House rules: Caring for Leather

It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of leather furniture – I’d choose the fabric option any day, purely because I find it more comfortable. However over the years I have worked in a number of furniture stores selling ALOT of leather, because it’s also no secret that many people DO love leather.

I see many advantages in leather furniture, durability being one of the biggest. A leather sofa or dining chairs can last a lifetime, but the trick is to ensure that it’s cared for. Just like our own skin dries out and needs moisture, so does leather – the same goes for cleaning and for being out in the sun. If you do have leather furniture, below are some tips for how to best care for it to ensure your investment pieces last as long as desired.

1. Keep out of direct Sunlight – Like any upholstery material, leather can fade to some degree if exposed to the sun so protect your furniture from sun and direct light. Keeping your sofa under a window, may look great but it’s getting the Sun’s harsh rays beaming down you may find over time parts of your sofa become discoloured.

www.theanimalprintshop.com

The Animal Print Shop

2. When you’re vacuuming, run the soft, upholstery brush over the seats and crevices – Just like everywhere else in your home, bits of dirt, crumbs and other nasties can build up in the cracks and crevices. Every so often while your vacuuming pop on the upholstery brush and run the vacuum over your leather furniture too.

Caring for leather | Liv with Vision

Remodelista

3. Clean up spills quickly – There’s been a number of times when my favourite leather handbag has been spoiled by water marks or worse, but I’ve learnt over time that if you get to those spills as quick as your feet can carry you they will be much easier to wipe away. Leaving spills, be it water of anything else for a prolonged amount of time can result in watermarks which are very difficult to remove later on.

Caring for Leather furniture | Liv with Vision

Centsational Girl

4. Clean with the Seasons – There’s a couple of things I do at the start of each season, for example changing my toothbrush or cleaning out the fridge. Making it a point to give your leather furniture a wipe down with a damp cloth at the turn of each season keeps you on track for ensuring you don’t get oil build-ups and that any grim in the leather grain can be cleaned away. Use a circular motion to wipe the leather and be sure to use either products that are specifically for your type of leather or just use water and a clean cloth. Also keep in mind if you have white leather to use a white cloth so the colour doesn’t transfer.

Caring for leather | Liv with Vision

79 Ideas

5. Moisturise – If you do nothing else do this this step. Once you’ve finished cleaning, ensure you condition or moisturise your leather furniture as well. I know for sure if I didn’t moisturise my face every night before bed, my skin would feel tight and dry. Leather doesn’t need conditioning daily, but it does need it at least a few times a year.  This will ensure the hide doesn’t dry out or crack and is especially important if your furniture gets quite a bit of sunlight – which it shouldn’t because… well, refer to point 1.

Caring for leather | Liv with Vision

The Design Files

 

Magic Carpet Ride

Whether you have floorboards, tiles or polished floors there is no denying the warmth and character that can be added to a space simply by using the right rug. Be it a runner down the hallway, something soft for your feet in the living room or a statement under the dining table – rugs are a brilliant way to break up large spaces or create zones. There are a couple of myths and rules to keep in mind when choosing your rug – so to ensure you get the best bang for your buck here’s a few tips that may help.

Size Matters– This is probably the most important of them all. Take a look at this video below for some very practical tips on how to know what size to buy for your lounge room.

For dining rooms, ensure your rug covers the area where chairs sit when they are pulled out for use – about half a metre all the way around the edges of your table (So your chair doesn’t fall off or catch on the rug edge when it’s being pushed out) should do it. Also keep in mind your table’s shape – rectangular rugs for rectangular tables, square for square, round for round….

The Design Files

The Design Files

In the bedroom you have a couple of options. A runner down the side or at the bottom of the bed can inject some character and warmth to a room and is a great choice if you already have carpet or floors that don’t get too cold. The next options is to use an extra large rug where the width reaches to the far ends of each bedside table (for a queen size bed your looking at a rug that about two and a half meters).

