Style. Color. Fabric. Fashion. At Art Van, We've Got The Look! Our team of fashion and furniture 'Insiders' take you behind the scenes for the greatest trends, décor and design tips. Looking for what's new and what's next? It's here!

Natalie Portman Den

From Jackie Kennedy to Star Wars’ Padma Amidala, Natalie Portman has played her share of strong women. It’s no surprise that her modern home in Montecito, California is equally as striking. With stunning gardens and a view of the Pacific Ocean, this house is a wonderful retreat for the actress and her two children.

We love the spacious study, which features lots of light and a view of the incredible landscape. If you like Portman’s style, we’ve got the look.

Portman Sofa

Providing plenty of seating for Portman and her family is an oversized grey sofa that looks super comfortable. Our Chene Park Sofa from the Detroit Sofa Company is a great match. It features generously proportioned track arms and deep seating for a casual and cozy place to unwind. Its charcoal fabric is soft to the touch and the fun leaf pattern toss pillows add a touch of yellow and orange.

Portman Chair

Portman has two accent chairs that feature a wooden frame and relaxed cushions. While not a match, our Bardot Grey Lounge Chairs offer the same casual style. Its sensuous curves add a flair for the dramatic, while the supple grey upholstery coordinates perfectly with the grey sofa.

Portman Table

Adding a rustic touch to Portman’s room is a wooden cocktail table with metal base. Our Innsbruck Cocktail Table has the same lines and finish. Made from reclaimed wood, the table features a black metal frame for a mix of rustic and industrial elements.

Portman Rug

Finally, anchoring Portman’s room is an oversized traditional-style rug with a dramatic black background. Our India House Rug offers a similar look, with a striking dark background and rich colors in 100% wool.

What do you think of Porman’s style? Let us know in the comments below.

Pedestal tables have an uncanny ability to slide in anywhere and everywhere. They go with any style décor, and they don’t take up too much room. Here are five rooms where a pedestal table—big or small—would be a perfect addition.

Entryway Pedestal Table

Foyer. If you have a large foyer, place a pedestal table in the center for a dramatic style statement. Accessorize it with a large centerpiece.

Dining Pedestal Table

Dining Room. Pedestal tables are the perfect solution for small dining rooms. They don’t take up much floor space, and they allow you to squeeze in one more guest because foot space isn’t a worry.

Nightstand pedestal Table

Bedroom. Instead of choosing the matching set, design your bedroom by going outside of the furniture lines. A pedestal table makes the perfect nightstand, with plenty of surface space, and sleek lines.

End Pedestal Table

Living Room. If your living room is short on space, pedestal end tables create the illusion of more room by taking up less floor space. It’s easy to find an option to coordinate with your décor.

Breakfast Nook Pedestal Table

Breakfast Nook. Start your morning off on the right foot by creating a cozy breakfast nook. A pedestal table provides the perfect shape for an intimate meal.

Fitting a sofa into a room can sometimes be difficult if you have a small space, open floor plan, awkward door or window placement, or built-in features like bookshelves or fireplaces. While a sofa and loveseat make up the traditional seating group, there is no design law that says it’s the only option. It’s possible to provide enough seating without using a sofa.

Four Chairs

Source: Pinterest

Consider using four armchairs, instead. Placed around a circular cocktail table or ottoman, the look feels clubby and chic. Or place two sets of chairs across from each other with a rectangular cocktail table between them. 

While a sofa and loveseat are meant to seat five, how often do three people sit on the sofa together? Four chairs will most likely provide just as much seating. Provide plenty of surface space by using two end tables placed opposite each other. This offers a place for lamps, or you could use floor lamps in the space without the end table.

Here are some chairs that would do well with this arrangement:

Elle FlippedElle III

When choosing your chairs, you have options, namely matching or not. Four matching chairs give the room a purposeful symmetrical look. Select a style to match your décor—this grouping works with any design taste.


Or you can change it up and use matching pairs. Stick with the same color family or use complementary shades. You can also stick with the same silhouette, which will give the room a uniform feel.

Elle III ArmlessGiselle

If you need more seating, create a grouping of two armless settees with two slipper chairs. This look is a little more formal, but it feels open and contemporary.

Do you dare to go sofa free?

