Connell's

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

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We all know the saying, “home is where the heart is.” But during the dead of winter when we’re stuck inside, our hearts grow tired and weary. It’s Ohio, we know what to expect and we also know it won’t be long before sips of sunshine are beaming through our windows each day. Maybe that’s why February and March seem the hardest months to endure. Connell’s to the rescue! Allow your  heart to sing again with design ideas to turn home time into a glorious time!

1. Because homes are designed to be functional, think about this during seasonal changes. The beauty of furniture is that it can be moved. Do it! Arrange a family game space. Pick one room and redecorate, creating a haven for friends and family to gather.  Think outside the box (room) and move a sofa from one room into another. Change or rearrange art, photographs, even televisions and home entertainment systems. Pick your most comfortable furniture and group it together into a “conversation pit”. Swap lighting and center a table in the pit for optimal board game madness. Bring on Banangrams and Pictionary. Move the home entertainment area for the best views of Scene It. Let the games begin.

2. Pick a day each week for culinary exploration. Cook up a storm around a chosen theme. Welcome Friday Family Fiestas! Make tacos, enchiladas, burritos, sopapillas, guacamole, refried beans, spanish rice and salsa. Try your hand at fried ice cream. Be amazed at your success and laugh at your culinary misfortunes. Either way, it’s time well spent with family while learning something new!

3. You don’t have to wait for spring to see signs of life. Green sprouts and flower buds await when you start an indoor garden. Pick the sunniest room of your home and clear it out. Either buy new plants or bring existing ones into the room together. Buy seed packets for your vegetables this year and plant them in your garden room. Read directions, research the internet and await patiently. Arrange a small seating area for  a quiet place to sit and reflect. Know that spring is just around the corner.

4. Rearrange your bedroom or your child’s bedroom. Add color where it was absent, or soften a currently bold look. Pull antique quilts out of storage or buy a comforter for a brand new look. While you’re rearranging furniture, move a chair, loveseat and/or end table into the room for a sitting space. Spend quiet Saturday mornings reading the newspaper or catching up on emails in your newly created space.

Be spontaneous. Be creative. Find ways to reinvent each room in your home. Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark for more home design ideas. Before you know it, Spring will be here and you’ll be outside again enjoying the beautiful sunshine!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Texturizing for Room Appeal

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Don’t let fear paralyze you into leaving a room bare and lifeless. Turn boring into vibrant! Color is important, as is furniture and layout, but you should never rely on these elements alone to liven up your room. Texturizing a room – or adding depth, dimension and pizazz – is the perfect solution to a dull space. Go crazy, have fun and give your room oomph with these fabulous ideas to add texture.

Start with the perimeter. Give your walls a little pick-me-up! Start by vising any home improvement store and picking your favorite paint color. Then choose an applicator that applies texture to your paint, such as a sponge. Try experimenting with paint glaze to add sheen to your walls, or even wallpaper a single wall instead of all of them.

Stonework isn’t just for your garden’s edge! Stone, tile and slate are all excellent choices that add depth, dimension and texture to any room. Create a backdrop behind your kitchen stove or sink from a few colorful tiles and create a pattern. Use slate for a chalkboard wall or select stone tiles for your bathroom floor. Options are only limited by your imagination!

Chenille, silk and flannel, oh my! Fabric is an excellent way to add texture to a room. Mix and match fabrics in coordinating or diverse colors on pillows, blankets and draperies. Don’t forget about furniture. Numerous options are typically available on that beautiful sofa you recently eyed in our showroom!

Speaking of furniture, options abound in finish. Traditional oak, maple and cherry are mainstays in the furniture industry, but more contemporary styles and finishes are also now available. Mix and match traditional and contemporary throughout the room. Choose from matte, rustic, shiny, mirrored and glass pieces.

“Out with the old, in with the new” is cliche, literally. Gone are the days of ridding your home of old to be replaced by new. Keep those family heirlooms and antiques, mixing them with new to create a one-of-a-kind look. When visitors ask where you found it, proudly say it was Aunt Betsy’s writing desk. How cool is that?

“Yum, is that baked apple pie I smell?” Scent in a  home adds appeal of its own. Candles, incense and reed diffusers come in all shapes, sizes and fragrances. Choose lemongrass for your entry, fresh laundry in your bathroom and hazelnut vanilla for your kitchen. Fragrance elicits emotion, so choose scents that make you feel great.

