How To Keep Your Hardwood Floors clean?

How to keep hardwood floors clean? pet hair? dust? We have two dogs that seem to shed constantly and our house is older and just seems to breed dust. I always seem to be cleaning but the next day it all looks the same. Aside from shaving my dogs or getting rid of them, neither of which I will consider as an option, does anyone have any suggestions on how to 1) keep my floors clear of pet hair, or an easier way to pick it up at least, and 2) reduce the dust in my house? We do use special furnace filters that are supposed to reduce dust in our house but I’ve noticed little improvement?

How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Most wood floors can be kept clean by first sweeping or vacuuming with a floor nozzle to remove most of the surface dust and dirt, then damp mopping with clear water (dip a sponge in clear water, squeezing it out so that the mop is barely damp, almost dry). Use very little water and rinse your mop thoroughly after each use since excess water can dissolve protective coatings, alter the color of the wood and raise the grain to roughen the surface.

If your floors are not dirty enough to need mopping every week, then you should not do it, as it will wear the floors faster, not to mention waste your time. Simply sweeping is often all they need.

If need to restore the shine to your wood floor after you get it clean, try damp mopping it with 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons furniture polish in a gallon of warm water. Vinegar is also useful for removing any soap residue or build-up, but should not be necessary every week…

Hardwood floors are luxurious features to have in a home, and are a highly desired feature when purchasing a new home. There are many reasons for this. First of all, they do not attract the mold and allergens that a carpet often does so it is better for those with allergies. However, with this beautiful flooring choice, you may find that is it not as easy to maintain as a carpeted floor and requires a lot of restrictions to prevent it from getting scratched up. Hardwood floors are great for your home, so it is worth the extra effort.

How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floor

With a hardwood floor, you can sweep up the floor to get rid of the dust and debris on your hardwood. This can be a tedious process that is not easy on your joints and back. You do have the option to vacuum your hardwood floor, but you need to be careful to choose the right option for this. You will want to pick a vacuum cleaner that is specifically made for hardwood floors. Otherwise you will run the risk of scratching and scuffing the surface of the hardwood floor. There are many other things that you need to do to maintain your hardwood floor.

Cleaning

If you are looking for a vacuum for your hardwood floor, one particularly good choice is the Hoover linx cordless stick vacuum cleaner bh50010. This is a vacuum that is made specifically for your delicate hardwood floor. Here are some features that you can find with this vacuum:

  • This vacuum has non-marking rubber wheels that are safe for sliding along your hardwood floor without scratching its surface.
  • It is a very lightweight and compact option that is easy to move around your house and even easier to store.
    The controls are quite literally at your fingertips, making using this product extremely easy.
  • It is a bagless option that means you have a dust cup that you can easily dump without its contents spilling all over the place.
  • The vacuum’s brush is made with soft bristles, making it extra delicate on your floor.
  • It has very powerful suction that is capable of picking up even the most stubborn of dust, debris and pet hair.

Another vacuum option to consider is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-away Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a good choice if you have both hardwood flooring and carpeting. Here are some other features you can find with this vacuum:

  • This has a 12 amp power that can really get everything off of your flooring.
  • It has the controls right at your fingertips which add to the convenience of using this product.
  • It has different utensils to help this become a versatile cleaning machine: a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an upholstery nozzle.
  • The hose and extension wand allows you to clean items like ceiling fans and curtains.
  • It has a blower port, which is used by detaching the hose from the main part of the vacuum cleaner and attaching it to the blower port.
  • It is a lightweight option that you can maneuver with easy where you need to.

 

If you do not want to vacuum your floor, you can also sweep it up with a soft bristled brush to help protect your flooring. It can also help to make sure that the dustpan has a rubberized ending on it so that you do not scratch up the floor’s surface. You can also consider the option of dust mopping your floor. Either way, sweeping or vacuuming is the first step to cleaning your floor. This process should be at least done on a daily basis to help make upkeep easier on you. This is also a great idea because dirt and debris that is not picked up regularly can damage your flooring.

After you have cleaned all of the substances off of your floor, you can now begin to make your hardwood floor shine. A cleaner that was made specifically for your hardwood floor is really the best option, otherwise you may get a chemical that is too harsh for your floor and may cause damage. You should also be careful not to use a cleaner that contains wax or oil, as this can make your hardwood floor greasy.

A greasy hardwood floor is difficult to maintain, clean and will be next to impossible to refinish the floor without sanding your floor with a deep sanding pad. You should also avoid cleaners with ammonia in it, bleach, and any other acidic cleaner. This will likely eat through your floor’s finish. When cleaning your hardwood floor, you should never pour the cleaner directly on the floor’s surface. It should always be diluted according to the package’s instructions. You should read the label of the bottle to make sure that it is safe for hardwood floors.

If you use a mop, avoid string types of mops that hold an excessive amount of moisture. These will leave too much moisture on the ground when mopping and is not as effective as other options. These types of mops are guilty of just pushing around dirty water instead of picking up the dirty. A mop that has a microfiber pad is an excellent option, as is a traditional sponge mop if you are careful.

There are also hardwood floor cleaning machines, similar to carpet cleaners, which are made specifically for cleaning hardwood floors. They use the right amount of liquid and chemicals that give a great clean and even dry up your floor after you are done. This can help ensure that no moisture is left after cleaning that will damage your floor.

Spills

All spills should absolutely be cleaned up right away. By letting them sit, some items can eat through the floor’s finish while others will warp your wooden floor boards. Some spills will just simply stain the hardwood surface. No matter what, you do not want to chance it. The minute something spills, pick it up.

Use a cloth that is softer and non-abrasive and make sure that the mess is cleaned up and dried completely. Even the littlest amount left over can damage your flooring. This is a task that does require some care.

Mats and Area Rugs

Placing mats right by doors for people to wipe their feet on is a great idea to help protect your hardwood floors. Placing area rugs and runners in high traffic areas will also provide useful protection for the flooring. You will also want to put flooring mats or smaller carpets in front of your kitchen sink and any other food preparation and eating area where hardwood floors are located. This will help protect the flooring from spills while cooking and prepping. This protection will also assist in protecting your flooring from dropped utensils, glasses, and plates that may damage the floor upon breaking.

When choosing a carpet or mats, make sure you get one with a backing that is no abrasive and will not scratch up your floor’s surface. For things like runners or larger space rugs, you will want to place an adhesive strip underneath to make sure that they stay still. This can be a safety issue, especially with kids running around or just in high traffic areas. You can easily trip on unsecured carpets, so you will want to make sure that they are stuck down pretty well.

Groom Your Pets

You must make sure that your pets have trimmed nails at all times. While they are running around your house, especially larger dogs, their nails can scratch up your floor’s surface quite easily. This can be done simply at your home using the proper nail trimmers and a file. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, or just not able to, you can bring them to a professional groomer or even your vet clinic if they offer these services. This should be done frequently so that the nails do not get too long.

Skip the Heels

Heels, especially those really spiky pairs, can very easily damage your hardwood floor. If you are going to wear these types of shoes, or any shoes with heel taps on them, you will want to consider taking them on and off before walking on your hardwood floor. Even on regular shoes, you may get rocks stuck in the treads at the bottom. If this happens, these rocks or other hard surfaces can also scratch the surface of your floor.

Felt Pads

You will want to consider the option of placing felt pads at the bottom of furniture. This will help protect your floor if the furniture ends up sliding across your floor or if the furniture is an item that is commonly moved around in your home. These pads do an excellent job of protecting your floor’s surface. There are pads that are especially made for furniture, and are very easy to stick onto the furniture. Make sure that every corner of the legs are properly covered, otherwise this is not as effective. Avoid gimmicky items like discs that go under your furniture to help you move it easier. These were really meant for carpeted coloring and may end up doing more damage than good.

