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Your Furniture Stain Removal Guide

Noticed a dirty mark on your favorite piece of furniture? Never fear. This furniture stain removal guide will help you take the correct course of action when you spot a stain, no matter what type of fabric you have in your home. Let’s get started!

What to Do Before Removing Stains from Furniture

When you see a stain on your furniture, it’s easy to panic and attack the area with every stain removal product you can find. Avoid scrubbing stains at all costs, as this can cause stubborn spills, such as red wine and ink, to spread. You should also hold off from using any stain removal products until you’ve checked the fabric tags or manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

These are the cleaning codes and what they mean:

  • X: Vacuum or light brushing only. Must be professionally cleaned.
  • S: Dry cleaner detergent only. Do not saturate. Do not overwet.
  • WS: Use mild detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent. Do not saturate with liquid.
  • W: Clean only with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Do not overwet.

Woman checking stain removal product

Stain Removal Guide for Each Type of Upholstery

Once you know what you can and cannot use to remove the stains from your furniture, try the following tips to help you clean the specific fabric of your furniture.

Microfiber

Microfiber is known for being durable. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t end up with some stains on your favorite pieces over the years. This type of upholstery is relatively easy to clean but microfiber blends vary, so double-check the fabric tag to ensure the correct cleaning approach. Generally speaking, the most effective way to remove stains from your microfiber furniture is with a few items you probably have around your home.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Clean cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Light-colored sponge
  • Distilled water
  • Dry brush

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use a clean cloth to blot the area and lift out any loose dirt.
  2. Spray the stain with distilled water and scrub with a light-colored sponge until dry.
  3. Brush the area in a circular motion with a dry brush to re-fluff the microfibers in that spot.

Using vacuum cleaner to clean couch

Synthetic Fiber

Synthetic upholstery includes polyester, olefin, acetate, acrylic, and nylon. These materials are often used to imitate the qualities of natural fibers for a more cost-effective piece of furniture. Given the variety of synthetic fibers, you should always check the fabric tag and care labels on your furniture. Your cleaning method should be safe and simple.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment
  • Dry brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment to remove debris from the area.
  2. Brush the stain with a dry brush to remove more stubborn debris.
  3. Add mild detergent to warm water and spot test the solution on an unseen part of the furniture.
  4. If the detergent does not damage the material, use it to wet a clean cloth and dab the stain.

Cotton and Linen

Cotton and linen are both natural fabrics that you may be able to treat in the same way. Check the cleaning instructions, especially for linen furniture covers, as they may require professional cleaning or even be machine-washable. If there are no specific instructions, try this suggestion for removing stains from your cotton or linen furniture.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft cloth

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment to remove dust and debris.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent to warm water and spot test on your furniture.
  3. If the solution doesn’t damage the fabric, wet a soft cloth and dab the stain.

Stain removal technique for leather couch

Leather and Vinyl

The fact that leather and vinyl are stylish and easy to clean makes these upholsteries even more popular. Whether your furniture is genuine leather or a fabulous faux, the key to removing stains from this kind of furniture is to keep it natural. Harsh chemical products that aren’t specially designed for these fabrics can leave the material stiff, dry, and less comfortable. 

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Warm water
  • Non-detergent soap
  • 3 clean cloths

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of non-detergent soap per 1 gallon of warm water.
  2. Wet a cloth with this solution and wipe the stained area.
  3. Wet a second cloth with water only and re-wipe the area.
  4. Use a dry, clean cloth to remove any residue from the furniture.

Wool

Wool is waterproof and long-lasting, but that doesn’t make it stain-resistant. You may be able to remove stains from your furniture by taking off the covers, turning them inside out, and throwing them in the washing machine—but only if this is specified in the cleaning instructions. If this isn’t an option, try these tips.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment
  • Water-based detergent for wool
  • 2 clean cloths

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use the vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment to remove debris from within the fabric.
  2. Add the detergent to warm water and wet a cloth with the solution.
  3. Dab the stain with the damp cloth. Avoid scrubbing.
  4. Wet the second cloth with water only and dab the area to remove the cleaning residue.

Family relaxing on couch

How to Keep Your Furniture Stain-Free

Do you have young children, pets, or a love of entertaining

If you answered yes to any or all parts of the question, then your upholstery may be at a greater risk of stains. While we’ve offered plenty of tips on how to remove stains from furniture, you can also take measures to stop paint, muddy feet, or food spills from wreaking havoc on your furnishings. Of course you should always check with your retailer for more warranty and cleaning details before using any stain-resistant solutions.

For complete peace of mind, you need furniture fabrics that have been designed to resist stains, right from the start. Southern Motion’s Smart Solutions fabrics provide long-lasting protection without sacrificing style or comfort. These strong and stain-resistant fabrics are available for all motion groups and recliners, so you can relax in your living room for many years to come. Take a look at the Southern Motion collections to find the right furniture for your lifestyle.

More of us are working from home than ever before, which means it’s essential to have a dedicated space where we can do our jobs effectively and comfortably. Whether you’re working in your spare room or in the corner of your living room, you can create your perfect setup without spending too much money. From getting the most out of your space to getting your essentials for less, read on for our top home office ideas on a budget.

1. Define Your Office Space

When setting up a home office on a budget, the first step is to figure out how much you have to spend. A budget will help you make decisions about what your home office needs to narrow down the search for furniture and office essentials. The main items to prioritize are a desk, a chair, and a lamp. 

Desk

Shopping for a desk can be daunting, so focus on desktop space, color and style. Always have measurements in mind before buying any large items. If you’re trying to figure out how to make a home office in a small space, choose a desk with shelving or drawers. This will help you get more bang for your buck and reduce the amount of other pieces you need. Of course, make sure you don’t already have a suitable table in your home that you could use as a desk!

