Brightening Up a Dark Room

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Let’s face it, natural lighting does not flood every room of your house. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can do to brighten up a dark and small space.

Clean Your Windows: Clean not just the inside of your windows, but especially the outside. With less dirt, dust, and streaks on your windows, more light will brightly shine through. 

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Mirrors: Mirrors reflect light and they make the space appear much bigger. If it’s possible, place a mirror parallel to a window to reflect the natural light shining through. Other places to hang a mirror are over mantles, over couches, over side tables, etc. They are like windows that open up a room. 

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Light Colored Flooring: Dark flooring can sometimes make a room appear dark and heavy, especially if there aren’t enough windows to bring in the beautiful sunshine. A light and bright area rug can quickly solve this problem! If you don’t like rugs, painting the floor will also do the trick. 

RF&D’s RUG Sale is happening NOW till April 30th, 20% off ALL rugs. Come visit our showroom to see all our rug options! 

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 White Paint: White paint is a lot trickier than you think. To brighten up the walls of a dark gloomy room, you have to choose the right shade of white. Avoid glossy paint because it will create a glare, rather than reflecting light in every direction. Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is crisp, light, and airy.

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Open Shelving: Open shelving eliminates dark, closed in cabinets. It also adds depth to a small room. If you’re worried about open shelving looking too cluttered, use baskets to add storage. 

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Keep Dark and Bulky Furniture to a Minimum: Depending on the size of the room, dark and bulky furniture overpowers the space. Choose wisely with your bulky furniture. If you have a boxy, espresso stained coffee table, switch it out for a light toned table with legs so you can see the floor. 

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Don’t Waste, Recycle Your Old Furniture

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Why waste furniture, when you can recycle it? Millions of household items are sent to landfills every year, but recycling furniture helps in bringing this number down.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent your old furniture from being tossed in the dump:

Sell: If you’ve outgrown some of your old furniture, try selling it to put money towards new furniture. You can host a yard sale and invite family and friends to join or search if there’s a neighborhood yard sale event. You can also sell it on Ebay, Etsy, Craislist or Oodle. Selling your old furniture is especially worth the time if it’s still in perfect condition. 



Donate: Donate your old furniture to charity or give it to someone who needs it. Freecycle, allows you to list unwanted items that local people can pick up from you if they are interested. You can also request a pick up from Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, or Salvation Army


Recycle: Often you can recycle the material of the furniture itself. Search for places near you that recycle furniture. Urban Ore, located in Berkeley, recycles and sells old furniture. Their Building Materials receiving department accepts items like doors, windows, lumber, toilets, sinks, fencing, etc. Their General Store receiving department accepts clothing, furniture, and electronics.




Refinish and Reupholster:  All you need is a little imagination! Before getting rid of your old furniture, consider refinishing or reupholstering it. Reupholster an old accent chair or couch with new fresh fabric. Refinish old dressers with new paint and they will look as good as new. Pinterest has a lot of helpful DIY tips on recycling furniture. Also, you can contact your local upholsterer for tips and quotes on revamping your old couch, accent chair, dining room chairs, etc. If you’re in the Oakland area and interested in reupholstering a few pieces, contact Gonzalez Upholstery or Kay Chesterfield.

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Go Green Furniture Tips

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Green furniture is specialty furniture made from eco-friendly materials, have low- toxic material levels, and are locally manufactured.

Are you searching for green furniture, but don’t know where to start?

Here a few things to know about green furniture:

Recycled Furniture

A piece of furniture built from other pieces of old furniture. Often it’s a variety of reclaimed or recycled wood, paper, metal, or plastics. Recycled materials require less processing and fewer resources.

Natural Furniture

Furniture made from renewable resources and built with machines that use eco-friendly, renewable resources. Most common materials used in natural furniture is wood, bamboo, and hemp.

Certified Sustainable Wood

Wood must be harvested in a way that it is not detrimental to the environment or wildlife. There are nonprofit organizations, like Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. that are dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. SFI Inc., “forest certification standard is based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitats, species at risk, and Forest with Exceptional Conservation Value.” Read More about SFI Inc..


