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Sisler Johnston Interior Design Offers Furniture Care Advice

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Jacksonville, Florida — Although it may look like it contains many defects, distressed furniture is not damaged. It's a furniture style commanding a lot of attention in home décor today.

"I once had a client telephone to tell me that the painted pine furniture I had just installed in a new model showhome was defective since the ivory finish was cracking and had worn through the corners revealing the original pine colors," said Judith Sisler Johnston, president of Sisler Johnston Interior Design and ASID Allied Member. "I assured him that the finish represented design details that were intentional and actually more expensive to achieve. The model showhome design was very successful, and we later joked about the 'defective' furniture I had provided."

According to Sisler Johnston, most name brand furniture companies today manufacture their products using fine wood solids and veneers and utilize finishing techniques to evoke a sense of hand craftsmanship. It is common for furniture to have authentic, physical distressing, including wormholes, rasping and softened edges, as well as markings that occur naturally over time in aged woods. Today, these same effects can be achieved using hand or machine techniques such as dry brushing, burnishing, or light spattering. These design details can create a finish that makes the furniture resemble a family heirloom.



Fine furniture is an important investment, and proper care will ensure that it looks good for many years. This is especially true for furnishings with sophisticated finishing details. Stanley Furniture Company (www.stanleyfurniture.com), a leading manufacturer of home furnishings, offers some helpful hints to protect finishes.

Furniture damage is most often caused by sunlight, heat, or physical abuse. For that reason, Stanley recommends that customers do not place furniture in direct sunlight, directly under windows, or in the direct path of heating or air-conditioning vents.

Avoid using plastic materials (including placemats, phone bases, lamp bases, and vinyl notebooks) directly on furniture since certain plastics contain ingredients that may react with the finish and cause damage. Using a felt cushion under these items will help prevent markings. Also rotate accessories occasionally so they do not remain in the same location for extended periods of time.

Do not allow leather to have direct contact with wood furniture since the chemicals used to process leather may react with the wood finishing products. Always lift objects from the top when cleaning or moving them. Never slide or drag them across the surface.

Use a protective pad when using furniture as a writing surface. Ball point pens can leave lasting imprints on delicate surfaces.

Wipe up spills immediately. Moisture left on a wood surface will cause white spots on the finish. Alcohol, perfume, and medicines can also damage the finish.

Dust frequently with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth. To remove any accumulated dust or wax build-up, use a soft, lint-free cloth dampened with a solution of mild detergent and warm water, and clean by rubbing in the direction of the wood grain. Dry thoroughly using a clean, lint-free cloth and then apply a high quality furniture polish. Stanley Furniture also recommends polishing wood furniture every six months by rubbing the polish in the direction of the wood grain.

Sisler Johnston says following these recommendations will help protect furniture finishes so that they can be enjoyed for years to come as they age gracefully. In some cases, she suggests using additional means to protect furniture surfaces.

"Because community amenity centers and hotel guest rooms are the most successful when they evoke an inviting residential appeal, I am able to marry the commercial space's functional demands with the warm elements of a fine home by using appropriate residential furniture pieces and protecting their surfaces by applying ¼-inch thick glass tops, which protect the surface while allowing guests to see the lovely design elements in these furnishings."

Sisler Johnston Interior Design of Jacksonville creates award-winning interior designs with timeless elegance and classic style. The company offers comprehensive services for residential and commercial clients. Sisler Johnston Interior Design specializes in luxurious living spaces for exceptional homes. The company also designs model homes and commercial spaces, including condominiums, hotels, community amenity centers, and office suites.

Judith Sisler Johnston and her team of licensed, highly trained, and gifted designers combine experience, knowledge, and professionalism to help clients develop their vision while analyzing their design requirements. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004 and has been recognized with more than 75 industry awards, including Aurora, Laurel, Excel, and the National Association of Home Builders Senior Housing awards.

For more information about Sisler Johnston Interior Design, call (904) 288-0908 or visit www.sislerjohnston.com.
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