JC Wood Blog

Design Trends to Watch in 2015

Posted by Jody Raines

It’s important to know what styles are popular, so your new design project isn’t dated before it even begins. Keep in mind the following design trends as you plan projects for your home or office this year.

Color of the Year—Marsala
Every year Pantone announces the color of the year. For 2015, be on the look out for Marsala, which is described as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red.” While some view this distinction as arbitrary, the chosen color usually has staying power and is worth a look. Past colors include radiant orchid, emerald and tangerine tango. Marsala is a great color for reupholstering or to add a pop of color to your kitchen.

Black Is Always in Style
Whether you’re looking to complement Marsala or another signature color, black is a stylish choice. When it’s painted on wood or the color choice for fabrics, black furniture hides dirt and wear and offers flexibility for future design changes.

Balance Modern and Traditional
Clean contours are always popular, but this year the trend is to pair modern styling with traditional looks such as stained wood and warm colors. Well defined lines and crisp angles are perfect for kitchen cabinets, tables or chairs. If you’re reupholstering furniture, tight, single color fabric offers a modern look with added comfort.

Textures You Want to Touch
Just as in past years, textures are a popular way to bring complexity and distinction to a room. As more of our lives are spent touching smooth phones and tablets, the uneven feeling of wood stands out. Soft fabrics and textured tiles are two more ways to incorporate texture into a room.

Go Green
Recycling furniture isn’t just for the cost conscious anymore. Upcycling or bringing new improvements to an old item is a popular way to balance a new look with a sense of history. Whether it’s a family heirloom or an item you found at a garage sale, the right care and refinishing can give it new life.

JC Wood has the experience repairing and refinishing furniture to freshen up any room in your house. Call us today to see how we can help you set next year’s fashion trend.

Choose the Right Upholstery Fabric Type

Posted by Jim Sutter

Choosing the right upholstery fabric can be daunting. There are natural, man-made, and blend fabrics to consider before even thinking about the pattern and colors.

Here are some explanations to common fabric terminology so you can make the best choice for your furniture.

Fabric Grades
It’s important to note that fabric grades relate to pricing, not quality. Fabrics rated A or 1 are the least expensive, and H or 7 are the most expensive. Pricing is usually determined by the type of material, weave and design.

Rub Tests
A rub test usually references the popular abrasion test conducted by the Wyzenbeek machine. These machines evaluate fabric strength by testing how many back and forth rubs the material can withstand before tearing. 15,000 double rubs is considered average while 30,000 is suitable for commercial use.

Cleaning Labels
In order to find the proper way to care for a fabric, look for its cleaning label. Unlike clothing labels that clearly spell out directions, upholstery fabric can be difficult to decipher.
          W — Use only water based cleaners
          S — Use water based dry cleaning solvents
          WS — Either can be used
          X — Only vacuum or lightly brush

Fabric Types

When deciding what fabric to choose, it is important to consider how the furniture will be used. Is it an item that will receive daily use, or is it mostly for decoration? JC Wood has compiled a list of fabrics we carry, along with their attributes and best uses to help you choose the best product for any job.

Cotton is one of the strongest natural fibers available. Its durability and ease of cleaning makes it perfect for furniture that will receive frequent use. However, you’ll want to take the room’s conditions into consideration since cotton is susceptible to yellowing in direct sunlight and can harbor mildew in damp environments.

Cotton holds dye well, so there is a wide variety of colors and patterns available. It is also a comfortable, breathable fabric, and presents a casual look.

Wool is a unique choice for upholstery projects due to its combination of warmth in the winter and breathability in the summer. Wool is resistant to pilling, fading, wrinkling and dirt, and is offered as a blended option with synthetic fiber for easier cleaning.

This premium material gives a sharp, crisp look to furniture, and it ages beautifully. It is easy to clean but is not as durable as cotton or wool, and it’s susceptible to scrapes and tears.

Leather conditioner should be used to maintain a clean, fresh appearance while dry cleaning solvents can remove build up of natural and body oils. While leather furniture can be stunning, it’s best to keep these pieces away from high traffic areas.

Polyester blends are a great choice for upholstering furniture that needs to stand up to the wear and tear of children and pets. Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, poly-blends are fade and stain resistant.

Poly-blends come in a wide variety of combinations and can mimic other materials such as silk and wool. Materials can include acetate, acrylic, nylon, rayon and more.

Quality fabrics for your furniture
JC Wood has chosen Greenhouse Fabrics as a source for quality upholstery fabrics. They carry over 10,000 options to coordinate with any décor and environment. Search through samples online or ask us to help you find the perfect fabric for your next project.

Visit Greenhouse Fabrics

What is your favorite piece of furniture’s upholstery fabric? Would you recommend it to others?

Tips for Adding Color to Your Kitchen

Posted by Jim Sutter

adding color to your kitchen

The heart of most homes is the kitchen. It’s often the hub of family activity and should be designed as a spot that’s attractive, where people want to gather. Below are some ideas for adding a splash of color to your kitchen to help make it inviting to all.