Chair

Working from home means you spend a lot of your day in your desk chair. The right chair will make all the difference in your mood and productivity, but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-tech desk chair. The key is to find a comfortable seat with lumbar support so you can avoid back pain.

Lamp

Light is another important factor in a home office, especially for any early mornings or late nights. A good lamp will help you stay alert and avoid eye strain as you work. If you’re setting up a home office on a budget, you may already have a lamp in your home that’s available to use.

If you need to buy a new lamp, look for one that will support all your working activities without adding glare to your computer screen. Adjustable brightness is another handy feature that can help you transition throughout your workday.

Second-hand furniture

2. Decorate 

Decorating can bring your workspace to life. For some home office ideas on a budget, visit a local flea market. This is a great way to save money and repurpose artwork, all while getting to choose from a large collection of interesting and one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Another way to decorate your home office is to freshen up your space with plants. Indoor plants look inviting and they purify the indoor air, so move some of your favorite plants over to your desk area! If you’re wondering how to decorate an office in a small space, shelves can offer plenty of room for your plant decor. 

To find out which indoor plant is best for you and your office space, take this quiz

3. Keep It Warm and Comfortable

Work can get stressful, but having a comfortable space to spend your time in can make it all that much easier. Make your office cozier without spending too much money by using items you may already have around your home.

Add a rug underneath your desk and a cushion to your chair. Have a blanket nearby for early mornings and late nights. If your space is particularly drafty, you may have a space heater or an electric blanket to spare. For added coziness on a budget, you can buy a mug warmer, which doesn’t cost much but will keep your tea or coffee warm as you work! Take a look around your house for more inspiration for these home office ideas on a budget.

Organizing desk area

4. Organize

A key tip? Organize. Especially if you’re making a home office in a small space. Consider a desk with shelves or drawers or both. Having storage space in your desk lets you organize clutter while keeping everything you need in arm’s reach. Another way to organize and maximize a smaller space is to find a bookshelf that fits the space. A bookshelf can be a very versatile piece of furniture, and you can use any extra bookshelf space for decoration purposes. 

As for organizing your day-to-day tasks, a planner or desk calendar is a small investment. Writing down your tasks for the day can be very helpful for productivity and time management. A large calendar lets you keep track of meetings, deadlines, and appointments. Everyone has a different method to organize their tasks, so find what works best for you.

5. Purchase Furniture on Sale 

Buying furniture on sale is a great way of setting up a home office on a budget. You can also buy furniture second hand, which helps protect the environment. Visit a local flea market or Facebook Marketplace to find furniture at a discounted price. You can easily make secondhand furniture feel like new on a budget by refurbishing it. A new coat of paint can go a long way! 

We hope that with these home office ideas on a budget, you can set up the home office of  your dreams. Read our workplace wellness ideas to make sure you stay relaxed throughout the day at your new desk area!

The temperatures may have dropped, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a warm and fuzzy feeling as you think about the winter months. With the right winter home products, you can create a cozy safe haven you never want to leave. Read on for our top winter essentials that can transform the winter blues into a dreamy winter experience.

1. Fuzzy Slippers

Hardwood and tiled floors create a beautiful interior design aesthetic, but in the winter months they are extra cold underfoot. Instead of adding carpets or rugs to every room, invest in a snuggly pair of slippers. House shoes with a thick sole and fleece lining will keep your feet nice and warm. For added convenience, look out for slippers that are machine washable. This can help keep these winter essentials fresh and fluffy for a daily treat for your feet.

2. Sheepskin Rugs

Adding rugs to every room in your home can get expensive. What’s more, you probably won’t want to have your cool floors covered with thick textiles in the warmer months. Fortunately, if you’re the owner of a snuggly pair of slippers, you only need to add rugs to specific parts of your home. Place a cozy sheepskin rug on the floor next to your bed. As well as creating a charming winter vibe in your bedroom, this winter home product will prevent you from getting a shock in the morning as you step out of bed and onto the cold floor!

Bedroom winter essentials

3. Bed Linens

While we’re on the topic of winter-worthy bedrooms, don’t forget to make your bed as warm and inviting as possible. The shorter days of the year offer the perfect time to rest and relax. Invest in a thick comforter and fleece throw blanket. These bedroom winter essentials won’t just keep you warm — they’ll also add some texture to your room. Be sure to choose bed linens in soothing colors, such as blue and gray, to help you get into the right mindset for sleep.

4. Electric Blanket

An electric blanket is a cost-effective way to warm up your space without turning up the heating or using a space heater. No matter whether you’re reading in bed or working at your desk, this winter essential can keep you warm and snuggly. This can be a real treat if you have any aches and pains that get worse in the winter. Look out for blankets with different heat settings. If you intend to keep your blanket on as you fall asleep, you can also find models with timers.

5. Living Room Throw

You might not feel the cold enough to buy an electric blanket, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a fuzzy blanket in your living room. Keep a faux fur or quilted throw on your sofa so you can snuggle up with your favorite people. These winter essentials make movie night even more fun and reinforce your interior design thanks to the wide variety of styles and colors of blankets available.

Candles as winter essentials for the home

6. Scented Candles

Candles are the ultimate winter essentials for your home. No matter what your favorite part of winter is, you can find a candle that embodies that experience. From evergreen trees to spiced apple cider, there’s a candle for every fragrance. Candles also provide low ambient lighting that gives your home a cozier and more relaxing feel. They’re just what you need for your own winter wonderland at home!

7. Tea Collection

It’s important to stay hydrated during the winter months, but with the cooler temperatures, you might not feel so thirsty. One way to get plenty of water and warm up at the same time is to prepare more tea. Choose tasty tea selections and make your tea break an enjoyable winter ritual. Blends with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger can help boost blood circulation, while green, rooibos, and rosehip teas have antioxidants that can help you fight off winter colds. These natural ingredients are winter essentials that will delight your taste buds and improve your well-being.