Pinterest

Pinterest

It’s okay to layer – Actually it’s great and also looks pretty amazing too! If you have a large space to cover, layering a small patterned rug over something textural can be an excellent solution. Likewise, layering textural rugs in different directions can be a super effective way to add another element to your space.

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The Design Chaser

View along the way

View along the way

Rugs on Carpets – are perfectly okay! There’s a myth that goes around to say rugs should only be placed on hard floors, but I totally disagree with it! So don’t let the fact that you have carpets in your home deter you from adding a rug to your floors – all floors can look amazing with rugs.

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6th Street Design School

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Pinterest

 

Material World: Ceramic verses Porcelain tiles

Like any renovating choice, when you start to get down to the details everything can start to get a bit confronting – Timber or Laminate floorboards, Wool or Nylon carpets, Ceramic or Porcelain tiles. I think we generally all know at the beginning whether we want tiles, floorboards or carpet, but once that choice is made things can get very confusing . Today I’m tackling the minefield of tiles – porcelain and ceramic to be exact. Aside from natural stones, these are the two major contenders for flooring where tiling is concerned. Not only that but it also often very difficult to tell the difference between the two or why you should choose one over the other.

Patiris

Porcelain: While still a type of ceramic, porcelain varies greatly from typical ceramic tiles due to it’s construction. Made by a “dust pressed” method from porcelain clays, the result is a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Full body porcelain tiles carry the colour and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them appear to be much more durable as chips are hardly noticeable. Porcelain tiles are available in matt, unglazed or a high polished finish. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more  damage resistant than standard ceramic tiles, making them extremely suitable for flooring and high traffic areas such as Kitchens.

Liv with Vision | Material World - Ceramic verses Porcelain Tiles

Academy Tiles

Ceramic Tiles: Generally made from red or white clay and fired in a kiln, ceramic tiles are always finished with a durable glaze from which the tile gets it’s colour, pattern and texture. You can always pick a ceramic tile, as when you look at it side-on you will see the colour does not go the whole way through the tile. The benefit of these tiles is that they are softer and easier to cut down to shape or size – so are a great option for do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Ceramic tiles are suitable for both floor and wall application, however as they are softer than porcelain they are best suited to low traffic areas as they are not as chip resistant and chips will be more visible.

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Academy Tiles

 

Material World: Kitchen Benchtop Options

One of the biggest decisions to make when renovating a kitchen is which bench top to choose? Select the cheaper Laminate or timber option, invest in Quartz Stone or go all out with Marble or Stainless Steel? Each option has their own pros and cons and each kitchen will require a different treatment. The three main factors to consider with bench tops are; the style you are aiming for, your budget and the level of durability or care that will be required to maintain your bench top’s look. Below we take a look and explore the five most popular options to help clarify what could work best for you.

1. Laminate – When it comes to bench tops, laminate is by far the cheapest option. Coming in a variety of colours, finishes and textures the options are endless. Laminate’s main downfall comes with its plastic finish, which is not as durable as some other options,  hot pans or dishes should never be directly placed onto this type of bench top. Likewise, chopping or using sharp knives should be avoided as the surface can easily scratch and once damaged, it is very difficult to repair.

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Laminex

2. Solid Timber – Similar to laminate, solid timber bench tops can be very cost effective (depending on the timber you choose). Available in a variety or timbers and finishes, timber bench tops can be suited to a variety of styles from rustic, or classic country, to a more modern look. Most commonly finished with 2-pac polyurethane or by simply oiling the natural product, this type of counter is very durable as it can be sanded back to re-finish as required. Similar to laminate, solid timber bench tops also require care with hot objects as the surface can burn and easily mark.

