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The family room is where the best conversations happen. Where movie night and popcorn go together. And where relaxing and rejuvenating are on the daily to-do list. Since it’s a casual space, however, it’s easy for the family room to become a hodge-podge of leftover furniture and decorating ideas. Make time to design the right atmosphere, and you’ll be rewarded with a place that sets the stage for memories.


Take a second look at your family room. Does it have these five things that every family room needs?


Family Room Seating


1. An inviting seating area. This isn’t the place for antique wooden chairs that make you sit up straight. Enjoy your downtime by choosing cushioned sofas and overstuffed armchairs. You can combine a sofa with two armchairs or a loveseat or bring in an oversized sectional, but be sure to include a cocktail table or ottoman that will encourage snacking, games and putting up your feet. Create a sense of intimacy by placing furnishings relatively close together, but be sure to provide a nice flow for traffic. If you have a focal point in your room – such as a fireplace or media center – group your seating area around it.


Alder Media Center


2. A media center. Family rooms are for watching movies, televisions or the video you shot on vacation. Be sure you have a place for viewing them all. A media center will let you set up a television and any other components you need. Measure your space, your television and your electronics before you pick the perfect console. Many media centers also provide storage for DVDs, CDs, and video game equipment. In a variety of styles, it’s easy to find a unit that fits your décor.


Family Room Lighting


3. Light!?Every room deserves good lighting, and that should include a mix of task, ambient and overhead lights. Start with overhead fixtures, which are often already built in, then add more lights like you would add layers. Consider a floor lamp near your reading chair or sofa. And incorporate ambient, or mood, lighting in corners to create an inviting space at night.


Family Room Rug


4. A rug. A family room should be comfortable and that means choosing furnishings and accents that provide soft finishes. By using a rug, you’ll add warmth and you can define certain areas. Rugs also inject color and pattern to a space. Finally, rugs – especially those with patterns – can hide the stains and spills that often happen when the family gathers.


Family Room Fun



5. Something fun. The family room isn’t the place to be formal; it should include a sense of fun. Add a casual element by including candid family photos. Choose bright or bold patterns for your rug, throw pillows or wall paint. Or set up a chess set or Scrabble board and encourage impromptu games. This is the room for your family’s personality to shine. Go for it!

The holiday season is time to roll out the welcome mat for family and friends as you gather to celebrate good cheer. Your front door sets the stage for what’s inside. Here are three holiday decorating ideas for your entryway that will make your guests feel special when they ring the bell.


Photo source: Thistlewood Farms

Photo source: Thistlewood Farms


Natural elements such as garland, pinecones and branches combine to create a winter wonderland and get a magical feel when accented with opulent gold ribbon. This combination of a wreath and oversized swags sets an elegant tone for the home, peaking your guests’ curiosity as to what’s in store inside.


Photo source:

Photo source:


Sometimes things you have in your basement or attic make the best decorations. Case in point: this sled and pair of skates. Simply add evergreen garland and a big bow and you’ve got a nostalgic winter scene right outside your front door. These props are also at the ready for a trip down the neighborhood hill or some pond skating.


Photo source: Pinterest / Denise D’Abadle

Photo source: Pinterest / Denise D’Abadle


The front door becomes a focal point when decorative garland is used as a frame. Adorned with red ornaments and gold ribbon, this design creates a festive setting. Add a matching wreath and greens in the urns, and you’ve got an opulent holiday display that is sure to be the best on the block.



All Is Calm

Author: Art Van

The decorating. The baking. The shopping. The entertaining. The. Elf. On. The. Shelf.


When it comes to holidays, the list never ends. The key to keeping calm in the midst of the chaos is taking charge of the holidays instead of letting them take charge of you. Here are three tips for keeping things merry:


1. Set holiday goals. It can be easy to get swept up in materialism and festivities, but don’t lose sight of your holiday goals, such as spend more time with family or stick within a certain budget. Decide what is important to you and your family, and make sure every holiday event or activity is in line with your vision.


2. Be realistic about your time. It can be easy to add more things to your plate in the midst of holiday excitement, but just because your to-do list doubles, doesn’t mean that your available time doubles, too. Manage your everyday tasks first, then build in some extra time for all of your holiday to-dos.


3. Forget perfection. We all want a picture perfect life and this ideal becomes heightened during the holidays. From a beautifully decorated home to expertly wrapped gifts to angelic children, everything should look like it came from a storybook. Right?No. The more you plan for perfect, the more likely you’ll end up stressed and unhappy. Accept that it’s not going to be perfect, and make room for Plan B.

pantone marsala

Pantone, the global experts on color, recently announced their color of the year for 2015, and it just might be hiding in your wine cabinet. It’s Marsala, and its rich, welcoming hue makes it a natural for furniture, accent pieces, accessories and paint.


“While Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”


Nurturing and fulfilling, Eiseman says Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop and linens throughout the home. Marsala is also an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture. And this hue will be especially prominent in striping and floral patterns found in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding and throws.


Of course, Art Van Furniture has the look. Take a look at these pieces that will update your home, and immediately put you on trend.