8. Mug Warmer

After you go to the trouble of making a warming cup of tea, don’t let it go cold! A mug warmer doubles as a hot plate and a coaster for your drink. Simply place your mug on the warmer between each sip and you can take your time over your hot beverage. It’s the perfect winter home product for when you’re reading a book, enjoying a movie, chatting with friends, or even working at your desk.

Slow cooker winter home product

9. Slow Cooker

The winter pace is slower and more relaxed, so why not apply the same approach to your food during the colder months? A slow cooker makes it easier to prepare warming meals, like soup and melt-in-your-mouth meat dishes. Save some cooking time by letting this winter home product take on the hard work. All you have to do is add the ingredients in the morning and you’ll have a family-sized meal ready for dinnertime. Many slow cookers have non-stick coatings, which makes clean-up just as easy.

10. Dryer Balls

Gone are the days of hanging your laundry outside to dry. The winter months mean you’ll be using your dryer more than ever and your clothes are also thicker and heavier at this time of year. To make your dryer more efficient, add wool dryer balls to your load. Believe it or not, these inexpensive winter home products can help speed up the drying process and ensure fewer wrinkles in your clothes! You can also add your favorite essential oils to the dryer balls to make your laundry smell incredible. These winter essentials for the home are much more environmentally friendly and effective than your usual dryer sheets.

11. Heat Therapy Chair

At the end of a busy winter day, there’s nothing better than a relaxing massage or a comfortable, warm chair. With Southern Motion’s SoCozi™ Collection, you can enjoy both experiences, right in your living room! Relax, restore, and renew with a professional massage chair complete with reclining technology and heat therapy. This winter essential for the home helps you unwind and stimulates circulation so you can enjoy the colder months more than ever.

Winter is the most magical time of year. The cozy nights and crisp days offer the perfect opportunity to check that your home is in tip-top shape and ready for the colder months. Take a look at these winter home tips to find out how you can maintain and prepare your home for the winter season.

Home Maintenance Winter Checklist

When we think about preparing our homes for the winter, we often focus on the exterior of the house. We cover the pool, turn off the sprinklers, and put away the patio furniture. These outdoor activities are essential to keeping our homes safe and sound during the colder months, but don’t forget to follow winter home tips indoors as well.

This winter checklist will help you identify the key parts of your home to watch in the winter.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

You may not know this, but you can run your ceiling fan clockwise or counterclockwise. In winter, you should turn your fan clockwise to help keep the warm air from rising too high in your home. This is especially important if you have high ceilings and lose a lot of warmth.

How do you get started with this winter home tip? Most fans have a small switch on the outside of the fan. If you can’t find it there, it may be inside the cover. Change the direction and feel the difference!

Add Floor Mats to Entryways

Winter is well underway, which means the entrance to your home is covered in piles of thick coats and wet shoes. As well as giving you more mess to clean up, mud, ice, and salt from your winter clothes is bad news for your floors. Instead of letting your floors get damaged, invest in floor mats for your entryway. 

Place one mat inside and one mat outside for the best results. As people enter your home, they can rub the mud and ice off their shoes on the outside mat and then leave their shoes on the inside mat. The mats will also catch any rain or snow that falls off their coats. The fun part about this winter home tip is that you can pick out beautiful mats that will reinforce your decor!

Plus: Check out our Favorite Winter Interior Design Trends here

Look for Air Leaks

If you’re feeling a draft, a key part of your winter checklist should be finding and fixing any air leaks in your home. Drafts can make your home feel less comfortable and they’ll also make your heating less efficient, costing you extra money.

Pay close attention to windows and doors. You can fill these gaps with caulk and weather-stripping. Got a crack in a foundational wall or around faucets and air vents? Be sure to seal these cracks, as they may be letting in air. If you’re still feeling cold, you can also look into improving the insulation in your home.

Keep Your Heating in Check

Heating is a non-negotiable in the winter. It keeps you warm and prevents frozen pipes, which can bring your home to a standstill. Make sure your thermostat is set so that the heat does not fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While it may seem like a luxury to always have the heat on, this winter home tip can save you money. That’s because your heating system has to work much harder to bring your house back up to a warm temperature after being turned off.

No matter how you heat your home, your winter checklist should include the maintenance of your heating system. Gas heating systems can be checked every three years, but oil heating systems should be cleaned and maintained annually. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, be sure to get it checked by a professional, too. That goes for coal-burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces!

Plus: Check out our Modern Fireplace Decorating Ideas here

Check Smoke Alarms

During the winter months, heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in the home. It’s critical that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order at this time of year.

Follow this winter home tip by making sure you have a smoke detector in every room of your house. Check the batteries and functionality of each detector. You should do this every month, but especially during the cold months when you’re more reliant on heating equipment, such as space heaters, central heating, and fireplaces.

Preparing home for winter by donating clothes

What to Purge and Update This Winter 

Some items in the home need to be maintained over the winter months, but other things should go all together! The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on what you really need in life and cut down on the clutter. Prepare your home for winter by refreshing these commonly forgotten items.

Plus: Check out our Ultimate Living Room Decluttering List here

Old Winter Clothes

We’ve all got that drawer of odd gloves and ragged scarfs we’ve kept over the years. You may even have a box or closet filled with moth-eaten jackets. This winter, if you’re not wearing these items, ask yourself why you’re keeping them!

Our winter tip is to go through all your old winter clothes. You may find some great items that you’d simply forgotten about and can start wearing again. You will probably also find a lot of items you no longer want. These clothes should go to charity and not back in the attic where they aren’t keeping anyone warm.

