The holidays are coming! Soon, your home and the furniture within it will be filled with the trappings and trimmings of the season. However, the holidays aren’t the only season to think about your furniture. While you might not decorate and utilize these pieces as much during the rest of the year, they still need attention and care to remain at their best. By caring for them all year round, you can also help ensure their health and beauty when the holiday season finally does roll around.
Of course, the best way to care for your furniture is to keep it out of harm’s way as much as possible. Take basic precautions like using coasters on the table, wiping up spills as soon as they happen, and cleaning regularly. But life happens, and furniture inevitably reflects this. No matter how careful we are, all our furniture begins to look a little dinged up before too long.
Luckily, there are easy ways to clean up most of the everyday problems that develop with our furniture. Whether it’s a spilled drink, a scratch, or wobbling legs, there’s always a solution to bring your furniture back to its natural and beautiful self.
Here are a few of our favorite tips to help keep your furniture looking gorgeous all year long
1. Polish the Surfaces
If you find the surfaces of your tables are getting a little lackluster, here’s a quick fix. Dust off the top with a damp cloth, then add a few drops of olive oil to your cloth and use this to gently buff the surface of the table. These oils will polish your table without adding the waxy layer many store-bought polishes will.
2. Try a Beeswax Polish
Use a double boiler to melt four ounces of beeswax. Add four ounces of turpentine once the wax has melted, and stir the mixture as it continues to melt. Keep stirring and add four ounces of hot water, a blob of your favorite scented liquid soap, and several drops of essential oil. Keep stirring as this cools, then pour it into a glass container where it should sit for at least a half hour before using it.
3. Keep Your Furniture Where It Belongs
Furniture has an unfortunate tendency to migrate across the floor. It usually happens so slowly and subtly that we don’t notice it until the couch is halfway across the room. Help your furniture stay healthy by keeping it out of the sun and away from the heater, furnace, or any other heat source that might harm the finish.
4. Clean up Stains
The first line of defense against stains is simply to wipe up spills and leaks as soon as they happen. If a stain does develop, however, clean it with a mixture of lemon or vinegar and olive or almond oil. If you’ve never attempted this type of cleaning before, it might be wise to try a small test patch before you begin cleaning the entire surface.
5. Fix Wobbly Legs
Fix this problem by purchasing a package of felt or plastic pads intended for furniture legs. Slide these onto the feet causing problems and see if this doesn’t balance things out. If you’re looking to avoid spending money, try using the end of a wine cork and double-sided tape to stick it to the floor.
6. Get Rid of Candle Wax Spills
Use a dish scraper — or improvise a similar tool by using a credit card — to scrape the wax off the surface. Then take a soft cloth to wipe away any remnants and polish the area with a paste wax to get it looking fresh and clean.
7. Remove Light Scratching
Shoe polish is one way to gently buff the scuffs out of a wooden surface. Just be sure your shoe polish matches the color of the wood. If you don’t have any shoe polish on hand, take a crayon that is a similar color to the furniture. Gently rub the crayon over the damaged area, taking extra care to fill in the scratch. Wipe away any leftover crayon residue off the surface when you’re finished.
8. Fix Water and Heat Stains
There are two possible fixes to these issues:
· One option is to take a clean washcloth, add a few drops of mineral spirits, and rub it over the problem area until the stains come out.
· Another option is to pour a small pile of ordinary table salt on top of the problem area. This will draw out the moisture from the water stain. Cover the salt with a small towel and point a warm hair dryer at the towel to dry the area. Lift up the towel periodically and keep checking until the stain is gone.
9. Remove Burn Marks
This can be a tricky one. If the furniture is seriously burned, this might be a job that’s best left to the professionals. If it’s only a minor scar, you can try scrubbing out the mark with steel wool and ammonia. Make sure to rub in the direction of the grain, not against it. When you’re finished, add a layer of paste wax to reseal the furniture’s finish.
General Tips for Holiday Decorating
No matter which room you’re decorating, these tips apply across the board and will help turn your house into a holiday wonderland that strikes the perfect balance between festive, fun, and classic.
· Keep it classic: Everyone wants to get into the holiday mood, but there is always such a thing as too much. Your decorations should look tasteful, not garish, and your furniture and rooms should still be perfectly functional.
· Maintain a color scheme: Individual rooms should tie together by using similar color palettes. You have more freedom from room to room, although you can certainly coordinate the entire house if you choose. For example, if you decide to use mostly blue ornaments on your tree, try adding a blue blanket on the couch with some white throw pillows.
· Remember children and pets: If you don’t have children or pets, you have unlimited freedom regarding which decorations you choose. However, if you have very small children or rowdy pets, be aware that not every decoration is the best choice. You may be best off sticking to non-breakable decorations. If you do choose delicate ornaments, be conscious of where you place them and do your best to keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
Easy Ways to Decorate Your Dining Room for the Holidays
With company soon arriving at your door, you’ll want to make sure your home welcomes your guests in true holiday fashion. Try these ideas to dress up the most visited room during the holiday season, your dining room.
While there may not be quite as much furniture in the dining room as there is in other areas of your house, there are still plenty of opportunities to bring the festivities around the table.
Try a Tablecloth
It’s important for your table to remain functional. After all, it’s going to host many delicious holiday meals in the upcoming weeks. But there are still plenty of ways to make your table feel fun. Try a printed holiday tablecloth or a more elegant and simple plaid tablecloth. If you’re not a fan of full-size tablecloths, you might prefer to opt for a table runner.
Create a Centerpiece
The best part of any holiday table is the show-stopping centerpiece. You can make it whatever you choose:
· Perhaps your style is minimalist, and you prefer a simple cluster of candles of varying heights and sizes.
· Maybe you’re a nature-lover, and you want to incorporate bursts of greenery. For Thanksgiving, you might choose blue corn cobs or small gourds, or for Christmas, a decorative bowl of sweet-smelling fruit or pinecones scented with cinnamon or peppermint.
· Or you might prefer a glass vase filled with acorns and candy corn, or colorful Christmas bulb decorations later in the season.
The options here are endless
Add Some Accents
Find exciting new ways to incorporate the rest of your dining room into the party. If you have a china cabinet, you can add holiday decorations to the top, or twine twinkling lights through the china set. You can line your doors and windows with garlands or string lights. You can add more candles to side tables or in the windows of this room. If you love plants and greenery, maybe you can find a special place to put a Christmas cactus or a poinsettia to bloom the whole season through.
Your Guests Will Adore Your Effort
If you find yourself wondering if any of your efforts will even be noticed, rest assured that your guests will appreciate the thought and care you put into decorating the gathering space that is your dining room.
In our next post, we will look at decorating some of the other rooms of your home and provide some general tips to make sure your holiday décor makes your season bright.
If your furniture isn’t shining up no matter how much care you give it, maybe it’s time to stop by your local Badcock store to find new pieces to love for years to come. We have a great selection of living room, dining room, accent furniture and more to make your home holiday ready today. Find a store near you.