Archive for the ‘Kids and Family’ Category

22, Jun

There is something nostalgic and even magical about watching a movie outdoors. Those who grew up in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, will likely remember the old drive-in movie theaters with crackly speakers that hung on car windows and preview reels that featured a dancing concession stand snacks.

It’s easy enough to bring back some of that fun by holding your own drive-in movie night … parked right in your backyard.

 

outdoor movies

First, the technology: you’ll need a DVD projector. If you don’t own one, you can often borrow one from your school or workplace. If that’s not possible, contact companies that rent AV equipment for conferences. You’ll also need a screen, but you can fashion one yourself. Simply hang a white sheet from second story windows or project the movie onto a light flat surface such as a garage door.

Next, 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 movie, such as Stand By Me, NationalLampoon’s Vacation, The Parent Trap, I Know What You Did Last Summer or Jaws.

Now it’s time to make the popcorn. You can set up a popcorn, by filling a big tub with plain popcorn and offering your guests a selection of gourmet toppings, such as dry ranch dressing mix, parmesan cheese and Italian spices, truffle salt, lemon zest and pepper, or mini M & Ms and crushed toffee. Round out the snacks with bottles of Faygo and boxes of Good ‘n Plenty, Raisinettes and Dots.outdoor chairsFinally, pull up some comfortable outdoor chairs. Midwest evenings can bring a chill to the air, so be sure to have some blankets for snuggling, too.

Then, it’s time to enjoy. Pass the popcorn, please.

 

 

 

 

19, Jun

The kids are out of school, and it’s time for fun in the sun. Do you have a fun outdoor play space that keeps them busy? A swing set is a great start, but here are five things that will turn your back yard into the neighborhood hot spot.

Pouf Ottoman

1. Kid-Friendly Furnishings

Consider getting some outdoor furniture that is scaled for little ones. A small picnic table or table and chairs set would be a fun addition. Or use several small pouf ottomans that provide soft mobile seating.

2. A “Secret” Hideout

Children love tree houses because they feel like kid-only clubhouses. If that’s not a possibility, what about including a ground-level playhouse? Or maybe a tent that can be put away when not in use?

Pool Toy

3. Water

A pool is ideal, but you can provide lots of other water features. Consider getting a fun sprinkler that kids can splash in. Or how about a slip and slide? You could also have a bucket of squirt guns or water balloons on hand, for some old-fashioned water fights.

4. An Adventure

If you have room in your yard, consider installing a fun item, such as a zip line, tire swing or even a hammock. These items never grow old, and you’ll probably have just as much fun using it as the kids.

Turtle Pot

5. A Garden

Gardening is a great way to teach kids about patience and care. Plus, they’re more likely to try new fruits and vegetables when they grow them themselves. Consider dedicating a corner of your yard to a garden, or plant in fun pots like this cool turtle planter.

What does your summer backyard plan entail? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

 

16, Jun

Filling your home with fancy furniture that will make you cringe when your little one’s hands get dirty is probably not the best way to decorate your house when your children are young. But you don’t want to look like you live in a day-care center, either. Instead, choose a style that durable and decorative – a happy medium for a happy family

Kid-friendly homes can be fashionable if you keep these six things in mind when selecting your furnishings:

Attached Cushions

1. Cushions will become forts. That means you have two choices: Get a sofa with firm cushions that will stand up wear and tear. Or pick a sofa with cushions sewn in so they’re not removable. You can satisfy your child’s imagination by providing other fort-building props, such as portable and stackable cube ottomans or a fabric tee-pee

Leather Upholstery

2. Upholstery will attract spills. Whether it’s sofas, chairs, headboards or ottomans, choose fabric for upholstered pieces that is a durable, such as microfiber or leather.  You can also check the color of the stains on your sofa before choosing a hue for the new one. Something in taupe, gray or tan will hide spills, making them less noticeable. Or pick furnishings with slipcovers that can be thrown in the washing machine to be freshened up.

Kid friendly Rug

3. Rugs camouflage a multitude of mishaps. Just like upholstery, your floors will take a beating be the recipient of a few spills, as well. A rug with a rich pattern will hide just about anything, and it provides cushioning for little ones who might slip on hardwood flooring. Rugs are easy to send to the cleaners. And when kids are grown, rugs are more affordable to replace than wall-to-wall carpeting.

Kid Friendly Table

4. Round corners are your friends. Small children, especially when they’re learning to walk, tend have plenty of trips and falls. Since cocktail and end table corners are at eye-level, you can help prevent bruises and bumps by choosing tables that are round or oval instead of shapes with corners. Upholstered ottomans are a great option for a cocktail table.

Storage Ottoman

5. Kids have lots of stuff. That means it’s smart to incorporate storage to keep clutter at bay, and plenty of options will tie in with your décor. For example, decorative baskets and bins tucked under end tables can be a quick hiding spot for blocks and dolls. Bookshelves can hold reading material as well as board games. And a chest that doubles as a cocktail table can hold blankets, magazines and stuffed animals. Make sure the storage is accessible so kids get things out and put things away.

