This Is How to Shop for a Sofa

Buying a sofa is a big purchase, one that requires some preparation and thought. It’s often the largest item in the room and commands attention. It’s also the piece that will serve as a landing spot for you and your friends. Since it’s an important part of your room, be sure to take time to understand how to shop for a sofa.

Identify What You Want

The first step is being clear on what you want. If it’s your first sofa, you may not want to invest a lot of money, and buying a sofa that will fulfill your needs for a couple of years is fine. If you’re replacing a worn out sofa or if you want to start with something of higher quality, choose a sofa that will be an investment piece. While everybody has a budget, you’ll want to try to get the most for your money.

The Capri Sofa is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.

Our Capri Sofa, for example, is both affordable and durable. Its casual style would make a great option for your home, and it comes in a variety of colors, including charcoal, brown, spa and blue.

Choose the Upholstery

How the sofa will be used will dictate your best upholstery choices. Will your sofa be in a family room with children, dogs and cats? Leather is very durable, but not everyone wants that look and feel. Microfiber, also called microsuede, has a little bit of a nap and is very durable.

Maybe you’re a single person and you want a sofa that’s a design statement? If you’re interested in a print, cotton takes dyes very well and the prints are very crisp, but cotton isn’t as durable a material and wouldn’t be the best choice for a busy family.

Decide on a Color

Choosing a color for your upholstery is another big decision. A safe choice is a neutral fabric, creating contrast and interest with throw pillows. You should think about tomorrow, and not just today’s design trends. If you fall in love with a bright yellow or lime green sofa, understand that you’ll have to work around that color for whatever time frame you hope to keep it. Changing out pillows, however, will be a fraction of the price of replacing the entire sofa.

Test for Comfort

Most people choose a sofa based on looks, judging comfort second. However, few people test a sofa’s comfort in the way it will be used at home. When you shop, take off your shoes and curl up on it. It’s rare that you sit at home with both feet on the ground. Sit on it the way you sit on your sofa at home and determine if it feels right.

How to shop for a sofa requires a combination of use, style and comfort. Take time to judge each part of the equation before making your decision. When you understand what you need and consider all of your options, you’ll be more likely to enjoy your purchase for years to come.

How to Furnish a Small Dining Room

A small dining room can feel cozy or it can feel cramped … it all depends on how you furnish it. Interior design professionals have a lot of methods for making a small space seem more spacious. Give your diminutive dining room the atmosphere of quaint café or bistro by incorporating these four tricks:

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

 

Choose Small-Scale Furniture

Small rooms require small-scale furnishings, as anything oversized will overpower the surroundings and make it look crowded. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 32 inches from the edge of the table to the wall to allow you and your guests enough space to navigate around it. Once you measure your room, you’ll know your table choices. A round table is a great option because it leaves extra space around the corners of the room. Round doesn’t have to limit your guest list; if you like to host large parties from time to time, simply choose one that has a leaf.

A narrow rectangular table can also be a good choice if your room is small but longer on one side. Look for a table with a pedestal base; this can be helpful for fitting guests around the table because table legs won’t block corners and limit your room. And consider armless chairs, which take up less room. Allow 24 inches of space per person, to provide enough elbowroom. Sleek styles seem to take up less room, sliding in and out without a problem.

Limit Your Colors

Light wall and upholstery colors will make your room seem open and airy. Limit your palette to three colors or less. A more monochromatic scheme will provide an uninterrupted field of vision, making the room feel larger. Contrasting colors should only be used as accents, such as trim on furniture, rugs or art.

 

The Glass Table with Urn Base is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Choose Light Or Clear Materials

While dark colored furniture can work in a small space, lighter woods will make the room feel lighter. Another great choice is a glass-top table, which virtually disappears, giving you the impression of having more floor space. Chrome and mirrored furniture are two more good choices, as they reflect light and open up the space. A mirrored buffet table, for example, will give the room some depth and make it feel spacious.

Forget the Smoke and Just Use Mirrors

Finally, make the room look twice its size by placing a large mirror on one wall. It opens up the space and maximizes the light. Placed opposite a window, it will provide a reflection that gives the illusion of another view.

How to Design a Modern Style Dining Room

The holidays are around the corner, and that means all eyes will soon be on your dining room. Set the table for a sophisticated gathering by designing your space with modern style. This look is simple and sleek, and requires just a few essentials to wow and impress. Whether you need all new furniture or a few touches to give your space a modern makeover, here’s how to create a modern style dining room.

