As any homeowner will tell you, gorgeous interiors are a sight to behold. Dapper design combines elegance with upkeep for results you can count on. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your house looking sharp for years to come. While not exhaustive, this list covers most of your bases.
Bring out the shine!
Dusting is one way to make your house sparkle with very little effort. It’s the best kind of cleaning! Most dusters are safe to use on a variety of surfaces and can be used dry or damp. If you’re using water, be mindful of material requirements since it may damage surfaces.
Another way to keep your home in tip-top condition is to prevent surface damage. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially vulnerable since things like water, heat and metal tend to leave marks. Use protective coverings wherever possible to prevent damage from occurring.
One of the best ways to make your house look better quickly is by eliminating grimy surfaces. Here are two tips using common household products to keep your home looking fresh and clean:
1) Baking soda + dish soap = grime remover
For this cleaning solution, create a paste using just enough dish soap to bind the baking soda. Apply to soap scum, essential oil burners and other grimy areas that have been driving you crazy. You may want to use disposable gloves for this one since the paste absorbs the grease as it works. It’s definitely a keeper!
2) Vinegar + dish soap = sink cleaner This time, use undiluted white vinegar or a 50/50 vinegar/water solution plus a few drops of dish soap. Both vinegar and dish soap cut through grease leaving your stainless steel or porcelain sinks streak-free. Note: vinegar is highly acidic so don’t forget to rinse all surfaces after use.
Care by Category
Every material has its own characteristics and care requirements. Here are a few tips to keep your home in good shape.
There are plenty of carpet cleaning products on the market though tried and true is always white vinegar, water, and baking soda.. Bear in mind that carpet care isn’t universal. When in doubt, read instructions for your individual carpet. Regular vacuuming should be done.
All wool sheds. But technically, all wool yarns can shed due to the structure of the fiber. If you have a brand new rug, those cloudy tufts can be cut fibers that were embedded into the face of the rug. When rugs are made, the wool yarns are often much longer than the pile of the finished rug. At the end of the rug-making process, the yarns are cut to the desired pile height or rug thickness. It's like a big haircut for your rug. Cutting the pile can leave little pieces of wool fiber on the rug. Over time, these pieces work their way out of the carpet. If you have a brand-new rug, this could be what you are experiencing.
There’s no perfect method to stop shedding, but you can reduce it by preventing any further damage to your rug:
1) Lightly vacuum your rug regularly, going with the grain of the pile and not against it.
A nice and easy one! Regularly vacuuming your rug can help clean out and remove any loose fibers that cause shedding. It’s important to vacuum it at least once or twice a week, as this is when it’ll be most prone to shedding. Avoid heavy-duty vacuums as these can rip and damage the rug.
2) Don't use a heavy beater bar or use the vacuum on the setting closest to the ground.
Avoid heavy-duty vacuums as these can rip and damage the rug.
3) Trim the tufts
If tufts of wool are emerging above the rug’s surface, using a sharp pair of scissors, trim the tops to remove that fuzzy appearance. It’s common for wool pile rugs to experience some light fraying, and by trimming the tops, your rug not only feels better to touch but also looks cleaner and cozier.
When it comes to upholstery, we recommend looking for your specific care needs per piece based on the materials.
You may associate glass with windows but it’s actually found in many areas of the home. Everything from mirrors to tables contain glass and there are as many cleaners as there are surfaces. No matter which option you choose, avoid ammonia-based products to protect its integrity
Marble is a stunning material though you do need to treat it well. Its sensitivity to pH levels means you need to be careful with everything from lemon to vinegar or even surface cleaners. For that reason, be sure to use pH-neutral stone cleaners to prevent potential reactions or damaged surfaces.
Wood is a natural material though it does require occasional care. Buff surfaces with a clean cloth to enhance its shine. Wood is sensitive to liquids and chemicals so wipe up spills quickly and clean with distilled water. Like leather, it dries naturally so use appropriate oil products annually for a healthy shine.
Protecting your surfaces is obvious yet important. Wood is especially prone to scrapes and scratches so do your best to add felt pads to furniture feet and heavy objects. As for routine care, it’s easier than you think.
There are many types of leather and specific care requirements. Generally speaking, it’s safe to use soap and water on treated leather to remove mild stains. Spot clean as needed and leave to dry overnight. One of the benefits of leather is its quality and durability though it does require proper care. Did you know that sunlight can discolor leather over time or that heat from a radiator or other source can dry out and crack the surface? By the same token, it’s important to keep leather surfaces away from sharp objects or transferable prints. You may even need to call in a professional for serious fixes. Shoes and other leather accessories are commonly cared for using leather conditioner and polish. Sofas, chairs and other furniture instead require leather cream on a monthly basis for added moisture and shine. Use a dry cloth to buff leather after application for improved shine. Finally, dust your leather every week or two using a clean, dry cloth.
Taking care of your home is an investment though it’s well worth the effort. Keeping up with the small maintenance of cleaning and minor repairs when needed will increase the life of your items. In the meantime, congrats on learning something new and best of luck with all of your new interiors.