Leather Myths Debunked

Diego Leather LoveseatWe’ve been watching a lot of Mythbusters recently, so now seems like as good a time as any to bust a few myths we’ve heard regarding leather furniture.

Myth 1: Leather Is Hard to Care For

Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Leather is a very durable material that’s resistant to most stains and the general perils daily wear and tear might bring about.  As far as cleaning is concerned, there are a number of easy ways to keep leather clean that only require basic household items.

Myth 2: Leather Is Fragile

We’ve heard rumors of leather jackets saving people from knife stabs and attacks, so clearly this is some strong stuff.  Kids and animals have no shot against quality leather unless of course they are actively trying to destroy it

Myth 3: Leather Is Expensive

No…just no.  Leather upholstery is very affordable and at Contempo Sofa, we work hard to make sure our products can be enjoyed by shoppers on any budget.

What are a few myths you’ve heard about leather upholstery?  Leave a comment and we’ll see if we can debunk it.

Pictured Above: The Diego Leather Loveseat

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High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

High Blood Pressure Awareness MonthMay is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month.  High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the silent killer and for good reason.  High blood pressure can seriously endanger a person’s health, and it generally builds up gradually over time as a result of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, and oftentimes does not display any symptoms

Now we love sitting on our super comfy Contempo Sofas, but, even so, we have to admit that if you don’t get off the couch every now and then and maintain a healthy weight, you can seriously endanger your health.  High blood pressure is a dangerous condition and can be avoided through regular exercise, a healthy diet with limited salt intake, and avoidance of excessive drinking or smoking.

High blood pressure is a serious health issue.  Educate yourself at www.heart.org.

Photo Credit: Imagerymajestic

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Hosting Visitors on the Couch

Hosting Visitors on the CouchIt can be nice to have visitors for a little while and it’s always fun to host visiting friends and family on the couch for a few days.  Below are a few tips to help everyone feel a little more comfortable during the visit.

Immediately prepare a space for their luggage.  Everyone will feel more at ease if you can keep the luggage tucked out of sight for most of the trip.

Relax and be yourself.  No one is expecting you to have the perfect home so don’t try and pretend for your guest’s sake.  Be courteous and clean, but don’t give yourself the extra burden of trying to turn your home into a 5-star resort.

On that note, let your guests be themselves, too.  When traveling and staying in someone else’s home, you’ll find that most guests will do their best to live according to your standards, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to let them know you respect their habits, too.  Let them have control of the remote, choose a meal and accommodate things like exercise routines or sleep schedules, especially if you’re letting them sleep on the living room sofa.

Keep extra supplies such as towels and toiletries ready in case anyone forgot anything.  Also, make sure they know where to find simple things like extra snacks, soap, water, toilet paper, etc.

Let them help out.  While everyone is happy to save money and stay with friends instead of buying a hotel room, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to stay for free.  Make your guests feel like they’re earning their stay and let them help out with simple chores.  Don’t make demands or put your guests to work, but if they ask if they can help out, by all means let them.

Hopefully, these tips can help make your guest’s stay a little more comfortable and help you relax a bit with your visitors.  Do you have any other advice for comfortably hosting guests?

Photo Credit: Stoonn

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Toxic Chemicals in Sofa Foam Endanger Public Health

Toxic flame retardants in sofas endanger public healthNote: Flame retardant chemicals are not used in any Contempo Sofa products

In 1975, California State legislators passed a bill titled TB 117 which required sofa manufacturers to treat sofa foam with a wide variety of flame retardant chemicals.  The law, it turns out, appears to have done more harm than good.

According to chemist Arlene Blum from the University of California, Berkeley, these chemicals “don’t just stay inside the sofas.  They turn up in household dust and can be detected in human blood and breast milk.”

So the chemicals get into human bodies, but do they have any negative effects?  Apparently yes, according to a report by Amy Standen from KQED.

Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, says some flame retardant chemicals “can affect the reproductive system, nervous system” and more specifically cause “infertility, low-birth weight and abnormal brain development in children.”

