From wedding festivities and graduation parties to family reunions and neighborhood get-togethers, June is a busy month for entertaining. If your home isn’t quite ready for the social whirl, it might be time to invest in some key upgrades to welcome your guests and ensure your furniture survives your special occasions.
Quality indoor and outdoor home furnishings are meant to last for years of regular use, but not all furniture is created equal. While a build-it-yourself item that comes from a big box store might fill a temporary interior design niche in a dorm or apartment, such pieces aren’t made to hand down from generation to generation.
To find wooden furniture that’s built to last for years of regular use as well as the occasional big event, choose solid wood or an attractive veneer over single-piece construction. If you’re hosting a big gathering and want to be sure your new dining table and chairs stand up to repeated dinner parties, avoid pressboard or particle board. Junctures between surfaces are another indicator of quality. Well-made furniture uses dovetail, peg or screw joining rather than staples or visible glue. Test tables and chairs in the showroom to make sure they’re level.
“Upholstered furniture stands up best to use if it’s covered in a material that repels stains and soil”, says Ethan Allen Boise Designer Dawn Salkas. “Treated fabrics can be remarkably resistant to stains, but if you plan to entertain frequently, don’t rely solely on a finishing treatment to protect fabric-covered furniture in light, solid colors. Look for patterns that minimize visible wear in high-traffic areas such as a media room or pool deck”, she adds. Another possibility is picking a material that sheds spilled wine or fruit punch before it can stain. Leather, micro-fiber fabrics and durable canvas are easy to clean yet comfortable and attractive enough to be inviting to guests.
When buying wood or upholstered furniture, take placement into consideration. Fragile pieces may not stand up well to a raucous pool party, and even well-made finishes can discolor in the sun. Outdoor furniture should be under a patio or turned regularly to keep it from getting uneven sunlight that could bleach it. Protecting indoor home furnishings with window treatments such as those from Hunter Douglas will keep furniture looking new for years of parties.
Salkas also understands some parties happen before you know it. “You may not have time to redecorate before the big event. If you’re working with the furniture you have and want to make it more functional, a free Ethan Allen in-home design consultation can help transform the look of a room. Our team has plenty of experience helping clients with quick fixes from room arrangement to artwork and foliage…paint colors, flooring even repair of minor scratches and stains”.
This June, make sure your furniture weathers your next event with grace and style. Invest in pieces you’ll be proud to pass down to the next generation and enjoy years of future summer gatherings around the same timeless pieces. And, if you need help getting started your Ethan Allen design consultant is always available to bounce ideas.
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