Your home furnishings – sofas, chairs, mattresses, duvets, pillows, bedding, carpets and towels – all have a lifespan, but do you know just how often you should be expecting to replace them? Had you considered that buying value ranges might save money in the short term but could cost you more in the long term due to poorer durability? And did you know that a solid regime of cleaning and maintenance makes a real difference to how long your sofa, for example, might last?
Terrys Fabrics has created handy guides to help you keep track, covering everything from sofas to bathroom essentials. They look at things you might find in the living room, bedroom and bathroom, and also include tips on how to care for your furniture, textiles and bedlinens so they stay looking their best and last longer.
When it comes to pillows (see below), an ordinary one might last a couple of years whereas a more expensive down-filled pillow could still be in use after five. However, you need to make sure they are still giving you good support, and are maintained with frequent fluffing, by tackling stains when they happen, and slipping on fresh pillow cases regularly.
Next, we look at the lifespans of armchairs and sofas, with tips on how to increase their longevity:
Next, carpets – and this is where the differences between high-quality carpets and cheaper buys are stark: top range carpets should be good for 25 years, so long as you vacuum regularly, clean spills when they happen, avoid wearing shoes on them, and occasionally move the furniture around to avoid permanent indentations and wear and tear. Value carpets, however will only give you five years' of life – a good buy if you will be moving house within that time frame; a false economy in a forever home.
Moving on to the bathroom: a shower curtain, for example, has a fairly short life span of around 12 months, but you can make it last longer by ensuring the bathroom is well ventilated to allow it to dry out, and machine wash it at least once a month to prevent mildew from building up.
Curtains? Believe it or not, lined curtains will have a longer life than unlined or sheer curtains. Good maintenance will ensure better longevity.
Lastly, on to those accessories that make our houses homes: table cloths, cushions and area rugs. It's all about the cleaning, people.
Before you buy...
If you want your furnishings to last and you know that cleaning and maintenance aren't your thing, check the furniture and fabrics for the following:
- Is the material durable?
- Is it resistant to stains?
- Are there any protective coatings available to increase the product’s lifespan?
- Has the fabric been pre-shrunk?
- Is the product resistant to sun fading?
- Are there easy-to-follow care instructions included?