Your Guide to Antique Shopping

Are you thinking of adding character to your home by incorporating some antique pieces? The world of antiques is vast, but it has so much to offer. Many people think that you have to have access to exclusive places in order to get some really lovely pieces; however, antiques are more accessible than you may think. If you are curious and do not know where to start, do not worry; we are here to guide you.  

An antique is an item that is at least a hundred years old. Goods are considered to be vintage if they are at least two decades old. Collectibles also can be a chic addition to the home. Collectibles can be items that are either vintage or antique. 

Why Invest in Antiques? 

  • Antiques can add a ton of warmth and style to your home. Here are some key reasons why your antiques can be the stylish touch that your home needs: 
  • Most new furniture that you will find in big box stores decreases in value over time. However, antiques hold their value and in some instances, can increase over the years.  
  • Most antique furniture and items are made from high quality and durable materials as opposed to mass-produced items. You can expect it to last for several more years to come.  
  • Even more importantly, a beautiful antique item can add a lot of character to a space, especially if there is a history behind it.  

Learning More About Antiques 

If you have an interest in antiques but do not know where to start, you should begin teaching yourself about different styles and their time periods. You can visit antique shops, auctions, and fairs to see what kind of pieces are out there. Most dealers love to share their knowledge.  

Shopping Online or Instore 

You can shop for antiques online and in-store. However, shopping for antiques in person is always much better, especially when you are just beginning. Vendors will sell at fairs, flea markets, and estate sales.   You can also shop through online vendors like Craigslist and eBay. Here are some things you should keep in mind when shopping online: 

  • Large furniture pieces come with hefty shipping prices. 
  • Ask for additional information such as photos from different angles and do not be afraid to ask questions 
  • Inquire about the vendor’s return policy 

We hope our advice helps you feel more confident about buying antiques for your home. If you are an avid antiquer yourself, we encourage you to share your processes and thoughts below in the comment section.

Why You Cannot Go Wrong with Cotton Furniture

Textures like velvet and linen may be trendy, but you can never go wrong with plain, old-fashioned cotton. This is especially so when it is time to pick out furniture. If you are planning to purchase a new sofa or to reupholster an old one, you might be tempted to embrace popular textures like velvet or linen. However, if you are looking for something durable, easy to maintain, and worth your money, you might want to look towards cotton.  

Cotton Is Not a Boring Choice

Cotton does not have to be bland. Depending on the fabric, it can be pretty formal or modern chic. Cotton fabrics can take on many different patterns and looks based on the way it is woven. For instance, casual slipcovers are typically canvas-woven, whereas damask or velvet weave is reserved for more formal or elegant pieces.  

Choosing High Quality and Durable Cotton Furniture 

If you are searching for furniture that can last for several years to come, cotton is your best bet. For high-quality cotton, you will need to invest in cotton that is produced from long staples. Premium cotton produced from long staples provides a fabric that can feel just as smooth and luxurious as silk. Fabrics that use shorter fibers are less durable. You can typically tell the difference between long and short fiber pieces. When shopping for the perfect cotton furnishing, you will want to know if it was produced from long or short cotton fiber.  

The weave also determines durability. Muslin or percale woven cotton is thin and less durable than other cotton forms. You will find that heavier cotton fabric with densely woven threads are much more durable and lasts longer.  

Why Should You Choose Cotton Furniture? 

Cotton furniture will always be an excellent choice for upholstery. It is super breathable and does not trap in moisture or heat-this makes it comfortable to sit and rest on in Arizona. Also, cotton has good abrasion resistance, which means you can expect it to be long-lasting. If it is important to have a material that can be easily cleaned or that is washable, cotton is no doubt your best bet.  

For more household tips and tricks, be sure to visit our blog hub at Fulton Homes.

Using a Mirror in Your Decor

Mirrors serve a variety of purposes in the home. They can be used to reflect light, visually expand small spaces, and they are aesthetically pleasing when implemented the right way. Before you start hanging mirrors around the house, it is essential to follow a few guidelines. Here are some tips for designing with mirrors:

Large Mirrors in Small Rooms

Use an oversized mirror in a tiny space to instantly create the illusion of depth. However, you do want to give some consideration to where exactly you place this mirror. For instance, in a small dining room, you should put the large mirror above the dining room table. The mirror will reflect the chandelier making the room seem more significant than what it actually is.  

