SOURCE: Guardsman

November 10, 2011 05:00 ET

Holiday TLC for Your Furniture

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 10, 2011) - (Family Features) The holidays bring celebrations with friends and loved ones -- as well as the stress of setting the perfect table and plenty of opportunities for spills and accidents. But don't fret -- Tracy Hutson, a designer on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," has some tips to help you and your home get ready for the season.

Give furniture a new purpose and identity. Breathing new life into older pieces gives you more creative freedom to completely re-invent furnishings for what you really need in your home. "Look at what you already have, like flea market finds or family heirlooms, and see if they can be used in a new way." She suggests:

  • Transforming a dresser into a sideboard for the dining room.
  • Using a settee for extra seating at the table.
  • Turning a bench into a display table for holiday décor.
  • Trying a small accent table in the powder room for guest towels and soaps.

Make your dining table shine. Try creating beautiful centerpieces using a non-traditional color scheme (like purple) or creative touches with family photographs to make the table more fun and personalized. But first, she recommends bringing out the table's inner beauty with a deep clean using Guardsman Purifying Wood Cleaner followed by a good polish, such as Guardsman's Revitalizing Wood Polish.

Create a cozy couch. Guests will want to connect over movies, games and conversation, so it's important to make seating extra comfortable. "Protecting your sofa before spills happen is the key to a good defense," explains Hutson. A quick treatment with a leather or fabric protector helps guard fabric upholstery and leather against spills and stains. Be sure to fluff the cushions, add holiday accent pillows, and throw an oversized blanket over the back for that cozy touch.

Ring around the rosy host. Many hosts offer drinks and appetizers before the holiday meal, allowing guests to mix and mingle. Although coasters are offered to protect the furniture, many guests won't use them, often placing water-sweating glassware on tables and leaving rings on the surface. If this happens, don't worry says Hutson. "I use Guardsman Water Ring and Mark Removal right after the party ends to get rid of rings and marks."

Hutson says to look beyond the surface when it comes to favorite pieces. "Giving furniture a little TLC is easier than you think with specially formulated polishes and oils," she said. "You can also use simple Guardsman Wood Finish Touch-Up Markers or Guardsman Filler Sticks to quickly repair damage."

Take a little time now to prep your home and give your furniture a little TLC. You'll be able to relax and enjoy the season knowing your home is at its best.

For more furniture care advice, visit www.Guardsman.com.

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