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Cleaning & Organizing DIY

Secure Your Chicago Home for Your Spring Break Vacation!

Well, it’s that time of year again.

Time to trade in snowboots for swimsuits as you jet off to Florida, Hawaii or Europe for your Spring Break vacation, leaving the winter doldrums behind in favor of sunshine, beaches and tropical weather.

Here at The RoomPlace, we’re just as excited to escape this dreary Midwestern March as our customers in Chicago and Indianapolis. Furniture stores like ours are always exciting places to be, but when it comes to choosing between shopping for that new leather sofa or taking the kids to Disneyworld, we don’t blame you for picking the latter. And your friends in Illinois or Indiana will probably forgive you for acting like coming home after a stress-free, work-free week is the biggest bummer in the world.

But if returning from vacation is a bummer, returning from vacation to find your home ransacked is a nightmare. Obviously, empty homes make tempting targets – but relax. The RoomPlace is happy to share some of our tips for protecting your house while you jet off to the other side of the country or the world this spring.

  • Phone a friend. Even if you don’t need someone to pick up your mail, water your plants, or feed your cat, asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re away is always a good idea. Make sure to provide them with your contact information in case of an emergency.
  • Less is more. Unless you keep 100 percent of your curtains closed over 100 percent of your windows 100 percent of the time, doing so when you leave for vacation is a tip-off to potential criminals that you’re not at home. Move expensive items out of plain site, but try a little subtlety when you’re closing up shop.
  • Lights on. There’s no need to leave every lamp in your house blazing for a week, but investing in a cheap light switch timer will allow a few key lamps to turn on and off automatically according to a programmed schedule. Anyone watching will assume there’s a person inside who’s responsible.
  • Hide the keys. Or better yet, remove them altogether. It’s always good to have a spare key lying around in case of a lockout, but even the dumbest of burglars will probably think to check under the doormat before breaking into your empty house. Collect all your spare keys and bring them inside, or leave them with a friend when you hit the road.

Whether you shop at one of our furniture stores in Chicagoland or northwest Indiana, nothing is more important to us than your complete satisfaction as a customer at The RoomPlace. So in addition to our selection of affordable living room furniture, dining room sets, and bedroom collections, we do our best to offer the customer service you expect and deserve. If you ever have any homeowner questions when reading our blog, please don’t hesitate to contact us! The team at The RoomPlace is always happy to help in any way we can.

Categories
Cleaning & Organizing DIY Home Decor

Your New Year’s Resolution: Furniture Edition

Many of us see the New Year as a chance to turn over a new leaf. If you’ve been looking for a reason to start on a home renovation, furniture stores in Chicago like us can help. Here’s some food for thought regarding the New Year and your home’s new look.

First up, and maybe the least fun: it may be time to clean house. A comprehensive cleaning is New Year’s tradition in many cultures around the globe, and it will make your life much easier once you start moving and arranging your furniture. Deep-cleaning your carpets, polishing your floors, wiping down shelves and other surfaces, vacuuming sofas and armchairs, scrubbing your windows, and taking your rugs and curtains out for a good beating will help you start off the New Year with a clean slate.

Next, once your home is sparkling, start taking stock of what you need and don’t need. Extra clutter gets in the way of great design, and if you have doo-dads lying around that you never use, then it’s time to get rid of them. Plus, a clean and organized environment often helps with mental focus and productivity.

Break your projects down piece-by-piece. Many New Years resolutions fail because we think we have to change our lives in one fell swoop. That’s not necessarily the case—in fact, you have a much better chance of completing something if you set realistic expectations. Give yourself time to pick out your new furniture, colors, accents, etc.

Last, but not least, there are many ways that you can make your redecoration or renovation a family project. Get all hands on deck to make the process quicker and more fun!

For residents in Chicago, twin mattresses, kitchen tables, ottomans and anything else you can think of for your home are available at The RoomPlace store nearest you.

 

Categories
Bedrooms Cleaning & Organizing Design Tips DIY Entertaining Home Decor Room Makeovers

Make your holiday guests feel right at home in your home

As most of our Chicago and Indianapolis furniture customers probably know, Christmastime creates the busiest travel days of the year (besides the dreaded Thanksgiving Eve). And between holiday parties with extended family, New Year’s celebrations with old friends, and every other shindig you’d expect an invitation to this December, the team at The RoomPlace is gearing up for houses full of festivities, merriment, and of course, plenty of guests.

