Say “Squeeze!” The Community: Lemonade Day

Thirsty? Saturday, June 9th is a day for quenching thirsts and launching future entrepreneurs. It’s Lemonade Day Detroit, and its goal is to give hundreds of area kids a taste of being your own boss.

Started in 2007 by Houston philanthropist and entrepreneur Michael Holthouse, Lemonade Day has become a national event where children learn how to start and run a successful business. Last year, more than 120,000 children poured lemonade in 31 cities across America and Canada – 2,600 of whom were in Southeast Michigan.

To participate in this year’s event, visit any Metro Detroit Art Van Furniture Store and pick up a free Lemonade Day backpack. It includes an Entrepreneur Workbook that will teach your child how to operate a lemonade stand, set goals, develop business plans, secure investors, create a product, make a profit and give back to their community.

Kids keep the money they earn and are encouraged to spend some, save some and give some to charity. In 2011, approximately 8,000 backpacks were distributed locally, and area kids donated an estimated $160,000 to charities.

We thought it would be fun to get some business tips from last year’s participants. Here are Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Lemonade Stands:

1. Think up a creative business name.

2. Make sure your product is delicious.

3. Get the word out.

4. Treat customers well and be polite.

5. Remember to thank your supporters.

6. Most of all, have fun!

7. Then sit back and count your profits.

What’s New? Fire Up Your Summer

The hottest addition to backyard living is the firepit. It not only adds style, but functionality. Just like a fireplace inside your home, a firepit instantly becomes the focal point of your outdoor living space. And a firepit can make spending time outside more comfortable, especially during the cooler months.

Depending on your space, use and budget, Art Van Furniture offers several choices, one of which will be a perfect fit for you.

Here’s what you need to consider:

If you love the smell of a campfire, the taste of roasted marshmallows and the sound of crackling embers, a wood-burning version will light up your senses. For stationary use, a firepit table creates the setting for an intimate gathering. Pull up a chair; the cocktail height is the perfect place to set down your drink or snack and enjoy the warmth. The aluminum frame is durable and resists rust. Art Van Furniture has two styles to choose from, with prices starting at $549.

If you want a firepit that’s on the go because you are, a portable wood-burning firepit is for you. Starting at $89, Art Van Furniture offers four choices, one of which is sure to match your personal style. Easily mobile, wood-burning firepits are perfect for anywhere, anytime. They can be used on your deck or patio as well as on a picnic at the lake or parking lot tailgate party. Fill one with well-seasoned hard woods, such as oak or hickory, to reduce smoke. The set comes with a poker to start and stoke the fire; a mesh fire screen, to help control sparks and debris; and a protective cover for when not in use.

Finally, if low prep and high design are your deciding factors, you’ll want to check out the propane firepit collections at Art Van Furniture. Connect the firepit table a propane tank, and simply push the ignition button; the flame—which is diffused through lava rock—instantly lights. Paired with four chairs or a loveseat/chair combination, one of our four stylish collections will transform your patio or deck into an outdoor room—and the perfect place to relax in the crisp air of a summer night. Prices start at $1149.99.

Full-Spring Ahead!

During the colder months most of us make a pretty good dent in our sofas by spending lots of time getting all cozy and dreaming of warmer weather. We were ecstatic to hear that Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow (yippee!), because at Art Van, we dream of warmer weather… and redecorating. If you feel the same impulse to create, we’re here to remind you that a little rearranging goes a long way. You’d be surprised how different your favorite chair looks three feet to the left.

Now that we know spring is arriving sooner than we expected, we really have the urge to freshen up the furniture and maybe toss on a fresh coat of paint in one of the super hot colors for 2011. If the “it’ color Honeysuckle is too out there for you, there are plenty of other color options to put a spring in your step.

Gray is still the neutral that reigns supreme. It’s the go-to color for walls, floors, furniture, and fashion. We love how well it goes with what you already have, but also how it brings out the vivacity of brighter colors like orange, fuchsia, and green. Speaking of green, what other color paints a better picture for the promise of new beginnings? There are various shades you can use to give your home a fresh feel, and this color is especially good for accent walls and accessories.

Before you start with all of the heavy lifting, try redecorating with our Room Planner. This free tool allows you to input all your room dimensions and contents so you can see how different arrangements will look. Then shop online or come in to see all the exciting new designs blooming in our showrooms, the Clearance Center, and Scott Shuptrine Interiors design studio. And don’t forget, our fun Spring Design Classes will be happening soon, so make sure you check the Special Events page at to find out when and where we’ll be bringing spring to your town!

Where Tradition Meets Perfection

Lasting quality. Attention to detail. Hand-crafted excellence, made right here in the United States. That’s the experience you can expect from our exclusive Thread & Feather Collection.

Made in Hickory, North Carolina, our Thread & Feather brand was commissioned by Art Van Furniture Chairman and Founder Art Van Elslander. He wanted to create a line of furniture that embodied the excellence this company is known for. Made in America for lasting quality, this collection includes sofas, chairs, and ottomans, each uniquely constructed so that no two are alike.

From each spun thread to the kiln-dried wood frames, no element is overlooked. Superior materials merge for honest beauty. And best of all, it’s completely customizable, so each piece is utterly and uniquely yours. Start by choosing a silhouette for you piece — everything from the arm style and leg options to the finish and nailhead trim. Next, choose a base fabric to set the groundwork for your masterpiece. Over 200 fabrics are available at fashionably affordable prices. And the stores have one-yard swatches on hand to give you a clear idea of the final product you’ll design. Finally, choose an accent fabric to complete your look. You can choose as many coordinating fabrics as you like to suit your style and complement your overall design.

It’s as simple as that! With our smart fabric selection and built-to-last construction, Thread & Feather is your choice for classic furniture that you’ll love for years to come.

Warming Up When the Temperature Goes Down

We’ve hit the dead of winter, folks — those dark days when spring seems furthest away. While we can’t promise you warmer weather (and oh, how we wish we could!), we can help you keep cozy while you wait for the snow to melt.


Wrap It Up. Throw blankets not only keep your movie nights in nice and toasty, but they also add color and a warm feel to your room. Go with a thick down blanket for a soft, fluffy look, or an intricate knit throw for texture and depth. Fleece blankets are also a snug (and inexpensive) option, especially for a more casual space. Check out our showrooms for some great ideas! And when you’re ready to cool off, you can tuck the winter blankets away in a storage ottoman for a functional way to keep them out of sight. 
Night Light. Want warmth and ambiance without having to trudge through the snow to chop wood? An electric fireplace will thaw your icy nights. With the convenient remote control, you can enjoy a “roaring” fire at the touch of a button! Patented 3-D flame effects simulate realistic firelight, and whether the heat is on or off, the glass stays cool to the touch. Using no combustion and producing no emissions, it’s a safe and easy way to keep the cold at bay.
A New Winter Coat. Paint won’t literally protect your house from chilly drafts, but a warm red or cheery yellow accent color on a wall or piece of furniture will put you in a sunnier state of mind. Warm tones like oranges and reds are great on accent walls, or go with a bright lemon in a kitchen or bathroom. A couple coats is all it takes, and you can easily change it back when you’re all warmed up! Visit our partner in paint, Sherwin-Williams, to find a shade you crave.

However you decide to warm your winter nights, we think the best way to fight the seasonal blues is with a warm disposition. So get cozy, hunker down, and remember that spring is on the way! In the meantime, pass the hot chocolate.