Be Careful When Installing Mirrors in the Kitchen and Bedroom

While mirrors are not necessary for the kitchen, often homeowners use this as backsplashes. Mirrored backsplashes would require a lot of maintenance due to the fact that they are easily marred with visible watermarks and other types of stains.  

Mirrors in the bedroom are often used as the decor of this area. If you are set on using mirrors in your bedroom decor, you should place it in a not-so-obvious area such as up behind your headboard. 

Use Mirrors to Accent the Focal Point 

What is the focal point of your room? You can use mirrors to emphasize the focal point further. Try placing a mirror above a fireplace or as a piece of artwork. If the room lacks a focal point, you can use mirrors to create interest. You can also use lighting fixtures to enhance mirrors further.  

Visually Expand Narrow Spaces

Mirrors also work in areas of the home that often get neglected, such as staircases and hallways. Small horizontal mirrors can expand narrow hallways and staircases.  

The Mirrored Furniture Trend 

Mirrored furniture is a great way to utilize mirrors in your home’s decor. A mirrored coffee table, dresser, and nightstand are some subtle ways to add mirrors into your design by creating a chic and modern look.  

How do you use mirrors in your home design? Let us know below in the comment section.

Secret Household Cleaners: Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a household antiseptic. Generally, when you think of hydrogen peroxide, you would probably consider it as a first aid product; however, hydrogen peroxide is more than just a first aid cleaning product. This oxidizer is an incredible bleaching agent and disinfectant. If you have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, you may have more household uses for it than you realize. Here are three secret household cleaning tips for hydrogen peroxide:

Excellent Grout Cleaner

Grout is porous and can stain easily and be difficult to clean after the sealer wears. Simply, mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Use two-parts baking soda and one-part hydrogen peroxide and take a toothbrush to scrub the grout lines. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes then remove the paste with a wet rag. You may need to add a lot of water on your rag to help clean up some of the gritty soot left behind from the paste.

Perfect Toilet Bowl Cleaner

We use hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant agent because of how well it works at killing unwanted bacteria. Add a cup or two to your toilet bowl and use a toilet brush to scrub around the hydrogen peroxide. This bleaching product will help break down unwanted residue and bring back your natural white porcelain. Allow the product to sit for an hour to fully work its magic. After, simply just flush your toilet.

Alternative Laundry Bleach Agent

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent bleaching agent. The unstable peroxide bond is responsible for the oxidation. When you are washing your clothes, consider adding hydrogen peroxide into the bleach compartment of the machine-this is environmentally-friendly and a great alternative. It will break down the chemical protein bonds and leave your clothes looking brighter and cleaner than ever!

Hydrogen Peroxide has many everyday household uses. If you have hydrogen peroxide in your home, consider using it for its many added benefits. From killing germs to an excellent cleaning product, hydrogen peroxide is more beneficial than just being in your medicine cabinet. For more insight on other secret household cleaners, make sure to subscribe!

Secret Household Cleaners: Vinegar & Baking Soda

You may not need to invest in some harsh cleaning chemicals to remove stains in your home. Vinegar and baking soda are as great of a combination as salt and pepper. Maybe not on your food, but still in the kitchen. Actually, throughout the whole home! Vinegar and baking soda create a fantastic paste which can be an all-natural remedy cleaning product. The perfect homogenous blend of acid and base-both work together to remove and clean the worst stains. Here are some simple ways to use this combo in your own home:

Fantastic Stainless Steel Cleaner

Stainless-steel is beautiful; however, it can get greasy easily and lose that luster it once had. Make your stainless-steel look new again with your homemade baking soda and vinegar cleaner. This bubbly concoction works great at restoring stainless steel.

Remarkable Carpet Stain Remover

Carpet is a substantial home investment, so we never want it to wear or stain early. When wine or urine penetrates carpet, it can be challenging to remove; however, vinegar and baking soda are perfect for removing the deepest of stains. Remove as much of the stain as possible first by patting with a dry paper towel. Add your baking soda onto the floor on top of the stain then pour vinegar onto the baking soda mound – this will begin the chemical reaction. Allow it to bubble for some time then wipe away residue and shop vac. Your stain will be gone!

Amazing Backsplash Cleaner

There are plenty of cleaners on the market today, yet this one you can make in your own home. This degreaser and stain remover is your baking soda and vinegar blend. Start by creating your paste and allow to bubble, apply it onto your backsplash and spread, and then you can use a scrub brush on the grout lines. Lastly, wipe down and enjoy!

