Thursday, February 19, 2015

Good Night, Sleep Tight--Or Not?

Are you getting the sleep you need? We spend one-third of our lives asleep. From infancy to adulthood, the amount of sleep we get largely determines our happiness, health, and well-being. In fact, sleep deprivation can be more harmful than most people think. It carries both short and long-term consequences that can negatively impact one’s quality of life. Human beings are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep, so this is a unique issue for us. Let’s begin by identifying whether you might be sleep-deprived--it’s more common that most people realize--then we will outline possible consequences, and finally, we’ll offer solutions to help you achieve a better night’s sleep.

Are You Sleep Deprived? If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. Most healthy adults should take 10-15 minutes to fall asleep. In fact, if you regularly fall asleep within five minutes of your head hitting the pillow, it’s likely that you are severely sleep deprived and may even be suffering from a sleep disorder. Are you finding that your brain is functioning at full capacity? Sleep-deprived individuals show more impulsive behavior, less creative thought and words, forgetfulness, and increased clumsiness. You may also feel hungrier throughout the day as your lack of sleep affects two key hormones in your body, leptin and ghrelin, both of which help regulate appetite.

Possible Consequences Many of the warning signs of sleep deprivation are also things that impact your everyday quality of life. Coming down with illnesses more often could be a sign, and this is something that not only negatively impacts how you feel, but also leads to more missed work and deadlines. Losing sleep affects not only your physical health but your mental well-being also, as you may find yourself more emotional about little things. Lack of sleep impacts the functioning of your amygdala, the part of your brain that regulates emotions and processes fear and anxiety. Studies have shown that individuals suffering from lack of sleep have decreased functioning and communication from the amygdala to the rest of the brain, leaving them unable to determine appropriate emotional responses to a range of negative events. Short-term effects include memory impairment, decreased performance, and possible automobile injury. Long-term effects can be more serious and include high blood pressure, obesity, depression, ADD, and more. In fact, studies have shown an increasing mortality rate for those who report getting less than six or seven hours of sleep a night.

Making a Change for More Restful Nights The fact is that a better night’s sleep will happen when you are comfortable. A person’s individual comfort includes many factors, including the temperature of the room, proper air circulation, the right amount of covers or blankets, and a supportive mattress.

At Bel Furniture, we recognize that comfort means different things to different people, and this is why we’re pleased to offer a wide variety of mattresses through the Bel Mattress Company. We carry all sizes, from twin to king, and selections for all levels of comfort, from firm to memory foam. We even beds that have an adjustable foundation. Our Presidents Day Sale features a special buy one, get one free deal on Sealy Gel Posturepedic Mattresses. This is a fantastic chance to get new mattresses for the whole family, ensuring everyone is happy, healthy, and performing to the best of their abilities.

The sale is for a limited time only, so come in to shop today. You can also shop online 24/7 with our clickable insert.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Choosing Items to Complement Furniture

When you buy new furniture, whether it’s to furnish a new home or to revamp the style of your current home, the decision-making process doesn’t end there. Now you have to decide how you will decorate around the new pieces, including accessories, paint colors, area rugs, and more. It can be a daunting task, but there are tricks that can help you achieve the perfect look for your style. The Couch The couch is the single most important design element in your living room, as it is the piece of furniture around which you will build the rest of the space. It also serves as the focal point. Choosing a couch depends on many elements, including the size and layout of the room. What works for one place may not work for another. Versatile and stylish, a black leather couch is a classic choice, popular for good reason. This one from Bel is crisp, cool, and modern. Before deciding what to pair with it, begin by identifying what sort of style statement suits you best. Are you bold and modern, daring and edgy? Choose accent colors and pieces that work with the black to make a cool statement. Red and orange pop against a black sofa.
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Maybe black works for you because it’s classic and it’s as much of a statement as you want to make. Going with light grays, blues, or greens can help soften the bold effect of a black couch.

Emily Henderson recommends starting with your favorite color and building everything else around this. She suggests pinpointing your go-to color, the one you gravitate toward when it comes to clothes and accessories. Once you do this, you can select more colors that will complement the base color. Just as with choosing colors for a black sofa, you can go as bold or subtle as you like.

colorwheel.jpgRemember the color wheel that shows you what colors are warm and which are cool? She suggests incorporating both to achieve a balanced look. In general, cool tones are calming while warm tones are more exciting.