Kid Loft

6. Kids just want to be kids! While making sure all of your rooms are family-friendly, having a room that is meant for the kids helps minimize the wear and tear on your home. Whether it’s a family room, basement rec room or your child’s bedroom, create a space for kids by filling it with the things he or she loves to do – such as finger paint and cartwheels. When kids have a place of their own, they’re less tempted to get into stuff that’s not theirs.

15, Jun

School’s out, and it’s time to let loose!! Here are three ideas for celebrating summer in style.

Host an Ice Cream Social

Create a make-your-own sundae bar with a couple flavors of ice cream and lots of toppings. Consider sprinkles, nuts, fruit, crushed cookies and whipped cream.

Have a Picnic  Bring lunch or dinner outdoors. It can be in your own back yard or at a nearby park. There’s something about eating outside that makes the food taste better.

Camp Out Enjoy a night under the stars by popping a tent in your back yard or vising a campground. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and tell ghost stories.

12, Jun

Dads come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Some Dads love golf, while others prefer spending their afternoon by the pool. Some Dads are climbing the corporate ladder, while others are happy taking a walk with their four-legged friend.

Sunday, June 18th is Father’s Day, and Art Van Furniture wants to help you celebrate your unique Dad. Take a look at these gift ideas that are sure to fit him to a T.

Fathers Day Cooler

Outdoors Dad

Does your Dad love to soak up the sun? Whether he’s poolside, camping or tailgating on the weekend, this fun 60-quart cooler will keep his favorite beverages cold and ready. Available in a variety of colors, the cool design features a built-in bottle opener and a convenient cap catcher, keeping the area tidy. And the casters let the party roll wherever he goes.

Fathers Day Recliner

Armchair Quarterback Dad

Complete Dad’s man cave with the beautiful brown Avatar Leather Recliner and Ottoman. Perfect for binge watching his favorite series or taking in the game, the design features plush padding and a sleek exposed metal base. The durable leather upholstery is easy to clean, and you’ll love that it ships for free.

Fathers Day Office Chair

Executive Dad

Whether he works from his convenient home office, a comfy cubicle or a corner office with a view, Dad will love the Zline Hayes Oversized Executive Chair. The memory foam contoured seat is super comfortable, and the waterfall edge provides enhanced leg circulation. Wheel casters let Dad move around easily, and it ships for free!

Fathers Day Pet Bed

Pet-Lover Dad

If your dog is truly Dad’s best friend, he’ll appreciate this stylish new Lounge Bed. Designed like a sofa, the bed lets your pup sleep in comfort. The bolstered side and center pillow unzip for easy cleaning, and the black and white buffalo plaid will look great in Dad’s rec room. Available in a variety of sizes, it ships for free.

Fathers Day Grill

Grillmaster Dad

Every Dad becomes an iron chef when he gets behind the flames of a grill. Help him kick it up a notch with the Himalayan Square Salt Plate. Made from natural salt crystals hand-mined from the Himalayan Mountains, this plate allows Dad to cook, cut and display his grilled masterpiece. The rock can be placed directly on the grill or stovetop, adding flavor to the meal. This great item ships for free.

Fathers Day Music

Music Loving Dad

Headphones and ear buds are nice, but they can get in the way if Dad is trying to nap. With wireless SleepPhones, he doesn’t have to worry about getting tangled up in cords. The hypoallergenic fabric headband has removable speakers that let Dad listen to his favorite tunes or podcasts. Available in a variety of colors, SleepPhones are machine washable and they ship for free.

If you’re really stumped, let Dad pick out what he wants with an Art Van Furniture Gift Card. Available in denominations from $25-$500, he’ll enjoy spending it in any of our 100+ Midwest showrooms.

5, May

Mother’s Day is the time to treat Mom like a queen, and every queen needs her throne. Pamper mom by giving her the best seat in the house. From trendy to modern farmhouse and everything in between, there’s a look to match mom’s personal style.

Lola

Garden Mom will beam at the colorful Lola Flower Armless Chair that features pink, green and teal. The whimsical design will add a layer of pattern to her bedroom or family room, brightening up the space like a summer bouquet.

Bliss

Elegant Mom will adore the Bliss Swoop Arm Chair dressed in grey and white. The curved lines are modern and sophisticated, and the floral pattern is soft and feminine.

Hannah

Classic Mom will enjoy the Hannah Flannel Accent Chair with its wingback style. The soft upholstery will pamper her and the button tufting adds a contemporary twist.

Autumn

Modern Farmhouse Mom will fall in love with the Autumn Accent Chair. Contrasting patterns in soft colors look fresh and interesting, while the nailhead trim adds a contemporary detail.

Flynn

Trendy Mom will fall for the Flynn Velvet Chair in striking navy. The sleek modern lines are fashion forward while the rich blue color is current and fresh.

Looking for more Mother’s Day ideas? Check out our complete gift guide by clicking here. And then check out our guide to the perfect brunch, so you can pamper Mom with an amazing meal, too.

