Smartphones, Smart Cars, and . . . Smart Beds?

Have you noticed that we are living in a time driven and consumed by technology? If not, then there’s a chance you are so consumed by this technology that you haven’t noticed the changing landscape around you. But don’t worry, I’m not here to convince you to assign all the problems of society to high tech nor to heap endless praise on the advancement of technology. I’m simply here to share a little about the incredible hype around high tech advancements for consumer goods.

Every year we are privy to a new round of the, what seems eternal, battle between Apple and Samsung for the best technological development to smartphones. We witness keynote speeches and creative marketing campaigns aimed to grab our attention & show us how the biggest and best next iPhone or Galaxy will change the world as we know it. phones.jpgThere’s a similar, but not as cyclical, hype around smart cars. The smart car revolution is led by the frontman that is Elon Musk of Tesla. Unlike the smartphone industry, our attention is pulled in many directions because there are a seemingly infinite number of players producing the disruptive technology in the automobile industry.
tesla.jpgWhile smart cars and smartphones are two rapidly advancing industries, what if I told you about an industry that has advanced much more quickly – as in 50 times more – while receiving next to no hype? It’s the mattress industry! I’m serious, Tempur-Pedic, Sealy and Stearns & Foster are pushing the technological advancement of the mattress industry at an impressive pace. And while their advancements might not be as sexy as a new smartphone, mattresses are in fact the latest high tech gadget.

Here’s some basic info: the most popular mattresses are still innerspring. What’s new is that consumers have a vast selection of substances to sleep on, ranging from foam (gel, latex, or memory) to simply air. Tempur Sealy has even developed hybrid mattresses that combine the comfort and pressure relief of foam with the support of coils. Additional options also include pillow-top, filling constructed of natural (organic and chemical-free) materials and orthopedic. mattress.jpgAlso, if you’re buying a frame to go with your bed, the standard box spring is old news. Adjustable bases are the growing trend for the younger generation as we work, read & watch more TV from our beds. An adjustable base will also help you rest in a more comfortable and pain-free position for your 6 to 8 hours. And what’s cool is whether your fine-tune your position for better entertainment or sleep you can adjust your base with your phone via Bluetooth! That’s so cool! adjustable.jpgIf you think that’s crazy, there are more advancements then first meet the eye. These smart beds can monitor your movements, recognize if you’re in pain, and respond by easing the pressure on the mattress. Additionally, if you suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, reflux, back, neck or shoulder pain or snore, adjustable bases can be set for your particular needs so you rest at almost zero gravity alleviating many of these common problems. Beds are getting more comfortable, supportive and smarter!

After reading this short mattress update, the process of choosing your next mattress has become more exciting and customizable! If the endless options seem overwhelming, feel free to come in Virginia Furniture Market for a free sleep profile. You can rest assured that we will work to help you find the perfect bed to offer you a better night’s rest.

-Andy the Intern

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When Summer Ends…

 

I can remember a time when I never wanted summertime to end. I was young, in grade school, and when summer rolled around I knew I would have the best weeks of my life. My summer days and nights were filled with bonfires, sleepovers with friends, family vacations, sleeping in, and relaxation.

Three children with sports equipment embracing, looking at camera and smiling

As an adult now, summer is a time to gather with friends, grab dinner after work, go catch a baseball game, hang out on a patio or porch. I think as a kid we don’t take the time to slow down and appreciate the time we have. Having the special space in your home to relax and reflect is exactly what we want for you here at Virginia Furniture Market.

patio

It’s the times gathered around a fire pit with good friends that we will remember and cherish for a long time. It is something that brings us back to summertime when we were little! Nostalgia is good for the soul.

TV SPOT FIRE PIT

With summer ending soon it’s time to start thinking about back to school. We have all your apartment or dorm sized furniture here and ready to go! Either you or someone you know is getting ready to furnish a new apartment with roommates or add some fun accent pieces to their run-of-the-mill dorm room.

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Going back to school can be exciting but also a little stressful! Let us take away the stress of finding furniture. Here at VFM, you will find the largest selection of affordable and quality furniture. Get shopping!

-Erin the Assistant

Spring will Soon have Sprung

It’s hard to believe that yesterday was the first day of spring. Seriously, right now I’m on the couch, drinking a warm cup of hot chocolate with little marshmallows, watching snow gracefully fall and pile up outside. On a day like today, spring dresses, pastel shorts, and Easter Sunday seem years away, but thankfully they will be here soon. But what can we do until spring actually starts to look and feel like spring? If you’re like me, you will daydream craving the joys winter weather cannot bring. And if you feel so inclined, join me as I visualize, in anticipation, a beautiful spring day.

