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Tips and Advice

27 Jun 2016

Tips to protect your sofa from grubby fingers and accidental spills

The family sofa is probably one of the most loved pieces of furniture in your home. Its the place where we all sit back, put our feet up and relax after a long days work. Its where the kids might like to nibble on something after school while watching TV. Or it might be where your pet lounges all day.

Chances are that your sofa will have a stain or accidental spill that you’ll want gone…

You don’t need to wrap your sofa in plastic, put the dog outside or keep it off limits from the kids to protect it from stains. Here are a few things you can do to maintain the look of your sofa:


Select the right fabric

For durability and stain resistance, consider fabric with a high man-made fibre content. Synthetic fibres tend to be stronger and don’t hold stains in comparison to natural fibres.

Look for quality commercial grade fabric. Fabric houses such as Warwick, Zepel, Mokum and James Dunlop provide a range of stunning, on trend material that will suit. There are so many textures, patterns and colours available, visit us to explore the possibilities.

What about leather?

Though leather is attractive, you’ll need to be prepared for ongoing maintenance to keep it looking good. A monthly application of a protective creme such as Guardsman’s Leather Care will keep it in top condition.

There is quite a bit to know about leather, but we won’t go into that here. Its enough to know that there are many variations in leather quality, just think of your shoes. Before you buy that leather couch, be sure you understand how the leather will behave with moisture, liquid, oils (such as facial oil), and how it will stretch. Ask your consultant how to care for it.

Get fabric protection and insurance

With a quality fabric or leather protection and warranty you’ll be covered for accidental damage. If your party guest accidentally spills their red wine or your child has an accident on your sofa, you can have peace of mind that you’ll have help to clean it or have it replaced if it can’t.

For fabric protection, we recommend Guardsman Fabric Care, and for leather, Guardsman Leather Care. These products not only provide you with a protective spray / creme and cleaning solutions for ease of cleaning, they come with a free advisory service to help you know how to clean your furniture, as well as a 5 year warranty*, that if you accidentally damage your furniture with a stain that they can’t remove, they will replace it. See here for more details

*Subject to Guardsman Product Warranty terms and conditions

Little habits can help

Given that food and drink are the most common causes of stains, think about banning them around your sofa, especially for little ones. Offer the kids a picnic blanket or a kiddy table to have their snack on instead. Then make sure they clean their hands after eating :)

Shoes off please kiddos. This little habit will help prevent soiling from mud and scuffs, or catching from shoe buckles.

Ask the kids to do their homework at a desk or the kitchen table to avoid ink stains when their pen slips between their books onto your lovely sofa.

For furry family members, pop a blanket on the couch for your dog to lie on and consider a comfy cushion for your cat to knead rather than your sofa. If your cat likes to claw, encourage her to use a scratching pole with a little catnip.

Place newspapers, catalogs and magazines on a coffee table, as some inks can rub on to your sofa.

Always pre-wash denim jeans and other coloured clothes before sitting on your sofa, as some dyes will rub on to your it and be extremely difficult to remove. It will also pay to check with your teenage visitors if you suspect them wearing new jeans!

Be quick to attend to stains, oh and don’t scrub!

Get to spills fast, before they have time to really seep in. Gently scrape or lift away any solids, then blot liquids away.

Invest in an ultra absorbent sponge or chamois to slurp up liquids. Remember to blot rather than rub and scrub.

If you have Guardsman protection, give them a call for the best cleaning advice. Otherwise, Warwick have an excellent guide to the treatment of unique stains see it here:

Maintain your sofa by vacuuming regularly - dust and dirt particles have a way of building up. Dust can be abrasive and can damage the fibres over time. Fluff and rotate your cushions after you’ve vacuumed to maintain an even wear and distribution of filling.

Even if your cushions have a zipper, do not be tempted to machine wash your upholstery! You’ll be left in tears if your cover shrinks or the finish changes from the rest of the furniture piece. Opt in stead for professional cleaning to keep a uniform appearance.

Professional advice on the best covering for your lifestyle will put you in front when it comes to keeping your sofa looking great.


The Urban Rhythm team

15 Jun 2015

Regal Sleep Solutions

There are a wide range of factors which can adversely affect your quality of sleep. Did you know you can choose a mattress which supports the way you sleep?

It is widely known that different types of mattresses are better for certain types of sleep positions, but why?