A summer escape to the lake is a treat, but you can easily bring that feeling home to enjoy by decorating with Great Lakes style. Inspired by Michigan beaches of Bay Harbor, Grand Haven and Harbor Springs, the look is laidback chic with effortless sophistication.

Go on a permanent Pure Michigan vacation by incorporating these five things into your home:

Great Lakes Table

1. Weathered Whites

When choosing paint colors and furnishings, keep things light and classic. Great Lakes Style uses varying shades of white and ivory on walls and furnishings. And weathered or distressed finishes are favorites.

Nautical Print

2. Nautical Accents 

The feel of the lake becomes more literal when you collect nautical themed art and accents for the room. Choose paintings of sailboats in a harbor or fish in the sea. Adorn frames with shells or rope, and scatter accessories, such as sand dollars, coral or ship instruments.

Stripes Ottoman

3. Stripes 

Think brilliant colors and beaches lined with striped umbrellas and Adirondack chairs. Now bring that look indoors. Choose bold contrasting colors, like blue and white for that beachside feeling.


red white and blue

4. A Palette of Red, White and Blue

Great Lakes style offers the feeling of Americana with navy, royal blue, vibrant red and crisp white. Use the colors together or as accents.

oversized chair

5. Large-Scale Furnishings 

Finally, Great Lakes Style is meant to be relaxing, and that means furnishings in a large scale. Seating should feel inviting and generous—a place to curl up on a leisurely afternoon with a good book or special friend.

There is something nostalgic and even magical about watching a movie outdoors. Those who grew up in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, will likely remember the old drive-in movie theaters with crackly speakers that hung on car windows and preview reels that featured a dancing concession stand snacks.

It’s easy enough to bring back some of that fun by holding your own drive-in movie night … parked right in your backyard.


outdoor movies

First, the technology: you’ll need a DVD projector. If you don’t own one, you can often borrow one from your school or workplace. If that’s not possible, contact companies that rent AV equipment for conferences. You’ll also need a screen, but you can fashion one yourself. Simply hang a white sheet from second story windows or project the movie onto a light flat surface such as a garage door.

Next, choose the movie. Consider campy classics, such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, Beach Blanket Bingo or anything starring Elvis. Or select a fun summer movie, such as Stand By Me, NationalLampoon’s Vacation, The Parent Trap, I Know What You Did Last Summer or Jaws.

Now it’s time to make the popcorn. You can set up a popcorn, by filling a big tub with plain popcorn and offering your guests a selection of gourmet toppings, such as dry ranch dressing mix, parmesan cheese and Italian spices, truffle salt, lemon zest and pepper, or mini M & Ms and crushed toffee. Round out the snacks with bottles of Faygo and boxes of Good ‘n Plenty, Raisinettes and Dots.outdoor chairsFinally, pull up some comfortable outdoor chairs. Midwest evenings can bring a chill to the air, so be sure to have some blankets for snuggling, too.

Then, it’s time to enjoy. Pass the popcorn, please.





Look Alike Outdoor Chair

Sitting outside in a comfortable chair is one of the best ways to soak up summer, but there’s no need to spend too much. These two wicker chairs are nearly identical. Both are made of resin wicker and both feature wide arms for resting.

One is the Lakehouse Lounge Chair for Ethan Allen, which sells for $1,029, and the other is the San Jose III Lounge Chair from Art Van Furniture, retailing for $579 – nearly half the cost of the other. PLUS, right now our outdoor furniture is on sale for 40% off.

You’ll relax even more this summer when you know you didn’t pay too much. 

If you want to spruce up your living space, a great start is adding a new rug. Today’s trend brings geometry class to your floor with dramatic shapes inspired by mathematics. Take a look at these three options:


Our Aspire Board Grey Area Rug has a circuit board design, which would look great in contemporary or casual homes. The rich, colorful lines bring a sense of energy to your room, and the hand-tufted pile adds comfort.


The Aspire Hexagon Navy Rug features an abstract design of overlapping hexagons—another great option for contemporary or casual décor. The rug was made in Indian using 100% new wool, and the contrasting navy and ivory colors are striking.

Aspire Window

Finally, the Aspire Window Coral Rug features the design of antique leaded windows, with ivory and coral creating beautiful shapes. This accent rug would look great on light or dark-colored flooring.


The kids are out of school, and it’s time for fun in the sun. Do you have a fun outdoor play space that keeps them busy? A swing set is a great start, but here are five things that will turn your back yard into the neighborhood hot spot.

