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Block Boredom: Choosing the Right Colors for Your Home
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Choosing the right colors for your home isn’t up to anyone but you. It’s not even up to the interior designer. Truth is, when you consult these experts they will ask you about your preferences and work from there. So let’s get to work: how do you choose the right colors for your home?

There is a popular belief that moods have color. If this is true, then you should choose a color that would set the mood for a room. If you want the living room to be vibrant and energetic, choosing bright and high-intensity colors like red could bring that out. However, if you want the bedrooms to be calm and relaxing, choose colors similar to that of nature. You can choose light blues like the sea and greens like plants. Earth colors also exude this mood.

If you want to stick with the usual white and cream for the walls, don’t be afraid to use color for the furniture and décor. Choose a bold color for the shelves or for the chairs to create focus in a place at home. Want to try on a minimalistic flair for a room? Try out black and gray for the furniture. Before moving on with the designing, be sure to outline and test the colors you’ll use.

Schewels has been in the furniture industry since 1917, with stores across 30 locations in the US. For more information about the furniture specialist, visit its official website.

The Benefits of armrests for Office Furniture
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It is estimated that workers spend almost 250 hours in a week sitting down in front of a desk. This is a conservative estimate and many health experts agree that the hours could be longer. It is therefore important that office furniture be designed in such a way as to increase worker comfort, and most importantly, maintain health.

Researchers have found that the presence of an armrest in an office chair helps maintain posture and significantly reduces the risk of neck and shoulder pain. There are three types of armrest; each with their own benefits. Individuals should understand their own sitting habits and find a chair that conforms well to their own preferences.

The first and most common type is the fixed armrest. This is attached to either side of the chair and cannot be adjusted at all. This type of chair is highly recommended for those who like to slouch. The armrest prevents full spinal curvature and forces the person to maintain a relatively healthy posture.

The next type is the height-adjustable one, which, as its name suggests, is ideal for those who are shorter or taller than average. The person needs to find the correct height, which is the balance between normal arm movement and the keyboard. Arm rests should never interfere with the operation of the keyboard.

The last one, multi-function, can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. Its ability to pivot provides more support and allows the person to find a comfortable position in the chair.

Individuals should work closely with their office furniture retailer in order to find a chair that is ideal for them. Most people do not pay attention to their armrests, but studies show their presence to be helpful for posture, which increases productivity.

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Grandma’s antique chair: How homes looked like in early North America
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Centuries ago, before America became an economic powerhouse, the country had a totally different home and household structures. While their architectural styles made most of the distinction, items like furniture also defined the old American home. Longhouses, tepees, wattle houses, pueblos, and igloos (in wintry Alaska) all had different furniture inside them. The differences in climates, nature of habitation, and availability of resources made each household unique.

The ways furniture was created in the past was rooted in necessity and emphasized both form and materials. Early American dining sets were constructed with turned spindles while chairs had steaming to bend the wood. Deciduous hardwoods (particularly oak) were the most commonly used base materials. Other woods used were those from fruit-bearing trees such as cherry and walnut.

Image source: complex.com

Although many of past furniture making practices are still employed in modern industry, many items in the olden days were astoundingly impressive that only the original creator would be able to duplicate. Nineteenth-century cabinetmaker Thomas Seymour was renowned for his knock-out chest-of-drawers that featured expert veneer work, carving, and painted decoration. Also in the same period, French migrants brought with them traditional and intricately designed armoires to Louisiana and the lower Mississippi River.

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Schewels started out as a small furniture store selling items on a horse-drawn wagon. Today, the Lynchburg-based company already soars as one of the oldest and most recognized furniture houses in Virginia. For inquiries, click here.

Four Signs It's Time to Get a New Mattress
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Mattresses, just like any other product, need to be replaced when they're worn out. Many manufacturers advise replacing mattresses every five to 10 years, but they can give out even earlier. The following are five signs it's time to get a new mattress.

