Setting a Holiday Table: Dress Up Your Dinnerware in Style

You could go out and invest in new dinnerware for the holidays. Gorgeous designs that are perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas are festive and fun. But you can also easily dress up your existing dinnerware with some easy and inexpensive details that will give you the same result. Here are five tips for setting a holiday table dressing up your existing dishes and making them shine for the season:

The Set of 4 Holiday Plaid Plates is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
1. Purchase New Salad Plates

Instead of investing in an entire set of china, why not purchase salad plates that you layer atop your everyday dinner dish? The single piece won’t cost a lot, and the top plate is the star of the setting. Choose something for the holiday or season, and it will look like you went all out.

2. Use Chargers

Classic white plates look chic and elegant when you place them on a charger. Choose luxurious silver or gold for a classic look. Or brighten up the table with jewel tones, such as ruby, emerald or sapphire. We love this snowflake charger craft idea. You’ll be surprised at the impact a charger can make when setting up a holiday table, and it can happen in a snap.

The Two Piece Santa Snowman Salt and Pepper Set is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.

 

3. Add the Details

Little things can make a big impact, and your choice of salt and pepper shakers, napkins and napkin rings can set the tone. Instead of classic white napkins, choose a bold color or pattern. Or stick with white and let the ring take center stage. You could even go simple, and tie a sprig of evergreen with twine or ribbon.

 

4. Roll Out the Table Runner

Add flair by using a dramatic table runner. Not only does it introduce a theme; a runner allows the natural beauty of your table show through. You’ll find a wide assortment of options designed for your specific holiday, or head to the fabric store and purchase a piece of velvet, satin or even faux fur. You could also use a beautiful plaid blanket when setting up a holiday table; the contrasting texture will create a warm, festive setting.

 

Clearwater Dinnerware is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
5. Think About Place Mats

Place mats offer another design opportunity, and they help protect your table. Choose a color that enhances your holiday décor, or personalize a set of your own with this fun burlap place mat craft project.

We’d love to see how you create a festive tables design for the holidays. Post your photos in the comments below!

12 Tips for Shopping ALL the Labor Day Sales

Who knew? Labor Day is THE BIGGEST retail savings holiday of the year! 

So how can you make sure you’re squeezing the most out of every $$$ during the crazy awesome Labor Day Sales? These tips from savvy furniture shopper Jocelyn Wolf – whose family has been in the furniture business for 116+ YEARS (!!!) – should help. 

ONE: A Labor Day Sale means GREAT BIG DEAL$  

Stores are putting the latest fall merchandise on their showroom floors so they need to clear EVERYTHING out to make room. (Help them out – buy some stuff!) You’ll get serious bargains -with greatly reduced prices on floor models, closeouts and discontinued items.   

$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Inspect your floor sample finds closely before buying. There’s typically a “no return” policy on this stuff.

TWO: It’s the PERF Time to Shop for Back to School

Moving into the dorms or your first college apartment? Treat yourself with BIG savings on bedding sets, wall art, futons and anything else you need to make your new space awesome.

THREE: Shop for better sleepzzzzzzzz

Labor Day Sales are THE BEST for shopping mattresses. Stores and manufacturers are handing out HUGE discounts and the promotions are HOT. Buy now and you’ll sleep better – long after Labor Day.

FOUR: Don’t cry – Shop outdoor

As much as we hate to see summer end – seriously, we’re crying big tears over here – retailers are putting greatly reduced price tags on outdoor merchandise. Now’s the time to get that new patio set you’ve been drooling over – for a steal. Retail therapy, anyone? 

FIVE: Prep to cozy up indoors

Again, we hate to do this but FALL IS ALMOST HERE. That means pumpkin spice, cooler weather, more time spent indoors and maybe more pumpkin spice. It’ll be less depressing if you plan now and make your living room a family sanctuary. That old sofa? It’s not getting any comfier or any cuter. Replace it with a gorgeous sectional and you’ll have room for the whole fam to cozy up for Netflix binge time. 

SIX: Sign up for special offers 

We all need more email, right? Ummmm … no. But in this case, signing up for your favorite store’s emails is a GOOD IDEA. Before Labor Day, sign up for promotional emails from your favorite stores and brands and follow them on social. You’ll want to know who’s offering special sales or amazing savings on pieces you’ve got your eye on. 

$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Sign up to become an Art Van VIP and you’ll get notified of our special events and promotions. 

