Sunday, December 13, 2009

How to Hang a Picture

You’ve found the right art, you’ve found the right spot and now it’s time to display your beautiful piece for all to see. First, check your hanging surface. If your work of art is a large heavy piece that is going on drywall, you may want to use two picture hooks to make sure it gets plenty of support. Drywall, the most common surface, it is also the softest and inserting a picture hook is fairly uncomplicated. However, because drywall is the softest, it is recommended that you use an electronic ‘stud finder’ to locate a vertical beam of wood in the wall and hang your picture there, using a screw instead of a nail.
For bigger pictures hung on drywall, a fastener may be required. Besides using two picture hooks, a more reliable way to provide support is to install a toggle bolt. A toggle bolt has ‘wings’ that slide through a hole drilled into the wall and expands after it has been pushed through. It grips the wall from the inside as it is tightened.

Although plaster tends to hold fasteners better than drywall, when it comes to plaster, forget about the nail and hammer. You’ll want to drill a hole and use a wall anchor in this case. A wall anchor is a sleeve inserted into a drilled hole that will expand as a screw is driven into it. This will give a little extra grip in supporting the frame and makes sure the screw doesn’t slip back out. Brick or masonry will be the same as plaster- except this time; a little bit of epoxy might be inserted into the drilled hole. When you insert the screw or hook this time, be sure it is large enough to support the weight you need. Once it goes in and the epoxy dries, it’s not going to easily come back out.

Now that you have decided on the location your art should hang, it’s time to take a look at the wire that will be supporting the weight of the frame. The heavier the frame the, thicker the gauge of wire needed. This wire should then be attached to screw eyes, which are driven into the wood of the frame about 2/3 up from the bottom. The wire should extend up into the middle of the space between the top of the frame and the screw eyes. If you can see the wire over the top of the frame, you’ve gone too high. This is where it can be really handy to have a second person’s help. While the other person holds the frame up to the wall, you can stand back and decide which height is best to display your picture and then mark the wall lightly with a pencil at the top center of the frame. Flipping the frame over, push the wire on the back of the picture up towards the top of the frame and measure the distance from the peak of the wire to the top of the frame. Then take the same measurement and mark an X below your marker line on the wall. Now hang your picture and, with the help of a level, adjust it to your taste. If the picture seems too high or too low, adjust the wire on the back of the picture to achieve the desired result. Now your favorite art piece or your family picture is ready and on display for all to admire!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Unrecliner

When choosing a recliner, you no longer have to choose from a limited number of styles. Today, you can find a recliner in any style to go with your existing d├ęcor. You can also find recliners that are useful for medical conditions such as limited mobility or back problems. Recliner can rock, recline, swivel, massage, and lift, or simply look fabulous while also providing the most comfortable seat in the whole house. When it comes to recliners one size does not fit all, but you can easily find one that fits your individual needs.

A rocker recliner does exactly what the name says. It rocks and reclines. Wall hugger recliners take up less space, and are a good choice when you have a smaller room. Most recliners are available as both wall huggers and rocker recliners. A lift chair is usually recommended by physicians for people having limited capacity to use their legs. It is especially useful for someone with weak knees. Lift Chairs come in different shapes and sizes, so it is easy to find one to fit every body type. Massage recliners sometimes come with a heating function as well. They can massage your back and some also massage the backs of your legs. They can help lift you or recline.

In addition to these, there are recliners that don’t even look like recliners. They are available in styles such as wingback chairs. At Creative Elements, we carry Best recliners that are available in all of these styles for a reasonable price. They have an impressive array of fabrics to choose from in addition to leather, suede and microfiber with a wide range of colors and textures. Considering all this it is no wonder that recliners continue to be so popular.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Benefits of Custom Furniture

Custom furniture is the perfect way to bring creativity and unique design into your home. It can be a tough search to find exactly what you are looking for in a furniture store. Even with more on the market than ever before, it does not make it any easier to find a piece of furniture with the exact design, measurements and materials that you desire. Choosing to commission a piece of custom furniture brings many benefits. You are able to specify the precise size and details of your item. For example, a unit to fit into the corner of a study might require very accurate measurements in order to fit. You might require a dining table have a certain height and length, in a particular wood. Not only is custom furniture allowing you to get exactly what you want, it is also unique. Handcrafted custom furniture is made to the customer's exact requirements and therefore never duplicated again. Even if it was, the nature of handcrafted items is to each be slightly different, be it in the knots in the wood or the finish. There is no better way to 'wow' your friends and family than include custom furniture in your home.

