July 5, 2013

Making More Out of Less: Maximizing Space in a Small Room or Studio

So you moved into a dorm room in college, you have a small room in your home, or you live in a studio apartment. Whatever the case may be, you have one major problem: many ideas wrestling around in your head, but little space to work with. Don’t let the challenge overwhelm you—we’re here to help! Here are some tips for maximizing space in a limited area. With a bit of creativity, you’ll open up unlimited possibilities.

Cut the Clutter

One of the best ways to get the most out of a small space is to simply get rid of the things you don’t need. That extra microwave? Out. Those piles of seldom-worn clothes? Donate them to friends, family, or a charity of your choice. Keep only the essentials. Everything that uses up your valuable floor space should be carefully chosen and have a good reason for being there.

Lighten Up

Choose lighter colors over darker ones when painting your walls. Lighter shades open up a space visually, making it appear larger. Make sure not to cover any windows with big pieces of furniture, since abundant light also inspires a sense of freedom.

Time for Reflection

Mirrors are great for getting dressed and fixing your hair, but they’re good for plenty of other things, too. Placed in a highly-visible area, mirrors add a sense of depth, making your room look even bigger. As an added bonus, they reflect light, also creating the impression of a larger room.

Dividers can turn a seemingly chaotic mess into an ordered paradise. These pieces allow you to separate your floor space into sections, whether by color, theme, style, or anything else you choose. Maybe you just want a little area of privacy in your studio. Some dividers even feature shelves, doubling as a “sort-of” bookcase.

Think Vertically

Don’t limit yourself to the floor. You have at least four walls—take advantage of them! Installing shelves along your walls is a great way to add much-needed space for storage. You can place books, trinkets, knickknacks, photos, and plenty more here.

Different types of furniture take advantage of vertical space, by favoring height over other dimensions. Here are a couple of examples

Wall units are tall furnishings that provide storage for your television, electronics, media, and much more. They are available in a variety of different sizes and styles, to suit your particular needs. With the right choice, you’ll have the benefit of adding an inviting focal point to your room, as well.

  • Don’t sleep on your childhood memories. You probably remember that bunk bed you shared with your brother or sister as a young child. These genius inventions allow more than one person to sleep comfortably in a room, taking up the space of a single bed! You can pick from variations such as twin over twin, twin over full, and more. Some even feature an additional trundle unit that slides out from below the bottom bunk, housing storage space or yet another mattress, as you wish. Have you ever heard of the bunk bed’s lesser-known cousin, the loft bed? This type of bed features only the top bunk, leaving ample space beneath it for a dresser, a desk, or anything else your mind fancies.

Multifunctional Furniture

We can’t stress this tip enough. The smaller the space you have to work with, the more you want to make sure that your furniture has more than one purpose.

  • Futons and sofa beds are comfortable seating options whenever you have company over, but turn into cozy beds at nighttime.

Space Saving TV ChestTV Chests are built with several drawers for storing your socks, undergarments, personal items, and more. But that’s not all. These pieces also feature shelves where you can place your Blu-ray or DVD player, VHS player, a gaming console—you get the picture. Lastly, the top has a space for your television. That’s at least three different functions combined into one stylish and compact piece. How convenient is that? If you just  can’t fit anymore furniture into your space, you can always mount your TV on a wall. Problem solved.

  • Dining tables are available with drop leaves or leaf extensions which increase the length of a table, but can be folded down or removed when you don’t need them. If you’re in a really tight bind, you can even use your table as a desk or workspace. 

    In the end, the more your furniture does, the more you benefit.

    Little Details, Big Results

    Whatever you choose to do, each of your choices is going to add up. Furnish your room or studio with an eye towards the big picture. Though it may seem difficult, there are many ways to make what seems impossible, possible. And, don’t forget, our furniture experts are always happy to help you with complimentary décor advice 

    For more space saving options, visit us at www.ElDoradoFurniture.com

November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions


Ah, Thanksgiving -- the time of year when we get to break our diets for a day and feast on turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, and pumpkin pie.

Of course, this being Miami, most of us Latinos will probably be eating an equally ginormous feast consisting of turkey (typically marinated to taste just like pork, or lechon), a proper serving of actual lechon, Cuban bread, fried plantains, white rice and black beans, and flan for dessert.

No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, the main focus of this treasured holiday centers around reuniting with family and friends, and giving thanks for everything we have in our lives. But who should we be thanking for having this holiday in the first place?