Avoid Sunlight or Intense Light Sources

You may not know this, but direct sunlight can do some damage to your hardwood floor. Direct sunlight can change the color of your hardwood flooring. If you have lighter flooring, you will notice this more than if you have darker flooring.

You can avoid this by moving furniture around the room occasionally in order to avoid the same spots from being hit with that direct sunlight every time. You can also utilize black out curtains for windows, or even ones that block out some of the light. Every little bit helps.

When purchasing lights for your rooms with hardwood flooring, pick lights that are not as strong if you can help it even if that means purchasing a few different lights. LED lights are also great options because they do not give as much heat off as incandescent lights.

Humidity

Your home should always be maintained at a certain level of humidity, at levels around 40% and 50%. This is because this is the optimal level of humidity for your own health. This is also the perfect level of humidity to help protect your hardwood flooring and any wooden furniture that you have in your home. The humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. If you have too much moisture in the air, this will affect your wooden furniture and hardwood floor by causing it to warp. You can use equipment to tell the moisture level in the air, and if it is too high, you should consider a de-humidifier to help control the moisture.

Moving Furniture

You should take great care when moving furniture on a hardwood floor. You should get help to pick up the furniture, rather than drag it along the floor. You can also get an upside down mat on the floor underneath the furniture if you cannot get help so that you can safely slide the furniture along the floor without scratching up the surface of your floor. The same goes with appliances. If you cannot get help to lift the appliances, you should consider a plywood board to slide the appliances along or getting an appliance lift.

Conclusion

Hardwood floors are beautiful but they are extremely delicate. They can be scratched up easily, so you will want to take every precaution to avoid this. This can be a costly mistake, as well as a very time consuming one. If you scratch up your floor, you will likely have to go through steps to refinish the floor. This includes sanding and refinishing. After a floor is refinished, you can generally not walk on for a while after the refinishing. This is a process that can be avoided if you take care of your flooring on a regular basis and take note of these tips.

Tips To Take Care Of Hardwood Flooring

You offer your house with Hardwood Flooring? Actually, it is not completely easy to keep it maintenance and as the original performance. However, if you have good aware of how to clean and save it in the profound way, it is not trouble. You could follow my tips today to have good aspect of how to keep your solid wooden Flooring.

Take care of hardwood floors

Vacuum the floor every week

Your hardwood flooring contains much dirt and dust that you are able to realize. The grit in dust is gathered from day to day and becoming as a trouble if the amount is bigger and bigger. There are many kinds of vacuum cleaners on the market for you to easily select at various prices, types, color and functions. From them, you are totally able to choose the best vacuum for your floor. You need to remember that a good vacuum cleaner must protect the finish as well as keep its appearance. You can move the rotating brushes and beater bar can to clean anywhere in your home. Also, to avoid scratching the finish, you should use the cleaner with smooth brushes and the motor has enough power to vacuum.

Have regular care through sweeping and dust mop also:

Sweep could be seen as the second choice after Vacuum cleaner. Dry sweep will help you wipe up most dirt and dust on the hardwood floor. It is possible to use broom to sweep dust and grit effectively. Also, a good dust mop should be regular used and kept in clean.

Prepare for protections

– It is clear that dirt and grit and sand are your hardwood floor’s dangerous enemies. They will cause scratches, dulling and dents because they act as sandpaper on the surface of wood floor. Therefore, you could put a floor mats right at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage at the first step. When they clean their shoes on the mats, most of dirt and dust will be kept and hence, protect the floor.

– Water and other spills are one of main sectors for hardwood flooring to damage your hardwood floor. Standing water surely warps poorly finished flooring and destroys it. So, you should wipe up all spills as they appear.

– When you lift the furniture to move it, be careful because it is very easy to drag the wood floor. To prevent scratches when move them, you should felt contacts under the legs of furniture.

– One more issue appears when regarding the protection of hardwood flooring is Sunshine. It is because sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds to protect the floor from the sun’s intensive UV rays.

Keep in minds these notices to protect your wooden floorings

– Improve your floor’s finish with the hairspray and furniture polish. Using a damp cloth to wipe them up and make more cleanups, also, spraying with window cleaner not containing ammonia.

– What’s more? Always be aware of the weather especially in rainy or snowy days. You should keep out of rain or snow because water is the sector ruining the finish on a hardwood floor in the fastest way. Moreover, it even penetrates deep into the wood and damages it gradually. In these days, take care of the window to close it when necessary. Also, place floor mats entrances to dry shoes and foot before going on the flooring. Plus, for any water you see, please wipe up immediately.

– It is necessary to hold the rules about using waxes to renew the flooring. When you use was on a surface finish as varnish, polyurethane or shellac, it is not a good idea. It is because wax is used to rejuvenate a wax finish. However, it only makes the floor much slipper and not interferes with subsequent finish. For each kind of surface, like polyurethane finish, you should use a polish made for polyurethane. Or please test carefully before restoring your hardwood floor to have an effective result.

– Doormat should be used for your house: to keep your floor always clean, you should equip your home with doormats inside and outside as well. They are used to contain water, dirt and even dust from foot, shoes when people come back home. The doormat has particular size that is suitable for your entrances so don’t worry when buying it.

– You must know that when walking across around just an area so many times a day, you will wear down a hardwood floor’s finish. Therefore, as the advice of Home improvement magazine, rugs with nice style is the most efficient way to reduce the wear. Therefore, for some places or the whole the floor, you could find a rug model.

Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques. It’s important to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors.

PREVENTION

Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floors worst enemies. They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage.

WATER AND OTHER SPILLS

Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen.

HARD CLEANERS

Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended.

FURNITURE

Lift the furniture to move it — avoid dragging. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches.

DENTS

Vacuum with a brush attachment — don’t use vacuums with beater bars.

SUN

Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun’s intense UV rays.

SWEEP

Brooms with fine, exploded ends trap dust and grit effectively.

VACUUM

Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.

DUST MOP

Use a good dust mop — one with a 12- to 18- inch cotton head —- and a special dust mop treatment. Spray the treatment onto the mop head 12 to 24 hours before dust mopping.

There are many tips how to protect your hardwood floor for you to make conference. Wooden flooring is recommended as the latest trend for any home decoration for its beauty and convenience. And more importantly, that must be the way to protect it. Not difficult but requires a regular care. Don’t wait for any minutes and have the solution to take care of your flooring in hope of keeping its good-looking performance.

Baby Nursery Theme – From Baby Crib To Baby’s Haven With Nursery Theme Decor

A baby nursery theme designed around your baby’s crib or cot, baby furniture and crib bedding set, enables you to put together a room that becomes an environment of comfort, safety, security, nurturing, stimulation, and delight. Perhaps you have chosen a classic Pooh crib baby nursery theme idea, or Lady Bug nursery decor as a baby girl nursery theme. Perhaps you have decided that your little one will thrive in a Pottery Barn Kids dinosaur baby boy nursery decor environment, or any of the countless other baby nursery themes. A common thread throughout the nursery helps to create a tranquil, organized, and cozy feeling for both you and your baby.

Baby Nursery Theme

Your baby nursery theme will be built around the crib you choose. For your baby’s safety, it is vital that you consider baby cribs from reputable manufacturers. A wide variety of styles, finishes, and colors are available, to blend in with your baby nursery theme. Some of the most commonly used baby furniture ranges include Bellini baby furniture, Pali cribs, Jenny Lind Cribs, Pottery Barn Kids cribs, the Simmons crib range, and the Delta Luv Jenny Lind 4750-1 cribs.

While choosing a baby nursery theme idea, you have the option to choose a round crib, a portable crib, a canopy crib, or even an Amby Baby Hammock, which is extremely effective as far as relief for infant acid reflux is concerned. However, a standard convertible crib is the most common baby nursery theme cot choice, and will give you a wide selection of crib bedding to choose from.

A baby crib or cot for twins is also available. The baby nursery theme will probably determine whether you opt for a classic or contemporary style crib, a sleigh style crib, one with round spindled sides, or an arched back.

