How to Arrange Your Bedroom Furniture

When deciding how you want to arrange your bedroom the first thing you should consider is what you want to use the space for.

If you have a large bedroom you have more space to utilize and if you have a smaller bedroom you have to be smarter about the space you are using. The largest focal point for the bedroom should be your bed and your headboard. It is the largest piece of furniture you typically have in your bedroom so why not show it off?

The bed is typically placed across from the door of your bedroom so when you open the door it is the first thing you see. There are a few more things to consider before placing your bed there. First, is it blocking a window? Not only is the window going to be used for air but it also allows light to come into the bedroom. If you block the window you won’t have the light and it will make it more difficult to open when needed.

Also be sure to not obstruct the door or a walkway within the bedroom. If you cut off access to your closet or dresser with the bed, then your bedroom is not going to operate as you wish.

A few more things to think about when planning your bedroom arrangements are where your other furniture pieces are going to go. First: your dressers. If you have a large enough closet, consider placing your dresser inside the closet to free up floor space. Also you will need a place for your bed side table. If you have glasses or other loose items you probably want to place them next to you when you sleep. A bedside table would make this easier. But, make sure you are buying a table that isn’t too large for the space.


New Uses for Barrels in Your Home Decor

Your home decor is a part of you and speaks about, not only your style, but also says a bit about who you are. All of us want to be inspired when decorating our homes, and do something unique to us. Using unusual pieces, things that can be transformed from their original intention, may just be your defining moment.


A barrel is one such item. Its versatility may come as a complete surprise. Wine barrels can become so much more than what they seem to be. They can be dressed up or down, go with the rustic or the elegant, and used in a wide variety of ways.


The regular sized wine barrel can be a side table in your living room – the perfect place for a lamp, a cup of tea, and your favorite book. Two of them can be used as night stands in your bedroom, or serve as a sideboard in your dining room. Take three and place them under a long board of wood and they become a buffet table.


You can take a wine barrel, cut it in half and stain it to match your other living room furniture, and it becomes a beautiful and unusual coffee table. Use the other half as a chiller for cold drinks. Fill it with ice and put your favorite beverages in it, ready for a barbecue.


There are also gigantic barrels, and people have, quite ingeniously, made them into a cozy sleeping area, complete with ladder and mattress.


Carriage House Furnishings has a beautifully stained and stamped Jack Daniels barrel for sale for $352.50. It can become a pedestal for a flower arrangement or, if you are having a rustic wedding, it can be a table for the wedding cake.


Used inside or outside, the barrel can have a multitude of functions, depending on how wild your imagination can get. So be creative and think outside the box. As a table, as a buffet support, a nightstand or just as decoration, barrels are unique and whimsical. They are gorgeous just standing alone or used for something more practical. And using a barrel in your home’s decor might just say something special about you.

Tips For Staining Your Wood Furniture

Wood furniture is treasured; and often passed down to younger generations, because it is so versatile and durable. Many people prize their wood furniture above any other pieces in their home, and will purchase unstained wood, simply for its traditional look, and its ability to stand the test of time.


DIY projects, such as staining your own wood furniture, can often save a good deal of money. However, it is good to follow instructions and jot down a few notes and suggestions. If wood furniture is not stained properly, it will only need to be redone in time; which then makes the process more expensive.


Tips For Staining Your Wood Furniture:


Test your stain on a piece of scrap wood that is the same type of wood as your furniture. This is the only way to see the true color of the stain before beginning your project.


Apply a coat of wood conditioner before staining. This helps to protect your furniture, and to keep the stain from soaking into the grains of the wood.


When using an oil-based stain, make sure to stir well before using. There are dyes and pigments combined with mineral spirits, that sink to the bottom of the can.


If you choose to use a brush to apply your stain, make sure you brush against the grain, as well as,  with the grain. You can also use a rag to apply your stain. Don’t worry about being neat and precise; your main concern should be to get a good even coat of stain on your furniture. Allow it to set for a few minutes before wiping.


Remove any excess stain by wiping with the grain, only. By wiping in the direction of the wood grain, the stain is sure to get into the wood, instead of laying on top.


If you want to avoid the fumes that come with using an oil-based stain; choose a water-based solution for your woodwork.


Since a stain is only good for adding color to the wood; you will need to apply a finishing coat for shine and protection.


You are able to mix different color stains to create your own unique blend; just make sure they are both made by the same manufacturer.


You can store leftover stain in a dark, cool area. It will usually last a long time and remain of good quality. If your leftover stain has a skin of residue on top when you go to use it; it is best to throw it away.  To avoid this type of spoiling, try to reseal your cans as tightly as possible.


