Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Furniture with Art and as Art

Looking to spruce up your space and add in more eclectic pieces? Or perhaps you're simply searching for a unique pattern and pop of color? We have just the tip for you!

Now more than ever, many people are purchasing furniture featuring murals and paintings, as well as other types of art, to add a custom aesthetic to their living spaces. In other words, the furniture becomes part of the art and isn't just offsetting it. However, another great way to create a cool, fun aesthetic in the room is to invest in furniture that pairs well with art pieces such as paintings, gallery walls, or even sculptures in your home.

Why Artistic Furniture Is Trending

Before we delve into what types of furniture to look for, let's talk about why artistic furniture is so popular.

Designers frequently refer to furniture as "functional art." Functional art is usually aesthetic objects that serve utilitarian purposes. Furniture is already an art form, but furniture that features art adds a uniqueness and niche quality many spaces don't have.

Have you ever seen a console with gorgeous carved images? Or what about a dresser with a painted mural? Believe it or not, this type of furniture brings more joy into a room because the art tells a story. You don't just have to hang pictures or find someone to paint a cool mural on your wall if your furniture is the art.

Types of Furniture to Look For

Pieces with images on them or that complement other art in the room are among the best types of furniture for this aesthetic. Typically, a nice neutral or solid-colored sofa will do the trick in complementing paintings on the walls or photo galleries on shelves.

On the other hand, when looking for furniture that features art, you want pieces that are bold and stand out to add that bit of fun and texture to the space.

Furniture Featuring Art 

When looking for furniture that features art, consider pieces that have more surface area and are wider so that they really show off the art. Try looking at cool coffee tables, dressers, end tables, and even consoles. A beautiful console can liven up a living room and also create a much more appealing place to put a TV so that this part of the room doesn't look plain and dry.

The Hooker Big Bang Entertainment Console is a perfect example of a piece that stands out as a metallic piece with rays carved into relief. Its shine will instantly brighten up your TV room.

If you want something colorful for your bedroom, dining room, or hallway, the Coast2Coast Cottage Credenza will fit perfectly with many decorative motifs. 

Furniture That Complements Art 

To complement art in a space, we often recommend large pieces with solid, neutral tones, like couches, loveseats, and chairs. These furniture pieces are great for offsetting intense textures and ornate patterns that you might have in your wall art and/or sculptures and murals. The Lansing Sectional Sofa is the perfect piece for this purpose. Look at how it balances the light coming into the room with the painting hung directly behind it and also serves as a link between the floor lamp and wood accent. Its beige tone is also great if you're going for a more modern look in the room. 

It's always important to add personality to your space, and it can be easily done by including pieces with art on them. For more information and selections on these types of pieces, visit the Baer's website. With 16 furniture showroom locations throughout Florida, Baer's Furniture has dozens of artistic pieces on display. Stop in today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Preparing Your Home for an Extended Vacation

 You may know Florida by its official nickname, “The Sunshine State,” but among locals, it’s affectionately referred to as “The Snowbird State.” Many part-time Florida residents also keep a home in another state, Canada, or even further abroad. The advantages are that they can enjoy the sun and fun in December and return home when the weather is more palatable. 

But how do you prepare both your northern home and your Florida home for an extended absence? Leaving for a few weeks is not always a big deal, but if you leave for a few months or more, there are some steps you should take to ensure your home is safe, clean, and intact for your return. 

Why Preparation is Important

The longer you’re away from your home, the greater the chance that a damaging event can happen. Your roof can develop a leak, the water heater can break and flood the basement or garage, or you could be the victim of vandalism or burglary. Sure, some of these events could happen whether you’re home or away, but if you’re home or nearby, you can take measures to mitigate the damage. 

Tips For Preparing Your Home Against Damage

Whether you’re preparing your northern home for a long trip to Florida or your Florida home for a return north, the following tips will help preserve the comfortable state of your home. 

Ask A Neighbor to Check In

If you have indoor plants, you may have already thought about this, but even if your interior is decorated with faux foliage, your neighbor can check around and look for anything of concern: a cracked window, leaks, odors, or anything that’s out of place. They can also take in the mail and water the plants. 