Now more than ever, designers are looking at the kitchen cabinet finish as a way to transform bland rooms into dynamic spaces. Refinishing your cabinets is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the room’s design, and it’s much less expensive than buying new ones.

Deep blues and reds can make a strong statement, while light greens and blues are reminiscent of farmhouse kitchens. Yellows are also a popular way of brightening the room and keeping a clean feeling with a lot of vibrancy.

After you’ve decided on a cabinet finish, it’s time to examine your countertops. While most materials fall in the range of neutral colors, it’s important to find a match to your new colorful look.

When choosing a natural surface, such as granite and marble, carefully examine the surface for streaks of color. These natural marks should match or complement your kitchen’s overall color scheme.

Manmade materials, such as Laminate, Corian® and Zodiaq®, offer more variety and give you the freedom to select from a wider range of options to complete your room.

The last piece in bringing your new kitchen look together is the furniture. Chairs and tables can be a great way to balance out bright colors. Instead of buying all new items, consider refinishing the ones you already have for a cost effective way to update your kitchen. With a wide variety of colors and finishes available, you’ll be able to match whatever colors you’ve selected.

How do you incorporate colors into your kitchen?

Create a Pinterest Idea Board to Share Your Vision

Posted by Jim Sutter

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Pinterest is a great way to gather and organize images for upcoming projects. In addition to being a fun way to browse the internet, Pinterest lets you develop a board to express your design preferences. Pin the photos you like to your board, and JC Wood will review them when it’s time to offer suggestions for your projects.

Follow our directions to build a board and then share it with us.

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

Tips to Clean and Protect Your Wood Furniture

Posted by Jim Sutter

Tips to Clean and Protect Your Wood Furniture

Follow these simple suggestions to make sure your wood looks beautiful and new for years to come!

Clean with warm water and dish soap
Don’t be afraid of using water to clean furniture. Just make sure not to soak it, as excess water can cause warping. Damp soft clothes, paper towels and toothbrushes are easy and convenient cleaning tools. Dry off any residual moisture when you are finished.

Dust frequently
Dust fine furniture with a lamb’s wool duster, barely damp cotton cleaning cloth or microfiber duster. Dusting removes particles that can scratch the wood’s surface and cause oily buildup on wood surfaces. Avoid using a feather duster, as broken quills can scratch delicate finishes.

Keep wood out of the sun
Summer rays may be a great way for people to get a tan, but they can cause fading and cracking in wood. Try to keep furniture out of the direct sun to extend the life of the finish.

Remove metal hardware to polish
Buffing the knobs and other hardware is a great way to bring a new shine to the piece of furniture. To eliminate the risk of damaging the wood, remove the hardware first, keeping careful track of where each item came from. After you’re finished polishing, carefully reinstall each one, making sure you don’t scratch the wood in the process.

Damaged furniture can be fixed
Sometimes wood wears, even when following all the rules for cleaning and maintenance. Repairing a damaged piece of furniture can seem like a daunting task, but JC Wood has experience with many types of furniture. Plus, we always use materials similar to the original, so the repair is as inconspicuous as possible.

Do you have any wood maintenance tips that work for you?

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

When to Reupholster vs Replace

Posted by Jim Sutter

pic reupholester

Your favorite pieces of furniture receive a lot of wear over time. If you have a unique item that you love and fits well in its space, reupholstering is an option to give it new life. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

Quality Construction
High quality pieces of furniture with a good underlying structure are your best bet for reupholstering. Solid wood construction, usually indicated by a hefty weight, means the furniture will stand up over longer periods of time. Another way to test the quality of furniture is to push your sofa or chair from the back and feel for excessive give. Pick up a leg and see if the frame wobbles. If so, these might be signs that more than just a simple reupholstery is needed to restore the item.

Older pieces of furniture are usually built with higher quality woods and techniques. If it were going to fall apart, it would definitely show signs of wear within 10 or 15 years.

Fabric Quantity and Quality
Fabric costs can be a large portion of the overall reupholstery cost. The amount of fabric you need will depend on the piece of furniture. Patterns require more fabric than solid colors in order to match the print at the seams. The number of cushions, pillows and the presence of a skirt will also come into play. JC Wood can provide an estimate of the amount of material needed by examining a piece of furniture.

The quality of the fabric can also play a role in determining the cost of a project. Once you have an estimate of the amount of material you’ll need, you can start to get a feel for what your total fabric cost will be.

After identifying a piece of furniture you want to reupholster, JC Wood’s technicians can restore it to the original look or provide thousands of options to update the piece.

Have you ever had a piece of furniture reupholstered? Let us know your comments!

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more
about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

The Right Door Can Make All the Difference

Posted by Jim Sutter

You only have one chance to make a first impression, and for people seeing your home, that impression occurs at the front door. Here are a few reasons why updating your door is a good investment.

