So, that mid-17th century Persian rug is finally on the floor of your high-rise condo, and it really ties the room together. It especially fits your floor vase in the corner and perfectly complements the antique buffet table too. It makes you relax… but then you worry when you realize you have guests coming over in an hour.
You’re worried because you once had a dinner guest who spilled red wine on your white sofa. You then remember the time your kids made a castle out of your silk throw pillows. Then you quickly rewind to the morning you spilled coffee on the living room carpet (which is now replaced with the aforementioned mid-17th century Persian rug). You begin to panic.
Calm down. These things happen. The trick, of course, is taking care of your home, valuables included. When you’ve got a number of precious or delicate items in your house or apartment, it pays to have a watchful eye, thoughtful mind, and the following tips to help you:
Keep the care label
Yes the care label tag often sticks out like a weird white tongue. It’s easy to just cut it but think twice; it has detailed instructions on how to care for the special material of your item, from shampooing to general maintenance. The care label also serves as your warranty, so keep it attached or if you really can’t stand the sight of it, pin it out of sight or remove it and place it in a clear and labeled pouch bag.
Flip and Change
Quality upholstery and textile can withstand rough treatment, but no fabric is exempt from the unforgiving rays of the sun. If any of your cushions or pillows on upholstered furniture is under direct or even filtered sunlight, make it a point to flip them to expose the unused sides. Flipping cushions is also a good way to fluff up their stuffing, and let either side wear out as evenly as possible. For drapes, change them at least once a month to allow the fabric to age and fade uniformly.
Punch. Fluff. Repeat
Pillows are modern comforts we CANNOT do without. We doze, hug, rest our feet on them, and sometimes use them for laptop tables in bed. To maintain their shape make sure to punch, prod, and fluff them regularly. For cushions and pillows that are filled with natural or synthetic fiber, fluffing helps get rid of dust, reshapes the stuffing, and adds volume. If your pillows are filled with natural down such as chicken or goose feather, throwing them in the dryer for a quick spin — remember to follow the care instructions on the label — will also do the trick.
Let ‘em breathe
Oxidation is when deposits naturally form on an object’s surface due to lack of oxygen. It affects stored linens such as beddings, curtains, tablecloths, and towels. Yellow oxidation stains appear on fabrics kept in acidic environments like cardboard boxes, storage spaces coated with acidic paint, or when the material is not exposed to enough fresh air. To prevent fabric suffocation, make sure each item has been laundered well (preferably without the use of chlorinated bleach) prior to storage. Fine fabric like silk damask curtains or table linens should be stored in acid-free archival boxes, or wrapped in acid-free tissue paper. Make sure to unearth these items once a year to air them out and get rid of any musty smell.
Suck It Up
Carpets make for beautiful accent pieces. They are also mighty dust collectors. Woven area rugs like silk, polyester, and wool can be breeding grounds for dust mites, ticks, and fleas. Vacuuming your carpet on a monthly basis helps get rid of pests and their eggs and also protects the fibers from dirt and residue build-up. Silk carpets need extra TLC. Vacuum once every two months or hit them with a carpet beater under sunlight once a month. Never sweep a rough broom (like a walis tingting) to clean it. The hard bristles will instantly ruin the material. When possible, place expensive carpets where there’s less foot traffic so you don’t have to worry too much about excessive wear, spills, and stains.
Stain, stain, go away
Speaking of stains, you’re gonna battle them. So here are the basic rules for treating a stain on any fabric: Treat immediately and properly. Blot—don’t rub— as much liquid with a clean cloth, and if there’s residue, carefully remove solid pieces (if possible) so they won’t sink in the fabric further. Usually a DIY solution like a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda helps remove stains, but always do a patch test first. It’s also a good idea to invest in an annual deep-cleaning professional service, and buy some fabric protectant sprays to prevent stains from settling in your precious furnishings.
Designer chairs, pillows, and rugs make home interiors infinitely interesting. We shouldn’t be afraid to use them. It’s normal for soft furnishings, even the most expensive ones, to undergo wear and tear. But with the right upkeep, they can last for generations to come. And if you live in a branded luxury condo like The Milano Residences interior design by Versace Home, you’d want to enjoy your upscale and stylish home for a century or more.