4 Important Things To Know Before You Shop For Drapes

Are your windows starting to look drab and boring or out of date? Are you considering getting new window treatments? Before you head to the drapery store to make your purchases, here are some things you might want to know:

You may not have to go into the store: If your life is hectic and you aren’t sure when you can make time to get to the drapery store, call and find out if you can get an in-home consultation. These are often free; however, some stores will charge a small fee for the appointment. If available, a representative will come to your home with a book full of samples. This will allow you to see the available fabrics in the lighting where they will be used, and not just the sometimes-harsh lighting that might be in the store. This can result in you being happier overall with your purchase.

Styles can change quickly: Window treatment styles can change nearly as often and as quickly as clothing styles. It can be disappointing to bring new drapes home, only to find out that you’ve installed the window equivalent of a leisure suit. Talk to drapery store employees about current and upcoming trends, so that you can avoid purchasing something that will be out of date as soon as it’s installed. 

Employees can help you with design ideas: Most drapery store employees are happy to help you with redecorating ideas. If you’re on the fence about whether you’ll be keeping a piece of furniture or tossing it and getting something new, they’ll be able to help you make up your mind. Whether you end up getting a new piece, tossing the old one or getting it reupholstered or refinished, you can be secure in the knowledge that everything is stylish and up to date. 

Match your furniture: Pick one piece of furniture that you want to stand out. This can be your sofa or it could be a favorite table lamp. If you’re going to the drapery store, bring a picture or a fabric swatch to help you match both styles and colors. The employees at the store will be happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. By matching a particular piece of furniture, you’ll not only help the piece stand out, you’ll also have drapes that will best fit in with the overall theme and feeling of your room.

Talk to a company like Frieda Ross Draperies, Blinds and Fabrics for help finding the perfect accessories for your windows.

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Sealing Your Granite Countertops: Necessary Maintenance Or Just Busy Work?

You’ve purchased a beautiful new home and it has the kitchen of your dreams. Beautiful floors, high-end appliances and gorgeous granite countertops. You can’t wait to get in there and start whipping up your favorite meals for your family. But you’ve heard that granite countertops need maintenance every so often and you wonder if, before you get your kitchen all set up, you should seal it. However, if granite ownership is new to you, there are some things you should know before you decide that you’re going to seal it.

Not all granite needs to be sealed

It’s actually a myth that all granite needs to be sealed. The truth is that all granite is porous, but some granite is more dense than others. In general, the darker the color of the stone, the more dense it is. This means that countertops with darker granite are less susceptible to staining than lighter granite countertops. But the dark color of your countertops isn’t necessarily a foolproof way to determine whether or not they need to be sealed. For that you’ll need to take another step.

Do the water test

A little water won’t hurt your granite, whether it needs to be sealed or not. Drop a little on your countertops. The water should bead up right away. After about 15 minutes, come back to your countertop and take another look. If the water is still sitting on the counter, the granite doesn’t need to be sealed. The stone did not absorb the water. However, if the water has disappeared and left dark spots on your granite, then you should seal it. Don’t worry about those dark test spots, though. They will disappear once the water dries completely. 

Buy a good sealant

If you have determined that you need to seal your new granite countertops, be sure to compare the different options. Just like any other product, there is a range of sealants on the market, from inexpensive to expensive. Read the labels carefully. An inexpensive sealant may seem like a great buy, but you’ll notice that you may have to seal your countertops annually if you purchase it. A more expensive sealant may only need to be applied once per decade, making it a better buy in the long run. If you simply can’t determine which option is best, call a local granite company like All Marble Granite & Tile Imports Inc. They may have a product they recommend or they may be able to recommend someone who can come out and seal it for you.

Seal it correctly

If you are going the DIY route, you will have to prep your granite before you can get to work. Before you can start you need to:

  • clear the countertops completely
  • clean the granite with a cleaner that is low-abrasive
  • allow the granite to dry completely, probably for about 24 hours to be sure they are thoroughly dry

Once your granite is clean and dry, it will have a dull look to it. That’s okay. Dampen a cloth with sealant and begin to work it into the granite in a tight, circular motion, starting in the corners and working your way out. Depending on the sealant you may or may not need a second coat. When you are completely finished sealing your granite, the rich, gorgeous shine should be back. 

Don’t listen to the myth that all granite must be sealed. Check your granite to see if you need to seal it before you can enjoy your new kitchen or if your counters are ready for use.

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