It is all about quality. Purchasing a mattress or ensemble is a commitment. You buy with the intention of sleeping on your mattress for a long time. It is important to invest in a mattress which optimises health and wellness benefits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a great night's sleep can depend on the comfort you feel in your bedroom environment.

Good sleep is one of the three key building blocks for good health. With a supportive mattress you can expect lumbar support and pressure relief which helps you to feel better in the morning. Research shows the benefits of continual, quality sleep for your health, mood and memory are extensive. Better sleep is shown to help you lead a happier, healthier life.

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School lists approaches which include: maintaining a comfortable sleep environment, and encouraging a healthful balance of nutrition and exercise as key areas to improve the quality of sleep.

Sleeping on your side?

According to the US based Better Sleep Council, the most beneficial sleeping position is on the side, with the legs slightly raised up and towards the chest. This position is ideal because it does not increase pain, and can promote a more comfortable and restful night's sleep.

Our Regal Health Solutions health professionals agree. When we are on our sides, we are matching the spines ideal position. Dr Michael Hayworth, Chiropractic Doctor and Director of Rosanna Chiropractic, "when we are in a supportive mattress it will keep us in that ideal position, removing that stress off our spines."

Sleeping on your back?

If you are sleeping on your back, you will require a mattress with a strong support system to help to keep a good curvature of your spine while in this sleep position.

Sleeping on your stomach?

According to many health professionals, sleeping on the stomach can be bad for health. To help support your neck while sleeping on your stomach, you can sleep with a soft pillow.
Research suggests that we sleep in a combination of these different sleeping positions throughout our lives.

Purchasing a bed that is right for you require evaluation of many different factors. Knowing how you sleep can help you tailor your needs to the mattress you need to sleep on, which will provide you the best support. At Regal Sleep Solutions we help you find the mattress that is right for you.

A lack of sleep

75% of Australians report difficulty falling asleep every night. Sleep Physician, David R Hillman, and Psychology Professor Leon C Lack, authors of Public health implications of sleep loss: the community burden highlight in their article in the Medical Journal of Australia, a disturbing insight: recent evaluation suggests 20-35% of Australians experience frequent sleep difficulties, get inadequate sleep, feel sleepy or irritable.

National Geographic published an article on the necessity of sleep, in which Associate Professor Kurt Lushington, director of the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia, explains "There is good evidence that sleep acts like a glue that holds memories together- that it's important for memory consolidation, and the flip side, forgetting." This is not the only benefit with overall health and mood boosted with quality sleep.

Sleep environment

In an article published by the Medical Journal of Australia, improvement of sleep environment is one aspect of effective cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT-i) for chronic insomnia sufferers. This includes a comfortable, supportive sleep surface amongst other sleep hygiene factors.

Advocates for sleep

Regal Sleep Solutions is thrilled to see a growing movement of high profile advocates of quality sleep around the world. One campaigner is Arianna Huffington, whose wake-up call came after exhaustion and severe sleep deprivation caused her to pass out in a meeting, sustaining an injury to her eye that required stiches. In her book Thrive, she challenges readers to redefine what success looks like, adding another way to measure success: our well-being.

Your well-being

The Sleep Health Foundation highlights some key considerations:

• Warmth is important, both the temperature of the room and having enough blankets
• Having warm hands and feet is essential
• The mattress, pillow and blankets should be comfortable and restful

Quality sleep is often the first step to improved health. Remember: your mattress should offer optimum support and you should be able to rest easy knowing it helps to alleviate pressure points while keeping your spine in a neutral position.

Sweet dreams!

Regal Sleep Solutions

19 Feb 2015

Provincial Home Living Cold Comforts

As much as we love balmy summer nights, when the temperature sky-rockets and humidity sets in, it can make for one very uncomfortable sleepless night.

Follow a few of our tips to beat the heat this summer.

Update your Bedding: Sleeping in crisp natural fibers like cotton or linen will help to regulate your body temperature. Whilst both of these materials are natural fibers, linen in particular is temperature regulating and will not stick to your body as it is great at both absorbing and quickly releasing moisture. Easy to wash these luxurious sheets will get softer each time you wash them, there is also no need for ironing, instead embrace the natural, slightly creased texture.

Create a cross breeze: If you do not have an air-conditioner in the bedroom, get the air moving with multiple fans positioned about the space to create an airflow.

