Avoid Dorm Room Disasters with Storage for Small Spaces

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The summer is flying by with graduation parties, a part-time job and preparing to head off to college in just a few short weeks.

If you’re moving into a dorm, you’ll have a few basic furniture pieces when you arrive. However, you have a ton of stuff to display and store but not much space for it all. Just think of those books, folders, papers and electronics you need for class. Plus, you have to make the dorm feel like home with your favorite photos and possessions on display.

So rather than hiding stuff under the bed and tossing files on the floor by your chair, keep your roommate happy and plan to bring some extra storage along. These bookcases, storage areas and contemporary small desks take up very little room but still offer enough space to keep you organized between classes.

Here are a few of our favorite college furniture finds.

The Bush Furniture Cabot 6 Cube Bookcase provides a half-dozen storage cubbies in a compact package, spanning just 31 inches in width and a depth of 12 inches. The Espresso Oak, Harvest Cherry and Heather Gray finishes will work well in your dorm and could even look sharp in your first home or apartment a few years from now.

Set up the Bush Furniture Buena Vista Laptop End Table next to the bed and work in comfort with everything you need by your side. Rest your tablet or laptop on the pull-out shelf, or stash them in the storage and charging area. Open up the front of the storage compartment without having to move your lamp or picture frame from the back of the table top. Conceal cables and enjoy easy access to outlets while placing a printer, storage bin or even late-night snacks on the sturdy bottom shelf.

Add a stylish storage solution to your room with the clever and compact Bush Furniture Alamosa Ladder Bookcase. Display photos, books and knickknacks of all shapes and sizes on the four shelves. The Classic Black finish works well anywhere – from dorm rooms to first homes. Lean the Ladder Bookcase against the wall and get organized without taking up much room.

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Brighten up your dorm room with the Bush Furniture Vantage Corner Desk.

Brighten up your dorm room with the Bush Furniture Vantage Corner Desk in Pure White. The small desk features plenty of storage but also has a space-saving design, allowing it to fit comfortably even in a tiny room or apartment. Organize your workspace with three drawers, an open cubby shelf and vertical closed storage space so you never lose track of your notes, assignments or books.

For more furniture finds from TV stands to coffee tables and desks, visit bushfurniture.com/collegefurniturefinds.

Avoid Dorm Room Disasters with Storage for Small Spaces

Inner Tech: Me and My Aero

CaptureYou know how a melody gets stuck in your head? Well, as I started to organize the components of my new media center I kept singing “Wherever we go, everyone knows- It’s me and my arrow.” It had been years since I heard this song from the fable “The Point” by American songwriter and musician Harry Nilsson about a boy named Oblio. He was the only round-headed person in the Pointed Village, where by law everyone and everything must have a point.

Having grown up with this animated movie with Ringo Starr narrating the Father’s voice, I was reminded of my early years of being a geek and not fitting in with the 70’s movement.  It wasn’t until 1977 with the release of “Star Wars” that I finally felt at home with my surround sound system, characterized by a sweet spot where the audio effects work best.  Yes, this was the moment in time that I heard the voice of my inner tech and knew from that point on everything in my life had to nourish my technical sensibilities.

Today I am still every bit the geek that I was back then, but now geeks are cool. As a seasoned marketing specialist, I get plenty of technical challenges every day and work in a world filled with resolving issues with the IT department. So I’ve decided to create a media oasis in my home where I can work remotely, as well as enjoy the pleasures of Netflix, iTunes and Hulu.

Aero-BLK-16_brandedI was happy to discover a sleek design and roomy work surface with the Bush Furniture Aero Collection Sofa Table/Writing Desk in classic black as the foundation of my home office. Its durable gray tinted-glass top fits my tech décor with a spacious bottom shelf that can store more. The desk provides the perfect amount of space for work, and its small footprint allows flexibility if I want to rearrange.  The rounded quarter-turned legs are strikingly stylish and match the design of the Aero Collection’s most brilliant contribution to home entertainment – the Aero TV Stand.

