How to Find the Right Sectional Sofa for Your Room

Sectional sofas are the king-size bed of the living room world. Large and cozy – the very definition of inviting – they also command a good amount of square footage. If you dream of bringing one into your home, it’s important to start with the correct proportions.

 

Before you visit our store and fall in love with one of the dozens of options, measure your room. It’s a good idea to mark off the area in which you’d like to use a sectional; you can use painter’s tape or pull together existing furniture into the desired formation. Then measure that, too, and consider any other objects you’d like to place in the room, such as end tables and lamps.

 

Once you understand what will fit and what won’t, it’s time to shop for your new sectional sofa.

Small Spaces

If your space is small, sectionals can still work. Choose an L-shaped sofa in a petite scale or a loveseat sectional with a chaise. The Newport Storage Sectional is part of our free-shipping collection and it offers storage in the ottoman as well as a trundle bed that pulls out to accommodate overnight guests.

 

 

Medium-sized Rooms

If you have more space to work with, look for a sectional with a longer L-shaped configuration. Our Dune II Two-Piece Sectional is covered in a deep teal fabric. The striking design commands attention, while it’s sleek silhouette won’t overpower the room.

 

 

Large Rooms

If you have an oversized space, a sectional is the perfect way to fill it in a cohesive fashion. Choose a U-shaped configuration with a coordinating ottoman. The size will help reign in the scale of the room by matching the proper proportions. We love the Ambassador Sectional from Detroit Sofa Co. It’s offers a flexible arrangement with a variety of pieces to design the shape you need.

Let’s Dish! How to Buy Dinnerware

 

Whether you’re a gourmet chef or take-out aficionado, you’re going to need some plates and bowls. You can simply pick the color or pattern you like, but it’s better to bring home a set that will last.

We caught up with our housewares buyer Emily Faltesek to get expert advice on purchasing dinnerware. She shares three things to consider:

Your Budget

Dinnerware comes in four types of material, and each has a different price point and characteristic.

Earthenware is the oldest for of dinnerware and is made of unrefined clay fired at low temperatures to create a glass-like surface.

“This is the lowest end,” says Faltesek. “The problem is that it doesn’t hold up to repeated use in the dishwasher, and it chips and breaks easier. You may spend less up front but you’re not getting the best bang for your buck.”

Stoneware is more durable than earthenware and is chip resistant. It’s made of refined clay and is fired at a higher temperature.

“Stoneware holds a glaze better than earthenware, and so it comes in cool designs and patterns,” says Faltesek. “It doesn’t chip as easily and holds up to the microwave. If you’re just starting out, stoneware is a good option and a good value.”

Porcelain is more durable than earthenware and stoneware. It offers a glass-like surface, and is fired at higher temperatures.

“Porcelain is made of a material that’s thinner and lighter weight,” says Faltesek. “It’s made from a finer sand, and is sturdy and doesn’t chip easily.”

Bone china is considered to be the strongest and most durable form of dinnerware. It’s fired twice at a higher temperature than porcelain and is dishwasher and microwave safe.

“Bone china is high quality; the finest fine china,” says Faltesek. “It’s super lightweight, durable and chip resistant. Animal bone ash is added to clay which makes it stronger.”

Your Needs

How many pieces you need depends on the size of your family and how often you entertain. Faltesek says enough to serve 12 is a traditional amount to purchase, but this number can be adjusted based on your needs and available storage. Dinnerware is sold in one of three ways:

Boxed sets come in 16- or 20-piece sets and provide service for four. They usually come with a dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, teacup and saucer.

Place settings are the most common way porcelain and bone china is sold. A place setting comes with five pieces: dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, teacup and saucer.

Open stock is dinnerware that is sold by the individual piece. This is a good option for someone who might not need separate salad and bread plates, or if you want to add to what you already have.

Faltesek recommends open stock. “I always buy open stock because if you break a plate or want to replace a scratched add bowl, it’s easy,” she says.

How many different sets to buy is another consideration. “Conventional wisdom says you need two sets: casual, for everyday use, and something more formal,” Faltesek says. “That’s not true anymore.”

Instead, determine if you’re frequently having big formal dinner parties. If you’re not, one set will do.

Your Style

Finally, you need to find dinnerware that represents your personal style. You’ll find options in every color imaginable, but you can never go wrong with white, says Faltesek. “White dinnerware is a big trend, especially in modern style,” she says. “You can use it for any occasion; it’s always appropriate.”

While you can use it alone, white dinnerware also serves as a foundation. “Layer fun colors or metallic with salad plates or bowls,” says Faltesek. “You can be trendy and fun for the season without spending tons of money replacing everything later.”

The best thing to know about dinnerware is to buy what you love. “Have fun,” says Faltesek. “Otherwise dinnerware is just taking up space in your cupboard.”

How to Shop for a Bunk Bed

 

Twin Over Twin

Kids rooms are made for gatherings. Whether they’re being shared by siblings or a group of friends who want to hang out, most could benefit from finding ways to maximize square footage. Why not take advantage of vertical space by using a bunk bed?

