Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Importance of Play in Life


Don’t you love to watch children play? In altogether different worlds, children make sense of their lives through play. It’s essential, and as parents we can learn so much from our children. A playroom serves double duty in encouraging play and keeping clutter to a minimum in the home. Create the perfect space to foster growth and imagination within your kids. Children should have a place of their own, and while an entire room is ideal, it isn’t necessary. No matter the size of your home, a playroom is possible. A closet is big enough for a reading nook or computer area. Read on for ideas to create a sacred space for the young minds you love.

Consider design based on the ages and preferences of the children who will use the room. Plan for today and for tomorrow. When choosing furniture, less is more. Allow plenty of open space for play. Keep pieces simple and in neutral colors so they continue to adapt and function over the years. Limit permanent fixtures so the room can grow and adapt with your child.

Next consider the size of your home and space available. Choose colors and possible theme. A playroom is the perfect place to showcase expression and creativity. Map it out. Basements, attics and small spaces underneath the stairs are ideal choices for a child’s playroom, especially in smaller homes. Include your children in the planning if possible. Will the walls be plain or have designs? Are you artistic or do you know someone who is? If free-hand painting isn’t an option, removable art decals are another option for adding a whimsical feel to the room.

Creativity stations allow for various functions. If a whole room is not available due to space, identify a few separate areas within your home. A reading corner allows for quiet introspection, while an art area encourages creativity. Choose furniture that suits each station. Chairs, benches, shelves and lighting are essentials in the reading nook, while a large flat surface provides the space needed in an art area.

Storage is essential in all play areas to keep the space organized. Choose options easiest for kids to get in and out of effortlessly. There are numerous designs available and many can double as shelves and writing surfaces. Be creative and allow your children to do the same when determining storage solutions.

Stop by one of the two beautiful Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today for other ideas and inspiration to enhance your home.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nature Inspired Design

Do you love the outdoors and wish you could bring more of it inside? You can with nature inspired design. It isn’t that hard to bring the outdoors in. Take a look around the next time you go for a walk or hike and get inspired. For some ideas to get your brain moving, read on.

Everybody loves fresh flowers. From roses to hyacinth to tulips to daisies, the colors span the rainbow and beyond. Pick or purchase bouquets and display them proudly on your dining room table, in the entryway, even in the bathroom. Everybody loves fresh flowers.

Think outside the box? No, just think outside. Don’t stop at flowers. Choose twigs and flowering tree branches to display as centerpieces as well. These add texture and dimension to simple fresh cut flowers. They are even beautiful as stand alone items in a vase.

Edible decor is fun, practical and serves multiple purposes. Buy fruits and vegetables of varying shapes, colors, sizes and smells to display within a decorative centerpiece or bowl. Use as decoration, eat when hungry and replace when gone.

Accessorize simply and beautifully. Buy frames or prints with flowers, fields, animals and outdoor scenes. The frames themselves might have pressed flowers within them, or you might choose a simple wood frame with a beautiful print that includes an outdoor display.

Go natural and get comfy with pillows and blankets. Choose prints with flowers, leaves, rocks, seashells and more. These are simple, effective and inexpensive ways to bring the nature inspired design theme home.

Be bold. Purchase a sofa, loveseat or chair that includes a nature scene or design. Retro floral patterns are another option versus an actual outdoor scene and it gives the room an updated chic appeal. Alternatively, stick with a completely neutral color and accessorize to the hilt.

Your nose knows. Add fresh flower potpourri, scented candles, reeds and more to layer in the olfactory senses.

Love walking barefoot? Find a natural textured rug or two to complete your nature inspired design. You’ve got visual, olfactory and tactile senses covered at once.

Don’t overdo it. Some elements in the room must be neutral. Easy peasy. Include colors with similar hues as those natural elements and your job is done.