First and foremost, it’s the perfect size for my 60-inch flat screen TV. The top open compartment offers functional space for my Apple TV and sound bar, plus the side cabinets have adjustable shelves for my numerous vintage gaming systems. Some things, like the Nintendo 64, are just too good to ever let go. The tinted glass doors keep everything out of sight and the wire management zip-ties neatly align my cables and keep the controllers organized.

I completed my media wall by adding a 2-Door Media Library Storage cabinet to the left to store my DVD’s and games, with a matching cabinet on the right to store my CD music collection. The Coffee Table fits just right in front of my well-worn sofa and provides a seamless style throughout. It’s my favorite place for work and play.

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This is a great solution for today’s generation of young, social, tech-savvy individuals. Sure, there have been surveys and studies and focus groups conducted on trying to understand their needs and desires, but this is what they truly want.  As I kick back with my new Aero Collection media center and home office from Bush Furniture, I figure once a geek always a geek. It’s time to turn off the lights, turn up the sound and watch “The Point,” which I found on Google and streamed directly to my TV. Oh, the joys of technology – “Me and my Aero.”

Inner Tech: Me and My Aero

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

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Now that school is back in session, it’s time to think about improving and refining your good study habits. Here at Bush Furniture, we have a couple suggestions to help you or your children get on track and stay focused on what they’re learning no matter what.

First, as was mentioned in our recent back-to-school blog, find a great place to getBuena Vista Corner Desk_branded
work done. Bush Furniture has many desk options in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate any space or workplace habit. Maybe you’re a person who needs to spread out and make a mess until your thoughts are organized and you can clean up again. In that case, choose an L-Desk with a lot of surface area that lets you do your work without feeling constrained. In contrast, if you feel you work more cleanly or are looking for a desk with a smaller space, try a Single Pedestal Desk that gives you plenty of room and storage options without overwhelming your living space.


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It’s also important to have a place to keep papers. This was always a struggle when I was growing up. My parents had large drawers that my sibling and I would fill with school papers periodically, only to throw them out once and awhile because we didn’t need everything we saved. If you sort papers well at the time and save only the most important ones, you will most likely have more space to keep them long term. Look into our 2- and 3-Drawer Pedestals for convenient file drawers, or a lateral file so your paper storage can go the extra mile.

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No mBookcases collageatter what age you or your children are, reading is important. Bush Furniture’s Bookcases are ideal for storing any books attractively, so you can organize your personal library and add to it whenever possible. If you’re not reading, think you should be, but for whatever reason just can’t find the motivation, take a look at this article by writer Hugh McGuire: https://medium.com/@hughmcguire/why-can-t-we-read-anymore-503c38c131fe.

Reading and focus are two things that are central to good study habits, but in the 21st century many of us seem to lack the ability to do either well. McGuire posits that people these days can’t read–or, for that matter, focus well at all–because they are so easily distracted by everything electronic around them. With texts, emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, Pins, Instagram updates, and Google at our fingertips, it’s too easy to get caught up in all the electronic buzz and remain lost in it for seconds, minutes, hours…whether you are five or sixty-five years old. He attributes this to the dopamine rush our brains get each time we check our phones or social media for any notifications or sign of being wanted in the electronic world. He has managed to wean himself from that dependency, even though he admitted it’s been difficult, and been able to focus so much more as a result.

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[I tried to write the vast majority of this post in Microsoft Word full screen mode after reading the article, in attempt not to be hypocritical and continue checking my email or phone during the process. It’s hard, though. I’m fighting the urge right now.]

Therefore, if you want to keep good study/focus habits and encourage your children or others around you to as well, try and limit your consumption of electronic data on a regular basis. Then, outfit your home with the appropriate furniture and let us help! If you have any thoughts or tips on how to focus, we’d love to hear about them. Leave your comments below!

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

Black and White

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is one of the great photography masters, known for his iconic black and white images of the American West.  Let’s follow this lead and consider how we might apply his visual insights to my modern day apartment and office design. In an attempt to bring a sense of sophistication and refined elegance, I selected his black and white color palette because it seemed easy to work with and offered plenty of advantages with my limited budget.

