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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Decorating a Long, Narrow Room

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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, September 14, 2011

Arranging a seating area

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No, it’s not true. Your home isn’t plotting against you. It’s just that each room has its unique challenges.  Take living areas for example.

If you live in an older-ranch style home, your living room might be long and narrow.  If your home is a modern two-story residence, you may have a “great” room big enough for an army encampment.  Yet if you happen to be an apartment dweller, your living room may be barely large enough for a sofa.

Here are a few tips for arranging seating to solve these pesky problems.

Start with a focal point. A focal point is an architectural detail or decorative accent that draws immediate attention within a room.  Most family areas have a fireplace or dramatic window as a focal point.  In your home it might be a striking painting or an aquarium. You’ll want to arrange seating in a group to take advantage of this focal point.

Look at traffic flow. Take at look at the location of doorways.  Will family traffic move through the room from side-to-side or at an angle? Seating should be placed to allow for traffic to pass easily around and not through the grouping.

Consider Your Options. There is no rule that says a sofa must sit against a wall.  In fact, placing a sofa perpendicular to a wall creates drama. There is also no rule that says a sofa and loveseat must be combined in a seating arrangement; it frequently isn’t the most logical or comfortable option.

In fact, there is no rule that says a sofa needs to be used at all.  A comfortable seating area can be created by combining a chaise or loveseat with accent chairs.

What’s most important is to create an inviting conversation area.  Some rooms just need a little creativity.

Get Creative. Segment long, narrow rooms into separate seating areas.  One spot might include two small accent chairs facing a sofa, while the other seating location may have two armless chairs flanking a bistro table.  As an alternative, a comfy discussion area can be created in an out-of-the-way corner.

Use area rugs to define separate seating areas in a very large room.  A sectional sofa can become a comfortable conversation nook at one end of a “great” room with a group of loveseats or accent chairs at the other end.

When a room is square, concentrate seating in one single area. If family traffic flows along the edge of a living room, place twin sofas on either side of a fireplace or entertainment center.

If your home is an urban condo with a very small living room, go with a loveseat or apartment-size sofa and a single small accent chair and ottoman.  The ottoman can be moved to provide additional seating as needed.  Think about adding a cocktail table with nested seating underneath which can be pulled out when friends arrive.

Visit Connell’s today in Mt. Vernon or Newark and let one of our sales representative show you the many seating options available in store today.