How to Shop for a Sectional

Nothing says family friendly quite like a sectional. One of the largest pieces of furniture you can buy, a sectional offers plenty of room to relax without having to arrange several pieces of furniture. A sectional also offers a sleek, streamlined look, without breaking up your line of vision by several pieces.


Before you shop, measure your room to see what size you can accommodate. Since it’s a large piece of furniture, it will take up more space than a traditional sofa, and because it has at least two angles, its placement will probably be restricted to one or two spots. Be sure to consider the amount of space you’ll need around it to navigate the room; optimal traffic flow is at least two feet wide.


Here are five types of sectionals and the kinds of rooms they best accommodate:


A Sectional with a Chaise

A sectional with a chaise lounge is the perfect choice for small rooms where a traditional sofa and loveseat would overwhelm the space. Providing space for four to sit or two to lounge, the look is modern and comfortable. Before you shop determine if you want the chaise to be on the right or left side of the sofa to best accommodate your room and traffic pattern.


A Classic L-Shaped Sectional

Much like a sofa and loveseat, the classic L-shaped sectional will seat four comfortably and five in a pinch. This piece of furniture keeps the room sleek and simple, with an uninterrupted flow of design and color. It provides a great spot for having conversations as well as watching television, although the focal point may not be directly in view of all of the seats.


A Recliner Sectional

A sectional with a built-in recliner brings together the ultimate in comfort into one piece. Versions are available with one or two recliners and some have a chaise. Perfect for watching the big game or hosting movie night, the only limitation is that a coffee table or ottoman won’t fit. But don’t worry; most recliner sectionals include hidden tables or cup holders.


A Curved Sectional

A modern and hip option is the curved sectional, which can be the best choice for a large room. With this sectional, everyone has a great view of the focal point, such as a television or fireplace. Because of its size, the curved sectional takes up a lot of room. Measure carefully before you decide on this kind of configuration.



A U-Shaped Sectional

Finally, a U-shaped sectional is great for creating a conversation area because everyone can see each other. Depending on the style you choose, it can resemble a sofa with two loveseats, a sofa with a loveseat and chaise, or a sofa with two chaises. If you use a cocktail table or ottoman, consider the traffic flow. Also know that this sectional takes up a lot of space; make sure your room is large enough to accommodate it without being overwhelmed.

Your Guide to Buying Custom Furniture

You’re an individual and your style is your own. Why not express your personality through your home furnishings? Custom furniture is the perfect way to show that you’re a one of a kind, and the process isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think. At Art Van Furniture, we have several lines of furniture with custom options. Here’s how it goes:


Choose Your Style

Whether you have a distinct design preference or embrace a touch of many, start by choosing your style. Here are a few popular options:

Traditional. This style is inspired from formal elegance and historic times. Your furniture tends to be classically beautiful with detailed wood scrolling, intricate embroidery, feminine shapes, carvings, and filigree. Your color scheme is typically on the darker side with rich tones and finishes throughout, and you love antiques.

Urban. This style is inspired by the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan city life where furniture has an emphasis on shape and color, straight lines, tight backs, and geometric shapes. You prefer sleek and sophisticated design with clean lines. Your accessories are most likely minimal, simple, and striking. Your choices of color range from black and white to bold and vivid.

Casual. This style is inspired by living the comfortable life, with plush furniture that’s extra durable for your active lifestyle. You prefer your home to be simple and warm. Your upholstery is soft and round, and fabrics are usually in neutral colors. Your accessories are most likely lighthearted and whimsical.

Rustic/Farmhouse. This style is inspired by nature and a laid-back country lifestyle where the furniture is durable, relaxed, practical, and simple. Finishes and materials include wrought iron, distressed woods and leathers. Detail is important, so you may find hobnails and tarnished edges. Color schemes are usually earth toned and reflective of natural colors.

Modern. This look is inspired by sophisticated life in the city. Pieces are sleek and chic, with straight lines and geometric shapes. Finishes and materials include upholstery such as leather or microsuede, and metal like chrome or brass. Details are kept minimal, letting the silhouette stand out.


Choose Your Fabric or Finish

Making sure your home reflects your true individuality is easy to do with fashionable and versatile custom order furniture. Find your favorite leather or fabric. Choose something understated or go bold; it’s all up to you! For wood pieces, choose your finish, ranging from light to espresso.


When choosing fabric, it helps to consider who will use it. If you have young kids, you’ll want fabrics that are durable. If your dining table will double as a homework/craft station, consider tabletops that are easy to wipe clean. And if you have pets who will be enjoying the sofa or chair, too, think about scratch-resistant upholstery or a fabric that will repel fur.


Choose Your Accents

The final step is adding the details. Consider accents such as nailhead trim, fringe, welting or tassels. These choices will represent your style point of view, so choose wisely. Then select the upholstery for toss pillows, contrasting or matching the body of the piece. Details make the look your own.


Then it’s time to relax and count the days until your home becomes a one-of-a-kind display of your style. Your one-of-a-kind creation will be in your home sooner than you’d expect!


“Style is emotional and personal,” says HGTV’s Hilary Farr. “Go as far as your imagination will take you and never settle.”

Buying Guide: Twin Beds

Twin beds are often used in a child’s room because they’re the perfect size, especially if the room is small, too. Measuring 75” x 39”, they’re also the perfect solution when siblings share a room and space is at a premium. A twin bed can sleep one person comfortably, and an extra long version offers more leg room and is good for teenagers and adults, measuring 80” x 39”. In fact, most colleges use the twin extra long mattress in dorm rooms.