Life will be in the air again. By life, I don’t mean pollen. The awful transition phase (or phases if you live in Virginia) from white snow to yellow dust is no more. Your eyes and throat are no longer as scratchy as a wool sweater and you don’t sneeze every other minute anymore. By life, I also don’t mean water. The time of year has passed where almost every day you feel like a massive bucket of water is being filled and then dumped on you over and over again like at your kid’s favorite water park.

By life, I mean all that is wonderful about springtime. It is the ideal temperature to wear your favorite outfit. Every sip of your favorite beverage is a perfect combination of cool and refreshing. Birds chirp in flawless harmony. Children laugh without a care in the world. Photographers relish the opportunity to go outside and capture a moment of this day and cling to it for an eternity.

Parks are no longer home to barren trees and covered with dead grass. They are revitalized with color and waiting for their beauty to be rediscovered and admired. Outdoor patio furniture is no longer just a decorative piece in your backyard. You can bring out the outdoor cushions and pillows and spend your evenings under the light of the stars curled up by the warmth of the fire.backyard 2Now if the mention of patio furniture interrupted your spring fantasy and sent you into a spiral of uncertainty as to whether you covered your wicker furniture or removed its cushions before the snow, I’m sorry to have startled you. I hope you came to the calming realization that your furniture is in fact fine. But if not, or if thinking about spring has you considering an upgrade of your outdoor furniture, you’re at the right place. At Virginia Furniture Market, we have the largest selection in the area at the very best prices on outdoor furniture. We also boast a knowledgeable sales staff who will work in concert with your vision to help construct your dream outdoor space.backyard 7So whether your dream spring day is spent sitting on a park bench watching your children’s imagination flourish, napping in your hammock as it sways in the gentle afternoon breeze, or having friends over to eat fresh fruit salad and a grilled entrée in your outdoor dining room, we would love to help make your beautiful springtime vision a reality.backyardHappy Spring,

Andy the Intern

Stain-Free Super Bowl Party

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never failing, but in rising again after you fall.” -Vince Lombardi

“The greatest accomplishment is not in having a Super Bowl party without spills, but in having the stains disappear the next day.” -Andy the Intern

Vince Lombardi is a sports icon who had the Super Bowl trophy named in his honor. I’m just an intern who paraphrases famous people to inspire you. What do Vince and I have in common? We both know that a Super Bowl party is a daunting event to host because you don’t want your house looking like the site of a food fight the next day.

Whether you’re a passionate football fan or you’re just throwing a party to socialize and watch commercials, you do not want to spend the night anxiously watching the cups and plates in your living room. So to help you avoid a lot of stress on February 4th, I’m going to walk you through some hypothetical situations and how you can best respond.

Situation #1

As time expires in the first half, Nick Foles throws a 55-yard “Hail Mary” touchdown pass giving the Eagles a lead going into the half.

Your uncle Dave, a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, explodes with excitement! He jumps out of his seat to hug everyone in the room forgetting he had a full soda in his hand. The dark soft drink falls through the air onto your carpet. What do you do?

Use a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid. Then mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Next, dip a clean white cloth or sponge into the solution and begin to blot the stain. Whatever you do, DO NOT RUB the stain! That will make it even harder to get out.

Situation #2

Tom Brady leads his team on a clutch 90-yard drive in the 4th quarter. He sealed off the amazing drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski who aggressively spikes the ball in the end zone to celebrate.

Your coworker Steve, a massive New England Patriots fan, goes to mimic Gronk’s touchdown celebration and in doing so knocks the bowl of homemade guacamole onto your couch. Now while I am unable to help you cope with the emotional loss of homemade guac, I know how to get it out of your couch.

First, remove any guacamole with a wet/dry vac or a towel. Then you will use hydrogen peroxide but be sure to test it first in an inconspicuous spot on the couch. If there is no color change, blot, DO NOT SCRUB, the stain with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to work for one minute. Afterwards, you will remove the remaining hydrogen peroxide by alternately blotting the area with a damp cloth and a dry towel.

Situation #3

You’re clumsy and spill food all the time! Like me 🙂

Your neighbors brought your favorite buffalo sauce and used it to generously coat perfectly fried wings. Now you cannot resist the temptation to eat them in front of the TV in your favorite chair. This is how you recover from the inevitable.

