Get Your Child’s Room Ready for Back to School

Kids look forward to summer as a way for them to relax and get their minds off school. However, the school year will be starting soon! Now that they’re older, chances are pretty good that the amount of time they’ll need to spend on homework will increase. Summer is the perfect time to make sure that your child’s room is outfitted for the upcoming school year. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Is there enough space to study?

One of the first things to examine is whether or not there’s enough space for your child to do his or her homework. Most kids split their time between their desk and their bed. If they like to study on their bed, they’ll need a lap desk and plenty of pillows for back support. They’ll also need a workspace such as a small desk, to complete projects, work on their KG5205-B__88938.1291495661.864.850computers, and complete any written assignments. Since there are many different styles of desks, make sure that you choose one that is comfortable and conducive to their studying habits.

Do they have a place to store books? 

As your child gets older, they’ll need more and more space to store their books, even if they need to bring most of them to school the next day for their classes. If they have plenty of bookshelf space, it will inspire them to stay organized and maybe even collect books that interest them for their own personal reading. Having enough space for their books and office supplies will also encourage them to take an organized approach with their schoolwork.

Is there enough room for all the furniture?

If the room is fairly small, fitting all the furniture they’ll need for a successful school year can be a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of space-saving solutions you can utilize. You don’t need to sacrifice on storage and comfort just because the room is small!

  • Using a loft bed will enable you to store the desk underneath the loft. This is especially popular in college dorm rooms.
  • Get rid of your child’s chest or dresser and use a captain’s bed instead! They have just as much storage as most dressers, and will free up valuable floor space so you can accommodate a desk.
  • Some desks also have built in shelves, which sit on top of the desk itself. This is a great way to increase storage while using the vertical space.

One thing to remember is that buying a new desk or bookshelf shouldn’t prevent your child from storing their clothes and other essentials. In fact, as they get older, they’ll need even more space for their wardrobe! While selecting new pieces for their room, the existing system for organizing clothing and accessories may also need an update. Remember that you can save space by carefully organizing their closet, and selecting pieces like a loft or captain’s bed.

4 Ways to Use an Armoire

Armoires are both visually interesting and practical. Whenever extra storage space is needed, the armoire is one of those furniture pieces that can store extra items while adding, not detracting, to the room’s décor. Here are some ways that you can use armoires while organizing your home:

Organize Your Entry Space

When your entryway doesn’t have a closet, it can be all too easy for clutter to develop and if there is no closet, it can be especially frustrating. This is the ideal space to store jackets, Armoireshoes, and accessories such as umbrellas and hats. An armoire solves this problem nicely because there is more than enough space to store everything that you need. Many armoires even have a rod for hanging clothes!

Expand Your Closet

If you’re unhappy with the size of your bedroom closet, or you don’t even have a closet, it can be difficult to find enough space to store all your clothes. Sure, you can always buy a dresser, but this doesn’t completely solve the problem because there’s no place to hang your clothes! An armoire, however, is the perfect solution because most pieces enable you to hang clothes, while also having some drawers for additional storage. You’re much better off buying an armoire, or two, than you are trying to cram your clothing into dresser drawers.

Use it as a Linen Closet

Are you looking for a great way to store all your household’s linens and towels? The nice thing about storing them in an armoire is that you can put the armoire in a centralized location without detracting from the décor in the room. In fact, the armoire can be the focal point! If you have a lot of linens, you can even buy more than one piece – one to place near the bathroom to store all your towels, and another that you can place in the dining room to store linens such as table cloths and cloth napkins.

Create a Makeshift Office 

One of the challenges of living in a small space is that it can be hard finding room for your home office. By using an armoire, however, you can easily solve this problem. Most armoires have enough room to store the computer, printer, office supplies, and anything else that can typically be found in a home office. When you’re not using the items, all you need to do is close the door and no one will even know that the armoire is actually your office!

As you can see, the armoire can store anything you want, without creating additional clutter. The next time you need to find more space in your home, consider buying one of these beautiful furniture pieces to elegantly create as much space as you need!

Create Your Ideal Home Office

No matter if you work from home or if you’re looking for a place to retreat to while managing the household, your home office will no doubt become one of the most useful rooms in the house. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable! No matter how big of a space you have to create your home office, it needs to be a space that you’ll enjoy spending time in – and it all starts with the kind of furniture you choose. Here are some tips that will not only help you select the right pieces for your space, but will also help you make it a great room to spend time in.

Determine the Amount of Space

How much space do you have for your home office? If you’re fortunate enough to have an entire room, the task of finding the right furniture will be much easier. However, it’s still possible to design an office that you’re comfortable with, even if you don’t have unlimited space. Take exact measurements of the space so that when you start looking for furniture, you’ll be able to assess what will fit in the room and what won’t. Remember, if you don’t have a large area to work with, you can create more storage opportunities by using vertical wall space, instead. For example, you can use wall mounted shelving instead of a large bookshelf for storage.

Assess What Equipment You Have

There’s more to the home office than just a desk! The size of the desk, the type of shelving needed, and whether or not you’ll need additional storage are all dependent on the type of Officeequipment you have. For example, if you have a desktop computer with a large printer, you’ll need a desk for the computer and even a small table for the printer. If you have a lot of books, that will also be a factor in determining how much shelving you need. Things like office supplies also need a place, and most offices have at least a small filing cabinet. Do you need to find room for any of these items? If you have a limited amount of space, you’ll also need to get creative. The good news is that there’s always a solution; it just requires that you buy the right furniture pieces to begin with.

Giving the Office a Personal Touch

Now that you have your furniture all selected, the next step is to make sure you’re comfortable in the space. Simply buying furniture and setting it up won’t make your home office a joy to be in! That’s accomplished by adding those extra touches that make a room feel special. Select a chair that’s comfortable to sit in. Hang paintings that will brighten up the room. Decorate your workspace with personal touches such as photos and fresh flowers. That way, you can make your office truly feel like it’s a part of your home.

Bring Out Unfinished Furniture’s Natural Beauty

Are you considering buying unfinished furniture? When most people set out to buy furniture, they look for stained pieces that match their décor. However, unfinished furniture can add another element of versatility because you can customize it however you want it to look. People often buy it to save money, and they’ll often stain the piece themselves. Wood is naturally beautiful and leaving it “as is” is worth considering, as well. Here are some reasons why it’s better to buy unfinished furniture and then stain it yourself: 

Free From Imperfections

Most unfinished furniture pieces have a minimal amount of imperfections, if any. Often, manufacturers will buff out any nicks and dings before staining. If you’ve purchased the vriOoyVfsDwnVuPVkGBCdmtU0shyfbankGEoFqM1DMg__05211.1410546143.864.850furniture new, chances are pretty good that the pieces are as close to flawless as they can get because they don’t want customers to see them. Keeping the furniture bare or stained with a light finish will highlight how flawless it is.

It’s Naturally Beautiful

Wood that is left in its natural state is beautiful. It doesn’t matter if the natural color of the wood is light or dark. The fact that each piece is unique and has its own pattern of knots and rings makes it appealing to the eye. In fact, natural wood furniture is striking. Even though staining the wood can make it unique, leaving it natural can make it unique in its own way. Because it’s fairly unexpected to decorate with natural wood furniture, it will definitely make a statement.

Embrace the Rustic Look

Decorating your apartment or home with the “rustic look” is a big trend right now. The look is centered on natural elements, such as natural wood, marble, and other design elements that are inspired by the outdoors. You can easily make the unfinished furniture the focal point of the decorating scheme. From there, you can work in other design elements such as dark wood floors, marble countertops, and even polished metal.

Increased Versatility

Unfinished furniture gives you greater versatility. As your decorating scheme changes, you can always stain the furniture at a later date. Keeping the piece in its pure state when you first get it allows you to enjoy the beauty of the wood while it’s still flawless. In other words, buying unfinished furniture and keeping it that way allows you to be more versatile over the long term.

Unfinished furniture gives you a greater amount of versatility because you can choose a stain that will match the look you’re trying to go for. If you decide to leave it in its naturally state, you might want to give it a coat or two of polyurethane, which is oil based, or polyacrylic, which is water based, before you start using it. However, using both wood stain and a polyurethane or polyacrylic coating will optimize the natural beauty of the wood.

4 Tips for Furnishing a Small Bedroom

While many apartments have small bedrooms, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of option. You can certainly furnish your apartment in a way that utilizes all available space while also maximizing comfort. By choosing the right furniture, you can create plenty of storage space without adding clutter. There are some beautiful pieces out there that will help you use the space you do have. Here are some ideas:

Buy a Storage Bed

With smaller bedrooms, using every inch of possible space is a great tactic. Using storage beds such as captain’s beds is a good tactic because it’s a great way to create ample storage in the room without using precious floor space. There are many types of storage DSC04412_002__55837.1403204468.864.850beds so you’ll want to find the piece that best meets your needs. You may not need to sacrifice having a comfortable, queen sized bed if you can eliminate the need for having a dresser because the storage bed has adequate room for your belongings.

Utilize Wall Space

Even though pictures and other wall decorations can be a great way to add your personality to your bedroom, the wall is often ignored as a storage possibility. Items such as wall shelves can really go a long way in increasing the storage capabilities of your small bedroom. Wall shelves can hold things like televisions, books, and other keepsakes. If your bedroom doesn’t have enough space for a bookshelf, this can be a great option for creating storage that doesn’t take up floor space.

Get Creative With Vertical Space

Even though a small bedroom may not have a lot of floor space, there’s usually a lot of vertical space that is left unutilized. This can be done using a variety of tactics such as purchasing tall bookshelves, avoiding furniture that has a lot of width but no height, and using areas such as above the closet door to install wall-mounted cabinets. If you absolutely must use a dresser, make sure you purchase a chest, has more height than width. Closet systems are also a great way to utilize the vertical space because many of the pieces of a lot of height.

Create an Instant Closet

If your small bedroom doesn’t have a closet, it can be frustrating. Purchasing a closet system piece, however, can eliminate this frustration. While most dressers are designed to hold only folded clothes, closet systems have both drawers and rods to hang folded clothes. Even if you do have a closet, chances are pretty good that it’s fairly small. By adding a closet system instead of a dresser, you can get more mileage out of the storage space you do have.

Remember that when it comes to finding the right furniture for a small bedroom, it helps if it serves a dual purpose, as is the case with captain’s beds. Not only that, but you’ll want to use your vertical spaces whenever possible.

4 Uses for Wood Closet Systems

When organizing, one of the biggest difficulties you could be faced with is trying to find enough storage space in your closets. Using these built-in closets isn’t always the best solution, especially if the space is fairly small. Not only that, but these closets may not meet your needs. Closet systems can help solve this problem. Here’s how:

Add a Closet to a Small Room

Do you have a small room in your home that you would like to use as a small bedroom or for storage? If this room doesn’t have a closet of its own, or if you simply need more storage space, a closet system is the ideal solution. In this case, you’ll want to determine what you’ll be storing in the closet and then select the piece that will have the ideal combination of drawers and cabinets for your needs. Utilize any space that you have available so that you can maximize how much storage room you’ll create.

