Appease Your Senses

Autumn is all about delicious meals, warm scents, and fabulous fall treats. But why let your taste buds have all the fun? Our Vice President of Visual Merchandising, Amelia Ellenstein, came back from Market in High Point, NC, with delicious designs and tasty ideas for transforming your home. One hot trend she hit on was the use of textures and patterns that are amazing for autumn—and seasons to come. So you can keep your home cozy and your style fresh with these suggestions that are delectable enough to satisfy any palate.

Animal Magnetism. Exotic prints aren’t just a hot look for this season—they can give your space vibrancy and panache year-round. A black and white zebra print accent stool easily wakes up a room, or go more subtle with leopard print pillows to complement existing neutral tones. Not feeling all that ferocious? A lavish faux fur fabric can soften your look while giving you a decadent spot to unwind.
Make Like a Tree. Get back to nature with leafy or floral prints. Accent items with these bold designs can bring together the colors in a room, or they can stand out and make a statement. Tree branch and leaf motifs offer understated, breezy appeal, while floral prints keep you in summery spirits. Try unusual color schemes like teals or fuchsias to avoid an overly feminine feel.
The Mod Squad. Abstract designs are a versatile way to liven up your space, blending well with other décors. Go for polka dot patterns or structured stripes to add eye-catching depth. Choose a lively color—like juicy orange—to fit with the season and keep your look hot all winter long.
What a Feeling. Like your favorite cable-knit sweater, textured fabrics add a new dimension to your home, which gives you just one more reason to love it! Rich tweed is especially appropriate this season, perfect for your favorite accent chair or chaise. You’ll love curling up in it! Leather also offers a luxurious look and feel, adding a touch of elegance that will sit well with you in every season.
Get Next to You. Sometimes fabrics are better together, and juxtaposing different patterns and textures can help you bring out the best of both worlds. A corduroy fabric alongside sleek leather gives you a combination that looks as good as it feels. Or try embroidered or brocade toss pillows to dress up a soft, casual microsuede sofa.

You’ll be surprised how easily a pattern or texture can wake up a room—try one of these tips today and give your home a real eye-opener.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly), Part 2

Then Comes…

So what if he likes early American bachelor pad style and your tastes are a little more refined? Relax.  During the Spring Market in High Point, North Carolina, Amelia Ellenstein, our Vice President of Visual Merchandising and Store Design, discovered the decorating buzz word for 2010 is “eclectic.”

“We saw a lot of rustic tables alongside contemporary sofas, elegant crystal chandeliers above a rustic dining group, and the marriage of materials that aren’t usually associated with each other—metals and woods with stone or glass, for example.”

To avoid surroundings that are too masculine or too feminine, aim for a gender-neutral look.

We like the Rockford Collection from Rowe because it’s covered in grey fabric, which is the “new beige” for 2010. The silver nailhead trim on the sofa gives it a little bit of an edge, while the raspberry accent color keeps the look slightly feminine.

Here are a few parting tips to keep in mind as you start the negotiation process, so you can keep the fights clean and the lovin’ hot:

  • Be honest, but also be open-minded. Agree that all ideas will be discussed (without rolling your eyes), and that you’ll both look at this an as opportunity to try something new
  • Make sure you each have space to display meaningful personal objects. You may not understand why he has a collection of stuffed microbes, but they make him happy
  • Major purchases like sofas, rugs, and bedspreads should be decided on together, since these have a big impact on how a room feels

Come into Art Van Furniture today for long-lasting solutions that will put you on the path to your own version of Happily Ever After.

Tomorrow, Part 3: Registry etiquette

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly)

Design Duets: How to Share a Space, Part 1

All marriages are happy. It’s the living together afterward that causes all the trouble.

Raymond Hull, Canadian playwright

Your hearts may “beat as one,” but when it comes to your decorating style, you and your significant other are marching to the beat of a different drummer. Merging your belongings is a democracy; not a dictatorship. Just because you’ve expressed contempt for his favorite recliner, doesn’t mean he’ll put it out with the trash. Find out how you can keep the peace during the decorating process.

First Comes Love

Just like your living arrangement, you’re looking for furniture that lasts. So now is a good time to follow these golden rules:  Measure, Inventory, and Toss. 

Measure – Get the dimensions of your new home as soon as you can. There’s no sense in fighting over something that doesn’t even fit through the front door! To ensure perfect placement, use Art Van Furniture’s  room planner to design a room, save your ideas, and printout your floor plan when you’re ready to buy.

Inventory  – Start with the larger furniture pieces first since these will take up the most space, but don’t forget to make a list of accent pieces you’ll need, too. Items like rugs, lamps, and mirrors are just as important to your new home.

Toss – Hold off getting rid of well-made furniture by thinking quality and value before color or finish. After all, you can always have it recovered, which will make you feel like you’re getting a new piece of furniture. And because you’re both involved in the decision-making process, you’ll have a better chance of getting a look you’ll both love. Remember, it’s much easier to get rid of things before you pack and move.

Come back for Part 2 tomorrow to find out what comes after love.

Gray is the new neutral

Say goodbye to beige – gray is the new “it” color. Any shade of gray works well as a base, allowing you to layer on soft tones of lavender, sand, blue and green.  Even the free treats given out at the showrooms include pearl gray M&Ms! Light woods are everywhere, and rustic finishes on modern shapes let you bring the warmth of rustic into even a contemporary home.  Overall, colors are softer and more soothing – perhaps to comfort us as we rebound from the cold winter months!