Buy a Dehumidifier

We believe having a dehumidifier in Florida — where humidity is frequently in the 80s and 90s — is essential. Some models have an attachment for a garden hose to drain automatically. If you’re not going to be there to empty the water trap, you’ll need this feature. Can you imagine what several months of humidity could do to the supple leather of this Natuzzi Astuzia 5-Piece Reclining Sectional?

Don’t Completely Shut Off Your HVAC System

For the same reason we mentioned in the previous section, you will want to leave your HVAC system running. You don’t have to keep your Florida home cooled to 72 degrees when you’re not there, but you don’t want your interior to climb to the 80s. High temperatures can cause wooden furniture to expand and contract, causing it to crack. If you set your thermostat to 79 or 80, your bill will remain relatively low, and it will keep your home ventilated. You may also leave a ceiling fan on to promote airflow. 

A beautiful, high-quality piece like the Easton Hills Relaxed Vintage Credenza may be durable enough for extensive use, but high humidity can shorten its lifespan. 

Let the Police Department Know the House Will Be Empty

Many Florida police departments provide extra watch services for homes and businesses that will be unoccupied for periods of time. It lets the officer patrolling your zone know to keep an eye out for your property. Additionally, you should do your best to give your home a “lived-in” appearance. That means you leave a light or two on, make sure you either stop your mail or have a neighbor bring it in, and your landscaping is maintained. 

Hire a Housekeeper

Few things are quite as satisfying as coming home to a clean home. Without expending a fortune, you can hire a housekeeper to come in every two weeks for half a day. In addition to dusting, ventilating your home, and conditioning furniture, they can water the plants, toss out junk mail, and examine the home for any signs of neglect. You may also choose to have a deep clean done while you’re away. 

Have a Storm Contingency Plan

This works both ways. If you’re away from Florida during hurricane season, you need a plan to prepare your property ahead of a storm. If you’re away from your northern home during the winter, your property may experience a blizzard in your absence. 

Taking Advantage of Your Absence 

If you aren’t going to be home for a few months, it may be the ideal time to tackle extensive home remodeling or home renovation projects. You can avoid the dust and disruption while you’re gone and return to an amazing new home. 

Who wouldn’t want to spend the summer away and then return to this Florida dining room featuring the Tommy Bahama Home Ocean Breeze Formal Dining Room Group

If you are planning to remodel, make sure that you stop by one of Baer’s 16 Florida furniture stores. With their white glove delivery service, you can be sure that your furniture will be assembled and in the right place when you return. Just make sure you make arrangements for someone to let them in with your gorgeous pieces. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Host a Cocktail Hour or Wine Tasting for the Holidays

The holidays are a celebratory time that helps to reconnect with family and friends. These joyous occasions often occur in our homes, and while we all would like to believe that we're entertainment-ready, it's helpful to have a little notice. Hosting a small party for family and close friends can be a great way to bring people together without investing a substantial amount of time.

If you are seeking a solution that will be both memorable and relatively easy, we recommend hosting a wine tasting or cocktail party. 

The Advantages of a Smaller Event

When you invite people to a cocktail hour or wine tasting, you manage their expectations. They are aware that your event will include alcohol and food but not a full dinner. It also has a finite time frame since these types of parties usually have a one-hour to three-hour lifespan. 

Additionally, you can schedule your small party at an earlier time. That way, guests with conflicting plans can excuse themselves and continue on to their other obligations. Finally, there are several different approaches to serving cocktails or conducting a wine tasting, and all are conducive to both small and large spaces. 

Steps to Hosting a Small Event

1. Choose a Date

Weekend nights between Thanksgiving and New Year are at a premium. If you want to have a weekend event, set your start time early. “We’d like to welcome you to our home for a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.”

2. Procure Alcohol, Mixers, and Garnishes

You are not required to have every ingredient for your cocktail hour, nor do you have to purchase 20 different bottles of wine for your tasting.

For a cocktail hour – stock essential drink ingredients or preannounce the drink menu. “Guests will have a selection of cocktails including the Old Fashioned, Vodka Martini, or our Signature Margarita.” This approach lets guests know that if they want something else, they should bring the ingredients. 

