JC Wood Blog

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.

Cabinets
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.

Countertops
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.

Furniture
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

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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.

Cleaning
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.

Touch Up for the Holiday Season

Posted by Jim Sutter

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The Holidays are a time for gathering together and hosting family and friends who may not see your home often. Don’t let nicks, gouges and wobbly legs detract from your beautiful home. It is the perfect time to take advantage of an in-home touch-up.

What is a touch up?
The term ‘touch-up’ can be used to describe the repairing of scratches, damaged wood, stains, water, heat and more. Depending on the extent of the damage, there are generally three stages of repairs that can be carried out: touch up, reconditioning or refinishing.

Touch up work is usually sufficient to repair minor damages such as scratches, chips or abrasions on most types of material including wood, wood laminates, Formica, fiberglass, leather or floors.

Missing Finish or Color
Many people are tempted to try touch-up markers sold in stores, but most don’t work very well. The color doesn’t match, and it will wipe away when dusting or polishing.

Almost any piece that is missing finish or color can be fixed while maintaining the material’s integrity. It really only depends on the size of the blemish. The ability to blend a color to match the original depends on having a good eye for color, an artist’s touch and an understanding of the original finish’s chemistry.

After the technician inspects the piece, he will discuss with you the type of materials to use and how visible the repair will be after. A general goal to strive for is the “six foot rule,” meaning that a repair should be hard to spot when standing six feet away.

Reconditioning
If stains are built up and stubborn or when some of the finish has worn away and become dull, reconditioning may be the best choice. This allows you to maintain the material’s original quality without stripping off its existing finishing layer.

If you’re considering reconditioning a piece, make sure to consult with a professional or do plenty of homework to make sure you get the best out of your furniture.

Refinish
Sometimes furniture is damaged so severely that your best option is to completely refinish it. The original finish of the wood will be stripped away and a new finish will be applied to make it look brand new. Refinishing jobs cost more than reconditioning and touch ups but can bring back a piece’s original luster or completely change its look.

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

Top 10 Home Furnishing and Decorating Trends for 2014

Posted by Jim Sutter

As 2014 approaches, designers already have a good feel for what trends are going to be popular in the new year. Knowing current styles is a great way to keep your furniture and design from feeling dated. Whether you’re tackling a new project or just freshening up a room, here are the top trends for 2014.

10. Yellow Gives Any Room A Pop

While lighter blues and teals have been the trendy color for 2013, yellow is on the way in. Yellow walls, furniture or accents give a bolder, happier look to make people feel energized and happier.

9. Circular Everything

Circular furniture, lights, mirrors and more are showing up in 2014. Also popular is rearranging your room with the furniture facing each other to invite conversation.

8. Patterns Are Making a Comeback

The bolder the better for 2014. Moving away from floral and bird prints, it’s time to dust off granny’s old curtains, they’re back in style. Also, reupholstering furniture with bold patterns is a great way to bring new life to a piece that may otherwise look dated.

7. Mix Your Materials

Stone with wood, marble with concrete, mixing the materials of your furniture and accessories can be a fun way to accentuate the craftsmanship instead of blending it in. Try moving furniture around to different rooms and see what unexpected combinations you like.

6. Tailored Looks for Upholstery

Tight, clean upholstery is the hot look for 2014. To go along with those clean lines, pleats around footstools and the skirts of couches will give your furniture character that will stay in style well past next year.

5. White Is Always Right

Just like in 2013, you can’t go wrong with white. White walls, furniture, accents are always a great place to start with a room. A splash of color or some beautiful, dark wood are sure to pop against this clean, neutral backdrop.

4. Go Green!

We’re not just talking about recycling here. Plants can add a new dimension to any room and look great paired with some rustic wood furniture.

3. Back To The Future

Repurposed and retro furniture continues to be in style this year. In a disposable culture, saving and refinishing old items makes a strong statement. It might be time to start rummaging through the attic again!

2. Texture

In our increasing digital world, designers have become more and more aware of the items that touch our skin. Refinishing old tables, chairs and other items of furniture is a great way to bring a natural feel into your home. Soft fabrics and textured tiles are two other ways to focus on feeling.

1. Make It Personal

Not that personality is ever out of style, but 2014 brings a new focus to the small things that make our house a home. Focus on items that are conversation starters or that bring you fond memories. Whether it’s travel photos or grandma’s old end table, make any space your own.

 

 

Whether you’re trying out some of 2014’s decorating trends or working on something more personal, 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.

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