Bamboo is a fast growing crop that is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It self-generates from its’ own roots and for most furniture companies, bamboo is the ideal building material.


Mostly used for textiles, hemp is naturally resistant to most pests, unlike cotton. It also thrives on less water compared to most crops. Hemp fibers are one of the most versatile natural fibers. 

Low-Toxic Furniture

Almost all furniture offgasses, which isn’t bad, but materials treated with synthetic substances offgas chemicals that are toxic. When you bring new furniture into your home, open all the windows and maybe even have an air purify in hand. You can also find furniture that has the Greenguard certification, which ensures furniture is low toxicity. When you purchase, you can also ask if it’s untreated or treated with natural substances, like natural wood finishes, or naturally tanned leather. Read more about Greenguard.

Say No to Flame Retardants

When buying furniture, always ask which are free of flame retardant chemicals.  Flame retardants and formaldehyde are typical volatile organic compounds, aka VOCs, offgassed by furniture and have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Luckily, we now have the “TB 117-2013” law, which ensures better fire safety without the need for flame retardant chemicals in the filling materials of furniture. Read More About TB 117-2013.



A Touch of Color

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Let’s face it, with the hustle and bustle of everyday life we don’t have time to paint an entire room. So how do you perk up a room without sacrificing your entire weekend? We listed a few brilliant places in your home that only need a touch of color. It’ll save you time and you won’t need a whole gallon of paint!

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DOORS: Everyone paints the outside of their front door, but what about the inside? Painting the doors that are inside your home is a quick and easy way to brighten up your space. 

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EDGE OF A DOOR: Sometimes it’s the little things that bring charm to a room. Paint the edge of your doors a contrasting color. 


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ENTRYWAY: Same idea as painting the edge of a door, painting an electrifying color on the inside of an entryway adds a jolt of style while dividing the space. 

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KITCHEN CABINETS: Brighten up the inside of your cabinets and your tableware will really pop!

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HEADBOARD: If you don’t have a headboard for your bed, try painting one instead. Painting a shape above your bed not only adds color, but it adds a touch of personality rather than the same generic fabric headboards. 

Give Your Kitchen a Fresh New Look with These TOP Kitchen Paint Colors for 2018

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Spring is almost here, which means beautiful California weather and outdoor parties! Now that you’ll be entertaining more, perhaps it’s time to finally update the kitchen.   

Does your kitchen look dull and tired? Too many grease stains to even count?

Give your kitchen a fresh new look with these TOP Kitchen Paint Colors for 2018. 


Greens: From Sage Green to Apple Green, it’s earthy, warm, and looks amazing next to wood accents. Give your kitchen an organic vibe this Spring with this lively color.

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Blues: Any shade of blue works well in a kitchen. Benjamin Moore’s, Come Sail Away blue is crisp and airy, as if a cool sea breeze has just washed over your kitchen. It pairs well with ivory accents, bringing in a beachy and calm atmosphere. If you’re going for a more modern look, try Royal blue. Often seen on kitchen cabinets and islands, it’s vibrant color that looks sophisticated next to stainless steel appliances and bright white accents.

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Greys: Grey brings a sense of shadow that softens the environment. In the dark, certain greys can appear almost black, but with lots of sunshine it can also bring life. Grey is a fun color because it changes a lot in different conditions. Grey pairs perfectly with black appliances and white marble countertops.

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Reds: If you want a completely new look for your kitchen, go for red. All different shades of red can really enhance the character of a kitchen. But be careful with this bold color, because it can appear overpowering if not used sparingly. If your kitchen is mostly cabinetry, try painting the walls Red Geranium. It will add a pop of excitement to your seemingly dull space. If you’re not quite ready to dive into this bold change, but love the color red, you can always turn to pale pink. Pale pink is more muted, unlike candy pink. Pale pink can be a refreshing start to your new kitchen.