The final step is to choose an accent color that offsets the main color choice. This will help ensure the room has personality and doesn’t look too bland or monotone.



Final Touches The final pieces of the puzzle, the last remaining decisions that stand between you and a completely decorated room, are smaller items such as throw pillows, decorative items, and area rugs.

The rug is often the element that ties the entire room together, so it’s an important choice. One of the things you must consider when purchasing a rug is the size of a room. Bel offers rugs in various sizes and designs, making it easy for you to find the perfect fit.

Throw pillows are a vital part of accessorizing a room. They can completely change the personality of a couch. Go for at least two colors that match the color scheme. If you have an area rug that incorporates multiple colors in the room, pillows can help you draw out the colors you want to highlight. Finally, be careful with how many decorative items and knickknacks you use around a room. Stick with things that have special meaning to you, as we can accumulate many items over the years and they make easy targets for collecting dust. Purge some items from your collection now and then to make sure your home isn’t too cluttered.

Spring Furniture: New Arrivals!

MirrorCabinet.jpgThe arrival of spring brings with it the desire to start fresh and new. At Bel Furniture, we understand the need to spruce up a home with a new season, and we’re excited to show off our latest arrivals to help our customers achieve this goal. We invite you to breathe fresh life into your home with one of our gorgeous new pieces of furniture.

For the living room, we have several nice options.
This mirrored accent cabinet gives any room a bright
and fresh look, offering uniqueness while remaining 
versatile enough to blend with a variety of colors and styles.






This sofa/ottoman set evokes the spirit of spring with its bright, neutral tone and ability to coordinate well with a variety of bright accessories. Its soft, microsuede fiber fabric invites guests to sit down and stay awhile. Planning to host a gathering now that the weather is getting nicer? You’ll have plenty of seating space with this sofa, and it will be a treat to show off your gorgeous new furniture.
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In the kitchen/dining area, we carry a lot of great options that will give your home the updated look it needs. We have a wide selection of marble top table sets that add a touch of elegance to your home. This 5-piece dinette set
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In bedroom furniture, we have a lot of fun new items for children. We have bedroom sets in styles catering to boys and girls, such as our twin bed with a basketball headboard and our hot pink tufted bed with trundle. Sleepovers this spring will be more exciting with furniture that they will love to show off to their friends. For adults, we have a fresh spin on contemporary elegance with this bedroom set, available in King or Queen. A circular pattern adds a pleasing visual touch to the top of all the pieces. The theme is carried through the rest of the design with the drawer knobs and the pattern on the back of the headboard.
AX787.jpgThese are just a few examples of some of the fantastic new items we’ve gotten. Each week, we add more stock, so we invite you to stop in and shop at any one of our Bel locationsor shop online, 24/7







Thursday, January 15, 2015

More Organized New Year

When the new year arrives, most people have their mind on creating new beginnings: eating healthier, exercising more, taking time to relax. The goal of each one of these resolutions is to live a life that is happier, healthier, and less stressful--in short, to lead a life in which you are in control of your own well-being.

One major contribution to stress is disorganization. Having a home with lots of clutter can be more influential on your mental state than you may think. Not only can being disorganized waste time--for example, having to search for your keys every time you leave the house--it often serves as a visual representation of things in your life that you can’t quite get a handle on. If just reading this post stresses you out because you now feel strangely uncomfortable by how close this hits home, have no fear. Bel has several furniture options that will help you stay organized in each room of your home.


Living Room

The living room is a natural place for clutter to accumulate, because it’s usually centrally located in homes and is a natural gathering place for the whole family. Before you know it, the floor becomes littered with remotes, movies, magazines, and random toys. Yet you can easily avoid this by designating a place for each and every item. Consider this 4-piece entertainment center.
With multiple drawers and shelves, it has the capacity to keep anything you need tucked away and out of sight.

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Dining Room
When entertaining guests, do you find yourself pulling out bottles of wine from storage and rummaging in your cabinets for glasses? Make your life easier with a bar cart like the one pictured below. It has room for everything you need when hosting a party, from the beverages you serve to cocktail glasses and more. The flip-up top gives you a built-in serving area, and the side doors close for discreet storage.