Use it for Extra Storage

Even if your room already has a closet, a closet system can help you add even more storage space. If you find that you have a larger wardrobe than your existing closet will allow, you can buy a piece that has plenty of space to hang up clothes. Most closet systems also have additional drawers and cabinets to store accessories and extra clothing. For example, many pieces are roughly the size of a standard dresser, yet are armoire2__81073.1410588662.864.850more space efficient. Consider purchasing one of these pieces instead of a dresser if you need the extra storage space. For example, if you have a large shoe or purse collection, you can buy a piece with the purpose of storing your collection.

Create a Walk-In Closet 

Is it your dream to have a walk-in closet? The good news is that a closet like this doesn’t need to be designed into the house! You can convert any room in your home into a walk-in closet by using these closet system furniture pieces. They come in a variety of sizes, which means that you can buy exactly what you need. Now, you don’t need to limit the clothes and accessories that you buy. You can find all the space you need because you’re not limiting yourself to a built in closet that’s too small for your needs.

Use it for Seasonal Storage

Do you swap out your wardrobes on a seasonal basis? If so, you can use closet furniture to store your seasonal wardrobe. These pieces fit easily in attics, basements and spare rooms. This is an especially good solution if your existing closets are too small. Now, storing items that are only used in a specific season, such as your winter coats, will be much easier.

You don’t need to limit yourself to your existing closet space. Closet systems can help you expand your possibilities.

What Type Of Wood Is Best For Your Furniture?

When it comes to buying new wood furniture, there are plenty of factors that are worthy of your consideration. More often than not, the price tag will ultimately be the deciding factor on which piece of furniture you decide to purchase. There are also other factors to that will come into play, such as the size of the furniture, the color and even the style. However, Douglaston Chiffonierone of the most important factors that goes overlooked is the type of wood that your furniture is made out of.

It’s not that customers don’t care about quality. Of course they do! But a lot of times, appearance and price are the top two factors that are considered, when quality should be right up there with price and appearance. It may look really nice, and the price might fit your budget, but if the quality is poor then you’re wasting both your time and your money. When it comes to wood furniture, customers might not know much about the kind of wood that their new furniture is made out of. Here’s some information that you might find helpful.

Pine:

Pine is a popular choice for a few reasons. For one, it’s an inexpensive wood. And two, it’s a lightweight wood that makes moving furniture around a much simpler process. Pine is also a wood that can be stained easily, as the wood takes stain coats really well. If there is any downside to pine furniture, it’s that it is a soft wood and thus it is much easier to dent or scratch. Pine would be your wood of choice if you are going for that country style look.

Cherry:

Cherry is a hardwood with a red-brown color that is high in quality. This wood can easily be shaped, which is a positive, and it also takes polish well. Its natural color is often what furniture manufacturers stick with, as it looks amazing as is. As with anything else in the world, the higher the quality, the higher the price, but that’s really the only “negative” when it comes to cherry wood. It is a little more on the expensive side, but it is absolutely worth it. Also, the wood tends to get darker over time as it ages. If you’re looking for a more transitional style of furniture or kitchen cabinets, cherry would be a great choice.

Maple:

Maple is also a hardwood, but is a much lighter color. Not only is Maple part of the hardwood family, but it is also one of the hardest woods out there. Because of its density, Maple is often the wood of choice for larger pieces of furniture like dressers and bureaus. Despite being extremely durable, Maple is also rather affordable. The same worries that you’d have in regards to dents and scratches when it comes to pine wood is not really an issue with maple. It’s also worth noting that birch is very similar to maple, as both are good for contemporary style furniture and kitchen cabinets.

Oak:

Oak is also a hardwood that has a gritty look and feel to it. There are two different kinds of oak — red oak and white oak. Much like maple wood, oak is very durable and is not as susceptible to warping, dents or scratches. Much like pine, oak wood stains very well, but it doesn’t work well with paint. Oak would be a great choice for accent pieces, such as bars, console tables, etc.

How To Clean Wood Furniture

As you may have heard by now, wood furniture is quite the worthy investment because it can last you a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean that it will stay clean for that long.

Durability should be one of the top factors in your decision-making process when you are looking to bring a new piece of furniture into your home. If durability ranks high among your list of qualifications when shopping for furniture, then it is safe to assume that you made the smart choice in purchasing a nice piece of wood furniture, instead of going with WoodTablea cheap, build-it-yourself collection of particleboard. Being that wood furniture is higher quality, more delicate than other furniture options, and an investment worthy of protecting, we are going to give you some tips on how to keep your furniture clean, all while protecting its surfaces and upholding its great quality.

Now, this may come as a surprise, but the first piece of advice in regards to cleaning your furniture is that less is more. The chemicals in most cleaning products could be harmful to the wood’s surface, so for varnished wood furniture, simply cleaning the surface with a little bit of water and a microfiber cloth should do the trick. The microfiber cloth is very gentle on the surface, and helps to remove any dust, hair from pets or anything else that may have unwelcomingly made its home on your wood furniture. If the wood surface is unfinished, you’re going to want to skip the application of water to the cloth and clean the surface with just a dry microfiber cloth. Using water to clean an unfinished surface can do more harm that good, including warping the smoothness to the wood’s surface. Also, when it comes to unfinished furniture, regular dusting is necessary to prevent the raw wood from darkening.

Another tip to keeping your wood surfaces in great condition is preventative care. Spills are going to happen, but as long as you clean them up quickly, then you likely will be able to avoid any permanent damage to your wood surface. Also, coasters are a wood surface’s best friend. No matter what kind of furniture we’re talking about here, if you can set a drink on it, there should be a coaster underneath it.

In addition to the preventative methods for taking care of your wood furniture, there are some tactics for preserving your furniture that often go overlooked. For example, keep your wood furniture out of the sun. Kitchen tables or bureaus by the window are at risk for damage over time, as the sun can alter fine finishes by fading them, as well as drying out the wood surface, which will cause cracks if exposed to sunlight for too long. Speaking of the placement of your wood furniture within your home, you should also remember that it is important to keep your wood furniture away from any heating units or vents that you may have in your home. The dry heat from these sources have a similar effect to what the sun can do in that it will dry out the wood, which in turn can cause cracks in the surface.

How To Paint Unfinished Hardwood Furniture

In today’s world, we live in a throwaway society. Nobody ever wants to fix anything anymore. When something breaks, we just run out and buy a brand new replacement for it. When people want to change things up around the house, they buy something completely new to take its place.

We also live in a society that is keen to saving money. Take furniture, for example. Hardwood furniture is a great long-term investment for any consumer to make, especially when the quality of the wood can last you several decades. Investing in hardwood furniture is a smart choice that will end up saving you a significant amount of money over the years. While others will be throwing money away on particleboard furniture that will only last a maximum of five years, you will have high quality hardwood furniture in your home that could last you a lifetime.

Herein lies the problem, though. While it is a tremendous value to invest in any kind of hardwood furniture due to its longevity, the problem is that the customer might not want to have the same looking furniture for an entire lifetime. That’s completely understandable, Gothicand there are ways to work around that so that you are getting the full lifespan of your furniture, and the full value of your initial investment, without having to commit to the same exact look of your furniture for several decades. The economical solution to achieving that new look is really simple: paint your hardwood furniture. A little “do it yourself” project might seem a little overwhelming to some, but the process behind painting unfinished wood is easier than you think.

First thing’s first, you’re going to want to protect the area that you’re painting the furniture on. Grab an old bed sheet, and lay it down on the ground to protect the surface. Now, before you start priming the furniture, you will need to determine whether or not the surface needs to be sanded first. If there are any bumps or knots on the surface of the furniture, you’re going to need to sand the surface down until it is completely smooth. Once the surface has passed the smooth test, make sure you wipe the surface down with a cloth to remove any dust or wood shavings.

When you begin the priming process, considering using a spray primer, as it will cover much more of the surface of the furniture, and it’s much easier to avoid streaks and drip marks this way. Other methods would include using a sponge brush or even just a regular paintbrush, but using a spray primer is the fastest and most effective way to apply a primer. Wait for the primer to be 100% dry before you begin painting the furniture.

For flat surfaces, use the same kind of paint-roller that you would use to paint a wall. A paintbrush also works fine here, but the paint-roller is much more effective and faster. If you’re painting a piece of furniture that is not a flat surface or has areas that are unreachable with a paint-roller, then a sponge brush or a paintbrush will be what you’ll want to go with. It’s important to make sure that the paint is being evenly distributed and in a manner that would avoid any bumps in the paint. Once the paint dries, it’s up to you to determine whether or not a second coat is necessary. But if you use a primer, more often than not, just one coat is all you will need. Good luck!

Solid Pine Bookcases Are A Worthy Investment Over Particleboard

Are you in the market for a brand new bookcase for your home or your office? The internet makes the world a much smaller place, and thus you will have plenty of options from all over the world to choose from. But while you are weighing your options on which bookcase makes the most sense for you to purchase, you should consider the following information.

Quality:

Solid pine wood is a much higher quality in comparison to the cheaper options that are pine-bookcaseavailable to you locally. Solid pine is built to last, and is a much better option than any particleboard furniture. It may cost you a few extra dollars to go the solid pine route over particleboard, but you are investing in many more years of solid and dependable furniture. How many years are we talking about? Well, there are some pine wood pieces of furniture that have lasted 100 years or even longer. When it comes to particleboard, a bookcase would last about a maximum of five years.. Pine, although softer than a wood like Oak, for example, is a far better option when it comes to quality than particleboard.

Endurance:

Solid pine is a heavy-duty wood that holds weight much better than particleboard furniture would. Pine is a natural homogeneous material, which contributes to why the wood is so strong and durable. You will be able to load your entire book collection into a solid pine bookcase without any worries of the wood weakening for many, many decades. Particleboard is a brittle material, so if the bookcase has adjustable shields, the clips for the shelves tend to fall out over time because the holes deteriorate.

Customizable:

Another positive aspect to choosing solid pine wood over particleboard furniture is the fact that pine wood is easily customizable. If you don’t like the way your new pine wood bookcase looks in your home or office, you can easily change its appearance by staining or painting the piece. You can’t make those particular changes with particleboard pieces of furniture. When it comes to particleboard furniture, if you no longer like the way that it looks, you more than likely will have to dispose of the furniture and replace it with a new piece of furniture. While pine wood may cost you more money upon your initial purchase, it will undoubtedly become a worthy investment, and save you a decent amount of money in the long run, as we can just about guarantee that pine wood will outlast any particleboard furniture piece that you buy.

