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.

 

Create An Inviting Guest Bedroom With Tips From Fine Hotels

Opening your home to friends and family is part of the holiday season, and you want your guests to feel welcome. If you will be hosting anyone overnight in the upcoming weeks, take some time now to plan ahead and create a wonderful retreat for your guest bedroom. Here are 10 things fine hotels do to make their guests feel special so they look forward to coming back:

Guest bedroom
The McKenzie Queen Bed is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Use soft linens

Launder linens the day before your guests arrive, so they smell fresh and feel crisp. Invest in a high-thread count set of sheets, which will be soft and comfortable. If your guests are visiting during winter, make sure to provide extra blankets, and consider flannel or microfiber sheets, which will be warmer.

Provide a clock radio

If your guests want to wake up early, make it easy by providing a clock radio with an alarm. This will also allow your guests to listen to music while they fall asleep.

Prepare the bathroom

Make sure your guests have extra towels in the bathroom, so they can easily freshen up during they stay. Put out a basket of toiletries, including soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and consider offering a robe they can use if the bathroom is down the hall or shared with others.

Pay attention to the details

Fresh flowers on the nightstand of a guest bedroom are a nice touch, as is including candies, bottled water and a book or magazine for reading. Be sure the room has adequate light for reading.

Ask about food preferences

Before your guests arrive, find out if they have any food allergies or diet restrictions. You’ll want them to feel at home; set up a coffee and tea station in the kitchen so they can help themselves if they wake before you in the morning.

guest bedroom
The Arlington Queen Bed is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Provide easy access to electronics

Help your guests connect online by writing your WiFi password on a notecard on the nightstand in your guest bedroom. You can also give a quick tutorial on cable remotes, and provide a cable guide so your friends can find their favorite channels.

Plan activities

If sightseeing is on the agenda, provide information on all your area has to offer. You can plan this ahead of time, and pre-purchase tickets to ensure you get your first choice.

Provide a place luggage

Think about where guests can set their luggage in your guest bedroom, such as a luggage rack, bench or chair. Suitcases can be dirty, and your guests will be glad they don’t have to place them on the bed.

Clear room in the closet

Make space in the closet for guests to hang clothes. Be sure you provide enough hangers, as well as floor space for shoes.

Think about the kids

If there will be children, consider their special needs. Look into renting a crib if you don’t have one. Place socket protectors on outlets, and gather age-appropriate games and activities.

Final tip: Before guests arrive, consider spending the night in your own guest bedroom. You’ll experience firsthand your own hospitality, and will welcome them with confidence later.

Three Fun Summer Party Ideas

Looking for an excuse to throw a party? Summer is a good enough reason in itself, and choosing a theme can help you come up with creative food and decorations. Here are three summer party ideas that will heat up your entertaining schedule this season:

Ice cream social

On a hot day, there isn’t a treat much better than a dish of ice cream! Fill a cooler with ice and add tubs of creamy gelatos, refreshing sorbets, and old-fashioned vanilla. Then set out toppings such as fudge sauce, fresh berries, nuts and sprinkles. Add dishes, cones and scoops and let guests serve themselves.

Outdoor Movie Night

Rent or borrow a DVD projector, then put up a screen or simply hang a white sheet from second story windows or on the garage door. Choose the movie; consider campy classics, such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, Beach Blanket Bingo or anything starring Elvis. Or select a fun summer flick, such as Stand By Me, National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Parent Trap, I Know What You Did Last Summer or Jaws. Pop popcorn, and offer snacks with bottles of Faygo and boxes of Good ‘n Plenty, Raisinettes and Dots. Set up chairs and enjoy the show!

Backyard Ball Game

If you have a great back yard, invite friends over for a fun game of softball. You can assign teams beforehand or pick on the spot. Enhance the fun by having t-shirts made. Make bases out of floor mats, and grab bats, balls and gloves. Then play ball! When the ninth inning is over, serve food favorites such as hot dogs off the grill, peanuts, popcorn, Cracker Jacks and ice-cold beverages.