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Bedroom
The bedroom is probably the most important room to keep organized because it’s where you go at night to unwind and get rest. Kicking back becomes difficult when stray clothes are scattered on the floor or chairs and electronics, books, and other random junk are cluttering your nightstand. This 6-piece bedroom set has plenty of drawers for anything and everything. They are roomy, allowing you plenty of space to place storage bins inside to organize even the smallest items

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The most important thing you can do is to develop a habit of putting things away after you’re finished using them. All of the storage in the world won’t help you unless your whole family gets on board with this new routine. Before deciding what will go where, it may be a good idea to sort through everything to see what you really need. Many of us have a habit of holding onto things for far too long. As you go through your things, make a note of the last time you used each item. If the answer is six months or longer, reevaluate whether you really need it. Unless it’s something sentimental, the answer is probably no.


All pieces featured on the blog are currently on sale with our Massive January Clearance. Stop in to see us to get your new, organized life started!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving: Texas Style

A Texas Thanksgiving

Texas is a state that likes to do things big and in its own way, and celebrating Thanksgiving is no exception to this. In fact, even the history of the holiday unfolds in an interesting way in the Lone Star State, and it serves as an example of the wonderful independence for which Texas is famous.

A Uniquely Texan History

The feast of the Pilgrims and Native Americans marks an important milestone in Thanksgiving history. However, though individual states and colonies went on to celebrate in their own ways after this, it did not become an annual tradition until later. Even before this feast, history records show that Spanish explorer Coronado recognized a Thanksgiving on Ascension Thursday with the Teya tribe of Native Americans at Palo Duro Canyon in West Texas.

In 1842, President of the Texas Republic Sam Houston established March 2 as Texas Independence Day, to “render evidence of national blessings” and give thanks for their good fortune.

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Sam Houston 1849–1853 by artist Thomas Flintoff

Soon after Texas became a state in 1848, Governor Wood established the first Texas State Thanksgiving, making Texas the first state in the South to recognize Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving became an official holiday when President Abraham Lincoln decreed it so, issuing in 1863 a Thanksgiving Proclamation, with the idea that a national holiday would bring all Americans together. However, this changed in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to change the official date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the second-to-last Thursday of the month after complaints from retailers that such a late holiday would gives shoppers one less week of shopping. This caused turmoil across the country, with school holiday schedules and time off work becoming disjointed and making it hard for families to spend the day together. Texas was one of only two states that decided to honor both holidays. In 1941, after it was determined that an extended holiday season did not significantly affect sales, Congress changed it back to fall on the fourth Thursday of the month.

Hosting This Year? Prep in Advance

Bel Furniture prides itself on being a Texas company, offering furniture designed by with Texas flair in mind. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you have seating for the whole family. Bel has some fantastic sales going on this time of year which will enable you to find exactly what you need to suit your home.


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This elegant set from Mollai Collections, one of our exclusive lines, offers plenty of seating space and chairs that will keep guests comfortable from carving the turkey all the way through the pecan and pumpkin pie.


Along with a full menu of delicious food, football is the other treat that many Texans will enjoy on Thanksgiving Day. Make sure you have adequate seating--remember, everyone will want to stretch out after the big meal. Consider a sectional that offers plenty of room for everyone. This one features reclining seats for maximum leg stretchability. Get it for less at our Holiday Sale, going on now.


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What to Serve?

Tradition still reigns supreme in Texas, so most people will enjoy traditional food such as turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and iced tea. However, there are ways you can spice up the selections to make your meal uniquely Texan. Liven up a turkey dish with parsley-mint salsa verde Invigorate your sweet potato dish by making chipotle smashed sweet potatoes Finally, kick up your dessert choices with Texas Hill Country Spiced Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Cream.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Get Fancy, Win Tickets to the 20/20 Experience World Tour!

Serious Justin Timberlake fans already know about his signature smooth style and how well he translates this presence on stage. After a five-year hiatus, he has returned to music and to touring with the 20/20 Experience World Tour. Of his five tours, this one has been called his most “hypnotic.” Since its launch, it has been met with overwhelming critical acclaim, with one reviewer describing the opening show as “a study in suave ease.”



It’s no surprise, then, that the Houston show scheduled for December 1 at the Toyota Center is already sold out. The tour has been going on for over a year now, with Timberlake traveling from North America to Europe, then Asia and Africa, back to North America and then to Australia, and now culminating in North America. With news of a baby on the way for JT, it could be awhile before he announces another trek around the world.