Decorating choices should be an expression of you. Are you bold, colorful and creative; or quiet, soft and contemplative? Let intuition be your guide as you embark on a home design adventure! Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today to get started designing a room – or entire home of your dreams.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Color Therapy

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Color therapy, or chromotherapy is a study that measures the vibrations colors emit. Electromagnetic energy and the wavelengths emitted by color can psychologically affect you and balance energy. For this reason, many people are exploring the idea of using it in home design and decoration. Read on for effects colors elicit, along with ideas for incorporating them into your design scheme.

Red stimulates brain function and causes excitability. While people with high blood pressure and heart conditions should limit red in the home, small amounts can attribute to expression and creativity. Red picture frames are fun along with live or silk flowers for a vibrant pop of color which takes up little space.

Orange elicits joy, happiness and creativity. Oranges themselves, placed along with lemons and limes in a clear bowl-style vase, make a wonderful focal point on a kitchen table or mantel. Paintings with small amounts of orange create an interesting whimsical feel in any room.

Yellow encourages self esteem and confidence. Because it’s not typically associated with either gender, yellow is a great choice for a child’s room. Studies show that changes occur in self esteem during the tween years and many children go through periods of lacking self esteem. Along with other encouragement, use yellow to increase self confidence subconsciously.

Green is soothing and relaxing. It supports balance plus aids depression and anxiousness. For this reason, green is a fabulous color for any room. If you are typically on-the-go and under pressure, make your bedroom a haven with walls of sea foam green. Whenever possible incorporate live plants into your design for both the soothing effect and fresh, clean air.

Blue is cooling and elicits clarity, insightfulness and patience. Place pillows and a throw in light blue and cream to soften an otherwise masculine brown leather sofa. Water accessories like a fountain add a slight hint of blue plus calming white noise to an office.

Violet enhances feelings of peacefulness. It tunes us into the vibrations of our spiritual selves and our intuition. Furniture has gone beyond traditional colors to include all those in the rainbow. A purple sofa would make a statement along with eliciting a calm demeanor.

Ideas are as diverse as the variations of colors in the rainbow. Let your own taste, knowledge and intuition be your guide as you incorporate them into your home. Get started by visiting one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Five S’s of Studiousness

Success begins in the bedroom. No really, it does. Your child’s success in school is directly related to the functional design of his/her bedroom. Ensure your child puts his/her best foot forward each and every day in the classroom. Begin by building a cozy, comfortable bedroom around the five ‘S’s’: sleep, study, storage, stimulus and safety.

Sleep

On average, children need eight to nine hours of sleep per night to maintain their attention span in the classroom. Start by turning off the TV and giving your child a comfortable bed.

Study

Providing your child with a fun and creative bedroom is only half the battle in making them star students. Now you must motivate them to study!

  • Give them plenty of space to spread out and work. Make sure the desk you choose has adequate space to allow them to lay out their books, pencils, pens, paper, and markers. Look for a child’s desk with built-in shelving for books and supplies, or consider a long rectangular table.
  • Hang a calendar or bulletin/dry-erase board over their desk and encourage them to use post-notes and colorful dry-erase markers. This will teach your children how to follow a schedule and alleviate any confusion of assignment due dates.
  • Set aside a designated homework time for your child – after school or after dinner – and give them space in their room when they need it, and be available to help them.

Storage

School supplies in addition to your child’s hordes of toys equal a clutter nightmare! Prevent this disaster by outfitting their room with furniture designed for extra storage.

Stimulus

Kids will be kids … and what better place to be a kid than in your their own bedroom. Let their room be a refuge, a place for daydreams as well as sweet dreams.

  • Allow a little leeway in choosing their favorite paint colors and bedding to let your kid’s personality shine through.
  • Provide toys that stimulate their imagination like building sets, paper, crayons, or dolls.

Safety

Looking out for the safety of our children means they will sleep safe and sound, and we as parents will rest assured they aren’t in danger.

  • Depending on your child’s age, make sure the ends of furniture are rounded and protectors are in the electrical sockets.
  • Place a nightlight in your child’s room.
  • To make sure your child is calm in their room, use soft colors or pastels to paint the walls or for decoration.
  • Teach them to put away their toys and remove clutter from the floor. This will curb anxiety and prevent tripping over that race car and hurting themselves in a fall.

This advice will help your child do well in school, and you’ll do well at  home by cutting down on the inevitable complaints about math, history and writing homework! Stop by one of Connell’s two locations and give your child the gift of a studious and beautiful bedroom!