Freshen Up: Enjoy a cool shower before you hop into bed, it will help to bring your body temperature down.

Cool Down: We all know heat rises so if you live in a multi-story house, where possible ensure you sleep on the lowest level for a cooler night’s sleep.

04 Dec 2014

Provincial Advent Calender

Great ideas this Christmas from Provincial Home Living at Home HQ Nunawading.

25 Sep 2014

Urban Rhythm- Choosing upholstery fabric

Choosing Upholstery Fabric for your sofa…

One of the most important decisions you can make when deciding to buy custom upholstery is what fabric to choose. People are often attracted to a particular upholstery fabric because of its colour or pattern, it is important that remember the different characteristics of the fibres that comprise the various fabrics. Obviously, it would be unwise for a mother with three small children and a dog to upholster her family room in silk.
Urban Rhythm’s sales consultants will guide you in the right direction towards finding the right solutions to meet your particular requirements. While all fabrics showcased in their showroom have been approved for use for upholstery, but not all the fabrics are appropriate for your particular needs. Their showrooms feature a huge array of upholstery fabrics, as they are very well supported by some of the most established fabric houses in Australia… Warwick, Zepel, Wortley, Mokum, Charles Parsons, Profile and more.
A few things you might like to know…
Our experience tells us that price point does not always directly reflect durability. Pricing often reflects only the cost to create the fabric, i.e. design, material used and country of origin etc., but often has nothing to do with durability. Generally speaking natural fibres are more costly to produce than synthetics& woven patterns more costly than plain weaves. The dyeing and looming process of a fabric figure greatly in the price of a fabric.
One of the most important qualities of upholstery fabric is its wearability. All the fabrics will have a use-rating, namely domestic, heavy domestic, commercial etc. The Martindale Test is also widely used in Australia and Europe for testing upholstery fabrics. A high “rub test” rating only means that the fabric has undergone an abrasion testing and has endured a certain amount of “double rubs” to warrant its rating. While only part of the story, the abrasion rating can be important when choosing a fabric for furniture that will endure a great deal of movement such as a highly used family room. Another point to consider is fabric weave. Generally speaking, the tighter the weave the more durable the fabric, but remember this is also one piece of the puzzle along with the fibre composition. If you have dogs or cats, a loose weave or floating threads would not be a practical choice regardless of fibre content or use-rating.
If you are looking for fabric for dining chairs, stain resistance will be important. Some heavy duty fabrics may still be susceptible to staining so fibre content may influence the choice. Synthetics fibres tend to be more difficult to dye which also makes them less likely to hold stains. Fabrics with some synthetic content would be preferable.
Most upholstery fabrics have a high synthetic fibre content usually Polyester as it has the properties of great tensile strength and abrasion resistance and is often used combined with natural fibres such as cotton or linen to provide stability and stain resistance while still retaining the appearance & texture of the natural fibre.

For more information on fabrics, visit see article entitled“Fabric – Different Types and Their Uses”.

10 Jul 2014

Benefits of Exercise

10 Jun 2014

Urban Rhythm – Interior Decorating Trends 2014

This year in interior decorating it’s all about blue, and not just in one shade; cornflower blue, powder blue, baby blue, cerulean, and navy. Blue is without a doubt a big trend this year and we are seeing it all over Melbourne, from interior design and decoration to the catwalk. Combining different shades of blue throughout your interior all look to be big in 2014. Navy is popping up everywhere; it is calming yet commands authority and is pleasant on the eye. Turquoise and teal are another two colours that add life and loads of personality to your space. They are lively colours that are hard to miss and there are splashes of it everywhere. Now that it’s on your radar you’ll notice it appearing more and more throughout 2014.  

Floral design in textiles is a rapidly growing trend, not only in interior decorating, but also in the world of fashion. When a particular trend overlaps with another in more than one market, in this case floral, the trend has a tendency to have staying power. This will be a strong trend in 2014 that you will see popping up in advertisements, commercials, shop windows, and interior design.

Light, fresh looking, honey toned woods look to be in this year. Wormy chestnut, Tasmanian Oak, and Mountain Ash are all fantastic options here; both in design, durability and aesthetic appeal.  This honey movement has been growing steadily over the past five years and is continuing to move forward in leaps and bounds. 

29 Oct 2013

Renovating with Deep and Dark Colours

Light and neutral paint colours are considered safe because they tend to blend in with everything.