A sensible choice as part of any baby nursery theme, would be one of the convertible cribs. Most of the baby furniture ranges have this as an option. A convertible crib extends the life of the baby cot, and enable you to use it as a toddler bed later on. Many of the convertible baby cribs also have the option of conversion to a full size bed.

Apart from convertibility, features to keep in mind when examining cribs and cots include having at least one drop side. Irrespective of the baby nursery theme, the crib should also have plastic teething rails, casters, and a secure, adjustable crib mattress support. The crib mattress needs to fit snugly into the baby cot, and the quality has to live up to baby crib safety standards.

The material used in the manufacturing process of the crib, will determine the price. The most common materials used are solid wood, pressboard or particle board, durable Medium Density Fiberboard, and iron. If price is no objection in your baby nursery theme, choose a crib made of maple or oak. For finishing, only non-toxic paint should be used.

Crib safety should be first and foremost in your mind, not your baby nursery theme. Various organizations on the internet are striving to give parents up to date information regarding the crib features that may present a danger. It is a good idea to do some reading, before you make a decision about a crib or cot, and other baby furniture. It is also for this reason that it may not be advisable to choose an older, used crib.

Once you have your baby furniture in place, you can set out to find the rest of the baby nursery theme idea items. Whether you have custom nursery decor in mind, or will be purchasing ready-made ranges, have fun while giving life to the baby nursery theme picture you have in your mind.

Choose Hardwood Flooring – Classic, Durable, Elegant, and Comfortable

Solid hardwood flooring can make your home shine and is so durable that centuries-old homes still have their original floors.

Hardwood Flooring Ideas

That’s right, well-maintained hardwoods can last hundreds of years! Ancient and powerful, wood brings an unsurpassed beauty and richness to your home that many will envy.

Hypoallergenic and in many varieties, each type of hardwood has its own specifications that make them unique for different applications. When you’re getting ready to purchase any kind of flooring, have in mind the following:

  • The kind of traffic area
  • How much sunlight will it receive
  • Is it in a basement
  • Does the temperature or humidity vary?

Each of these items is important when deciding which wood you should purchase for the area you wish to cover.

Sizes and Species

The floorboards are available in sizes from 3-6” wide. Some can come in lengths from 12-84”. There are many species of wood available and you can custom cut most. Among the most popular species are…

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Walnut
  • Cherry

The narrower the board, the more formal and elegant the look will be. The wider the board, the more casual the feel.

Clear grades offer a uniform color and are longer in length while the cabin or taverngrade will show knots and more of the character of the natural wood. Other grades are available to vary the natural personality of the wood.

Hardwood Color

The color of solid hardwoods is a personal choice. When choosing the color, balance is key. If you prefer dark woods, pair them with lighter colored furniture. The lighter colored woods, on the other hand, are a greataccent for any color décor that you may already have in your home. Be careful when matching new woods to current woods in adjoining rooms, it can be difficult.

Hardwood Floor Colors

With the added beauty and elegance, real wood invites people in. Paler in color are the Red or White Oak. For richness and a softer wood, American Cherry could be a good choice as it interacts with light. Deep burgundy can be achieved with Brazilian Cherry. Other choices of wood, from the hardest to the softest, include American Black Walnut, Yellow Birch, White Ash, Santos Mahogany, and Brazilian Teak.

Hardwood Flooring Installation and Care

With proper tools, installation can be done by any do-it-yourselfer. Consult your localhome improvement store, flooring store, or check out some books at your local library to make sure you purchase or rent the proper tools and equipment.

When caring for your solid hardwood floors, you need to be aware of a few major points. First, make sure that the relative humidity is between 40%-55% since too much moisture will cause the wood to expand and contract, ruining your floor. Second, leave a little leeway for expansion when you install your hardwood floors. Third, do not install wood over a concrete slabs or in a basement.

Return to Laminate Flooring from Hardwood Flooring

Carpet Cleaning Tips For Your Dream Living Room

Carpet cleaning tips are here, at last!

Stylish Living Room Ideas spends a lot of time talking about how to design the living room of your dreams but how do you keep that room looking great day in and day out? More importantly, how do you keep your carpets clean so they’ll last, look like new and feel great under your feet?

Follow along as we rundown a number of easy and useful carpet cleaning tips.

Carpet Cleaning Tips For Your Dream Living Room

Prevention – Your Clean Carpet Strategy

The single biggest key to maintaining clean carpets is to keep them from getting dirty and worn. When and what you use to vacuum is important. How you handle your high traffic areas also ranks high on the list. Your house rules are a big part of your “clean carpet strategy” too. Let’s touch on each of carpet cleaning tips in the paragraphs below.

Vacuuming

High traffic areas call for vacuuming once-a-day. These areas get matted down the fastest and take on dirt more quickly. Every carpeted room in your home should be vacuumed once a week to get those allergen filled particles off the floor and keep your carpet looking and feeling new.

The type of vacuum you use will depend on your finances, storage room and the needs of your home. We recommend Dyson’s high-quality line of vacuum cleaners. They’re lightweight, highly maneuverable and easy to clean.

Mats and Carpet Runners

Mats and carpet runners are fantastic for your high-traffic areas. A mat in front of each exterior door gives your visitors the opportunity to wipe moisture and/or dirt off their shoes before entering your home. Carpet runners in carpeted hallways, entryways, and on traffic paths add to the décor of your home and living room and preserve your carpets.

House Rules

The way you live in your home is a huge factor in taking care of your carpet. Here are a couple of simple tips that will definitely keep your carpets cleaner and help them last longer.

By adopting a ‘no shoes’ policy where all residents and guests remove their footwear at the door, you’ll keep outdoor dirt, moisture and germs from coming into your home and contaminating your carpets and floors. Some guests may feel uncomfortable with this, but aren’t clean, long-lasting carpets worth the inconvenience?

Another great suggestion is not allowing food to be consumed in the living room. Food stains can be a pain to clean and there’s always the chance of permanently staining the carpet. You can reduce the risk by banning food from your living room.

Treating

Another well-regarded carpet cleaning tip is to apply a stain-resistant treatment to your living room carpet. Many refer to this as Scotchgard, which is actually a product from 3M. Treatments of this type usually repel liquids, resist soils, and help eliminate staining.

Scotchgard carpet and rug treatments can be purchased at your discount store, home improvement store, supermarket or by clicking on the word Scotchgard. You can have a professional carpet cleaning service apply them, as well. In addition, you can purchase carpet that has been pre-treated.

Cleaning and Stain Removal

Prevention helps but it won’t be enough to maintain great looking and feel living room carpet. You’ll need to clean your carpets regularly and act quickly when spills happen and stains are discovered. Also, when water intrudes your response is critical and can make the difference between new carpet and restoring your current flooring.

Cleaning

The best carpet cleaning tip we can offer to have your carpets cleaned twice a year. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional is up to you. There are excellent carpet cleaning machines that you can rent from your local supermarket or home improvement store. Follow the instructions on these machines to the letter and take note that some types of carpet, like certain kinds of berber, should only be cleaned using a dry process.

If you have a big family or entertain often, you might consider purchasing your own carpet cleaning machine. There are many upright steam vacuum systems available for a reasonable price. Upright machines do a great job but are heavier than canister machines so they won’t work well in smaller spaces. For more tips on buying a steam cleaner check out this article. We like the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge. This unit has been around for a long time and is highly rated by consumers at Amazon.com.

If doing it yourself isn’t for you, professional carpet cleaning services do a great job and can handle all kinds of carpets. There’s bound to be quite a bit of competition in your area so keep your eyes open for coupons and ads on the radio, in your newspaper, and on TV. The internet is also a fine way to search for local providers and see who has the best deal. This article has some great tips on how to hire a carpet cleaning professional.

A nationwide company that does a great job is SearsClean. Their exclusive two step cleaning system removes the carpet cleaning solution along with the deep-down dirt so you’re left with a cleaner, soft, better-looking carpet.