A practical piece of furniture, today’s bunk beds are stylish, and feature materials and designs that look like their single bed counterparts. They’re also versatile and can be used stacked or separated when multiple sleeping spaces are no longer needed.

Standard bunk beds come with two twin-sized mattresses. Some even include a trundle option on the bed below that makes sleepovers a breeze – simply pull out the third mattress like a drawer and you’ve got room for one more. When it’s not needed, it’s easily tucked away.

 

Twin Over Full

 

Another option is a bunk bed that features a twin mattress above and a full mattress on the lower bunk. This provides room for three, or a little extra space for the child below. A twin/full combination is a great choice for larger rooms as the configuration takes up more space than a standard bunk bed.

 

Bunk and Desk

Some bunk beds maximize space even further by incorporating other furnishings into the base. For example, a bunk bed might hide a desk below, which is a great fit for tweens and teens who can conveniently store their studies nearby. Others include a wardrobe where kids can store their clothing, eliminating the need for a dresser or chest of drawers to occupy space in the room.

Whatever style is best for you, rest assured that the bunk beds sold at Art Van Furniture meet guidelines put in place by the Consumer Product Safety Council. To properly use bunk beds, know that the Council recommends that kids be six or older to use the top bunk. Don’t allow more than one person at a time on the top bunk and a ladder should always be used for access. Guardrails must be present on both sides of the top bunk, even if the bed is pushed against the wall. And the top of the top guardrail should be approximately 5″ above the top of the mattress.

How To Purchase Your Child’s First Bed

Child's First Bed

Going from a crib to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed is a big step in your child’s life. While some parents choose to transition to a toddler bed, going right into a regular size bed is just as easy, saving money in the long term.

Start by identifying the right size. Twin, full or even queen are great choices, and which you choose will have to do with the space in your child’s room. Twin mattresses take up the least amount of space, which is nice if your child’s room is small or you want to provide lots of floor space for playing. If your child will have sleepover guests when they get older, twin beds can be outfitted with trundle beds. Or consider full- or queen-size beds, which provide extra room for spreading out or sharing with friends.

Select the best mattress. Kids need a mattress that will offer proper support and pressure relief. Since they probably can’t tell which mattresses feel best, Art Van PureSleep takes out the guesswork with our patented diagnostic machine, ensuring that your child has a more restful and productive sleep.

Sleep helps us all retain what we learn during the day. At night, we go through different stages of sleep where our minds are working, filing and organizing all of the information we collect during the day. If the mattress doesn’t support your child properly, he or she will toss and turn and that can lead to fragmented memory and trouble in school.

Kids Storage Drawers

Set a realistic budget. While it’s tempting to allocate most of your budget to the headboard and frame, the most important investment is the mattress. A good quality mattress will last through childhood. You can always purchase a headboard and frame later.

Invest in safety accessories. When you’re transitioning your child into his or her own bed, consider their safety. You can purchase guardrails that prevent your child from falling out of the bed while they sleep. Another option is to purchase a bed that doesn’t require a foundation, so your child is lower to the ground. And make sure to place a rug or carpet around the bed to reduce the chances of slipping and falling.

Moving into his or her own bed is an exciting time for your child. Make sure you celebrate the milestone by creating the perfect setting.

An Outdoor Seating Group for Every Budget

Midwest summers are spectacular, and they’re best enjoyed on a patio or deck. You may have seen some inexpensive outdoor seating groups at the grocery store and wondered why prices can vary so greatly. Those cheap sets might get you through a season, but you’ll likely need to replace it next year.

 

Fortunately, Art’s Backyard is stocked with quality sets that don’t break your budget. When you’re ready to shop for a new seating group, here are “Good,” “Better” and “Best” options that will help you soak up the season in style.

 

Doral

 

Good. The Doral Seating Collection will help you welcome guests to your back yard with casual elegance. It features a welded aluminum frame and removable seat cushions that are upholstered in 100% solution dyed olefin to prevent fading. Complete the look with two toss pillows, two lounge chairs, and a cocktail table with a ceramic tile top.

 

Milano

Better. The Milano Seating Collection features elegant curves, turning your patio or deck into a spot for relaxation. Larger in scale, it is crafted with welded aluminum frames and deep seat cushions that are 100% solution dyed olefin fabric to maintain its color. This collection is sold a la carte, with a sofa, loveseat, lounge chair, swivel lounge chair, ottoman, cocktail and end table, so you can configure your space your own way.

 

Carmel

Best. The Carmel Seating Collection brings your classic indoor style to the outdoors. Hand-woven wicker is fashioned over a commercial grade aluminum frame. The thick weave and variegated color offer all-weather durability. Added design touches, like welting and cushions covered in Sunbrella fabric, make this set both stylish and durable. And the sectional can be used in multiple configurations, allowing you to customize your space.

 

Which collection is your favorite? Art’s Backyard will help you love your patio or deck for years to come.