Mad for March: Score Points with These Entertaining Tips

March is here and with that come the big games. Basketball season is at its peak and if you're house is the spot for game-day watching, then you should be prepared for those 65 games. We have some easy tips to get your home ready for the madness.

Game Day

Room Layout

It's best to make sure that everyone has a spot to sit, so do a day-before check of everyone who's attending and count out your seating. For the layout, a semi-circle set-up around the TV is best so that everyone has a good view of the game. You'll want your snack arrangement to be on a coffee table in the middle of the semi-circle so that everyone has access to food and drinks during the game. And of course comfortable seating is a must: whether it's comfy accent chairs or a reclining sectional, you'll want to make sure that everyone is comfortable for the games. 

Lighting

If you're having guests over for a day game, you'll want to make sure there's no glare on the TV and that the game is easily view-able. Draw your blinds or curtains and turn off the lights for day-time games, so you can be sure that every play is seen.

Food/Drinks

Just like with any party, food and drinks are a must. Especially finger food which is easy to snack on during the game such as wings, mini hot dogs, burger sliders, or chips and salsa. Try out some game-day themed sweets like basketball cake pops or cupcakes for a more festive approach. Try and keep the food centered on a solid surface to avoid any fabric stains. And definitely try and move your rug out before you have a ton of guests over. Someone is bound to spill!

Brackets

Have your guests fill out their basketball brackets a head of time and have them as the games progress. Some friendly competition is always good to keep the fun going. 

How to Choose the Right Recliner for You

Choosing a recliner isn't as simple as it sounds. There are so many technologies and features to consider when choosing the right recliner for you. Whether you're looking to add a reclining seat to your living room or a recliner set to an in-home theater or media room, choosing the right reclining features is an important decision. We've got some helpful things to consider when choosing the right recliner for you.

Which recliner is right for you?

Fabric vs Leather

One of the first things to think about is whether you'd like a fabric or leather recliner. There are some things to consider when making this decision. Bonded leather tends to be easier to clean than fabric, as you can simply wipe down spills. But fabric can be softer and retain heat much better than a leather feel. Before making your purchase, take a look at the type of fabric and the cleaning instructions. Some fabrics, like microfiber are great for pets and kids and are almost as easy to clean as bonded leather. 

Power Versus Manual

The difference between power and manual is the functionality of the reclining. With a manual recliner, your back moves the chair into the position you'd like. So there is more control in getting to your preferred reclining position. With a power recliner, there are several different positions you can recline into. However, you adjust the recliner using a level on the side or near the foot. Both style chairs allow you to recline easily, but in different ways. 

Cord Length

Every power recliner has a different cord length, and this can help you determine how far it needs to be from an outlet. If you're sofa isn't going up against a wall with an outlet, then the length of the cord (and a power recliner) is something to think about. You'll want to make sure that you can't trip over the cord if it has to be plugged-in across the room. And this may also affect the overall layout of your living room or home theater space. 

Comfort

The more padded a recliner is, the comfier it is. Many recliners offer a padding pillow-like headrest, and some headrests are even adjustable. Other recliners offer up pillow-top arms which are extra padding arms for maximum comfort. 

Cupholders and Storage

A recliner doesn't just have to be for sitting! Many recliners come with arm storage. So if you're looking for a place to store the TV remote or magazine, a recliner with storage might be perfect for you. Other recliners offer cupholders and even light-up cupholders for when you're watching a move in the dark. These types of features are perfect for an in-home theater. 

Positions

Some recliners offer unlimited positions, where as some offer 3-4. Think about how you like to sit when you watch TV or read a book. Do you find yourself moving around frequently, trying to find the right spot? Or, do you stay stationary? Answering this question will help you determine how many positions your chair should have and can help eliminate all the reclining choices out there. 

Sofa vs. sectional: What's Right for You

Whether you’ve just moved into a new space or are redecorating your home, you may be facing a major dilemma: Should you shop for a sofa or a sectional? There are many pros and cons to examine when you’re making this purchasing decision. For example: what works best in the space? How many are there in your household or family? Is comfort or design more important to you (or the room)? And, how do you plan to use your living room?

Thinking about all of these questions when shopping can be overwhelming. So here is a breakdown of things to consider when shopping for a sofa versus sectional.