Most American schoolchildren know the tale of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving on Plymouth Rock: after barely surviving a treacherous journey across the sea in search of emancipation from English rule, and suffering through an exceptionally rough winter that killed most of their crops, the Pilgrims sat down to give thanks to God and their new native American friends who taught them how to hunt and grow bountiful crops.

That first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, but it would be more than 200 years before President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as the official Thanksgiving Day. Up until then, each state had its own Thanksgiving day and traditions (if it was celebrated at all). President Lincoln’s decision to standardize the holiday was due in part to Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential writer and magazine editor.


For more than 40 years, Hale petitioned to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, noting that “We have too few holidays … Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.”

Hale also helped in domesticating Thanksgiving. Many families at the time celebrated Thanksgiving in ways that would be unrecognizable to us today. Some threw rambunctious parties, others served goose or duck as their main course, with sides that saw no mention of stuffing, yams, or mashed potatoes. Dinner was served at tables with mismatched chairs and silverware, while some guests (usually children) ate on the floor.

In one of her written works, Hale described the picturesque Thanksgiving gathering of an upper class family. It was here that many of the holiday traditions we know came to be. From the plump turkey served with stuffing, and the potatoes drizzled with gravy from a gravy boat, to finishing off the feast with pumpkin pie, Hale’s description was the quintessential Thanksgiving celebration. The scene also helped re-establish the original reason behind Thanksgiving – an idea which seemed to have been lost over time. She stated, “There is a deep moral influence in these periodical seasons of rejoicing, in which whole communities participate. They bring out…the best sympathies in our natures.”

It would be another 200 years (1941) before Congress declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, but Hale’s influence can still be seen when we gather with our families and friends around the dinner table today.

So let’s give thanks this holiday, not only for the loved ones around us, but to the people who helped mark this special day in history and keep it alive for generations to come.

From our family to yours, have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Narratives are for entertainment purposes only and frequently employ literary point of view; the narratives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of El Dorado Furniture, its officers, or employees.

Have a comment or topic suggestion for the author? Shoot him an e-mail at vcapo@eldoradofurniture.com.

October 25, 2010

(Literally) Spooky Furniture


With Halloween just around the corner, it seems everyone is getting into the holiday spirit. From slimy snakes and spiders to ghastly ghouls and goblins, homes all around America are being decked out with spooky decorations in anticipation of the big night.

If you’re one of the lucky few hosting the big Halloween bash at your place, you’ve no doubt gone the extra mile to give your home a terrifyingly fun makeover, inside and out. Decorations and accessories can go a long way in transforming your humble abode into a haunted estate, but if you still feel like there’s something missing, you may need some Halloween furniture.

That’s right. Some furniture designers have taken to creating fully functional furniture pieces with a genuinely creepy motif. So, whether you’re looking to add some “oomph” to your Halloween party, or simply have a really morbid sense of interior design, these pieces are for you!

Coffin Couches


Now you can experience the comfort of a coffin without meeting the typical prerequisites (e.g., death)!

One California-based company has created a niche market, buying real coffins from local funeral homes and repurposing them as couches. The coffins are unusable due to cosmetic defects, but California health and safety laws prohibit them from being resold to the public, so many funeral directors are glad to have someone take these off their hands.

And thus, the coffin couch was born. These unique couches come in a number of colors and designs, or can be custom made. Companies from all over the world have commissioned custom coffin couches for marketing purposes. Lounging around on what was once intended to be someone’s eternal resting place won’t come cheap, though – prices range from $3,500.00 to $5,000.00.

Casket Furniture


Coffins a little too modern for you? How about a tried and true casket instead? Another furniture design team has taken “lifetime guarantee” to new levels with a wide selection of casket-themed furniture.

The casket display case (pictured above) could be used for books, trinkets, shrunken heads, or anything else you can fit on the shelves. Friends coming over? How about a casket pool table (below)? This is sure to spice up your typical game of pool.


These casket concoctions also include coffee tables, entertainment centers, sofas, and even phone booths. But you’ll have to dole out a pretty penny if you want your home to resemble the Crypt Keeper’s pad – prices range anywhere from $500.00 to $9,000.00. Ouch!