Spills

Out of all the carpet cleaning tips we can provide, the most useful one by far is to clean up spills right away! The longer a spill sits in your carpet the tougher it will be to remove. Start by blotting the spill with a dry white towel. Never rub back and forth during this stage or you’ll grind the liquid into your carpet! Once you have soaked up all the liquid you can scrub the stain with dish soap and water to remove any discoloration. After the stain is out you and use a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water to remove any residual odor.

Stain Removal

There are many products available on the market for stain removal. Spot treatments tend to work the best. We’ve used Resolve for years and it’s always worked well for us. For red stains, a fine carpet cleaning tip is to place a solution of dish soap and extremely hot water on a white cloth. Set this over the stain and set a heavy object on top. Allow this to sit for 15-20 minutes and then try scrubbing the stain out of the carpet.

Water Damage, Mold and Mildew

Water Damage, mold and mildew all require a lot of time and effort to get out of carpet. If the carpet is worth saving, we recommend hiring a professional. In many cases you will be better off putting new flooring in the area rather than trying to remove mold or mildew from carpet.

It is important to kill any mold or mildew that is on the subfloor before putting in new flooring. Use a 50% bleach 50% water solution to kill the mold.

Our Final Recommendations

In our homes, we’ve had some great quality carpets and not-so-great quality carpets. One thing we always do is put these carpet cleaning tips into practice to keep our carpets clean day after day. The carpet cleaning tips above just scratch the surface of what you can do to keep your carpet looking great all the time. Here are some sources where you can even more useful information…

Carpet-Cleaning-Tips.com – The name says it all

DoItYourself.com – Great specifics for hard-to-clean stains

MyFlooringHelper.com – Some more specifics, like pet urine

Here’s to a stain free living room carpet!

Christmas Decorating Ideas For Your Living Room

These Christmas decorating ideas will make you say, “Tis the season.”

Christmas decorating has always been the thing that gets us in the mood for the season. Unpacking the tree, all the ornaments, the garland and lights is such a good time. Every year we find a new way to decorate our living room and we often surprise ourselves with what we come up with.

white and red living room

We’ve brought together a host of different ideas to help you turn your living room into your own “Winter Wonderland”. From picking a theme, to choosing a great color scheme, to decorating your tree and everything else in between, we’ve got some Christmas decorating ideas you’ll get wrapped up in, for sure.

Christmas Color Schemes

We’ve got some news for you. Christmas colors are not limited to red and green. It’s easy to get pigeon-holed into using the same old colors, year after year. Think about it, though. Picture these colors in your mind. They all personify Christmas. Before you start thinking about a color scheme to put your Christmas decorating ideas to work with, take a moment and look at all of these super color combinations.

  • Red and Green
  • Red and White
  • Green and White
  • Fresh Green & White
  • All White
  • Any Color and Gold
  • Any Color and White
  • Any Color and Silver
  • White, Blue, and Silver
  • Ivory and Brushed Gold
  • Sage Green, Ivory, and Pewter
  • Bright Purple, Blue, and Green
  • Icy Blue, Lilac, and Silver
  • Autumn Tones of Beige, Brown, Golden Yellow, and Rust
  • Forest Green, Burgundy, and Gold
  • Primary Toy Colors Such as Red, Yellow, and Blue

So how many times did you look at that list and think, “Wow, I never thought of that!” Told ‘ya!

As a matter of fact, color brings out some very strong emotions in people. Choosing your Christmas color scheme might be more important than the colors of the decorations themselves.

How about an example…

Keep in mind, this isn’t the best Christmas decorating idea we’ve ever come up with, but it serves this example just fine. Let’s decorate a living room completely in black. Wall to wall and everything in between. On the coffee table, place a round bowl of silver ornaments. What is your attention drawn to? What if the ornaments were red, purple, gold, etc.? Still, you see the ornaments and probably nothing else.

Whatever you do, make sure you choose colors that draw your visitors’ attention and make YOU feel the Christmas spirit.

This “ornamental” slide show from CountryLiving.com brings together a number of these different color combinations… Sparkling Holiday Ornaments

Christmas Color Scheme Ideas

We’re all about Christmas decorating ideas so here are our favorites for creating a great color scheme…

silver and white christmas tree

Velvet Sky – Find some matte colored ornaments or spray paint a matte color on what you have. Add velvet textured decorations, flowers, add a wide velvet ribbon. Fill the arrangement in with clusters of velvet or silk flowers.

Silver and Gold – We can hear the song playing. Use gold and silver ornaments, crystal icicles, and crystal covered ornaments and beads on your tree and/or garland. Throw some silver and gold into your table settings, too.

Blue and White Wonderland – Blue and white with some simple additions makes for a wintry wonderland theme. Silver and blue throw pillows, coordinated gift wrap, simple stockings. Check out the tree!

Childhood Memories – Do you have fond memories of candy canes? Silvery tinsel? Icicle lights? Gingerbread houses? Snowmen? Well, there’s your color scheme right there. Sometimes your best Christmas decorating ideas come from your past.

Collectibles – Still have your Christmas stocking from childhood? A favorite ornament? Create a color scheme around your favorite collectible.

Monochromatic – Take your favorite color, or your favorite Christmas color (remember our rules from above) and build your color scheme around just this color and all its various shades. For red, think pink, fuchsia, rose, and crimson. How about lamp shades ranging from cherry red to a deep burgundy? You can add to them with bows, ribbons, metallic garlands, holly branches, or silk flowers. Vary the textures to build in some extra character.

The Colors of your Living Room – Modern living room? Capitalize on those bright solids or black and white to create your Christmas color scheme. Warm and casual? Reds and golds, with a touch of green should do the trick.

Holiday Gift Wrap – There’s just so many colors, styles and patterns of wrapping paper. Go to any discount store or department store and sample what they have to offer. Find one that speaks to you? Maybe that’s your inspriration for your Christmas color scheme.

Celebrating-Christmas.com gives a couple examples of how to create a Christmas color scheme. Have a look.

Remember, it’s not wise to upset the apple cart when creating your Christmas color scheme. If you’re using a modern interior design in your living room, don’t go rustic with your Christmas decorating ideas. Work to make the most of the space and design style you’ve built into it.

Conversely, warm interiors shouldn’t be turned into ice palaces with silver and white decorations. Stick to bronze ornaments in your bowls and green garlands with rich red berries.

We’re about to talk about decorating themes. Let’s remember how these color rules work in various themes. Blue, white and silver are cool colors, so it you’ve chosen a snowy theme, stay cool. If a family Christmas at home theme is what you’re driving at, stick with the warm colors…the reds, golds and a touch of green. More Christmas decorating ideas coming up…

Christmas Decorating Themes

Hope you’re enjoying our Christmas decorating ideas so far!

You can create a great color scheme, using our ideas, and your own or you can take what you’ve learned and expand it into a special decorating theme. Here’s a few ideas to get you started…

Ribbons, Ribbons and More Ribbons – Rule number one. Buy more than you think you’ll need. If you need to go back, the styles and colors you want may be sold out!

Basically, this theme revolves around accenting on all your holiday décor with ribbons and bows. Add them to garlands, wreaths, mantles, swags, candlesticks and anything else you can think of. Use the same ribbons in every room or coordinate a certain kind of ribbon in contrasting colors and widths.

Rustic or Western Cabin – Start by collecting some natural décor like pine cones, colorful leaves, berries, and seed pods. Move on to western ornaments, like cowboy hats, leather vests, and boots. Maybe add in some squirrels, moose and bear accents. Work these items into your tree, garlands, and accents.

Forest – This is close to our western theme, but focuses more on the Christmas tree itself. Dress your tree up with dried leaves, acorns, pine cones, wood carved ornaments, and animal decorations. Keep everything looking natural.