Made in America:

All of Gothic Cabinet Craft’s furniture is made right here in the United States of America. So not only would you be bringing a high quality bookcase into your home, but you would be supporting local business in the process!

Tips For Protecting Wood Furniture During a Move

Moving can be stressful — that much we know — but it doesn’t have to be as stressful as most moves usually turn out to be. Here are some tips on how to protect your wood furniture during a move, and how to make packing up your old home and unpacking into your new home much easier.

When you’re moving furniture, the pieces come in all different shapes, sizes and weights. Some pieces have doors that fly open, some have detachable parts, and some have drawers that can pop open. There are several tricks that we have used to be able to work around these inconvenient aspects to moving (are there any convenient aspects to moving?) that take a lot of stress out of the process.

If you’ve researched this topic enough, you will find that a lot of folks will suggest using shrink wrap as a means to keep doors, drawers and cabinets stationary during a move. This is not an ideal method when you are moving wood furniture. The thing about wood Armoirefurniture is that it is an organic material that needs to breathe. That means no shrink wrap, and certainly no bubblewrap directly on the wood, either. The best way to wrap furniture is with specialized fabric blankets that were specifically designed for moving furniture. If you insist on using bubblewrap, make sure that the specialized fabric blankets are what comes in direct contact with the wood furniture, with the bubblewrap serving almost as an insurance policy on the outside.

If you have any furniture with handles sticking out, in which the screw is exposed on the other side of the wood, unscrew the handle or knob and then screw it back on the opposite side. This will create a smooth surface that is easier for fitting the furniture into your method of transport, and also preventing any damage on the knobs or handles during the move. A little trick we like to use when flipping the handles or knobs around is taking a piece of tape and sticking it to the inside of the drawer. This will serve as a temporary method to opening the drawers until the furniture is moved into its new home. However, be very careful when using the tape on your wood furniture. Do not let the tape come in contact with the wood on the visible part of the furniture.

And while the primary focus of the information above has been about covering wooden pieces with parts that can fly open during a move, it should be noted that you should cover every single wooden piece that you are moving, regardless of if it has any parts that could open, in order to prevent scratching. Always remember to tie down your larger pieces of wooden furniture that are susceptible to falling over, and do your best to prevent stacking anything on top of your wooden furniture during the move.

If your wood furniture has removable legs, take them off if you can. It makes for a much safer moving experience when it comes to protecting your wood furniture if you can remove the legs, and then secure some padding on the top and bottom corners of the piece.

Armoire Apartment Hacks

With closet space at a premium in small apartments, urban home owners tend to think outside of the box when it comes to organizing their homes. Whatever built-in closet space apartments have are usually used for storing clothes, linens, and bedding – which doesn’t leave much room for other odds and ends. To combat this issue, many apartment owners opt for a closet system including armoires to increase storage capacity. However, an armoire can be used for more than just storing clothing and accessories. Here are a few apartment hacks that can be used to turn your armoire into a multi-purpose storage unit.

Cleaning Cabinet
An armoire makes the perfect cleaning cabinet. You can keep a vacuum (either canister or upright) in an armoire complete with all of the accessories. Mounting hooks on the back of the closet doors allows for storage of brooms, static dust mops, and other floor cleaning items. Place a hanging shoe organizer on the hanging rod and use the pockets to store all of your cleaning solutions. You can even store laundry detergent and extra paper towels and/or toilet paper on the built in shelf. These modifications allow you to have a complete on-stop shop for all of your house cleaning needs.

Holiday Cabinet
If your apartment is lacking in built in storage space and you don’t have any other storage options such as access to a basement, what do you do with all of your seasonal holiday stuff? Why not make a dedicated holiday cabinet out of an armoire? Holiday lights and decorations can be neatly stacked and organized on shelves in an armoire, fragile ornaments can be tucked away in drawers, and you can even store wrapping paper and other gift items all in one place. Organizing seasonal decorations in an armoire provides you with easy access at any time, even if it isn’t the season. You can even keep some non-holiday items such as birthday wrapping paper, gift bags, and greeting cards in the same closet.

Sewing and Craft Cabinet
Are you or someone you live with a rising fashion designer? Even if this isn’t the case, a lot of people work with fabrics and other craft items. Some homeowners are lucky to have a designated sewing room in their house, however not all of us have the luxury of turning a spare bedroom into a crafter’s paradise. An armoire is a great place to store all of your crafting needs. Place yarn, thread, and other sewing accessories in drawers. Hang your fabric in the closet on a hanging rod. You can even store your sewing machine, hot glue guns, and other crafting devices in the closet.

These are just a few of the many different uses for your closet system. We’d love to hear what you have turned your external storage units into. Feel free to leave a comment below!

Autumn Has Arrived, Is Your Closet Ready?

As the last few days of summer are coming to a close, a lot of us are changing our wardrobes for the season. Especially true for autumn here on the east coast, the change in season means a dip in temperatures. We slowly but surely pack up our shorts, swimsuits, and flip-flops, and start to pull out sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, and jackets to get ready for the cooler days ahead. With this change in outfits, is your closet ready to handle the bigger, bulkier items worn primarily in the fall? If not, it may be time to consider investing in a closet storage system.

Although many dream about having a walk-in closet filled with shelves and endless hanging racks, a lot of people do not have access to such luxury. Instead, clothes tend to spill out of overstuffed standard sized closets or sit in stacks on top of dressers and storage chests. For those who own a home, an option would be to knock down a wall and expand a closet, or install additional shelving units. However for those renting apartments, the option to remodel isn’t available. Here is where a closet system comes in handy.

Gothic Cabinet Closet SystemCloset systems can be customized to any configuration. With a closet system, you can make the storage area as large or small as you want, simply by adding and moving pieces to create a set that matches your specific needs. At Gothic Cabinet Craft, our closet systems have many different components to choose from, including:

  • Armoires
  • Chiffoniers
  • Linen Closets
  • Single Door Wardrobes
  • Drawers
  • Storage Tops

Based on what your storage needs are, you can decide how many pieces you want in your closet system. Perhaps you need an armoire, a wardrobe, and a few sets of drawers. Or perhaps you need an entire closet system complete with storage tops that sit on top of the armoires and wardrobes utilizing more vertical space. The decision is up to you in how you want your closet system set up.

The benefit of a closet system is that they can be installed along any wall in your bedroom, spare room, or even in the hallway. Over time as your needs change, you can add pieces or remove pieces to create a new storage system for your clothes and other belongings. The best part, the closet system isn’t permanent. You can move them anywhere in the house, wherever you need storage.

Instead of trying to figure out where you heavier items such as wool sweaters and hooded sweatshirts should go, consider investing in a closet storage system. Not only do closet systems help keep all of your clothes behind closed doors, but they help to utilize the vertical space in your home. You can keep items you don’t regularly need in the storage tops on top of your armoire/chiffonier while keeping the clothes you wear all the time at arm’s reach. Closet systems aren’t just for clothes either. You can store toys, books, movies, even holiday decorations safely tucked away in the storage units. The possibilities are endless.

Types of Wood Furniture Guide

When it comes to buying furniture, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Choices include the style of furniture (classic, modern, contemporary), color, and even fabric. Even if you’ve narrowed down your choices to real wood furniture, there are still a lot of variations to consider. Here are a few of the most common types of wood and materials used in wood furniture. This guide can help you decide what type of wood would best match not only your design goals but your house and budget as well.

Birch
There are different species of the birch tree, which can result in variations in wood appearance. However, generally birch wood has a creamy white hue with patterns of brown sprinkled throughout. The wood is closed pore, which allows it to be stained and finished easily. When sanded, birch presents a nice and smooth finish. As birch is a hardwood, it is less susceptible to scratches and dents which makes birch wood furniture ideal for households that have pets or small children.

 

Oak
Oak is one of the most widely used hardwoods on the market. It is light in color, heavy, and strong. Thanks to rings within the oak tree, oak wood has a course texture and a noticeable grain. A favorite among craft furniture makers, Oak is the most popular wood for country-style American furniture. Because the oak tree itself grows slowly and has a long life-span the oak wood is incredibly strong and durable. Furniture made from oak is very durable. Although it is porous which requires an extra coat of stain or finish, oak furniture is not only built to last, it is just as beautiful unfinished thanks to its grain.

Pine
Unlike birch and oak that are both hardwoods, pine is actually a soft wood. Because of this, pine is verily easily carved and can be molded into a variety of shapes and designs. In addition to being easy to work with, pine is lighter in comparison to the other hardwoods, which means pine furniture is easier to move – which makes pine an ideal option for those in apartments and temporary housing who need to have furniture that transports well. Pine has a nice, even grain and is easy to paint and/or finish with wood stain.

Particleboard/MDF
Particleboard and MDF are popular building materials thanks to their low price point. Particleboard is basically wood chips and other wood waste products that are glued together and formed into sheets with a hot press. MDF is made the same as particleboard (wood materials glued together), but it is much denser. Particleboard is a staple material for ultra-low cost furniture stores and big box retailers. Usually particleboard furniture comes in pieces that the owner then has to assemble. Particleboard and MDF are weak building materials compared to real wood, and easily fall apart. Investing a little bit more in real wood furniture crafted out of materials like birch, oak, and pine will give you much more life and versatility than an economy grade particleboard unit.

My First Apartment Checklist – The Living Room

Fall is a time for transitions. In addition to the temperatures slowly falling and the leaves changing colors, the fall signifies the start of a new school year. Additionally September is also a busy month for real estate turnover. Many cities have apartments that start new leases on September 1st. For many college students, September 1st marks the start of their independent lives by moving into their very first off-campus apartments.

The moving process alone can be crazy. Follow this First Apartment Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your first place. We’ll start with the living room.

Bookcases
Besides holding books, CDs, DVDs, and decorative items, bookcases also work to break up a room. For those living in a studio apartment that only has one giant room or an apartment with an open layout, bookcases can be used as room dividers. Adding a finished back to a bookcase allows you to set up the unit to separate the living area from the dining area of the office/study area from the living area. Plus, bookcases take advantage of vertical space, which helps maximize storage in the apartment.

Sofa or Futon
Besides the bed and the office chair, living room furniture gets an awful lot of use. From casually lounging and reading a book to having friends over for video game nights, the couch or sofa gets a lot of use. Because of the high traffic in the living room, you’ll want to make sure that your couch is made of quality materials and can withstand repetitive use. A lot of first time apartment owners will opt for a futon or a pull-out couch that converts into a bed for guests. Without the luxury of having an extra guest bedroom, the living room can serve as sleeping quarters for friends from out of town or mom and dad when they come to visit.

End Table
A living room set isn’t complete without a few end tables. Not only do end tables provide a space to place lamps for lighting, they provide a variety of storage options. End tables can hold magazines, remotes for electronics, and books. They are also a surface to rest drinks on when spending time in the living room.  Some end tables have drawers that can keep items such as stationary, pens, and batteries within arm’s reach, but hidden from plain sight.