Pouf Ottoman

1. Kid-Friendly Furnishings

Consider getting some outdoor furniture that is scaled for little ones. A small picnic table or table and chairs set would be a fun addition. Or use several small pouf ottomans that provide soft mobile seating.

2. A “Secret” Hideout

Children love tree houses because they feel like kid-only clubhouses. If that’s not a possibility, what about including a ground-level playhouse? Or maybe a tent that can be put away when not in use?

Pool Toy

3. Water

A pool is ideal, but you can provide lots of other water features. Consider getting a fun sprinkler that kids can splash in. Or how about a slip and slide? You could also have a bucket of squirt guns or water balloons on hand, for some old-fashioned water fights.

4. An Adventure

If you have room in your yard, consider installing a fun item, such as a zip line, tire swing or even a hammock. These items never grow old, and you’ll probably have just as much fun using it as the kids.

Turtle Pot

5. A Garden

Gardening is a great way to teach kids about patience and care. Plus, they’re more likely to try new fruits and vegetables when they grow them themselves. Consider dedicating a corner of your yard to a garden, or plant in fun pots like this cool turtle planter.

What does your summer backyard plan entail? Please share your ideas in the comments below.


Filling your home with fancy furniture that will make you cringe when your little one’s hands get dirty is probably not the best way to decorate your house when your children are young. But you don’t want to look like you live in a day-care center, either. Instead, choose a style that durable and decorative – a happy medium for a happy family

Kid-friendly homes can be fashionable if you keep these six things in mind when selecting your furnishings:

Attached Cushions

1. Cushions will become forts. That means you have two choices: Get a sofa with firm cushions that will stand up wear and tear. Or pick a sofa with cushions sewn in so they’re not removable. You can satisfy your child’s imagination by providing other fort-building props, such as portable and stackable cube ottomans or a fabric tee-pee

Leather Upholstery

2. Upholstery will attract spills. Whether it’s sofas, chairs, headboards or ottomans, choose fabric for upholstered pieces that is a durable, such as microfiber or leather.  You can also check the color of the stains on your sofa before choosing a hue for the new one. Something in taupe, gray or tan will hide spills, making them less noticeable. Or pick furnishings with slipcovers that can be thrown in the washing machine to be freshened up.

Kid friendly Rug

3. Rugs camouflage a multitude of mishaps. Just like upholstery, your floors will take a beating be the recipient of a few spills, as well. A rug with a rich pattern will hide just about anything, and it provides cushioning for little ones who might slip on hardwood flooring. Rugs are easy to send to the cleaners. And when kids are grown, rugs are more affordable to replace than wall-to-wall carpeting.

Kid Friendly Table

4. Round corners are your friends. Small children, especially when they’re learning to walk, tend have plenty of trips and falls. Since cocktail and end table corners are at eye-level, you can help prevent bruises and bumps by choosing tables that are round or oval instead of shapes with corners. Upholstered ottomans are a great option for a cocktail table.

Storage Ottoman

5. Kids have lots of stuff. That means it’s smart to incorporate storage to keep clutter at bay, and plenty of options will tie in with your décor. For example, decorative baskets and bins tucked under end tables can be a quick hiding spot for blocks and dolls. Bookshelves can hold reading material as well as board games. And a chest that doubles as a cocktail table can hold blankets, magazines and stuffed animals. Make sure the storage is accessible so kids get things out and put things away.

Kid Loft

6. Kids just want to be kids! While making sure all of your rooms are family-friendly, having a room that is meant for the kids helps minimize the wear and tear on your home. Whether it’s a family room, basement rec room or your child’s bedroom, create a space for kids by filling it with the things he or she loves to do – such as finger paint and cartwheels. When kids have a place of their own, they’re less tempted to get into stuff that’s not theirs.

School’s out, and it’s time to let loose!! Here are three ideas for celebrating summer in style.

Host an Ice Cream Social

Create a make-your-own sundae bar with a couple flavors of ice cream and lots of toppings. Consider sprinkles, nuts, fruit, crushed cookies and whipped cream.

Have a Picnic  Bring lunch or dinner outdoors. It can be in your own back yard or at a nearby park. There’s something about eating outside that makes the food taste better.

Camp Out Enjoy a night under the stars by popping a tent in your back yard or vising a campground. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and tell ghost stories.