If you’ve ever shopped at one of our many furniture stores in the Tinley Park, Schaumburg and Merrillville areas, you probably already know that The RoomPlace is dedicated to providing the best furniture and home accents at affordable prices – all with the goal of helping our customers develop their own personal decorating styles. So this holiday season, why not share your flare for interior design with your house guests in the most inviting way possible? Here, The RoomPlace is happy to offer advice on how to create the most welcoming guest rooms to ensure your friends, family and in-laws give only rave reviews about your holiday hospitality.

 

Step 1: de-clutter your environment

We get it – the holiday season is busy. With all the last-minute shopping, school plays or concerts, and cookie baking you’ve been taking care of lately, it’s easy to let your guest bedroom devolve into a storage room or glorified dumping ground. But you don’t want your guests feeling like they’ve been thrown in with all the other junk that’s at the bottom of your priority list.

So take a few minutes to organize. Don’t panic, we didn’t say “clean”; just move some of those boxes to the basement and make good use of your closet space (but not the one in the guest room!). Your guests will appreciate the effort when they’re not competing with the extra Christmas decorations for a little wiggle room.

 

Step 2: spoil your weary travelers

It probably goes without saying that you tend to keep your favorite pieces of furniture in the rooms meant for you and your family, while hiding some of those older, well-loved items in the lower-traffic guest room. There’s nothing wrong with making the most of hand-me-downs, but if you’re not willing to part with that brand-new dresser just yet, at least splurge on a high-quality new comforter, classy full-length bedroom mirror, or some plush towels for your guests’ enjoyment. They might not notice the age of the bed frame, but nobody objects to a little pampering when they’re on vacation.

And don’t forget to provide extra amenities, like hangers, aspirin or toothbrushes. We all know how frustrating it is to forget that one essential thing when packing for a trip away.

 

Step 3: personalize the treatment

The most important rule of thumb when readying your guest room is to remember that decorating any room should really be all about the designer: in this case, you! Don’t be afraid to add a few personal touches of your own, especially anything that enhances the style you’ve chosen to use in your other home decorating endeavors.

If the rest of your house uses the homespun touches of a comfortable country style, try adding floral curtains to the guest room windows or placing a cozy patchwork quilt on the bed. If you lean more towards a tried-and-true traditional style, you might provide a few velvet throw pillows or consider investing in a comfy, trendy velvet armchair for the corner near the reading lamp. Whatever your interior design style, we hope you get the idea – don’t lose it in the guest room just because it sees less action than the living room or kitchen.

 

During the holidays, just being near your friends and family is what really matters. But putting a dash of extra effort into your guest room this year will show your guests how much you value their time. And besides, it never hurts to eat, drink, and be merry in style!

The team at The RoomPlace wishes all our furniture shoppers from Chicago, Indianapolis, Tinley Park and beyond a very satisfying and safe holiday season.

 

Categories
Cleaning & Organizing Design Tips DIY Home Decor

The RoomPlace offers advice on preparing your house for icy temperatures

The week after Thanksgiving is always a tough one. Adapting back to early mornings at work and all the responsibilities of real life can be a struggle, especially on the heels of a long weekend filled with family, feasting, and festivities. And this year, the misleading 60-degree Thanksgiving enjoyed by The RoomPlace customers throughout Chicagoland and northwestern Indiana has made that adjustment even more difficult.

If you’re anything like the teams at The RoomPlace Furniture Stores, November’s unseasonably warm weather may have fooled you into procrastinating on winterizing your home for the frigid months ahead. But with temperatures as low as 15 degrees near our furniture stores in Schaumburg, Downers Grove, and nearby cities earlier this week, it might be time to start thinking about beginning that all-important yet dreaded task.

