The $1,000 Art Van Challenge

1000 Ways to Buy

Be honest. You’ve daydreamed of going on a shopping spree before. It’s a fun mental exercise to do when you enter any store: if you had money to burn, what would you load up your cart with? The AV Insider Team was scrolling through and wondered the same thing – which items would we spring for if we had free reign at an Art Van store? Many friendly debates followed. Do you upgrade your recliner or your sofa first? Patio furniture or a PureSleep purchase? How many ottomans is a person reasonably allowed to own?

After hours of heated banter, the rules of this hypothetical shopping spree were defined:

  1. You get $1,000 to spend.
  2. You can get as much (or as little) as you want under the spending limit.
  3. You can choose from the Art Van Showroom, Outlet and/or PureSleep.

Challenge Accepted

We posed this question to some of Art Van’s finest employees to see what they would do. Spoiler alert: it turns out you can do a lot with a grand at Art Van, and our employees love sleeping. Take a look at what they chose and get inspired for your next visit to Art Van.


Jackie was dreaming of a better sleep, so she went with the functional and comfortable Sterns & Foster Ease 2.0 Queen Power Base ($799). She said “I am always propping myself up in bed with approximately 2-3 pillows to watch TV, read or shop online. An adjustable base would be the perfect solution for that.” She also noted the additional health benefits of a Power Base, which are a great bonus to this purchase.

Stearns and Forster Ease 2.0 Queen Power Base
Stearns and Forster Ease 2.0 Queen Power Base

To top off her purchase, she opted for the Core Queen Sleep Bundle ($189.96), which includes two pillows, Queen sheets and a mattress protector. She added, “We spend about 1/3 of our lives in bed, I’d say sleep is a pretty important investment!” We couldn’t agree more, Jackie.

OLU FADARE – Manager Test & Learn Analytics

Olu went all in to fill the missing piece in his favorite room. He chose the Matrix Brown Power Wall Recliner ($824.99), an amazingly comfortable recliner with cupholders, USB Ports and AC outlets. He chose it “for my man cave/basement where I relax with my over-sized television, high-tech gaming system and record player.” The recliner has great reviews from our customers, which influenced his decision. Let’s assume the leftover $175 will go towards more video games and records.

Matrix Brown Power Wall Recliner
Matrix Brown Power Wall Recliner

ERIN MURRAY – Corporate HR Manager

Our trusty HR Manager also went the sleep route but chose to use her grand on redoing the entire bedroom instead of a Power Base. Erin started with the Brady Tufted Upholstered King Bed ($299), a regal bed frame that she described as a “statement piece.” She added to this bold bedroom statement with some great buys at low prices: the Love Grey 20″ x 20″ Pillow ($19.99), the Motif Grey Pillows ($59.99) the Hadley 2 Drawer Nightstand by Cindy Crawford Home ($262.99) and the Mercury Table Lamp (a set of two for $99.99).

Brady Tufted Upholstered King Bed
Brady Tufted Upholstered King Bed

To top it all off, she chose lovely Dot Fringe 3-Piece King Comforter Set to complete the room. Props to Erin for getting the most items with her $1,000!

ZACHARY RUBIN – Senior Category Manager

Zach and Jackie were on the same page about upgrading their sleep situation: Zach also selected the Sterns & Foster Ease 2.0 Queen Power Base ($799). He said, “After realizing the benefits of an Adjustable Power Base such as alleviating back pain, improving digestion and of course watching TV, I knew I had to get one.” From there, Zach went for different finishing touches than Jackie. He chose the I Love My Pillow OutCold Mid Profile ($89.99) for its longevity (5-7 years!) and the HoMedics Gather Aroma Diffuser ($109.99) for some soothing smells at bedtime. “My family swears by Aroma Diffusers…after trying one last month I knew I had to have it.”

HoMedics Gather Aroma Diffuser
HoMedics Gather Aroma Diffuser

Turn Your Décor Dreams Into Reality

That’s how our employees would spend their ten Ben Franklins at Art Van, but there is still plenty of ground to cover on Take a look at everything we have to offer and start daydreaming about how you would spend $1,000.

10 Ways To Furnish Your First Apartment

Striking Out On Your Own

Leaving the nest is never easy, but eventually we all have to learn to fly. Discovering your style can be a fun and frustrating journey, especially if your big ideas don’t fit into your new space.