Coffee Table
If your apartment is lucky enough to have a decent amount of floor space in the living area, a coffee table is definitely worth the investment. Not only do coffee tables provide a surface to hold drinks and magazines, but they can also serve as a focal point for entertaining. You can spread puzzles, board games, and card games across the table and play with multiple people sitting on all sides of the table. Or if the apartment doesn’t come with a specific dining area, the coffee table can be used as the communal eating area too. A coffee table will come in handy on Friday nights when you and the roommates decide to order take-out and rent a movie.

Back–To–School Furniture Essentials

Fall is almost here, so now is the time that many students are gearing up to head back to campus. Many upperclassmen move off-campus and into their first apartments. So in addition to purchasing pens, notebooks, and paper, they are buying their first pieces of furniture. Here are some of the must-have essentials for student apartment living.

Bookcases

The word student and book are synonymous with one another. Over the course of a semester, a student may have to read and reference dozens of books for multiple classes. The best way to keep books organized is to buy a bookcase. Bookcases come in many different sizes with options from two shelves to six or more. Some come with doors for hidden storage and others have adjustable shelves to accommodate large volumes or small paperbacks.

Bookcases can be used to store more than just books. The deep shelves are also great for storing DVDs, CDs, or even knick-knacks.  The shelves can also hold non-perishable snack items for snacking during study sessions. Students can designate certain shelves for certain items which turns a standard bookcase into a multi-purpose storage unit.

Desks

Living off campus in an apartment may afford a little more space than a dorm room, but living quarters still tend to be pretty cramped. Students need a work area to complete homework and other assignments, so the best way to build a work space in a small room is to build up. This is where a desk and hutch set comes in handy.

By taking advantage of the vertical space in the apartment, students can create a complete home office area in just one corner of a room. The shelves in the hutch are great for holding books, binders, printer paper, and other office supplies. Most desks also have additional storage drawers that can be used to organize files or store items out of sight. Many sets can be separated into a desk and hutch section, so after graduating from school, the desk can be transformed to accommodate new functions.

Beds

After a long day of studying (and a long night of partying) students need a good, solid bed to catch some shut-eye. For student apartments, a storage bed is a great investment. A real wood storage bed offers impeccable mattress support while providing tons of built in storage. Storage drawers under the bed are great for holding extra sheets, blankets, and towels. Some units even come with doors to store larger, bulkier items.

In a student apartment, space is limited. Plus sharing an apartment with roommates means that common storage areas are limited as well. Storage beds utilize space under the bed, that otherwise may go untouched, to keep personal items stored behind closed doors and off of the floor. If a storage bed isn’t your forte, you can always opt for a real wood platform bed. This type of bed still provides adequate access underneath the bed to place storage baskets or special “under-the-bed” storage boxes but gives the bedroom a traditional look and feel.

Visit Our New Stores: King’s Plaza and Riverhead

Gothic Cabinet Craft is happy to announce the opening of two brand new Gothic locations in Brooklyn and in Riverhead. The expansion of Gothic with these two new stores makes Gothic Cabinet Craft one of the largest chains of furniture stores in the New York City area with almost 30 different locations. Aristidis Zaharopoulos, President of Gothic Cabinet Craft is ecstatic about the opening of the two new locations. “Our new stores solidify Gothic Cabinet Craft’s place as the premier manufacturer of unfinished, real wood furniture on the East Coast.”

Flatbush Avenue at King’s Plaza
Gothic Cabinet Craft’s newest location in Brooklyn is actually the chain’s second location on the famed Flatbush Avenue. The new store, located at 2494 Flatbush Avenue, is located across from the Kings Plaza Shopping Center. The King’s Plaza location is Gothic Cabinet’s Brooklyn flagship store and is one of the largest stores of the almost 30 Gothic Cabinet Craft locations. In addition to having one of the largest selections of Gothic Cabinet Craft’s real wood furniture, the store is also a custom design center.

Getting to the newest store couldn’t be easier. The new Gothic Cabinet Craft location is just minutes from the Belt Parkway, exit 11 N. Additionally, the B2, B9, B41, B46 buses all stop at a terminal right on Flatbush Avenue by the Plaza.

Riverhead Store Showroom

Riverhead, Long Island
The new Riverhead store on Long Island is actually Gothic’s 6th location on the island. Located at 1076 Old Country Rd in Riverhead, NY, the store is a prime location for Gothic Cabinet Craft customers who are looking to furnish vacation homes out on the island. Long Island customers can visit the store with ease as it is conveniently located right off of I-495. The Riverhead location is a custom design center where customers can work with a Gothic design expert to create furniture that matches their needs, styles, and budget.

Zaharopoulos says that “It has been a difficult 5 years, but Gothic has not given up on manufacturing real wood furniture in New York City. Unlike our competitors, we have not moved our operations from the United States for less expensive sourcing alternatives. We are committed to remaining true to our identity as a local furniture manufacturer.” Since opening its doors in 1969, Gothic Cabinet Craft has been committed to serving the Greater New York City metropolitan area. All Gothic furniture is built in New York, and the stores not only deliver locally, but can ship across the United States.

Home Office in Small Spaces: Build Up

Technological advances over the past few decades have made it incredibly easy for employees to work remotely from the privacy of their own homes. Many employees who telecommute have a separate office set up in their homes either by converting a second bedroom or small room into a work area complete with a desk and file storage units. However, for those who are urban city dwellers, space is scarce which makes it very difficult to set up a home office. When it comes to setting up a home office in a small space, the trick is to build up, not out. By utilizing your vertical space, you can create a nice comfortable area for working from home. Here are a few tips on how to do so.

Desk and Hutch Combinations
A desk and hutch combination is an all-inclusive workspace solution for small spaces. There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing a desk. Some offer pull-out trays for keyboards, others have pencil drawers for stationary. Many of these desks come with file drawers where you can organize work and other important documents. The hutch that sits on top of the desk is ideal for holding books, copy paper, and software discs. You can add baskets to hold miscellaneous items or store decorative items on the shelves to add a little flair to the workspace. The hutch utilizes wall space, but unlike shelving, is a temporary solution. Should you decide to redesign your work area or relocate your desk, the hutch can be removed from the desk to be easily reconfigured.

Secretary Desks and Armoires
If you are the type of person who takes the “out of sight, out of mind” approach, a workstation with a door may just be the solution you need for your home office. A secretary desk is a great alternative to a traditional desk. The base of a secretary desk is a chest of drawers on top of which sits a hutch with a door that when pulled down turns into a writing surface. What is nice about a secretary desk is that when you are finished working, you can close the door to the desk, which creates a nice separation of work from your home. Whenever you need to go back to “office mode” you simply pull down the door to the desk. A secretary desk gives you a complete work station in a compact space.

For work-related storage needs, you can set up an armoire in your home office.  The armoire can be configured to hold files and office supplies. The insides of the doors are perfect for adding bulletin boards and a calendar to keep your tasks organized. When you are finished working, you can close the doors to the armoire keeping all of your work related items out of your living space. An armoire is a nice alternative to traditional shelving units and is especially ideal for apartment dwellers that can’t make adjustments to the original construction as they utilize vertical wall space without having to install hardware for shelving right into the wall.

Introducing the New York City Bedroom Sets

Gothic Cabinet Craft is proud to announce the newest addition to the Gothic Cabinet catalog, the New York City Bedroom Sets. These five new bedroom sets have been designed specifically with the needs of urban dwellers in mind. The sets feature better storage options and have more of a contemporary look than the rest of Gothic Cabinet Craft’s line of furniture.

Each set is named after well-known New York City neighborhoods in honor of the city where Gothic Cabinet Craft has called home since 1969. President, Aristidis Zaharopoulos, says that “We are honoring our home city of New York by naming the new bedroom sets after historic neighborhoods across the city.” Gothic prides itself on their commitment to quality, real wood furniture that is built locally but sold nationally. According to Zaharopoulos, “We have been in business here for over forty years, and all of our furniture is built right here in the city.”

New York is a city with neighborhoods that are as diverse as the people who call New York City home. Each set has its own flair and array of storage options that are perfect for modern-day apartment living.

The Five New Gothic Cabinet Bedroom Sets include:

Gramercy – named after the famous Gramercy Park and neighborhood.

The Gramercy set is built out of real wood birch and features a platform bed with up to 4 drawers, a headboard, nightstand with 2 drawers, a 6 drawer chest, a 8 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Soho – the venerable “South of Houston Street” neighborhood home to a vibrant arts Soho bedroom setcommunity as well as a collection of shops and boutiques.

The Soho bedroom set is constructed out of solid and real wood birch and includes a platform storage bed with 8 drawers and 2 doors, headboard, nightstand with 1 drawer, a 6 drawer chest, an 8 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Cobble Hill – named for the Cobble Hill Historic District in Brooklyn.

The Cobble Hill is a solid pine bedroom set that comes with a platform bed with up to 4 drawers, a headboard, nightstand with 3 drawers, a 6 drawer chest, a 9 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Red Hook – named after the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, famous for its red clay soil and proximity to the Upper New York Bay.

Made out of beautiful red oak, the Red Hook set comes with a double storage platform bed with up to 8 drawers, bookcase headboard, nightstand with 1 drawer, chest with 7 drawers, a 9 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Douglaston –home to Douglaston Hill, a historical district in the Queens Borough of New York City.

A real wood birch bedroom set, the Douglaston features a platform bed, nightstand with 2 drawers, a chest with 6 drawers, a dresser with 8 drawers, and a mirror.

All of the new sets are built with real wood and have been specially constructed so that the nail holes are not visible.  All the drawers feature metal glides for ease of use.  In addition to their sleek design, the sets are available in natural wood or can be finished in a choice of twenty colors.

View these as well as many other bedroom sets available from Gothic Cabinet Craft here, or swing by your local Gothic  Cabinet Craft store.

4 Different Uses for a Bookcase

Bookcases are very versatile furniture. Like the name implies, bookcases are primarily used to hold and/or display books. Many homeowners also use bookcases to store DVDs, CDs, and Vinyl Records as well as a way to show off decorative items. However a bookcase can be used for more than just media storage. With some creative thinking and a DIY attitude, a bookcase can be reconfigured in many different ways. Here are four different ways you can use a bookcase.

Cover Up
A bookcase is the perfect object to cover up a wall that is a little worse for wear. Perhaps you live in an apartment that has a “no paint” policy, but one of the walls has some discoloration. Or perhaps there is a small dent in the wall or even a hole left over from a light fixture that used to be installed there. Rather than spending money on repairing and repainting the wall, you can use a bookcase to cover up the spot. Bookcases come in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find one that is tall or wide enough to cover up the mark on the wall.  The benefit here is that this quick fix isn’t permanent. You can always move and re-purpose the unit if you decide to repaint the whole room.