Stop in today to one of the two Connell’s locations for additional ideas and inspiration. Find us on Facebook for tips, tricks and sweepstakes. As always, count on exceptional service, great value and the best home furnishings around.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Flowers

Add spring flowers to the inside and outside of your home; it’s an awesome and natural way to create a beautiful expression in your personal space. Start with a spring flower garden, plant a few rows of bulbs along the side of your home, add a shrub or flowering tree, or buy a window box or two. Surprisingly it doesn’t take long for bulbs to take root and produce flowers; you could have petals popping up by next spring. Read on to learn about a few varieties you should consider as you’re planning. Let the flowers grow outside then use them for bouquets, larger arrangements and bud vases in different spots throughout your home. Grow enough and you’ll have fresh, live flowers in each and every room.

Start with the traditional varieties. Daffodils, tulips, tiger lillies, poppies and forsythia seem to be everywhere, but they never go out of style. Bulbs or roots can be planted during many times of the year and will often take root quickly and flower by the next season. These varieties don’t have much (if any) fragrance, but they are beautiful in their myriad colors. While daffodils are typically yellow or white, tulips come in the colors of the rainbow and these two types of flowers displayed together make a great springtime bouquet. Forsythia is bright yellow and there is no mistaking spring’s arrival when it blooms.

Add in some shrubs. Azaleas and Redbud shrubs both provide beautiful pink and purple hues to your lawn. Easily take branches and add into other flowering vases to provide both color and texture.

Don’t forget flowering trees. Throughout Ohio you’ll see Cherry Blossom Trees, Dogwoods and Peach Blossoms. From fuchsia to bright white and soft pink; all are gorgeous and you’ll never tire of the beauty they bring to both your lawn and home. Trees are great because the branches provide a much different look and structure in a vase than a simple flower.

Your nose knows. Aromatic beauties for the garden include Gardenia, Hyacinth, Jasmin and Lilac. These are musts for any garden and welcome additions to bouquets in the home. The smells alone are reason enough to include them so you can adorn your home after they’ve blossomed.

Bud vases are playful and fun. While it’s great to have a flower garden for outdoors, planting them for the express purpose of bringing inside is an added bonus. Large buds are great for large vases, while small buds are perfect for bud vases. Choose from Phlox, Primrose, Scilla, Early-Star-of-Bethlehem and Crocuses.

Create a space you can’t wait to come home to. Decorate with beautiful home furnishings from Connell’s, where you’ll find the best value, exceptional customer service and variety beyond compare. .Tips from our blog are just the icing on the cake. Stop in to see us at one of our two locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today, and visit us on Facebook to tell us what you’re looking for next. We love to serve you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Enticing Entertainment

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It’s that time of year again – Springtime! With Spring comes a multitude of events immediately following – Easter, Memorial Day, Summertime sports schedules, Fourth of July and more. You know what that means, right? More travel and potential guest arrivals. Get your home ready for the upcoming events by planning for both expected and unexpected guests. There are several simple things you can do to be prepared instead of running around like crazy when Cousin Mildred pops in out of nowhere.

Let the light shine. Replace entryway lights with fancy colored lighting that says “Welcome. Come on in.” There are other lights besides white to spruce up your entryway. Choose yellow or blue for a change. Multi-colored lights that cast shadows in different directions are fun too.

Keep the foyer or entryway clear. Get rid of the clutter. First impressions are everything. Move items typically used everyday to the rear entry and begin using it as a personal family entrance everyday so the front entry is always ready for guests.

Create an entertainment space. Choose one room and redecorate for the sole purpose of entertaining. Move seating together in a way that invites sharing and conversation. Add throw pillows for both accents and comfort.

Organize a guest closet. If you have an extra closet in the house, organize just for guests. Stock towels, wash clothes, toilet paper, new toothbrushes, a map of the area and other unique items. Voila! You’re ready for any unexpected guest.

Buy a sofa bed. Sofa beds are wonderful because they double as a standard sofa and bed all-in-one. They come in a variety of  shapes, colors, textures and sizes to make your room unique. Check out all of our selections!

Welcome the new season as well as guests with open arms! As always, stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today for more ideas to make your house a home. Always expect great value, exceptional customer service and beautiful home furnishings. Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook for more ideas and special promotions.