For a wine tasting – Tasting pours are two to three ounces, which means a bottle of wine has about 10 taste servings. If you’re hosting eight or more people, purchase two bottles for each vintage and serve a minimum of five different types of wine. You can preannounce the wine or just let it be a surprise for your guests. Expect to buy 8 to 12 bottles. 

3. Serve Light Foods

Keep it light and prepare in advance with these popular snack items:

  • Charcuterie Boards have become extremely popular in recent years, and they are an ideal selection for both wine tastings and cocktail parties. You can prepare a charcuterie board in advance, cover it with plastic wrap or foil, and serve it right out of the refrigerator. 
  • If you have a sommelier you trust, ask them which cheeses pair well with the wines you’re planning on serving. Like a charcuterie board, you can slice the cheese in advance and place small cards in front of each one to let guests know which wine to pair with each cheese. 
  • Crudité is another great option — particularly if you have a vegetarian or vegan friend. Like the other suggestions, you can do the prep in advance without worrying about it going bad. 

4. Choose Your Setting 

These types of parties are perfect for smaller condos and apartments, but even if you have a large Florida home, you can host them in a single room. In fact, selecting a smaller area within your home may make the event cozier and more intimate. The obvious choices are the dining room, kitchen, or living room. 

Here are some examples of spaces that would be ideal for a smaller holiday party and some suggestions for how you can utilize each space. 

This open-space dining area features the Coastal Rectangle Dining Table from Hooker Furniture’s Surfrider Collection. Seating eight people, the table is large enough to hold several bottles of wine, a selection of cheeses, wine glasses, and small plates. The host can either take the head of the table or walk around and pour as they present each new wine. 

One of the most essential pieces of entertainment furniture you can own for your home is a long buffet. The surface area can be used as a bar, while the hidden storage is ideal for keeping spare glasses, plates, or silverware. If you have a piece like the Carol Benson-Cobb Slated Four-Door Credenza in your dining room or living room, you could place cocktail ingredients and glassware on one end and your charcuterie board and plates on the other. Guests can mix their own drinks and help themselves to the delicious meats and cheeses. 

For a smaller group of maybe four to six people, you can always arrange the party around a coffee table on the patio or in the living room. This Key Largo Cocktail Table from the Tommy Bahama Home Island Estate Collection has a hexagonal shape, so it’s perfect for six guests. You can place a tray of finger foods or sandwiches in the center, and your guests will have plenty of room to eat their food and sip their drinks. 

Remember that great hosting starts with great furniture. Baer’s has 16 furniture store locations throughout Florida. For a memorable holiday get-together, stop in at Baer’s today!

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Popularity of Home Organization in 2023

If there is one thing that spending more time at home has taught us is that we have
way too much stuff. Or maybe we have more stuff because we were forced to spend more time at home for almost two years. Home organization is a trend in 2023 that most furniture retailers have noted. We’re not only going to discuss why this is a popular trend, but we’re also going to give you a few suggestions about how to get your home organized. 

Why is Home Organization Popular This Year

Without polling individual homeowners and renters, it would be impossible to provide an accurate answer, but we can create a few sound hypotheses about the subject.

Increased Online Shopping

It doesn’t take a team of statisticians and market researchers to tell you that online shopping has been on the rise. When people can’t dine out, go to shows, or attend sporting events, their discretionary money goes into buying home consumer goods. People need space to store their gaming systems and home gym equipment. 

The Price of Real Estate

Skyrocketing housing prices have forced people to reconsider the size of the space they need to be comfortable. Moving one's belongings to a smaller place makes one ponder the question, “Where am I going to put all of these things?”

The Popularity of Decorating Trends on Social Media

There was a time when most people were only exposed to professionally decorated homes when they were watching television or standing in front of decorating magazines while waiting to check out at the grocery store. Trendy platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and, more recently, TikTok have piqued our collective interest in interior decorating by steering us to content that shows gorgeous living rooms, bedrooms, home offices, dining rooms, etc. 

How to Get Organized in 2023

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you really want to organize your space. You’ve probably already cleared out your CD towers and gotten rid of obsolete VHS players, but what remains, you want to keep. Here are some tips for organizing your space. 

