Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone - WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate



Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 10/12/2017

Finding out the quality of furniture at a furniture store can be difficult. Product descriptions are written with the goal of getting you to buy. What’s more, floor sales employees will boast about the quality of their “genuine bonded leather,” how easy it is to clean and how long it lasts.

What many people don’t know is that words like “genuine” don’t mean “real” leather, but rather a grade of leather. Genuine leather is, in fact, the second worst type of leather in terms of quality and durability.

To help you avoid this and other blunders at the furniture store, we’ve written a simple guide to furniture leather that aid you in making the most informed decision possible the next time you’re at the furniture store. After all, furniture is expensive, and you want to make sure you get the best option for you and your family.

Leather grades

Bonded. The most basic thing to understand about leather are the grades. At the bottom of the list, or the lowest grade leather, is bonded leather. The word “leather” is actually generous in this scenario because bonded leather is really made up of fragments of leftover leather that have been glued together (or “bonded”) with latex or poly.

Bonded leather is often used for furniture because large items like sofas require so much of it. Manufacturers won’t soon tell you just how much of the sofa is comprised of leather and how much of it is composed of latex, so be wary of spending a lot of money on bonded leather furniture.

Genuine. Genuine leather, also known as “corrected grain” leather has artificial grain applied to its surface. This top grain is designed to increase the visual appeal of the leather by changing the texture and pigmentation to create different colors.

While genuine leather is a step above bonded leather, it is also subject to wear as the surface isn’t true leather.

Suede. Suede is a type of “split grain” leather, meaning that the top of the piece of leather has been removed and sanded forming the soft, suede texture and color we are all familiar with.

Top and full grain. The highest quality leathers are top and full grain. Top grain has had the split removed which makes it both easier to work with as well as softer and more flexible. Full grain, on the other hand has not had the split removed and is often unbuffed and unsanded. It isn’t as common to see this type of leather used in furniture because the imperfections are often removed in favor of a more visually congruent leather. However, since full grain hasn’t had any layers removed, it is easily the most durable type of leather.

Shopping tips

Now that you know more about the types of leather, here are some tips for when you hit the furniture store.

  • Each manufacturer may use their own numbering system for grading leather, so don’t count on them being accurate.

  • Treated leather, in spite of seeming lower quality, may be more resistant to stains and thus preferable for a family with kids and pets.

  • Leather furniture that has received minimum treatment and includes the top grain requires specific cleaning. Don’t attempt to condition the leather with oils like you might a leather shoe that has been subject to the elements. Rather, use warm, damp, soft cloth to wipe down the leather every month or so. Soaps and cleaning solutions can do more harm than good to quality leather.




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Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 8/10/2017

In the pre-internet era, furniture shopping was an all-day event. You would make room in the back of your vehicle and bring along bungee cords in case you decided on a purchase. Then you would spend hours walking around a massive warehouse, ultimately only liking a few items. Today, on the other hand, you can shop for furniture on your smartphone during your lunch break.

Online furniture shopping has its advantages and disadvantages. Pictures can be deceiving, so it’s sometimes difficult to buy an item solely on its online photo gallery. Oftentimes, a piece of furniture will look different online than it will in your home depending on the lighting and other furniture. Furthermore, if you’re buying a sofa or recliner that you’re going to use daily, you’re going to want to feel the texture, and test the comfort level for yourself. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ups and downs of shopping for furniture online. And, we’ll give you some tips to improve your overall shopping experience.

Use the internet as a time saver for household furniture shopping

When it comes to furniture shopping, the internet can save you time in multiple ways. If you’re shopping for a simple side table or throw rug, you might not need to see the item in person before you buy.

For bigger items like sofas and chairs, the internet can still be a useful tool. First, find out what you’re looking for and use the right search terms. Furniture, like anything else, has its own set of vocabulary. Chesterfield, mid-century modern, sectionals… all of these are important search terms for when you’re looking for the perfect sofa.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you have two choices. You can take that information to your local furniture store and start shopping, or you can order online.

Buying furniture for your house online

There is a massive number of places to buy furniture online, and the list is constantly getting bigger. Here, we’ll break down some of the best places to shop online based on their different options, styles, and services.

  • Ikea. The unofficial king of online furniture shopping, Ikea makes affordable, modular, and modern furniture. With Ikea, you can browse items for any area of the house and of any size. If you’re lucky enough to have a brick and mortar store near you, you can browse the website or catalog and then go check it out in person.

  • Poppin. For all of your home office needs. Poppin offers customizable, modern desk and storage solutions. Their style tends to be sleek, minimal, and modern. But, as their name suggests, their furniture tends to pop with color.

  • Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair. These three web giants have a lot to offer at any price range. Be sure to read customer reviews carefully, as they will be a good indicator of quality.

  • Etsy. The rise of online shopping has given a boost to independent craftsmen and furniture makers. There are countless Etsy shops where you’ll find handcrafted, furniture that you won’t see anywhere else.




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Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 7/13/2017

Moving into a new house takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can take months to feel like you’re truly “moved in” once you’ve finally gotten the keys to your new home. As a result, many people rush to purchase and set up their houses as quickly as possible.

If--like most people--you’re on a budget, it isn’t always realistic to expect your home to be completely furnished set up in just a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of your priorities when moving into a new home.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the “need now” and “it can wait” items for your home. In creating this list for your home you can make your move a smoother process and help yourself feel at home sooner without having to spend every waking hour (and every cent of your bank account) furnishing your new home immediately.

Read on for a list of the items you need at move-in, the things you should prioritize within the first weeks, and those that can wait.

What you need now

If you’re moving from an apartment or a former house, chances are you have a lot of the items you’ll need to get started in your new home. These are essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, and your kitchen and bathroom essentials.

Next, you’ll want to determine the things that will make your life in your new home easier. We’re talking daily-use items that you might need for your morning routine. If you’re the type of person who frequently loses keys, it might be a good idea to prioritise a key hook. If you struggle to put on makeup in a dimly lit bathroom, installing new lights should be at the top of your list.

Setting your priorities for the first month

A good way to budget furnishing your new home is to give yourself a specific number of items to buy in the first month, then the second, and so on. Get together with your family, or significant other if applicable, and together determine what’s most important.

It may be that energy efficient windows need to be prioritized over new curtains and blinds. Or, you could have to find a paint color that matches your living room set before repainting your bedroom. Regardless, be sure to budget all of your purchases so that you feel comfortable and ready to take on the first month in your new home.

What can wait

There are a number of items in most homes that are purely cosmetic or decorative. However, the cost of all of the decorations in your home can add up. If you’re planning on starting from scratch with decorations, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have the essentials. This is a good opportunity for you to find the right paint colors and decorations that match your furniture and appliances.

Now that you have a three lists for your home, you should be prepared to furnish it at a pace that works for you.





Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 6/1/2017

When you welcome guests into your home, you’re inviting them to explore your personality, as they take in the pictures on your walls, your window treatments and the size and type of your furniture. Don't opt for drab. Celebrate your guests by decorating your home with furniture that showcases the best of you. Create rooms that invite you and your guests to relax, feel cared for, energized, calm and inspired. Your feelings are excellent guideposts Start by focusing on furniture colors and texture. Colors, textures and styles of the furniture in your home have a positive or negative influence on your mood and energy. There are psychological color charts and emotional color wheels that explain the impact that different colors have on people. For example, purple generally represents mysterious, romantic and luxurious feelings. But, don't limit yourself to charts and color wheels. Trust your instincts. You may feel differently when you're around certain colors than other people do. For example, you might feel powerful and energized while sitting on a black, leather sofa or while reclining in a forest green indoor hammock. Stay open to combining and blending colors. A peach colored three-seat sofa might work well with a yellow or purple lounge chair. A good way to discover which types, textures and colors of furniture best align with your personality is to visit interior design stores. Pick a day when you’re schedule isn’t jammed with a list of to-dos. Check out different color pallets. Interior design stores may have color pallets at the front or center of their shops. Don’t be afraid to ask clerks to suggest different colors and furniture styles that may work well in your house. You could also let the clerk know more about your personality, so he can offer better furniture suggestions. Test drive furniture before you bring it home Sit on furniture. Lay across store beds. Pay attention to whether your feet hang off the edge of the mattress and how you feel while laying on your back and left and right sides on store beds. Is the sofa long enough to allow you to nap on a lazy weekend afternoon or does the end of the sofa create a nagging ache in your neck? Back to that leather sofa – does it look great in the showroom but stick to the backs of your legs each time you stand after sitting on it for a few minutes? Also, consider how well accessories at your house complement furniture you’re thinking about purchasing. Perhaps more importantly, consider how you feel while looking at and sitting on furniture. Some furniture may bring on a bout of nostalgia. Other furniture may find you feeling aggressive or even emotionally flat. Pay attention to these cues. Unless you’re an international concert performer who's in a different town three to four nights a week, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time at home. Choose furniture that works for you, furniture that puts your personality center stage.




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