sure it’s still giving you the same level of comfort and firmness. If your mattress has become saggy, lumpy, or uncomfortable in any way, it clearly will not make for a good night’s sleep. If you find it lacking, go get a new one that provides ultimate comfort.
  8. Replace your pillow once a year. Pillows are important – they provide neck support. Make sure yours is doing it’s job.
  9. Create the optimal sleep environment. Make sure your room is dark as it can be (black out blinds help here), make sure you have enough room in the bed if you share with a partner (or pet!), and make sure the temperature is right.
  10. Remember it’s the quality of your sleep, not necessarily how much you get that determines how rested you are. Many experts believe between 7 1/2 & 8 1/2 hours of sleep are needed each night, but studies have shown that people who sleep between 6 & 7 hours a night might actually live longer. And 6 hours of quality sleep will always be better than 8 hours of poor sleep!

A good night’s rest is vitally important to good health, so we hope these tips help you reach your perfect night’s sleep! Believe us, you’ll notice a difference. Not only will your physical & mental health improve, but some people even think better sleep helps spark their creativity and improves their memory. Pretty powerful!

And if it’s a mattress that’s the cause of your sleep issues, we are more than happy to help you out. Our mattress center, Everything Sleep, in Succasunna has your mattress needs covered. We offer great mattresses at amazing prices + our sleep experts will help you find the mattress that’s right size and comfort level for you. Together we’ll find the perfect fit. Happy sleeping!