Old World – Hit flea markets and antique stores for vintage ornaments and other decorations. Organize this theme around the history of Christmas or different periods of time and different countries. How about a collection of different Santa’s from around Europe? Now that’s a Christmas decorating idea that can easily turn into a fun quest as you search for new Santas each year.

Snowmen – A popular theme in our living room is based on covering the tree in snowmen ornaments and decorating the mantles, tables and walls in snowmen accents. Sprinkle your tree with artificial snow and use white and silver leaves, or branches, to fill in bare spots. Here’s a chilly Christmas decorating idea, find some tin or clear icicles to hang.

Santa Claus – Start by covering the tree in Santa Claus ornaments. This is another great use for those Santas’ from around the world. How about some Santa hats tacked up to your walls or hanging from the mantle? Mix in some sleighs and reindeer on the tables. Wrap your picture and art frames in wrapping paper and bows to make presents.

Modern Metal – Don’t use anything that isn’t silver, gold or shimmering white. Add metallic ribbons to your garland. Go heavy on the ornaments. Go crazy with icicles. How about a silver and gold tree skirt?

Shari Hiller expands on Christmas decorating themes as they relate to your Christmas tree in this informative article…Themes for your Holiday Tree

Your Christmas Tree – The Ultimate Focal Point

We love decorating our Christmas tree! We seem to try something a bit new every year. At first, it seems like work, but once we get the tubs of ornaments unloaded and the tree put together, it turns into one big party! We’ve picked up a few things over the years and we’re going to share our best Christmas tree decorating ideas with you, right now.

Basic Light and Ornament Tips

  • Start with the lights first, the garland comes later
  • Begin hanging lights at the base of the tree, on the lowest branches and work inside to outside as you come up the tree in order to add depth
  • Start your ornament hanging with your “filler ornaments”. These could be your basic solid balls. Plan on twenty (20) filler ornaments for every two (2) feet of Christmas tree height.
  • Move on to your special ornaments, those one of kind ornaments really express who you are You’ll need ten (10) of them for every two (2) feet of Christmas tree.

All About Garlands

Garlands bring it all together. They’re the single most important unifying element on your Christmas tree. Here are some great Christmas decorating ideas related to garlands.

Let’s start with the amount of garland you’ll need to cover your tree. While it truly depends on tree size and how deeply you swag the garland, prepare to use nine (9) feet of garland per foot of Christmas tree height. On a six (6) foot high tree, that means 54 feet of garland. Of course, you’ll want to have extra around for mantles and wreaths.

When to Add Garland – Garland comes after the lights, but before ornaments.

Swagging Basics – Take the gentle approach. Gentle swagging looks more natural and appealing than sharp diagonal lines across your tree. If your going deep with your swags, you must have a large tree with open space between branches or it just won’t look right.

Doubling up? – Why not use two (2) or three (3) kinds of garland all swagged together? Vary it and repeat it for the best look. This Christmas decorating idea works for window treatments, so why not give it a try!

It Won’t Stay On! – That’s ok. If you have delicate branches or ones that sag, your garlands might slip off. Flexible garlands can be wound around a branch to keep them in place. Otherwise, use a small piece of wire, ribbon or a twist tie (applied conspicuously) to keep your garlands secure.

Why not go Vertical? – Start at the top of the tree (works especially well with ribbon) and loop garlands down vertically. Think long and winding road and be prepared to wire them to the branches, if need be. Interesting curves is what you’re looking for. Think graceful.

Don’t Rule out Ribbon – Whether it’s wide or narrow in a plain Jane or patterned style, ribbon make great garland. If the ribbon has wired edges…awesome! If not, install your own wires.

Garlands as Tinsel? – Why not? Take beaded garland and cut it into lengths, 12-18 inches long. Make sure the beads don’t fall off! Take your length of garland, fold it in half and place it on a branch. Mix up the lengths to add some character.

Now you’ve got some great Christmas decorating ideas using garlands. What an amazing tree you’ll have created this season! It’s not about just the tree, though. You have to complement it and there’s no better way to do that than to accent your fireplace mantle.

Accenting Mantles

Jen really seems to have a knack for mantles. Her Christmas decorating ideas are fantastic. The way she mixes green garland pieces with pine cones and berries is second to none. She has a great time doing it, too.

Decorating a mantle is almost as much fun as decorating the tree. You can really let your creativity flow in so many different directions. Here’s a few ideas and themes to whet your appetite.

Vintage – Start with glass balls, crystal candlesticks, and golden platters. Arrange some vintage Christmas cards around the display as well. You can also make your own stockings by using some old wool items, then adding appliqués, beads and buttons.

Frames-a-plenty – Place vintage Christmas cards and holiday photos in some festive frames and display them in a large grouping. Add shiny ornaments to your garland to finish it off.

Fruity – This one won’t last long so be prepared to make some changes mid-season. Swag your favorite garland then, in intervals down the length of it, wire up limes, small apples, lemons and pears. Satiny ribbon would make a good finishing touch.

Collectibles – Have a pitcher or vase collection? Place it on the mantle and work in evergreen boughs filled with seasonal flowers all around. This is how you take an everyday item and make it festive for the season.

Winter Indoors – Begin with fresh cut cedar branches. Flank them with mini-trees. (make sure they look the part) Make a garland of snowballs and stars and work it into the greens. Grab an old pair of ice skates to hang and top it off by spraying some artificial snow over everything.

Candle Crazy – Do this one right and it will last from November through February. This will especially well on a fireplace that’s no longer in use. Take as many white candles as you can get your hands on and place them atop your mantle. Light them up in the evening for a romantic presentation. That’s it! Feel free to add in special touches for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Color, color everywhere – We saved the best for last. Wrap some picture frames to hang on the wall around the mantle. Take boldly wrapped presents and display them on the mantle. Your garlands should hang like necklaces. Some brightly patterned ornaments would be a nice touch, as well. Finish it off with some fancy stockings hanging from the edge.

That last Christmas decorating idea can be played in a variety of color schemes, too. You can go more reserved and earthy with your wrap or stick to over-the-top bold. It’s totally up to you.

Ok. You’ve chosen some colors, found a theme, decorated the tree, and spiffed up your mantles. What’s left? How about doors, windows, tables and walls. You’ve got your work cut out for you with all these Christmas decorating ideas, but isn’t it so much fun!

Accenting Doors and Windows

Hanging lights outside your home is great, but it’s not the only thing you can do to make your home inviting to guests at the holidays. Check out these Christmas decorating ideas for doors and windows.

Wreaths

Wreaths are, by far, the most fundamental decoration for holiday doors and windows. Let’s begin with some great advice on hanging them inside and outside your home.

First, put a wreath on every single door, starting with the front door. (Yes, bedrooms and bathrooms, too) Next hang them inside and outside your back door, in you have one. You’ll have to decide what works best on your sliding doors. Maybe a swag across the top is right for yours.

If your budget allows and it fits the needs of your home, go real! Use pine, holly or grapevine and make sure there are plenty of accents like berries, fruit, pine cones, bows, ornaments, or candy canes. If you’re into saving and reusing, artificial wreaths are your best bet. Store them properly and safely for years of use.

Here are a couple great wreath examples…

Wintery Florals – Mix green apples and hydrangea into your fresh pine or cedar wreath. This Christmas decorating idea works all winter. You can always throw some bows on it for the holiday season.

Pine Cone Frenzy – A wreath made of just pine cones would be perfect for your front door, especially if you’re going for the rustic look. Use 3 or 4 different kinds as you move towards the center. Spray with artificial snow and voila!

Wreaths hung in windows make for great décor. Use a ribbon to secure your wreath to the top of the window frame. Juniper wreaths create an especially festive look.

Here’s another great Christmas decorating idea for a door near the living room, perhaps the hall closet. Many of us have a Christmas card holder that we hang over the top of a door. How about something homemade that doubles as a great décor item. Take a length of thin ribbon and sew holding clips to it. Leave space between each for a card. Hot glue buttons near each clip, add a bow to the top and hang it from a door. You can sew a loop at the top for wire to hang it.