Winter Storage Tips for Outdoor Furniture

Summer has come to a close and it is time to start packing away all those summer items. This includes our summer outdoor furniture.
It is important to take the time to properly store and care for these items at the end of the season. They will be packed away and not thought of for a few months, you will not want to go out and check on them in the dead of winter. Even if you don’t have snow it will be colder than you want to deal with.
Packing and storing the furniture properly now also means you will have your outdoor living space up and running in no time when spring blooms.


  1. Clean the furniture- This is the first step to making sure you have an easy transition in the spring time. All wooden furniture items can be washed with murphy oil and water and set out to dry. Mesh, wicker, and iron items can be washed with soap and water and let to dry. The drying process is important as you do not want the items to grow mold or mildew.

  3. Clean cushions- Yes those pesky cushions (if you have any on them) also need a good cleaning and drying time. For these use Lysol cleaner and water, if heavy stains use bleach. But make sure to do an inconspicuous test area first.

  5. Treat Teak Furniture- Use specialty oil to keep your teak furniture looking like new.

  7. Tuck it in- Use furniture covers to keep them protected. Even if they are going inside, it important to cover them to protect them from the dust that may collect over the winter months.

  9. Store them- If you have indoor storage then use it to store the items you think will need the most protection, make sure to play Tetris and use all the possible space. If there isn’t storage available inside or you run out of space make sure those items are covered. Then throughout the winter periodically brush snow and leaves off the covers. This will ensure the snow doesn’t melt through the covers.



How to Keep Your Jewelry Uncluttered

We all have “stuff,” and for many of us, our stuff speaks to who we are. With jewelry, something that is usually very personal as we buy it for ourselves or are given it as a treasured gift, the reveal about who we are is a bit more intimate. So we take good care of it and wear it with pride and joy.
But even jewelry can become a big clutter, disorganized and messy, so you want to try to keep it in some kind of order so it is easier to find what you want to wear. Here are a few tips to help you de-clutter your collection of jewelry. It may take a bit of time, but the end result is well worth the work.
Go through all your jewelry and separate things into categories: rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches and pins, etc.
Now separate your jewelry into two types: jewelry you wear every day or frequently, and pieces that you only wear on special occasions. You might also want to separate things into precious jewelry and costume jewelry, and keep the precious jewelry less accessible.
If you have a jewelry case or cabinet you can place things appropriately according to the frequency with which you wear it, and the category of piece it is. If you keep your jewelry in a dresser drawer, get yourself some drawer separators that divide your drawer space into compartments.
You can also make some of your jewelry into room accents by displaying pieces on your dresser or vanity top, and you can hang necklaces on your wall. It not only enables you to know where to find what you want and gives you ease of access, but is also a very attractive way to organize your jewelry.
Once you have taken the time to organize your jewelry, you can congratulate yourself. Now you will know where everything is and be able to get to it easily. It may take a good part of your day to do it, but you won’t regret having given the time to this.
If all else fails, you can use some of our jewelry chests with drawers and cabinets in order to keep everything organized. Check them out!


How to Organize and Stylize Your Bookshelf

Bookshelves can become a cluttered mess if you aren’t careful of the things you place on them or where you place them. If you want the stylized look you see in the magazines follow our tips and we will have your home in the magazines soon too.
1. Less is More- Don’t place too many things on the shelf it will become cluttered.
2. Color Scheme- You cannot make sure all books are the same color, it simply doesn’t work like that. You can however color coordinate the accessories you use on the shelves. If you are using storage boxes and vases try to keep within the same color family.
3. Decorate the inside wall- use a printed pattern or wallpaper inside the shelf to bring more drama to the look of the wall.
4. Bold Colors- use a bold color to paint the shelf to stand out in the room.
5. Symmetry- if you two or more shelves next to each other try to make them look symmetrical.
6. Storage Bins- If you feel there is no way to organize the things on the shelf you can place all the items into a decorative storage bin and place that to fill the entire shelf space.
7. Loose Papers and Magazines- These items can be hard to store because they flimsy. Use a desk organizer typically used for binders in a office to store those items upright.
8. Layers- If you have deep shelves use these to create layers. Place taller items in the back and shorter items in the front.

Give Your Hutch a Makeover!

Hutches can be used to display your valuables and even as a place to safely store breakable items. However after some time, it may need a bit of a facelift. Here are some tips for giving your hutch some TLC.