While it’s easy to think of this style bed as juvenile, don’t limit its potential. Twin beds can be used in guest rooms as well as spaces that serve a dual purpose. When shopping for a twin bed, here are five things to keep in mind:


Twin beds come in a variety of designs, allowing you to choose a bed that best fits your space and decor.

A panel bed has a headboard and sometimes a footboard. It includes side rails that hold the box spring and mattress. A panel bed comes in traditional, contemporary, casual and rustic styles.

A platform bed is made of a raised platform that holds the mattress without a box spring. This style often looks contemporary or casual. Some platform beds also include built-in, under-the-bed storage solutions.

Bunk beds feature two stacked twin beds, freeing up space for other furnishings, such as a dresser or desk. Some bunk beds can convert into two twin panel beds, which can be used in separate rooms.

A poster bed uses for vertical columns that can be used with or without a canopy. This style adds drama to a room and is great for a more traditional décor.

A sleigh bed is another traditional design. The curved style of the headboard and footboard is eye catching, putting the spotlight on the bed.

A daybed is a twin bed that can be used as seating during the day. It often features a trundle to accommodate an overnight guest, or under-the-bed storage.



In addition to design, twin beds come in a variety of styles. Traditional style features decorative trim and details. Contemporary style offers clean lines with simple decorative details. A transitional style combines contemporary and traditional design characteristics to create a look that fits with virtually any décor. Modern style features sleek lines, and urban or rustic twin beds often make use of texture, distressed finishes and natural materials.



When choosing a twin bed, consider who will be sleeping in it. If your room needs to accommodate two people, it’s a good idea to choose matching beds. This will give a uniform, streamlined look to the space. If you will be hosting children, consider twin bunk beds. And if your twin bed won’t be used often, choose a daybed or a bed with a trundle that can be used when needed.


Take measurements of your room so you know how much space you have. While twin mattresses are the same, the size of your headboard, footboard and frame will vary. You’ll want to be sure your twin bed fits in the room, leaving floor space.


Twin beds can offer features such as under-the-bed drawers or trundle, or a bookcase headboard. If you want to eliminate other bedroom furnishings, such as a dresser or nightstand, choose a bed that provides storage or surface space for an alarm clock or book.

How To Choose a Sleeper Sofa Bed: Your Buying Guide

The holiday season is a time to host out-of-town friends and family. If you don’t have a dedicated guest room, a sleeper sofa is a great option. More comfortable than an air mattress, you can use a sleeper sofa in your living space or create dual-purpose spaces, such as a combination home office and guest room or den and guest room. Because it’s more than just a place to sleep, you want to choose a sofa bed that will be comfortable day and night. Here’s what you need to know:


Measure the Room

When measuring your space, don’t forget to think about how much room the bed will take when fully extended. You don’t want to have to move a lot of furniture to use it. Sleeper sofas come in a variety of sizes, so you’re sure to find something that works with the space you have.

Sleeper Sofas Have Gotten More Comfortable

Gone are the days of thin mattresses that rest on iron bars. Today’s sleeper sofas now come with comfortable mattresses, including memory foam as well as regular innerspring.


Check the Seat Comfort

Your sleeper sofa will be used closed most of the time, so be sure to check the comfort of the cushions. Also make sure it fits the style of your room. You’ll find options that are casual, urban, traditional and modern, as well as fabric and leather upholstery.

Accommodate Guests

Sleeper sofas come in twin, full, queen and queen-plus sizes. Determine how many people you will be hosting to choose the right size of the pieces you need. You could combine a queen with a twin to host a small group, for example.


Test How It Opens

Opening and closing a sleeper sofa should be an easy task. Test how it feels and make sure it operates with minimal effort. You don’t want to have to ask guest to struggle before they go to sleep.

How To Shop For A Sofa Online


Online shopping is a convenient way to fill your closet, pantry, shelves and walls—but what about using the Internet to buy a sofa? For large items, size and comfort are key. Successfully shop online by taking these things into consideration.


Start with a reputable retailer. Learn about the company by reading its About Us page. A company with a long history has been in business for a reason—it cares about its customers! Also look for customer service policies and a satisfaction guarantee, as well as shipping rates and timelines. Your best bet is a store that also has a brick-and-mortar element; you can save time by browsing online and then see the piece in person before you make your purchase.


Read the product description. Pay close attention to the materials and care instructions because pictures don’t always offer a complete story. You want to make sure the piece fits your lifestyle and décor by understanding the construction and materials.


Check the measurements. Compare the size of the piece to the size of your space. It can help to mark out dimensions on the floor with painter’s tape. Consider length and width as well as height. Look at the placement of your windows, doorways and halls. Also, think about how the furniture will get into your room. Will it fit around corners and through doorways?


Be careful about colors. Computer screens can distort colors, and certain finishes can look different in photographs. Darker wood, for example, tends to look lighter online. If you’re trying to match an existing color or finish, call and talk to the retailer’s customer service agent. Or, better yet, complete your purchase in person to be confident of the color.


Look for comfort clues. While it’s hard to know how something will feel when you’re looking at it online, you can get some clues by looking at the depth of the piece. Deeper sofas often offer a lot of comfort and are great for lounging. Also pay attention to the fill. Down is very soft and relaxed, while poly-fill, such as Dacron, will provide a higher level of support as well as comfort.


Know the return policy. Before you place your order, be sure you understand what you can do if the piece isn’t right. If your retailer has brick-and-mortar locations, returns might be easier if they allow you to return the piece in person instead of having to arrange return shipping. Pay attention to time limits, and return the item promptly for best satisfaction.


Note: If you like the sofas in this post, they all ship to your doorstep for free!