Accenting Tables

Tables were meant to be adorned with all manner of accent décor. Ornament bowls, nativity scenes, flower arrangements and candles are just some of the many great examples of Christmas decorations for tables. Sounds like some more fantastic Christmas decorating ideas are on the way.

Let’s Go Bowling

One of the easier accents to put together is a bowl filled with assorted ornaments. Glass, silver, wood and metal can all be used equally well. Fill the bowl with ornaments in your color scheme for a great accent.

Try this if you have some vintage ornaments. Separate them by color and display them in a number of antique bowls.

A cool variation would be placing ornaments inside a bell jar, deep bowl, or hurricane lamp.

Other Table Ideas

Take a wire display stand and arrange some Christmas cards from the early 1900’s on it. Any table will look fantastic with this type of accent.

Have Christmas-themed dishes you won’t use at the dinner table this year? Super. How about this for a coffee table centerpiece? Display the dishes and work in some mini trees around them. Red or green buckets will hold the trees just fine. Place your unused ornaments on the dishes for an outstanding look. Do make sure you leave enough room for the coffee.

Candle Arrangements

What about candles? Good question. We’ve got to have Christmas decorating ideas featuring candles, right?

How about a pine cone candle surrounded by some artificial greens and berries? Frosted votives with red and green or silver and gold or purple, green, blue and white candles maybe? One more…red candles in light green or white stands with a small string of bells around the bottom. Wanna see a photo, check out this slide show at Better Homes and Gardens site.

Flower Power

Floral centerpieces can turn your coffee table into a festive focal point. Don’t limit yourself to the coffee table though. Why not your sofa table or end tables? Here’s a couple flowery Christmas decorating ideas…

Orange and copper as Christmas colors? Sure! You’ll need copper candles, a couple copper wicker balls and a copper bow. Use a wicker basket or maybe a willow ring to hold everything. For flowers, it’s orange lilies and apricot roses. For greens, you’ll want holly and blue conifer as the foundation. We’ll leave the arrangement up to you.

Here’s a good end table one. Grab two cylinder vases and wrap them in vellum. Accent them with a really thin red ribbon, wrapped around each of them several times. For flowers, you’ll want red and white amaryllis. Why? They look like candy canes! Put some dishes of Christmas hard candies all around the two vases. Wow!

Nativity Scenes

It’s sometimes hard to remember what Christmas is all about. We talk about snowmen, Santa Claus, candy canes, and Christmas trees but Christmas simply celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, in a manger in Bethlehem.

A nativity scene captures this transcendent event perfectly. We proudly display our hand-painted ceramic nativity scene on our sofa table for all our visitors to see. These scenes are available in an array of sizes so they can be perfectly displayed on an end table, sofa table or coffee table. Holiday Decorations Direct has a nice variety in all sizes.

Accenting Walls

Can’t leave the walls out. You can change out your framed art for holiday versions or make some simple changes to the photos, art and mirrors you’re displaying currently.

Start with a simple red bow in the corner of a wall mirror. If not a bow, then drape a garland across the top and sides of a large framed piece of art. Above our living room mantle, we exchange a large picture for a Santa Claus mirror.

What a great looking print from Art.com. So peaceful. Can’t you see yourself inside, cuddled up with a good book in front of the fireplace?

How about wrapping your smaller framed art pieces in bright wrapping paper and ribbon or bows?

Sconces are wonderful for Christmas decorating ideas. Your best Christmas candles can be proudly displayed. Wrap ribbons and bows on your sconces and drape them with tinsel. How about a mini garland of beads or bells? What about a pine cone sprayed with artificial snow with a small amount of greenery around it?

We’ll bring our winter wonderland to a close with some top-of-class ideas for those of you on a budget this Christmas. Doing it yourself has never been so much fun.

Budget Christmas Decorating Ideas

Like to do it yourself? Trying to save money on Christmas decorations out of necessity? That’s nothing we can’t handle. Here’s some great ideas we’ve pulled together for those of you on a budget.

Shelf Wreaths – Take the ends of boxwood clippings and wrap green florist wire around them forming 5 or 6 bunches. Wrap them around a wreath base with some more wire, making sure they overlap.

Into the Woods – Grab your drill and some braided picture hanger wire. Find a bunch of pinecones and make your own garland. Pair it with a traditional garland for a layered look.

Curtains – Change your regular tiebacks over to ribbons or bows. You can also pin bows to your curtains to add to the look.

Dressy House Plants – How about some ornaments hung from your house plants. Wrap bows around the pots or urns. Maybe a small garland too.

Bookworm – Take some of your favorite Christmas books and stack them on an end table.

Floating Flowers – Use red and white carnations, daisies, mums or roses in large bowls.

The Gift Corner – Find some old boxes you aren’t using and wrap them like presents. Pile them high in a corner.

Any Bottle Will Do – Take any type of drink bottle you can find and spray paint it in your holiday color scheme. Throw in some twigs or flowers and you’ve got a great table or mantle accent.

Any Bottle Redux – Make sure you have clear bottles, without labels, and just put a few drops of holiday paint inside. Give them a shake and create some art! Imagine a whole Christmas tree full of these.

Christmas Decor Shopping

Finding new ways to use what you have is a lot of fun. You may need to venture out for a few new decorations, though. We recommend these fine retailers for your Christmas decor shoppping.

HolidayDecorationsDirect.com – A CSN Store devoted to holiday decorations. Great decor and even better prices.

Target.com – Free Shipping When You Spend $50 on Holiday Decor at Target.com

Walmart.com – Holiday Home Decor for Less!

Putting these ideas together has been a labor of love for us. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading them and you’re ready to put them to use in your living room. Merry Christmas!

Small Room? Big Solution! Time for a Small Sectional Sofa.

Save space, especially when you don’t have it to begin with! Buy yourself a small sectional sofa.

Sectionals usually consist of multiple components that can be configured into many different designs. In many cases, each component is sold separately, allowing you to purchase the pieces you need to create the look you want. This lets you fill space efficiently and gives you many different looks.

For example, a small sectional sofa can be purchased with a closed sofa or open chaise end. The chaise end allows for more seating and the ability to put your feet up a bit easier, but chaise end sectionals are generally bigger than their sofa end counterparts.

Some sectionals offer the additional flexibility of an additional cushion that allows you to go back and forth between chaise and sofa.

Small Room? Big Solution! Time for a Small Sectional Sofa.

Another nice touch are sectionals with floating chaise ends. This is basically an ottoman that can be moved to either end of the sofa to act as a chaise. Add in the extra sofa cushions for maximum flexibility.

That’s the great thing about a small sectional sofa…it doesn’t have to be big to have a lot of versatility.

For Sofas and Much More…

Whether you’re trying to improve the look of your current sofa or planning to make the purchase of that “dream sofa” you’ve always wanted, we can help. The Stylish Living Room brings together our ideas with the tips and tricks of a Professional Interior Designer to help you make your dream living room a reality.

In our book, you’ll learn about how to choose the right sofa and better use the sofa you have. We help you with…

  • Upholstery and Fabric Co-ordination
  • Matching furniture to your design style
  • Getting the right furniture for your room size

We also give you a leg up when it comes to flooring, lighting, window treatments, wall decor and so much more.

Small Sectional Sofa

Aren’t Sectionals Outdated?

We have to admit that when we first discussed including sectional sofas on this site, our reaction was “No way!! Sectionals are so 1977!!!” Then we started looking around at just how many sectionals are out there and all the styles they come in. Were we surprised!

Sectionals are available in modern, traditional, and country styles – upholstered in fabric, microfiber and leather. They’re also available as sleepers, too. They’re just as popular today as in the ’70’s and they serve the same purpose…provide a lot of seating without using a alot of space.