At Creative Elements we have many options for custom furniture including Custom Shoppe, Conrad Grebel, and many custom choices for upholstery pieces. Custom Shoppe is fine furniture crafted in America to your specifications. They can create anything from office furniture to entertainment pieces. Conrad Grebel has custom dining tables and beds. You can work with one of our designers to create the perfect piece for your space. We can blend practicality and style into your final piece of custom furniture. Get designing and enjoy seeing your vision come to life before your eyes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home for the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching. The earlier you prepare your home for the holidays the more you are likely to enjoy the spirit of the season. There are so many things to do that it can be overwhelming. Where should you start? It is your home and you can do as much or as little as you wish to. The key is to be organized. Here are some ideas to get you started, wash windows, clean window coverings, wash bed linens, clean closets, clean refrigerator and stove, polish silver, clean carpet, have fireplace professionally cleaned. Write a list and try to stick to it. Be realistic, there is so much you can do!
Make sure you have enough items for your guests. If you plan on having guests stay with you for longer than a day you will need plenty of bed linens, hand and bath towels, dinnerware, etc. I recommend having some extra pillows and blankets as well. Do not forget to count how many chairs and tables you will need to accommodate all your guests!
Jazz up your Entrance, Dining Room and Living Room. These are the areas that your guests will see first. These rooms need to be warm, inviting and beautiful! Paint the walls; it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do! It will enhance moldings, baseboards and bring life to furniture. Select some warm colors such as pumpkin, deep reds, burgundy. Dress your banisters and mantels with garlands; add pinecones, beads, pomegranates, ribbons of all colors. Place some accent pillows on sofa and a few on the floor. Pillows are so inviting. Select silk ones in deep red and gold. Put scented candles everywhere. It is the least expensive way to give a festive touch to a home. Buy different sizes and colors. Place in groups of 3 or 5. Fill the house with seasonal plants and flowers like Cyclamens, Poinsettias, Amaryllis and Holly to name a few. Put in your entrance, on coffee or end tables, on consoles and mix different colors. Get baskets in different shapes and sizes, fill them with natural, gold or silver pinecones or shiny ornaments and even with chocolates and candies. Set the table, invest in a beautiful centerpiece, it will enhance the beauty of your table. Buy your Christmas tree, if you celebrate Christmas. Select a tree for its nice shape and size. The size should be proportionate to the room. Whether it is a real one or an artificial one your tree will be the focal point. Sort out the ornaments you want to hang by color, shape and size. Remember that less is more. Trees that have too many ornaments on them will look overdone.
Now that you are ready, you can invite a few your friends for a preview of what is to come! This is the test. See how they react to your spotless and beautifully decorated home. Have a fire burning in the fireplace and some warm, spicy cider ready for them. Let the aroma fill the house. It will be the final touch.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Colors

Fall is one of the best seasons to be inspired by when it comes to interior design. There are so many wonderful hues and colors that come from autumn and so many things to take inspiration from. There are several fun and popular hues and tones that are good to choose for your design. Colors for fall 2009 are a palette that include hard colors, earth tones, and more including deep woodsy green, ice blue combined with a darker blue, brick red, pumpkin orange and chocolate. This range of colors is specifically used in wall accents and in painting a complete room. Using the colors from the fall interior design trends are a great way to change up the look of the environment.

Something to think about is the fact that many of the Fall colors that you see are on the darker side. This means that if you decide to choose the main paint color of a room as a Fall color, you'll want to consider the amount of light it will take away from the room if it is a darker tone. There are plenty of wonderful lighter colors, like gold, that you find in the fall that can inspire you to use lighter colors for the majority of a space. Rather than having four walls in a room painted in all the same rich red that you find on the changing Autumn leaves, consider making an accent wall. This way you can still get your wonderful red color on the walls but you can choose a lighter color for the rest of the walls and still allow the room to be nice and bright. Keeping the tones in mind will help you have a nice finished space.

