Take Your Indoor Vibes Outside

Comfort in your own backyard

Your living room and dining room can speak to what’s in your backyard. Translating your indoor style to your outdoor setup is easier than you think. With Art Van’s vast selection of choices and looks, you can completely fulfill your vision.

Imagination station

How exactly do you get your preferred style for a sunshine hangout? Well, you’ve got to first decide what set pieces you’re working with. Are you looking to spruce up a deck, backyard or patio? What are the major attractions (bonfire pit, pool, stone path etc.)? Once you figure out the basics, you can start getting your outdoor space together.

Let your style shine

When you’re ready to start filling out your outdoor space, don’t overthink it. Start off simple with a few pieces in your preferred style. Then you can get more ambitious if you want by adding another that complements your first style. The important part is that you feel good about the look.

A great way to get started is to select a large piece of outdoor furniture like an outdoor sectional, such as the Dockland Three Piece Sectional, dining set, or large coffee table then build around it. Don’t be afraid to mirror the focal point of your living setup for outdoor if that makes things easier. The goal is to have a reference point for making your outdoor space just as cozy as your living room.

Dockland Sectional
Dockland 3 Piece Brown Sectional

Bring it all together

With so much sunshine, it would be a shame not to enjoy it. Taking your indoor setup outside lets you get the best of both worlds and maybe even a nap in the shade. After getting a grasp on what you’ve got to work with outdoors, focus on that central furniture piece that’s going to influence your space. When everything is said and done, you just might spend more time lounging outdoors than indoors.

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.

The Matrix Power Reclining Sofa is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
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.

The St. Croix Wall Media Console is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com. 

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.

The Todoe Lift Top Cocktail Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
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.

Enjoy the Spirit(s) of the Season with a Holiday Bar

Holiday entertaining at home often includes an assortment of beverages, soft and not so soft. You’ll feel like a guest at your own party when you set up a bar where friends can serve themselves. Here are four tips for creating a libation station holiday bar:

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Choose an out-of-the-way spot

This will make sure it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the party. Choose a corner of the room where you expect people to gather, or use your dining room sideboard or kitchen island. Leave enough space so more than one person can be pouring to avoid a line or congestion in the area.

The City Life Black Metal Bar Cart is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Stock it with the basics

You can make things easy by serving just soft drinks, beer and wine. If you want to stock a full bar, consider bourbon, gin, rum, scotch, tequila, vermouth, vodka and whiskey. You’ll also need orange juice, cranberry juice, ginger ale, tonic, club soda, lemons, limes and olives. And champagne is always a great option. These ingredients will cover the most common mixed drinks. You might also consider adding coffee liqueur or Irish crème. To know how much to purchase, check out this handy drink calculator.

The Antique Gold Bar Cart is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Create a special holiday drink

For a holiday-theme, choose a beverage such as eggnog, mulled wine or white cranberry “snowflake” martinis. You can make a pitcher ahead of time or fill glasses and display them on a tray, replenishing as needed. Or put out the ingredients and have a recipe card on the bar and invite guests to mix the drink themselves.

The Bolero Bar Cart is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
And have the right supplies

Be sure your holiday bar area has sufficient ice, cocktail napkins, one or two towels for spills, corkscrew, shaker, measuring glass and trash container. And you’ll need an assortment of glassware. If you want to streamline things, just set out basic wine and old-fashioned glasses. If you want to do things right, offer champagne, red wine, white wine and highball glasses.

All that’s left is gathering your friends and enjoying the spirit – and spirits – of the season. And always remember to drink responsibly.

How to Host a Friendsgiving

What’s better than Thanksgiving dinner? How about two Thanksgiving dinners!! Family gatherings are important and traditional, but a growing trend is hosting a Friendsgiving, a special Thanksgiving-style dinner with your favorite friends. Hold it before Thanksgiving to create a trial run for the big day, or after to make the most of leftovers or serve something completely different. Here are some things to consider before hosting your Friendsgiving:

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Consider potluck

Friendsgiving is the perfect time to hold a potluck, making it easier than Thanksgiving because no one person will be in charge of the entire meal. Assign specific dishes or a category, such as veggies or dessert. Or be bold and enjoy whatever dishes show up in hand.

Set a theme

Another dinner-planning idea is to choose a theme and have guests bring something that fits. For example, set a theme of Italian, Chinese farm-to-table or even deep-fried. This could be a nice break from your Thanksgiving leftovers.

The Bolero Bar is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Think about drinks

If you are serving alcohol, plan how you’ll stock your bar. You can make it easy and serve just wine or beer. Or create a special cocktail for the day, such as a special martini or mixed drinks. Or set out what guests will need for the most common drinks.

Make sure to accommodate special diets

Check in with friends and see if anyone has food allergies or intolerances, or follows a special diet, such as vegan or Paleo. Then make sure you have enough on your menu to fill them up.

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Decide if you want a special décor

Thanksgiving dinner usually includes a special holiday tablescape with a centerpiece, place settings, napkins and place cards. Friendsgiving, however, can be as festive or casual as you wish.

Do you hold Friendsgiving? Share you favorite tips in the comments below!

Find the Dining Room that Matches Your Entertaining Style

The holiday season can also be called the dining room season. Whether you invited your large family or a small gathering of friends, it’s the time of year to celebrate with loved ones and that often involves bringing people together over food. So is your dining room ready? And does it fit your personality? Your dining room should be a reflection of your entertaining style, and the pieces you’ll need are dictated by your personality.

The NB2 Casual Modern Dining Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
The Socialite

Do you love large parties with dozens of guests, mingling and chatting with Michael Buble’s Christmas CD playing in the background? Look for a chic dining room table that will accommodate intimate gatherings, such as the NB2 Modern Dining Collection that has features clean lines and a sleek grey finish. A buffet is a must, offering a spot for appetizers and drinks. A bistro or gathering height table in your kitchen is also a great addition, since that’s often where people tend to gather.

 

The Infinity Dining Collection is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
The Matriarch

Do you relish hosting your extended family once or twice a year for a traditional-style holiday feast? If so, you’ll want special pieces in an elegant style worthy of your semiannual affair. You’ll need a dining room table with a leaf (or two). A formal china cabinet or sideboard will also fit the bill. And consider a table protector to guard your investment, especially if you have small children in attendance. Consider the Infinity Dining Room Collection. The cherry finish is rich and inviting, while the leaf expands the table to 96”. You’ll love using the matching buffet for displaying prized accents or tempting dinner guests with dessert.

The Sterling Dining Set is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.

 

The Laidback Hostess

Do you combine your everyday eating area with the space in which you entertain? If so, you’ll need a causal yet transitional dining set that would be as much at home during Saturday morning Cheerios with your kids as it would be on Christmas Day sharing a standing rib roast with your in-laws. Sturdiness, comfort and function are key for your entertaining style, so look for a table and chairs that are sold enough for daily use yet beautiful enough for showing off. The Sterling Collection from Gascho is handsome enough for company and sturdy enough for daily use. It’s an excellent example of solid wood construction, utilizing the finest selections of solid maple. An investment in Gascho is an investment in a family heirloom. You’ll love this piece for years.