Sofa vs. sectional

Space

Take a look at your space from a far. Whether it’s a new or old space, take note of the windows, entryways, and even ground heating vents. Do you have low windows that might be blocked by a sectional on one side? Or will a sectional with a chaise make an entryway into the room difficult? By taking a look at the structural elements of your room, you’ll be able to understand what shape of furniture will work in the space. And luckily, Furniture.com offers left- and right-facing options on almost all their sectionals.

Function

Take some time to think about how you will be using the space, and who will be using the space. Is it for entertaining or TV watching? Is it a place where kids and the dog hang out, or a place where you read by yourself? Think about the function of this piece of furniture and how many people it should accommodate. If you have a smaller space and it’s just you or a significant other, a loveseat or smaller sofa makes the most sense. Have kids or a dog? Then look for a larger sectional.

Comfort or Design, or Both?

There’s one other perspective to consider when you’re thinking about designing for your new space: comfort and design. Overall a more traditional living room is one with a sofa and two accent chairs, or a sofa and a loveseat. And this combination can definitely be comfortable when paired with an ottoman, despite the absence of a sectional chaise. If you’re looking for a space to feel more elegant or put together, then try out one of these options. If the room isn’t meant to be super formal, then a sectional is a great option here.

Shop sofas and sectionals >

Find the Right Living Room Fabric for You

Whether you have kids or pets, or neither, it's important to find the right fabrics for your living room. Specifically for your sofa/sectionals, accent chairs, or ottomans -- anything that will be used frequently. There are many types of fabric out there, so we've pulled together a list of these fabrics and what they're best for. 

Acetate: Acetate was developed to be similar to silk, however acetate can withstand mildew, pilling, and shrinking. Similar to silk, it doesn't offer a lot of resistance against dirt, wearing, wrinkling, and the sun. So if you have kids, pets, or lots of natural light, avoid this material. 

Acrylic: Acrylic is meant to be an imitation to wool that holds up to wear, wrinkles, dirt, and fading. High-quality acrylics are great for kids and pets as they hold up to a good amount of wear. 

Bonded-Leather: Bonded leather is great for those that love the look of leather but need something a bit more durable. Bonded leather can be easily wiped down and isn't as prone to scratching and fading as real leather is. We love the lux look of the Carmen Collection

Living Room

Cotton: Cotton is a natural fiber that's great for standing up to wear, fading, and pilling. However, it's prone to staining and wrinkling -- just like with cotton clothing. If you like the look of cotton but want something more durable, look for a cotton blend with other fibers that will make it more resistant. For example, damask cotton weaves are best for formal spaces while canvas weaves such as duck and sailcloth are better for casual spaces. We love the light and refreshing look of our Nantucket Stripe Collection.

Living Room

Leather: A tough and durable material, leather can be vacuumed and wiped down with a damp cloth as needed. Just make sure you use a leather conditioner or saddle soap. Depending on the type of leather, this material can be good for kids. We say depending, because some true leathers scratch easily as part of their character. So if you have furry friends, they can easily scratch the leather with their paws. 

Micro-Fiber: One of the best options for kids, pets, and an active family lifestyle, microfiber is soft and tough, and holds up against absorption and water spillage. And it gives off a luxurious look, similar to velvet, like with the Darcy Violet Collection.

Living Room

Nylon-Blend: Nylon is blended with other fabrics which makes it one of the most durable upholstery fabrics. It's great for kids and pets as it doesn't soil or wrinkle, but keep it out of direct sunlight as it can fade. 

Olefin: Olefin is a great choice for kids and pets -- it holds up very well to wear and tear and doesn't really have any cons. 

Polyester-Blend: If you're looking for a more durable fabric, look for a polyester-blend. When added to other fabrics, polyester provides resistance against wrinkles, wear, and fading. We love the look of polyester blend in the Pompano Collection

Living Room

Wool: Wool and wool blends are sturdy and durable, standing up to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and dirt. In most cases, you'll be looking for an upholstered item that's a wool blend so it's easier to clean. You'll also avoid felting the fibers -- something that's unique to wool. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned easily when needed, but can be more difficult for more intense cleanings. 