Baking soda and vinegar are excellent at cleaning your home. Sometimes we forget to look for a natural remedy we already have. Knowing alternative uses for daily items in your home can save you time and money. For more insight on other secret household cleaners, make sure to subscribe!

Secret Household Cleaners: Lemon

Lemons have many added health benefits. This citrus fruit is loaded with vitamin C, increases iron, and may lower the risk of stroke. However, this yellow pulped, sour fruit has more than just culinary benefits. Lemon’s citric acid also makes an excellent cleaning agent.

Clean Butcher Block or Cutting Board

Butcher block countertops can be challenging to clean. However, cleaning your cutting boards and butcher block counters does not need to be a difficult or elaborate task. Simply, slice a lemon in half. Using the citrus side of the lemon, add table salt. You can now use the gritty texture to scrub clean and remove stains from your wood. This natural remedy makes an excellent alternative to hard chemical cleaning agents.

Tremendous Copper Cleaner

From faucets, pots, and pans to décor and appliances, copper looks great in any home. However, being exposed to the air and other natural elements, copper begins to corrode. Do not let this chemical reaction alarm you because you can remove this green tint with lemon juice. Rejuvenate your copper and get back that shine with some quick lemon juice and salt.

Great Microwave Cleaner

Microwaves tend to build up some muck in them over time but cleaning them may be easier than you think. Fill a microwaveable safe bowl with water. Squeeze your lemons into the water and place the remaining lemons into the bowl. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, allowing the water to boil. Once the timer goes off, leave the bowl in the microwave for five to ten minutes. The steam in the microwave will break down the gunk. Then, simply wipe down the walls of the microwave with a paper towel or pour the hot lemon juice onto a dish towel to wipe down the remaining debris.

So, when life hands you lemons, now you are ready for much more. This little citrus fruit packs a punch for household tasks. Learning the uses of everyday household items can allow you to save money and clean your environment naturally. For more insight on other secret household cleaners, make sure to subscribe!

Tips for Hosting Guests Overnight

Entertaining and hosting a guest can be a blast! However, setting up for them can be a little challenging. If you have ever stayed at a hotel, you may not know all the work that goes into the room before you even arrive. Likewise, prepping for your guest can be more than just inviting them over, especially if they are spending the night. If you are hosting an overnight guest, here is everything you need to know to make their stay as best as possible:

Evening Entertainment and Dining

Prior to your guest’s arrival, you should have the evening planned. These plans should be tentative and adaptable in case your guest has something else on their agenda. Communicate with your guest before they arrive and discuss what you may have in mind. You should also try to provide dinner for your guest. Make sure you recognize any of your guest’s food allergies and have options available at dinner. These simple tactics can make the evening flow smoothly.

Bedroom and Bathroom

Your guest room should provide the necessary accommodations you would expect if you were to check in to a hotel. Make sure you provide your guest with clean sheets, extra blankets, lots of pillows, and an alarm clock. You may want to provide extra cell phone chargers, water bottles, and an empty wastebasket. Make sure they understand what bathrooms are available for them to use and are provided with basic toiletries, tissues, and towels.

Breakfast

You may want to forewarn them about the breakfast plan the night before, so they know. This can show you thought ahead. Provide coffee, juice, and water for your company. You can make it buffet style or just make them a plate. This simple gesture can go a long way in making your guest feel like your home is welcoming.

Hosting guest is a fun way to open the doors to your home and make your atmosphere more welcoming. Your guest will notice the extra little details you put into treating them. For more insight on hosting guests, make sure to subscribe!

Garage Cleaning Checklist

Garages can quickly become the collecting ground of mayhem and messes. Many people like to postpone house projects and put issues for another date in the garage or basement. However, this eventually leads to a daunting project that we have long been dreading. The best way to embark on this journey is to create a straightforward checklist. Stay focus and take some time out of your weekend because we are going to clean out that garage!

Strategize and Inspect

First, start by assessing the garage. Determine a realistic time frame in which you can accomplish the project. Decide if you need more storage or bins to organize the space. Somethings get put into the garage and not their correct homes. Decide what is staying and what can be put into a storage unit.