The chemicals’ ability to enter and remain in human bodies is evident in California state residents, according to a report by New American Media, who “have some of the highest levels of flame retardants in their bodies.”  Higher levels of flame retardants were found particularly in residents from low-income communities where the presence of second-hand or cheaply made furniture and poor home ventilation put residents at greater risk.

The amount of time these chemicals might remain in human bodies is uncertain, though research conducted by Ami Zota from the University of California, San Francisco found that a chemical banned by the state of California was still present in pregnant women from Salinas Valley, California, which suggests that these chemicals may remain omnipresent for several years even if their use is abolished by new legislation.

“Once we stop the future production [of furniture with flame retardants], then we have the bigger problem: how to get rid of this stuff and dispose of it,” said Andrew McGuire, policy director of the Green Science Policy Institute.  “We’re already experiencing the problems with cleaning up asbestos.  It’s a huge problem, very costly and takes decades.  This is going to be asbestos on steroids.”

Photo Credit: Nuchylee

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Watch Out For Your Favorite Spot on the Sofa

Dramatic Fade

Dramatic Fade

We’ve all got a favorite spot on the sofa.  Usually it’s the one with the best view of the TV, but some people tend to vary their choice.

Anyway, you’ll probably notice that your favorite spot tends to get comfier over time.  The more you sit on it, the softer the leather gets and the more it conforms to your shape.

That’s one of the great things about sofas, but you should also be wary to take extra care of that spot.  Since its being used more than the rest of the sofa, it’s getting a little more wear and therefore might need a little extra buffing.

No worries, though.  Leather sofas are easy to clean and it’s easy to keep your sofa shining with simple household materials.

So enjoy your favorite spot.  Just remember to give it a little extra love and attention.

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Food on the Sofa – Yay or Nay?

That's not very pretty

Well, that's not very pretty

When I was a child, my mother had one big rule in the house…well, actually she had a lot of rules but this one sticks out in particular.

She absolutely refused, no matter what, to allow food in the living room and especially not on our leather sofa.  Sure on holidays or during parties she might concede a little bit.  But on a regular day, no way.

As I grew older, I began to understand this rule somewhat better.  She paid good money for that leather sofa and she was proud of it.  She wanted to keep it clean and lovely for as long as possible.

And food/drink stains can be an issue on some furnishings, but thankfully, leather sofas aren’t too much of a hassle to clean and they won’t stain if the mess is addressed immediately.

But nonetheless, leather sofas are classy and elegant.  The last thing anyone wants is a spilled drink or spaghetti sauce getting on it, even though it is really easy to clean.

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Try on a Three Piece Suite

Try on a Three Piece SuiteNothing looks better on your home than a Three Piece Suite

Three piece suite is an English term referring to a sofa and a set of two matching chairs.  It’s a timeless living room combination that you know will always work because the three pieces were meant to go together.

At Contempo Sofa we offer two leather three piece suites: the Diego and the Adrian.  Both are stylish and comfy, though the leather upholstery finish options do vary slightly.  The Adrian is available in a rich Chestnut or Burgundy finish.  The Diego is available in a Brown finish (close to Chestnut but not exactly) and a delightful crème finish.

Which is the superior of the two, you ask?  Well, we really couldn’t say.  That part is up to you.  The two are evenly matched in terms of price, features and material, so ultimately the final decision will come down to your taste and which suite you think will best complement your lifestyle and decor.

Pictured Above: The Adrian Leather Chair and the Adrian Leather Sofa

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The Importance of Breaks

Taking a break is important for healthy productivityYour boss might not want me telling you this, but it’s actually very important for you to take breaks during the work day.  In the long run, it will increase productivity and leave you feeling much better.

Here’s how it works: many studies have revealed that workers who take breaks ultimately get more done.  Why would that be?

Well, there are a variety of reasons.

