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Dorm Move-In Tips

Author: Art Van

Going off to college is a big milestone for your son or daughter, and it’s a milestone for parents, too. You were there for the first 18 years, and suddenly your child is leaving the nest to be on their own. With a bevy of emotions, it’s easy to overlook what you need to make move-in day as smooth as possible.


Here are three things to do before you pull out of the driveway:

  1. Double-check the move-in instructions. Some schools allow you to show up on the day and time of your choice, while others give you a specific check-in time as well as parking location. Make sure that when you arrive, you can actually unload and get your child settled.
  2. Don’t over pack. Dorms provide basics, like a bed, dresser, desk and chair. Make you’re your child coordinates the extras with his or her roommate. Depending on the size of the room, you might need just one rug or television. Find out if your school supplies things like shower curtains or linens. Bringing just the essentials will help you unload and unpack faster.
  3. Think portable. Dorms often have rolling cart that students can use to move their items from the car to their room and elevators that can allow you to avoid the stairs, but with hundreds of kids moving in at the same time finding any of these things free might be difficult. Pack your child’s things in storage bins that have handles, and fill them at a weight that is comfortable to carry. This will make the process less stressful.

Banana Dolphins

Look Alike Chair

Author: Art Van

PB Everly Chair


Clearance Center Look Alike Chair

One of these chairs sells for $699 and the other is $177. Seriously! Both have classic ivory upholstery and beautiful nail-head trim detailing. And both feature curved, clean lines. Besides the price, the only noticeable difference is the color of the legs. One is the Everly Upholstered Armchair from Pottery Barn and the other is the Lea Accent Chair from Art Van Furniture. At $177, you can purchase three and have money left over.

Can you guess which chair is the budget-friendly option? Click here to grab the better deal. We’ve got the look (for a lot less!)


Few things are more fun when you’re a child than having friends come over and spend the night. Sleepovers usually involve little sleep, but lots of laughs and memories. Set the stage for fun by creating a bedroom that is sleepover-ready. Here are five things you’ll need to create the perfect space.

Slumber Bunkbed

1. Bunk Beds. Whether your child enjoys his or her own room or shares it with a sibling, you can never go wrong by choose bunk beds. This space-saver creates a cozy feeling on the bottom bunk, and a little adventure on the top. Make it slumber party worthy by hanging twinkling lights from beneath the bottom mattress.

Slumber Trundle

2. Trundle Bed. Kids often don’t mind sleeping on the floor, but a trundle bed makes your guest feel welcome. Purchase a bed with a built-in trundle and mattress, or add one to your existing furniture. Then simply roll it out when needed.

Slumber Plush Rug

3. Plush Rug. When there are more than one or two guests, the floor needs to be extra comfortable. It’s the place for sleeping, lounging, dancing and playing. Adding a plush rug will help cushion the room and warm up the space.

Slumber Futon

4. Futon. Teenagers love a bedroom that feels like a studio loft. Create that laidback feel with a futon. During the day it will look and act like a sofa, but at night, it can accommodate guests. Choose one in a fashionable fabric or chic black to give your child’s room a cool vibe.

Slumber Beanbag

5. Beanbag Chairs. When you’re a kid, there’s nothing as comfortable as a beanbag chair. Low and soft, they’re the perfect hangout furnishing. Choose a pair or more in bright colors that match your child’s décor, and you’ll create a space for late night chats.

Looking for a reason to throw a party. Summer is a good enough reason in itself, but choosing a theme can help you come up with creative food and decorations. Here are 10 summer party ideas that will heat up your entertaining schedule:

  • Ice cream social
  • Picnic in the garden
  • Outdoor movie night
  • Beach blanket bingo
  • High tea
  • Under the sea
  • Luau
  • Water games
  • Bubbles
  • Star gazing

One of the best ways to create a cohesive design is to stick within a color palette. With a million shades under the rainbow, how do you know where to start? No worries! The design experts at Art Van Furniture have identified color trends that will help you define your style and pick the hues that speak to you.

Today we’re sharing Bay Harbor. This palette was inspired by Michigan’s favorite summer destination. Think brilliant colors and beaches lined with striped umbrellas and Adirondack chairs. The look is classic Americana with nautical inspirations, weathered whites, royal and navy blue, and vibrant red. You’ll feel like you’re on a permanent vacation when you come home to this palette.

