Outdoor Entertaining Made Easy

Remember when dinner on the patio would mean gathering around a picnic table and sitting on hard wooden benches? If you were lucky, you got to sink into a folding lawn chair that your host or partner would have to help you out of, at the end of the evening!

Today, sitting outdoors is easy and comfortable. Handsome weather-friendly wicker patio sets come complete with plush padded love seats, armchairs and matching glass topped tables.

Modular and sectional seating are a smart choice, especially if you have an odd shaped backyard or want to arrange your poolside deck to create a quiet retreat in a splash-free zone. And just like your sectional sofa on the inside, patio sectionals are just the thing for creating cozy seating around the fireplace or fire bowl.

Decorating tip: Add some colorful cushions in outdoor-friendly fabrics for a pop of color and to keep your guests comfy.

Get in Touch with Your Inner Tiki

From the 1930’s to the 1950’s Tiki or island-themed bars and restaurants were all the rage and now Tiki bars and Palapas are popping up all over, again!

A bamboo Tiki bar will transform a bland backyard or outdoor deck into a Polynesian paradise. Choose an authentic Thatched roof Tiki bar for an open air patio or a plain bamboo bar for a covered courtyard. Think of the fun you’ll have serving rum drinks to all your friends from your very own Tiki bar.

Decorating tip: Gather fresh tropical pineapples and coconuts together on the bar to dress it up Tiki style.

What’s a Palapa, you ask? Sometimes called grass or Tiki huts, Palapas are open-sided thatched roof structures that provide shade and shelter. If you thought you’d have to take a trip to the tropics to ever see one, think again. Our Palapas come with a thatched umbrella top, bar height table and matching bamboo chairs; perfect for backyard entertaining with a tropical flavor.

Decorating tip: Go full out Tiki with some Tiki masks, carvings, glass floats and fish nets.

Light the way

Stringing lights or planting Tiki torches in the garden will add some flair to outdoor summer entertaining, but quality outdoor lighting that matches your home’s exterior will light the way season after season.

Pathways between buildings can get very dark, so light up sidewalks and flagstone walkways with matching exterior pole lighting.

Decorating tip: Floating candles in a large bowl can add a romantic touch to the evening.

With the right outdoor lights, comfortable outdoor patio furniture and some tropical Tiki touches, throwing some real backyard bashes this summer will be a breeze.

The Benefits of Shopping for Furniture Online

Every year more and more shoppers are turning to the internet for their home furnishing purchases. In 2012, online furniture sales comprised 8% of total furniture and bedding sales and in 2013 the [percentage] rose to 9% of the total sales (source). This trend is expected to continue as more shoppers are becoming internet savvy and realizing the convenience to shopping online. The DIY trend is also boosting online furniture sales as first time home-buyers are looking for a unique and individualized style of furniture to enhance their decor.

Many people might ask why they should buy furniture from an online furniture dealer when there are plenty of local furniture store in their area. The answer to that question is simple, furniture stores have a limited amount of space on their showroom floors, therefore they are only going to display the most popular styles and trends. However, due to the limited size of their showrooms brick and mortar furniture stores are unable to offer the selection that you can find online. Online furniture stores have an unlimited amount of showroom space and the ability to show one-of-a-kind items that might only be right for a very small percentage of shoppers. Shopping online may be your only option if you are looking for a unique style of furniture that your local furniture store does not carry.

When shopping for furniture online, you are not limited to store hours and you do not have to load the kids up in your car, driving around town from store to store looking for that perfect item. Shopping online gives you the flexibility to shop from the comfort and convenience of your home or office on your own schedule. Whether your sitting in bed in your pajamas, on your comfy couch in your living room unwinding from the day or on your break at work, you are able to browse through hundreds of styles of furniture that you would be unable to find at your local furniture store.

Retail stores have a lot of overhead expenses that get built into the price of the furniture. These expenses include the rent on the store, the larger the showroom and the more space they have the more they have to spend on rent and electricity. Another major expense for a retail store is the team of salesmen in expensive suits that greet you at the door, you can expect them to make between 5% – 7% on each sale. Typically, these costs are not incurred when shopping online because an online store has lower overhead when compared to a traditional brick and mortar furniture store. All of these factors combined mean that you can receive a much better value when shopping online.

Many online furniture stores offer factory direct pricing which can save you hundreds when compared to buying the same furniture from your local furniture store. Your furniture is delivered from the manufacturer to your door, instead of from the manufacturer to a store. Cutting out the middle-man in your furniture buying will make your shopping dollars stretch further and allow you to work on decorating your room with all the money you save.

The ABC’s of Furnishing Your College Dorm Room

It’s back to school time and for the college crowd the C in college often stands for “cram”. For some that spells out hardcore studying. For others, it means: How am I going to cram everything I own into that small dorm room!

When it comes to decking out your dorm, adding your own personal touches will go a long way, but if you really want to make the grade, it all starts with smart, dorm-worthy furniture.

B is for Bed

You won’t get the A’s without first getting some quality ZZZZ’s, so look for a comfortable bed that’s practical and durable.

Starting from scratch? If you’ve got the space, you can save a lot of time and money by getting a complete bedroom set. Along with a contemporary bed frame, most sets will include a night stand and a dresser with mirror. You can even add a coordinating chest of drawers and a matching desk.

If you’re up against the wall for space, or you have a roommate, you might want to look into a loft style bed. Choose one with a full size bed and complete workstation underneath. Made of powder coated metal, these units have storage shelves designed to withstand the rigors of a student’s life. Add a cool, contemporary adjustable swivel chair and you’ll have a complete study and sleep area to call your own, without ever having to leave your side of the room.

By day, a twin loft with a full size futon on the bottom offers versatile seating for you and your guests and by night the futon becomes an extra bed.

L is for Lighting

Nothing makes a space feel more like home than some ambient lighting. Shed some light on the subject by topping off a dresser, desk or nightstand with a portable lamp or dressing up a dark and dreary corner with a decorative floor lamp.

M is for Mirror

Whether you and your roommate are comparing droopy eyed faces after another late night study session or you want to create the illusion of more space, a mirror is a must have.

Hang one near the doorway so you check yourself on the way out or if your dorm has a “no screws or holes” policy, a floor mirror will give you head-to-toe views and really open up the room. Choose a classy mirror with a stand or go trendy with a leaning floor mirror.

O is for Ottoman  

                    

One of the keys to making small spaces work is finding furniture that can multi-task and that puts the storage ottoman to the head of the class. Along with extra seating, the storage area is ideal for stowing away extra blankets and cushions.

Opt for a bench style storage ottoman with two separate storage cubbies with invertible tops that each includes a hidden tray. What could be better than relaxing with your feet up and a bowl of popcorn nearby on movie night?

While college dorm life will be much different than life at home, with the right furniture and your favorite things around you, you’ll be more than ready to embrace the experience.