Scoop up any solids and blot, DO NOT RUB, the liquid hot sauce from the outer edge of the spill in with a white cloth or paper towel. Then mix a solution of 2 teaspoons of hand dishwashing liquid, one-fourth cup distilled white vinegar and 2 cups cool water. Dip a sponge, white cloth or soft-bristled brush in the solution and blot, DO NOT RUB, the stain. Alternate between blotting solution and a clean, dry cloth until the stain is absorbed. Then finish with a clean damp cloth to rinse away any remaining cleaning solution.

Debrief

Depending on your level of interest in the game or the commotion at your party you might not be able to attend to the stain right away. And that’s okay. If you can’t make a full-fledged attack on the stain immediately, just pre-treat the area with warm water and deal with the stain when the timing is more suitable for you.

If the stain remains after treatment, call a professional if the furniture is worth saving. If it was an old piece of furniture and this is was your final straw to replace it, come check out our selection at Virginia Furniture Market. We have the best selection at the best prices. On top of that, we offer a 5-year warranty plan so you’ll be covered should such an incident occur over the next 5 Super Bowl parties.

*Worthy of note: If you buy our 5-year furniture protection and don’t use the protection plan in the 5 years you receive your money back in the form of a store issued gift card!

While the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots are in Minneapolis, MN making final preparations for the biggest game of the year, I hope this short read prepares you for your big battle against stains!

Down with Stains,

-Andy the Intern

Highlights of the Christmas Season

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A guy can hope to wake up to this, right?

Let’s say the white Christmas you have been dreaming of is a reality this year. After the presents are frantically opened and breakfast and coffee have been consumed, all the children beg to go play in the winter wonderland outside. Being the great parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent that you are you grant permission to go outside and you go with them, equally excited because you unashamedly love playing in the snow as much as they do! You spend hours pushing kids down a hill and then carrying them back up, you get low to the ground and work diligently to make the perfect snowman, not to mention the multiple snowball fights you start and the ones that catch you off guard. It is the time of your life, the highlight of the Christmas season for you. But as soon as you stamp the snow from your boots and hang up your sopping wet clothes there’s nothing more you want to do than collapse into the recliner by the fire. So you do because you’ve earned it. 

Maybe you’re not the winter wonderland explorer (either by choice or if you’re not guaranteed snow where you or your family lives). But you cannot wait for the conversations around the crowded, fully-extended dining room table. You’ve been rehearsing your funniest story with the hopes of delivering it in such a way that one of your siblings suddenly spit out the liquid they were drinking because they could not control their laughter. Yet you will most likely be outshined when Timmy asks an innocent question at the perfect moment, sending the whole room into a laugh-so-hard-you-cry frenzy. Or when grandpa, for the thousandth time, tells the story of how nervous he was on his first date with grandma. And you’re okay with your story being topped because you love being around the table with family. That is the highlight of the Christmas season for you.

Maybe you’re the competitive one (every family has one). You wait for the end of the day when the kids are in bed, the wine is uncorked, and the games begin. Whether Pictionary, charades or a newer game, you all file into the living room and plop down on the big sectional and get ready for the main event of the evening. Everyone recalls their version of the infamous whiteboard breaking of ’09. It’s true, the competition has gotten the best of you before, but you genuinely love playing games with family. It brings back fond memories of when you were growing up together. That’s another highlight of the Christmas season for you.

I know there are many more highlights of the Christmas season that I haven’t mentioned! Share with us in the comments what part of the Christmas season you’re most looking forward to or your favorite Christmas memory of all time. We’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas,

Andy the Intern

Grilling Season Never Ends

We are about a month into fall and the memory of triple-digit days and long summer nights are beginning to fade. We’ve burned through all our sparklers, drank all the lemonade, and done all our grilling for the year. But what if I told you one of those joys doesn’t end with summer? We may be out of sparklers and lemonade, but I’m here to tell you that grilling season never ends.

I’ve been a casual college football fan my whole life. Then I went to college at Virginia Tech, so I’m an invested and passionate college football fan now. Something I learned from my time at Tech is that grilling is quite nearly as important as football. Whether you’re in a parking lot, at your friend’s apartment, or literally eating off a truck, grilling is as big as an event as the football game. I’ve been persuaded of the belief that grilling is a perfect complement to football– just like peanut butter complements chocolate (or like maroon complements orange, am I right?). Basically what I’m saying is grilling doesn’t end when summer does because when football is in season, collegiate or professional, grilling is too.

