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!

Ahhh … the carefree days of summer. Lounging on the deck chaise. Dining with friends on the patio. Reading a book under the big umbrella. In Art’s Backyard, the items we stock to make your summer carefree are virtually care-free themselves. Designed to be durable, rust proof and weather resistant, you can keep your outdoor furnishings looking like new with some easy maintenance.

As with any piece of furniture, the first step is to read the label and manufacturer’s instructions. Using products that are stronger than needed, such as bleach or harsh cleansers, may not only damage your furnishing but might also void the warranty.


In Art’s Backyard, we offer aluminum and wicker seating and dining groups; both are easy to clean. For aluminum pieces, simply wipe down the frames with mild detergent and water. A light coating of wax will protect aluminum, but be sure to read the manufacturer instructions first.


The wicker pieces we offer are made of a synthetic, all-weather material and will last longer than traditional wicker. Like aluminum, caring for these pieces is easy. All they might need is to be swept with a soft bristle brush. Dirtier pieces might benefit from a rinse with a spray nozzle on a garden hose. You can also use mild detergent and water.


Outdoor cushions are made to stand up to the elements, resisting sun damage, stains and mildew. To freshen cushions, start by sweeping the surface with a soft bristle brush. This will often do the trick. You can also wash with mild detergent and water. For tougher stains, use a soft brush with soap and water.


Caring for umbrellas is similar to caring for cushions; most can be cleaned with a brush, mild detergent and water. Our Treasure Garden umbrellas are machine washable. Simply remove the canopy, toss in the washer with mild detergent, and then replace on the umbrella frame and open for drying. Also, check to see that the frame is operating well. You might need to oil areas to keep it opening and shutting smoothly.

Furniture Cover

To extend the life of your outdoor furniture and protect your investment, consider a cover that will offer protection from daily sun and downpours, as well as provide an option for year-round outdoor storage. We carry covers that are made from durable Rhino-Weave fabric, which is water resistant, breathable and will not crack or peel. When not in use, the covers easily store inside their own built in pouch. We have sizes available to fit dining tables and chairs, sofas, loveseats, chaises, firepits, lounge chairs, and umbrellas.

Outdoor furniture maintenance is quick and easy, giving you more time to enjoy the weather. Iced tea anyone?

Enjoy the spring weather from the best seat in the house: a lounge chair on your patio or deck. Make sure your view is fresh and nice by doing these three spring-cleaning tasks:

  1. Pressure-wash your patio and deck to blast away dirt without chemicals. If you don’t own one, rent one for about $75, or put a spray nozzle on the hose and scrub with a 10:1 solution of water-and-dish-detergent mixture.
  2. Clean your grill while it’s warm (but not hot.) Use a wire brush to scrape off charred food remains. Or soak grill grates in soapy water for a half hour and scrub with steel wool.
  3. Wash outdoor light fixtures and yard accents, such as birdbaths and fountains. Mix a 1:10 bleach:water solution to kill mold and algae.

Look Alike Outdoor Sectional

Sectionals are a hot look for your patio or deck, but don’t get burned by spending too much! These two sets look strikingly similar. One is the Huntington Sectional from Pottery Barn, selling for $4,095, and the other is the Dover Sectional from Art Van, which retails for $1,099.

Both have beautiful resin wicker frames and crisp ivory cushions, but one costs 73% less. Click here to grab the better deal. We’ve got the look (for a lot less!) 

Sometimes all you need is a new accessory to give your outdoor space a fresh new feel or a fun new attitude. Here are five can’t-miss items that will add personality to your outdoor gathering.


Crane Sculpture

These metal cranes are sophisticated, bringing an Art Deco vibe to your backyard.


Bar Cart

A Bar Cart will get the party started, allowing guests to feel at home.


Chill out with this fun cooler, available in several colors like vibrant green – Pantone’s color of the year!


Ceramic Stool

A beautiful garden stool is so versatile. Use it as an end table, seat or decorative accent.

Heat up summer nights with a firepit, such as this portable wood-burning variety.

It’s spring, and that means it’s time to move the party outdoors! Is you patio or deck ready for a gathering? Outdoors spaces can beautifully complement your indoor style, and furnishings are becoming as beautiful as your inside décor.  Furniture|Today magazine has identified four key trends for 2017, and we’ve got the look.