Credenzas, Side Boards, and Closed TV Consoles 

There are few things more beneficial when you’re trying to create hidden storage than a cabinet — even better when that cabinet includes features like adjustable shelves and cable management. Introducing a closed console to your living room or a sideboard to your dining room gives you the spare storage you need to stow items that don’t need to be out every day. 

Additionally, it provides surface area for more displayable items. The Axiom Contemporary Buffet by Bernhardt is a beautiful two-toned piece with textured surfaces, adjustable shelves, and two hidden drawers in the center compartment. It also comes with a serving tray, as you can see here under the wine service.

The layout of this piece will give you numerous organizational options. 

Shelving Units For Vertical Storage 

Shelving units can be extremely helpful when you’re trying to get organized. Additionally, you can find relatively narrow bookcases and shelving units that mount to the wall for enhanced stability. You can put an attractive piece in your bedroom, living room, hallway, home office, or any nook in the home where it will fit. 

We love multipurpose shelving units like the Sligh Greystone Octavia File Chest and Deck, which has deep drawers that can accommodate standard and legal files and an LED-lit hutch with elegant glass shelves. This is perfect for an upscale home office. The top drawer even locks to ensure your security and privacy.

Curio Cabinets for Displayable Items

If you love to accumulate collectibles or you have objets d’art scattered about your space, a curio cabinet may be the answer to your organizational woes. Curio cabinets allow you to display items in a well-lit, confined space. They have the additional benefit of preventing people from picking up delicate items to examine them. If you have expensive china, it’s nice to be able to put it on display even when you’re not serving dinner. 

Look at how amazing this china looks in the Arch Salvage Gwynn Curio Cabinet by A.R.T. Furniture. There’s even a touch-lit chandelier inside!

Final Tips for Home Organization

If you’re serious about putting your home in order, here are a few tips to help you stick the landing:

  • Decluttering is a must
  • Do a deep cleaning once you’re done
  • Buy fewer small items and save your money for high-quality impact pieces
  • If you’re replacing furniture, shop at a high-quality furniture retailer near you. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

7 Interior Decorating Tips for the Bedroom

Your bedroom should be your personal sanctuary. It should be a place you can escape from the stress and craziness of the world, even if only for a little while. Your bedroom should express your style, immerse you in your favorite colors, surround you with your trappings, and elicit feelings of both serenity and joy. 

You can transform your bedroom into the perfect haven for relaxation with these interior decorating bedroom ideas.

1) Keep It Cozy and Simple

No matter what style you choose — traditional, transitional, modern, or tropical — a bedroom should be cozy and simple. Keep at least three feet between the bed and sidewalls or large furniture pieces to make it easy to move around. Maintain a minimum of two feet between furniture such as dressers and tables and the bed. This allows you to move freely through the bedroom.

When space is free of clutter, it will automatically be more relaxing. A bed, a dresser, a bedside table, and a chair are all you need in the way of furniture. Streamline your accessories, and consider sticking to flowers and candles, some family photos, and a stunning piece of art on the wall.

2) Select a Soothing Color

Bold, bright primary colors tend to be too energetic for the bedroom. Instead, select soothing, restful neutrals, such as gentle blues, barely-there pinks, and muted greens to create a mood of cozy comfort. Using toned-down hues of your favorite colors is another way to make the space relaxing. If you love orange, choose earthy pumpkin rather than bright tangerine.

3) Right-Size the Furniture

In addition to furnishing the space sparingly, ensure that the furniture is the right size for the room. Measure and make a floor plan if you are purchasing new furniture. If you have room, add an ottoman, chair, or bench at the foot of the bed.

Avoid heavy, large furniture if your bedroom is on the small side. On the other hand, if your bedroom is big, make sure your furniture is proportionate. Small furniture will be lost in a large room, and furniture that is too big will make the room look small.

4) Dress the Bed in Luxurious Linens

Get the nicest, prettiest, most luxurious sheets you can. Choose 100 percent cotton and a thread count of at least 350. The higher the thread count, the better. You won't be sorry.

5) Layer the Lighting

Pay close attention to the layers of light in the bedroom. This means to make sure you have ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Choose a pretty chandelier or pendant to light up the entire space, a task lamp for the bedside table, and accent lights to softly illuminate the walls.