4, May

They say kids are a reflection of their parents, so why not celebrate Mother’s Day this year by reflecting her good taste with a stylish mirror? Here are three options that Mom would love to hang in her bedroom, foyer or family room:

Pierre

The Pierre Gold Round Wall Mirror will add an Art Deco inspiration to Mom’s room, with geometric shapes that are attractive and modern. The gold trim is on trend, adding a touch of warmth to Mom’s décor.

Vishnu

The Moroccan-inspired Vishnu Mirror resembles the roof of a temple, adding a lightly exotic air to Mom’s room. The black frame is dramatic, making it the perfect piece for a foyer or powder room.

Sunburst

Let the sun shine on Mom with the Mikah Gold Sunburst Mirror. A classic piece, the bold frame and round mirror will instantly brighten up Mom’s space, making her smile every time she sees it.

Looking for more Mother’s Day ideas? Check out our complete gift guide by clicking here.

3, May

Kardashian Nursery

Kourtney Kardashian must have had fun designing this nursery for her daughter Penelope. With a pink ceiling and walls and lattice-style wainscot, the whimsical room is filled with delightful things to capture the little girl’s attention – including a show-stopping chandelier. If you like the Kardashian style, we’ve got the look at a price that won’t break your budget!

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Start with a classic white crib that features straight lines. Our 4-in-1 Fancy Crib is a great choice and it’s practical, too. The piece converts from a crib to a toddler bed, to a daybed and to a full size bed with headboard and footboard. The mattress has three height options, making it safe for all stages. And it’s just $249.

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Next, add a bookcase to hold wonderful books for bedtime stories as well as toys and accessories. Our Harbor View Open Library has the same quaint cottage style as the Kardashian room and it features three adjustable shelves as well as an enclosed back panel that offers cord access for electronics. Solid wood turned feet add to that shabby chic style, and at just $169 it’s a great value.

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The Kardashian nursery features a gorgeous turquoise chandelier that adds an element of contrast to the totally pink space. While not a match, our sweet Crystal Chandelier brings a similar touch of glamour. Perfect for a little girl’s room, it would grow with your child and coordinate with her changing color favorites. It could also be easily transitioned into a foyer, powder room or guest bedroom. At just $249, it’s a great investment in style.

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The Kardashian nursery has a touch of orange, which makes the pink walls feel playful and young. Our Hudson Area Rug would be a great choice, adding a splash of orange as well as a sophisticated and classic pattern. This 5’ x 8’ rug is from our Clearance Center and is just $299.

Add pink paint, and you and your little bundle of joy can certainly keep up with the Kardashians!

2, May

Bringing mom flowers on Mother’s Day is a great way to show her you love her, but unfortunately even the most beautiful bouquets fade with time. Why not give mom blooms that will last forever? These three works of art feature different styles of floral design, with one sure to fit Mom’s décor. Which one will she love?

Blossom

The Blossom Painting features stunning hand embellished detailing on gallery wrapped canvas and a beautifully crafted frame. It’s made using an ecofriendly process and materials, and would be a great complement to a modern or casual style room.

Tree Blossom

The Tree Blossom Acrylic Painting features hand touched embellished petals made of newsprint on gallery wrapped canvas. The vibrant blue serves as a beautiful backdrop for the white petals, making it a great choice for an urban or traditional style room.

Poppy

The Poppy Acrylic Painting features hand touched detailing on a gallery wrapped canvas. The bright blue flowers are whimsical and fresh, making it a great addition to a contemporary or casual style room.

Looking for more Mother’s Day ideas? Check out our complete gift guide by clicking here.

6, Feb

Football season is officially over, and perhaps your rec room has lost some of its game, too. Whether you’re a man looking for a space of your own or a woman wanting to corral armchair quarterbacks (and their mess), consider creating a man cave.

While it sounds like it’s a Stone Age idea, man caves are a modern (and growing) trend, with 40% of homes having one. If you’ve got a basement, unused bedroom or even space in the garage, here are five things you need to create a man cave of your own:

Man Cave Recliner

1. A recliner

The man of the cave needs a throne, and there’s nothing more comfortable than a recliner. You’ll find a variety of options, including recliners that rock, glide, have power headrests and footrests, offer USB and power outlets, and even give you a massage. Recliners come in leather as well as fabric uphaolstery choices, so you’re sure to find one that fits your style and décor.

Man Cave Sectional

2. 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. Consider adding reclining loveseats or sofas that feature power or manual options. Or host bigger parties with a large sectional. You can even find reclining sectionals that include fold down tables for easy snacking.

Man Cave TV

3. A place for your TV

Every man cave needs a TV and a place to put it. Depending on how much space you have in your room and how many components you want to accommodate, choose a TV stand or entertainment center. You’ll find one to suit your décor and dimensions.

Man Cave Cocktail Table

4. A place to set your snacks

Now you need a place to set your nachos, wings and micro brew. Cocktail tables are not created equal, and you can find some that bring your food to you with a top that lifts and puts a flat surface at your fingertips. With sophisticated styling, no one will know it also houses your foam fingers and face paint.

Man Cave ArtMan Cave Lamp

5. A little ambiance

Finally, you need something that oozes testosterone. How about some framed sports photos? Rustic table lamps? Or even a cowhide zebra print rug.

And there you have it. A man cave the whole family will love!