The good news is that preparing your home for winter doesn’t have to be quite the chore it’s cracked up to be. Here at The RoomPlace, we’re firm believers in mixing business with pleasure, and we’d like to take this opportunity to invite our Chicago and Indianapolis furniture customers to do the same. For all our interior design fanatics out there, let’s discuss the silver lining of any home improvement project: the chance to protect your house (and your family) from the elements, while simultaneously keeping up with the latest decorating trends and seasonal styles.

 

Work before play

Illinois and Indiana have nothing on the Great White North, but everyone from Merrillville to Chicago knows that winter in the Midwest can bring blizzards and accompanying heavy winds or snowfalls; hailstorms that wreak havoc in the form of ice dams and property damage; and sleet or freezing rain that cause slippery sidewalks and driveways. So, it’s important to keep a few main tasks in mind as you set about cold-proofing your home.

Unfortunately, some things need doing that just can’t be sugarcoated. If you’re a homeowner around Indianapolis or in the Chicago suburbs, you’re probably already familiar with draining your rain barrels, cleaning out your gutters, and trimming the trees around your home as the fall season draws to a close. But don’t forget about those smaller tasks that are easier to overlook.

Before the real cold hits, remember to make sure that:

  1. your snow-blower is in good condition and stocked with plenty of fuel, and you don’t need to replace any of your snow shovels.
  2. your furnace is running efficiently, and the filter is clean.
  3. your chimney is free of small animal nests or deposit buildup, both of which can result in polluted air inside the home or dangerous chimney fires.

Getting all your ducks in a row will save you not only time and work after a particularly nasty storm or freeze, but also energy and money on your utility bills, which often skyrocket during those cold winter months.

 

Insulate while you decorate

Insulating your house probably isn't how you want to spend your Friday night, but it only takes a few minutes to lay the groundwork. Next time it’s chilly, take a few minutes to walk around checking for leaks and drafts by feeling around your doors, windows, lights, and switch plates for cold air. This sign that your home's warmth is somehow escaping outside can certainly be irritating, but it’s also where the fun can begin.

  1. Protect your windows: Here at The RoomPlace, one of our favorite ways to insulate while decorating is by using full blockout curtains with fabric-covered pelmets or cornice boards. The great thing about pelmets is that you can kill two birds with one stone by decoratively concealing the curtain rod, while also insulating your windows. The combination of the pelmet with the blockout lining is a great way to mix up your home décor, while sealing airflow from the cold outdoors and trapping heat inside your home at the same time.
  2. Dress your room in layers: Drape a cozy knit throw over the back of your leather sofa, and heap extra blankets and oversized, fluffy pillows around your living room furniture to create an inviting ambiance where family and guests can all keep warm. Strategic layering of warm blankets, furry rugs, and heavy draperies throughout the draftier corners of your home is one of the quickest, most painless ways to create a new color scheme or tone and fend off the cold while you’re at it.
  3. Heat it up in the bedroom: Make sure the cold weather doesn’t interrupt your sleep by adding a few simple items to your Chicagoland king bed or your kids’ twin mattresses. Replacing your current bed linens with flannel sheets and a down comforter will help capture optimal heat in your bedroom, while wool mattress pads or underblankets and two-in-one quilts are useful for creating cozy warmth that can easily be stripped away as the weather gets warmer.

Of course, if the weather’s feeling unpredictably fickle tomorrow, it could always decide to jump up 20 degrees overnight. But don’t be tempted to put away your winter coat and blankets. It’s better to play it safe than be caught unprepared for below-zero nights, heavy snowfalls, and chilling winter freezes.

Take The RoomPlace’s advice and don’t fall for those hope-inspiring weather forecasts of sunshine and climbing temperatures – winterizing now could save you a headache later!

Categories
Cleaning & Organizing Color Design Tips DIY Home Decor Room Makeovers

Brighten your home for shorter winter days with these tips from The RoomPlace

The end of Daylight Savings Time has officially brought the fall season to a close, and that means we’ll be greeting the sun a little earlier as we enter the long winter months ahead. But for The RoomPlace customers working 9-to-5 jobs, those premature sunrise hours might be the only opportunity to enjoy daylight that's vanished even before punching the clock at the end of the workday.