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Which Accent Chair is Right for You?

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Accent chairs come in all different shapes, sizes and color. Not only do they provide extra seating, but they add an extra layer of style and silhouette to any room.

With so many options to choose from, which one is right for you? Here are a few of our favorite styles with tips on where to place them and why they’re perfect for you. 



Club Chair: Traditionally, they come in leather upholstery and nail head trim. They have deeper-than-normal seats and high arms, perfect for curling up with a book or taking a nap. Most like to place their club chair near the fireplace or in a reading nook.







Swivel Chair: An accent chair that literally turns heads! The swivel chair’s unique design disguises its’ rotating base. It’s a fun and comfortable chair that’s perfect for any seating arrangement.





Wingback Chair: One of the most stylish and formal accent chairs, known for its’ tall back and winged sides. They bring a classic style to any room. Can be placed at the head of a dining table, a reading nook, or even used as a desk chair if you’re looking for a more formal design. The wingback chair is also the perfect accent chair to pair next to a large sofa, to create a balance in scale. 






Slipper Chair: If you live in a small space, but need to add extra seating with style, then the slipper chair is right for you. It’s an armless chair, notable for its’ sleek, streamlined design. The slipper chair is usually found sitting next to a coffee table or a couple are placed at the end of the bed to fancy up the bedroom.  






Arm Chair: The most popular type of accent chair because of its comfort and support. Arm chairs are found in a wide variety of fabrics, materials and sizes.







Barrel Chair: Referred to as the barrel chair, for its obvious barrel shaped design. The back of the chair is rounded, like a barrel with a high back and high arms. This accent chair adds a natural and rustic feel to any room. 






Rockridge Furniture & Design’s Sofa Sale, includes Accent Chairs too!

Find great deals NOW through April 1st. Come visit our showroom or call

(510) 652-5753 for more information!




The Do’s and Dont’s of Feng Shui and Your Living Room Sofa

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“Feng Shui is a Chinese metaphysical and quasi-philosophical system that seeks to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.”

We gathered a few Feng Shui principles pertaining to the living room sofa and broke them down to simple do’s and dont’s so your living room can feel inviting and the positive qi can flow freely throughout your space. 

DO place your sofa against a solid wall. This gives support and security. If the sofa is not anchored against a solid wall and is floating in the middle of a space, you might feel vulnerable and uneasy because you do not have the support behind you. The belief is that when you sit against a wall it creates stability.






DON’T face your sofa away from the main entrance of the living room. While relaxing on your sofa, you should be able to see the living room entrance so you are aware of who is entering the space. If this isn’t possible, hang a mirror in such a way that you can see the entrance through the mirror’s reflection. The idea is to eliminate the “unknown” factor.

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DO place a large house plant behind the angle of an L-shaped sectional. L-shaped sectionals, inherently forms a large hard angle, also referred to as a “poison arrow”. Placing a plant at the angle serves as a buffer and the arrow shape is decreased. 







DON’T have clutter in your living room. If you want clean and positive energy to flow freely throughout your place, you must eliminate the clutter so good feng shui energy can dominate the space.

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DO let in as much natural light and fresh air as possible. Natural light opens up the living room and fresh air helps the energy move throughout the room. Open the windows as much as possible because stale air makes the living room feel congested and traps any negative energy. If you don’t have enough natural light coming through the windows, try layering indoor lighting. Besides a ceiling fixture, add floor lamps and a couple of table lamps.

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Rockridge Furniture & Design’s Sofa Sale is happening NOW through the end of March. Come visit our showroom to find great deals on custom sofas! 

5 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing Your Sofa

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Rockridge Furniture & Design’s SOFA SALE is just around the corner!

Here are the 5 most important things you need to know before purchasing the best sofa for you:

1. What is your budget? Be advised that a good quality sofa is an investment!

2. What are the dimensions of your space? Have the dimensions handy when shopping around for your sofa. Don’t forget to consider proportions of the room and the other furniture in the space. 