1. Waking up hurts
If, after a full night's sleep, a person wakes up stiff, numb, or experiences pain in the lower back, it could be a sign that the springs and support systems inside the mattress are failing.

2. It feels better to sleep elsewhere
It's often harder to fall asleep on an unfamiliar bed, but if a person finds himself having a better night's sleep on a hotel bed or the living room couch, it could be a sign that the mattress is no longer fulfilling its purpose.

3. Sneezing, coughing, and hives
Mattresses, especially older ones with loose spring support systems, tend to collect allergens such as dust mites and dander over time. If a person experiences allergy symptoms on a regular basis, the mattress might be the culprit. Covering the mattress in “dust mite-proof” bedding is not enough. Studies suggest that, while allergy-proof bedding reduced exposure to dust mites, it isn't enough to prevent allergy and asthma symptoms. In this case, upgrading to a memory foam mattress might be in order.

4. The mattress is more than seven years old, and the owner is over 40
The older a person gets, the more he or she needs a firm mattress. Those who are over 40 years old should consider replacing their mattresses every four to seven years because older adults are more susceptible to pressure.

A mattress is a big investment, with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Before purchasing a mattress, homeowners should do research on the various types of mattresses available today, and buy from reputable furniture stores.

Schewels is a family-owned and operated furniture company headquartered Lynchburg, Virginia. For more articles on mattresses and other home furnishings, subscribe to this blog.

REPOST: Interior Design Trends 2015: What's Hot This Year?
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Summer is just around the corner. And while we're still halfway through 2015, it is not yet too late to update our homes with the hottest interior designs this year. Read the following article to know which furniture pieces, carpet color, or wallpaper design will work best for your home.

Memphis Milano Movement. 1980s design movement started in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass and a group of young designers who wanted to challenge the established notions of good design at the time. | Image source: realtytoday.com

After a long winter, some people welcomed the new season by decorating their home just this spring. That's all right, you are not alone. Even the artistic people flocked at the "Salone del Mobile" in Milan to know what's hot this year in terms of furniture line and interior designing as well, reports Curbed.

We picked 5 hot trends for you to check out.

1. Memphis

It started in Milan in the 1980s and now the fashion and design capital is reviving it. According to another article of Curbed, the style represents the "hallmarks of postmodern '80s design" -- incorporating strong geometric designs while using "mixed materials often including laminate, clashing and saturated colors, and a repudiation of anything streamlined and tasteful." The design, which was famous from 1981 to 1987, was also described as a "veritable shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price."

One reader, Soolip31, commented on Memphis saying, "One of the problems with this style is that when it was in production so much of it was poorly-made. Most of it has not survived simply because it couldn't withstand everyday wear. I can't simply dismiss the aesthetic - it's whimsical and conjures up nostalgic feelings - but if it really wants to be taken seriously, it needs to be quality work."

2. Wallpaper

Curbed counted it on the list, same as how Zillow picked it as a hot trend, too, this year. "Wallpaper is coming back in a big way," said Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors, a Zillow Digs designer, as reported by the blog.

Zillow notes that wallpaper, from "digital prints to textured wall coverings," is definitely a hot trend in 2015.

3. Marble

Marble's popularity will last from "white Carrara, black Marquina, pocked travertine, or pebbled terrazzo," notes Curbed. After all, this material is used in classic architectural design in Milan. The only unique point is that it will be a regular not just in the flooring of homes but also on other furnishings like in lamps, as a base, for instance, said the outlet.

4. Texture

Curbed mentions perforated materials and modern rattan furnishing on its list. We say, that speaks of texture, which is really one hot trend this year as suggested by The Ugly Ducking House and reported here on RealtyToday.

Texture has this charm, even if it presents itself in many forms like woven materials, leather and well-crafted rattan furniture.

5. Food as Art

Food establishes itself as a design trend this year, according to Curbed. That said, food will make their way from Instagram and Twitter accounts to food art concepts in your home.