Take a look at these three settings that have Bay Harbor style:

Outdoor Bay Harbor

Bay Harbor is the perfect palette for your back yard, turning your patio or deck into a beach resort. The acrylic wicker sectional and seating is low maintenance, and the vibrant blue and white palette is timeless and fun. Hurricane candles and a white flowers give the setting a fresh feel. And the chevron pattern of the rug adds a sense of movement and energy.

Bay Harbor Dining

Bay Harbor is a great look in the dining room, as well. Weathered wood and white washed furnishings feel casual yet elegant. Turquoise glass and coral artwork add pops of color, and a striped rug adds a sense of Americana.

Bay Harbor Bedroom

Finally, Bay Harbor is a natural for a boy’s bedroom. Stripes of blue will grow up with your child, from toddler to teen. And his sporting equipment, such as a baseball and bat, will look like carefully chosen accessories.

What do you think of Bay Harbor?

Care For FountainThere’s nothing as soothing as a backyard fountain. Not only is it beautiful to watch; the trickling sound creates a relaxing environment. Since it’s outside, this beloved accessory can also get its share of dirt and debris. Maintain its beauty by taking a few easy steps:

  1. Use a small net to remove debris, such as leaves or insects. This will help prevent clogging the pump. You can also attach a nylon stocking to the hose, to make sure debris doesn’t get inside the inner workings.
  2. Monitor the water level. On hot days, your fountain can experience evaporation. Since the pump can overheat if the water level is too low, make sure it’s full.
  3. Once a month, unplug the pump and drain the water. Remove buildup with a solution of vinegar and water and a stiff bristled scrub brush. Wipe clean and refill. Using distilled water in your fountain can help reduce mineral buildup.


AV Trestle TableRH Trestle TableOne of these tables sells for $1995 and the other is just $1199. Both are solid wood, and both feature a rich antique finish. One is the Dumont Rectangular Dining Table from Restoration Hardware and the other is the San Rafael Trestle Table from Art Van Furniture.

Can you guess which is which? (Neither will your friends.) Click here to find the better deal. We’ve got the look (for a lot less!)


Wicker HudsonIf you love the look of outdoor wicker furniture, but thought it was too high maintenance, you need to learn about today’s resin wicker furniture. Offering the beauty of the old-fashioned material with the advancements of modern technology, modern wicker is designed to hold up to the elements without fading, peeling, chipping or splintering.

The best part is that it requires minimal maintenance. Here are a few steps that will keep yours looking fresh and new:

1. Spot clean any spills, especially drinks or tree sap that can become sticky and attract more dirt. Use water or a mixture of mild soap and water, and simply sponge clean or use a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with water, and dry with a cotton or microfiber cloth.

2. Vacuum the cushion covers to remove dust and dirt that can become problematic if left. For spots, use water or mild soap to spot clean with a sponge. Rinse with water and allow to air dry for at least an hour before using.

Wicker Carson 3. Complete a more thorough cleaning on the furniture biweekly to monthly, depending on how much your furniture is exposed to the elements. Use a garden hose to remove dust, dirt and grime. You can also use a bucket of water with a mild detergent. A good ratio is ¼ cup of mild dish soap to one gallon of warm water.

4. Remove debris from your furniture with a soft-bristle brush, making sure you get into the weave of the wicker. You’d be surprised how much dust can collect. A wide brush with long bristles can help you get the job done quickly.

5. After cleaning the furniture, spray again with the garden hose or a bucket of clean water until the soap residue is gone. Then let it air dry for two to three hours before returning the cushions.

Care for DeckSummer is in full swing, and your deck is probably getting a workout. Keep the good times rolling with some maintenance. Here are three things to do this month to keep your deck in great shape:

1. Check the structure. Inspect your deck for cracks or rot, paying extra attention to areas that are close to the ground or sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.

2. If you see areas that look wet check for rot with a flat-end screwdriver. If you can push it into the wood a quarter inch or more, you probably have rot. Small areas can be removed with a chisel and treated with a wood filler and preservative. Larger areas may need to be replaced.

3. Check the railings. If any area feels loose, tighten the connections. You may need to use wider bolts if the wood has weakened and the current hardware isn’t catching into the grain.