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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Create Style with Texture and Color

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Create MOOD, FEEL and STYLE by using texture in the home! Turn boring into WOW!

We get so used to our homes; it is the place we spend the majority of our time, after all. Give your home an overhaul this fall or just spice things up a bit. Connell’s has all sorts of ideas to help you turn your home into a place that inspires!

Start with color and build. Cover large spaces with bold, beautiful color; and use soft, delicate colors in smaller rooms so as not to overpower. Play with pattern, inter-mixing bold and dainty. Build your “theme” by including other patterns with different shapes and sizes. Keep colors and varying scale in mind to keep it cohesive. Make a statement with a large floral pattern on a few pillows, small checks and solids on a few more and vertical stripes for your draperies, which will also make the room seem taller.

Throw in the texture. Start with just a few and then add more as it makes sense depending on boldness of color and the size of the room. Sheen textures are perfect for formal spaces, while muted textures give a room a more casual comfortable appeal. Throw out the rules, if you so choose – it’s YOUR home, after all!

Relate similar objects, then fill with color and fabric patterns. If you want to avoid making the room too busy, keep the background color neutral and uniform. Start with only a few colors you really like and know you won’t tire of.

When thinking of pattern, consider the entire space. Doorways, floors, shape of furniture and accessories may all have patterns within them. If you’ve always had the sofa against the wall, angle it to create a triangular shape in the room. A square or rectangular table in the corner can be replaced by a circular one. When you’re ready to buy new furniture, replace your overstuffed sofa with a modern, streamlined piece with square edges.

Be BOLD! Confidently mix several patterns and watch how the room transforms into something entirely different. Allow one large-scaled pattern to dominate over one medium-scaled floral and another geometric. Get creative in your thinking and add two more smaller scaled accent patterns and textures.

Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations today in Mt. Vernon or Newark to get more ideas and inspiration, then talk to a sales representative to make those design dreams a reality.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to Hang Pictures Creatively

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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

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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, April 6, 2011

Creating a Reading Nook

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Beautiful spring days bring warmth and invite us outside to engage in activities we love, but the cooler evenings draw us into the comfort and warmth of our homes. Create a quiet, comfy spot this spring to curl up with your favorite book while sipping that cup of coffee or hot tea. Instill a love of reading in your kids by giving them the example of a quiet hour each evening in a beautiful contemplative space. Invite them into the space with their books and share in the adventure of a great story. Read on for tips to create a reading nook for your home.

Choose a quiet space, free of distractions. You don’t need much room – a corner of the bedroom, the end of a hallway, or inside a large walk-in closet are all perfect places to call your own. If you choose a larger room for your reading nook, partition the area in a way that creates a cozy, secluded feeling.

Consider lighting. Take advantage of natural light whenever possible by creating your space close to a window. Place a table lamp nearby for overcast days and evening reading time. Choose three-way bulbs with warm light so you can alternate brightness to suit your mood.

Make it your own. Pick colors and patterns that you’re drawn to and make you feel great. Place a few bookshelves nearby for easy access to books and magazines. If the space is large enough, include a small end table or cocktail table for drinks, eyeglasses and other essentials. Add photos, fresh flowers, a houseplant and other knick-knacks for ascetic appeal.

Choose a comfortable seat. Choose a big, comfy chair that you simply melt into; or one of the solid, sturdy varieties to support your back. Be certain there’s enough cushion to cradle you comfortably for long periods of time. Add in pillows for extra softness when you need it and a blanket for warmth.

What are you waiting for? Can’t you hear that corner of your home calling your name? Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations today in Mt. Vernon or Newark for more ideas to create comfortable, inviting spaces in your home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Storage Solutions

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Old Man Winter won this year! Undoubtedly, the cold halted all outdoor pursuits and havoc prevailed on an otherwise organized home as you were forced to stay indoors. As always, Connell’s is here to help. We have furniture and accessories to create the perfect mood. Lucky for you we also have storage solutions to help you stay organized as you transition from one season to the next.