Tired Linens

Bed sheets and towels can start to look their age after they’ve been washed and used week after week. If you’ve had your linens for more than a few years and they’re looking gray and worn, it’s time to update them. Check with local animal rescue charities to see if they can make use of these items or use them as rags for cleaning or garage work.

The same goes for your comforters and pillows. Pillows should be replaced after one to two years. After that they lose their structural integrity and become less hygienic. If your comforter is old and stained, a wash cycle won’t be enough. Invest in new bed essentials and be sure to find the right items to keep you warm and comfortable this winter.

Outdated Furniture

Nothing prepares a home for winter like a fresh new interior. We spend more time indoors during these months, so why not create a space where you can relax and unwind? If your furniture is sagging, stained, and out of style, you might want to consider updating it for something more comfortable.

Donating furniture that no longer fits your lifestyle is a great way to support the less fortunate. Check with your chosen organization to make sure your furniture is in an acceptable condition, although oftentimes the pieces can be reused in some way.

Once you’ve made space for a new furniture group, look for new pieces that will work with your needs and preferences. Southern Motion offers a wide range of sofas, sectionals, recliners, and accent chairs with the most innovative features. What’s more, the Smart Solutions fabrics prevent stains, wear, and tear, so your stylish pieces last for many more winters. Take a look at all the collections now.

Having a small living room doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy style and functionality in the heart of your home. With the right approach to small living room layouts and furnishings, you can create a space where you love spending time with friends and family. Here’s how to maximize space in a small house so you can start working on your dream living room setup.

Small Living Room Layout Tips

When it comes to evaluating your living room, it’s all about understanding and appreciating the available space. These ideas can help you adjust your mindset to effectively organize your room.

Create a Floorplan

By creating an accurate floorplan, you get a better feel for exactly how much space you have and how the shape and features of the room can support your lifestyle. For example, if your living room has a large window, this area could be perfect for setting up your desk or crafting table. Have a difficult corner to work with? Sounds like the ideal reading nook or music spot!

Try breaking your living room floorplan into different sections for each of the ways you like to use the space. To make these distinctions even clearer, you can paint the walls of each area in your living room a different color or shade. This will help maximize the space in your small house both visually and functionally.

Couple measuring small living room layout

Make Use of All the Space

Once you’ve made a floorplan and decided how you want to use your living room, you can put the entire space to work. There are a few small living room layout ideas to keep in mind when organizing the space, starting with the furnishings. Don’t push furniture up against the walls, which can emphasize the limited space. Even with a small living room layout, you should have a few inches to spare so you can float your furniture away from the walls.

As well as keeping furniture from in front of any windows, you can simplify window treatments to let in as much light as possible. Getting plenty of natural light in the room can give the impression of more space. While the square footage of your living room floor may be limited, you may be lucky enough to have high ceilings. Use lots of shelves to remove storage and organizational items from the floor and show off the unique space!

Embrace Your Small Living Room!

Having a small living room can feel like a disadvantage, especially if you love to entertain at home. However, a small space gives you an effortlessly intimate environment. Position your small living room furniture sets in a cozy huddle and see how it brings people closer together and encourages conversation in your home. 

You can also celebrate your living room with a statement piece. While a larger decor item may seem counterintuitive for a small space, a gallery wall or eye-catching light fitting can actually make your room feel larger by adding more visual intrigue. In fact, with the right interior design, you can really maximize the living space in your small house. Take a look at our effective decor tips for limited spaces to get even more inspiration. 

Small Living Room Furniture Sets

Now you’ve got your small living room layout, it’s time to think about the right furniture for your space. There are several routes you can take to really get the most out of your living room.

Opt for Multi-Purpose Furniture

Multi-purpose furniture can help you get everything you need into a small living room layout without cluttering the room. You can choose pieces with built-in storage, such as ottomans. Ottomans can also be used as coffee tables, extra seating, and foot rests quickly, easily, and stylishly. If your living room doubles as your spare room when your relatives are in town, you can even consider adding a daybed to the space for a practical and playful addition. 

Switch Out a Furniture Set for a Sectional

A sectional may be a large piece of furniture, but with just that one piece, you can seat all your friends and family in a small living space. A stylish sectional can also work as a statement piece while offering a cozy seating option.

Southern Motion’s Gigi Recliner for small living room layouts

Choose Furniture with Small Dimensions

You can also choose small living room furniture sets. Antiques are a great option for small living room layouts, as they come from time periods when rooms were typically smaller. Swap one large coffee table for a few small antique coffee tables or choose lower furniture to create the illusion of higher ceilings — and more space —in your home.

If you’re looking for something more modern to maximize space in a small house, you can consider floating furniture. Hanging seats and Lucite tables create a sense of spaciousness and style while fulfilling the main needs in your living room. Similarly, backless furniture doesn’t cover up focal points in the room but does provide handy additional seating.

You can also find specially designed furniture for smaller living rooms. Southern Motion’s Gigi Recliner has a functional swivel base, small dimensions, and wall hugger technology, making it ideal for a small living room layout. To get the perfect furniture to maximize the living space in your small house, find your nearest Southern Motion retailer here.

Even during the festivities of the holiday season, music can take any event to the next level. Whether you’re trying to choose the best pop holiday music or traditional Christmas songs, you need to take guests, activities, and setting into consideration to create the perfect playlist. With so many fun songs to choose from, we’ve put together some of the best tunes for every part of your holiday celebrations.

Sophisticated Dinner Parties

If you’re hosting a dinner party for your friends around Christmas and New Year, the main focus of the evening will be delicious food and great conversation. Still, the right playlist can help reinforce the holiday theme, especially as you welcome guests into your home! Choose traditional Christmas songs with a soft jazz feel to avoid overpowering your evening.