Tip: You may buy sleek fruit trays to display your fruits or install food or dining-related paintings on your wall. Just have fun and be mesmerized with your own genius.

Schewels Furniture Company is a Lynchburg, Virginia-based furniture house boasting of more than 100 years of continuous operation under the same name and family management. For inquiries and product browsing, click here.

REPOST: 7 Home Decor Trends You Might Be Doing Wrong
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Ready for a design overhaul? Read the article below for the proper ways of using the latest interior décor trends to emphasize your home’s elegance and functionality.

True, everyone has their own way of doing things, but if this toilet paper over-under debate has taught us anything, it's that sometimes there's a more correct way. That goes for home decor, too: these 7 favorite home decor trends are powerful accents, but, like toilet paper hung under, when they're misused, you're missing out. If you're changing your TP orientation, you might want to update these looks as well. Whether you decide to join the mainstream or keep living as a rebel is up to you -- we're just providing the facts.

Image Source: huffingtonpost.com

1. Houseplants

Everyone has read about how succulents and other small plants add vibrancy and life to your home, but that's only half the story. Succulents especially need good drainage and the right soil mixture, so keep that in mind before you plant them in glass jars on your coffee table.

2. Long drapes

Drapes and window treatments are stately no matter what, right? Well, not quite. Before adding dramatic drapes to your space, take a look at your current decor. If you're room has a casual vibe, avoid elaborate curtains and ornate rods. There are plenty of window treatments out there that will compliment your style, instead of clashing with it.

Image Source: huffingtonpost.com

3. Wood Furniture

If only the original dumpster diver would release their furniture revival patent, we might be able to settle this debate, but until we find that trendsetter, we've got a roar of differing opinions. In general, if you find a piece with a salvageable finish, most collectors recommend keeping it natural, but if you find a piece that's damaged and worn, you're free to paint and decorate as you please. Personal opinion trumps the rules in this case, though. Some people just aren't fond of wood so, your furniture, your decision.

4. Gallery Walls

While there are lots of different ways to arrange a gallery wall, there are some styles that will maximize your display and some that will wash it into the background. Some set ups to try include: mixing pictures and objects, putting up bigger prints all in black and white, or adding different sizes and colors of pictures, but choosing a uniform frame for all of them. Whatever style you choose, try to avoid overly organizing your gallery walls--this is the place to play with chaos.

5. Pallets

People love 'em cause they're free, available, and can be used without much deconstruction. But the key to a good piece of pallet furniture is maintaining the recognizable pallet look, but updating it enough that it's home decor worthy. A pallet in the middle of the living room might not be the best coffee table, but adding inlaid metal, a rich planked top, or functional casters to your pallet can create just the right rustic, yet finished appeal.

6. Distressed style

There are those who love it and there are those who hate it, but there's no debating that distressing your furniture and decor is a popular trend. While there's a wide range of what's considered acceptably distressed, it pays to check yourself before you wreck yourself, or, in this case, your stuff. If you're nearing the point of rendering your furniture useless or even dangerous, ease up on the tough lovin'.

Image Source: huffingtonpost.com

7. Accent Walls

There's nothing more transformative for a room than a well-done accent wall. Of course, that also means there's nothing quite as harmful as a garish one. Remember, accent walls are a great way to highlight an interesting area, or tie in some additional color, but the wrong wall or the wrong shade can mutate your home. Consider patterns, hues, and placement very carefully before going through with this popular decor upgrade.

Schewels is America’s one-stop for everything furniture. Click here to know the latest deals, featured brands, and awesome offers from one of the country’s premier furniture and appliance retailers.

REPOST: Living Smart: 5 tips to avoid home-design arguments
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Start with a design plan and listen to each other—these are just two of the basic ways to avoid home design arguments with your housemates. Lifestyle writer Stephanie Snay has compiled other expert recommendations for harmonious design collaboration in the article below:

Living Smart
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Sharing your life with someone is a beautiful thing, but that doesn’t always mean you share the same design and style preferences when it comes to your home. Whether you’ve lived together for one year or 20, use this advice from highly rated interior designers to stop the fights that have kept you from painting the walls or tiling the floors.