Don’t despair--your chance to see JT isn’t gone. Bel Furniture, along with 104.1 KRBE, has two tickets that we would be happy to give to a deserving fan. The Fancy Pants Photo Contest was designed to follow the theme of the single “Suit & Tie”, which discusses the joys of being well-dressed.


For the duration of the tour, fashion designer Tom Ford has collaborated with Timberlake to create over 600 costumes for Timberlake and his team, most of them black and white suits.


We want to see how much fans appreciate the joys of being well-dressed with their entries. Did you have a special night out recently that you want to share? Or do you have a snazzy outfit you’ve been meaning to wear but haven’t had the chance to yet? Whatever the occasion, we invite you to share your look with us. It could win you tickets to see JT!

The contest began earlier this month and runs through Wednesday, November 26. We already have several entries in the running. Currently in the lead is Mandie from Orange, who shared this picture of herself and her husband celebrating their 5 year anniversary in Las Vegas.



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Not far behind her is Alyssa from San Antonio, who donned a fancy dress to pose with her niece and cousin.


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With almost two full weeks left to go, there’s still have plenty of time to get your entry uploaded. Don’t miss this exciting chance to see JT--enter today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Decorating Ideas: Halloween and Day of the Dead

Fall and winter bring cooler weather and a rapid succession of holidays. Each month of the season, decorations go up, holiday colors brighten front yards and porches, and parties begin to fill the calendar. October kicks off the first month of seasonal fun with two holidays that fall near the end of the month: Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Each has its own distinct style that makes it easy to get into the decorating spirit.

Halloween: All Hallow’s Eve

Early on, Halloween was regarded as a night when wandering spirits of the dead were thought to prowl the streets. Over time, the interweaving of folklore swelled the legends into something even creepier with the addition of supernatural creatures who roamed with the spirits.

When choosing decorations, keep this spooky idea in mind. Set the mood with sinister music. Build tombstones to make a graveyard on your front lawn. Make it even creepier by jutting a skeleton hand or foot out from the dirt. Ghosts are scary; ghosts that move are scarier. Use a pulley system to move hanging ghosts between trees in your yard to spook trick-or-treaters. Drape spider webs over bushes and trees to give your house a haunted feel. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, add some boards over windows to make the house look condemned.

Inside, small touches will bring out the sinister feel of Halloween. Use candelabras to burn candles. Add black cats and ravens to your shelves. Place a witch’s cauldron in your kitchen. Of, if you want to stick to basics, pumpkins are classic. Place little ones on counters and as centerpieces on tables.

Day of the Dead: All Saints Day and All Souls Day

Day of the Dead takes a much different perspective on death. It’s not a somber, bone-chilling event, but rather a time to reconnect with deceased friends, family members, and ancestors in a festive spirit of remembrance and celebration. It’s a recognition of the inevitable cycle of life with a focus on humor and empowerment.  
Capture the essence of the holiday by creating an altar in your home for friends or relatives who have passed away. Decorate it with a variety of items to welcome spirits into the home. Incorporate orange and yellow marigolds, the flowers of the dead. You can use fresh flowers or create them yourself using multicolored tissue and pipe cleaner. Display calaveras, doll-like figures that humorously represent the hobbies, character, and interests of a person who has passed on, to ensure spirits will visit the right home.

Skulls and skeletons are an important part of the tradition as they represent the continuation of life and its cyclical turns. This originated with the Aztecs, who used to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals. Make or buy calacas, wooden skull masks, to wear while you dance in honor of the dead. Cut your own skeleton garland to drape along your walls. And don’t forget sugar skulls! You can easily make your own with a mold, sugar, and meringue powder.

Day of the Dead celebrates rebirth and renewal, and this is exemplified with bright, flashy colors with a focus on food and family. Pan de muertos, bread of the dead, is a bun with bone-shaped decorations on top that you can place out the night before for spirits. The family can then partake in this and any other treats when day breaks. If you celebrate both holidays, you can blend themes together to develop your own unique decorations that will be meaningful for your family. Place calaveras in your front-lawn graveyard. Pair spiders with the bright colors of Day of the Dead. As with any decorating venture, the important thing is to make it your own and have fun doing it!