Holiday Tip: Smart Home devices can help you keep everything in check at your dinner party — including the music. That means you can enjoy the celebrations alongside your guests instead of having to DJ, cook, and serve at the same time!

Suggested Playlist:

  • Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • Ella Fitzgerald – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Dean Martin – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Andy Williams – Happy Holidays
  • Frank Sinatra – Jingle Bells
  • Harry Connick Jr. – Sleigh Ride
  • Bing Crosby – White Christmas
  • Billie Holiday – I’ve Got Love to Keep Me Warm
  • Norah Jones – It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  • Etta James – Merry Christmas Baby

Holiday dinner party

Relaxed Family Gatherings

An intimate celebration with several generations of your family deserves a calming Christmas songs playlist. As you snuggle up together in front of the fireplace and share your stories from the year, try playing classic carols and traditional Christmas songs.

Holiday Tip: If you’re celebrating with older relatives who may be hard of hearing, choose instrumental versions of your favorite holiday songs and play them at a low level. This will help keep the conversation flowing and everyone feeling relaxed.

Suggested Playlist:

  • O Tannenbaum
  • Oh Holy Night
  • Silent Night
  • The First Noel
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Joy to the World
  • In Dulci Jubilo

Holiday Activities with the Kids

No matter whether you’re decorating your home or unwrapping presents on the big day, you can build the holiday excitement with a playlist full of good cheer. Try pop holiday music to create a festive mood in your home from the moment your little ones wake up.

Holiday Tip: Food, drinks, and crafting with the kids can result in more stains around the house. Have your emergency cleaning products somewhere handy, or better yet, make sure your furniture is prepared! Smart Solutions from Southern Motion is a stain-resistant furniture fabric that can help relieve the stress of holiday activities at home.

Suggested Playlist:

  • Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock
  • Bobby Day – Rockin’ Robin
  • The Ronettes – Frosty the Snowman
  • Stevie Wonder – What Christmas Means to Me
  • Gene Autry – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
  • Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
  • Pentatonix – Little Drummer Boy
  • Jackson 5 – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • Elton John – Step into Christmas

Family decorating Christmas tree

Ringing in the New Year

A New Year’s get-together is the perfect time to reflect on what we’re grateful for and what we have planned for the future. Even if you’re having a small celebration with your nearest and dearest, a playlist of pop holiday music can get everyone feeling more excited about the next calendar year.

Holiday Tip: If you struggle to stay awake until midnight, start your playlist in the hour leading up to the countdown to help energize you and your guests!

Suggested Playlist:

  • Pink –  Raise Your Glass
  • Rihanna – We Found Love
  • Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
  • Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
  • Europe – Final Countdown
  • Ariana Grande – Break Free
  • Beyoncé – Countdown
  • Katy Perry – Firework
  • Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
  • Pitbull – Give Me Everything

The Big Cleanup

The holiday cleanup includes everything from vacuuming up the pines needles, throwing out the wrapping paper, and washing up all the pots and pans from your delicious feast. It’s a lot to do, so why not make the most of the time with a fun playlist?

Upbeat music can help get you motivated, improve your motor coordination, and reduce the fatigue of doing chores. So turn up these tunes and dance your way through the cleaning!

Holiday Tip: Get the whole family involved in the cleanup with a crowd-pleasing music mix. It’s sure to make the chores go quicker and easier. You can even make a competition out of the tasks, do a dance-off, or have a karaoke session as you tidy up the home.

Suggested Playlist:

  • Whitney Houston – Wanna Dance With Somebody
  • Lady Gaga/Ariana Grande – Rain on Me
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy
  • ABBA – Dancing Queen
  • Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
  • Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  • Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA
  • Queen – I Want to Break Free

Father and son singing as they clean living room

Great entertainers play just the right music for any occasion. To discover your entertaining style, take our quiz!

Whether you’re having a dinner party, Christmas celebration, or game night, you’ll often find yourself relaxing in the living room at the end of the night. Long conversations and sweet memories are made in this room, so it only makes sense that you’d want to have plenty of seating for family and friends — and sometimes, one sofa just doesn’t cut it. 

Before you bust out your spare dining chairs, consider incorporating two sofas in your living room and follow this guide for tips on how to arrange couches!

It’s All About Arrangement

The first step to creating a stylish and functional living room with two sofas is deciding on the best arrangement. For this, you need to assess the size of your space and what you most commonly use your living room for. If you find yourself enjoying lots of movie nights, you may want to arrange your sofas differently than a living room used for formal conversation and entertaining. To give you a better idea of what layout works best for your space, check out the three main couch arrangements used in interior design.

Two Sofas Facing Each Other

A more intimate layout for two different sofas in a living room is having them face each other. This is a great arrangement option if you entertain frequently and intend on using your living room for socializing and conversation. 

As for space, this layout works wonderfully for large open floor plans and rooms with a square or rectangular shape. The sofas help to divide the space naturally in a very symmetrical manner. It can also work well for narrow rooms because you can easily squeeze the couches closer to each other to save space.

Arrangement Highlights:

  • Best for entertaining and formal conversation
  • Works well in large open floor plans, narrow rooms, and square or rectangular spaces
  • Creates a symmetrical design

Two sofas in living room

Two Sofas at a Right Angle 

For a cozier and casual design, you might want to opt for arranging your two sofas at a right angle. Because this layout brings the two couches together, it helps to create a homey and inviting atmosphere. If you love nights cuddled up in front of the fireplace or TV, this is the best option for you. 

Keep in mind that this L-shaped arrangement does require more space and can make your room look cramped if there’s not enough square footage.

Arrangement Highlights:

  • Best for casual lounging and media rooms
  • Works well in larger living rooms with plenty of space
  • Creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere  

Two Sofas at a Wide Angle

If you have lots of space to work with in your home, the wide angle approach may be the layout for you. This arrangement for two sofas in a living room works just as the name suggests. Separate your couches relatively far apart from each other at varying angles and adjust as you see fit. 