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3. What kind of daily functions will it serve? Will it be in the TV room, family room or formal living room? A formal sofa with rolled arms and firm cushions or a casual sofa with deep seats? Will you be mostly sitting on the sofa or do you plan to lay down and take naps too? If so, you might want to consider a sofa with an add-a-chaise. Do you have pets and/or kids? Knowing all of this beforehand will help you decide which style of sofa bests suits you and your lifestyle. 


4. How many guests would you like to accommodate?  Along with the dimensions of your space, knowing how many people you want to comfortably fit on your sofa will help determine the size and shape. Do you entertain often? Maybe an L-shaped sofa sectional. 

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5. Have photos of the space handy. Take pictures of the space where you intend to put the sofa. It’s good to have at least 4 pictures that give a sense of the room.  This helps the designer better assist you in choosing the right color and style of your sofa. Is there a rug in the space? If so take a detailed picture of the rug so you can decide which color fabric or leather will compliment your space. 





Get Your Home Ready for Springtime with RF&D’s Foolproof Checklist

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Spring begins on March 20th! With only 4 weeks away, we created a foolproof weekly checklist on things you should inspect, clean and prep to get your home Spring ready! 


Week 1  (Feb 19th t0 Feb 25th) INSPECT 

1) Roofing shingles for weather damage.

2) Foundation vents for leaves and debris blocking the vents, preventing air circulation.

3) Smoke alarms and CO Detector for working batteries.

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Week 2 (Feb 26th to March 4th) CLEAN OUTSIDE 

1) Gutter.

2) Decks and patio furniture.

3) Driveway.

4) Windows & Doors.

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Week 3 (March 5th to March 11th) CLEAN INSIDE 

1) Sort through your closets for clothes, shoes, bags, etc. that you’d like to donate.

2) Vacuum & Mop entire house.

3) Clean out kitchen: Scrub stove and cabinets. Clean out fridge.

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Week 4 (March 12th to March 18th) PREP GARDEN

Prep your soil to help grow a lush garden. Healthy soil consists of weathered rock, organic matter, air, water and living organisms. 





Valentine’s Day Special: How to Create Your Bedroom Oasis

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Valentine’s Day is only a few days away and whether you celebrate it or not, it’s always a good reminder to not only express love to your friends and family, but most importantly to love yourself. What better way to love yourself than to pamper the place where you rest your head every single night… your bedroom.  We gathered a few simple ideas on how to turn your bedroom into a serene and romantic oasis.

TEXTURE: Layering a variety of textures is visually stimulating and it’s warm and comforting! Try layering your bed with knit blankets, soft linen and velvet throw pillows.  Waking up with your first step on a beautiful thick furry rug is also a pleasing thing to feel when climbing out of bed.

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SOFT LIGHTING: Low lighting is homey and romantic all year round. You can install a dimmer or purchase a lamp shade that will cast a softer glow. If you need a bright light for reading, try an overhead light that connects to your bed post or nightstand so the bright light is focused on your book and not the rest of your bedroom.

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WINDOW TREATMENT: Often windows in the bedroom get overlooked, especially when they already have blinds, but adding drapes really brings a room together. Do dark or light drapes, depending on how much light you want through once the sun rises.

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BOOKS, ART OR PLANTS OR ALL OF THE ABOVE: Some prefer to not display a bookshelf in their room because it either takes up too much space or they don’t want to be distracted while they sleep. But there’s nothing like a pile of books on the nightstand that cozies up a bedroom. 

Add a piece of art that you love, whether it is a painting or a sculpture, incorporating art that makes you happy is always a beautiful thing to fall asleep to and wake up to. 

Bringing in a low maintenance plant or a vase of flowers into your bedroom adds life into your space. Certain houseplants also help clean the air, like the Spider Plant, Chlorophytum Comosum removes pollutants, formaldehyde and xylene.

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Looking for more design advice or custom furniture?

Come visit our showroom and talk to one of our designers!