Closet Organizer
You can use a bookcase as a way to organize a walk in closet. You can add wicker or fabric baskets to the shelves to hold shoes or small items such as socks, scarves, and gloves. Or you can fold sweaters and sweatshirts and stack them neatly on the shelves. A solid wood unit is even sturdy enough to hold multiple pairs of jeans. Is there a room in your home that has a small alcove you don’t know what to do with? Turn it into a makeshift closet! You can stack items on the shelf, and install a few small hooks for items that need to be hung.

Desk
A pair of small bookcases can double as a fantastic desk. You can take two or three shelf bookcases and lay a board across the top to create a workspace.  The bookcases play two roles here. They act as the “legs” of the desk, but also double as storage. You can keep office supplies, software, and printer paper neatly organized on the shelves. Plus with the open shelve design of the bookcases; you can keep an eye on when you are running low on items.

Room Divider
A bookcase can also double as a room divider. Large open spaces are easily broken up into separate “sections” by placing a bookcase perpendicular to a wall. When using a bookcase as a room divider, you will have to take one extra step to make sure you have a finished back for the unit. A bookcase room divider is ideal for studio apartment owners who want to break up the large room into smaller sections, and add a little bit more privacy. It is also ideal for large family rooms that want to set up a separate area to watch televisions from the area where the kids play.

Why Choose Solid Wood Furniture?

Furnishing your home these days is relatively easy. You can find furniture at most general merchandisers, department stores, big box furniture stores, specialty retailers, and (one of the easiest options) the internet. With so many choices, it’s hard to decide what type of furniture you are going to bring into your home. Before you make your final purchasing decision, make sure that you check out furniture that is crafted out of solid wood. Solid wood furniture has many benefits, and here are just a few of them.

Durable

Buying a bed, night stand, or bookcase from a major discount chain or one of those big box discount furniture stores may seem like a good idea due to the lower priced items. However with cheap furniture, you also get cheap materials. The majority of these types of furniture are constructed out of particleboard, which is basically tiny bits of wood glued together in board form, and then covered in a laminate finish to give it a unified look.

Particle board falls apart very easily, and over time the laminate can start to chip off exposing the wood panel underneath. Sometimes, joints become separated or drawers fall out because of repeated use. Particle board furniture is not meant to last long. If you are in the market for furnishing that are going to last you a while, solid wood is the route you’ll want to take.

Some Assembly Not Required

Most of the time when you order solid wood furniture, it comes preassembled. Gone are the days of lugging home multiple cardboard boxes, deciphering instructions that sometimes aren’t even in plain English, and using super glue and extra nails because you couldn’t get the parts to fit just right. Instead, a solid wood desk, bookcase, or dresser can be brought into your home, already built, with factory approved joints that are guaranteed not to fall apart.

Changeable Finishes

When you purchase a solid wood furniture piece, you are making an investment that will last you a long time. Five or ten years after your purchase your furniture, it will be in great shape. However, you may have outgrown the color scheme or want to go in a different direction style-wise. With solid wood furniture, you can easily have the unit refinished and repainted to match your home’s décor. You can even get new drawer pulls and accessories to change the look of the piece entirely. Don’t buy brand new furniture, when you can add a few new touches to give your older furniture a whole new look.

3 Advantages of a Loft Bed

Unlike a bunk bed which features one bed over another, a loft bed is a bunk bed that only has the top bunk, which leaves a wide open space underneath. A loft bed is ideal for small spaces or for rooms that sleep more than one person. In fact, a lot of college dorms offer lofted beds to provide extra storage underneath which maximizes the space in the tiny rooms. Here are 3 advantages to having a loft bed in your own home.

Ideal for Shared Kids Rooms

Loft beds are great for children’s bedrooms that have double (or even triple) occupancy. With the bed lofted up top, the space underneath becomes an oasis for the bed owner. The floor can be lined with pillows and blankets to create a special area for reading or playing with toys. For a girl’s room, you can drape fabrics to create a “princess” area where your daughter can play with her dolls and stuffed animals as well as invite friends over to play in the “palace.”

For a boy’s room, you can turn the area into a place to make buildings with building blocks or racetracks for Matchbox cars. Or you can hang fabric and other decorative items to turn the space into a “pirate ship.” The opportunities are endless. The best part about the lofted beds is that it creates a designated area specifically for one child. This is very important in cases where the bedroom is shared with other siblings. With a loft bed, a child has a sense that their toys and belongings are safe in their space.

Frees Up Space

Instead of transforming the space underneath the bed into a play area, you can utilize the area for storage. Dressers and chests of drawers fit neatly underneath a loft bed and so can bookcases as well as vanities or toy boxes. Moving these items underneath the bed frees up more space in the room which can then be used as an open play area, or to host multiple sleeping bags during slumber parties. Or you can put a futon or daybed underneath which can be used as a sitting area, and then double as a guest bed.

Transitions As Your Children Get Older

If you invest in a loft bed, you can relax knowing that as your child grows, the bed can transition with them. Teens can create a study area underneath the bed. Placing a bookcase or two underneath the bed along with a desk and a computer can transform the bed into a study nook. The best part about having the bed lofted is it discourages studying or doing homework in bed, which can actually disrupt sleep patterns. With a loft bed, your child can separate their work space from their sleep space.

On the other hand, if your child wants a bigger bed in their room, you can keep the loft bed and place a larger bed underneath the loft. This way your child has a spare bed to host guests, that doesn’t take up a lot of space as it is lofted above.

These are just a few of the many advantages of owning a loft bed. To view our selection of loft beds, visit us online at http://www.gothiccabinetcraft.com/.

Furniture and Toy Storage

Children love their toys. They also love to leave them all over the place no matter how hard parents try to contain them! In a household with kids, you’ll probably be able to find toys in bedrooms, living rooms, the kitchen, and even the hallway. More than a few parents have gone on a last-minute hunt for a missing stuffed animal before bedtime. With better toy storage solutions urban families might be better able to keep the toys organized and accounted for. Here are a few different ideas of how certain furniture pieces can double as a toy storage unit:

Storage Chests
A storage chest is a perfect solution for storing toys. The extra deep chests allow you to store toys, games, puzzles, stuffed animals, and even arts and craft items out of sight. A storage chest in a child’s bedroom can also double as a window seat or workbench. You can center the chest in front of a window and place a cushion on top which provides a nice place for kids to sit and read.Alderwood Hope Storage Chest

You can also consider getting a solid wood storage chest for the living room. You can utilize the top of the chest as extra sitting, or it can double as a nice coffee table. This way you can have a place to put beverages, television remotes, and even magazines. If you are expecting company, simply open the chest, put away any toys left in the living room, and you’ll have a “grown-up” living room for the evening.

Bookcases
A bookcase can double as a place to store toys that your children play with on a regular basis. Plush animals, remote control cars, and games and puzzles can be stored on the shelves so they are easily accessible, but off of the floor. You can opt for shorter bookcases (three shelves for instance) that are more “kid sized” so they can easily get to their favorite toys. There are even bookcases with doors that can be used to keep the toys out of sight. The nice thing about using bookcases for toy storage is they can be modified as your children get older. Bookcases can hold video games, movies on DVD, and of course books. If your child decides that he or she doesn’t want the bookcase in their room anymore, you can move it to another room and use it to store your own books and other decorative items.

Storage Cubes
A storage cube is a minimalist style storage solution. Storage cubes consist of fully interchangeable, stacked components that can be combined in many different ways to create a storage unit that fits your specific needs. The cubbies are an ideal place to store toys and games. Like a bookcase, storage cubes help keep toys off of the floor but are still easily accessible. The cubbies in storage cubes are very deep so you can store a lot of items in a confined space. Plus, all storage cubes can be painted in different colors to add a little fun to the room.

Later down the road, you can reuse these cubes to hold vinyl records, books, photos, and other items. The shorter storage cubes can also double as coffee tables or end tables with built-in storage. You can also hang the cubes on the wall to create more shelving or be used in a mudroom to store shoes, boots, and other outdoor items.

Storage Beds
A captain’s bed or a storage bed both offer drawers underneath the mattress to store clothes, sheets, and other items. In a child’s bedroom, these drawers are a great place to store toys. These drawers are on floor level which provides easy access for your child’s toys, and make cleaning up the room a breeze. Gothic’s storage beds also come with an option of doors that run the depth of the bed, which provides a storage space for larger items such as kids ski’s, skateboards, and baseball bats.  You can also opt for a bookcase headboard that besides holding books, can provide a home for stuffed animals, security blankets, and other comfort items for sleep.

The Advantages of Owning a Storage Bed

Storage beds are typically a platform bed with built in storage underneath. They come with different options including a set of drawers, doors, or even a bookcase headboard. A storage bed is a great investment for any home and provides extra storage space to keep items out of sight (and hopefully off the bedroom floor). Here are a few advantages for owning a storage bed.

Utilizing Forgotten Storage Space

The space underneath your bed can be used for a variety of purposes. Items can be stored underneath or the family cat or dog may claim it as a sleeping spot; but usually what ends up happening is that under the bed becomes a cave of lost items and dust bunnies. If you are storing items underneath the bed, you most likely have to get on your hands and knees, or lie on your stomach to reach everything you have hiding under there. Storage beds eliminate this problem. They have drawers which allow you to easily access items, and because the base is closed off, you don’t have to worry about dust and dirt building up underneath.

Optimizing Small Spaces

Not all bedrooms are built equally. Especially if you are living in a major metropolitan area like New York City, the room you sleep in may in fact be what others consider a “walk in closet.” Some bedrooms have just enough room for a bed, a night stand, and maybe a dresser, and that’s it. A storage bed is an ideal piece of furniture for this type of room. A storage bed with up to twelve drawers can double as a dresser, which can free up extra space in the room. Instead of where you would normally put a chest of drawers, you can have a vanity or a desk as your clothes are neatly stored away below your mattress.

Great for Kids Rooms

Around the age of 12 or 13, your child may have outgrown their childhood bed. As much fun as it was sleeping in a either a race car or a princess bed, your child may want to change up his or her entire bedroom to reflect their age and style. Storage beds are a great choice for older kids and teenagers as they provide ample storage for clothes and toys. If you are redoing the entire bedroom you can buy a storage bed with matching nightstand, dresser, and sometimes even a bookcase headboard. A bookcase headboard is great for storing not only books, but sentimental items and an alarm clock as well.

Guest Room Double Duty

Do you have a guest room? Why not set up your guest sleeping room with a storage bed. The drawers underneath can be used to store extra sheets and towels that your guests can easily access. Or you can store seasonal items here and store your sweaters in the summer and your swimwear in the winter here so you have more room in your closets and dressers for items you are currently using. A storage bed is also an economical choice for a guest room as most storage beds are platform beds, and don’t require having to purchase a box spring to support the mattress.

