The Latest Trends in Outdoor Living

It’s time to move the party outside. Spring is here and the patio and deck take center stage. Is yours ready for their close-up?

Art’s Backyard is stocked full of this season’s latest looks for decking out your deck and polishing up your patio. Take a look at these trends in outdoor living:

resort seating

The Resort Look

Your backyard easily turns into an island oasis … even if you’re hundreds of miles inland. All it takes is sumptuous furnishings like this wicker seating with deep cushions. Our Marrakesh Collection is resort living at its best. Its plush, padded cushions turn an evening gathering into a summer soiree. Mai Tai anyone? The pieces are covered in Geobella and Sunbrella fabrics for maximum fade, mildew, and moisture repellency. In the winter, move this set indoors. It’s elegant enough for a family room, sunroom or enclosed porch.


outdoor motion seating

Motion Furniture

Outdoor seating should be comfortable, and motion seating lets you rock while you relax. Our Savannah Collection features deep-cushioned gliders and spring lounge chairs. Brimming with Southern charm, the set oozes grace and begs for a glass of sweet tea. But this is no wilting wallflower; the full-aluminum construction and solid, hand-cast components provide quality and dependability that’s very hospitable.


transitional outdoor furniture

Transitional Furniture

Transitional outdoor furniture combines the clean, simple lines of contemporary with the comfort and style of traditional. The result is a timeless look that never goes out of style. Transitional pieces are a smart investment as they effortlessly mix with your existing pieces. You can quickly update your look by swapping out pillows, cushions and accessories. Our Lattice Collection is a wonderful transitional offering. Its graceful curves are elegant in a traditional style, and its colors and materials are very contemporary. The natural slate inlaid table surfaces marry the two styles together for an ultimate outdoor room.


stackable chairs

Stackable Patio Chairs

A few extra drop-in guests don’t need to send you scrambling for the folding chairs you keep in your trunk for your son’s soccer game. These great stackable patio chairs are a much nicer option. A far cry from the plastic white or green lawn chairs that were popular years ago, today’s outdoor stackables are crafted from durable, high-quality materials like rust-free aluminum and resin weave. Our Villa Collection is ideal for outdoor entertaining. Gorgeous, you’d never guess they’re also portable and convenient. When not in use, the chairs stack and stow with ease.


mosaic outdoor

Touches of Turquoise

Reminiscent of cool Caribbean water, turquoise is one of the hottest colors in home design this summer. Use a splash of the jewel-tone blue with pillows to update your existing seating. Grab a turquoise candle holder or bowl and accessorize your outdoor tables. Or better yet, bring home our three-piece Ocean Marina Mosaic Bistro Set to dress up to your garden, deck or patio. The tabletop and chairs are embellished with hand-laid mosaic tiles in beautiful shades of blue, creating a tranquil setting for a Sunday morning latte with the newspaper.

Pantone’s Sojourn Palette

The word “sojourn” means a temporary stay. Pantone chose the word for one its 2013 home palettes, with hues that include Syrah, Foxglove, Black Plum, Baton Rouge, Pampas, Winter Moss, Cobblestone and Shitake. The combination is reminiscent of a walk through a luscious countryside garden. The good news is that your stay doesn’t have to be temporary; you can bring this rich combination of fuchsia and olive tones home for good.

pantone sojourn

Pantone makes the often-intimidating job of color selection simple and fun; you simply look for the collection that feels like you. If Sojourn speaks to you, take a look at this sophisticated living room we styled from its palette:

diva divine sofa

We started with the Diva Divine sofa from HGTV’s Classic Chic Collection; its throw pillows combine many of Sojourn’s colors. Available in a few fabric choices, the tuxedo back and curved lines are classic and cosmopolitan. The upholstery features welt cord trim for a tailored look. As with all HGTV pieces, the look is fresh and well styled.

roxy chair

Next, we added the Roxy Accent Chair, upholstered in the same fabric as the Diva Divine’s throw pillows. This chic and urban piece has a smooth wooden frame and lean tapered legs. It, too, has welt cord trim for a fine tailored accent.