The Zeno Dining Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Choose Sleek Furniture

Look for modern style dining room furniture with straight, sleek lines. Choose a table made from lacquer, polished wood or glass, and pair it with matching chairs for a streamlined, unified feel. If you have space, add the matching sideboard. Modern style has few details or fuss; look for pieces that are simple and clean.

The Benedetta Chrome Pendant Light is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
 Hang a Statement Chandelier

Give your modern style dining room wow factor by choosing a statement chandelier. Look for lots of sparkle, with polished metal and glass. A statement chandelier will serve as a centerpiece, minimizing the need for a lot of accent and décor.

The Blue Shapes Canvas Art is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Select Artwork

Use one bold piece of art in the room that coordinates with the furniture. Less is more with Modern Style, so you want to spend time choosing the right piece. An abstract painting is a good choice, especially one that adds a pop of color.

Designing a Farmhouse Style Kitchen

Farmhouse style is a natural for the kitchen. The casual feel is inviting, and the materials offer lots of visual interest as well as durability—perfect for a busy family lifestyle. In one of her blog posts, Joanna Gaines—the queen of farmhouse style—offered thoughts on designing a kitchen. Here are three tips you can incorporate in your Farmhouse style kitchen:

The Swedish Farm Kitchen Island is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Create Architectural Details

“Houses don’t always come with original charm, like arched doorways and original tile patterns, so sometimes you have to get creative when trying to make a remodel look unique and timeless,” writes Joanna. She uses antique partitions that create a dramatic entrance into the kitchen. You could also use a kitchen island that looks like an antique or choose furniture that was inspired by architectural details.

The Essex Dining Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Mix Finishes

The farmhouse style kitchen has taught us that things don’t have to match. Joanna often uses one style for upper cabinets and another for lower, allowing architectural elements to stand out. We love this tip because it encourages us to think outside of styles and colors when designing your kitchen. You could use two different finishes or add furnishings in a different style for a unique or eclectic feel.

The Savannah Serving Bowl is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Put Essentials On Display

Joanna can make the most basic household item look loved simply by showing it off. She often utilizes a pot rack to display and organize everyday pots and pans in a farmhouse style kitchen. “This saves the homeowner from having to look through a cramped cabinet or drawer, while also bringing the character and patina of their collection to this wall,” Joanna writes. When choosing accent pieces for your kitchen, survey what you have in your cabinets. Or select new pieces that not only serve a function but are beautiful as well.

How To Create an Urban Style Dining Room

With the holidays on the horizon, all eyes are about to be on your dining room. Is yours ready for its starring role? If not, it’s possible to get a new look without replacing all of your furnishings. Here are four easy things you can do that will give your urban style dining room a makeover.

Nelson Dining Chairs are available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Nelson Dining Chairs are available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Nelson Dining Chairs are available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Swap out the chairs

You dining room will look completely different when you change out the seating, especially if your current set matches the table. The hottest trend in an urban style dining room is to mix up the chairs. Try an assortment that work well together, from upholstered to metal to wood. Choose all one color, a combination of two, or a mix of solids and patterns. Be creative! Or keep you matching dining chairs, and swap out the two end chairs with upholstered wingbacks.

The St. Claire Dining Bench is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com. 
Try a bench

Using a bench in place of seats will bring a casual, rustic feel to your dining room. It has the added benefit of letting you to seat more people. Use one or two benches at the long sides of a rectangular table. The great thing about a bench is that it’s versatile; you can always return the chairs after your evening of entertaining, and place the bench in a foyer, mudroom or rec room.

The Flatbush Sliding Door Server is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com. 
Use an interesting sideboard

Add appeal to your dining room with a new sideboard. It will stand out if it doesn’t match your dining room table. Choose a different wood finish for a nice contrast, go with something glamorous like mirror, or pick a style that has an unusual design. If you already have a sideboard, repurpose it in another room, such as a family room or oversized foyer.

The Vera Pendant Lighting is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Update your chandelier

If your chandelier came from another decade, it’s time for an update. Check out the gorgeous styles that add architectural shapes and drama to an urban style dining room. Today’s chandeliers are not only functional, but they enhance or even take the place of a centerpiece.