Contemporary Living

1. Contemporary Living

As more people create outdoor spaces for living, this style captures what is current and brings it outside. Look for simple lines, as well as cushions and fabrics that are comfortable and stylish.

Lovin Woven

2. Lovin’ Woven

Woven furnishings, such as today’s modern resin wicker pieces, are perennial favorites, translating to any locale – from the coast to the mountains and lakes in between. They bring texture and an organic element to your patio or deck.

Lit Up

3. Lit Up & Unplugged

Outdoor lighting is not only practical; it adds style and flare. Look for hanging lights as well as outdoor fixtures.

Mix and Match

4. Mix & Match

Matching sets are predictable, and today’s fashion-forward outdoor spaces embrace the eclectic. Mix materials, colors and finishes.

Spring is here and it’s the season to spend more time outdoors. Maybe you’ve noticed your patio furniture has seen better days? Or maybe you have more guests than seating? Art’s Backyard at Art Van Furniture has plenty of outdoor furniture that can make your deck or patio a summer retreat. We’ve Got the Look sat down with Robin Mack, Outdoor Furniture Buer for Art Van Furniture, and asked her five questions that will help you with your next purchase: 


1. Are there rules of thumb when it comes to choosing the right type? Robin: The basic rule of thumb when choosing the right type of outdoor furniture is how the individual feels they will most be using their outdoor space – dining, lounging or both? Today, the latest trend is a lifestyle shift to the more cushioned lounging pieces such as sofas, sectionals and lounging chairs. Firepit seating has also become quite popular as people are discovering they are spending a lot more time just “lounging around” with family and friends than they are dining. Other important factors are comfort and easy maintenance.

2. What are the best pieces for families with young children? Robin: Most outdoor furniture is child friendly and it is typically very durable. In the case of dining chairs, which are often available as stationary or as swivel/motion, the stationary chairs are often preferred with small children in mind as the lack of motion keeps the young ones more settled and secure. I would suggest sling over cushion sets – they are easier to clean and dry more quickly. Lakehouse

3. What are the most low-maintenance pieces? Robin: Today’s outdoor furniture is mostly very low maintenance. Aluminum frames (vs. steel) will not rust and typically do not need to be touched up if the surface paint is scratched down to the metal. Faux wicker sets are also very durable and easy to clean.

4. Which pieces tend to last the longest? Robin: Most “better” patio furniture is designed to last for 10 – 15 years, however, outdoor furniture gets “used” 24/7 by the weather and the sun… even when not “in use.” In the long run it pays to shop for quality and understand what you are buying. Patio Furniture Cover 5. Are there things you can do to help protect your investment? Robin: Buying a protective cover for your outdoor furniture is a good investment. Clean and wax the furniture once at the beginning of spring to allow it to easily shed dirt and water throughout the season. Check the wear of foot glides and periodically lubricate moving parts. Do not store tubular aluminum furniture upside down as this can result in freeze damage from water/snow entering the drain holes and causing the tube to freeze and split.

When to Plant

It’s time to add color and depth to your yard. If you’re headed out to your local nursery, here are plants that are ready to take root:


Trees and shrubs

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild and dry spring for Midwest planting, and trees and shrubs love cool conditions. Make sure you give them plenty of water for the first few weeks to keep them healthy and happy.



Add quick color with annuals. Plant them in beds or containers on your porch and patio for instant beauty.



Perennials are great because they come back year after year, lessening your workload. Here are 12 that do well in the Midwest, according to Midwest Living magazine: Coneflowers, butterfly weed, Lenten rose, Virginia bluebells, hardy geraniums, black-eyed Susans, allium, panicle hydrangeas, sedums, Russian sage, goldenrod, and aromatic aster.

Minnie Driver Living Room

Two years ago, Minnie Driver bought a 1940s ranch house in the Hollywood Hills, enlisting designer Peter Dunham to help create a look she describes as “English gypsy.” Elle Décor magazine featured her lovely home in a recent issue, and we are enamored with the living room. With belongings that look curated and meaningful, the eclectic result is unique and interesting.

If you love Driver’s style, we’ve got the look:

Minnie Driver Sofa

Start with a simple ivory sofa that has straight lines and nailhead trim that outlines its silhouette. Our Empire Sofa is also quite comfortable, and includes gorgeous neutral pillows. To be more like Driver, swap them out for bold pillows in navy, red and yellow.