Vinyl: Vinyl is less expensive than true leather and great for kids and pets in your living room. You can simply wipe them down -- it's very rare that this material will absorb stains. 

Silk: If you have an extremely formal and elegant room where kids and pets won't be present, then opt for silk. As you probably know, it's a delicate fabric that needs to be professional cleaned when dirty. But be sure to avoid any food or drink nearby. 

Try Out These New Colors in Your Home

It's the right time to embrace the colors of 2014 in your home. Pantone recently announced that their color of the year was Radiant Orchid - a bright and cheerful violet. But that's not the only color of the year. Try out muted purples, happy blues, and coral pinks in your home. And learn how to pair these 2014 colors with other hues for a bold and beautiful home design. 

Radiant Orchid

Pantone's 2014 color is a vibrant blend of purple and pink, a feminine and awakening color. The hue can be used in smaller decor touches (like flowers or throw pillows) or larger accents (like painting an entire room). This color pairs great with hunter or emerald green, turquoise, teal, or a tangerine orange.  

Exclusive Plum

Another color in the violet family, Sherwin-William's Exclusive Plum is a subtle, elegant, and rich purple. And it's easy to work with -- pair it with a bright orange or citrus green for a whimsical look. Or try out a fun teal for a bold statement. More reserved colors such as blacks and navys will turn this color towards elegant and rich. It's very close to Benjamin Moore's 2014 color, Super Nova. 

Coral Essence

Benjamin Moore's Coral Essence is a bright and cheery coral that stands beautifully on its own. But when paired with a grassy green, this color becomes preppy and light. And when mixed with grey, it becomes mature and sophisticated. It's a great color for your kid's bedroom or a playroom. 

Caribbean Teal

A dramatic and bold blue, Benjamin Moore's Caribbean Teal is a rich and elegant color. This color works really well with reddish brown woods. So it's a great color for a wood-heavy space such as a dining room. It also works well with bright white (for contrast) and dark hunter greens. 

Dazzling Blue

Say hello to the royal and regal Pantone's Dazzling Blue. It's a bold color, no matter which hues you pair it with. You can mix and match almost any color with Dazzling Blue, including burnt orange, browns, reds (a more regal look). 

What are your favorite colors of the year? 

Get Your Home Ready for 2014

You’ve most likely gotten a head start on your resolutions. The New Year is the perfect time for a fresh start – and to shake things up in your home, improving your energy and making you feel refreshed. It’s always good to make some tweaks and updates to your home throughout the year. If you’re resolving to eat healthier or get more active, you can also improve the quality of life in your home. Here are some tips to get your home ready for 2014.

Get Your Home Ready for 2014

Try a bold new color

Don’t be afraid to try a bold new color – and it’s an easy way to add a “wow” statement to your home. Try painting your entryway in a bright and festive color – like a teal blue or Pantone’s Radiant Orchid. Or upgrade an older piece of furniture with an unexpecting color. You’ll love coming home each day to a change in color and a change in your space.

Deep clean your home

Resolve to clean your home once a week and do a deep, through clean once a month. Not only will your home be cleaner, so will the air quality. And don’t forget your upholstered furniture: every 3-4 months take your sofa cushions to be cleaned. Or clean them yourself. Just make sure you look up proper cleaning instructions based on the fabric. By doing this, you will avoid dirt build-up and increase your furniture life.

Have your fireplace inspected

There’s nothing better than celebrating a new year by the fireside. If you have yet to use your fireplace, make a point to use it. Have it looked at by a certified chimney inspector for a reasonable price so you can enjoy it for the coming winter months (and years!). This is something you can cross off your never-ended to-do list.

Bring in fresh flowers

There is a saying in interior design, and it’s that a vase of fresh flowers is all it takes to transform a room. The fresh cut smell along with a pop of color do wonders to your home. In 2014, once a week or twice a month, invest in fresh flowers in your home. Try out new flowers each week – you will love coming home to a fresh bouquet.

Invest in a programmable thermostat

While not as fun and colorful, a programmable thermostat can be chic and cheap. With a programmable thermostat, you can regulate heating and air conditioning based on your schedule, so you’ll save money. There are different kinds of programmable thermostats including 7-day systems and 5-day/2-day systems.