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to get your first new digs in order from furniture, to décor and accenting everything with the right pieces.

Liven Your Living Room

  1. Sofas, Sectionals & Futons – The first order of business for any new space is getting your seating squared away. Sofas and sectionals are a great start, but if you’re looking to save a few bucks, futons work just as well.
  2. Coffee Tables – For tabling, coffee tables work the best, but multiple end tables also work.
  3. Loveseats – If your budget allows, tossing a loveseat into the mix is always a good idea when entertaining guests.
Beckett Silver Sofa
Beckett Silver Sofa – $549

If you’re looking for a quick solution to fill your living room, check out our multi-piece living room packages.

Dining Party

  1. Fill your dining space with some slick dining table and chair sets. For more intimate spaces, a bar table and bar stools might be a better fit, but you’ll have to make that choice.
  2. If you want to buck tradition, turn your dining area into a reading/office nook for any and all projects with a recliner or rocker. It’s a good way to wind down after a long day of classes or the hustle and bustle of work.

Bedroom Build-outs

  1. Dressers – Keep your clothes, accessories, and other personal things organized while adding some character. Dressers are not necessary, but certainly don’t hurt.
  2. Beds & Bed Frames – The place your rest your head is important. Quality mattresses and bed frames are more affordable than you think at Art Van.
  3. Night Stand – Well, you’ll need somewhere to put your phone, book or glasses. A night stand is a great surface to keep convenience close and adds more personality to your space.
Brady Tufted Upholstered Queen Bed
Brady Tufted Upholstered Queen Bed – $199

Extras We Take For Granted

  1. Rugs – A little accessorizing goes a long way. Adding a rug or two is a great way to add pops of color to contrast with plain walls. You can also use rugs to create some pattern ambiance for all of your spaces.
  2. Floor Lighting – With all the décor and decorations you have going, it would be a shame if the right light couldn’t illuminate it. Floor lighting is a great idea to give an even balance of light to bring out colors and highlight angles that standard overhead apartment lighting may not do well.
Champagne Gold Table Lamp
Champagne Gold Table Lamp – Set of Two, $99
Moroccan Area Rug
Moroccan Area Rug – $149

There’s no need to break the bank to furnish your new apartment. You can find excellent sectionals, sofas and love-seats from Outlet plus coffee tables that fit tons of tastes. Art Van makes spreading your personality and personal flair throughout your place easy.

The Myth of Thread Counts and You

One thread does not fit all

Thread count. It’s a term that’s become synonymous with sheet quality. Contrary to popular belief, thread count is not a great indicator of sheet comfort and quality. The obsession with thread count has been turned into a marketing tactic where companies use it to seem better than their competitors.

The truth of the matter is that sheet quality comes from the quality of the fibers themselves, not how many there are. And different types of sheets, have varying sizes of threads which will changes the thread count range significantly. In this post, we’re going to shake the truth from the sheets. For a deeper dive into sheets and more, check out our bed accessories buying guide.

More threads, more problems

The highest thread count does not mean the highest comfort. For many sheet types, a practical range of 200-500 thread-count gives the best results. With thread counts beyond 600, you will encounter durability and breathability issues. It will feel like tarp instead of a sheet because there are so many threads packed together with no space between them for air flow.

Typically, polyester or microfiber sheets have larger, average-quality threads, so the thread count range is a lot lower. On the other hand, bamboo, lyocell, and sateen sheets contain smaller, high-quality threads, which means higher thread counts for the crème de la crème.

Splitting threads

Since the prevailing idea is that more threads mean a higher quality sheet, some sheet companies have gotten creative with this metric. One tactic is to double up on thread count by adding the individual fibers that make up the thread to inflate the number. So, a “500 thread-count” sheet set using this method is closer to 250 in reality.

And depending on the sheet type, that can be a rude awakening for your comfort if the feel is not as advertised. It also sets a false precedence because if a “500 thread-count” sheet set feels rough, it’s natural to try out the 700 or 800 thread-count sheets and so on. Ultimately, it’s important to stay vigilant and do a bit of research to know which companies are reporting thread counts honestly.

Threads to consider

The idea that more threads equal better-quality sheets can be hard to combat in the market, but with these nuggets of wisdom, you should fair just fine. Thread count varies with sheet type and the quality of the threads speaks volumes for feel. If you’re looking to learn more about sheets and other bed essentials, stop into an Art Van PureSleep Mattress Store. Our Sleep Specialists will be more than happy to get you started.