    • First, remove all of the items in the hutch and wash down the walls and the shelves. Clean any glass in the display so that you can see into the hutch.
    • Look through the items that you took out of the hutch. Are there items that really belong somewhere else in the home? Make sure to put them back where they belong so as to use the space as effectively as possible.
    • If you have any decorative items in there, make sure you take a moment to consider where to put them, prominently displaying your favorite pieces. Using either a plate rail or a stand will help to display plates and mug trees can be used for decorative cups.
    • For the more fragile items, make sure to store them carefully. If you are stacking dishes, put either a coffee filter or a paper plate between each plate. To fit more stemware into your hutch, alternate upside down goblets with ones that are right side up. This will fit them in close together and closer to the shelf and helps to avoid scratches.
    • Any silver items should be polished before putting them back inside the hutch. There are bags and boxes that are lined with soft materials, so make sure to use those as they are made specifically for silver storage.
  • Make sure to wash any linen you may have stored, including any that haven’t been used in a while. Fold them neatly and store them either in drawers or in a box. Do not use the iron or any starch on them until they are ready for use. Starch can attract moths and if left for too long, can cause yellowing.

Following these steps will ensure that your hutch will look practically brand new. If you have any questions about hutches, please contact Carriage House Furnishings today.

What is a Pie Safe?

You may have heard of a pie safe, but they are not used quite as much by Englishers as they used to be since technology has advanced. A pie safe is an old piece of furniture that would be used to store pies to keep them safe from bugs, vermin, and maybe even the children. These were all handcrafted and they were all unique.
Pie Safes were designed to have a drawer or drawers on top then below cabinet doors. The doors typically would have punched tin panels. The holes punched into these panels would allow ventilation for all the baked goods inside the cabinet.
Pie safes also were used to store canned goods. These cabinets were used before the ice box was invented so they could be used to store all the goods that many now keep in the refrigerator.
Englishers may no longer be storing pies in pie safes but they can have many uses and are still a functional piece of furniture. Many people use them for storage in a dining space because they have a nice solid top that can be used to display many valuables in the dining room.
They also have the drawer and shelf space to provide storage for the extra linens and dining room service pieces. They can also provide the extra amount of charm you may be searching for to make your house feel like a home. Pie Safes can be used to store pies in but they may serve a greater purpose as conversation piece.
If you want to hide the pie from the kids, you’re more than welcome to use it for its original purpose.


Giving Your Home a Rustic Look

rustic decor


The rustic look is becoming more and more the preferred look for homes both old and new. Natural fibers and materials that complement each other but don’t necessarily match, as well as lots of stone and wood, are the accents being used, and old and hand-me-downs are treasured pieces. There are a few things you can do to achieve this look, and you will find putting your home together in the rustic style both fun and cost effective.


Mix and Match
Using styles of furniture that complement each other, choosing different colors, prints, and textures of fabrics gives a home a cozy and warm feel. There is not as much focus on matching in the rustic style. This makes shopping and decorating both interesting and enjoyable.
Used and Second Hand
Using hand-me-downs, family heirlooms, and second hand furniture is a great way to decorate in the rustic style. Woods, rattans, and other natural materials are the way to go. Thrift shops are wonderful places to shop and to get ideas.
Earth Tones
With the use of natural materials you will also want to go with colors that speak of nature. Reds, gold, oranges, and greens compliment and old wood table, or other wood pieces. Decorating with accents in these hues on the mantle of a stone fireplace gives warmth to a room. Don’t be afraid of using pastels or jewel tones on painted and distressed furniture or cabinets for interest. The point is to complement, not to match.
Stainless steel may be trendy, but it doesn’t lend to that rustic feel. Older appliances are more casual and cozy, and tell a story of prior use, and perhaps even family. Of course you want pieces that work well, but stay away from anything that is sleek or formal.
The rustic look in a home is both welcoming and highly wearable. Guests will instantly feel at home, relaxed, and comfortable. You won’t be likely to worry as much about dirtying the sofa, or scratching a side table. With rustic, the more worn out it is the better.


Cleaning and Caring for your Amish Furniture

Amish furniture is particularly special in that it is made with superior craftsmanship, in the old style. So cleaning and caring for it should be your top priority once you bring it home. With the right care, it will last for eons, and can become treasured heirlooms that can be passed down from one generation to the next.


When you first get your furniture home, keep in mind that it is still curing, meaning you will want to let it be for a while. It has an adjustment period, and is affected by new environments. You will want to keep the humidity in your house in a range of 35%-45%. That way, the furniture will not crack or warp.


Keep sharp objects and harsh solvents away from the furniture. Sharp objects will scratch the surfaces, and harsh solvents can affect finishes. Also keep furniture away from places where abrupt temperature changes occur. Do not put it near furnace vents, radiators or heaters, fireplaces, and keep it out of direct sun. This will prevent the furniture from cracking.