Deep Clean

Pull everything out from your garage. Sort them into organized piles:

  • Donate
  • Storage Unit
  • Keep
  • Dispose

You may need to look at the relevance of certain belongings. If it is summer, you may not need to keep your winter items in the garage, so organize it accordingly. Also, when your garage is empty, take advantage of a broom, and wash the flooring. You may want to invest in a degreaser to remove stains from the floor and treat oil. Wipe down your windows and counter space during this time as well. Having your garage fully accessible to be cleaned is a rare opportunity. Make sure to utilize it fully and clean every nook and cranny.

Maintain

Set up a monthly maintenance calendar to avoid the mess. Keeping up and maintaining your garage’s cleanliness is the easiest way to prevent a big project. During each month, pull your cars out and broom out your garage. You can mop it afterward to help keep it clean.

Cleaning your garage can be a daunting task you may avoid, but it needs to be done. It is valuable square footage to the blueprint of your property, so try to stop using it to pack away projects for a later time because having a clean garage is rewarding.

Pest Control in the Valley

Arizona’s breathtaking landscape continues to allure tourists and homebuyers to this ideal paradise. With some of the most consistently blue skies in America, the Grand Canyon State has so much to offer travelers. From unbeatable rural scenic views to the friendly city dwellers, Arizona has it all. Yet, if you are new to the Valley, you may be unfamiliar with some of the challenges the desert brings with it. This rocky oasis is inviting to more than just humans. Many pest and critters enjoy Arizona as well; this means we need to be smart about our home’s pest control.

Critters to Consider

While a new home is not going to be infested, you should not wait. If you wait, you may be subject to some unwanted guests. Ants are very common in Arizona. You can be susceptible to fire ants which no one wants or carpenter ants. The carpenter ants will eat into your woods in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens, and this can easily cause unwanted structural damage. On the outside of your homes, you could be exposed to killer bees or even wasps. While beautiful flowerbeds may attract these fellows, you do not need them nesting up near your home. Another lethal intruder is some types of spiders. While tarantulas are scary, they are not as dangerous as the Black Widow. Having your home treated to prevent termites, roaches, and rodents is a widespread Arizona protocol.

How Often Should I Spray?

Once your home has been treated, keep up on your pest control. Some of these home invaders can cause severe structural damage. Typically, having your home treated bi-monthly will prevent any infestations. It is not guaranteed that an untreated home will be infested, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you can act ahead, you will not have to deal with these unwanted vermin’s later in life.

Make sure any company you hire is abiding by the Arizona state laws. Termite control laws and regulations can prohibit specific procedures. Keeping your home safe and pest free is essential, but be sure to follow Arizona’s state laws to stay safe.

Tips for Spotting Quality Wood Furniture Pieces

Let’s be honest; no home is complete without some type of wood accent sprinkled throughout the house. Yet, finding high-quality wood furniture can seem nearly impossible. Often, you will find a piece of wooden furniture that looks great in the store only to discover that it is flimsy and built poorly. To avoid wasting your hard earned money, check out these tips for spotting poorly constructed wood furniture:

Is It Made from Solid Wood?

When shopping for wood furniture, you will want to check to see if it was constructed from solid wood. Solid wood is also referred to as hardwood or softwood. Generally, furnishings made from this type of wood material are constructed from single board pieces that are glued together since trees are not as naturally wide. Be sure to ask the associate if the entire piece is formed from solid wood or just specific parts of it. Common hardwoods you will find in stores is oak, walnut, cherry, and ash.

Is Plywood Furniture Worth the Investment?

Plywood is considered engineered hardwood that is formed with thin layers of solid wood on top of each other. A layer of stained and wood finish is applied in the final stage; this is also known as a veneer. What makes plywood an attractive option is that it can hold up in all kinds of climate. Also, it will cost you a fraction of a genuine solid wood piece. So, what are some of the drawbacks of investing in plywood furniture? The quality of plywood depends on the quality of the veneer used. A poor quality veneer often reveals a low-quality wood beneath the finish. Once it becomes damaged, the repair process can be complicated since the wood species, and the veneer is of different materials.

What is MDF?

Furniture labeled MDF, or Medium Density Fiberboard is derived from a combination of wood waste products and resin. MDF furnishing can be finished with a real wood layer or a non-wood laminate. MDF furniture is less expensive than plywood and solid wood pieces. Although it is budget-friendly, and it can be easily damaged and repairing it is very difficult.

When shopping for wood furniture, do your research. Take a close look at all of the products and compare their characteristics. Sometimes the quality of a piece will drive up the cost, but buying furniture is an investment.