When you take a break, your mind gets refreshed and renewed for a bit.  Whether your job involves complex problem-solving or monotonous tasks, giving your brain a moment to focus on something else will ultimately help you recharge your batteries and approach your job with a fresh outlook.

Also, staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time can strain your eyes, making you tired and distracted, which would also make you more likely to lose track of time or make careless mistakes.  Likewise, staying seated all day is bad for your circulation.  Get up and move around a bit to keep your blood flowing and you’ll stay at the top of your game all day.

If you find yourself in need of a break and you work from home, plop yourself down on a Contempo Sofa and relax for a little bit.  Even people working from home need a moment away from it all, too, right?

Photo Credit: Michal Marcol

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Sofa Poetry

Sofa poetryApril is a very special month for poetry.  First of all, it’s officially National Poetry Month.  Second, William Shakespeare, aka the greatest poet in the English language, turns 448 this month.  While no one is entirely certain of Shakespeare’s true birth date, we do know that he was baptized on April 26, 1564 and April 23 is often cited as his date of birth (curiously, it’s also the day he died in 1616).

So to honor William Shakespeare and National Poetry Month let’s have a look at some great poems about a great subject: sofas!

“Ode to a Couch” by CG3H3

I see your leather shining
in the sun, so inviting
and fluffy I must sit in you
the way I sink into your depths
the way you make that squeaking sound,
oh couch I love the way you are.
I love you from your soft armrests
Down to your reclining back.
When I sit in you and lean back
I feel as if I was floating on a cloud
When I lay my head on your arm
I try not to fall asleep.
Couch, when I am sad
you are there for me,
you let me cry
into your arm.
Couch, when I am sick
you are the one who supports me.
Couch, when I am afraid
you are the one I seek shelter in.
Couch, oh couch,
When everyone is gone
you are there
to support me (literally).

“Comfortable Old Chair” by Karla Kushkin

A bird has a nest
A fox has lair
A den is a home
If you’re a bear.
I have a comfortable old chair.

Soft pillowed blue,
a flowered cloud,
The perfect place to read aloud
to myself or silently
letting long words run over me,
letting the stories I have read
make moving pictures in head.
New chairs are nice
but mine is best.
My spot to think in
brood in
to plot in
dream in, many dreams,
to scheme a few outlandish schemes in.
Kings need crowns to be the king
but me
I can be anything
any person
if I just have my book and chair.

“Warm Soft Sofa” by Michael Estabrook

Where has all the energy gone
I had when I was younger,
the curiosity
to experience new things,
to plumb the depths of the ocean,
like a deep-sea diver,
to feel every breeze
cool upon my neck and brow?

Where has the drive gone
to test myself,
find my limits, to cross
into boundaries unknown?

I’m not sure, but I suspect
none of that is here
on this warm soft sofa
where I find myself with my wife
at the end of every tired, long,
and lugubrious day.

Photo Credit: Nuchylee

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Weekly Reminder: Check the Sofa Cushions

sofaIn between my sofa cushions are the following items: 

Some loose change, brass knuckles, the complete works of chopin, a thesauraus rex, some tums, antidisestablishmentarianism, the fuzz, bipolar disorder, m&ms, a sega genesis, a member of mensa, my herb garden, the taco bell chihuahua, alex trebek, and cheerios”

-          Posted on Yahoo Answers

Do you ever lose things in your sofa?  I do all the time.  The big problem though is that oftentimes, I don’t remember to check there until I’ve spent an hour tearing apart every other part of my home looking for them.  But they’re always in the sofa cushions.  99.9999% of the time, it’s in the couch cushions.

Next time you’re looking for something, check the couch cushions first.  Then tear the rest of your home apart.

What have you lost in the sofa?  In no particular order, I’ve lost:

-       Keys

-       Watch

-       Earrings

-       Remote Control(s)

-       Spare Change

-       Not spare change

-       Wallet

-       CDs

-       Necklaces

-       Cell Phone

-       Advil

-       Cereal

-       Popcorn

-       Bottle caps

-       My sanity

Photo Credit: John Kasawa

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