This layout creates a wide open space that’s perfect for casual lounging and entertaining large parties. As far as room size and shape, the wide angle approach is great for large and open-concept living spaces. It’s especially fitting for rooms with an irregular shape.

Because of the openness of this arrangement, the wide angle layout is ideal if you want to include extra furnishings in your living space. Throw in a couple stylish recliners or accent chairs to fill the space and maximize seating for guests.

Arrangement Highlights:

  • Best for casual lounging and entertaining large parties
  • Works well in large, open-concept living rooms, especially those with an irregular shape
  • Creates a comfortable, wide open space

Two different sofas in living room

Keep Sofa Design in Mind

After you’ve established which arrangement is best for two sofas in your living room, it’s time to decide which sofa designs you love most. Do you want two identical sofas or two different sofas in your living room? If you choose to go the more complex route with two different couches, you need to keep in mind color and fabric. Here a couple tips to ensure your sofa combination is cohesive not clashing.

Fabric Choices for Two Sofas

When choosing two different sofas for your living space, it’s a good idea to mix fabrics rather than try to match them. For example, if you’ve chosen a microfiber sofa, complement it with a leather sofa. Incorporating various fabrics gives contrast to your space and achieves the unique look you were striving for from the start.

Our Re-Fueler and Essex sofas are great examples of contrasting fabrics that blend well together in any living space.

Color Combinations for Two Sofas

Perhaps even more important than fabric is color when it comes to decorating with two different sofas in your living room. While it’s important you choose whatever color combinations suit your style, recommended color palettes can be a helpful guide. Take a look at this list to see which colors stand out the most to you.

  1. Brown & Tan
  2. Light Blue & Aqua
  3. White & Dark Brown
  4. Brown & Teal
  5. Dark Blue & Gray
  6. Blue & Yellow
  7. Brown, White, & Red
  8. Green & Charcoal Gray
  9. Mushroom, Tan, & Red

Southern Motion Sofa Combinations

Southern Motion carries a large collection of sofas in varying colors and fabrics that can easily blend into your living space. From rich, dark leather to light and airy microfiber, the choices are endless. As you decide which two sofas will look amazing in your home, consider these Southern Motion sofa combinations that combine style and comfort all in one.

Cresent Sofa

Key Largo Sofa

Crescent and Key Largo sofas from Southern Motion

Metro Sofa

Inspire Sofa

Metro and Inspire sofas from Southern Motion

Velocity Sofa

Mt. Vernon Sofa

Velocity and Mt. Vernon sofas from Southern Motion

Fandango Sofa

Cagney Sofa

Fandango and Cagney sofas from Southern Motion


Whether you’re looking for more seating for entertaining or comfy spots for cozy nights in front of the fireplace, having two sofas can do just the trick. Use these design tips and arrangement ideas to create the perfect living room for your needs! If you plan on including recliners as well, discover how to design your living room with your recliner style in mind.

While the holidays are a wonderful time of year full of festive cheer, family, and fun, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the hecticness of the season. From buying presents and hosting parties to prepping your home for guests, the to-do list can seem endless. 

Even though some stress is unavoidable, there are simple ways to make your holidays more joyous and a lot less chaotic — and it all starts right at home. Incorporate these Feng Shui tips into your holiday decorating to create a harmonious and welcoming space for both you and your guests.

Why Feng Shui During the Holidays?

The usual cleaning and decorating are a good start to creating an inviting home for the holidays, but practicing Feng Shui design enhances those rituals even further to make your house a serene getaway. It helps to bring the healing energy of the outdoors inside your home, which lessens the stress and chaos of the season. 

If you follow simple holiday decorating ideas with Feng Shui in mind, your holiday parties will flow more smoothly, decorations will fit together better, and your home will be a beautiful place of harmony.

Feng Shui Tips for the Holidays

Step Up Your Cleaning and Organizing

As you start cleaning your home in preparation for guests, keep in mind that your efforts aren’t just geared toward a presentable space. A polished home can help improve your mood and the mood of your visitors. Focus on key areas where you’ll be spending the most time like your dining room, kitchen, and living room. Organize these spaces and clear them of any clutter.

This Feng Shui tip can be extended after the parties are over too. Once you have cleaned your space, take it a step further by cleansing your rooms. Rituals involving Palo Santo, essential oils, and natural incense can refresh your home and restore its positive energy.

Holiday home with Feng Shui entryway

Prioritize Your Entryway

The entryway of your home is very important when it comes to Feng Shui home decorating. As the gateway of energy, it sets the tone for the whole house, which is why you should make it a welcoming space. Give your guests a great first impression and set them at ease by including fresh herbs like rosemary and vibrant colors in your entryway.

Choose Festive, Feng Shui Colors

Colors symbolize different elements within Feng Shui design, so you definitely want to keep these in mind when choosing your holiday color scheme. Red represents the Fire element which channels passion and emotion, while green represents the Wood element of growth and expansion. These traditional holiday colors are energy-heavy, which may not be the best if you’re trying to reduce anxiety and stress in your home. However, there are a couple Feng Shui home decorating tricks to balance out their fiery energy. 

One idea is to decorate with mirrors or mirror-like surfaces that introduce the calming energy of the Water element. Another helpful tip is to use essential oils like mint or chamomile to diffuse hectic energy.

Silver, gold, and blue are beautiful seasonal colors from the Water element that are a great substitute for red and green. These Water shades bring a soothing and calming energy to your home just like mirrors do. Even though these are tranquil colors, you can still have too much of them which creates an overly calm environment. Either moderate or compensate with essential oils like cinnamon, eucalyptus, fir, or pine.