One of the most important things Ansel Adams left with us was his principle of pre-visualization. The obvious contrast between the two colors helps highlight specific architectural features and decor additions with ease. While other color schemes come and go with changing seasons and interior design trends, black and white offers a safe alternative that stays relevant even decades down the line.

Using Ansel’s pre-visualization method in approaching my living room design, I immediately visualized how I could work with the New York Skyline Collection by Kathy Ireland as the core to my black and white palette. This is a complete line of Ready-to-Assemble living and office furniture that delivers fashion, quality, value and safety while fulfilling the needs of working people like me.

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To make a statement,  I selected the Plumeria White painted wood finish Bow Front Desk with the combination Credenza TV stand to establish my living room office. The desk features a gleaming (and reversible) frosted glass desktop, plus plenty of filing space with drawers for office supplies. The matching Credenza TV stand accommodates my 60” flat panel TV, plus it comes with a StabiliBar TV safety brace to keep my TV firmly in place.

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Then, I chose the New York Skyline Collection 16-Cube Bookcase Room Divider in Modern Mocha to quietly begin dividing my apartment into both living and working zones, without obstructing the room’ spaciousness. When I added the NYS Three Table set to finish off my sofa area, it all started to come together in a harmonizing contrast of black and white.

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While black anchors the living room section of the apartment, I’ve highlighted the prominent architectural elements; the white office furniture lends a sense of airiness and balance to the backdrop. By adding Ansel Adam’s polarizing filter, I was able to see why painting a blue sky with clouds ceiling mural could add more saturated color and create a dark and contrasting sky with my evening lighting, versus the sunlit room that evolves naturally during the day.

Even if you decide you don’t want to master a full-blown minimal style, starting off with a black and white color palette is absolutely perfect for a few cornerstone furniture pieces to begin your decorating. Once you uncover what you need or want to improve upon, these two hues will help keep you focused on your true artistic expressions.

Check back next month when we explore Minimalist Décor Accented with Colors of the Season.

Black and White

Long, Golden Rays of Summer Days

day lilyOnce again, the end of August is upon us. I recently wrote a blog about going back to school, and I can’t believe it’s that time again. If you’ve been around the area this summer at all, I hope you’ve been taking advantage of the many fun things the western New York region has to offer! We have wineries, trails, festivals, concerts, other shows, and two lakes where people can boat or simply enjoy being by the water. I grew up in Chautauqua County and fondly remember chasing hot air balloons around with my parents and sister on hot evenings; summer is a beautiful time of year in this part of the state. (Check out the Chautauqua County Visitor’s Bureau website for more information about what to do in the region!)

In conjunction with copious things to do, places to go, and people to see, this region is home to Chautauqua Institution. After nine weeks of intensive programming, lectures, and religious dialogue, everything will conclude this coming Sunday night with the Chautauqua’s IMG_4597President’s traditional speech, and then the customary three taps of the gavel. Despite everything to look forward to this fall, including apple cider, sweater weather, changing leaves, and spending time with family/friends, it can be difficult to leave places like Chautauqua or abandon the summer activities you’ve enjoyed during these warm months.

On behalf of everyone at Bush, we wish you good days as you conclude your summer and drift toward autumn. As an integral part of the community and Jamestown’s fascinating furniture legacy, Bush Industries is proud to be located here in the western New York region year-round. As the season changes, we hope you consider us for your back-to-school and autumn decoration ideas. For now, enjoy the remaining lazy, hazy, crazy days, and know that next year’s warm breezes are never too far away. On behalf of the team here at Bush, we hope you’ve been having a very good summer!

Long, Golden Rays of Summer Days

No More Apartment Apathy!

Recently, we wrote a post about decorating your college dorm, and how formative that part of life is throughout your college career. If living in a dorm is a coming of age moment, shutterstock_76358908however, I would argue that transitioning from that dorm into your first apartment is even more of a foray into adult life than living in the dorms is.

