“Swanky” Loft Style

Actress Hilary Swank has portrayed intense characters in movies such as Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry and Amelia. But when she’s in New York, she loves to leave the drama behind and put her feet up inside her calming 1,400 square foot Manhattan apartment, located near the Hudson River.

Swank worked with designer Mark Zeff to create the look, and Elle Décor featured her home in a recent issue. If you love Swank’s understated surroundings, we’ve got the look.


Swank’s cozy setting accommodates guests with a sofa and loveseat. Notice how the pieces have clean lines, but don’t match? The mix of styles adds a casualness to the room.

At Art Van Furniture, start with our Twilight Sofa, which offers a similar style, simple and clean. It’s full, squared armrests and straight back make it a versatile and comfortable piece.

Next, add our Kate Chair and a Half. Not quite as wide as the loveseat in Swank’s apartment, the look is similar and the lighter scale adds balance to the boxy sofa. If you have the space and want to include more seating, use two. The Kate Collection also offers a sofa.

Now it’s time to add tables. Next to the sofa, place our Rectangular End Table. With a drawer for storage, it offers a great place to set a drink and reading materials.

Instead of a coffee table, Swank uses two smaller end tables, side by side. This offers an easy ability to move them out of the way during large parties. We have a similar style with our Modern Basics Rectangular End Table. Choose a pair for a cocktail table and a third as a side table.

To free up space, Swank uses floor lamps instead of table lamps. Place two Arc Lamps on either side of the sofa. On the other side of the room, choose two shaded floor lamps.


 An ivory rug keeps the room feeling light. Our Bliss Ivory Rug will do the trick and is available in two sizes.

Finally, if you have space for a table, our 48” Round Dining Table paired with four Low Back Parsons Chairs provide a great space for enjoying a meal, playing a board game or doing homework.


Finish the room with black and white prints, floor length sheers at the windows, a vase of hydrangeas and your favorite accents from Art’s Marketplace. And there you have it: A million dollar look from Art Van Furniture.

Hoorah for the Buffet!

China cabinets were once a staple in dining room décor, but today many are instead opting for a buffet.

Sometimes called a sideboard or server, buffets are one of the most flexible pieces of furniture you can add to your home. It can be used to hold china, serving pieces and silverware inside its cabinets and drawers. It can be used to create a buffet-style dinner for a large dinner party or holiday gathering. It can be used to display collections. Or it can be topped with lamps and used to add lighting to the room.

Buffets look quite comfortable outside the dining room, too. Use one in a bedroom in lieu of a dresser, in a family room as a media console, in a kitchen that needs more cabinet space, or in a living room as a sofa table with storage.  In fact, what room could not benefit from a buffet?

And – of course! – Art Van Furniture has a buffet for every design style.

For casual homes, the Vineyard Buffet is the perfect choice. In rich, distressed mahogany, it features the classic buffet design with two doors and three drawers. Behind the doors are three shelves and removable wine racks, each of which holds eight bottles of your private reserve. The top drawer is lined in felt to accommodate silverware.

Those who prefer contemporary style will love the Woodward Collection Side Buffet with Granite Top. Made of mahogany solids and veneers, its deep coffee finish is accented with satin nickel hardware. You can’t help but love its contoured drawers and door. And the solid granite top provides durability for serving everything from Thanksgiving dinner to martinis and hors d’oeuvres.

The large Hearthstone Buffet in a warm oak finish is the perfect choice for rustic-style living. Farmhouse charm mixed with classic design, its two plank-style doors flank three center drawers. The top drawer is felt lined, and shelves inside doors are adjustable. It begs to be used for Sunday brunch or neighborhood potluck.

And finally, traditional-style dining rooms will get a punch of drama with our velvet Sideboard. There’s nothing predictable about this piece. Two velvet-lined drawers sit between two doors that open with push latches. Crystal knobs on the front cover the black velvet exterior.  The scroll-carved legs add another layer to its allure. Whether it’s a black tie event or espresso with friends, this piece holds its own.

So … which of these is right for you?

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Are you the fairest of them all? Perhaps. Mirrors add beauty to a room, both in what they reflect and what they bring in. Light, depth and a bounce of color can be added to a room simply by adding a mirror.

Here are five things mirrors can do:

Create a focal point. If your room lacks an architectural highlight, a large mirror propped against a wall becomes an instant focal point. Whether it’s a living room or bedroom, an oversized mirror graciously takes center stage. To add more drama, position it to reflect a beautiful view. It serves double duty by providing a quick wardrobe check before you leave home.

“Install” a window. An interior room without windows can suddenly feel like a room with a view by using a mirror that is designed to look like a window. Used alone or in pairs, windowpane mirrors add depth to a room that a painting cannot. Or if your room has a single window, position a mirror on a nearby adjacent wall to reflect it and you’ll create the illusion of a second window.

Give the illusion of space. Small rooms suddenly take on the feeling of spaciousness when you add a large wall mirror. By creating the visual trick of extending a room, a mirror can virtually double a room’s square footage. Use one large mirror, or hang rectangular mirrors on their side in groups of two or three. You can also line both sides of a narrow hall or stairway with mirrors to make it feel wider.


Add more lighting. Mirrors reflect any light you have in a room, making the room seem brighter. Place mirrors across from your light source to get the greatest effect. Or set a small mirror on a buffet table behind a lamp or lit candles. Using a mirrored end table or nightstand will also bring more light into a room by reflecting the light from a lamp that is set on top of it.


Make the most of a gorgeous view. Whether it’s a backyard garden, fountain or beautiful tree, position a mirror to reflect your gorgeous view. If your outdoor view is less than lovely, draw attention away from windows by placing the mirror across from a piece of artwork or plants and flowers that are inside your home. The reflection will double the impact.


A mirror is easily added to any room of your home. Functional and a work of art, what it does best is reflect your good taste.

Sweet Dreams

When buying a mattress for a child, it’s tempting to let price influence your choice. But finding the right fit is actually an important part of your child’s health and future.

At Art Van Furniture’s PureSleep Center, we can help you find the perfect fit. Just as with an adult, the right mattress for a child needs to provide two things: proper support and proper pressure relief. And never were these two things more important than during childhood.

While they’re sleeping, kids aren’t just recharging their batteries (and giving parents a break); they’re growing. And their mattress is an important part of healthy development. During childhood, the spine is developing, which affects posture. Kids need mattresses that can provide the proper support while sleeping. Not all beds are created equal. Our PureSleep diagnostic machine will find a mattress that fits your child – one that can grow with him or her.

Kids’ bodies also release a large amount of growth hormones during deep sleep. When kids sleep on an improper mattress, they toss and turn. This not only disturbs deep sleep cycles, it can result in stunted growth. Hormones also regulate things like hunger and appetite. When kids don’t get enough deep sleep, it can lead to overeating during the day. In fact, lack of sleep is linked to type-two diabetes. The right mattress will help eliminate tossing and turning, so kids have a more fitful and productive sleep.

A child’s brain is also working during sleep. Remember how teachers tell their students to get a good night’s sleep before a big test? There’s a good reason for that: At night, we all go through different stages of sleep. During that time, your mind is working, filing and organizing all of the information you learned during the day. If your mattress doesn’t support you properly, you will toss and turn and that can lead to fragmented memory. A good night’s sleep will help you retain what you learn.

Sleep is one of your child’s most productive times of day. Be sure their bed is like Baby Bear’s: Not too soft, not too hard … just right.

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?