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.

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.