Holiday home decorated with silver and gold

Pick Decor with Your Guest List in Mind

If you can’t quite decide on festive colors for your home, consider this Feng Shui tip. Different people bring different energies to your home, so it’s best to assess your holiday guest list when practicing Feng Shui home decorating. If holiday gatherings with friends and family are emotionally draining and overwhelming to you, it’s a good idea to incorporate Water and Metal decor elements with silver and gold or blue and white color schemes. 

For quiet, disconnected holiday gatherings, try emphasizing the Fire element with lots of candles and warm scents in the air. Light your fireplace during parties for an extra cozy touch. Red decor like vases, throw pillows, blankets, and artwork are other ways to bring more connection to your space.

For any home, it’s a good idea to include Earth elements as well because they bring nourishment and stability to your space. Potted plants are an easy way to incorporate this positive energy. Get festive with some gorgeous poinsettias perfect for the holidays! 

Find Balance with Your Decor

As with decorating your home during any season, it’s good practice to know when to stop. Don’t over do it with too many nutcrackers and ornaments because that disturbs the balance of energy in your home and makes it look cluttered. Keep it simple and genuine for a warm and intimate holiday season. This Feng Shui tip can also help to preserve your life energy during a season when it’s easily depleted.

Holiday home decorated with layers of lighting

Lighten the Atmosphere

One simple holiday decorating idea that works hand-in-hand with Feng Shui design is lighting. Lighting nurtures a calm, warm atmosphere within your home, so make sure you have several layers spread throughout your space. Lamps, wall sconces, overhead lights, and of course, holiday lights, are a few examples. 

Color counts as light too! Decorate with multiple colorful items that bring you joy and happiness, as well as photographs with pleasant memories of family and vacations.

Consider Your Furnishings

Your furniture is another big consideration when it comes to Feng Shui home decorating for the holidays. You want your space to be as comfortable as possible for both you and your visitors and furniture plays an important role in achieving that. Here are some ways you can include Feng Shui design in your furniture choices.

  • Provide plenty of seating in the form of sofas, chairs, recliners, ottomans, and stools
  • Choose rounded furniture that helps continue the flow of chi in a room
  • Opt for seating that’s comfortable, not just stylish

Don’t let the hecticness of the holiday season bring you down. Transform your home into a festive sanctuary of positive energy and harmony by following these Feng Shui tips! While you get into the holiday spirit, check out these Christmas craft ideas for gifts.

Self-care is an important practice throughout the year, but especially after summer is over and life feels a whole lot busier again. With so many items on your to-do list, you may start to forget about yourself and what you need to feel happy and healthy. 

A self-care routine can bring you back to center each day and help you avoid burnout — and all from the comfort of your own home. Read on for self-care tips to make your ideal self-care routine

How to Start a Self-Care Routine

As with any new habit, it can be difficult to start a daily self-care routine, especially if you already have a lot on your plate and it feels like just another chore. After you’ve experienced how regular self-care can improve your day, you’ll see that it’s worth making time for. Until then, there are a few self-care tips that can help you get started.

Schedule time for your self-care routine to establish it as an important part of your life. You can put an alarm on your phone and block out time on your calendar to remind yourself of your commitment. Once you’ve received the notification and started your self-care practice, try to avoid any technology that might distract you. By putting your phone on silent or leaving it in another room, you can concentrate on yourself. 

Decide what you need to recharge and communicate this to the people you share your home with. Self-care can be spent with your children, friends, and family, or even by yourself. Remember, there’s no need to feel guilty about looking after yourself. When you’ve enjoyed some hard-earned me-time, you have more energy to support everyone else in your life!

Self-Care Ideas for Stress

It’s essential to find the right kind of activity so that it’s easier to get started. Keep in mind, if it’s not enjoyable for you, it’s not self-care! No matter whether you like to stay active or put your feet up, there’s a self-care activity for everyone. Here are some of the best ways to unwind at home. Just ask yourself what appeals to you most.

Woman meditating at home

Relaxing Self-Care Tips

The classic route to a self-care routine, these activities can help you get some serious rest and relaxation.

  • Sleeping: Whether it’s a 20-minute nap, an early night, or a morning to sleep in, getting some extra Zs will help you feel rejuvenated.
  • Bath and Spa Time: You don’t need to hit the spa to unwind. Draw yourself a bubble bath, apply a face mask, and enjoy a long soak.
  • Yoga and Meditation: Find some inner peace with light stretches, breathing exercises, and mindfulness. Free yoga classes and guided meditations can be found on YouTube.

Creative Self-Care Tips

Need inspiration to boost your wellness? Try this self-care list for creative types.

  • Journaling: Spend a few minutes writing about the things you’re grateful for, what you love about yourself, or the highlights of your day.
  • Arts and Crafts: From sketching and painting to knitting and crocheting, one of your overlooked artistic hobbies can be just the ticket for self-care.
  • Music: Create a playlist of mood-boosting tunes, listen to your number one artist, or pick up the instrument you’ve been too busy to practice.
  • Reading: Make time to catch up with your book club’s selection, start that classic you’ve always wanted to read, or relive your favorite novel.
  • Visiting a Museum Online: Relax in your favorite armchair and enjoy the most incredible artwork and artifacts from around the world with Google’s Art & Culture Platform

Family dancing together in living room

Motivational Self-Care Tips

If you feel most connected to yourself when you’re productive, this self-care list is for you.

  • Exercising: These days you can find any kind of workout class online. Clear some space in your home and get your heart pumping with a fun exercise video.
  • Cleaning: Even if it’s just making the bed or prepping next week’s meals, you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment with this self-care practice.
  • Getting Dressed Up: You don’t need to leave the home to look great. Put on your favorite outfit, do your hair and makeup, and paint your nails.
  • Marie Kondo Your Home: Decluttering your home can make you feel more in tune with who you are and what you need in life. Take on a small part of the house at a time. When it’s time to work on the living room, have a look at our decluttering guide!