How Do Sectionals Fit My Lifestyle?

Can you think of a better way to bring people together for some “social” time than gathering around on the sectional? Talk, watch TV, play a board game, you name it. Everyone can be close buy on a sectional.

With the home theater craze picking up more momentum…sectionals built especially for media rooms are a popular item. These pieces tend to be smaller and less configurable, but they have neat features like recliners and drink holders.

Not ready for a media room yet? No problem, you can still purchase a recliner sectional sofa for your living room.

Oyster Bay 3 Seat Sofa

So How Does This Solve My Space Dilemma?

Put it this way…by using a sectional, like the one below, you can put 5 people in a space that normally fits three, or 6 people in a space that would traditionally fit 4. Makes putting together that guest list a whole lot easier!

By using different configurations, attaching or detatching ottomans, or opening sofa ends into chaise ends, you bring more people together in the same amount of space.

Measure out your living room dimensions, find the ideal spot for your sectional and use the dimensions listed with each product to see what will fit your space best.

Remember, there are 45 degree corner pieces, 90 degree corner pieces and multiple seat pieces so by picking a versatile style of sectional and combining pieces, you can fit just about any space.

Small Sectional White

Let’s Recap

Here’s what we’ve learned about small sectional sofas today…

  • Great way to put a lot of seating in a little space
  • A small sectional sofa is great for bringing people together in a variety of social settings
  • Sectional sofas have great features in traditional and media room styles

Regardless of your personal design style, there’s a small sectional sofa that will fit the bill in your living room. How about a sleeper sectional, like this Washington.

If you’re having space issues in your , there’s a good you’re facing space issues in other areas of your home, as well.

Not enough room for a table in your “eat-in” kitchen? Bedroom won’t hold the bed and the dressers? Here is a great article with small space strategies.

Washington Sectional

You Always Have Options…

If we’ve convinced you of how well a small sectional sofa meets your needs, just imagine what buried treasures you may find on these other pages…

A microfiber leather sofa works well as you can see the same sofa in sleek microfiber or durable and supple leather. Another option to consider is a modern italian leather sofa for its great design, beautiful look and amazing quality.

A black leather recliner sofa is functional, stylish, and comfortable. If you’re interested in saving money, consider a cheap sofa or a discount sectional sofa.

Berber Carpet Comfort and Durability Fit Your Living Room

Berber carpet combines economy, a comfortable feel, durability and ease of cleaning into one great choice for your living room or family room. Why do you think so many homes have it in their downstairs family room? Berber is one tough carpet that looks great day in and day out, that’s why!

living room with white berber carpet

History of Berber Carpet

Berber carpet is named after an indigenous tribe in Northwestern Africa, the Berber. The Berber tribe made fabric, out of wool and camel hair, and used it to cover the floors of their homes, as well as to wear as a cloak. The strong, tightly woven fabric has protected the tribe from the bitter cold nights for thousands of years.

In the present, Berber carpet refers to a specific type of weave, characterized by its distinctive flecked yarns and rugged loops. Originally these carpets were made of wool, limiting the spectrum of colors to white or light camel. In the present, nylon and olefin are used most often which greatly expands the number of available color choices.

How it’s Made

The basic principle behind Berber construction is the use of the rugged looped pile that runs in parallel lines. The distinctive patterns come from varying the loop sizes. The tribe hand-knotted their carpets long ago, while most are machine-made in this day and age.

While wool was the original material used in these carpets; nylon, olefin and even recycled materials are used today. The level of durability and stain resistance is largely determined by the materials used to produce the carpet.

Berber Advantages

There’s a very good reason why Berber has become so popular in recent years and is commonly found in many family rooms and especially basement rooms. As a matter of fact, there are several of them.

  • Durability – the tightness of the loops and the overall density allow this carpet to stand up to regular vacuuming and heavy foot traffic
  • Insulation – the varied-loop construction also provides natural insulation against temperature and sound
  • Fights Allergens – wool Berber is non-toxic, so it doesn’t support bacteria growth
  • Comfort – the loops allow nice air pockets to form that cushion each step
  • Cost – Berber carpets are less costly than their high pile, plush counterparts
  • Easy Cleaning – vacuum regularly and treat stains immediately and in most cases, you’ll have no trouble

This unique type of carpet weave offers many of the things most of us are looking for, however there are a few things to be mindful of as you make your carpet buying decision.

Disadvantages

Berber is a great style of carpet for many reasons, but it’s not perfect. Here are some things you’ll need to know before you make a purchase.

  • Stain Resistance – there are stain-resistant fibers available, but beware of oil based stains because they tend to bond with the fibers and never come out
  • Selection – the large variety of price points and materials makes it harder to find the one that’s right for you; arm yourself with good research before you buy
  • Dirt – if you vacuum regularly, you’ll limit the issue; however once dirt gets down into the dense fibers it’s much more difficult to get it out
  • Loop Damage – Berbers can unravel if the loops become damaged from pet claws or other sharp objects
  • Moisture – because manufacturers use latex to hold the loops together, moisture is dangerous and can lead to the carpet losing its stretch, however olefins are good candidates for steam cleaning and resist water well.

There is no perfect carpet out there, but with the right information in hand you can make a smart buying decision.

Buying Tips

There are many price points for Berbers. Materials, loop height, and knots per square meter are the main factors in pricing. For example, top of the line versions made of wool and camel hair have upwards to 200,000 knots per square meter.

In your buying decision, consider the material, 2 ply vs. 4 ply, density of construction and warranties. Olefin is cost-effective, resists stains well, and is easy to clean. However, olefin is easier to crush so a larger loop olefin Berber would not be a good idea. Nylon is more resilient than olefin so it resists crushing and makes a better quality larger loop Berber. It’s also tends to look better than olefin and it’s just as stain resistant.

The lower end carpets will be characterized by olefin fibers, larger loops and no noticeable pattern while a good quality, mid-level Berber will be nylon, with small loops, and a distinct pattern.

Care

We’ve made the point already but it bears repeating. Berber carpet is easy to care of, but there are regular things you should do to get the maximum life out of your flooring.

Vacuum it regularly, but do not use your brush or beater bar attachments. You don’t want to push the soil down into the carpet where it will be harder to get to. As we said earlier, olefins can be steam cleaned (professional high extraction steam cleaning only), but it’s a better idea to have a professional do a dry carpet cleaning on nylon and wool.

Stains should be handled like any other carpet. Get to them quickly and blot them to avoid spreading or grinding them into the fibers. Nylon and wool Berbers help because of their stain resistance. Oils are the enemy of all Berbers. Once oils are absorbed into the fibers, they don’t come out.

Finally, keep clawed pets away from Berber carpet. They can cause the rug to unravel if they snag one of the loops. Any sharp object or curious children who like to take apart things should be kept away from Berber, as well, for the same reason.

The Final Analysis

Berber carpet is certainly not for everyone. However, it’s unparalleled for its durability and strength, easy to care for, and cost-effective compared to plush carpets. The Berber tribe of Northern Africa knew what it was doing when it hand-knotted wool into flooring and cloaks. This great idea may never have become popular as a carpet if it weren’t for the commercial grade, tightly looped, and highly durable carpets that preceded it.

Thank goodness it is.

Carpet Runners Lead the Way To Your Dream Living Room

Some of the ways carpet runners help you accent your dream living room are by calling attention to focal points, transitioning a staircase into the living room, and leading you down hallways to your most popular space.

Carpet Runners Lead the Way To Your Dream Living Room

Carpet Runner Styles

Persian carpet runners are, by far, the most popular. These rugs fit well with modern and traditional designs. Contrary to popular belief, these don’t just come in traditional Persian or Oriental type patterns. There are versions that have a southwestern feel as well as versions that fit in with more casual living rooms.

Benefits of Carpet Runners

The main benefit of carpet runners is durability. The best ones are made to be placed in high traffic areas and absorb whatever your guests can throw at them. Another great benefit is versatility. There are a multitude of patterns and colors that will match virtually any living room décor.