How To Protect Your Home (and Furniture) from Bed Bugs

In recent years bed bug infestations have been on the rise, especially in large metropolitan areas such as New York City. Outside of affecting apartments and hotels, bed bugs have been found in movie theaters and even clothing stores! As a local business serving the New York City area specializing in home furnishings, it is Gothic Cabinet Craft’s commitment to ensure that we provide our customers with the best products possible. This is why we have provided a few steps to protect your home and it’s furnishings from these pesky little critters.

Bed bugs, What To Look For

Bed bugs are small insects whose diets consist mostly of human blood. Young, newly hatched bed bugs are slightly transparent whereas adult bed bugs are flat and have red, oval shaped bodies. Before you go on a bed bug fumigation spree, it is important to note that they can be confused with other household insects such as carpet and spider beetles.

Signifiers of bed bugs include blood stains, bed bug droppings, and eggs. These are prevalent on mattress seams, sheets, pillow cases, headboards, and upholstered furniture. Bed bugs also like to hide out in crevices and cracks in furniture as well as along baseboards. They especially like to congregate around mattresses, bed frames, and headboards as their human food sources spend a decent amount of time in bed, sleeping.

What To Do If You Have Bed Bugs

Wash all items that show bed bug stains in hot water and dry on high for at least 20 minutes. Run a hair dryer over the mattress. Holding the hairdryer on a spot for 30 seconds is enough to kill bed bugs. Once you have blow-dried the mattress, vacuum the mattress thoroughly. You should also vacuum carpets and floors, as well as bed frames, furniture, and cracks and crevices. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister outside of the house.  Once you have cleaned the infected mattress, enclose in a plastic cover specifically for bed bugs and keep the mattress wrapped for at least a year.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs

Buying new furniture is a good way to reduce the chances of buying furniture infested with bed bugs over used or thrift store furniture. Also, purchasing furniture that is made in the US is another good way to avoid pests as foreign production policies are not as stringent as domestic policies. Plus domestically produced furniture has more oversight during the manufacturing process, to ensure quality control.

There are steps you can take to prevent bed bugs from entering your home. Simple steps such as thoroughly washing clothing after traveling and regularly washing and changing bed sheets can help keep bed bugs away. You can also purchase a Bed Bug Protection Kit in our stores. These kits include a mattress encasement that is bed bug entry and escape proof on all six sides, and also bite proof on the top. Another thing to note is that furniture made out of solid wood is less susceptible to bed bugs as solid wood furnishings have few cracks and spaces (compared to plywood and particle board items) where bed bugs like to hide.

These suggestions are good ways to keep your home free of bed bugs. However, in some cases it may be necessary to call in the experts. If you are experiencing an out of control bed bug situation, contact a pest control specialist.

Gothic Cabinet Craft teams up with NYC Housing Authority to help Sandy victims.

Gothic Cabinet Craft teams up with NYC Housing Authority to help Sandy victims.

New York, NY – The NYC Housing Authority has organized a relief effort to help displaced people with temporary housing in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In their efforts to restore a sense of home and stability for many people, the NYC Housing Authority contacted Gothic Cabinet Craft to lend a hand. Without hesitation, Gothic Cabinet Craft donated beds, mattresses, cribs, mirrors, and other various pieces of furniture to assist in the furnishing of these temporary homes.
This is not the first time Gothic and the NYC Housing Authority have worked together. Currently, Gothic is a vendor for a program operated by the NYC Housing Authority called the “Wizard’s Corner”. The program provides New York City children with a home office comprised of a desk and chair set. The desk set is sourced from Gothic Cabinet Craft. The program’s goal is to provide children with a home work space to help stimulate learning.

“Gothic Cabinet Craft was born in NYC. This is our home and we are greatly saddened by the loss our fellow citizens have suffered. The least we can do is donate some furniture. We are proud that the NYC Housing authority contacted us to help and for making us their partner in the Wizard’s program” says president of Gothic Cabinet Craft, Aristidis Zaharopoulos.

When it’s time to rebuild, rebuild within and think local.

We, at Gothic Cabinet Craft, would like to express our deepest concerns for the many families affected by Hurricane Sandy. The devastation may seem daunting, but it’s nothing that we as a city can’t get through together. New Yorkers are pretty resilient, and that’s why it’s going to take more than a hurricane to keep us from closing our doors.
We make furniture locally. That’s what we do.We’re very lucky that production wasn’t totally affected by the storm. Our factory is stocked with beds and mattresses for immediate delivery to the five boroughs. We want to help the way we know best, and that’s by providing quality furniture immediately and at affordable prices to New Yorkers in need.

 

When it’s time to rebuild what was lost, think local, think Gothic Cabinet Craft.

 

 

 

Turn Your Living Room into a Sports Bar!

Maybe not as permanent change, but wouldn’t it be great if you could make your living room the go-to-destination for the next big sports night with your buddies? Believe it or not, turning your living room into a sports bar isn’t all that hard provided you have the right furniture (and some very understanding roommates for the night). If you are looking to host a party the next time a big game is on, make sure your living room is ready to handle the crowds!

1. Add a bar.
What would a sports bar be without an actual bar! A classic solid wood bar is perfect for entertaining guests. A great bar stores bottles, glasses and serving ware (pitchers, platters, etc) of just about any size so you’ll always have what you need close at hand. If you need help selling the idea of adding a bar to you roommates or significant other, just point out what a great help it will be during your next dinner party (a perfect buffet top!) and how extra much storage it provides.

If you really want to show your team spirit, you can buy an unfinished wood bar and paint it in your team’s colors or paint the logo right on the front of your bar! You’ll be the biggest super fan in the neighborhood.

2. Get comfy with the couches.
Since you probably don’t have room for a big leather booth in the middle of your living room, make do with the next best option and opt for a big, comfy couch. Dark leather is obviously the traditional choice for sports bar seating, but a dark microfiber sofa is just as comfy and luxurious, but really easy to clean in case your guests start celebrating the game winning homerun or touchdown and snacks and beer go flying.

3. Make your TV the focal point.
Let’s be honest, even without a bar a sports bar would still be a sports bar provided it had a dozen flat screen TVs carefully positioned around the room. To really make your living room feel like a sports bar you’ve got to make your TV the center of attention. If you can’t hang your TV on the wall, a tall entertainment center is just the thing to make sure everyone can watch the game. You can keep your sound system, stereo equipment, HD receiver and other sports bar essentials hidden in the entertainment center as well.

The best part of a living room sports bar is that all three of these furniture pieces can work with your everyday life! You may not have an extra room or basement that you can turn into your sports den, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little stadium feel to your living room.

4 First Apartment Furniture Must Haves

Moving into your first apartment? While the possibilities may seem endless, there are a few furniture bases you need to make sure are covered before moving day. Before you start deciding where the tiki bar is going to fit, make sure you have these four first apartment furniture must haves ready to go. Everything else can come in the second moving truck!

1. Sleeper sofa
Is it a sofa? Is it a bed? It’s the best of both worlds! A sleeper sofa (aka pull out bed) is a great choice for your first apartment’s couch. Obviously if you ever plan on having guests over, (or even just want to watch TV comfortably by yourself!) a good couch for your living room is a must have. What makes a sleeper sofa so great is that you don’t have to worry about where your guests (friends, family or otherwise) are going to spend the night. It’s double duty furniture! Sleeper sofas are also great if your first apartment happens to be a studio, which means that you living and sleeping area in one and the same.

2. Drop leaf table
Drop leaf tables are versatile and great for smaller spaces and eat-in kitchens. They can be pretty compact, making them a great choice for narrow kitchens so common in first apartments, but if you ever want to have a few friends over for dinner they open right up and provide plenty of additional table space! You could even pull your drop leaf table into your living room to give everyone a little bit more elbow room. Drop leaf tables also work great under windows or in hallways.

3. Ottomans
An ottoman may not be high on the top of most first apartment furniture lists, but it should be! Ottomans really are the jack of all trades in the furniture kingdom. Not only do they work great as coffee tables, they can also provide a little extra storage! Ottomans are a great place to store extra blankets, pillows or other non-essentials. Ottomans can also be turned into a seating option when necessary, meaning you can invite even more people over for dinner!

4. Bookshelf
Even if you don’t have a lot of books, a good bookshelf is a first apartment essential. Store your DVDs and CDs, magazines, photo albums and framed pictures, paperwork, decorative trinkets and more! You can even get a bookshelf that is deep enough to hold several cardboard boxes as everyone first apartment owner needs more storage space!

How big your first apartment is will have a dramatic impact on the kind of furniture you get to buy. Make sure you have everything you need, and that it all fits, before you start buying the fun pieces.

3 Alternatives to the Traditional Home Office Desk

Not every telecommuter is lucky enough to have a spare room where they can easily fit an executive-sized home office desk. While we may all dream of having that much space to spread out and work, the truth is most of us are limited on floor space. So what’s a telecommuter to do? You can’t very well work from the kitchen table! However, Just because you can’t fit a boardroom in your home office that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great, albeit sometimes nontraditional, home office desk.

Secretary Desks
One of the best things to do when you work from home is create a distinct separation between your work and personal space. It’s all together too easy to let work intrude on your personal life (or vice versa) when you don’t have a physical office to shut the door on at the end of the day. So instead of shutting the office door why not close up your desk itself! A secretary desk is great for telecommuters that need to fit their home office desk in their living room or bedroom. The drop leaf desk means you can lock your work mess up at the end of the night and keep it from taking over your home space.

Computer Carts
Instead of a full computer desk that crowds your limited home office space, why not opt for a smaller (yet more agile and portable) computer cart? This simple home office desk alternative often comes on casters, so you can easily maneuver it around your home as needed. Bring it out at the beginning of the work day and set up you mobile home office in front of the windows or even on the patio if the weather is nice enough (and you have enough extension cords). At the end the day you can slide it back into the corner or tuck it inside an extra closet.

Freestanding desks.
Take advantage of long (albeit narrow) spaces in your home or apartment and create a free standing desk that screws right into your walls. A long and decently wide shelf can easily serve as a home office desk. If you need more storage space than build up with hutches or a few extra freestanding shelves. You can also get a few filing cabinets and tuck them under your freestanding desk so they don’t take up any limited floor space.

For telecommuters that spend 8+ hours a day at their home office desk, it’s important you have enough space to do your work yet still fit into the physical floor space you have to work with. Sometimes traditional home office desks aren’t the best solution. All it takes is a little creativity (and a measuring tape!) to come up with the perfect home office desk setup.

4 Ideas for Better Small Bedroom Storage

Our bedrooms, no matter how small, should be comfortable and cozy. Unfortunately, sometimes comfortable and cozy can mean we need a lot of stuff! Many apartment dwellers fins themselves dealing with a lot of stuff, but not nearly enough space to store it all. There is no need to banish your extra quilts and favorite chatskis to the back of your closet or bury them in basement storage. Nor do you need to be tripping over boxes and bags scattered over the floor. Instead, here are 4 ideas of better small bedroom storage:

1. Under-the-bed storage containers.
As long as your bed is off the floor, chances are you’ll be able to find a storage bin short enough to fit underneath it. Even basic metals frames give you a few extra inches of storage space to work with. Or, you could always invest in a storage bed, which has the under-the-bed storage features (both drawers and doors) built right in! Storage beds are a great option for small bedrooms if you’re extra short on floor space, as they can double for dressers.

