Curious Curios

Curios are intended to hold your collection of curiosities, but our Art Works Curios are interesting all on their own. As beautiful as whatever you put inside, take a look at these accent pieces that were inspired by three of the great artists.

The Klimt Art Works Curio is finished in antique gold with details inspired by Gustav Klimt’s renowned “Tree of Life” painting. A gorgeous showcase for your holiday baubles, this piece will earn a place of honor in your home year round.

An Austrian artist, Klimt achieved fame during his “Golden Phase.” He created “Tree of Life” in 1909 as part of a mural he painted for the Stoclet Palace in Belgium. This work is one of the most reproduced oil paintings in modern day. Admire it and you might come to know a piece of the artist.

Gustav said, “Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant – they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want.”

The Kandinsky Art Works Curio is finished in ebony and adorned with a multicolor essence of Wassily Kandinsky’s celebrated “Heavy Red” painting. Stunning in its vibrant red with accents of turquoise, orange and plum, this piece will provide a unique setting for colorful collectibles.

Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist; his abstract work followed years of intense thought and retrospect. You’ll find this curio to have melody all its own; the artist described painting like writing music:

“Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

 

The Monet Art Works Curio is finished in ebony and accented with Claude Monet’s famous “Water Lilies” painting. In Monet’s signature Impressionist style, this soft-spoken piece will be a welcome addition to any home.

“Water Lilies” depicts Monet’s flower garden at Giverny. In fact, Monet’s gardens were the primary subject of his paintings during the last 30 years of his life. The French artist created a series of 250 water lily paintings, which are on display at museums all over the world.

We believe this piece will find a place in your heart. Monet said, “People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”


Enjoy the Spirit(s) of the Season

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 some ideas for creating a libation station:

First, chose an out-of-the-way spot. This will make sure it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the party. Be sure to create an area where more than one person can be pouring. Art Van Furniture’s Demilune Wine Cabinet in black with a front glass panel is a great option. This piece also offers storage for extra bottles and stemware.

Next, stock it with the basics. You can make things easy by serving just soft drinks, beer and wine. Another option is to offer soft drinks, beer, wine and one special mixed drink. For a holiday-theme, choose a beverage such as eggnog, mulled wine or white cranberry “snowflake” martinis.

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. We’ve included a recipe for homemade Irish crème below. It’s delicious and also makes a wonderful hostess present.

To know how much to purchase, check out this handy drink calculator.

Be sure your 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. Red wine glasses have a wider bowl, allowing more air to come in contact with the surface of the wine. White wine glasses have a U shape, which allows the aroma to be released.

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

Homemade Irish Crème Whiskey

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ¼ cups whipping cream
  • 1 ½ cups whiskey
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are thick. Stir in the remaining ingredients and beat for one minute. Pour Irish Crème Whiskey into a large decanter or bottle. Seal and store in refrigerator. Allow crème to sit for seven days before using. Keeps for two weeks.


White Hot

 

It’s the color that never goes out of style. It’s classic. Timeless. And it makes a statement. It’s white, and it’s a white hot trend in home décor.

White is simple yet complex. White whispers, but it commands attention. White is cool, although it radiates light. And white is new but, at the same time, mature.

 

Here are five reasons to use white – and lots of it – in your home.

It adds immeasurable square footage

Using white in your home creates the feeling of having more space. Small rooms instantly feel larger, and large rooms take on a loft-like feel. Use white on the walls, the furnishings and the floors, for a feeling of airy and openness.

It’s museum quality

White is the perfect backdrop for art. Whether your “collection” is wall of priceless paintings or an assortment of embroidered pillows, everything pops against a white background. Use the color to showcase your favorite possessions.

It’s glamorous

An all-white room is daring and dazzling. It provokes the enchanted feeling of Hollywood in its heyday. Sophisticated but never gauche, white captivates. Consider a white sofa adorned with a white faux fur throw; it’s the perfect setting for a sophisticated gathering or for an afternoon with a novel.

It transcends seasons

White looks at home during the icy days of winter. It lights the buds of spring. It provides cool relief to the heat of summer. And it reflects the warmth of fall. Forget the Labor Day rule and wear white on your walls, floors and furnishings 365 days a year.

