Add a Quirky Chair

Every room needs a focal point. A statement piece. A bit of eye candy. This is most often accomplished with a fireplace, a rug or a piece of art. But a statement can also be made sitting down … with a quirky chair.

Quirky chairs add a touch of the unexpected to any room. They’re part function and part flair. And they’re totally fun. What makes a chair quirky is open for interpretation. Here are a few characteristics to look for when adding a chair that stands out:

It’s Colorful

In a room filled with neutrals, a brightly colored chair will command attention. Whether you choose solid or patterned, always choose vibrant. For example, the bold colors in the Caressa Rose Omega Striped Accent Chair liven up a living room or bedroom. You can tie it in to the décor by tossing coordinating pillows on your other pieces. Or let it sing a cappella.


It’s Patterned

Neutrals can be quirky when the pattern is full of attitude. For instance, the Conner Accent Chair steals the show with its modern take on an argyle-like design. Fun and bold, its basic color palette works well in a living or family room, adding a masculine flair.


It’s Unusually Shaped

Most chairs look like chairs. When you add a chair with an unusual shape, you add interest. Consider the two-toned Atlantic Swivel Chair: It looks like a lounge-y perch for cocktails or daydreams … or both. This chair swivels, so you can watch a ping-pong match or take in the 360-degree view.

It’s Surprising

High-back armchairs are very traditional. Cover them in a contemporary fabric and suddenly you’ve put a quirky twist on tradition. The Giselle Accent Chair fits the bill. Offering great seating comfort, it takes center stage with its bold, modern pattern in tones of taupe, ivory and grey.


It’s Dramatic

Sometimes designers like to raise eyebrows. They take an everyday piece of furniture and add drama, creating something that not only attracts attention but elicits remarks, as well. Certainly this was the intention behind the lines of the Darma Chair. Upholstered in two-toned leather, the contrast of colors only add to its powerful look.


Adding a chair that can stand up to its surroundings is an easy way to infuse personality to a room. Which quirky trait fits your design style best?

Transitioning Your Home into Fall

The kids are back to school. The cider mills are fragrant with spice and doughnuts. And there’s a crispness in the air.

It’s fall, and that means it’s time to generate warmth from inside your home. One of the best ways to prepare for cooler temps is by adding layers to each room in your home. Here are our tips for feathering your nest:

In the kitchen and dining room, add warmth to your table by using placemats and table runners. Use centerpieces in the deep colors of nature, by bringing in flowers and leaves from your back yard. Add accents to the room, such as baskets, pottery and bowls of fruit. And dress your table with candles, such as this rustic Candle Stand from Art’s Marketplace.

Small touches can have a big impact. Give the area a more intimate and cozy feel by hanging your chandelier lower; a good rule of thumb is that the bottom of the fixture should hang 30” to 36” from the tabletop.

Know that wood furniture warms up a room. If you’re in the market for a new kitchen set or dining room suit, consider rich cherry, pine or oak. Our Crossroads or Dakota Ridge Dining Collections are two great options and would provide the perfect setting for Thanksgiving Dinner.

In the living and family rooms, toss sofas and chairs with pillows covered in textured fabrics such as wool tweed or faux fur. Drape blankets and throws over chair backs or on sofa arms. Functional, they also make the room appear visually warmer, as well. Layer the room with plush rugs underfoot, choosing deep colors to both ground and insulate. Our Cosmo Copper Shag Rug is a great choice.

When adding new furnishings, choose those covered in soft fabrics, such as chenille or microsuede. Warm and welcoming, our Oak Park and Confetti Collection are great choices for fall entertaining. Or choose leather, such as our Carter or Gianna Collections, which adds visual warmth to a room and variety to the texture mix. Wooden coffee and end tables also add warmth. Layer them with lamps, pottery accents and trays to hold candles or mugs.

In the bedroom, dress your room for the season by adding drapes over existing shades or blinds. Cover the floor or carpet with an area rug to provide a warm entrance into your day. And always add a blanket to the bed. Down comforters covered in richly colored duvets add visual and physical warmth and take the chill out of the night.

Throw a tablecloth on the nightstand and use a dimmer on bedside lamps to create an intimate and cozy setting. And add more texture to the room with an upholstered headboard. Choose a plush fabric like velvet, microsuede or leather, coordinated with throw pillows.

The goal in getting ready for fall is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere … for guests, but especially for you and your family.

Do You Clamor for Glamour?

Beige can be beautiful. But a sea of beige … well, that can be boring!

We know that choosing a color palette for your home can be a little overwhelming, but we also know that Pantone’s nine home color palettes for 2013 were designed to make the process simple and fun. And so we continue our series on this topic with Glamour, Pantone’s collection of colors that convey “the polished sexiness of the Art Deco era.”

The tones in this palette could be called moody. But they can also be called sophisticated. Reminiscent of the bygone days when elegance was a way of life, the Glamour palette is also current enough to provide a contemporary touch to today’s modern home.  Colors have luxurious names like Rio Red, Monaco Blue, Tap Shoe, Chinchilla, Moon Mist, and Jasper, and glimmer is added with Silver and Champagne Beige.


You can easily add Glamour to the bedroom by selecting these items from Art Van Furniture.

First, start with a bed from the Meridian Black Collection. Simple and sleek in styling, the black lacquer finish sets the stage, and its silver metal legs give just the right touch of sparkle.

Top off the Meridian Black Collection bed with our City Balance comforter. The bold geometric pattern is very Art Deco, and the silver and black colors add drama. In cotton, it has a sheen that will reflect the light. Add color with accent pillows, choosing tones like Rio Red, Monaco Blue or Jasper, and add depth by selecting rich textures, such as velvet or felt.


