Connell's

Friday, May 23, 2014

Let There be Light

Lighting is an essential décor element of any room. Lamps brighten our lives, add fashion and build atmosphere. They can be dramatic, elegant, stark or utilitarian.

Lamps are the element that finishes out the look of a room. They create visual interest and tie together all style accents. It goes without saying we can’t live without them. Stop by either of Connell’s showrooms in Mt. Vernon or Newark and ask us about our luxurious lighting accessories designed to brighten your home and accent your home furnishings.

Below are a few tips for brightening a home with lamps:

460808109Think about the purpose of the lighting. Where is light most needed in the room? Lamps fall into three types: general, task and accent. While general lighting provides overall illumination to a large area, accent lighting adds a warm glow to a small, intimate space. Task lamps focus light on a specific area where a job needs to be done.

Overhead lamps tend to cast harsh light. When general lighting is needed, look to hanging lamps instead. Formal or casual pendants can be hung over a dining room table, a counter or in a small out-of-the way space. Try grouping together several small pendants in a row over a sofa, or hang a larger lamp with a tailored, fabric covered, barrel shade between two recliners.

Don’t forget about chandeliers. Now used everywhere from home offices to spacious closets, these unique lamps can be found in many sizes and styles from austere modern, to country casual and elegant traditional. Hang a tiny chandelier in a powder room or over a child’s bed.

Use small accent lamps to add unexpected light in an unusual area. Place one on a kitchen counter, in a bookcase or on a powder room vanity.

Don’t be afraid to use sconces. These versatile décor accents are stylish additions to a wall. Place twin sconces on either side of a mirror, or at the end of a hall. When a bedside table is too small for a table lamp, use a sconce instead.

Floor lamps are another great way to add light to a small area. Tuck a torchiere away in a corner near a fireplace. When light is needed in a game room and a table lamp just won’t work, place a floor lamp in a corner near the pool table.

Look for lamps that blend with the style of each room and match the scale of your current décor. Mix and match table lamps, one with an urn base and one with a candlestick base, or one in porcelain and one in acrylic. Group large and small lamps together on a buffet table.

Use shades in coordinating fabrics and finials to add color and create unity.

Ready to look for a fabulous lamp? Stop into either of our showrooms in Mt. Vernon or Newark and let our knowledgeable sales staff help you with your selection.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fun with Faux Flowers: Decorating with Botanicals

With spring finally here and the days gradually growing longer, it’s easy to get excited with the sun shining and the weather warming. Now’s the perfect time to go outside and plant a flower bed or garden, along with plenty of other yard work to make our home’s exterior look beautiful. Nonetheless, springtime floral beauty doesn’t have to just stay outdoors. Bring spring’s beauty inside and recreate the atmosphere of nature indoors with faux greenery and faux floral flowers.

481419781Often overlooked and underappreciated, faux floral flowers and trees bring life to a room by adding warmth and color. For the uninitiated, ‘faux’ means imitation or artificial. A far cry from the plastic plants of yesteryear, today’s permanent botanicals are gorgeous décor accents. New manufacturing techniques, inventive designs and cotton/poly fabrics have resulted in breathtakingly realistic foliage, blooms and branches.

It’s easy to decorate with faux floral flowers and trees. Botanicals are available in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colors and styles to complement and enliven any décor.

The first step is to walk your home and look for open, bare or colorless areas. Consider the fashion style of each room, along with fabrics, textures and finishes of the furniture and decorative accessories.

Think about the location of doorways and the height of ceilings. Like any other decorative accent, faux plants will highlight and complement your other décor. Color and scale will need to balance with existing home furnishings.

When shopping at Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses in Mt. Vernon or Newark for greenery or floral arrangements, make sure you know the size and position of the areas where the plants will be placed so that you can select coordinating shapes and styles.

As a rule of thumb, trees should extend no higher than two feet below a ceiling. Allow 6”-10” around floor plants for family traffic.

Does the living room have a bare corner? Consider adding a dieffenbachia or ivy topiary. Is there a dark spot next to your armoire or entertainment center? Think about adding a ficus tree. Are your bookshelves cluttered with collectibles and photo frames? A simple floral in a transitional container will add color and interest.

A fashion statement can be created by adding a large, dramatic floral arrangement to a dining table or hearth. Is your dining table long and rectangular? Consider an elongated arrangement with faux fruit or vegetables. If the table is round, think about a tall arrangement to draw the eye upward.

For smaller areas, try grouping three small floral arrangements of coordinating colors and different heights on a table.

Don’t forget style when making your selection. For a traditional room, a boxwood topiary or arrangement of calla lilies in a sculpted ceramic or brass container is appropriate. Hydrangeas, star lily and weeping fichus in an aged or fluted urn will coordinate well with Italian Tuscan décor. Do you lean toward Asian décor? Select Japanese maple, nandina or orchids in an Oriental fishbowl or dark wicker basket.

Whatever your style, your Connell’s sales representative will be able to help you find a faux botanical to accent your décor.