Now I recognize that not everyone is an avid football fan who goes to games regularly. If you don’t fall into that category and you weren’t excited by what I wrote in the last paragraph that’s cool because grilling season isn’t over for you either. What do I mean? Well, what’s another event setting where food is extremely important? Thanksgiving! I LOVE food so naturally, I grew up loving Thanksgiving. My family was a traditional family when it came to cooking the turkey, oven-roasted in a pan with vegetables and delicious juices. But more recently I’ve been branching out. A few years ago I had deep fried turkey… incredible! Ten out of ten would recommend. But an even crazier method I recently learned about was grilling. I was skeptical but a co-worker told me about how grilling a Thanksgiving turkey is a legitimate option with a Big Green Egg, a type of grill sold at VFM. If you feel the need to fact check me or are feeling adventurous and looking to mix it up this year check out this link for more detailed guidance.

Okay, who haven’t I reached yet? Let’s say you aren’t an avid football fan and you prefer traditional turkey baking. I am going to share with you one of the craziest things I have heard at my short time at Virginia Furniture Market. You ready? You can bake a cake in a Big Green Egg. “WHAT?! Andy, you’ve gone too far! It’s absurd to suggest you can bake a cake on a charcoal grill.” I hear you, I get it. I have no personal experience that I can add here to persuade you. All I can say is my co-worker Mary bakes cakes on her Big Green Egg and loves it. So if you are not a huge football fan, like to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey traditionally, but are interested in baking creatively check out these baked good recipes. Or if you’re like me and curious, it’s fun to read all the possibilities.

It’s time to realize that grilling is not just a summer sensation but a year-round activity! The Big Green Egg does it all, folks. Grilling season never ends.

Happy Grilling,

Andy the Intern

The Truth Behind Leather Furniture

Trust me I know furniture can be a scary purchase & when it comes to leather furniture it can be even scarier! In a world full of retailers who tout genuine leather furniture, only to send you home with something that peels & chips six months later (yikes) is unacceptable. That seems to be the norm in furniture, unfortunately. However, at Virginia Furniture Market we educate our customers. So I am here today to share a few real leather facts & how to spot real leather the next time you’re in a furniture store!

1) There are two main types of leather used in furniture; they are Split & Top Grain Leather.

Top grain leather comes from the epidermis layer of the hide, a.k.a. the rough outer part of the hide similar to the top layer of our skin. Split leather is the layer right below the epidermis layer on the hide. Split leather is a more cost-effective option but does not have the same strength as top grain leather. So make sure when shopping you ask what type of leather the piece is made of.

2) It can take up to 400 pounds of pressure to puncture leather!

Talk about something that is built to last. You’ll have to break out the power tools to pop a hole in a leather sofa.

3) If the price is too good to be true, it’s probably not real leather.

Leather is expensive; it costs more to produce a leather sofa. My father always told me “if you want quality you’re going to pay for it.” A leather sofa will cost a little more but remember a leather sofa typically outlasts a cloth sofa’s life by 3x.

4) Zippers are the key to telling if its real or fake leather!

Quality furniture has zippers!!! If you remember anything from this post remember that. Zippers give you the ability to re-stuff your furniture years down the line when things start to sag. But even more importantly, zippers give you the ability to look at the hide.

Which one of these chairs is leather if you had to guess?

If you guessed left you are correct! The way to tell this is by looking on the backside of the hide/fabric.

The real leather chair on the backside of the hide will feel & look natural along with a leather smell

If you look above fake leather will typically have a man-made material on the backside of the fake leather, which is a direct giveaway that it is not a genuine product. Always remember when shopping for furniture that it’s okay to get your hands a little dirty and inspect a product. In the end, it’s going to be in your home so make sure its right :)!

5) If it adjusts to your body temperature quickly it’s probably leather!

Leather is a natural material meaning that it soaks up the oils in your skin as well as heat that your body gives off. So when in doubt sit it out! After about thirty seconds, you should be able to feel the leather change and adjust to your body temperature. If it’s still cold after you’ve been sitting for a couple of minutes…. its probably not leather.

If you’ve made it this far, I Ryan the Real, officially crown you a leather professional. In a world of imitation leathers, you will be guaranteed to spot the fakes like a pro. However, if you decide leather is right for you, visit Virginia Furniture Market and one of our professionals will be honest with you when it comes to this mysterious thing called leather. So next time, skip the research and make your way down to VFM and learn the benefits of real top grain leather!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Peace,

Ryan Real!