A Complete Life

A Complete Life

3. Engineered Stone – Stepping up a bit in the price scale, quartz or engineered stone is made from (approximately 95%) quartz or granite granules, marble dust or glass chips which are mixed with a resin or polymer base. Its appearance and durability make it a very popular choice in today’s market. Available in an array of colours and textures, engineered stone is well suited to a huge variety of styles.  This type of bench top is extremely durable and able to withstand extremely high temperatures and much less porous than natural stone, it also doesn’t require sealing – making it one of the lowest maintenance options available.

Caesarstone

Caesarstone

4. Natural Stones – Marble and Granite are the two main contenders here. While both are absolutely stunning they are another step up in the price range due to being a completely natural product. Marble is somewhat more delicate than granite and extreme care must be taken with acidic foods, wine, tea and some cleaning products due to its porous nature. Both finishes are an excellent choice for cooks or bakers wishing to make pastry as the surface remains very cold. Unlike, engineered stone both marble and granite will require regular resealing to ensure the product maintains its good looks.

Popsugar

Popsugar

5. Stainless Steel – Is the most hygienic option which is why it is often found in commercial kitchens, it is well suited to modern or industrial style kitchens and homes with a finished look that is very sleek. Stainless Steel is very easy to keep clean and capable of withstanding very high temperatures. The largest drawback for this type of bench top is that it can be relatively easy to scratch, will show fingerprints and can be noisy. On the pricing scale, stainless steel is generally the most expensive option – depending on desired thickness.

luxury kitchen penthouse condominium

Fdens

Material World: Timber options for flooring

Ok! After a few days off (with the flu) I’m back in action! Today we’re starting a new series – Material World, where we will be breaking down the pro’s and con’s of different materials. We’ll begin with one of the most coveted – timber flooring. On the market today there are three main categories for timber flooring – Hardwood, Laminate and Engineered Hardwood Floors. We have all heard about these options but what’s the real differences between the three that could effect your final decision?

Hardwood Flooring –  Hardwood floors are made from solid, natural wood and depending on the kind of finish you want, you can purchase a variety of wood species. Hardwood flooring is almost always  the more expensive option but you can not beat how great it looks (or feels when walking on it). The entire plank is made from solid wood and modern hardwood is typically made with a tongue and groove system for easy installation. The boards can be easier to damage than the following two flooring types. Not only can they dent easily (i.e. if you walk with stilettos), but they also cannot be left wet as the timber can easily swell or expand. On the flip-side, hardwood floors are easy to sand and refinish, but require a healthy amount of maintenance to keep them looking their best.

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Breakfast at Zara’s

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Nobby Kitchens

Laminate – Laminate is the child and pet friendly, durable, cost-effective option. Finishes can be created in a variety of colours, textures and sizes and the boards are extremely durable. Boards are typically made of Fibre Board as opposed to actual solid wood. The top layer is a photographic layer which is designed to mimic the look you’re going for i.e. hardwood, bamboo, washed effect, aged, etc, but is much more durable than timber. This style of board has come a long way over the years and now finishes are very realistic.

Laminate planks are typically installed using a tongue and groove locking system, meaning you can install or uninstall with ease. Having the laminate top rather that solid wood, when you walk on the boards you hear a shallow tap rather than the deeper thud that comes from solid boards. I was very hesitant to go with this option over the solid wood option, but when we looked at the cost comparison verses durability, the laminate is streets ahead and the finished look & feel is extremely good.

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Quickstep

laminate 2

Quickstep

Engineered Boards – Manufactured using a multilayered technology system, a timber surface is adhered to support layers for strength and dimensional stability. The core of Engineered boards is usually plywood or fibreboard and the top layer is a hardwood veneer (2mm slice of the solid timber) which is glued  atop the core to mimic nearly any species of hardwood.  Engineered hardwood has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to a photographic layer (which is what you get with laminate).  The reason people tend to choose engineered hardwood over natural hardwood is to garner greater moisture and heat resistance due to the core material. Engineered boards can also be constructed to be significantly wider than solid timber boards, creating a sleek, modern look.

Lyncom Group

Lyncom Group 

Austral Flooring

Austral Flooring