Runners are great for tying different décor elements together and creating appealing transitions between rooms. Runners are also well used as accents for focal points. Position one in front of the fireplace to add some color. Place one under your coffee table to add depth.

One more important benefit is a carpet runner’s ability to divide your living room into different areas. Place one under a sofa table positioned behind your sofa to enhance the transition from the TV area to a separate reading area. Use one to lead guests away from the front door to the living room in an open floor plan.

Buying Tips Carpet Runners

Before you head to the store (either a brick and mortar store or your favorite online vendor) take some time to learn about rug runner materials, how they’re made and how they’re priced. From there, get an idea of what patterns and styles will fit best in your living room and know where you’ll want to place them.

Taking measurements of the areas you’ve chosen to accent is also a must. Imagine your disappointment when you try to lay out that new rug and it’s either too short or long for the space you’ve chosen.

For runners that you place on stairs and hallways, you’re going to want durability. That means hand-knotted, machine-made or hand-tufted rugs will be your best bet. These rugs, especially hand-knotted, will be of super high quality and last many years.

If you’re on a budget, understand that placing a less expensive rug in a high traffic area is going to mean it won’t last as long. Still, you can find plenty of budget carpet runners in stores like Target. Our old carpet runner from Ohio is a Target rug and it worked well for us.

How rugs are priced is fairly simple. In general, hand-made rugs will cost more than machine-made and more man hours in production will increase the price accordingly. Hand-knotted rugs are the most costly and sometimes it is difficult to determine how old the rug is and what materials were used to make it. This is important when you’re trying to determine the overall quality of the rug and if the price the seller is asking for is reasonable.

Care and Cleaning

It goes without saying that the better you take care of your rug, the better it will take care of you. Whether you want the rug to last 20 years or just this season, the way you care for it will determine how long it lasts and looks like it did the day you bought it.

Like furniture, rugs can be treated for stain resistance. Ask the seller before you apply your own to make sure they’ve not already applied a treatment. In addition, a pad underneath will not only make the rug safer (by keeping it from sliding around or bunching up), it will allow the rug to breathe. Did you know that rugs wear from the bottom up? This is why a pad is so important for getting maximum life out of your rug.

Like you would with any other carpet, be certain that your carpet runners are kept clean. Vacuum them at least once each week. Spills can be very troublesome, even with stain treatments applied, so clean them up right away. Blotting is your best bet, but if you must use a stain removal solution, test it for color fastness first. The worst thing you can do is spray a carpet cleaning solution on your runner and have it alter the color.

The Last Word

Whether you’re trying to dress up your hardwood hallways leading into your living room, adding some much needed color to a light carpet, or emphasizing a focal point, carpet runners are a great solution.

All levels of quality and pricing are available from reputable sellers and they carry a vast array of styles. Arm yourself with some basic knowledge of how rugs are made and cared for, know what size you’re looking for, understand what styles and colors are ideal for your room and get ready to go shopping!

Berber Carpet is Affordable, Comfortable and Durable all at the Same Time

Berber carpet combines economy, a comfortable feel, durability and ease of cleaning into one great choice for your living room or family room. Why do you think so many homes have it in their downstairs family room? Berber is one tough carpet that looks great day in and day out, that’s why!

History of Berber Carpet

Berber carpet is named after an indigenous tribe in Northwestern Africa, the Berber. The Berber tribe made fabric, out of wool and camel hair, and used it to cover the floors of their homes, as well as to wear as a cloak. The strong, tightly woven fabric has protected the tribe from the bitter cold nights for thousands of years.

In the present, Berber carpet refers to a specific type of weave, characterized by its distinctive flecked yarns and rugged loops. Originally these carpets were made of wool, limiting the spectrum of colors to white or light camel. In the present, nylon and olefin are used most often which greatly expands the number of available color choices.

How it’s Made

The basic principle behind Berber constructionis the use of the rugged looped pile that runs in parallel lines. The distinctive patterns come from varying the loop sizes. The tribe hand-knotted their carpets long ago, while most are machine-made in this day and age.

While wool was the original material used in these carpets; nylon, olefin and even recycled materials are used today. The level of durability and stain resistance is largely determined by the materials used to produce the carpet.

Berber Advantages

There’s a very good reason why Berber has become so popular in recent years and is commonly found in many family rooms and especially basement rooms. As a matter of fact, there are several of them.

Durability – the tightness of the loops and the overall density allow this carpet to stand up to regular vacuuming and heavy foot traffic

Insulation – the varied-loop construction also provides natural insulation against temperature and sound
Fights Allergens – wool Berber is non-toxic, so it doesn’t support bacteria growth
Comfort – the loops allow nice air pockets to form that cushion each step
Cost – Berber carpets are less costly than their high pile, plush counterparts
Easy Cleaning – vacuum regularly and treat stains immediately and in most cases, you’ll have no trouble

This unique type of carpet weave offers many of the things most of us are looking for, however there are a few things to be mindful of as you make your carpet buying decision.

Disadvantages

Berber is a great style of carpet for many reasons, but it’s not perfect. Here are some things you’ll need to know before you make a purchase.

Stain Resistance – there are stain-resistant fibers available, but beware of oil based stains because they tend to bond with the fibers and never come out
Selection – the large variety of price points and materials makes it harder to find the one that’s right for you; arm yourself with good research before you buy
Dirt – if you vacuum regularly, you’ll limit the issue; however once dirt gets down into the dense fibers it’s much more difficult to get it out
Loop Damage – Berbers can unravel if the loops become damaged from pet claws or other sharp objects
Moisture – because manufacturers use latex to hold the loops together, moisture is dangerous and can lead to the carpet losing its stretch, however olefins are good candidates for steam cleaning and resist water well.

There is no perfect carpet out there, but with the right information in hand you can make a smart buying decision.

Buying Tips

There are many price points for Berbers. Materials, loop height, and knots per square meter are the main factors in pricing. For example, top of the line versions made of wool and camel hair have upwards to 200,000 knots per square meter.

In your buying decision, consider the material, 2 ply vs. 4 ply, density ofconstruction and warranties. Olefin is cost-effective, resists stains well, and is easy to clean. However, olefin is easier to crush so a larger loop olefin Berber would not be a good idea. Nylon is more resilient than olefin so it resists crushing and makes a better quality larger loop Berber. It’s also tends to look better than olefin and it’s just as stain resistant.

The lower end carpets will be characterized by olefin fibers, larger loops and no noticeable pattern while a good quality, mid-level Berber will be nylon, with small loops, and a distinct pattern.

We’ve made the point already but it bears repeating. Berber carpet is easy to care of, but there are regular things you should do to get the maximum life out of your flooring.

Vacuum it regularly, but do not use your brush or beater bar attachments. You don’t want to push the soil down into the carpet where it will be harder to get to. As we said earlier, olefins can be steam cleaned (professional high extraction steam cleaningonly), but it’s a better idea to have a professional do a dry carpet cleaning on nylon and wool.

Stains should be handled like any other carpet. Get to them quickly and blot them to avoid spreading or grinding them into the fibers. Nylon and wool Berbers help because of their stain resistance. Oils are the enemy of all Berbers. Once oils are absorbed into the fibers, they don’t come out.

Finally, keep clawed pets away from Berber carpet. They can cause the rug to unravel if they snag one of the loops. Any sharp object or curious children who like to take apart things should be kept away from Berber, as well, for the same reason.

The Final Analysis

Berber carpet is certainly not for everyone. However, it’s unparalleled for its durability and strength, easy to care for, and cost-effective compared to plush carpets. The Berber tribe of Northern Africa knew what it was doing when it hand-knotted wool into flooring and cloaks. This great idea may never have become popular as a carpet if it weren’t for the commercial grade, tightly looped, and highly durable carpets that preceded it.

Thank goodness it is.