In the dorms, there are still some things that are closely regulated by your RA…like when quiet hours occur, whether or not you can have candles or even Christmas lights in your room, and being reprimanded for boiling water on your small coffee maker because you aren’t allowed a hot plate. Apartments, at least in my experience, are a completely different story. Without as many rules and regulations, college students are thrust into a brave, new, exciting, and simultaneously scary way of life. When I signed my first lease, I was barely nineteen and very nervous to be signing my life away/ensuring I could pay rent for the coming year. However, it worked out and suddenly I had two beautiful roommates, a large room, new bed, and a whole lot of decorating to do!

shutterstock_270871793Even as an apartment newbie, I desperately wanted my apartment to look good. This was in contrast to some of my peers, who often had a general sense of apathy about what their living spaces looked like. Maybe their philosophy was that they wouldn’t be living there for that long, it took too much time to put some effort into decorating (even cleaning, in some instances), or maybe they just weren’t into posters. shutterstock_287373770While first apartments often contain a lot of mismatched plates, secondhand couches, and artwork displaying celebrities in your favorite movies, whatever you add I think it’s important to put some effort in and make the new space your own. Don’t forget your favorite chachkies!

Here at Bush Furniture, we’d like to help you design and enjoy your first apartment. Maybe you’d like your apartment to be a warm, inviting atmosphere with a modern flair. If you need some extra storage space in any room or are running low on closets, check out the Buena Vista 2-Door Tall Storage Unit. You can store your towels, put off-season clothes away, or keep books and papers inside that you hope to keep out of sight:BV 2-Door Tall StorageFor a home ambiance with traditional appeal, try the Cabot L-Desk and Hutch that will help you establish a place to get your work done and organize all your files.

Cabot Collection

Finally, if you have a more contemporary style and are planning to set up a home office in your apartment, the Aero Writing Desk puts a sleek aesthetic face to hard work. It can also double as a convenient surface for you and your roommates to put the mail or set things down when you first get home.

Aero Writing Desk

A little effort can go a long way in making your first apartment feel homey and comfortable, whether you’re studying alone or have friends that come to hang out. If this blog leaves you feeling inspired, check out our Pinterest Board for some more ideas about first apartment organization! Do you have any decorating tips of your own? Share with us in the comments section below!

No More Apartment Apathy!

Go Back to School with Bush Furniture

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This has been a beautiful summer thus far in Western New York! With lots of sunny days and comfortable temperatures, everyone has been able to enjoy their time with friends and family to the fullest extent. As these days slip gracefully into fall, however, it will be time to think about going back to school. Stores are already thrilled about pushing their back-to-school discounts, and children are getting excited about their new school supply lists.

When I was young, these lists were often printed and sent to office supply stores around the area so we would know what our teachers wanted us to buy. Despite how much I loved summer, I remained consistently excited about purchasing my own new school things. In particular, I loved getting pretty colored folders and notebooks that I hoped would hold up throughout the year.  shutterstock_163556519

Most importantly, aside from the cursory notebooks, pens, and pencils, children need a comfortable place to do their work at home. Establishing consistency in a designated “homework spot” helps get them into a routine and be diligent about completing their work, even from an early age. Without having to shift papers and projects off the dining room table when it comes time to eat,  (Stay tuned for a further blog about good study habits!)

We know you value your child’s education, and we hope your children value it, too. Let Bush Furniture assist you by giving your kids a dependable workspace. With a wide range of desks for any space size and home décor, you are sure to find one to suit your family’s needs at reasonable prices. The Salinas Desk and Hutch are a perfect starter set for your den or office area:

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For small spaces and a clean look, try the Buena Vista Writing Desk:

BV Writing Desk

Finally, the Alamosa Ladder Desk gives your child a conventional and
fun space to do their homework:

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We know this is a time of mixed emotions…thrill at returning to school to see friends, sadness and nostalgia over summer’s conclusion, and some potential relief on parents’ parts. No matter what you’re feeling, establishing that sense of consistency will help keep you grounded. Make a Bush Furniture desk part of your back-to-school shopping, and study hard!

Go Back to School with Bush Furniture