1. Start with a design plan

Jodi Schavone, owner of Décor Coach in Apex, N.C., says to make a list of how the room has to function for each person before embarking on a design project. This will help couples and families prioritize and understand why one idea might be better than another.

Think realistically about how you’ll use the space, along with whether you have a big family or like to entertain. Look through pictures online or in magazines, and talk openly about your likes and dislikes.

2. Listen to each other

Communicate openly, and don’t forget to listen. Interior designers say the majority of their job comes down to listening to clients. Sometimes your spouse or partner might just want his or her ideas heard. Discussing concerns helps to avoid conflict, and will help you determine what he or she likes about a particular color, pattern or piece of furniture.

3. Blend your design styles

“A home is like a marriage,” Schavone says. “It won’t work if it’s one-sided.” Not everything has to match. There are ways to mix style preferences, according to Schavone. This could be as easy as using one person’s color choices with the other person’s fabric selection. You want your new space to reflect both of you.

4. Give and take to keep the peace

There are usually places in the home where each person can have it their way, says Kathy Tufts, owner of Beyond Design in Clifton, Va., For example, choose neutral themes and colors for your common area, but allow some creativity in personal offices, bedrooms or hobby rooms. You’ll have to compromise many times throughout your life. This is good practice.

5. Hire an interior designer

Bringing in reinforcements often helps you see eye to eye, but could cost you between $100 and $200 for an initial one-hour consultation. “A big part of my job is being a marriage counselor or peace mediator,” Tufts says.

Schavone agrees. “In listening to my clients, I detail what’s most important,” she says. “If I address the important parts of their ideas, they can usually give a little.”

Make your home so much more stylish with Schewels' expertly designed furniture. Click here to view its catalog of furniture.

REPOST: Top 5 Home Design Requests
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What do American homeowners ask the most from their designers? This article by Zillow, as posted in Forbes.com, lists down five of the most popular requests insofar as interior design is concerned and surveys the pegs at popular trade shows:

2,764-Sq Ft Home in Watersound, FL for Sale -- $1,150,000
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Years ago, I attended a trade show for kitchen and bath products in Dallas. You know the kind: Huge convention hall, lots of booths, vendors hawking the latest in whatever the latest is. Lots of free logo pens, letter openers and key chains.

A friend of mine told me that stuff is called “swag.” And it was. Heavy swag.

After a couple of passes around the trade show floor, filling my canvas tote bag with catalogs and brochures and swag, I popped in on a seminar, where a representative of a national home builder was talking about new home design to a room full of eager builders.

He kept referring to homes as “products,” like cars or refrigerators, and said that his company’s national surveys and studies had figured out what everybody wants in their new home. Everybody.

He had an impressive PowerPoint presentation of all these “wants” – the preferred appliances, bath fixtures, home styles, etc., and was happy to share it with the builders, who’d come here from all over the country.

Which is probably why you so often see the same house in Denver that you see in Atlanta.
And Seattle. And Des Moines.

For some homeowners, that kind of “design by survey” is fine; they want something middle-of-the-road, something not too different from the other houses in their neighborhood. Something they can sell in a few years.

Others look at houses a little differently. They want a house that fits the specifics of their daily lives; that knows who they are and how they’re unique; a home that might last them a lifetime.

That’s personal, face-to-face-talking-for-hours-over-a-cup-of-coffee kind of information. You can’t get that from a survey.

But I’ve done a little survey of my own anyway, by combing through the past couple of years’ of client files. I found five requests that seemed to pop up more often than others and thought I’d share them with you below.