Unfortunately, the consequences of setting our clocks back can be more serious than just waving goodbye to that nice summer tan. Recent studies suggest that loss of daylight this time of year tends to result in more car crashes and pedestrian fatalities, while the darker evenings of winter increase our susceptibility to unhappiness at work, weight gain, and even Seasonal Affective Disorder.

But The RoomPlace has a few quick tips for how our Indianapolis and Chicago furniture customers can keep life feeling bright and cheerful, despite early sunsets and dropping temperatures. Just because it's darker outside doesn't mean it has to be gloomy where it really counts: inside your home.

 

Help sunlight help you

The first step in brightening your home for the winter is remembering one simple rule: Dark, matte surfaces absorb and hide light, while light, glossy surfaces reflect and maximize it. Take a quick look around and take note of which description best applies to your favorite rooms. Some of your home accents – like shadowy drapery, heavy shades, dark-value wall paint, or murky-colored upholstery fabrics – might be sucking up your rooms’ available light.

There’s only so much natural light to go around during the shortened days of winter, so try to make the most of it by storing some of your heavier or darker items away for the season and replacing them with lighter fabrics or reflective materials. For example, you might try exchanging your framed photographs for framed mirrors, or consider going without window dressings for a few months.

 

Let there be light

There’s no better time than the end of Daylight Savings to replace old or dated light fixtures. Replacing your lamps and sources of artificial light is one of the least expensive, least time-consuming ways to perk up an older house or a dim room that isn’t getting enough natural sunlight. Worried about ending up with mismatched lamps after updating? Choosing lighting package specials rather than individual items will ensure not only a cohesive décor, but also a lower total price tag.

Once you’ve found the perfect new floor or table lamps from The RoomPlace, you might also consider upping the wattage of your lightbulbs to further brighten the interior of your Illinois or Indiana home. If you’re trying to save energy, at least go for clear bulbs instead of opaque; they tend to shed brighter light at the same wattage level.

 

Create warmth underfoot

Finally, it’s no secret that temperatures are dropping as days are shortening. Looking for a quick, cheap way to stay warm while continuing your home-brightening project? Create warmth underfoot by investing in some new rugs – available at The RoomPlace furniture store nearest you in all styles, sizes, and price ranges. A new rug can bring a splash of bright colors and patterns to any room, while also protecting your feet from cold tile and the draftiness we’ve come to expect from those harsh Chicago winters.

 

Of course, there's no better way to brighten your home than jumping headfirst into the upcoming holiday season. Check back on The RoomPlace furniture blog frequently so you don't miss any interior design news about bringing holiday cheer to the home in Schaumburg, Tinley Park, Merrillville and beyond!

Categories
Cleaning & Organizing Mattresses

Five ways to stop bed bugs before they bite

Bedbugs are one souvenir you don't want to bring home.

 

The National Pest Management Association's Vice President of Public Affairs, Missy Henriksen, shares the following tips for avoiding these pests while traveling.

Check Your Bed Room. If you don't want to let the bedbugs bite, thoroughly inspect your room for signs of infestation. Henriksen advises placing your luggage in the bathroom when you first arrive in your hotel room, because there's no place for bedbugs to hide in most bathrooms. Next, says Henriksen, "Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains or spots or even the bugs themselves. Adult bedbugs resemble a flat apple seed." Also look behind the headboard, inside chair and couch cushions, behind picture frames, and around electrical outlets. If you see anything suspicious, notify management and change rooms (or better yet, establishments) immediately.

Request A Different Room. If you do have to change rooms, don't move to a room adjacent to or directly above or below the site of the bedbug infestation. "Bedbugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts and luggage or even through wall sockets," notes Henriksen. "If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin."

Cover Your Bags. Even if you don't see any signs of bedbugs, you should still take precautions. Never place luggage on a hotel bed, sofa, chair or floor. Use luggage racks if available, and place your suitcase in a protective cover. Even a plastic trash bag will suffice.

Keep Everything Off the Floor. Despite the name, bedbugs lurk in many spots, not just where you sleep. Always be vigilant when you travel. Avoid putting your personal belongings on the floor of an airplane, bus, train, or taxi. Keep your small bag or purse on your lap at all times, and seal your bigger bags inside plastic or protective covers before checking or storing them in overhead bins.