Modern Halloween Furniture


So maybe you want to take a more subtle approach to your dark decorating desires…

This skull chair (above) offers up just enough creepiness to set the mood on a dark and stormy night, but still manages to pull off a sleek and elegant  look come daybreak. Throw in a pair of skeleton hand salad tongs (below) and you’ve got yourself one classy monster bash!


Whatever your decorating preferences, just remember Halloween is all about having fun! Be creative, be silly, go all out! It’s not every day we’re allowed to dress up like our heroes and act like kids! May as well take advantage!

Happy Halloween!

Narratives are for entertainment purposes only and frequently employ literary point of view; the narratives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of El Dorado Furniture, its officers, or employees.

Have a comment or topic suggestion for the author? Shoot him an e-mail at vcapo@eldoradofurniture.com.

October 4, 2010

Wordplay: Etymology of Furniture Terms

FURNITUREWith all this talk about furniture, it’s only natural to wonder where some of these terms came from. The English language is notorious for “borrowing” words from other languages, which is why the root of a word can be just as important as its actual meaning; a person fluent in French can quickly deduce the meaning of a French-rooted English word they’ve never heard before. Hence the widespread belief that multilingual individuals are more intelligent than monolingual ones.

For this post, we’re driven more by curiosity than anything else. But if you happen to learn something in the process, kudos to you!


We’ll start with the mother of all furniture terms. The word furniture actually comes from the French word fourniture, meaning “supply” or “the act of furnishing.” These days, we use furniture to refer to several pieces, but during the 19th century the plural form furnitures was commonly used. That slowly disappeared by the time the 20th century rolled around. Because we modern folk are so busy, we don’t have the time to pronounce that superfluous “s” sound. Take that, logic!

MAGI-72 Bed (9)bed 
Such a tiny word could stem from any number of languages. Indeed, many languages contain terms that could conceivably be the root word of bed, but there’s still some debate as to its exact origin. Bed most likely comes from the Old English word, bedd. It may also have roots in the Proto-Germanic word, badjan, meaning “dug sleeping place,” the German Bett, or the Latvian bedre, meaning “hole.” (Hole? Really?) Throw in some possible Latin, Dutch, and Russian root words, and you’ve got yourself quite a diverse slumber party! Whatever the case, it goes without saying that today’s beds are far more comfortable than the  “beds” – or dug sleeping places – of yore.

NOVA-85 LAMPlamp
This one is a little easier. Our everyday term for “device that generates heat, light, or other radiation” stems from the ancient Greek word lampas, meaning “torch.” This made its way into Latin (lampas) and French (lampe) and eventually to us!

1-BEST-65 Occ Chair (2) fixchair
This word seems to make its debut as the ancient Greek word kathedra, which is made up of the words kata (“down”) and hedra (“seat”). This eventually became the Latin word cathedra, meaning “seat,” and then evolved into the French chaire.

GILD-16 Sofasofa
The etymology of this word also gives some insight into the history of the product itself. The Arabic word súffa means “long seat made of stone or brick.” Sounds comfortable, doesn’t it? Though it isn’t clear how the word made its way into our modern vocabulary, it is believed the Turkish or Moorish occupation of Spain helped spread it to European languages.

kiwi-35_loungechaise lounge
We find the story behind this term particularly funny. First of all, chaise is a variant of the French word for “chair,” chaire. Lounge, however, has an unknown etymology. But that doesn’t really matter in this case because the original term for this piece of furniture is actually chaise longue, or “long chair.” The term longue was inadvertently changed to lounge by Americans when this type of furniture became popular in the U.S. The error was so pervasive, the piece eventually became known as a chaise lounge.

SUNS-72 Futonfuton
Plain and simple, this one. Futon is the Japanese word for “bedding.” Sure, it’s kind of a stretch calling a futon a bed, but it does function as a bed so… it’s not like the word is misleading anyone. Right?

1-SARU-03 Credenza (6)credenza
Credenza’s roots stem from the Latin word credere, which means “to believe.” It eventually evolved into credentia, and then the Italian credenza. The modern credenza was most likely inspired by the credence, a long table used to hold items during Catholic mass. The credenza’s first known secular use was as a sideboard for nobility where food would be placed and then taste-tested by servants for poison.

Narratives are for entertainment purposes only and frequently employ literary point of view; the narratives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of El Dorado Furniture, its officers, or employees.

Have a comment or topic suggestion for the author? Shoot him an e-mail at vcapo@eldoradofurniture.com.