Take Your Indoor Vibes Outside

Comfort in your own backyard

Your living room and dining room can speak to what’s in your backyard. Translating your indoor style to your outdoor setup is easier than you think. With Art Van’s vast selection of choices and looks, you can completely fulfill your vision.

Imagination station

How exactly do you get your preferred style for a sunshine hangout? Well, you’ve got to first decide what set pieces you’re working with. Are you looking to spruce up a deck, backyard or patio? What are the major attractions (bonfire pit, pool, stone path etc.)? Once you figure out the basics, you can start getting your outdoor space together.

Let your style shine

When you’re ready to start filling out your outdoor space, don’t overthink it. Start off simple with a few pieces in your preferred style. Then you can get more ambitious if you want by adding another that complements your first style. The important part is that you feel good about the look.

A great way to get started is to select a large piece of outdoor furniture like an outdoor sectional, such as the Dockland Three Piece Sectional, dining set, or large coffee table then build around it. Don’t be afraid to mirror the focal point of your living setup for outdoor if that makes things easier. The goal is to have a reference point for making your outdoor space just as cozy as your living room.

Dockland Sectional
Dockland 3 Piece Brown Sectional

Bring it all together

With so much sunshine, it would be a shame not to enjoy it. Taking your indoor setup outside lets you get the best of both worlds and maybe even a nap in the shade. After getting a grasp on what you’ve got to work with outdoors, focus on that central furniture piece that’s going to influence your space. When everything is said and done, you just might spend more time lounging outdoors than indoors.

The Power of Your Pillow

It makes sense to treat your head like the rest of your body when it comes to sleep. Having the right pillow makes all the difference in the morning. Especially since 30% of your sleeping comfort comes from your pillow. Clinging onto that pillow you bought years ago is not doing your rest any favors. With Art Van’s quality selection of pillows, you can ensure you won’t be missing on much-needed comfort, night after night. And besides, it’s always a good idea to invest in your rest because the health benefits are priceless.

Your perfect pillow is out there.

While most pillows are functionally the same, some have features that you might find appealing. Cooling technology, moisture wicking, and rapid response materials are a few that can change your sleep for the better. Pillows also come in different heights based on your preference and sleeping style. When it comes to pillow types, you have:

  • Polyester (poly-fiber fill)
  • Feather (wing and back feather fill)
  • Down (undercoat feather fill)
  • Down-alternative (synthetic, feather-like fill)
  • Memory foam (high-density foam fill)
  • Latex foam (foam and/or latex foam fill)

The pillow type that works best for you depends on what you need. If you feel your head and neck aren’t being supported properly, go with memory foam and latex for contouring comfort. Feather and down pillows are great if you’re looking for light head support plus a softer feel without going into the foam territory. Polyester pillows are hypoallergenic and dust resistant, with microfiber versions adding softness to the touch. They are great for general use and are cost-effective as a short-term solution.

No pillow is permanent.

It would be great if pillows lasted as long as your mattress, but alas they do need to be replaced on a regular basis depending on type. Polyester pillows are good for about 6 months before the material begins to flatten out and lessen your overall comfort.

Feather and down pillows break the mold as they can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years depending on how well they are maintained. That’s all thanks to the durability of the animal feathers and the ability to fluff up these types of pillow to keep them fresh. Down-alternative pillows don’t have as long of a life span at 1 to 2 years, because they contain synthetic materials to resemble a traditional down or feather pillow. Eventually those materials flatten out and degrade.

Memory foam and latex foam pillows have a lifespan of about 2 to 3 years. These pillows typically have additional features that further enhance the level of comfort you’ll find when using them. Cooling technology, moisture wicking features, hypoallergenic covers, zones with special comfort material and more can be found with memory and latex foam pillows.

No pillow fights here.

Your pillow should be helping your sleep, not hurting it. With dozens of combinations at your disposal such as pillow height, fill, and specialty features, your perfect pillow is a lot closer than you think. It’s a good idea to take 30% of your sleeping comfort seriously, so you can get some seriously great sleep.

Art Van’s excellent selection of pillows is a perfect place to start. If you have questions about what pillows work best for your sleeping environment, visit an Art Van Furniture & Mattress and PureSleep Store near you and our Sleep Specialists will guide you to the best bed for your head™.