Treat Your Luggage and Clothes After Travel. "The best way to prevent bedbugs is to remain vigilant both during travel and once you return home," says Henriksen. The National Pest Management Association offers the following checklist to make sure you leave the bedbugs behind:
    •    Inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house, and vacuum all luggage before storing it.
    •    Consider using a handheld garment steamer to steam your luggage; this can kill any bedbugs or eggs that might have hitched a ride home.
    •    Immediately wash and dry all of your clothes—even those that have not been worn—in hot temperatures to ensure that any stowaway bedbugs are not transported into your drawers or closet.
    •    Keep clothes that must be dry-cleaned in a plastic bag and take them to the dry cleaner as soon as possible.
    •    If you suspect a bedbug infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional promptly. Bedbugs are not a DIY pest, and the longer you wait, the larger the infestation will grow. A trained professional has the tools and knowledge to effectively treat your infestation.

Categories
Cleaning & Organizing Color Design Tips Home Decor Living Rooms Room Makeovers Shopping & Gifts

How to buy the right furniture for your living room

At The Room Place we aren't here to just sell furniture. We actually want to get to know our customers and help them find the perfect piece or pieces of furniture for their home and lifestyle. We realize that shopping for furniture can be stressful, but it can also be extremely fun provided you know what you want as well as what you need. At The Room Place we take pride in being your neighborhood furniture store for over 100 years now. Quality, value and fantastic service aren't just buzz words for us.

Here are some tips on how to pick out the right furniture for your living room.

  • First you need to look at the room as a whole. What do you use it for?

    • Is the room used for movie night? How about kids jumping around? Pets? or is this room just going to be a formal room to occasionally entertain company?

These are all great question that will help you start to narrow down the living room furniture that you should buy. Below are some of the answers to these questions.

  • Furniture for movie night and just hanging out.

    • You should really look for something that is comfortable and stain resistant since you will probably be drinking a soda and eating popcorn, right??.. Keep in mind you can always purchase fabric and leather protection at any of our stores or online.
  • Young children running around means your furniture will see a lot more use and wear.

    • Make sure you buy living room furniture that is durable and well made.
    • You may want to stay away from electronic motion sofas, sectionals and love seats. Children tend to love pushing buttons!
    • You will definitely want fabric protection for living room furniture being used by small children.
    • Look for sofa cushions that are removable and not attached to the backs or sides of the couch, sectional or love seat. Kids will jump on, over and into the furniture often putting stress on the seam connecting back cushions to the sofa backs.
  • Allowing pets near or on the living room furniture.

    • Again you will want fabric protection for your sofa, loveseat, sectional or chair.
    • Fabric choice is key here. If you go with leather you can just wipe down the cushions to clean or get pet hair off. However, going with upholstered furniture you will get hair and stains that will need to be vacuumed as well as cleaned often.

      • As long as your pet doesn't claw or scratch at your furniture you may want to consider leather or faux leather furniture for the ease of maintenance. .If you do decide on upholstered furniture than consider purchasing furniture that has removable cushions where the fabric can actually be removed from the cushion and laundered. (please check your fabric care instructions here).
  • Formal rooms for entertaining and sitting.

    • These are the easiest to pick out. Just look at the room. How much space do you have? Do you want your room to be Traditinal or Contemporary in designs?

      • You don't want to over crowed the room. Or worse, buy something that doesn't fit at all. If you have limited space you may want to measure. Come into the store with measurements in hand.
      • Look for your style. Is the room or decor eclectic, contemporary or traditional?
      • Leather tends to look more formal but isn't always as comfortable as a plush upholstered furniture. You often have to balance look vs. feel.

        • You can find sofa, love seats and sectionals at The Room Place that have both leather or Faux Leather and Upholstery. This kind of furniture will give you a more formal look with the comfort of plush cushioning.

What is important when looking for living room furniture is to really know that there is a fine balance between needs and wants. Shopping for furniture can be overwhelming with all the different styles, fabrics and designs. It will definitely help you make a better decision if you can ask yourself some basic questions like the ones above. When you shop at The Room Place you will find sales associates that are happy to answer your questions and help you pick out the best furniture for your home.