Next, you’ll need a nightstand. Choose the selection from the Meridian Black Collection, or think outside the bedroom and select an interesting accent table. Here are three options that will look fabulous with the bed: the faux black crocodile, with silver legs that coordinate with the legs of the bed; the Orbit collection end table, with an oval base that will balance the geometric pattern of the comforter; or this round lamp table with Art Deco-inspired details.



Now it’s time to top off your nightstand with some color. Our jade table lamp has a gourd-style base with a unique green finish modeled after the patina of copper. Or choose our red glazed ceramic gourd-style lamp.


Above the bed, hang this round mirror surrounded by mirrored circles. The lightness of the mirror will provide balance to the sophisticated colors and will reflect any light in the room.

If you have space, add a chair to the room to create a cozy reading spot. Our ROMA Allegra Club Chair in leather is a good choice and comes in red or blue. Its smaller scale is perfect for a bedroom. Accessorize it with a pillow or throw in silver or champagne faux fur.

Finally, underfoot add a warm rug.  Here are two options for this color palette: The Regency Red Rug in 100% wool is dramatic in its deep tones, or our Bliss Beige Rug in soothing champagne will balance the dark colors of the room.


If the Glamour palette doesn’t sing to you, stay tuned. Next up, we’ll reveal the New Old School palette, which is more subdued and has a slightly military flair.

Furniture that Moves You

They’re not your father’s recliners.

Today’s motion furniture – commonly known as reclining chairs, sofas and love seats – have come out of the rec room and into full view. Stylish and comfortable, they’ll easily become the best seat in the house.

We’ve Got the Look caught up with Senior Buyer Nancy Christiansen – commonly known (at least around here) as the “Queen of Motion” – to find out her best tips on buying reclining furniture:

What should you look for when shopping for a recliner?

Reclining furniture tends to get more usage than a regular chair or sofa. The first thing you need to
consider is individualized comfort. What that means is that every sofa will fit a person differently; a short person sits differently than a taller person. It’s important to come into the store and test out these pieces. Sit in them until you find a good fit. Look for good lumbar support and what I call “cush on the tush.” These elements become critical in reclining.

Also look for a good warranty. This is furniture that’s lived in. Anything that moves can wear out. Take a few minutes to compare warranties and see how it lives up against your lifestyle.

What are some misconceptions about recliners?

There are a lot of old stereotypes, but these are not your father’s recliners! Furnishings have taken on a very different look and design. They’re customizable, and come in different sizes, with various arm and leg treatments and fabric options. It’s not just basic microsuede any more. Recliners can fit any size or
scale room, and any décor.

What are some of the latest features?

Recliners used to be a big poofy dad’s chair that had two choices: open or shut. Today the biggest option is power. Instead of using a lever or body weight to move, your furniture can have a motor inside. A push of a button makes the furniture recline to a customizable angle. It allows for the perfect fit and comfort level. It also allows the frame of the furniture to be reworked, creating pieces that are much more stylized than in the past. Reclining furniture now has more of a living room, non-reclining look.

Today’s pieces also offer more gadgets such as heat, massage, reading lights and USB ports. Another new innovation is the docking and recharging ports. Eventually you’ll never have to get off the sofa!


What pieces might be ideal choices for game day?

Our most popular pieces are the reclining sofas that have a fold-down table and drink holder between the seats.


Get to Work

More than 37 million U.S. households have a home office. If you’re not among them today, you might soon be as more and more companies allow employees to telecommute. Whether it’s used as a business office, a place to pay the bills and surf the ‘Net or as a homework station for the kids, put the emphasis on home instead of office by choosing furniture that effortlessly mixes with your décor.

And Art Van Furniture has a home office for every home style.

If you love Contemporary, the Woodward Avenue Collection Desk is a great choice. Crafted of mahogany wood solids and veneers and finished in dark coffee, the three-drawered 60” desk features nickel hardware for a touch of shine. A lower shelf is a great place to store file boxes. Paired with a leather side chair, also from the Woodward Avenue Collection, you won’t want to shut the door on your office.

Woodward Avenue Collection at Art Van

The clean lines of the Park Glen 60” Desk make it a good choice for the Casual home. In cherry or oak, the look is open, architectural and uncluttered. With a simple, sawhorse design, the shelves can hold books, files or a printer. Pair it with the upholstered Grandbay Chair in faux leather for a classic, urban feel.

Park Glen 60" Desk at Art Van

The upscale look of the pecan Barolo Home Office Collection makes it an elegant choice for a Traditional home. The 60” Executive Writing Desk features ample storage with file drawers that hold legal or letter-sized documents and a pencil drawer that easily converts for a keyboard. Pair it with the Barolo wood-trimmed leather desk chair, with five-leg swivel base and casters for mobility. The gas lift offers a seat level for every member of the house.

Finally, the Rustic Desk Set is a unique home office option that includes two pieces: a desk and a desk console. Use the pieces stacked to create a hutch-like look. Or use the pieces in an L formation, for a workspace with lots of surface area. In Sedona oak or Santa Fe chocolate finishes, both feature slate inserts and casters on the desk for quick mobility. Pair either with the two-tone wood Westmore Side Chair or the cinnamon-finished pine Desk Arm Chair with neutral upholstered seat and casters.

Rustic Desk Set at Art Van

Whichever style is yours, remember that your surroundings can affect your productivity. Be sure to put as much thought into your workspace as you do your work itself.