Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Buyer's Guide to Leather Sofas and the Questions to Ask When Buying One

Buying a new sofa can be an overwhelming process, especially with so many styles and colours available, where do you start? This article will assist you in purchasing the perfect leather sofa for your home.

Choosing the colour
One of the first considerations you should make is practicality. If you have pets or a young family, then you probably won’t fancy spending your spare time wiping finger marks or dogs fur from a cream or white leather sofa. Black is a very versatile option, easy to maintain and fits well with the majority of décor styles. A brown leather sofa made from aniline leather, brings an element of comfort and homeliness to a living room, and a red leather sofa can create a very striking counterpoint to neutral or light décor. You can accentuate polished wooden flooring with a cream leather sofa; this can be accessorized with a variety of colorful cushions. 
Choosing the style
It is worth remembering that you will have to live with your sofa for the next few years so choose a style that will age well and match any future trends, for example, in 3 years time are you still going to love that yellow low backed sofa? With a wealth of styles available it can complicated to choose a leather sofa that everyone in your home is happy with. If you prefer sofas with higher backs and elegant low back designs in beautiful two toned antique colors then a traditional leather sofa is for you. Chesterfield Leather Sofas are a great choice if you’re looking for a sofa that is both classic and timeless. If you like modern décor, a contemporary sofa might be a better choice, these are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. 

Choosing a leather type 
Full Grain

Full grain remains natural and is the most desirable of all leathers. The prominent markings from bug bites, a scar from a fence, or the usual little wrinkles that occur on the leather are evident. These natural markings provide the hide with a host of unique characteristics.

Top Grain

If you hear or see the words “top grain”, the reference is to where the leather was cut rather than its grade. Do not confuse full grain with top grain, which basically means that it has not been split. When shopping for your leather sofa, make sure that the back of the sofa, cushions and any large areas were cut from the top grain of the leather and not from vinyl fabrics.


Aniline leather has been labeled with various names such as naked aniline, true aniline, and aniline full grain, all of them being exactly same. Aniline is basically leather that has been dyed right the way through. The spongy feel of aniline leather allows it to breathe effectively, which in turn increases its durability. It’s worth remembering that: the softer the leather feels, the higher its grade.


When searching for a leather sofa that suits your unique needs you may hear the word “antiqued” this is a leather that has been dyed twice, first in a lighter shade of color, and then in a darker shade that will provide variation and a unique antique appearance. This process is also known as distressed leather.

Ask the following questions when shopping:
  1. Is the leather finished or unfinished?
  2. Is the leather top-grain? If it isn’t, it won’t be as durable as you think.
  3. Is the whole sofa made of leather, or is some of it vinyl? Don’t be fooled.
  4. How has the frame been constructed? Is it built to last?
Author byline:

This guide was contributed by David at Thomas Lloyd

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tidy Up Tired-Looking Furniture with These Top Tips

Found on

With the holiday season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to clean your furniture so it’ll look good as new for gatherings with relatives and friends, not to mention, it’s good to have ready knowledge of how to clean your furniture when little elves with sticky fingers come to play! Fortunately, there’s no need to cut into your gift shopping budget and splurge on professional cleaning services. Keep reading to learn some easy ways to freshen up furniture without spending a fortune.

Survey the Stains

Most couches and soft armchairs naturally get stained during use. Although it’s ideal to handle a stain immediately after an accident happens, it’s also crucial to treat each stain appropriately. Oil-based stains will require chemical cleaning agents, but stains caused by food, beverages and dirt usually respond well if you use a portable steam cleaner on them.

Bring Out the Baking Soda

Baking soda is probably one of the cheapest cleaners you keep on hand at home, but it’s also one of the most versatile. There are a huge number of ways to use baking soda to clean surfaces ranging from stainless steel to walls that have been scribbled on with crayons.

As far as furniture though, use equal parts of water and baking soda toothpaste to scrub water rings off of wooden coffee tables. The trick also works well for brightening dull wood cabinets. If you don’t get the desired results after the first attempt, do two treatments.

Make Your Own Furniture Polish

Give wood a gorgeous gleam by polishing it with a homemade mixture created from a cup of cold pressed olive oil and a half cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Put the ingredients in a glass jar, then shake it gently to combine them. Apply a small bit to wood furniture using a very soft cloth.

Wipe the Right Way

When wiping furniture, always go in the direction of the grain, using the softest lint-free cloth you can find. If tackling a new spill on upholstery, resist the urge to scrub it frantically. That could cause the substance to sink deeper into the fibers. Instead, blot it carefully to soak up the excess.

Remove Residue

Hard furniture can look dingy if it’s covered with grease and grime. Residue build-up can happen over time, but it’s easy to remove. Mix two parts white vinegar with one part water and get to work.

If you notice white rings appearing on the surface, they’re grease remnants. Get rid of them by grabbing the jar of mayonnaise from your fridge and dab the condiment lightly on the affected portions. Then, cover them with a soft cloth for a few hours, and finally wipe them away.

Get Rid of Spots on Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is a great investment, but it’s no more immune to getting stained and spotted than furniture covered with fabric. Remove ink stains from leather by using a cotton swab that’s been dipped in alcohol. You may need to leave the surface damp overnight, then wipe it with a soft cloth in the morning.

Handle other types of spots on leather by mixing equal parts cream of tartar and lemon juice. You’ll create a paste that can be gently worked into the soiled leather. If a stain is severe, let the paste sit on the material for a couple hours before cleaning it away.

The holiday season is traditionally a time when people invite others into their homes to share good times. If you’re planning on doing the same, there’s no need to stress about the condition of your furniture. The tips you’ve just read could help you fix it in a flash.

BIO: James works in construction and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From Mike: 5 Tips to Rock Your Sofa

Mike writes at Fabnest:

How many times have you been corrected when asked, “How is your day and you say good?” And there reply is, “You mean well.” I know, proper from improper can be a real pain.
This diction analogy is similar when talking about couch vs sofa.  One word that is never used by interior designers is “couch.” A couch is a sofa. Sofas have gone by many names: Chesterfield, divan, settee, davenport, daveno, couch, but now only sofa.

Read the rest at Fabnest:

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Mike Interviews Classic Woodwork Inc.

Classic Woodwork Inc is a high-end residential woodwork contractor based in Montreal. Recently, Simon Lacroix reached out to me via LinkedIn and introduced himself and his company to let me know about their work in NYC. I thought an introduction to his company was worthy of a post here on RenovatingNYC.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Uttermost Rugs

Estelle, Red
Rugs Collection
By Uttermost

Mike Published On FabNest

These Towels You Wouldn’t Dare Throw on the Floor


What is one of the nicest parts of staying at a resort in the vacation spot you love? Some may say it’s the sunsets glinting off the water. Some may say it is the relaxation you feel when you fall asleep in a hammock to the sound of the surf. Some may say it’s the chance of finding exotic dining places. For me it’s the luxurious towels found in fine resorts. They are big, fluffy, super absorbent and smell like a sun filled meadow. When you have finished drying your naked body, you don’t just toss them on the floor in the corner for the maid, but hang them carefully on the hook located on the bathroom door.

Read More at FabNest