There are some ways that you can incorporate Fall colors in a room that won't require you to permanently change your walls. This is to add curtains to the windows, lampshades to your lamps and/or pillows to the furniture that you have. Rather than getting a dark green sofa to have in your living room get some nice pillows with greens and gold, or whatever Fall colors you want to include in your design, to put on the sofa that you already have. Some nice curtains with Fall colors will dress up even the whitest of walls and a simple new lampshade with your Fall color of choice can make all difference in the room that you have. Changing the simplest of things and adding the smallest of details can really make the big picture very nice.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Clean Your Furniture

It is important that you know how to clean and care for your upholstered furniture so that it can look its best for a very long time. The maintenance is much easier when you choose the right fabric in the beginning. Make sure the fabric is appropriate for your lifestyle and for the upholstered furniture piece. Synthetic fibers would be a good choice for heavily used pieces. It is also a good idea to use fabric protection. A lot of work is done for you when the upholstery fabric undergoes the finishing process at the factory. It is usually treated with soil and water repellents and some form of mildew inhibitors may also be used. Additional fabric protectors can be applied to your upholstered furniture in the store or at home. This helps with maintenance and care by keeping spills from being absorbed into the upholstery fibers right away. However, it is not a substitute for prompt cleaning of a soiled piece. Always clean up any spills or stains in a timely manner, and follow manufacturers’ instructions for proper care methods.
You can extend your upholstered furniture’s life by periodically turning over the loose cushions if you can. This easy maintenance method allows for an even distribution of wear and tear. Change the cushions around from one part to the other in addition to turning them over. Some seats get more usage than others, so changing cushions around will ensure even usage. Vacuum your upholstered furniture weekly for general cleaning and to remove surface soil. This also prevents dirt from becoming embedded into the fibers. While regular care does a lot for your upholstered furniture's maintenance, accidents will happen. Blot any spills immediately with a clean folded towel. Sometimes this is enough to get rid of the stain completely, especially if the fabric has been pre-treated with a fabric protector. Always test in a hidden area before you use any product for spot cleaning, and check the manufacturer's instructions to see if you need water based or solvent based cleaner. It is best to use a mild cleaning product. Apply with a soft brush in a circular motion to work into the fibers, then vacuum when dry.
Too much sun can damage your upholstery fabric, causing it to fade and even fray. Try to position it so that it doesn’t sit in the sun for extended periods of time. Airborne pollutants such as fumes from cooking or smoke can also harm your fabric. It isn’t always easy to avoid that from happening, however, proper ventilation can help. It can also help with odor control, as upholstered furniture can easily absorb odors. It is best to have a professional clean your upholstered furniture every couple of years. Experts recommend having this done on a regular basis and not wait for it to get visibly dirty. The dirtier a sofa or chair becomes, the harder it is to restore to its original beauty.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to shop for furniture

Shopping for new furniture can be exhausting. You could go store to store trying to find the perfect pieces for your space and still find nothing you like. So how do you find exactly what you are looking for? Here are a few practical ideas to help you enjoy shopping and find the right pieces of furniture to fit your home and lifestyle.
First, you need to decide what you really need. Measure the space and figure out if what you want is actually possible. You may want a sofa, but the space will only hold a loveseat or a pair of chairs. Make sure you write the measurements down so you can take them with you when you shop. The next thing you need to do is to set a budget. If you start looking without a price in mind, it will be very discouraging when you find a piece you cannot afford.
The next step is to do some research. Find the websites to furniture manufacturers and see what they have to offer. You will be able to see what styles they have and you can eliminate the companies that do not have what you are looking for. Learn everything you can without leaving your home. If you find a piece you like, it will usually have the dimensions, fabric, and finish choices. Locate a store in your area that carries that line of furniture.
Now it is time to see the product in person. If the store you visit does not have the exact piece you wanted, you can still evaluate the quality of the line, pick out fabrics and finishes, and get an idea if it is something you would want. Fine furniture stores will create room settings so you can get a feel of what it will look like in a room. Just remember that furniture showrooms are very spacious with tall ceilings and no sidewalls. Keep the scale of your own room in mind. Get decorating ideas from the professionals. Many fine furniture stores will offer design services. Have someone come out to your home and they can help you find the perfect piece for your room as well as arranging accessories you may already have to create a new space. Be sure to talk to the sales people. They can help you with your decision and may have something in mind that they could order for you.
A furniture store will not have every piece that a company makes on the floor but they can order it. Look at the fabric options available for that company and take a few home with you to see them in the room. Some furniture stores will allow you to even take small furniture pieces and accessories home on approval. You can try it without putting any money down and if you do not like it, just bring it right back without the hassle. Buying furniture is a big expense, so you should end up with exactly what you want. By following these guidelines, shopping for furniture will be much easier and you will be happy with the results.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going Green

