Stain Resistant Interior Design Tips and Tricks Saturday, May 09 2015

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As a Manhattan Beach Interior Designer, I’ve become an expert at helping clients have beautiful interiors in family and pet friendly homes.  One shouldn’t sacrifice style for function!  There’s no need.  Read these tips and tricks to keeping your furniture and interiors looking fresh as they day you bought them.

TIP ONE:  BABY WIPES

YES!  Baby wipes.  Even if you don’t have a kid, go buy some.  In all my years of working with fine furniture, I’ve found nothing works better than baby wipes to get rid of upholstery stains on the spot.  I’ve removed the following off of white ultra suede upholstery:  cherry popsicle, pen marks, black magic marker.  For.  Reals.  The trick is to get right to the incident and to use the baby wipe to pull the stain out of the upholstery.  Don’t needle it in more.  It’s more of a repetitive lifting motion.  Better than upholstery cleaners that might discolor your fabric, baby wipes do the trick almost every time.  

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TIP TWO:  OUTDOOR FABRICS IN THE KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM

The banquette above was upholstered entirely in outdoor fabrics which are stain and sun resistant.  I try to use sunbrella or other outdoor fabrics whenever possible for all dining chairs or benches whenever they’re kids or messy adults (big entertainers, red wine drinkers, etc.)

TIP THREE:  VEGAN LEATHER (AKA VINYL)

Do not get it twisted.  Vinyl has come a long way since the old vinyl seats we used to stick to in cars as kids.  In the last year alone, my fabric suppliers have all tripled the amount of vinyl they offer.  I call it Vegan Leather because it sounds fancier.  There are ostrich prints, snakeskins, stingray prints, and so much more.  The table in the breakfast nook above has a vinyl base.  I use vinyl for desk insets, console tables, and barstools often.  Another huge tip is to upholster the seats of your dining chairs in a high end Vegan Leather and the backs in a corresponding fabric.  Do you understand that this means we can all have ivory dining chairs!!!???  Vinyl (ehem…Vegan Leather) is huge now, people. Drink the kool-aid.  It’s delicious.

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The table above is upholstered in an a mahogany alligator vegan leather.  You can get it here:  http://edenla.com/products/croc-nailhead-box-on-stand

TIP 3:  VACUUM YOUR SOFAS

The reason your furniture starts looking shabby is that we don’t remove the daily dust that accrues on it.  The dust gets ground into the fibers from repeated use.  Every time your rugs get vacuumed, your sofa does too.  That’ll keep it looking fresh!

TIP 4:  PLEDGE ON LEATHER

Your favorite wood cleaner works great at conditioning and cleaning leather.  It even says so on the back of the can.  

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TIP 4:  CHOOSE FABRICS WISELY

Polyester has also come along way.  Polyester is a wonderfully stain resistant fabric that can subterfuge as a chenille, a velvet, and even a linen.  The higher the degree of polyester in the fabric, the easier it will be to clean.  That is a hard and fast rule.  Fabric compositions to avoid include:  Rayon (even water will stain 100% rayon), Viscose (stunning…looks like silk…but a bear to clean), and Linen (the grand daddy of bad fabrics for upholstered furniture as it not only stains easily, but it stretches with use).  I’ve come across some beautiful linen dopplegangers made with a cotton poly blend.

TIP 5:  OUTDOOR RUGS FOR INDOOR

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Another advancement as of late, is the major upping of game in the world of rugs.  Outdoor rugs are made with polypropylene that can literally be bleached clean, but the advancements in science have gotten them to have a nice hand (not so course or plasticy).  And, the amount of designs available is no longer limited.  Outdoor rugs are great for dining rooms or play rooms or as entry rugs.  

Check some out here:  http://edenla.com/collections/outdoor-rugs?page=1

Feel free to post comments about other ways you know about how to keep a home looking fabulous while actually living in it.  

Loves Ya,

Jamie Roddy