1) Remodel

You saw that one coming didn’t you? Or haven’t you read a newspaper in 3 years? Homeowners are staying put. They’ve got too much invested in their homes and neighborhoods to let them go at the current market prices. Or they’re buying existing homes in great neighborhoods and making them their own.

2) Keep it under 3,000 square feet

Not sure how this became the magic number, but a high percentage of our recent new home clients have made this specific request. It’s still a much higher number than the average American home (about 2,100 square feet in 2009), but significantly lower than the custom homes of just a few years ago. (The home pictured above is 2,764 square feet.)

Interestingly, while homeowners are spending less on house size, they’re spending more in other areas (see below). This is a great sign – we’re moving past an emphasis on the “bigness” of a house as a measure of its quality.

3) Lots of light and windows

I’ve got to attribute this first to the properties my clients are choosing; they’re bigger, more open, and often, more rural.

Simply put, there’s more to see than just the houses next door – so it’s no surprise they’d want more glass area to enjoy the view (above).

A close second reason may be the architectural character and styles my clients prefer – less of the “formal” styles that have generally have fewer windows and more of the “casual” styles that work well with more glass.

4) Zero wasted space

OK, I can’t say I’ve ever had a client ask for wasted space, but more and more I’m hearing that folks want to get the most from every square foot (above).

And not just because less house costs less to build and maintain, but because homeowners are coming to realize that wasted space in their house is usually offset by a loss of quality and detail somewhere else.

Specifically, homeowners are cutting back on “single-use” rooms (dens, private baths), “showy” spaces (two-story foyers, galleries, long hallways), and on overly-formal spaces (dining rooms, living rooms).

5) Energy efficiency

Another no-brainer, with a catch. Energy efficiency isn’t just about insulation, high-tech glass, and geothermal heat pumps anymore; it’s about designing and orienting a home to respond to the particulars of the site (read more about good design and energy efficiency).

These days most homebuyers expect tight construction, an efficient heating system, and plenty of insulation, as much of that’s become the industry standard. But when you start with energy-efficient design strategies, you can save a lot more.

Your Own Personal Top 5 List

A great place to start the design process for your next home is at your own kitchen table, beginning with a simple list of priorities from each family member. If you asked each to list their top 5, how many do you think they’d agree on? How many would surprise you? Leave your comments below — we’d love to hear what you have in mind.

Schewels boasts a rich history of sophisticated but reasonably priced home furniture. Get the look you have always wanted for your home from the wide range of products offered in the reputable company’s official website.

REPOST: Add “Furniture” to All the Things You Can Make With Seaweed
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Two Danish designers have engineered a tough and durable material out of seaweed and paper to create sustainable furniture pieces inspired by the sea. Get a glimpse of their work in the article below.


Image Source: magazine.good.is

Here is a brief list of some of the wonderful things you can make with seaweed:

1. Sushi

2. Kosher gelatin

3. Fertilizer

4. A decent water filter

Seaweed: already so useful! Now one Danish designer pair is harnessing the power of the oceanic plant to make sustainable home furnishings. The Terroir Project is a collection of chairs and lamps by Jonas Edvard and Nikolaj Steenfatt that is not only produced by seaweed but inspired by the sea as well. Edvard and Steenfatt say they’ve engineered a “tough and durable material” developed from a combination of seaweed and recycled paper waste.

Image Source: magazine.good.is

“It is best described as a warm and tactile surface with the softness of cork and the lightness of paper which can be used for products and furniture,” they write on their site. “The colour of the material is determined by the different species of seaweed – ranging from dark brown to light green.”

Edvard and Steenfatt collect the seaweed from Denmark’s extensive seaside and then hang it out to dry. They then pound it into powder and cook it into a thick, pulpy glue—this is where the paper waste is added and the resulting substance is molded into future.

Image Source: magazine.good.is

"The first thing people do is to smell the object," Edvard told Dezeen. "They just stick their nose into the material, like having a breath of fresh air. After realising it is made from seaweed people are very excited that something considered useless and smelly can be used to create sustainable furniture."