2. Ditch the bedside table for bookcase headboards.
Instead of a bedside table, or two if you need a “his and hers,” add a bookcase headboard. You can opt for one or several shelves, depending on your storage needs.  If you didn’t mind losing a few of the bottom shelves, you could even turn actual bookcases into the headboard for extra height (great if you have tall ceilings!) and small bedroom storage space.

3. Take advantage of existing closet space.
Before investing in a large dresser or armoire that is going to eat up your limited floor space, make sure you are using your closet (should you be lucky enough to have one) to its full advantage. Can you add a second bar to get two levels of hanging space? Can you fit a small dresser inside of the closet so it doesn’t take up floor space? Any chance you could add a shelf or two for shoe boxes and off season clothes? Sometimes the best small bedroom storage solutions are already in place, they just need to be tweaked a little!

If you don’t have a closet, consider getting a free standing closet system, which gives you both drawers and hanging space. It will take up some floor space, but you can always start with the most basic system and add new compartments when you upgrade to a bigger bedroom!

4. Store it higher.
Free hanging shelves and wall units are a great small bedroom storage solution, especially if you have a lot of height to work with. Imagine building one giant shelf that went all the way around your bedroom! You could invest in a few fun colored or patterned storage bins and turn your small bedroom storage into décor! Free standing shelves and wall units can help get everything off your floor, but, as opposed to storing it in the attic or basement, keep it easily accessible.

4 Tips for Furnishing a Small Living Room

Having a small living room is a fact of life for many apartment dwellers. And while it may not matter when you’re the only one home, for people that like to entertain (or are starting a family) a small living room can be incredibly frustrating! How do you fit enough seating in your small living room without making it feel cramped and crowded? Where are you supposed to store all your stuff if you don’t have the space? If you are trying to furnish a small living room, here are four tips to ensure you are maximizing what little space you have to work with:

1. Ottomans are good choices for seating and storage.
An ottoman that doubles as a coffee table helps you maximize your small living room’s floor space without having to sacrifice storage. Some ottoman sets even break apart so you can have a small coffee table and extra seating at the same time and are perfect for entertaining in a small living room. Ottomans are also a great place to store extra pillows or blankets, which is especially useful if your living room sofa also happens to be a pull out bed!

2. Glass coffee tables can create the illusion of more space.
Since glass coffee tables are see through your small living room isn’t being cut in half by a dark and bulky coffee table. Although they are more fragile than solid wood coffee tables (something to consider if you have young children or pets), glass coffee tables essentially “disappear” in your living room, creating the illusion of more space.

3. Armless sofas give you extra seating to work with.
If you like to entertain, armless sofas can give you a little extra seating space to accommodate all your guests. While you may not be able fit the five piece sectional sofa in your small living room, you might be able to fit one more person on an armless sofa since you get a few extra inches of space on either end. If you go for two small armless sofas they can be rearranged into one big sofa as needed.

4. Wall mounted storage units don’t take up floor space.
Wall mounted storage racks and shelves are a great way to free up floor space without sacrificing storage capacity in your small living room. Storage racks and shelves are a great place to puts DVDs and video games, fun décor items, books or other household knickknacks. You could even create a wall mounted desk solution with a hutch if you need to make room for a home office in your small living room. If you have a really oddly shaped room, or “leftover space,” consider having a custom built wall unit installed! It’ll optimize every inch of space.

The most important thing to remember when furnishing a small living room is to take a lot of measurements! How much space do you really have to work with? A few inches one way or the other can make a big difference. Don’t forget to account for windows, doors, radiators and other things that might impact how you furnish and organize your small living room.

Why Buy Unfinished Wood Furniture?

Just to clarify, buying unfinished wood furniture doesn’t mean you’re going to have to turn a tree into a chair. Unfinished wood furniture is still a complete piece; it just hasn’t had its final finish and sealer applied. Sometimes called “bare wood furniture,” unfinished wood furniture is great for DIY homeowners and apartment dwellers that want to make their new furniture uniquely theirs. It’s also a great solution to matching new furniture with old to create a consistent look in a room.

Here are 3 reasons to consider buying unfinished wood furniture:

You can create your own stain.
If you walk into a home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot there are probably dozens (if not hundreds) of furniture stains for you to choose from for your unfinished furniture. You can pull any one of these off the shelf for a great look, or you can get creative and create your own stain color by mixing a few options together. It’s easy to mix compatible wood stains or dyes to create the totally new shade you want, or simply reduce the darkness of a shade by mixing in a little more solvent. There is no limit to what stains you can create!

Making your own stain is a great to integrate a new piece of furniture in with older pieces and match your existing décor without going over budget.

You could even go really wild and use fun paint colors to create a totally different vibe for your unfinished furniture. Why not have bright green bed frames or a red bookcase to show off your personality? You can also add stenciled designs if you’re feeling extra creative!

It’s usually less expensive than finished furniture.
Because the furniture manufacturer isn’t finishing the furniture themselves, a piece of unfinished furniture is almost always less expensive than its finished counterpart. Since wood stains aren’t that expensive, buying unfinished furniture could make a big difference for your wallet in the end. Keep in mind that the drop in cost doesn’t mean the unfinished furniture is of a lesser quality than the finished pieces for sale. You’re still getting the same great quality, just at a lower price because of the DIY factor.

Furniture manufacturers can’t hide the faults in unfinished wood furniture.
With unfinished furniture, what you see is what you get. There is no way a furniture manufacturer could hide any defects in the wood with paints or stains if they didn’t use them! This also means that furniture manufacturers can’t get away with using inferior wood and masking it under heavy layers of finish and paint. Unfinished furniture will show you exactly where there are (if any) knots, discolorations or other defects that some finished furniture won’t show until its starts to wear.

But what’s the greatest thing about buying unfinished furniture? When friends and family compliment it you get to say “I did it myself!”

Building a Great Kid’s Bedroom

For many children, their bedroom is much more than a place to sleep. A kid’s bedroom is their indoor playground, their library, their toy store and much more all rolled into one. Most parents design a newborn’s nursery to look and feel the way they want, but as children grow up they can start to have their own specific ideas of what constitutes a great bedroom design. Whether your cowboy or princess wants zebra stripped blankets or dinosaur wallpaper, there are a few kid’s bedroom essentials that you can’t miss.

Toy chests
You can never really have enough storage in a child’s room. All those toys and books need to go somewhere at the end of the day! Storage chests or benches are a great place to store extra stuffed animals, board games, crafts supplies and more. Since storage benches and toy chests sit on the floor, it’s easier for your child to help clean up since they don’t have to reach a tall shelf to put their things away.

Trundle beds
Trundle beds are great in kid’s bedrooms for a couple of reasons. First, trundle beds are perfect for sleepovers with friends and family. Some trundle bed designs even come with a few extra drawers, giving your kid’s room even more storage space. Trundle beds also make great day beds, so if you don’t have a lot of space to work with it can function as double duty furniture.

Bookcases
Of course bookcases are the perfect place to store all of your child’s favorite books, but they can also be used to display school projects, birthday cards, family photos and other fun knickknacks. Shorter bookcases keep everything at child eye level, while taller bookcases are a good way to keep some items out of reach if needed.

Table and chair set
A table and chair set is a great way to keep crafts projects and coloring books off the kitchen table. A table and chair set, built specifically for a kid’s bedroom, is the perfect place for kids to draw and color, do homework, play board games, have a tea party and much more. You can opt for plastic or real wood sets and even get the table and chairs in fun kid-approved colors or designs.

Keep in mind that your child’s tastes may change overnight. Today they love astronauts and insist on space wallpaper; tomorrow they want to sleep in a racecar. But if you choose kids’ bedroom furniture that works with any design choice your child may happen upon, there is nothing that a fresh coat of paint and a few new posters can’t do!

First Time Furniture Buyers Shopping Tips

Buying new furniture can be both a fun and exhausting experience. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options a new furniture buyer has, not just in terms of how customized the shopping experience can be but also the amount of furniture stores that potentially exist in your area. If you are a first time furniture buyer, here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of furniture shopping!

1. Build a budget (and assume you’re low!)
Most first time furniture buyers are always surprised at how much a brand-new bed or couch will cost. Even at the “cheap” furniture stores many new furniture buyers will suffer from a bit of sticker shock. When you’re beginning your shopping adventure, it’s important to figure out your budget. Maybe you can’t afford to buy a full bedroom set this month, so you spread the purchases out over the next three months and build your new bedroom over time. It’ll be a lot less painful on your wallet!

2. Decide what you need versus what you want.
Buying furniture for the first time can be a lot of fun. It’s the opportunity to express yourself as an individual and figure out a design style that is uniquely you. However, it’s very easy to get carried away and make grandiose plans for hutches, benches, ottomans, room dividers, entertainment centers and more—but what do you really need? This will often tie back into your budget. You NEED a bed, you may WANT a bar for the living room—which one are you willing to pay for?

3. Research local furniture manufacturers.
When looking around for local furniture manufacturers, it’s important to make sure you work with a reputable seller. Here are a few things you want to ask before you pull out your wallet for a new furniture purchase:

    • Do they offer warranties? Lifetime or limited?
    • Do they offer home delivery? At what cost?
    • Any furniture sales or deals going on?

4. Factor in your lifestyle.
If you plan on moving to a new apartment in the next few months ask yourself, do I want to assemble all this furniture only to disassemble it in 3 months? Are you planning on having kids anytime soon? Do you have pets? Is your significant other moving in? All of these lifestyle factors and more should influence what kind of furniture you’re looking to buy. Furniture is an investment, and you want to make sure you are going to get your monies worth for a long time to come.

5. See it in person.
There is a big difference between looking at a picture online versus seeing it in person. Is that chair the same shade of green in the light of day as it is in a staged photo? How comfortable is that new bed or couch? How tall is the coffee table? While there is nothing wrong with shopping online (it’s fast and convenient) if you have the option to see your new furniture in person before you purchase it it’s definitely worth a quick trip to the store.

Save Money and Space with Double Duty Furniture

For furniture shoppers that are tight on budget and floor space, double duty furniture is the perfect solution. These multi-purpose pieces of furniture mean you don’t have to sacrifice on storage space or function, and you aren’t trying to cram more furniture into a room than can comfortably fit. Double duty furniture also gives you twice the furniture for your money, which is great for furniture buyers looking to furnish their first apartment (meaning they need everything!) but don’t want to break the bank.

Here are three pieces of furniture that are more than they seem!