sojourn chair

We included a second accent chair for more seating. This eye-catching Klein Armless Accent Chair is upholstered in Meadow, a light green shade that provides a fun burst of color. It plays well with the Roxy Accent Chair, and is a versatile piece that can be used throughout your home.

high sierra rug

To anchor the room, we chose the High Sierra Teak Rug. Its mushroom-colored shag provides depth and texture, creating an inviting look.

sojourn cocktail table sojourn end table

This living room is the perfect place for parties, and gatherings require beverages. For a convenient resting place we chose the Helix Rectangular Cocktail Table. It’s glass top allows the rich color of the rug to shine through, while balancing the room with light. A matching end table is placed between the two accent chairs.

sojourn sculpture

A sophisticated room needs sophisticated accents. This beautiful sculpture is the perfect piece for the glass top table. In Black Plum, the showy design coordinates well with the rest of the room’s furnishings.

sojourn art

And finally on the wall we hung this series of four wood wall panels, each topped with a different color, concave metal panel. The colors reflect the Sojourn feel, bringing the richness of nature inside your contemporary home.

Design Solution: Small Dining Area

A small dining area is no reason to forego hosting dinner parties. You can entertain in BIG style in a tight space if you incorporate a few tricks of the design trade. Take a look at these six solutions:

pedestal table1. Use a round pedestal table. A round table usually seats more people than a rectangular one, and it can effortlessly fit into tight corners. Choosing a pedestal base makes it a breeze to seat more guests because there are no table legs to obstruct knees.

drop leaf table

2. Try an expandable or drop leaf table. Another space-saving option is an expandable or drop leaf table, which can be placed against a wall. Perfect for one or two everyday diners, it quickly pulls out and accommodates four to six when company comes. You can choose a round or rectangular version, depending on your personal taste.

parsons chair3. Select armless chairs. You’ll fit more people around a table when you use armless chairs because they take up less room. Easily squeeze in an extra diner or two by choosing sleek and slim-lined dining chairs. These Parsons Chairs also make great seating for living spaces, as well.

woodlands sofa

4. Think like a restaurant. Create your own custom-made “booth” by using a sofa as bench-style seating. A banquette makes the most of your space by bringing seating all the way to the wall. Add a table and chairs and a cozy nook is ready for breakfast as well as formal dinners.

napoli table5. Choose “light footprint” furnishings. See-through or slim frames will give a light and open feel to a small space. Choose chairs and tables with thin metal legs, which virtually disappear, allowing the eye to travel around the dining area. Glass top tables allow light to move through the space, giving a feel of openness.

lattice table6. Go tall. A gathering-height table is perfect for small eating nooks because the extra height allows the eye to see more floor area, giving the area an illusion of being more spacious. Also, the counter height is perfect for parties where you serve appetizers; your guests will most likely stand tableside as they chat with others.

Get a Sleep Makeover

How’d you sleep last night? An estimated 70 million Americans complain of sleeplessness, and the culprit might be right under their noses … and their backs.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, mattresses should be replaced every 5 to 8 years to ensure proper support and comfort. A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine said that sleeping on a new mattress can significantly reduce stiffness and back pain. With about a third of your life spent in bed, a good night’s sleep is an essential part of good health.

How old is your mattress? If you’re not sure, it’s probably time to replace it.

The right mattress needs to provide two things: proper support and proper pressure relief. Comfort isn’t always an accurate indicator that the mattress you’re lying on is providing both. Our PureSleep diagnostic machine takes out the guesswork and finds you the exact mattress you need – one that is comfortable when you are lying on it awake and one that will support you while you sleep.

We offer three basic types of mattresses: specialty, which includes foam, memory foam and gel memory foam beds; innerspring, which have the traditional coils, and hybrids, which are a combination of innerspring and foam. Within those three types, we have more than 100 mattress choices, and each does a specific job. Getting the right fit can help erase those sleepless nights.

Another essential element of good sleep is your pillow. Down, poly, foam or latex are all good choices for fill, but did you know yours is probably also filled with fungi, dead skin, dust mites and drool – all of which can aggravate allergies, asthma, sinusitis and respiratory disease?