Minnie Driver Chair

The vintage armchair in Driver’s room is a 1950s French bergère, a style of upholstered armchair that was popular in the 18th century. Our Tanner Accent Chair would be a great addition to your room. The scale is small, so it easily fits in your room, and the exposed natural frame makes it beautiful from all angles. Covered in a floral pattern, the soft shades add a new dimension to the space.

Minnie Driver Ottoman

Driver has an oversized cocktail ottoman in her room, which provides a place to put up your feet or offer additional seating. Our Laguna Cocktail Table in rich teal features turned legs and a tufted top. Add a tray and you can use it as another surface.

Minnie Driver Cocktail Table

Driver’s cocktail table brings a contemporary feel to the room, with a metal base and white stone top. Our Kyra Cocktail Table brings that same look to the space. The pewter base has a textured finish, and the travertine tile top is timeless and beautiful.

Minnie Driver End Table

Driver uses a mix of styles in her room, including a side table from the 1940s. Our Oval End Table has the same gorgeous style. The cherry and walnut veneers create a beautiful design on the top, and the wide legs are striking and clean.

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


Prepare Garden

The weather has finally turned and that means not only can you enjoy the outdoors, it’s time to get your yard ready for spring planting and backyard barbecue season. Here are three projects to tackle this weekend:


1. Prune roses

Prune your roses before new growth emerges, to shape the plant and encourage new growth that can produce lots of buds. Here are instructions that will keep you in bloom.


2. Divide perennials

Plants like irises and hostas can spread like wildflower, but they are healthier when they have space. Anything that’s grown to be two to three times its size needs to be dug up and divided. Here’s what you need to know.


3. Get a handle on weeds

Weeds can make all of your hard work in the garden look messy. Pull weeds when they’re small to avoid having them go to seed, creating more weeds. A good layer of mulch will also help. Experts say a two-inch spread will hold moisture and discourage weeds.


Spring is here and it’s time to bring out the patio furniture! Whether you’re in the market for a new dining or seating group or you simply want to add a piece or two to your green space, we have what you need in Art’s Backyard. Here are a few things to consider before you make your final decisions:


1. How do you plan to use your outdoor space? Are you looking to accommodate a lot of friends and family for regular barbecues? Do you reserve your deck for a quiet cup of morning coffee? Does your area get sun throughout the day? Or does your space benefit at times from the shade of trees or homes? The answers to these questions will help you determine what you need. If you prefer to keep things intimate, you might get more use out of a cozy bistro table instead of a larger dining set. If your house is party central, a sectional might be better than a pair of chaise chairs. And you’ll know if you should browse umbrellas that fit within a dining group or freestanding, mobile versions.

2. How much space do you have? If your patio or deck is large, you have an option of creating zones, such as dining or seating, with separate groupings for each. If your area is smaller, you might consider double-duty or smaller scale items, such as a firepit with a cover that can be used as a dining table or a pair of armless chairs that take up less room. Measure your space and bring the dimensions to our showroom. We can help you outfit your outdoor living area with the right furnishings and fit for you.

3. What kinds of materials are best for your lifestyle? From wicker to wood and aluminum to wrought iron, outdoor furniture comes in a wide variety of material choices. Choosing the right selection for your family will depend on a few criteria.


Do you like to customize your outdoor arrangements according to your event du jour? Aluminum furniture is your best bet. Lighter than wrought iron, aluminum provides the flexibility of easy mobility. But just because they’re lightweight doesn’t mean they’re less durable. Aluminum pieces are rust resistant and have powder-coat finishes to stand up to the elements. Clean with mild soap and water, and store indoors during winter.


Want to create an inviting outdoor room? Wicker is for you. These pieces create a cozy setting – something you’d normally find indoors – with deep seating and plush cushions. If you’re worried about the durability of wicker, rest easy; unlike wicker of the past, these pieces are made of resin, which last longer and don’t crack or splinter. Clean up is easy; spray it with water and use a mild soap solution. Bring indoors or cover during the winter.


Do you love the look of natural materials? Consider wood furnishings. A classic outdoor choice, wood grows more beautiful with time as it weathers from the sun and rain. Teak is the most popular wood option, and your investment will last for years. Of all of your outdoor furniture choices, wood does require the most maintenance; it comes with our care kit, which helps it resist stains and fading. Store indoors during the winter.