Self-Care Tips for the Whole Family

Are you most content with life when you’re surrounded by family? Include your partner and children in your self-care routine so everyone can enjoy the benefits.

  • Movie Night: Make some popcorn, get cozy in your living room, and watch a movie! It can be a family favorite, a new release, or a theme night for extra fun!
  • Cooking and Baking: Try making delicious new recipes. Not only is this a tasty treat for the family, but you’ll get to learn a ton of new ideas too.
  • Going Through Old Photos: Remind yourselves of all the good things in life by looking at your vacation photos. You can choose the best ones, get them printed, and even make an album together.
  • Calling Friends and Relatives: If you’re favorite people aren’t around, make time to call them regularly. Catching up with your best friend or your mom is a great way to remember what matters to you.

Man relaxing in Southern Motion’s Next Level Collection

Find Your Perfect Self-Care Routine

Try different activities from these self-care lists and see what works for you. You may find that you enjoy something you haven’t done in years or you just like to unwind and do nothing! The important thing is to take the time to soothe your soul.

Looking for more ways to relax your body and mind? Learn how a Zero Gravity Recliner can help with your self-care routine at home.

As the evenings start to get longer and cooler, there’s nothing better than a movie night with friends and family. While a trip to the movie theater can be a lot of fun, a movie night at home can be tailored to your exact preferences — from the movie you watch to the snacks you eat. 

Read on to find out how to create your own DIY movie night in a space that is comfortable and functional, whether it’s in the living room or a dedicated spare room.

Home Movie Night Essentials

No matter who you invite, what you watch, and where you watch it, some elements of a movie night just can’t be overlooked. Here are the home movie night essentials to organize before every viewing.

A Comfortable Setting

First things first, where are you going to watch your movie? Balmy summer nights may have been ideal for an outdoor DIY movie night, but as the temperatures drop, you’ll probably want to pick a movie spot indoors.

If you’re a huge movie buff with a spare bedroom, consider turning this under-utilized space into your own home theater. Store your movie collection on shelves and put up posters from your favorite movies. You can add a couple of recliners or a sofa depending on the size of the room. Southern Motion’s Silver Screen Recliner includes power recline, a power-adjustable headrest, and a hidden cupholder for some serious cinematic luxury.

More likely you’ll be hosting your DIY movie night in the living room, which is a great place for setting the mood. The whole family can cozy up on a comfy sectional like Southern Motion’s Excel Sectional. Remember to dim the lights and draw the curtains to avoid any glare on the TV screen and to make a more authentic movie theater room.

Home movie night essentials

The Right Technology

A decent-sized TV screen is definitely a home movie night essential when you’re trying to create a movie theater experience. But what if you like to take the movies into your backyard during the summer months or up to your kids’ bedrooms for their sleepovers? In this case, a projector could be the ideal choice for you and your family as it’s more versatile and lightweight. It can even be stored away easily in a smaller home theater setup.

Sound can also make a huge difference to your DIY movie night experience. If you don’t have the budget for a surround sound system, a sound bar is a more affordable option that can give you that movie theater feel. 

Are DIY movie nights set to be a regular event at your house? Consider investing in a popcorn machine and a mini-fridge for your home theater space. For just a small investment, these appliances give you the look and excitement of a concession stand at home. That makes them home movie night essentials for the real cinephiles!

Memorable Movie Snacks

No DIY home movie night is complete without snacks. While popcorn is the go-to, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up a bit! Seasonings can add some variety to your bowl of popcorn and if you have a sweet tooth, you can even make your popcorn into a yummy marshmallow bar.

From red vines to milk duds, candy is also a classic choice at the movie theater. Stock up on your family’s favorite treats, but remember, not all your snacks need to be unhealthy! Look out for low-sugar candy, fruit and veggie mixes, and healthy dips made from spinach, avocado, and yogurt. Use coffee tables and stools to lay out all your snacks in front of the big screen and tuck in. 

Warning: You may want to put table cloths underneath your snack selections as it’s easy to make a mess in the dark!

A Great Movie!

A list of home movie night essentials would be incomplete without mentioning the movie itself. Unless you’re hosting a bad movie night on purpose, the key to any DIY movie night is something fun to watch.

If you have a wide collection of DVDs, part of the fun can be choosing a movie. There are also many streaming services that offer classic movies and new releases. Of course, the movie you choose all depends on who’s on your movie night guest list.

Movie night ideas for couples

Movie Night Ideas for Friends and Family

A DIY movie night with friends and family can be a fun way to get creative. Take it in turns to choose the theme of the evening. You can select a movie from a different decade or country and let that inspire your outfits and movie snacks! Watch Star Wars dressed as your favorite character, throw a Great Gatsby style movie night, or serve North African nibbles like hummus and baklava while you enjoy Aladdin. 

Kids will love the chance to make a DIY movie night more special. If you don’t have a themed evening, have some traditions for movie night instead. The whole family can wear matching pajamas or onesies and smaller kids can have their own bean bag chairs. 

Movie Night Ideas for Couples

Will your DIY movie night double as your date night? There are some great ways to maximize the romance at home with a fun twist on dinner and a movie.

Create the right atmosphere with candles, snuggly blankets, and throw pillows. Instead of serving bowls of chips, dips, and candies, make your movie snacks delicious tapas dishes. When it comes to deciding what to watch, choose a romantic movie, share your all-time favorites with one another, or re-watch the first movie you ever saw together.

Get your friends and family together for a DIY movie night you won’t forget, right from the comfort of your home! Find the perfect reclining furniture group for your movie theater experience and style in this infographic