Green design is becoming a popular trend in the design world. Many companies are offering products that they claim to be green, however, there are so many aspects of green design that need to be taken into consideration. It is very complicated figuring out how green something actually is, but there are a few important questions you need to ask. Take the example of a paper cup and a Styrofoam cup. Which one is more sustainable? The obvious answer would be the paper cup. It is made from natural products and it can be recycled. When actually tested, the Styrofoam cup was more sustainable. You have to look at the entire lifetime of the cup. The products and process used to manufacture products use energy, non- renewable resources and renewable resources, and create emissions. Other things such as shipping, cost, and the disposal of the product are all considered.
With the launch of the EcoRowe initiative, we can provide a truly green product. Rowe has made a commitment to eco- friendly manufacturing processes and sustainable product development. They provide over 200 natural fiber fabrics, wood from replenished, domestic forests for the frames, and eco- friendly cushion cores. Rowe is also located in the USA, which will cut down on shipping costs and emissions. Green design is becoming very important and I hope this was helpful. We are not trying to scare you away from it, just make sure you ask a few more questions when considering a green product. Here is a great link that will provide you with more information about the green products Rowe offers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Designers Rip People Off

Wow! That's harsh, isn't it? What do you mean designers rip people off?

There are more bad interior designers out there than good ones. "Bad Designers" are more concerned with how much profit they make on your project, instead of focusing on your goals and needs. The "Good Designers" that work we work with on a daily basis have a genuine interest in helping people first. Making a good living comes from the helping people part.

Here are few ways you can know that your interior designer is working on your behalf:

Is your billing up front and detailed?
You should know exactly what your paying for when it comes to their services and the items you buy. Generic billing quotes and vague figures are not good enough.

Ask for a list of referrals and previous clients that you can contact.
A good designer will be excited to have you contact previous clients. At least 3 past clients would be preferred.

Does your designer exhibit integrity?
Does your designer do what he or she says they are going to do? Integrity is a lost value in our society, but the good ones still maintain it as one of the golden rules.

We hope this post is helpful to you in some way. Remember, your home is your castle, and the people who help furnish and design it should be just as invested in the outcome as you. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When Did Average Become Acceptable?

When you furniture shop, why does every store look the same? Do ever notice the same overstuffed sofa in every store you walk into? Even as an Alpha Male, I notice it. We are losing our sense of uniqueness and individuality. The internet and media tells us what we should buy, how we should dress, and what our home should look like.

My belief is--just because they're talking, doesn't mean we have to listen. Your home and style should be all your own. When you come home at the end of the day, you should feel a sense of pride in what YOU created. It shouldn't have to be average, and it shouldn't be because somebody told you so.

Don't be afraid to create a feel and environment that truly represents you, and your family. It's great to get ideas, but make sure it's what you enjoy, not what someone else deems as "right for you."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Finding A Dining Table That Will Last

With all the options available to us in different styles and types of dining furniture, it's hard to sort through what's quality and will last, and what will not. Many companies make products that look nice, but when it comes down to the construction and durability, it's merely lipstick on a pig.