Pillows act like sponges, collecting what we shed while we sleep. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that exposure to these allergens is a significant risk factor for the development of asthma and hay fever.

Not sure how old your pillow is? It’s probably ready to be replaced, but take this quick test: Fold your pillow in half, squeeze and release it. If it doesn’t spring back into form, it’s time to get a new one. The editors of Prevention magazine suggest that you change your pillow once a year. If you use a protective pillow cover, they say you can double its life.

You’ll get more time out of a good, quality pillow. The experts at the PureSleep Center inside Art Van Furniture give these general guidelines: fiber- or poly-filled pillows are usually good for 6 to 18 months depending on quality. Wool or goose down pillows will last for two to three years. And latex or memory foam pillows are good for up to 5 years, depending on quality. Always use a pillow protector to maintain and prolong the life of your pillow investment.

Remember: Good sleep is always in style.

We’ve Got the Look: Brooke Shields’ Manhattan Penthouse

brooke shields

Brooke Shields has been a Hollywood style icon for most of her 40+ years. It should be no surprise then that her Manhattan penthouse home is filled with iconic pieces gathered from throughout the decades.

Shields recently opened her home to Architectural Digest magazine, which photographed many of her eclectic-inspired rooms (take a peek here.) We fell in love with her living room, which effortlessly mixes French Neoclassicism with 1970s modern. If you love it, too, it’s time to pay a visit to your nearest Art Van Furniture because … we’ve got the look:

nadia accent chair babette chair

Shields and her family enjoy the warmth of the fireplace from a pair of Louis XVI–style armchairs. The furnishings are delicate without being too feminine. We have two choices of chairs for your home: Our Nadia Accent Chair has an elegant but contemporary feel with textured taupe fabric contrasted by its black finish wooden trim. Or opt for the more traditional feel of the Babette-IV chair, with plush fabric adorned by a carved frame and gold tipping. You can add geometric-designed throw pillows to further emulate Shields’ look.

 coylin cocktail table

Shields’ home features a 1970s Lucite-based cocktail table with an X-design base. This piece provides a contrast in styles to the French-inspired armchairs, and adds a helping of modern to a room that could easily become too serious. Our Coylin Square Cocktail Table with its sleek metro design provides a similar sense of relief. A truly artistic accent for any home, its beauty is as contemporary as it is classic.

rustic traditions dresser

Flanking one side of the fireplace in the Shields home is a French empire commode that provides storage in the room. We’ve found a similar piece in our bedroom collection. Our Rustic Traditions Dresser has eight drawers to provide ample room for games, linens or anything else you’d like to stash nearby. And the antique brass drop ring and key hardware provide just enough detail for interest.

Mantera Sofa Table

On the other side of the fireplace is a marble top table, used as a handy bar for entertaining. Our Mantera Sofa Table captures a similar style of traditional elegance with shapely turned chamfered posts and deep reeded detailing. The top includes raised panel beveled glass inserts, which means it could easily be used as a bar without worry of spills.

shields lampshields lamp 2

Shields’ living room is illuminated with a mix of lamp styles. Our ceramic Dream Jeanie Table Lamp mirrors the contemporary selection with its crackled base and our ornate Gold Base Table Lamp provides a touch of traditional in gold with a scalloped finial.

ivory rug

Underfoot, Shields chose a jute rug for her space. We, however, love the comfort and warmth of our Regency Ivory Rug. The 100% virgin wool hand loomed rug has rich hues that are shaded with evidence of light brush strokes.

brooke shields wall art

Finally, Shields finishes the room with a personal selection of art, including portraits by Will Cotton of her two daughters and an original Keith Haring painting, which was a gift from the artist. While we can’t offer you an authentic Keith Haring, we love the similar feel provided by this wooden piece of art that features a series of blocks in distressed brown, red and cream tones. The center circle adds interest to this piece. You’ll find several more accent pieces in Art’s Marketplace, something that’s sure to represent your own personal style and taste, creating a room that you will “Endless-ly Love.”