Oh no! Your winter coats have taken over your house! Put them away by clearing out a small space in your entryway for a new coat closet that can double as an organizer during the warmer months. Small, movable closets are available which measure just a few feet wide and stand about six feet tall. Most have hooks, a closet area to hang larger coats and jackets, plus drawers and cubbies. Once winter has passed, use the closet for storage of other often-used items such as raincoats, umbrellas and book bags.

Storage cubes and ottomans keep family game night within easy reach. These convenient storage places are perfect for living room or family room use. Keep cards and board games out of site when not in use and use these storage spaces as a playing area when you need one fast! Magazines, remotes and books can also be easily hidden to keep clutter at bay.

The kids’ rooms become messy easily as more time is spent indoors. Puzzles, games, Legos and video games become a giant pile after just one afternoon. Storage solutions for kids are both fun and functional. Purchase shelves with removable baskets to individually store items. Color code toys and games by basket for easy clean up and retrieval.

A writing desk is a wonderful family organizational tool. Adding this piece of furniture to your home organizes the most chaotic mess of all – paper. This family space saver is a great way to keep everyone’s schedules coordinated and within easy reach. Mail has a central place to land before opening and organizing. Choose separate drawers for each person in the family. Use the center drawer for commonly shared items such as pens, paper, scissors, tape, stamps and paper clips.

Get organized now, before bigger Spring cleaning begins over the next few months. You’ll feel lighter and happier when you do. Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark today for other ideas and inspiration to get—and keep—you organized.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That’s Entertainment

Now is the best time of the year for friends, family and entertaining! Whether you’re having a themed party or just an informal gathering of friends, Connell’s has both ideas and home furnishings in  stock! Stop in today for that perfect new piece of furniture or home accessory to add a little extra spark to your abode. Connect with us on Facebook for daily inspiration and special offers. And absolutely read on for spring/summer entertainment ideas!

Use the weather to your advantage. Get out the grill, set up that badminton and cornhole game and enjoy the company of friends in the great outdoors. Ask friends to bring a side dish while you provide the grillin’ grub. Spread your patio or porch furniture out into conversation areas throughout your yard or property.

Have a Sunday brunch or tea party. Invite friends and family over for an informal Sunday gathering after church. Create and place a beautiful springtime centerpiece on your dining room table and in your entryway. Arrange a few additional seating areas with the help of portable benches, ottomans and storage cubes. Play soft music and start your week off right! Allow guests to mingle indoors and out depending on weather.

Try something new. Warmer weather invites growth which produces beautiful fruits and vegetables from the garden. Choose your favorite fruit or vegetable and find a new recipe with it as the featured food item. Lighter fare like appetizers and chilled soup are wonderful selections this time of year.

Flowers on food? Yes! Use real flowers on food as a garnish – but make sure to inform your guests that they are just that! Whip up simple vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing and add beautiful spring flowers to the top for that extra pizazz. Your guests will say, “how beautiful! I never thought of that!” and you’ll look like a domestic goddess. Score!

Celebrate family! It’s not necessary to invite guests to have a good time. Announce to the kids that you are having a Family Night and throw a party for yourselves. Let the kids help make kabobs and other finger foods. Have them set the table and get out the games. Whether outside or in, a good time is sure to be shared by all.

At Connell’s, we don’t just sell furniture and mattresses! We help you celebrate your home. After all, there’s “no place like  home.” Stop in to one of our two locations today for home furnishings, mattresses, accessories and other ideas to turn your home into a wonderful gathering place for friends, family, and acquaintances. And don’t forget to find us and share your experiences on Facebook! Stop back next week for more home ideas and design tips!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Decorating with Traditional Style

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You’re not one to take big risks when you shop for furniture. When you buy something, you want to make sure it’s a classic that won’t go out of style next year.

You like traditional decor but are afraid of having a home that’s filled with your grandmother’s stodgy furniture.

Not to worry. Today’s traditional decor is personified by elegance and history, yet is fresher and more relaxed than in the past. Here’s how to decorate in a traditional style and still keep your home looking fashionable and up-to-date.

Choose furniture with lighter finishes and clean lines

Instead of purchasing an armoire in a dark walnut or mahogany finish, select a light cherry or oak. Lighter finishes create a more casual relaxed feel. In place of tables with ornately carved details, pick pieces with graceful curves or straight lines.