Marsala Sofa


Love Pantone’s new color of the year? Go all in with our Tori Sofa, which features this perfect shade of red. Bold but not overpowering – much like a good wine – the fun accent pattern on the toss pillows adds neutral tones to your room.


Marsala Ottoman


Another way to update your home is to introduce Marsala with an upholstered ottoman. Our Foley Cocktail Ottoman is generously proportioned, and features a striking pattern mixing the tone with other earthy colors. A statement piece, this ottoman is sure to attract attention and compliments.


Marsala Rug


Marsala is an eye-catching shade underfoot, as well, and our Inferno Red Rug is a perfect choice. Featuring a pallet of warm and neutral tones, it will complement most styles of decor. Durable, this rug is a great choice for high-traffic areas.


Marsala Linens


Or put this warm color in the bedroom with our Charleston Collection Comforter. The rich shade brings drama to the room, and the design features detailed stitching that creates a subtle pattern. The set includes the comforter as well as a pair of Euro shams, one double sham and one decorative accent pillow.

Jessica Simpson House


Singer and fashion designer Jessica Simpson is known for her sense of style, and taking a peek into her Beverly Hills home doesn’t disappoint. In October she sold her French-inspired mansion to another style leader, Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, but while she and her Eric Johnson lived there, they enjoyed a décor that could be called ‘relaxed luxury.’


Designed by Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic Couture, we think the master retreat looks especially inviting. If you like the style, we’ve got the look:


simpson headboard


The focal point of a bedroom is the bed, and Simpson’s features a rich upholstered headboard. Our Trieste Upholstered Bed provides the same sense of drama, with a fashionable and comfortable headboard. The feminine curves of the oversized tufted piece are given a bit of bling with its antique pewter nailhead trim. It’s available in Queen and King sizes.


Jessica Simpson Ottoman


At the foot of Simpson’s bed is a tufted ottoman that matches the headboard. We offer a similar option from our Style Collection. The Coral Cocktail Ottoman is one of our custom-order pieces, and for no extra charge you can choose a fabric that matches the headboard or contrasts or complements to provide a unique design element. With its turned legs and a tufted top, the piece offers a place to rest or set clothing while you dress.


suzanne chest


Instead of traditional nightstands, Simpson’s bedroom features painted chests for extra storage and extra style. We think our Suzanne Accent Chest would add a beautiful element to the room with its tree and birds design. Is it a piece of furniture or a piece of art? You decide.


Jessica Simpson Lamp


Atop the chest nightstands, Simpson has two traditional lamps. Our Chambray Table Lamps have the same classic lines and details. With a charming weathered blue base and chambray linen shade, it will provide just the right illumination for bedtime reading.


Jessica Simpson Settee


If you have room for a sitting area as Simpson does, you’ll want to include furniture that is as comfortable as it is stylish. Our Heidi Settee features a sleek feminine silhouette with contrast welting that highlights its lines. With ample space for one or a cozy spot for two, the tufting on the back complements the details on the headboard and ottoman. In a neutral tweed fabric with an ivory welt, this piece from Style Collection is also available in hundreds of fabric options through our custom orders.


Jessica Simpson Cocktail Table


Finally, create an intimate setting in the sitting area with the addition of a cocktail table. Our Celine Oval Cocktail Table in real silver leaf and antiqued mirror is ultra luxurious, and provides a sense of light to this elegant space. Retro-styled, it will quickly become a favorite piece of furniture in your home.

The fireplace is always a focal point, but during the holidays it gets even hotter. Give your mantel the star treatment by decking it out with a new look for the season. Art’s Marketplace has the latest accessories. Take a look at these three inspirational mantels that are sure to get your creative juices flowing.


Source: Pinterest / Kimberly Turner

Source: Pinterest / Kimberly Turner


This fireplace mantel celebrates the season by bringing in some of nature’s splendor. We love the mix of materials, such as evergreen garland, metal stars and glistening branches. Keep adding layers until it’s just right.


Source: Pinterest / Hometalk

Source: Pinterest / Hometalk


This mantel brings out the kid in each of us with its colorful palette and whimsical accessories. We love the clever dimensional use of ornaments using varying ribbon lengths, and the Ho Ho Ho sign makes this display festive and fun.


Source: Pinterest / Finding Home

Source: Pinterest / Finding Home


Less is more with this minimalistic approach to holiday decorating. A chalkboard highlights the message of the season in simplistic beauty, allowing you to use as many or as few accessories as you wish.

Green is the new black, and living the good life means living a life that’s good for Mother Earth, too. As we look for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint by reusing and recycling, reclaimed elements are coming to the forefront of home décor, including options in wooden furniture. Reclaimed, or salvaged, wood is not only a hot trend; it’s a gorgeous way to conserve our resources and design a room that has a sense of history and charm.


Art Van Furniture is proud to offer our customers several reclaimed wood pieces. Here are a few of our favorites:


Reclaimed Wood Chest


The Hugo Accent Table is made from reclaimed teak wood and has a gorgeous natural finish. It would be a great end table in a contemporary, casual or urban-style living space. Or use a pair in a bedroom as unique nightstands. The plank design allows the texture and beauty of each piece of wood to shine for a look that’s far from ordinary.