For maximum lighting control, put your bedroom lights on a dimmer and ensure you have a separate on/off switch for each one. Then you can light only the area you wish to.

6) Dress the Windows

A beautifully dressed window puts the finishing touch on a bedroom. Window dressings are a great way to add pattern, color, texture, and softness to the bedroom. Soft sheer curtains with blinds create a gentle look with plenty of privacy. Choose drapes with lining or opaque blinds to keep the sun out when you want to sleep in.

7) Keep Tech Out of the Bedroom

Try to keep cell phones, computers, televisions, or exercise machines out of the bedroom. This is your space to become refreshed and renewed. You'll enjoy having a room, especially for reading, sleeping, and relaxing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Calming Decorating Ideas to Make Your Home Feel More Soothing

 Who doesn't want a more soothing home? After a long, arduous day at work, nothing is better than just being able to sit down and relax. Don't feel relaxed in the surroundings of your home?

You can make your home more soothing and conducive to these relaxing moments with just a few decorating tweaks! Having a more comfortable home is vital because being more at ease at home can mean better sleep, improved interpersonal relationships, and an overall sense of well-being. Follow along as we review some methods to make your home more soothing and relaxing, such as updates to colors, lighting, and ergonomics in your home.

Using Relaxing Colors in Your Furniture

The color of your furniture is a key factor in how naturally soothing the room is. Neutral and light colors tend to be more relaxing than bold or saturated colors if the neutral and light colors are mixed or layered. Solid colors, as opposed to mixes of colors, are also good bets for soothing qualities. Blues, whites, and similar colors are generally considered the most relaxing.

Take, for instance, this Chateau D'Ax CB52 Sofa. Its gorgeous royal blue shade instantly projects calmness and serenity in whatever room it is located. The solid color makes for easy visual acknowledgment of the sofa, and the color is reminiscent of the ocean.

If you want a more neutral color, try this Stone & Leigh Upholstered Sofa. It has a relatively neutral profile and offers a perfect canvas for you to carve out the rest of your soothing living room around, whatever your choice of color.

To keep a soothing theme, you want to avoid too many patterns, with some exceptions. Complicated designs are generally not soothing if they are free form, so it would be better to stick to geometric and symmetrical patterns if you are going to use them to add depth to the room. A tessellation, for example, is much more likely to be soothing because it's predictable when compared to, say, a Jackson Pollock painting.

Soothing Lighting

Another critical element of making your home feel more soothing is the lighting. Harsh, fluorescent lights can make even the coziest space feel like an emergency room, so the lighting you have in the rooms you will frequent is of great importance.

You generally want to avoid harsh lighting and instead opt for soft light throughout. You can even use tinted lights to create a certain mood in your chosen space. A darkly tinted lamp can help contribute to the room's soft light and transform the area's mood characteristics. A dark red tint, for example, can work magic on a room decorated in neutral colors. It adds a pop of color as well as an overall relaxing feel to the space. Just be sure you do not have any furniture with strong colors that might clash with the tint.

Remember that the type of lightbulb you use can significantly affect the room's lighting. Fluorescent lights look a certain way, and alternative kinds of lightbulbs can overhaul the look of the room by adjusting the natural light in the room. You should also ensure that the whole space is well-lit, as dark areas in rooms that are otherwise well-lit are associated with eye strain, which is the opposite of soothing.

Ergonomics Add to Relaxation

The importance of ergonomics in making your home feel soothing cannot be overstated. The ergonomic quality of your home's seating can make a huge difference in how soothed and relaxed you feel when sitting in a room.

Imagine that you have dining room seats that are wooden stools. The seat itself is hard on your bottom, and there is no back support. How can you relax in such an environment? This is why the ergonomic quality of your seating is so important. Imagine instead this Bernhardt Contemporary Wicker Chair, which has both seat cushioning as well as back support in order to ensure maximum comfort.

If you're uncomfortable when seated, then you'll hardly ever relax. This is why ergonomic seating is such an important part of making your home feel more soothing!

Baer's Furniture Can Help!

