Your Guide to Buying Custom Furniture

You’re an individual and your style is your own. Why not express your personality through your home furnishings? Custom furniture is the perfect way to show that you’re a one of a kind, and the process isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think. At Art Van Furniture, we have several lines of furniture with custom options. Here’s how it goes:


Choose Your Style

Whether you have a distinct design preference or embrace a touch of many, start by choosing your style. Here are a few popular options:

Traditional. This style is inspired from formal elegance and historic times. Your furniture tends to be classically beautiful with detailed wood scrolling, intricate embroidery, feminine shapes, carvings, and filigree. Your color scheme is typically on the darker side with rich tones and finishes throughout, and you love antiques.

Urban. This style is inspired by the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan city life where furniture has an emphasis on shape and color, straight lines, tight backs, and geometric shapes. You prefer sleek and sophisticated design with clean lines. Your accessories are most likely minimal, simple, and striking. Your choices of color range from black and white to bold and vivid.

Casual. This style is inspired by living the comfortable life, with plush furniture that’s extra durable for your active lifestyle. You prefer your home to be simple and warm. Your upholstery is soft and round, and fabrics are usually in neutral colors. Your accessories are most likely lighthearted and whimsical.

Rustic/Farmhouse. This style is inspired by nature and a laid-back country lifestyle where the furniture is durable, relaxed, practical, and simple. Finishes and materials include wrought iron, distressed woods and leathers. Detail is important, so you may find hobnails and tarnished edges. Color schemes are usually earth toned and reflective of natural colors.

Modern. This look is inspired by sophisticated life in the city. Pieces are sleek and chic, with straight lines and geometric shapes. Finishes and materials include upholstery such as leather or microsuede, and metal like chrome or brass. Details are kept minimal, letting the silhouette stand out.


Choose Your Fabric or Finish

Making sure your home reflects your true individuality is easy to do with fashionable and versatile custom order furniture. Find your favorite leather or fabric. Choose something understated or go bold; it’s all up to you! For wood pieces, choose your finish, ranging from light to espresso.


When choosing fabric, it helps to consider who will use it. If you have young kids, you’ll want fabrics that are durable. If your dining table will double as a homework/craft station, consider tabletops that are easy to wipe clean. And if you have pets who will be enjoying the sofa or chair, too, think about scratch-resistant upholstery or a fabric that will repel fur.


Choose Your Accents

The final step is adding the details. Consider accents such as nailhead trim, fringe, welting or tassels. These choices will represent your style point of view, so choose wisely. Then select the upholstery for toss pillows, contrasting or matching the body of the piece. Details make the look your own.


Then it’s time to relax and count the days until your home becomes a one-of-a-kind display of your style. Your one-of-a-kind creation will be in your home sooner than you’d expect!


“Style is emotional and personal,” says HGTV’s Hilary Farr. “Go as far as your imagination will take you and never settle.”

Brand Spotlight: L.J. Gascho Furniture

Gascho Larkin
The buyers at Art Van Furniture comb the world to find the best brands for your home. We look for quality, character and style, and assemble a showroom full of excellent options. Today we’re putting the spotlight on one of these brands – L.J. Gascho Furniture.


A customer favorite, L.J. Gascho products are individually handcrafted. An assortment of in-stock pieces are available for immediate delivery, or you can place a custom order. Simply come into one of our showrooms, find your favorite piece, and select your wood, color and hardware. Your specially made furnishing will be delivered in just weeks.


To discover this great supplier, we didn’t have to travel far from our Warren, Mich. headquarters. In 1989, a former Art Van executive was dining at a Mid-Michigan restaurant when he noticed the beauty of table. Talking to the owner, he discovered it had been handcrafted by Lyle J. Gascho, a local woodworker and fourth-generation chicken farmer.


Lyle had learned woodworking techniques from Amish and Mennonite craftsmen. With a passion for quality and detail, he started making furniture as a hobby. When the Art Van executive and buyer asked if he’d sell his pieces at Art Van Furniture stores, Lyle’s hobby quickly became a thriving business.


Today L.J. Gascho has grown into a company with 115 employees, but the mission has stayed the same: “to produce high quality furniture that will become heirlooms to be passed on from generation to generation.”


“We take pride in our work, and operate with honesty and integrity,” says Brandon Yowler, director of marketing for L.J. Gascho. “We’re not just making pieces of furniture, we’re making products that are part of people’s lives.”


Everything is hand-made using solid red oak and maple woods.  Table slides are made with solid maple to add durability, and some are gear driven to make it easy for one person to operate. Pedestal feet include self-adjustable levelers. Round table rims and chair backs are made from solid woods and are steam bent.


The finishing process is also unique. Stains are hand rubbed to bring out the natural characteristics of the wood. The finish is done with Beshta-var, a catalyzed varnish that is resistant to substances including water, alcohol, warm dishes, and even nail polish remover. It is also resistant to marring and scratching.


gascho anniversary collection
The company is so remarkable that ABC World News featured Gascho’s Anniversary dining room table in its first-ever ‘Made in America’ special. The piece had been designed for Art Van Furniture stores to celebrate 25 years of working together.


Gascho Chelsea
Brandon says L.J. Gascho is committed to making products that are relevant for today’s consumers. “The past five years of the Gascho story revolve around Old World craftsmanship with updated styles,” he says.


Recently, the company launched new collections – Heritage, Hanover, Elizabeth, Saber and 20th Century – with pieces that include dining sets, entertainment centers, beds, dressers, chests, nightstands, end tables, cocktail tables, china cabinets, sofa tables and vanities. The new collections feature the company’s solid-wood heirloom quality with looks that bridge traditional with more modern styling.


With L.J. Gascho, you not only get a beautiful piece of furniture, you get a chance to make a family memory that can last forever.


“One of our customers had been diagnosed with cancer,” says Brandon. “He realized that life was short so he took his Gascho table, flipped it over and wrote a letter to his family. He shared seven things he had found to be true in life, and then he invited them to add their own wisdom and keep passing it on. Stories like that keep us going, and we’re proud to offer heirloom-quality furniture.”