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Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Posted 09/23/2019

One of my boys' favorite games is "Snug as a Bug in a Rug." I love it too. All the little bugs need your help to get safe, snug and cozy before the stinkbugs stink up the place! Every time we play this game it reminds of getting snug and cozy as I dream about cool, crisp fall days that HAVE to be coming soon! Thinking of the first cold front of the season, football games on the TV, and chili and cornbread on the stove make us all giddy for fall!

We've never had a customer that is shopping for pieces to make their home feel less cozy. And fall is perhaps the easiest time of the year to go "all in" for warm and inviting. So, how do we make your home snug as a bug in a rug? Let’s get started!

Start with lighting. Soft lighting will always induce a warmer feel in any room. Try using more lamps and natural light. Less overhead lighting and less brightness are the key. I also love candles for a homey, relaxed atmosphere.

Bring on the blankets and pillows! Add those "cozy comforts". Soften your décor with texture, texture, texture. Splurge on an extra soft blanket to drape over the corner of a bed or the back of your armchair. Don't be afraid to mix fabrics, patterns and colors. Velvets are a safe choice and add a lot of snuggliness! (Is that a word?) Who doesn’t want to wrap up in a soft blanket on a cold night? Or maybe all this snug as a bug stuff is just wishful thinking…fall is coming, right??? Add books and bookcases (if you need them). There is something magical and comforting about having books all around you. Books are like old friends, being surrounded by them brings a smile to your face. Added bonus – friends and family will think you are super-duper smart!

Plants are always a good idea to add warmth and comfort. Tall and medium plants are a great way to fill empty corners. Little potted plants can bring a pop of color and happiness to any space. Don’t be afraid to hang plants in your rooms, too. Remember, plants do need water, sunlight and TLC, so if that’s not your thing, go with a life-like alternative. No one has to know!

Can you tell how ready we are for fall? And not just because we are eager for a break from the heat. The cozy feel of a fireplace and sweaters reminds us of family, friends, and sweet memories. It only takes a few small changes to make your home just that – home. Don’t procrastinate - get to "cozy-fying" (that’s definitely not a word!) your space today, and then celebrate your home with a mug of hot chocolate the first time the temperature dips below 70!

What is Solid Wood Furniture Bringing to the Table?

Your Guide to Furniture Happiness!

Posted 09/16/2019

We’re among friends here, so we can admit it… we’ve all purchased furniture from one of the big box warehouse furniture stores. And, chances are, we’ve all found ourselves just a little bit disappointed. Furniture is a big investment, so we are here to help you become an expert in how and why to buy quality, forever furniture.

Of course, we are a little bit biased, but we think handcrafted solid wood furniture is the best of the best. We’ve done our homework and come up with the top five benefits of owning handcrafted solid wood furniture.

So, here we go! The top five BIGGEST benefits to owning solid wood furniture:

  1. Life-Long Durability - Solid milled hardwoods are the premier choice for home furnishings. Solid wood brings two things to the table (no pun intended) - resilience and durability. Solid wood furniture can handle the hard knocks of life a lot better than some cheaper alternatives. Plywood, press board, particle board, and fiber board aren't strong enough to hold up to a lifetime of use (or knock on wood… any amount of floodwater) at least not in our home!
  2. Low Maintenance - It only takes a good dusting and occasional polish to keep wood surfaces looking their best. Solid Wood is pretty resilient. It doesn’t dent or ding easily. The finish can make a difference, so be sure to ask lots of questions about the quality of the finish. The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and see a big white ring on your new dining room table! We use a catalyzed conversion varnish on our furniture. It’s a time consuming, multi-step process, but we think it’s worth it. It’s the best finish out there.
  3. True Craftsmanship - Handcrafted furniture stands apart from mass-manufactured pieces with its solid construction, classic lines, and meticulous detailing. As you start to look around, keep in mind there are certain qualities you want to see in your furniture. Experts agree that joint construction is a big one. We recommend you look for furniture with dowels, dovetailed joints, mortise and tenon, screws, and reinforcing corner blocks. If you only remember two things – remember staples are bad, and if it wobbles or rocks, RUN!
  4. Real Value - Real wood furniture typically costs more than other kinds of furniture out there, but it outlasts all other materials on the market and can increase in value over time. When furniture is made well from the highest quality materials and maintained properly, it can improve with age. We’ve all watched Antiques Roadshow! We believe furniture should be a one-time investment – the kind you pass on from generation to generation.
  5. Natural Beauty - Each type of hardwood brings its own rich color and unique grain to handcrafted furniture. Choices include red oak with its big arches and circles, white oak with its tiger striping, curly maple with its flame pattern, rich cherry with its warm glow, chocolatey walnut with its deep tones, and finely grained hickory with its beautiful wavy grain. There is a certain warmth and coziness that only wood can bring to a room.

When you choose your solid wood furniture here at The Amish Craftsman, you enjoy another advantage: customizable choices made to order by our select builders. We invite you to browse our extensive collections, and we look forward to turning handcrafted furniture into one of your life-long treasures.

Design Tip

Posted 06/24/2019

Did you know that almost any paint color can act as a neutral? If you want to stay neutral - you are not stuck with the everyday white, cream, beige, or light gray. A neutral color can be any color that can be used as a backdrop to layer other colors using furniture, accessories, window treatments, and rugs. A neutral can be dark. Look at how different the space in this picture looks by using a dark color as the neutral. A few key tips can help you use a lot of different colors as a neutral. Paint walls and trim the same color. Be sure to use a lower sheen finish on your paint - it makes a difference. Blues, terracottas, and greens can all be great neutrals. Green is ALWAYS a safe bet because it tends to work well with most colors. When decorating with these sort of neutrals, it's really easy to stick with a monochromatic color scheme and layer in pops of color.

Monochromatic Shades

Posted 05/02/2019

Using monochromatic shades give a space a consistent calming feel. As illustrated in this space, the room is composed of shades of white, grey, and black. Here the designer has added teal, turquoise, and even orange to draw the eye. Note the different textures in the room. Designing with monochromatic shades is one of the easiest routes to take. You can have so much fun with accessories and texture.

Scale and Placement

Posted 04/08/2019

In this picture, the short wall is clearly not the ideal spot to place the sofa. Perhaps the larger wall to the right would be best. The sofa would face out towards the window, and a chair with table could work on the facing wall. Scale and placement should always be determined by a professional prior to purchasing.

Symmetrical Design

Posted 03/13/2019

Symmetry plays a huge part in a room feeling balanced. This room has balance on both sides by mirroring sofas and chairs anchored by the tufted ottoman. The weight and effect in the space are balanced and centered with the fireplace. Note the placement of the floor lamp and the buffet and the contrast of the rug with the upholstery. The décor on the shelves is minimalist and clean, yet provides pops of color. This is important to achieve the right balance in the room.

Splashes of Color

Posted 03/07/2019

As illustrated, it's important to cross-pollinate color in various elements. Here you see gold in the pillow, lighting, and chair. This will complete the room and offer a color you love and are committed to.

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