To clean your Amish furniture you can use a solution of water and some mild soap. If you insist on using polish, stay away from polishes that contain wax and silicon, as this will cause a build-up which can make future refinishing difficult.


For upholstered pieces, spot clean the upholstery with a mild solvent or upholstery shampoo. If using a dry cleaning product, make sure it does not contain anything toxic, including carbon tetrachloride, and clean in a room that is well ventilated. You may also spot clean using the foam from mild detergent. Whatever you use read the instructions carefully and take care to protect yourself.


Your Amish furniture deserves your care and attention if you want it to stay beautiful for a long time. You don’t have to put in a lot of time, but regular cleaning and maintenance is a good idea. For table tops, use tablecloths or table pads to keep the finish in good shape. And if you must put a glass top on the table, be sure there is good air flow between the top of the table and the glass.


Amish furniture remains one of the most sought after styles of furniture, especially because of the care with which it is crafted. Using these simple tips, you can keep it in good shape for years to come.


The History of Amish Furniture

amish furniture

Amish furniture is created primarily by the Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Made of 100% wood, without the use of any synthetic “wood” product; the style of Amish furniture is normally traditional in design.


Coming into its own, in the 1920’s; Amish furniture was discovered during the same time period as American folk art. Quickly becoming known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship; Amish furniture pieces became highly valued by collectors and auction houses. There are many unique styles of Amish furniture design; the Jonestown School and the Soap Hollow School are two of the most popular and well-known styles in history.


Both the Jonestown School and the Soap Hollow School originated in Pennsylvania; Jonestown was started in a town called Lebanon, and the Soap Hollow, from a town of the same name. Widely known for painted blanket chests with colorful floral designs, the Jonestown School style of Amish furniture is on display at the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.


The Soap Hollow style is also very distinctive. The pieces are often vividly painted in red, gold, and black. The style of Amish furniture many of us are familiar with today, can be credited to a man named Henry Lapp. Lapp was a furniture maker who lived in Lancaster County, Pa. It is Lapp’s designs that we think of when we think of Amish furniture within the last few decades. Prior to Henry Lapp, the germanic-style of Amish furniture making was most popular, with painted, floral designs. Lapp’s style abandoned that form of artistry for a more traditional and neutral style of wood furniture.


The very first order book Henry Lapp created for his furniture customers was done in watercolors and is now located in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1986, Sothebys sold a piece of American folk art styled furniture for over $200, 000. It was a clock made by Johannes Spitler in the early 1800’s. So you can see the value of a finely crafted handmade wood furniture item over time. Most will not sell at such extravagant prices but they will hold their value throughout generations of family history.


Two of the most well-known styles of Amish furniture today are called the Mission and Shaker styles. These two styles of Amish furniture share some similarities but have their own unique characteristics as well. The Mission style is known for its exposed joinery and straight lines. The Mission style of furniture is clean and modern. The Shaker style is known for its simple elegance and durability. For those who love more ornate designs, the Queen-Anne style is just what they’re seeking. Taking a total departure from both the Mission and the Shaker styles; the Queen-Anne is also very popular with a certain number of customers who desire a more lavish design.


Making Amish furniture is a skill that is passed down through generations; children often begin to learn the craft by helping out at home and in the furniture shops. Though there are categorized styles of Amish furniture; no piece of Amish furniture is identical to another. All are handcrafted with pride, which makes each piece unique.

All About The Amish Buggy

Amish Buggy

The horse-drawn buggy is one of the most iconic symbols of the Amish. They come in many styles and colors, which would reflect the different preferences of that particular community. However even though many think the popular choice was the black buggy, this actually isn’t true.


The Amish have different buggies that are very similar to different types of cars and trucks that the Englishers drive. The market wagon is very similar to a station wagon, which has a rear panel that shifts.


The spring wagon, also known as the cab wagon, is the equivalent of a pickup truck.


The buggies that have gray tops belong to the Amish, and the Old Order Mennonites had buggies that were all black. Other differences within the buggies can be found based on the level of conservatism of the different church district leaders. These differences include things such as windows, windows wipers, batter powered head, tail, and directional lights, and the choice between rubber and steel rim wheels.


There is one facet of modern civilization that has been thrust upon the Amish buggy. After many accidents at night due to the darkness and fast moving cars, the Amish have begun to add reflective tape to the back of the buggies. The less conservative groups will have battery powered lights put on them along with slow-moving vehicle triangles.


Some have not conceded to this implementation because it is too “loud” or fancy.” There was even a case that was taken to the Supreme Court in Harmony, Minnesota over a divided community. They ruled in the favor of those who had resisted their use.