But all too often, blending goes hand in hand with bland. So if you are craving a bit of excitement, why not create a bold statement?

Use darker colours to create an absolute sensation in your home decoration.

Here are some valuable tips for those ready to take the plunge with paints and papers!Darker colours can highlight the feel and style you are aiming to achieve, such as the Moroccan one designer Hannah Sandling accomplishes.

  • Darker colours create a sense of warmth and intimacy, especially in bedrooms.
  • Avoid using dark colours in extremely small rooms as it will close the room up and create a claustrophobic feel, rather than a cosy one.
  • If your room IS small, use the chosen dark colour on ONE wall, then take a much lighter shade of the same colour, to paint the rest of your walls.
  • Always consider the amount of natural sunlight entering the room – the more light, the darker you can go and vice versa.
  • Dark paint makes any wall defect more noticeable, so make sure you clean and sand walls well before applying.

For more great decorating tips catch 60 Minute Makeovers on LifeStyle HOME.

15 Oct 2013

Renovating Living Spaces

It’s where you entertain, relax and spend time the most time with your loved ones – so it makes sense to give your living areas some extra special attention when renovating!

Atmosphere, function and clever use of space is crucial when renovating a living space – here are some tips on how to get it right and add valuable resale value to your home…

Use glazed doors to let in more light

An option is to have glazed doors between zones so rooms are not closed in and light restricted. This is a good idea for doors leading from a passage to a family room. Or if you have a period home, they could have a striking leadlight design. This looks attractive it they’re lined up with the front door. Clear glass can give a leafy view of the back garden from the front door, yet still serves to stop that wind-tunnel effect if the front and back doors are aligned.

How to dress up a humble hallway

Emphasise the floor if the ceiling is low and draws the eye to a high ceiling with a knockout light fitting, which should always match the period of the house. Break up a long hall, which is often typical of period homes, with curtains, fancy mouldings or fretwork, a chair, hallstand or mirror. Don’t put the mirror opposite the front door though, or the first thing guests will see will be a reflection of themselves. A large hall can take sideboards, cabinets, a table and a lamp and delicate pieces of furniture that won’t stand up to everyday use in the rest of the house.

Use a focal point to engage the eye

Whatever look you choose, it helps if the room has a focal point or something to draw the eye. A fireplace is ideal. Or you can build around a special painting, a table topped by a fancy mirror, a much-loved sideboard or even a view of the garden. Move furniture from room to room if you can’t find something you like. Many of us don’t realise we have collections of china, glass or even photographs that can make a stunning display until we bring them together.

Surround sound for a superior result

You’ll need a top-quality surround-sound system for your home theatre. Again, issues of layout come into play and there’s a lot to consider: your couch should sit in the middle of the two rear speakers; speakers should always be placed in front of a flat wall; you need carpeting or a non-slip rug under the subwoofer to reduce vibrations. All around, it’s best to consult the professionals so you get it right.

Sound systems, DVD players, etc. come in sleek, space-maximising configurations and a variety of finishes, so integrating your new equipment into your decorating theme shouldn’t be all that hard.

Mismatch furniture to create interest

Don’t feel that a co-ordinated modular lounge or three-piece suite is the only way to successful decorating. Furniture doesn’t have to match. In fact, the look of a room can be lightened with a small carver or tub chair in place of a bulky armchair. If you hate the cover, disguise it with a throw rug or a ready-made loose cover. And if you plan to re-cover but can’t decide on a fabric, see if you can borrow a length and drape it over the furniture in the room. That way you can see it against your walls, floor and the rest of the furniture, and in different lights.

Get the picture and try being creative

Whether the room is for formal or informal living, when it comes to hanging paintings (or prints and framed photos) don’t put them up around the ceiling. The experts say the centre of a painting should be at eye level.

They don’t have to be lined up in rows, either. Hang them in groups or mount them over a table or sideboard. You can cover a wall with them if you like; just stick to a common theme. Another option is to span a wall with narrow shelves ‘styled’ with framed photos or prints. For a more casual effect, overlap the frames.

And here are a few design tips.

A vertical display will make a room seem a little taller; a horizontal display will make a room appear a tad wider. Irregular-sized pictures displayed within an imaginary shape (square or rectangular) will create the same effect as a single artwork of that same shape.