It plays well with others

White clashes with nothing. It complements any shade of blue, looks at home with reds, greens and yellows, and provides the yang to the yin of black. It’s also comfortable alone; use different shades of white to create a layered and textured feel.

White is always right. How will you use it in your home?


Home for the Holidays

Nostalgia. It has a way of creeping into our lives this time of year. Reminiscing about traditions kept since you were a child is one reason to look forward to the holidays. This year set the stage for a trip down memory lane by incorporating vintage-inspired décor.

Take a look at two versions on this decorating trend, each of which pulls inspiration from the pages of yesteryear and updates it with a modern twist.

Twinkle Twinkle

Bring the sparkle of new fallen snow into your home with the glimmer of metallic décor. Gold is the hottest color of the season, and you can go all in by bringing home a metallic tree. Gold and silver trees came into fashion in the late 1950s and continued to be all the rage into the early 1960s.

A few decades later, this look has resurfaced. Whether you use it as your main Christmas tree, as an additional symbol of the season in an adjoining room or as a welcoming beacon on your front porch, a gold Christmas tree will add sparkle and shimmer to your holiday.

Beautiful as is, it looks glamorous when dressed up with white lights. Or adorn the tree with matching gold ornaments. Then gather an assortment of coordinating decorations; we have an assortment of glittery details at Art Van Furniture. Our Chloe Room Divider in warm brown is a great place to display some sparkle. Or choose a shiny accent piece that will bring twinkle into your home year round, such as our mirrored chest.

Currier and Ives

Nothing feels more like the holidays than the winter scenes of American life created by Currier and Ives in the 1800s. The New York City printmaking firm created hand-painted lithographs depicting horse-drawn sleighs and bonneted women on skates … Americana at its best.

Bring this feel into your home by starting with the right shade of red. This year, the color that’s most current – and most nostalgic – is a rustic deep barn or cranberry red. Use it when choosing those items that will embellish your home. For a mature feel, decorate with Old World angels and a fruit and floral-adorned topiaries. Families will love using old-fashioned children’s toys, such as sleds or skates, to dress the occasion.

It’s also a great time to add a piece such as our Sideboard that will enhance your holiday décor and keep the American spirit all year long with its hand-finished floral detailing. Or put a more modern spin on the folk art-inspired look with our Striped Accent Chest.

Unwrap either of these looks at Art Van Furniture. You’re sure to find some other gift-worthy items to put on your list, so be sure to say hello to Santa who pays us a visit each weekend.  Click here for details.


50 Shades

It’s the color of a storm rolling in. It’s the tone in a pebble found at the edge of the lake. And it’s the tint of a dove’s wing. Moody, conservative or barely there, grey is the most neutral of neturals. It blends effortlessly with any color – which is probably why Native Americans use the color gray to symbolize friendship – and it’s the perfect choice when shopping for new furnishings.

Contemporary, casual, traditional or rustic, there’s a shade of grey for every style home, and at Art Van Furniture, we’ve got the look. Here are four of our favorite collections:

The rich and sophisticated tones of the Mila Style Collection create an inviting and upscale setting for your living room. The sofa has sharp features and flared arms, with a sleek button-tufted back. The neutral body fabric is contrasted with the bold patterns of its four toss pillows. The lines of the Mila Accent Chair complement the sofa, as does its classic small-scaled houndstooth pattern.

The understated Fontaine Collection by Cindy Crawford has the casual elegance of a silver charm bracelet. The neutral grey sectional serves as a strong base for the metallic mixture of toss pillows in patterns and solids. The deeper grey cocktail ottoman has a tone-on-tone pattern for interest and texture. And the accent chair completes the casual look of the room.

Comfort and style are the hallmarks of the Cantina Collection. In supple Quarry-colored leather, this easy-to-live-with collection will create the perfect setting for a relaxing Friday night with family or a riveting Sunday afternoon of spectator football. The fabric accent pillows, in a pattern called Loophole, give a modern touch to the casually rustic furnishings.

Traditional homes will welcome the classic feel of the Pewter Style Collection, which gets its name from the nailhead trim that adorns the charcoal grey fabric. The accent chairs have a vine design and light background, which serve as an elegant contrast to the deep grey tone of the sofa and loveseat.