Turn up the Twinkle Factor

Close your eyes and let visions of white begin to dance in your heads. We’ve got another classic movie party inspiration guaranteed to make your next ring-a-ding-shindig shine as bright as a thousand Christmas lights!

Welcome to Pine Tree, Vermont

Hearing Bing Crosby croon White Christmas instantly puts us in the mood for hot cocoa and a warm fire. But you don’t have to just dream about the perfect holiday: by incorporating soft textures, a little shimmy-shimmer, and lots of white, you can create your own glamorous and idyllic wonderland.

In the movie, Wallace (Crosby) and Davis (Danny Kaye) bring their entire Broadway show to Pine Tree, Vermont, to help save their beloved General’s inn. And while you won’t need to make room for a cast of hundreds, you’ll want enough space to keep your guests entertained, which starts with your seating. The Bianca two-piece sectional is a fantastic fit for our all-white theme, with a sleek outline that adds design interest and a swanky feel. For a more fluid look, try the Nero two-piece sectional from ROMA. This Art Van Furniture exclusive is also upholstered in white leather, and we like the way the chaise’s round end gives you an unexpected seating spot. Invite a couple of arm chairs to join in and you’ve got a conversation hot spot. Your guests will also get a kick out of the convenient and unique Pantinoire Collection. The versatile nesting tables give you a large and small surface, while the sofa table can easily be turned into a serving station.

Now the movie is also a love story, so make sure the fireplace is going strong so couples can snuggle on the sofa underneath plush white blankets. Keep good cheer flowing all night long by turning a sideboard into a makeshift bar area and serve signature drinks that relate to the movie like Irving Berlin Eggnog or Clooney Cranberry Coolers, so that at the end of the movie everyone can raise their glass and jovially sing, May your days be merry and bright; and may all your Christmases be white.

Serve up one of Annabel Cohen’s palate party pleasers and you may find it hard to get your guests to leave!

Eggnog

There are many recipe for eggnog – I like this one because it’s creamy and mellow with touch of cinnamon.

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

1/4 cup rum, brandy, cognac, whiskey or bourbon

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine yolks and 1/3-cup sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, whisking frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk a ladleful of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually whisk the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture. Chill until cool.

In another bowl, whip the cream soft peaks.  Fold or whisk cream into the milk mixture. Serve cold. Makes 8 servings.

Clooney Cranberry Coolers

1 can (6 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 can (6 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

4 cups cranberry (or cranberry-raspberry) juice cocktail, chilled

1 liter ginger ale

Fresh lemon and lime slices

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pitcher. Serve chilled or over ice. Makes 12 or more servings.

Cozy Tomato Cheddar Cider Fondue

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup finely chopped (or petite diced) drained canned tomatoes

1/4 cup apple cider

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

4 cups finely grated Cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until much of the liquid of the tomatoes is absorbed. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cider and add the pan. Slowly stir in the cheese (a handful at a time) until melted. Keep warm (do not boil!). Serve with fresh French bread cubes.  Makes 8-12 servings

Design by Direction

After a recent trip to the Big Apple, Amelia Ellenstein, our Vice President of Visual Merchandising and Store Design, couldn’t stop talking about all the innovative vertical displays she saw in stores all around the city. This same concept can be applied to your living room.

Going Up
Just like in retail, the space you have available in your home can sometimes be limited. So, when you find yourself working with less, try one of these tricks:

If you’re renting and want to avoid patching up dozens of tiny holes when it’s time to move, use a stylish bookcase ladder as an alternative way to showcase your wall art.

Take your love of reading (and your extensive coffee book collection) and craft an instant table with a stacked set of your favorite reads. Create two piles of sturdy, hardcover books (similar in size) a few feet apart and securely place a piece of Plexiglas on top and you’ve got a functional, repurposed cocktail table that’s a great conversation piece!

An open floor plan can be great, but sometimes you want to define your space. That’s when a room divider with storage is a great solution. Group objects by color for a striking focal point, or arrange items in odd numbers like three or five to give your display a modern look.

Now it’s time to turn our attention down… to the floor, with some easy tips when you’re trying to make the most of the space you have.

Going Down
Even with limited space, you can still create the illusion of more room by strategically placing a few well-chosen pieces:

Using transparent furniture made from materials like acrylic (Plexiglas or Lucite) or glass in small spaces tends to give the room an uncluttered feel. We like the idea of nesting tables made from either of these materials to give you even greater versatility when entertaining.

Stripes are a fashion wardrobe staple because they’re great at creating the right optical illusion. Horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, they can hide a flaw or accentuate a positive feature. The same principle applies when decorating. Look for a rug with vertical stripes to help lengthen a room. Even a curved stripe can help draw the eye to a specific area of interest like a knockout chair from our eclectic Paris Flea Market Collection. And don’t let the floors have all the fun. A striped accent chair can create great design possibilities, and define your living space.

Whether your decorating takes you up or down, Art Van Furniture has the collections you crave for the space you call home—no matter its size.