Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to Hang Pictures Creatively


Hanging pictures is an art. If you’ve ever done it yourself, you know that’s a true statement. So how is it that your neighbors have great collections of family photos neatly arranged on the wall? How did they do it?

With a little planning and patience, hanging pictures can be done easily. Whether your goal is to hang a single dramatic serigraph or a collection of black and white sketches, by following a few steps you can make your art or photos look fabulous.

1)  Select your collage of photos or artwork according to a theme or some type of similarity. The art in the collection should include related subject matter or color. It’s O.K. for the shapes and sizes of the frames to vary.

2)  Pick an odd number of your favorite pieces. An odd number will have greater visual interest and greater flexibility. To create a uniform look, choose frames that are similar in style or finish. With photos, use mats that are the same width and color.

3)  Create templates of the pictures. Lay the pictures on brown craft paper on the floor making sure the grouping will fit within the available wall space.  Trace around the frames and cut out templates. Label the templates for identification and mark the location of the hanging wire or tabs.

4)  Attach the templates to the wall with reusable adhesive or poster tape. Be careful not to use masking tape because it will leave residue on the wall. Use the template and a pencil to mark on the wall where picture hangers should go.

5) Create balance within the grouping. Select a single favorite piece as the center of the collection, grouping the other pieces around it and keeping a consistent distance between each one.  It’s fine to hang pictures in a straight line if you have two or three matching pieces which will only coordinate when hung side by side.

6) Hang your artwork at eye level. The biggest mistake made when pictures are hung is that they’re placed too high on the wall.

Hanging art creatively will add warmth to a room and create visual interest. Visit Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses in Mt. Vernon and Newark to find just the right wall décor to hang in your home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter White


White is the new black. Wait, what? White is the new black – it’s IN, inviting, charming. And with it you can do so much!

During the 1990s and early 2000’s, bright, bold colors were “the new black”, meaning it was the in, hip, cool way to decorate. Everyone was painting at least one room mustard seed yellow, passion-on-purpose red or turquoise sea turtle. And while these trends certainly are not out, white is emerging as a popular color choice. Plus, when choosing bright white, antique white, beige, sand or another light, almost color-less hue, you can be uber-creative with your decorating choices because you aren’t competing with other colors. Read on for ideas to brighten up just one of your rooms this winter – to a winter white.

Bring in elements of nature to soften a mostly white room. If re-doing a dining room, arrange a large natural wood table in the center of the room. Place a glass centerpiece in the middle filled with fresh flowers or arrange sticks in an assortment of sizes for a beautiful and inexpensive twist. White candles, tealights or votives are beautiful for winter meals by candlelight. Want a less dramatic and more playful look? Choose a large white table with a gorgeous wooden bowl in the center filled with colorful fruits like oranges, lemons and limes. Simple. Elegant. Beautiful. And fun.


Make the color count. Display a passion. Redo the floor in a fun, unique, textural pattern. Choose other colors wisely. Do you love flowers? Wallpaper just one wall in a gorgeous floral print. Choose one accent piece in a bright color that matches one of the flowers. A mango colored table or chest brings playfulness and lightness to a white room. Or put pops of color throughout like the faux grass does in the photo above. Use wood, silver and more white in accessories such as boxes, vases, poufs, tabletops and frames.


Make a focal point. Choose one wall and buy an extremely large print, photo or mirror to fill the wall, creating a focal point for the room. Paint a wall or two a different color and let all of the other white pieces pull the room together. Decorate simply, and for accents choose colors that match the print and don’t overpower the room or the focal point.


Let nature do the work. Have a room with lots of windows? Create a white out inside and allow the outdoors to create the feel of the room. Even if the room doesn’t have large windows, an all white room can also feel serene in a bedroom. Instead of decorating with color, paint the walls white, purchase a large white poster bed, white dressers and nightstands, and a white – or off white setee. This looks makes a statement with beautiful hard wood floors and a sheepskin rug!

There really are no limits to your creativity and it’s hard to go wrong. Fill your home with beauty and the things you love starting today. It’s your haven. Feel good. Connell’s has all sorts of solutions to help you get started. Stop in to one of our two locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark. Great prices, excellent customer service and beautiful home furnishings await you! What are you waiting for? Make 2012 one of your happiest years yet!



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Decorating a Long, Narrow Room


We probably all remember the excitement we felt when we moved into our first apartment.  Some of us may even remember a similar feeling when, as empty nesters, we downsized to a smaller residence.  Both homes very likely had one feature in common – a long, narrow living area.

There’s no doubt decorating a single, elongated space is challenging. The larger, open spaces make arranging furniture tricky. Below are a few secrets to conquering these narrow spaces and providing chat-friendly areas within the room.

  • Create individual focal points within the room to draw visual attention.

Place an entertainment center at one end of the room or in a corner.  Hang a dramatic piece of art with an accent light above it. Brighten a fireplace with sconces, buffet lamps or tall candleholders.

  • Design separate intimate conversation areas.

Segment furniture in groupings adjacent to the focal points. Arrange club chairs or a chaise at angles in front of the entertainment center. Place a plush sofa perpendicular to the fireplace with twin accent chairs opposite the sofa.  Create a reading nook by arranging bookcases at right angles within a corner and adding a cozy recliner and lamp.

  • Anchor each zone with an area rug.

A rug will add personality and create visual separation from other sections of the room.  Select a rug which coordinates in style and color with the furnishings in each conversation area. To make the area look wider, place the rug at an angle.

  • Trick the eye into believing the room is shorter

Paint each end of the room a darker shade.  This trick will visually remove length from the room. Go a step further and paint the ceiling a light white.  A very light ceiling will draw the eye upwards instead of forwards down the room.

Your Connell’s sales representative in Mt. Vernon or Newark will be happy to help you select just the right furnishings and accents to create cozy conversation areas. With a little ingenuity, your long room will become a fashionable and versatile living space.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Find Your Style


You’ve made the big decision to redecorate and really want to get it right. That’s the good news. You’ve looked at all the glossy interior design magazines and love everything.  That’s the bad news. All the pages in the magazine look so great; you’re not sure which style is your favorite.

How can you redecorate if you don’t know your style? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you know which direction to go.

  1. Which room in your home is your favorite? Is it the den because it has vintage, rich fabrics?  Do you love the kitchen because it’s filled with casual wicker and sunlight?  Is it the bathroom because of its soft colors and romantic ruffles? It’s a sure bet your favorite room has elements of your style.
  2. When you go out for dinner on your anniversary or birthday, which eatery do your choose? Do you opt for the elegant, formal continental restaurant?  Is the western steak house your first choice?  Are you enticed by the colors of the Mediterranean bistro? Chances are the décor makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
  3. What type of art do you have on your walls? Art is a wholly personal purchase and a strong indicator of your style. Its color and form capture attention and emotion. Is there an abstract painting or poster hanging in your living room? If so, you’re drawn to contemporary design.  Does a Medieval tapestry hang in you hallway?  You’re definitely attracted to traditional furnishings.
  4. If you won the lottery, what would be your first décor purchase? Would it be a sleek leather sofa in red? Is a carved wood dining room calling your name? Is there an Oriental rug you absolutely can’t live without? An immediate purchase shows the item has been on your mind, and the style is one you truly desire.

By answering these short questions you’ll be able to see which style draws your attention.  Whatever your style choice, the goof-proof pros at Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses in Newark and Mt. Vernon can help you find perfect furniture and mattresses you’re going to love.