Look for understated fabrics with open patterns

Rather than heavily textured brocade or velvet fabrics, stay with smooth cotton and poly blends. Mix and match solid colors with loose florals and stripes instead of paisleys and foulards. Keep embellishments to a minimum. While tassels add visual interest, too many can become distracting.

Select colors in mid-tones

Jewel tone colors are so yesterday. Go for hues in neutral creams, tans, whites, grays, and lavenders and add a few bold accents for pop. Softer colors create a more contemporary, relaxed look. If your goal is to be more formal, select shades of peach and green accented with aubergine and tan.

Keep accessories to a minimum

Nothing makes a room look more outdated than tons of accessories. Remember the adage, less is more. Instead of a group of accessories on a table or mantel, go with one statement piece.

By following these few tips, you can create a traditional look that’s current with today yet illustrates classic style.  Your Connell’s sales representative will be happy to help you find just the right traditional furnishings to decorate your home. Visit our two convenient locations today in Mt. Vernon and Newark and browse our blog for even more great decorating tips.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Design Inspires our Lives

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We all have homes and most of us like to decorate. That’s why Connell’s Furniture and Mattresses features design tips and decorating ideas in this blog. As we explore interior design – both past and present – we ask you to think about why you design the way you do. How do you choose furniture and accessories when you shop? This week we want to hear from you! Your design feedback and ideas will help us help you.

The history of interior design is vague as to its beginning. Some historians speculate it started with cavemen drawing in their caves and utilizing different areas for various functions, depending on light and other natural resources. Briefly going back in time, most experts agree however, that the first sign of purposeful design originated with the lavishly decorated Egyptian tombs.

Moving forward to the time of the Renaissance, art and architecture were at the forefront and interior design began to take shape. Form and function were still important, but the wealthy lavishly styled their homes with luxury and beauty in mind. Churches and other interesting architectural structures also formed the beginning of design as we know it today.

Early American design featured artisanship and function, while the Industrial Revolution literally revolutionized how we see and use our homes today. Throughout the last 100 years, items for the home became affordable for the masses. With a wide variety of furniture, accessories, electronics and appliances, most Americans have a multitude of choices. Shouldn’t you choose wisely the items placed in your home, as you spend the majority of your time there?

We want to hear from you. Why do you choose the pieces you do for your home? Is it simply for form or function? Does beauty appeal to you? Do you entertain? Have a family? What about comfort, brand name and quality? No matter your reason or taste, we offer furniture and styles for everyone. Leave us a comment, then stop in to see a Connell’s sales representative to learn more. Be sure to return regularly for other design topics in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Defining Your Design Style

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With so many choices of furniture and accessories, defining your design style may be difficult. Luckily, sticking to strict rules regarding design isn’t as important as it used to be. Still, there are a few distinct styles of furniture to choose from. Your decision is whether or not to strictly use one style or to mix and match them to fit your needs, personality and living space. Here are a few styles, along with their characteristics:

Traditional design style is elegant with attention to detail. Its classic, calm, orderly look is the most popular style in America. Lines are curved and there may be additional fine detailing in a rich colored woodwork such as cherry. Colors are muted and fabrics are rich.

Transitional style is neither traditional nor contemporary, but somewhere in between. History is preserved in some pieces of furniture, while others get sleeker lines and an updated feel to them. In a transitional style home, curves and straight lines are present. Wood color remains rich and other colors throughout the home are often muted, relying more on texture than color to complete the design scheme.

Contemporary and modern style both feature clean, straight lines and more solid colors than traditional or transitional. Mirrors and mirrored pieces of furniture along with polished silver are prevalent. Geometric shapes and a sense of openness gives contemporary style a minimalist feel. The use of bright colors is found more often in modern style than in traditional.

Country style has a distinct feel to it. More casual than traditional and warmer than contemporary, country style features lighter colored woodwork for the furniture. Soft floral and gingham prints are used in shades of red. Black and soft white are also used a lot in this style.

Eclectic style is much harder to define as it borrows from several design styles. For an eclectic style to work, central themes must tie the room together. Colors can vary and the background is often neutral with pops of color throughout the room. Furniture finishes are mixed and the use of old and new are typically incorporated. Imagination and surprise is a sensed in an eclectic room.  Antiques and flea market finds are sometimes re-purposed and mixed with new contemporary looking pieces.