Beds and Dressers
For small apartment dwellers (or anyone with a bedroom that is short on floor space) a storage bed is both a great bed AND full dresser! Some storage bed designs have 8 different drawers (4 drawers at the foot of the bed, 2 drawers and one cabinet door on either side of the base) so you have plenty of storage space. If you don’t need the full 8 drawers you can always opt for a 4 drawer or 2 drawer storage bed design. The 2 drawer storage bed is great for beds that are going to be flush against a wall as both of the drawers are on one side so you have easy access to all your clothes.

Headboards and Bookcases
Bookcase headboards are perfect for storing books, clocks and radios, your phone or whatever else you like. While they aren’t as large as a regular bookcase (usually you only get one or two shelves) bookcase headboards are a great way to get little things off the floor or your bedside table.

Benches and Storage
Benches are really a universal seating option. They can be simple and plain, perfect for entryways or mudrooms, or they can be sleek and sophisticated for even the most modern of living room designs. But what makes double duty benches even more useful is they are also a well concealed storage option! Storage benches and ottomans in living rooms are the perfect place to store extra blankets and pillows; in kids’ rooms they make great toy storage options and are a great place to store things like sports equipment, umbrellas and so forth. Storage benches can be even used as a coffee table or a filing cabinet if need be.

Furnishing a room with the necessary pieces can be costly. By going with double duty furniture, you can drastically reduce your furniture costs without sacrificing storage space or function!

Rearranging Your Living Room Furniture Requires a Plan

One of the most common mistakes furniture shoppers make is they don’t measure their space before buying new living room furniture. There is nothing worse than coming home with your brand new sofa or coffee table or entertainment center and realizing that it’s not going to fit in your living room. It’s even worse for us New York apartment dwellers when we realize we can’t even get our new furniture up the stairs to our 3rd floor apartment! That’s why, before you start rearranging your living room furniture (or shopping for new pieces) you have to plan and map out the space you have to work with.

Mapping out your living room isn’t nearly as hard as you might think it is. All you need is a regular old piece of paper and a tape measure! Measure each of your walls and scale them down to fit on your piece of paper. Make sure you keep the scale the same throughout your sketching, so make it something you can easily convert and remember (like one foot of living room equals one inch of paper). Once you have your room sketched out (don’t forget to include doors and windows), measure your existing pieces of living room furniture and make small paper cutouts from a separate sheet of paper. You can use these paper cutouts to rearrange your living room without having to do any actual heavy lifting. That way you’ll be 100% sure everything will fit before you start rearranging furniture. You might also want to mark where things like radiators, electrical outlets or cable hookups are since those influence how much flexibility you have with your living room design.

If you are looking to buy new living room furniture, be sure to bring your living room map with you to the store! If you know where you want a new piece to fit all you have to do is check the measurements of the display models and you can be sure it won’t be too large or too small for the space available. Furniture shopping can be a very stressful experience since you have so many options to sort through and hoping something is going to fit isn’t going to make it any easier. If you know exactly how much room you have to play with, that will help narrow down your options and focus your vision.

Making a quick map of your living room before you start rearranging furniture is a quick and easy way to save yourself a lot of time and hassle later!

Creating a Concealed Home Office for Telecommuting

Some studies suggest that as many as 50 million Americans telecommute at least once a week and over two million workers consider their home their primary office space. With so much of the employed force being able to work from home, the need for home office furniture and design ideas is greater than ever. Some telecommuters are lucky enough to have a whole room as their home office (either specifically built as office space or maybe even a former guest bedroom), but for many homeowners and apartment dwellers, their “home office” is little more than a table with a computer crammed into the living room. But just because you are short on space, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great home office to work from!

One of the most important things about creating a home office is that you want it separate from the rest of your living spaces. Many telecommuters find it hard to stop working when they never physically go to and from a new work environment. Work and home life start to melt into each other, but you deserve to close the door at five and call it a day!

To help keep your work and home life separate, especially when you are short on space, consider converting an armoire into a concealed home office. You can add extra shelves for books and papers, file drawers and a pull out shelf for a laptop or keyboard.  On the inside doors you add corkboard and use pushpins to help keep ideas, memos and notes organized. When you close the doors at the end of the day a functional workspace is concealed inside. With a custom-fitted armoire, you’ve essentially created your own version of a secretary’s desk!

Another great solution for a concealed home office is by converting an extra closet in a guest bedroom.  You can fit the closet with a small filing cabinet, cubes for storage, floating shelves, wire baskets, peg boards attached to the doors, hooks, sconce for lighting and a small chair. When you are done with your workday you can simply close the door and leave your work in the closet.

The key to keeping a concealed home office functional is to minimize the clutter. After all, you have to be able to shut the doors at the end of the day! Make sure you invest in the right storage solutions; things like small bookcases, shelving units, filing cabinets or even a small hutch make it a lot easier to keep your concealed home office organized and tidy. You don’t have a lot of room to spread out, so be sure to build up if possible (like adding shelves to the back wall of the closet) to optimize the existing space.

Have a Vision BEFORE You Go Furniture Shopping

It’s very easy to walk into a furniture store and immediately be inspired. You have the opportunity to completely redecorate your apartment—who do you want to be? You could go for a cool, white, minimalistic approach that screams modern. Or maybe fun and crazy throw pillows and rugs to show off your creativity! What about 60s-inspired lampshades or a free standing bar? Sometimes having so many options is actually a bad thing for inspiration; it pulls your focus in a dozen different directions at once. You either end up getting frustrated and not buying anything, or making decisions at random and ending up with a hodgepodge of furniture. Neither of these outcomes makes the furniture shopping process very fun.

That’s why it is so important to have a vision (or at the very least a basic idea) BEFORE you go furniture shopping. Having that starting point will help anchor your furniture buying decisions and you’ll walk out with what you need, what you want AND it will all work together.

A good place to start is by using your favorite piece in a room and build out from there. Let’s say you have this great sofa in your living that you want to decorate the rest of the room around. Not only is it the largest piece in your living room (which usually mean it’s the focal point), it’s a design style you love. What are some of the features of that sofa? How tall is it? What is the fabric’s color or pattern? Does it have metal or wood accents? Those details will help you find complementary pieces while your furniture shopping so you can more easily focus your vision.

Before you go furniture shopping, it’s also a good idea to figure out exactly what you need and how it is all going to fit. Chances are your apartment isn’t the same size/shape as the furniture store’s display room, so you need to know what is going to work in your space. You may want the end table AND the bar AND the entertainment center AND the bookcase AND the ottoman, but what can you realistically fit in your space? Having a vision (and a floor plan!) before you walk into the furniture store will help you avoid buying a piece of furniture that will have nowhere to live in your apartment. Also make sure you take measurements! There is nothing more disheartening than finding the perfect piece and realizing it won’t fit up your apartment stairs or through the door.

4 Tips for Decorating a Studio Apartment

Gothic Cabinet Craft is based in New York City, so we know our way around a studio apartment pretty well. We understand that living in a studio apartment comes with certain design and functionality challenges. Limited floor space, limited room for storage and a limited budget (the main reason someone lives in a studio apartment!) all mean that decorating a studio apartment is no easy feat. In order to decorate your studio apartment without sacrificing functionality, it’s important to remember the following tips:

Be discerning with your design ideas
There is not a lot of room in your studio apartment for design, and too many ideas can make a small space feel even smaller and more cluttered. While there is nothing wrong with mixing prints, patterns and colors, you don’t want to go overboard. You also want to think carefully about what the focal point of your studio apartment is going to be. Maybe you have a really cool love seat with a funky patter you want to show off, or a fantastic view you’re proud off; maybe it’s just a fun poster. Whatever the focal point is, build you studio apartment around that.

Invest in multi-use furniture
When is a bed not a bed? When it’s also a dresser! Multi-purpose furniture like a Captains Bed is a great way to maximize your limited floor space and de-clutter your studio apartment by removing bulky pieces. A secretary desk with drawers gives you plenty of space to work and compartmentalize your office, plus it’s easy to close up and hide any mess when guests come over! You could also get a bookcase that pulls double duty as a headboard or turn a radiator cover into a small shelf.

Create “rooms”
So living in a studio apartment negates the physical presence of rooms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create the allusion of rooms! You can use dividers (easy to move as needed), bookcases or dressers to physically separate the living/sleeping areas from the dining area, or just arrange your furniture so you have a space for sleeping, a space for cooking and space for relaxing.

Make sure there is plenty of light
Nothing makes a small space feel smaller than no light. If you’re studio apartment isn’t blessed with a lot of natural light, invest in some great (and fun looking!) light fixtures to brighten up the space. You can also position mirrors across from windows or other light sources to help reflect the light and make the room feel bigger. Using a lighter color on your walls will also help reflect any light.

These are just a few tips for decorating a studio apartment. Just remember, just because you live in small space that doesn’t mean you can’t love the way your apartment looks and feels! It just takes a few easy design choices to make a studio apartment feel like home.

3 Easy Ways to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Small spaces are just a fact of life for most urban apartment dwellers. Many apartment owners struggle to find ways to make the small space look and feel bigger, but don’t want to do anything that will clutter up what little space they do have. Visually expanding a room can be hard to do, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible!

If you are looking for way to make your small space feel bigger, here are three easy tips that won’t break your decorating budget:

1. Keep the wall color consistent
One way to help make your small apartment look and feel bigger is to use the same wall color throughout multiple rooms. This tricks the eye into thinking that the space is much bigger because the line between rooms isn’t broken by different colored walls. Contrary to what most people believe, dark colored walls don’t automatically make a space feel smaller. In fact, a dark wall with light molding makes the wall feel farther back, once again creating the illusion of more space.

2. Don’t hang everything at eye level
A good photographer knows that when it comes to mounting their work, there should always be a little extra space below the image compared to above it. This helps keep the picture from looking like its being pushed down and squished. The same holds true for your artwork and other wall decorations! Hanging everything at eye level will make your space feel short, and when you’re already trying to combat small you don’t want anything to look like it’s shrinking! Hang things a little above eye level, or even try a few low pieces, to keep the eye moving.

If you one of the lucky few that have vaulted ceilings (even if it means you still don’t have the floor space), draw the eyes up by hanging art work high and investing in tall bookcases. It may not be as easy to clean, but it will help you take advantage of the height in your apartment.

3. Invest in mirrors
Mirrors are a small apartment owner’s best friend. Large mirrors, or even a cluster of small mirrors, can really help open up a space. Putting a mirror across from a window will help reflect limited natural light, which can also help make a room feel more open and bright. If you live in a basement apartment and don’t have windows in your room, hang up a large mirror and add curtains to give the look and feel of a window.

When trying to make a small space feel bigger, it’s important to not go overboard. You don’t have to use every trick in the book to make your apartment look and feel bigger. Sometimes just one or two things, provided they are the right things, can make all the difference.