SEVEN: Get a price guarantee

Make sure the store you’re shopping has a price guarantee or a price adjustment policy. Then you can shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the best possible deal. And if you find it for less somewhere else or see the price drop, you won’t miss out – you’ll save even more.  

EIGHT: Don’t be blinded by a good deal

Furniture is a commitment! Buy what you love and only what you love. If you don’t love it or don’t need it, don’t bother.  And definitely NEVER sacrifice your style for a great price. On the flip side, if you see something you love, don’t wait to buy! During Labor Day Sales, many items – like outdoor sets at super low prices – are limited inventory and won’t be restocked. If you wait, it may disappear. Poof! 

Outdoor furniture sets are going for super low prices during Labor Day Sales.

NINE: Shop in-person and online

Are you a hands-on shopper? Or a shop-from-the-sofa pro? Either way, we have you covered with amazing deals and special promotions at all of our stores and online. Go ahead and shop how you want, when you want and where you want. You’re good. 

$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Art Van has sales teams ready to assist in-store or online with  questions you may have about products and special financing offers.

TEN: Look ahead to the holidays

Were last year’s holidays overcrowded? Did ALL the cousins show up? Make sure you have enough seating for this year’s holiday parties now. Take advantage of Labor Day Sale prices to update your dining situation so you can invite everybody and still have room for unexpected guests.

$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Furniture delivery schedules fill up quickly before the holidays. Avoid the stress and plan ahead this year. You’ll be glad you did, come November!
Need more room for far flung family members who visit during the holidays? Shop dining during Labor Day Sales for the best prices.

ELEVEN: Save now, pay later

Check to see if the retailer you’re shopping offers financing options. If so, take advantage of 0% APR offers to get the furniture, mattress or flooring you want at the price you can afford – with flexible payment options.  

$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Art Van has flooring! Plan ahead for holiday entertaining by putting in new floors or wall tile

TWELVE: Try a style that’s new to you

Great deals are just the excuse you need to try something totally new with your decor. Think accent pillows, artwork, area rugs and more. Add color, texture or maybe even a faux fur throw to glam things up.

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!

Father’s Day Style: Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal
The Wicklow Dual Power Glide Recliner is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.

Celebrity dad Shaquille O’Neal knows how to have fun on and off of the basketball court. A dance challenge video he made with his kids and shared on Instagram went viral. He clearly enjoys his children, making memories that will last a lifetime.

Shaquille O’Neal Style

The video not only gives us a glimpse into Shaq’s playful side; viewers get a tiny peek into his family room. It looks like his space is set up for watching a movie marathon or the latest sports playoffs. Comfort is key as is space to unwind—Shaq’s not a tiny guy, after all. His style is sleek but relaxed, and reclining leather furniture is the perfect way to outfit his space. Dance first and kick back later—sounds like the perfect way to spend a Friday night with family.

Design a Shaq-inspired by focusing on fun. Choose items that help you unwind and connect with you family and friends, like reclining furniture. Durable materials, like leather, are kid-friendly as well as indulgent. Then add accessories and art that celebrate your accomplishments and passions, such as trophies or pennants. Make a statement with your space.

Father’s Day Style: Nigel Barker

Nigel Barker Outdoor Collection
The Nigel Barker 4-Piece Sectional is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.

One of the most stylish celebrity dads is Nigel Barker. He elevates a space with sophistication and attention to detail, whether he’s behind the camera or in front of it. His chic furniture collection is proof that you can combine family with fashion.

“I’m a family man. I’ve been married for 22 years, and I’ve got two kids and a dog. Everything in my house gets used,” he says. “My collection had to look beautiful and be functional, but most importantly it has to be used and look good when being used.”

Nigel Barker Style

Nigel’s new outdoor furniture collection treats your patio and deck with the same philosophy. The sleek sectional, sofa, lounge chair and dining sets provide a gorgeous setting while you’re relaxing in the sun.

“Your outdoor space should be a respite from the world—a place where you can relax and unplug,” Nigel says. “My NB2 backyard collection is designed to be that calm oasis. Pulling inspiration from my life, I’ve created timeless looks with minimalism at the heart. My hope is that you will recharge in style and enjoy time spent with friends and family.”

Create a Nigel-inspired room by carefully selecting each furnishing and accent piece for its beauty and meaning. In addition, clear out the clutter and bring a sense of serenity to your room or back yard. While pops of color are always welcome, embrace neutral colors and natural materials, mixing textures and styles. When you design a space with livable luxury, you make every day special.