We have thousands of floor models to choose from and even more furniture available to order. Come and transform your home with all new home furnishings - visit one of our Florida furniture stores today!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Decorating Challenges in Older Florida Homes and Unusual Florida Architecture

Many visitors to Florida are under the impression that every building in the Sunshine State was built in the past 25 years. While we do have more than our share of new construction, many homes were built during the 1940s, 1950s, and even earlier.

These vintage Florida homes are some of the architectural jewels of the state, but they also present decorating challenges. The interior design professionals at Baer’s Furniture have seen numerous older homes during their time in the field and have developed tried and true solutions to some of the obstacles that older homes present. 

What Are Some of the Features of an Older Florida Home?

Air Circulation Features

Many older Florida homes were designed before central air conditioning became popular. Consequently, these homes are set up to take advantage of the cooling options available to them: fans, ceiling fans, screened windows, bare floors, and front-to-back hallways – halls that connect the front door to the back to allow a cross-breeze. 

Cooling Solutions

Because heat rises, ceilings are often higher than in northern homes. Terrazzo floors became very popular in Florida homes because they don’t retain heat in the way that carpeted floors do.

Oftentimes, you’ll also find an exposed brick wall or a white-washed brick wall in one or more rooms. This is because brick slowly absorbs heat throughout the day, and releases it at night.

Heating Solutions

Fireplaces and built-in space heaters are common in central and northern Florida.

Outdoor Spaces

Front porches and back screened-in patios are frequently found in older Florida homes to provide the denizens with a place to enjoy fresh air in the shade. 

Vintage Florida Home Challenges and Solutions

Older Florida homes can be charming, but often present obstacles for interior decorators.

Here are a few of the most common decorating challenges of older Florida homes and practical solutions for professional and DIY decorators:

Fireplace in the Living Room

Challenge: Florida does not give you many cold nights to start a fire, and many fireplaces in Florida homes are no longer functional. Additionally, fireplaces are usually situated in a place that makes them impossible to ignore.

Solutions: You can, of course, celebrate the fireplace with candles or dried flowers, or you can obscure it with a piece of furniture. Depending on the height, you can conceal the fireplace with a high-backed sofa or loveseat with a skirt or short legs.

This Huntington House Loveseat is a perfect example of an attractive piece that you can put in front of a fireplace.

This also gives you the option of using the concealed hearth for additional storage or a place to hide holiday gifts. 

Too Much Terrazzo (or Tiling)

Challenge: While newer Florida homes have light-colored tile, many older Florida homes have wall-to-wall terrazzo. Without sufficient furnishings, both types of flooring can be cold to the eye and to the touch.

Solutions: You don’t need to replace your flooring to warm up the space. Adding an area rug and a sectional to the center of a room can turn the exposed portion of a terrazzo or tile floor into an elegant framing for the room.

Look how beautifully this tile floor garnishes this stately Natuzzi reclining sectional and matching area rug.

Too Small for a Bedroom, Too Large for a Closet

Challenge: Most standard-sized bedrooms are 12’x14’, but older Florida homes frequently have non-conforming, smaller rooms that would be too cramped if you moved a bed and dresser in.

Solutions: Because of the current work-from-home trend, many Floridians are looking for unused space in their homes to create a home office, which these small rooms are perfect for.

Home offices require much less area than a bedroom or guest room. Depending on the size of the room, you can place a desk against the wall and have a quiet space to work and conduct your video conferences.

With a width of around 48 inches, this Hooker Furniture Knee Hole Desk fits perfectly in a smaller room and has plenty of drawer storage for organization. When not in use, your chair tucks neatly under the kneehole.

Unattractive Wall Features 

Challenge: Some Florida homes have unfortunate locations for electrical outlets, phone outlets, circuit breaker panels, etc., or, a previous owner made a modification, and the wall patching is inconsistent and unattractive.

Solutions: The easiest way to deal with a botched wall repair or unattractive fixture is by putting something in front of it. If it’s something you don’t need to access, you could use a tall furniture piece, like the A.R.T. Furniture Arch Salvage Gwynn Curio, to block it. If it’s an item you need more frequent access to, like a circuit breaker panel, you can use wall art to cover up the offending metal encasement.

For every decorative obstacle, there’s a workaround. Need help? Stop in at a Baer’s Furniture showroom and ask our knowledgeable design experts about your options.