How To Write a Love Letter

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Instead of letting a greeting card company craft your sentiment, why not write a love letter from the heart? Take a seat at your writing desk and let the words flow. We promise it will be cherished forever. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five love letter writing tips from the folks at Hallmark.

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1. Start off Right

Instead of “Dear,” why not try “My Darling…” Get creative. Nicknames are definitely allowed.

2. Offer Affirmations

What are your beloved’s best qualities? Has he or she done something lately that you’re grateful for? Mention this!

3. Look into the Future

Are you looking forward to something? Seeing him tonight? Going on that romantic vacation? Growing old together? Yep, mention that, too.

4. Finish Strong

Scrap “Sincerely,” and go all in with something like “All my love,” or “Forever yours.” XOXOXO is good, too.

5. Make it Special Delivery

Leave the love letter somewhere you know he or she will find it – like on a pillow or car seat. The element of surprise will make it more special.

I’m In the Mood for Loveseats

The coziest piece of furniture is definitely the loveseat. Its diminutive scale is more inviting than a long sofa and its unique size is more charming than a simple chair. So how much do you know about this home favorite? Made in the U.S. since the early 1800s, the loveseat wasn’t originally created as a courtship aid; instead, it provided a seat that would fit the large dresses worn by the ladies of the period. Luckily fashions have changed and the oversized accommodation became the perfect spot for two. In the 19th Century, the design was named “loveseat” (an early example of the power of marketing?) and the rest is history. If you’re looking to add seating to your room here’s what you need to know about buying a loveseat.

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Find the Perfect Spot

A loveseat is small enough to be used in a variety of settings. Place one with a sofa to create a more intimate-looking grouping. Use one in a master bedroom to fashion a comfortable sitting area. Put one in an oversized foyer to provide guest with a place to sit. And use one in a kitchen to turn dinner into a leisurely event.

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Find Your Style

Loveseats also add a sense of balance to the seating arrangement of larger rooms. Choose one that blends with your existing décor; styles range from traditional to contemporary to casual. Or add one that serves as an interesting accent piece – especially if you custom-order the upholstery. Buying a loveseat is fun!

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Find the Right Scale

As you would with any piece of furniture, measure your space to determine the correct size for your home before buying a loveseat. Loveseats can be overstuffed and large, or petite and streamlined, with sizes ranging from 50- to 76-inches in length.

Then get ready to fall in love. The perfect loveseat will transform your space into an intimate gathering – no matter if your room is large or small.

How to Throw a Game Day Party

Any football fan knows that the biggest event of the year is Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a fabulous excuse to get your favorite fans together, so make sure you kick-off the big game right with a winning playbook. Here are some tips for throwing a game day party that’s more memorable than the half-time show.

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Get Your Room Ready

Go on the offense with your game day party seating with options that let everyone catch each play in comfortable style. Start with a roomy piece, like a reclining sofa. Spacious enough to accommodate all your fellow fans, power recline options allow you and your guests to get into the perfect position at the touch of a button.

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With primo seating in place, make sure you have the goods to watch the game in true sports-lover style. A wall media center provides a spot for everything, from the big-screen TV and surround-sound speakers to the DVR for replaying the winning play.

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Let the Games Begin: Party Details

Fans are going to get famished, so make sure you serve up something tasty during your game day party. Finger foods that guests can grab are a great fit for this casual party. You could also make it a potluck and ask guests to bring a favorite dish, adding variety to the menu and taking some of the stress off you.

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Keep fully loaded trays on tables nearby, so no one has to miss a moment of the action (or legendary commercials) by running to the kitchen for refills. Ask guests to don apparel of their favorite sports team (although this will probably happen on its own!) then divide them into two teams, and have a quiz to get a little friendly competition going before kick-off. Losers have to plan next year’s party!

With these tips, you be able to throw a memorable game day party your friends will love. Stop by your local Art Van Furniture or shop online to check out even more ideas to make this Super Bowl party a touchdown celebration.

How to Choose the Perfect Media Center

The focal point in most family rooms is the television. It’s got everyone’s attention when you enjoy a movie, cheer on your team or watch the news. While you’ve probably spent a lot of time choosing the right TV, what you put it on is just as important. A media center provides a frame for your viewing, and it helps you keep all of your components organized and operating. Before you choose yours, consider these three elements to make sure you get exactly what you need:

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Size

The first thing to consider is the best size. This will be determined by two factors: the size of your television and the size of your room. Start by measuring your TV; you want to be sure it will fit. If your media center is too large, your TV will look tiny, and if your media center is too small, the TV will make it seem out of place. For wall units that surround your television, measure the width, height, and depth of your TV, then bring this information to the showroom with you.

Also measure the wall space you have. If your room is large, you may want to choose a wall unit that includes storage towers on either side that can hold decorative accessories. Or fill the wall by using two or more consoles side by side. If your room is small, a console that is just a little wider than your television will provide a nice sense of scale. Or consider a corner unit to take advantage of space you might consider unusable. Make sure when you choose and space measure and measure it that you can fit your media center in a spot that doesn’t block heating vents or windows.

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Storage

Media centers are designed to hold your television and components, organizing cords and keeping everything accessible. When choosing a media center, determine what electronics you need to store. Maybe you have just a TV and cable box? Perhaps you have a stereo system you want to contain? Or maybe you have it all, from TV to DVR, video game consoles, DVDs, CDs and controllers? By tallying up everything you want to hold, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your best options. This will also help you decide if open shelving is sufficient or if you need cabinet doors that can close and hide things away.

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Style

Finally, media centers come in every variety of home décor. From traditional to contemporary, urban and casual, you’re sure to find a unit that will blend with your interior style. Choose a media center that matches your existing furniture so that it’s an attractive addition to the room’s design. Wood is a good choice, and you’ll find a media center in every finish, including cherry, mahogany, and pine. Contemporary media centers are also available in glass and metal.

Now you’re ready to shop for the media center that’s right for you. Click here to start browsing.

The Art of the Nap: Furniture for Napping

Want to boost your productivity? Put your head down and take a nap. It sounds counterintuitive, but napping is the best cure for the post-lunch dip, sharpening your attention and boosting your creativity better than that candy bar or double shot latte. One of the best investments you can make in your health is purchasing furniture for napping.

Here are some tips on napping from the National Sleep Foundation:

  1. The best time to nap is early afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; napping later can be troublesome, impacting the quality of your nighttime sleep.
  2. The length of your nap is key to getting its benefits. A brief 20-minute nap will sharpen your attention and motor skills, while a 60- to 90-minute nap will help you with problem solving and creativity.
  3. The ideal spot for sleep is one that dark, quiet, cool and comfortable. Close the blinds to keep out the afternoon sun, and try to minimize noise. Using a sound machine or fan can help eliminate distracting sounds.

If you’re able to take a nap at home in bed, perfect! If not, here are three perfect pieces of furniture for napping:

Furniture for napping
The Max Genuine Leather Chair is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Max Genuine Leather Chair

Imagine sinking into the decadent Max Genuine Leather Chair! The pillow-top seating and arms create the ultimate laidback experience. You’ll be drifting off to sleep in no time, feeling quite luxurious, too.

Furniture for napping
The Dylan Leather Power Glide Recliner is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Dylan Leather Power Glide Recliner

Recliners are made for napping, and the Dylan Leather Power Glide Recliner will help you find your own personal comfort zone with only the touch of a button.

Furniture for napping
The Osborne Chaise is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Osborne Chaise

Everything about the Osborne Chaise says, “Put up your feet and relax.” You’ll feel sophisticated with its flared arms the menswear inspired upholstery. This chair makes napping elegant.