Schewels is a discount furniture and appliance center with over 100 years of experience helping homeowners turn their living spaces into stylish, comfortable, and functional spaces at a price they can afford. Click here to view the company’s large inventory of home furnishings, appliances, and design services.

REPOST: Simple Pleasures: Your Home Is Your Château
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“Château” is a French term for a large country house of nobility or gentry. Modern-day usage, however, applies the meaning to any residential property that has the luxurious ambiance serving as artistic inspiration for homeowners and designers. In the article below, Laura Gaskill shares ideas on how a simple, modernist home can turn into a château without aiming for grand-scale renovations outside of excellent interior design and furnishing.

Savoring a good life should start at home, but it’s easy to get stuck in the trap of thinking our homes are not grand enough, clean enough or beautiful enough to celebrate them as they are. In her recently published book, At Home With Madame Chic, Jennifer L. Scott quotes French style icon Inès de la Fressange: a “Parisian’s apartment is her château.” These words stopped me in my tracks, because they contain such possibility. Why can’t your home be your château? Why not do what you can to make daily life a bit grander, more exciting and more elegant? Try one or all eight of these ideas to start doing just that. Your life — and your home — will be the richer for it.

Throw a dinner party. Pull out the good china, scatter tea lights everywhere and decorate the table with potted orchids. Invite your best friends over, cue up the music, and serve something simple but delicious. Dishes that take all day to prepare is fabulous if you love to cook and have the time, but don’t let extensive cooking keep you from having a fabulous dinner party. Make the evening feel special by starting with champagne and ending with coffee or tea and a bite of something sweet — your guests will hardly care if the main course was a rotisserie chicken from the local market.

Enjoy art. Take time to peruse your favorite art books, listen to opera while making brunch on a Saturday morning and pencil in visits to local museums and galleries to see what’s new. Instead of going to see the latest blockbuster, see a flick at your local art house instead — or visit another kind of theater and see a play.

Wake up on the right side of the bed every day. Make a point of rising with a spirit of optimism and delight, and you may be surprised at what a difference it makes in your day. Stretch luxuriously in bed before getting up. Then — instead of reaching for your phone — reach for a glass of water with lemon or a sprig of fresh mint, and drink it while looking out the window in your home with the best view. Make your bed while you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, and set an intention for the day ahead.

Have dessert. Chocolate cake and an apple tart are delicious, bien sur, but ripe, seasonal fruit can be just as lovely — taking the time to savor a little something after dinner can make even a weeknight feel special. And if it’s a special occasion, stop by a favorite bakery on the way home and surprise your loved ones with a real treat.

Bounce the light around. Light has so much to do with atmosphere. Turn the lights down low in the evenings and light lots of little candles all around the house to create an enchanting mood … placing candles in front of mirrors is even better. One or two good scented candles can be delightful, but make the rest plain or you’ll give yourself a headache.

Take the time to do things just so. From the perfect pour of your morning coffee to the nightly turn-down of sheets in the evening, it often takes only a few extra seconds to make the difference between feeling rushed and feeling content. In those few seconds (really…seconds!), you can bring your awareness to what you are doing and enjoy the simple pleasure of completing a task well.

Never apologize for your decor. It’s your home, so make it the way you like best and don’t fret about what others may think. Chances are, even if friends or relatives don’t share your taste, they will admire you for having the courage to go with what you love.

Transitional Bedroom by Toronto Photographers Lisa Petrole Photography | Image source: Houzz.com

Find satisfaction in tidying up. Your home is your château — treat it that way by taking the time to tidy up after yourself throughout the day. If you find yourself resenting cleaning or tidying, try thinking of it as showing your love for this home that shelters and nourishes you.

Furniture company Schewels strives for quality living and first-rate comfort for its customers. This is why they only sell furniture products that have undergone meticulous inspection from industry experts, designers, and connoisseurs. Visit this website for more details.