Increase Your Curb Appeal and Add Value to Your Home
With more and more buyers browsing photos online, the appearance of your home is more important than ever. Improving the exterior of your home has long been a simple and cost effective way to increase its value on the market. A refinished front door or garage door has a big impact on adding curb appeal and attracting prospective buyers.

Front doors can also serve as a preview for the décor of the rest of the house. The door helps give people an idea about what to expect inside and whether or not they’d be interested in seeing more.

In addition to drawing people in, the front of the house is the last thing people will see as they leave, and a beautiful door will leave a positive impression lingering in a prospective buyer’s mind.

Enjoy Coming Home
Even if you are not selling your home, you could still benefit from having a welcoming entryway. A pleasant door and doorway helps welcome visitors and creates a warm and welcoming environment. Coming home after a long day to a beautiful door can also be the perfect way to put you at ease and let you know you’re home.

Save Money
Over time, UV light and weather damage wears down the finish of your door and can cause the wood to discolor and crack. This process could lead to discarding wood doors and replacing them with either a costly new door or a cheaper inferior model. However, with occasional refinishing, the door will last for years and always look like new.

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

We Are Pleased To Announce JC Wood Has Earned The Angie’s List Super Service Award

Posted by Jim Sutter

About the Award

  • Only 5% of companies that JC Wood competes
    with in Chicago earn this award
  • It reflects JC Wood’s onsistently excellent
    customer service
  • Only companies with an “A” rating in customer
    evaluations are eligible

Learn More

JC Wood also has received an A+ rating
from The Better Business Bureau.

Learn More

See Our List of Offerings

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Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

Outdoor Furniture

Posted by Jim Sutter

pic outdoor4 30 It seemed like it was never going to happen, but spring has finally arrived. You want to be relaxing on your porch or cooking out with friends, but is your outdoor furniture as ready as you are? Here are a few tips to make sure your outdoor tables and chairs are barbeque ready.

Your furniture has accumulated a decent amount of dirt, even if it was stored inside all winter. A simple wipe down with a damp rag will get rid of a lot of the loose dirt. For more intense stains, using a sponge or soft bristle brush with warm water and dishwasher detergent will get the job done. Add about ½ a cup of detergent for every gallon of water. Be careful not to oversaturated wood with water though. If the wood absorbs too much water it will swell, which can cause warping as it dries. Too much moisture in the wood can also make it a habitat for fungus and mold growth, a further reason to be cautious when cleaning.

Refinishing and Protection
Out in the elements, your furniture will be exposed to water and dirt that can cause damage. A finish will help seal off the wood and protect it from many of these unavoidable forces. In addition, refinishing with protective products can be a great way to prevent future issues, such as warping and serious stains. Refinishing can also be a great opportunity to restore a piece of furniture or provide a new look if you’re considering redoing your patio space.

Consider a Canopy
During spring and summer months your outdoor furniture is going to have plenty of sun exposure. Prolonged sun exposure can damage the finish, leaving it cracked and scale-like, similar to an alligator’s skin. Making matters worse, UV light can not only damage your finish, but also penetrates it and affect the wood itself. Once the UV light reaches the wood, bleaching will occur, lightening the color of the furniture. There are a few ways to avoid this type of damage. Tablecloths can help, but a canopy will provide both shade and protection.

Let us know in the comments how you store your outdoor furniture for winter and when you plan on getting it out for the spring!

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

Selling Your House? Kitchen Facelifts Give an Excellent Return on Investment

Posted by Jim Sutter

If you’re thinking about selling your house and are trying to decide what projects will increase it’s value, there are a couple of important rules to keep in mind to make sure you get your money’s worth.

1. Don’t spend more than you can get back

It seems simple enough, but renovating a house that you intend to stay in for 20 years is very different from renovating to increase resale value. While you may want a new marble floor, it’s important to know your market and to understand if you’ll be able to recoup the cost. Often smaller, very visible projects make the biggest impact in ROI.

2. Make kitchens and bathrooms a priority

Homebuyers tend to penalize a house’s value if they perceive the kitchen and bathroom to be subpar. This doesn’t mean you need to tear them out and start from scratch though. Some small touches can make a big difference. For instance, painting or refinishing your kitchen cabinets is a relatively inexpensive way to make a big difference. Clean, neutral colors and stains are often the best choice for attracting new buyers.

3. Refurbish over replacement

When preparing to sell your home, refurbishing the items already in place will almost always be the more inexpensive option. Changes such as painting walls, refinishing floors, and fixing dings will allow you to stretch your dollar further and recoup your expenses when it comes time to sell your home.

4. Update refurbish your entryway and garage doors.

We have all heard about a home having curb appeal. Making a good first impression is very important.  Whether you need to touch up or refinish this is a good investment.


J C Wood would be happy to give you a free estimate on any of the above items to help you maximize your home’s value.

Have you recently sold your home? What changes did you make to get ready to put it on the market? Let us know in the comments if you saw a good ROI.

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