Here are several key things you should look for when purchasing a dining room table, whether it's for everyday use or for entertaining:

Is It Solid Wood?
I am not saying all veneers are bad, what is important is the wood species (oak, maple, cherry, hickory, etc) and where the wood was harvested. Oak and Maple tend to me the most common woods used for dining because of their density and hardness.

Quality Joinery
Screws and glue just don't cut it anymore. If you want a dining table and chairs to last, it needs to have fundamentally good construction. Here are examples of what to look for:

Mortise and Tenon - a connection point where two pieces connect, locking the pieces together and creating the strongest joint possible.

Interlocking Corner Joints - offer a solid framework for the leg to attach to the table

Durable Finish
Catalyzed varnish is the most durable finish available, allowing you to simply take a damp cloth with water to clean up spills. It also resists UV rays which helps your table look new for a longer period of time.

These are just a few things to look for when looking at dining furniture. It's an excellent starting point for finding a table and chairs that will be durable and hold up the wear and tear of your family.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Buyers Beware!

I just got back from the Las Vegas furniture market, fresh with new ideas and knowledge about how we can better serve you and improve the studio.

There is only one major disappointment from my trip: some manufacturers are worrying more about making money, and less about making great stuff for you to buy and to improve your home. I am not saying profit and making money are a bad thing, what I believe is that we make money by offering great furniture and great values--not by cutting corners and utilizing fancy marketing tactics.

Our goal is to serve as an advocate for our clients. This means finding the best possible products for the best value. We attend three furniture markets a year to make this happen. We love looking for uniqueness, because this is what separates your home from everyone else, and we also appreciate quality, because furniture should be stylish, well made and something you can enjoy for a long time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are you afraid of making a mistake?

We meet guests and clients on a daily basis that are afraid of making a mistake when it comes to buying furniture or anything else for their home. It is a big decision and you want every dollar you spend to be as effective as possible.

We have a couple solutions available that can make decorating your home more fun and less stressful.

We allow guests to take small furniture pieces, lamps and accessories home to try it before they buy. The best way to visualize furniture is to actually see it in your home during the daylight and also evening hours when there is absence of natural light. If you like a piece that you try, simply send us a check or call with your credit card.

We have a wonderful staff that can help assess your home and situation, coming up with the best design plan possible. We offer room layouts, work with your color palette and find ways to create the perfect room.

We can come out and assess the situation, making sure a piece of furniture will fit into your home. If you have tight doorways, narrow hallways or furniture going up or down stairs, we can help make sure your furniture will fit before you order.

These are just a couple simple solutions that can help make decorating and furnishing your home a fun experience. Buying furniture shouldn't have to be a stressful experience and we are here to help.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just added...Clayton Marcus + New Lamps!

We are excited to have some great new introductions to start 2009. Clayton Marcus, which is a great line of upholstered furniture is our biggest intro. Clayton Marcus offers traditional and upscale upholstery that is all made in the USA. The look lends itself to traditional and eclectic styles. It adds a great new element to the studio because of the increased fabric options and expansive custom options available (tassles, ability to collage different fabrics, bullion fringe, etc.)

We have also received a lot of new lamps! Most of the lamps are ceramic and colorful with a nice mix of contemporary and traditional. We always offer "Try On Approval" in case there is a lamp or any other item in the studio that you would like to try before you buy. It makes a huge difference, seeing an item in your room and how it ties in with your decor.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Size Does Matter!

One common problem our clients have when looking for furniture is....finding furniture that fits. Furniture manufacturers have not always been the best listeners and have produced a lot of oversized, over-fluffed stuff. Even with today's larger great rooms and open floor plans, we are finding clients that want to have flexibility and options in their room. Smaller-scaled pieces are the answer to this furniture design dilemma.

If you are looking for a sofa, there are several great options in the 80" and under category. This can include traditional, contemporary and even casual styles. The best feature of many of the 80" and under sofas is that you don't have to sacrifice any seating space. In most cases, the seating space is comparable to 90-95" sofas.

Sectionals are another great option because it gives you control over the amount of seating, contour of the piece and also the overall size.

If you are having trouble finding something that fits, don't give up! Here is a great link to the Mini-Mod section of the Rowe website which has some great small-scaled options.