Reclaimed Wood Bench


Constructed from reclaimed hardwoods, the Peasant Bench has its own unique properties and characteristics, meaning no two benches are the same. Add one to your kitchen table for country chic flair. Or place one in a mudroom or foyer to provide an eye-catching space for pulling off winter boots. This piece looks like it was in your family for generations.


Reclaimed Wood Sideboard


While reclaimed wood is often of a rich aged tone, the Marco Sideboard provides a lighter option, allowing the natural details of the wood to be easily admired. Made from reclaimed elm, the piece is weathered but smooth to the touch with a silhouette that’s classic. The perfect piece for a dining room or oversized foyer, its two drawers and four doors open to reveal ample – and gracious – storage space.


Reclaimed Wood Sideboard 2


The reclaimed wood of the Vintage Distressed Sideboard features vertical and horizontal planking for a detailed design that catches the eye. Its three drawers and three doors open to provide storage for china, games, media accessories and more. Perfect for an urban living space or rustic retreat, this piece has a look that’s all its own.

Holiday family traditions can be wonderful … and wonderfully overwhelming at the same time! Here three ways to reinvent tasks to make the holidays a little brighter:


If hosting an annual brunch or dinner leaves you anxious for weeks, consider changing the format to a potluck. Or change the menu to an evening of dessert and coffee, then hit your warehouse club for bite-sized sweets and brew a pot of decaf.


If baking holiday cookies seems like torture, consider store-bought dough, or bake items that are made an entire batch at a time, such as brownies, fudge or lemon bars. You can also arrange a cookie swap with friends where you each bake a large batch of one item, then divide it up evenly so you get to enjoy several different treats without having to dirty several different bowls. Easier yet, place a visit to your local bakery (the staff can be very discreet!)


Never shop alone. Make a date with your partner or a good friend, kick it off with a light dinner or lunch, and power shop until everyone on your list is crossed off. Or, make all of your purchases online and have items shipped directly to the recipient wrapped.

Our friend Hilary Farr from HGTV’s Love It or List It was in Detroit for America’s Thanksgiving Parade Presented by Art Van. While she was here, she made an appearance on Fox 2 Detroit and shared her favorite tips for creating festive holiday tablescapes.


Here are three of her ideas:

1. Use reflective candlesticks that will add extra sparkle to your table. Crystal and cut glass will reflect the light and magnify the glow, creating a special atmosphere for special memories.

2. Ornaments are for more than just the tree. Fill a bowl with glass balls, which can make an easy centerpiece for your table. You can also scatter the ornaments around the tablecloth or on the runner for fun. Consider a color theme. All gold will glitter, while a mix of jewel tones will be festive.

3. Invest in chargers. Used beneath your plates, chargers serve as a frame for your meal, and they can quickly dress up everyday dinnerware. Choose different colors to create different looks.

If you want visions of sugarplums dancing in your head, you’ll need to start with the right pillow. A pillow has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. Not only does it support your head and neck, it helps align and maintain the curvature of your spine during sleep, so you have a restorative experience instead of one that causes further aches and pains.


A correctly fitted pillow keeps your body properly aligned, promoting good circulation and optimum oxygen levels, and the right one will depend on your sleep position. Do you sleep on your side? Stomach? Or back? If you’re not sure, pay attention as you get comfortable tonight, then notice the position you’re in when you wake up.


According to WebMD, 63% percent of Americans sleep on their side, 14% sleep on their back, and 16% on their stomach. Once you know your sleep position, you can choose the pillow that will provide proper support.


Side Sleeper Pillow


Side Sleeper

If you sleep on your side, you need a firm, full pillow that will fill the space between your ear and shoulder. Look for one that will maintain its shape to eliminate neck pain. Sleep experts say sleeping on your side provides the most comfortable position for your spine, and can help alleviate back pain. Our Queen Side Sleeper Pillow helps you recharge with high-profile pressure relief. Its recovery fibers maintain performance, and the structure eliminates neck compression.


Stomach Sleeper Pillow


Stomach Sleeper

If you’re a stomach sleeper choose a thin, almost flat pillow. Experts say you might not even need a pillow for your head, but you can tuck one beneath your stomach to avoid lower back pain. Sleeping on your stomach causes strain on your lower back and has the potential for causing neck pain. Sleep experts do not recommend this position, but if this is the best way you can fall asleep, consider our Queen Stomach Sleeper Pillow. Made of a Dri-Tech moisture and heat management fabric, it has mesh gusseted sides, providing good airflow, and a soft surface that cushions and moves with you.


Back Sleeper Pillow


Back Sleeper

If you sleep on your back, you need a thin pillow, too. Look for one with extra loft in the bottom third to provide cradling for your neck. You can also place a soft pillow under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your spine. Our Queen Back Sleeper Pillow offers the perfect mix of flexibility and firmness. Its graduated fibers cradle your skull base, and the self -leveling fill reduces neck strain.


For more pillow choices, visit Art Van Pure Sleep where you’ll learn about our complete sleep system that includes a mattress, foundation, mattress protector and pillow. Getting fitted to the right pillow could be the difference between tossing and turning and getting the best sleep!