Change to energy-saving light bulbs

Switch to energy-saving CFL or LED light bulbs and you’ll save about $15 each year, per bulb. And the life of a CFL or LED light bulb is several months to a year. So you’ll spend less time on the ladder trying not to get shocked. Be sure to appropriately choose a light bulb with yellow or blue depending on the type of space you have.

Test out wallpaper

Try a classic wallpaper pattern that you absolutely love (this is important!) and test it out in a smaller space like a hallway, entryway, or bathroom. Most wallpapers are not too costly and are a great way to try a bold new style.

Save up for your dream piece

Chances are you’ve already resolved to save more money. If there's a piece of furniture or art that you love, make a goal to save up for it. A timeless piece that you love is well worth the investment and you will admire it for years to come.

Home Design Trends in 2014

The New Year is almost here. And we’re excited to look forward to the trends and styles of 2014. Two thousand and thirteen brought us trends such as gold and brass accents, emerald green, and Aztec and ikat prints. We have wrapped up the 2014 trends – which ones are your favorite?

Art Deco

Nothing quite glams up a room like a touch of art deco. You'll be seeing a lot more of the art deco look in 2014, from rich coffee tables to glossy nightstands, these pieces will take your space to the next level. We love the luxurious look of the Hanson Console Chest in black with silver details.

Art Deco

Industrial Chic

For more down-to-earth and contemporary spaces, the industrial chic trend is emerging more so than ever. This look originates from old factories, warehouses, and farmhouses and uses reclaimed wood, recycled wood, exposed brick, pipework, and unique and aging metals. In the past year or so, the look has been popping up in trendy restaurants, and now it's coming to your home. Lighter and happy colors, such as mint greens, work well with industrial chic pieces, like our Columbia Cocktail Table.

Industrial Chic

Geometric Lines

There’s a new furniture trend here, and it will bring something completely new to your space. Furniture pieces with geometric lines are a great way to break up your space and introduce the unexpected. This style brings a “wow” statement to any room. Like the Volare Collection, with sharp geometric lines and cutting-edge design.

Geometric Lines

Preppy Pieces

Preppy is in, like never before. Preppy fabrics and prints are now making their way onto unexpected furniture lines and styles. Modern pieces mix with bold colors and patterns, like the Dempsey Accent Chair's checkered print on a modern chrome chair. These preppy pieces go great with hunter green, burnt orange, navy, and fresh pink.

Preppy Modern

Midcentury Modern

Say hello again to the clean and fun styles of the 1950s with midcentury modern pieces. With simple lines and organic forms mixed with fun colors and patterns, these midcentury pieces will blend in nicely with other styles in your home. We love the lines of the Arden 2-Piece Sectional with it’s tweed-like fabric, tapered wood legs, and funky pillow prints.

Midcentury Modern

What trends are you looking forward to? 

Image Sources: Tiffany Eastman InteriorsChris A. DorseyYanic Simard, Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, and Flegel's Construction Co., Inc

Merry Christmas from the Furniture.com Team

Merry Christmas

Our Favorite Holiday Crafts Round-Up

Get your home holiday-ready with these festive and merry crafts. With floating cranberry candles and handmade pillows, here are some easy DIYs to get your home in the holiday spirit. Swap out your decor pillows with some holiday pillows, and add some winter frost to your mirrors. Share your photos with us on Facebook or Twitter!

  • Holiday Candles
    Create floating candles in mason jars with
    cranberries and pine. Learn how >
  • Holiday Wreath
    A multi-colored pom pom wreath is a great
    way to add some spirit. Learn how >
  • Holiday Poms
    Hang some honeycomb pendents over your
    dining table. Learn how >
  • Holiday Pillows
    Add holiday-themed pillows to your sofas
    and accent chairs. Learn how >
  • Holiday Gloves
    DIY your winter gloves with handmade
    monograms. Learn how >
  • Holiday Trees
    Pine tree candle holders for the dining
    table. Learn how >

The Prism

The Prism

The Gardner

The Gardner

The Cordoba

The Cordoba

The Pinnacle

The Pinnacle

The Diamondback

The Diamondback

The Mystique

The Mystique

The Newport II

The Newport II

The Gramercy

The Gramercy

The Casino

The Casino

The Vista

The Vista

The Ritz

The Ritz