 

What are your favorite summer party ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

How To Throw a Father’s Day BBQ

Mother’s Day might be all about the brunch, but for Dad’s day, he wants to stay home. A survey by Zagat found that 52% of dads prefer to stay home for Father’s Day, 29% want to go out, and 14% “just want to be left alone.” The ideal meal? The majority of dads said grilling at home. Sounds like a backyard Father’s Day BBQ party is on the menu.

Here are five tips for making it fun:

Keep the Décor Simple

The great thing about Dads is that they really like to keep things simple. You don’t need to worry about elaborate centerpieces or decorations. Less is more. Set up your outdoor space by making sure everyone has a place to sit, with the seat of honor for Dad, of course. Stackable chairs are convenient, or you could throw a few blankets on the lawn for a picnic-style meal.

Get Dad’s Favorite Foods

Burgers, ribs, steaks, fish and portabella mushroom caps—they all taste better when they’re grilled outside. Grab dad’s favorite entrée and add side dishes, such as corn on the cob, potatoes, fruit and tossed salad. Then add a cooler of Dad’s favorite beverage, as well as family favorites like bottled water, lemonade or iced tea.

Crank the Tunes

Dads often have big music collections so keep the mood going with a playlist of his favorite artists. From classic rock to rap to country, become the DJ and keep things lively and fun. Maybe Dad will even start a family dance challenge in the back yard!

Set Up Games

Before or after your meal, set up some games Dad can play with the family. Croquet, tag football, corn hole, bocce or badminton are all good choices. You can create teams—boys vs. girls—or let Dad be captain and choose sides.

Plan for the Weather

Check your local forecast so you can be prepared in case it rains on Dad’s day. Come up with Plan B, such as a gazebo that can be shelter from rain or heat. And have plenty of sunscreen on hand so no one gets burned.

Dad will love the thought and attention you give him on his special day. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

5 Things Every Man Cave Needs

It may sound like something out of the Stone Age, but a man cave is a thoroughly modern way to give men a space of their own and women a little peace and quiet. Armchair quarterbacks can be as loud as they like with their cheering and taunting, and they’re corralled and separated from the center of the home—it’s a win/win!

Adding one is simple, so make room in your basement, unused bedroom or even your garage. Here’s what you need:

Leather recliner for a man cave
The Dylan Leather Power Glide Recliner is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A Recliner

The man of the cave needs a throne and a recliner is the perfect choice. Personalize the space by your upholstery choice, including leather or microfiber. Then decide on the bells and whistles, such as power settings, USB chargers and built-in cup holders.

sectional man cave
The Bruno Sectional is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A place for friends to gather

Anyone with a man cave instantly becomes the most popular guy on the block, so you’ll need furnishings that can accommodate friends. A reclining sectional is the ultimate in man-cave hospitality. Friends can kick back and relax. Or go with a more traditional sofa and loveseat combination. Choose durable upholstery and neutral colors that hide stains.

Man Cave TV
The Dalton Console is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A place for your TV

Every man cave needs a TV and a place to put it. This is a great opportunity to show off your personal style. You’ll find consoles and entertainment centers to fit any type décor, such as this cool industrial-inspired piece. A larger wall unit allows you to show off your sports trophies and memorabilia.

Man Cave Lift Top Table
The Lift Top Coffee Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A place to set your snacks

Now you need a place to set your nachos, wings and micro brew. A lift top cocktail table brings your food to you, or choose a table that has drawers that keep your giant foam finger and face paint handy.

Man Cave wall art
The Man Cave Wall Art is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A little man cave ambiance

Finally, you need something that oozes testosterone, such as manly wall art, a cowhide rug or bar. Choose something that reflects your passion and personality.

And there you have it. A man cave that even a woman would love! Next project: a She Shed.

Be sure to shop this weekend for delivery in time for Father’s Day!