Stop by either of Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark to see furniture and accessories in each of these unique styles, then decide for yourself what your style is.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

De-clutter for the Holidays

Can you believe it’s December already? The tree is up – or will soon be – and holiday decorations have taken over the house. But the trouble is you feel more disorganized than festive. Let Connell’s come to the rescue! Stay in the holiday spirit, be merry and de-clutter your home all at once with our tips below:

Reorganize your closet. This simple act of organizing a hidden space you use every day is empowering. Install an organizer and make space for everything. Closet storage solutions will make any size closet feel bigger and you’ll stay organized.

Revamp your bookshelves. Instead of packing them full of books, add accessories and decorative items. Stack books in interesting directions for an ascetically pleasing look. Donate old books to a thrift store or consignment shop so someone else can enjoy them this holiday season!

For cluttered entryways install built in shelves and benches. You can also add pegs for coats and cabinets to store loose items. Only keep regularly used items in entryways and store all others out of site. For entryways with limited space make the most of wall space or add a small table with drawers. Storage cubes can easily slide underneath.

Rid yourself of loose paper. Go through old magazines, newspapers and school work. Recycle or use them as wrapping paper in lieu of the store-bought kind. Get creative. Use beautiful pictures within magazines on appropriate presents and add a holiday ribbon and ornaments for creative adornment.

Clear the kitchen counter. Part of the holiday season entails additional entertaining, cooking and baking. Rid your counter-tops of appliances not in regular use. Store them elsewhere or donate them to a second hand store or homeless shelter.

Whew! Don’t you feel better already? Deck the halls and enjoy the holidays with a light heart and de-cluttered home. Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations today for more holiday decorating tips and design ideas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Love Your Kitchen

The last 100 years have brought tremendous change to the kitchen. Dual income families and indoor plumbing have both played a role in the way we now use this central part of our home. A place to cook, eat, share and laugh, the kitchen truly is the heart of the home, and a few simple changes will transform an uninspired kitchen into a room that draws families together.

Create a gathering space. With hectic schedules, the kitchen is always the gathering spot after a long day. Allow it to be functional. Define a space for kids to do homework comfortably while snacking. Make room for a computer or laptop for family use, to pull up favorite recipes, read current events together and research schoolwork.

Clutter control. Most active families are busy with events outside the home. Organize the kitchen. Clear clutter from countertops, making meal prep easier and more efficient. Leave out only functional items and store decorative accessories. Pull pots and pans out and hang them in easy reach, thereby making space for other items to be stored.

Shine on. Find ways to creatively light your kitchen based on use. A bright overhead light is great for preparing meals in the evening, while a soft low light provides a more pleasant dining experience. A crisp white light should be used for homework and natural light cascading through windows is best for all circumstances when it’s available.

Update appliances. If either space or design are issues in your current kitchen, browse all of the kitchen appliance options available today. Older appliances can and should be replaced with more energy efficient models. Most appliances are also available in smaller versions to save space in currently cramped kitchens.

Keep multi-function use in mind. The kitchen serves so many functions. It’s a place to prep and cook food, eat, study, do crafts and family activities, listen to music, even watch television on occasion. Install a smaller flat-screen TV in one of the less traveled corners of the room. Create a lounging area by arranging seating with functional multi-use storage benches and cushions.

Whatever your style, let your Connell’s sales representative show you some kitchen design ideas the next time you stop in one of our two locations, Mt. Vernon and Newark.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Designing with Pattern

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Interior Design has evolved throughout the years. From a matched approach to a more eclectic style of mixing patterns and textures, design is fun and inspiring. Spruce up any room by mixing patterns throughout. It makes the room visually interesting. When considering a pattern, most of us think in terms of fabric. However, it includes much more – architectural lines, arrangement and shape of furniture, the pattern on the floors and walls. Read on for tips and to learn more.

Determine your color preferences, then choose one main bold larger-scale pattern for the room. Use this pattern on a pillow or on another small feature. Build from this by including other patterns with different shapes, but in a much smaller scale. Keep colors and varying scale in mind to create a distinct theme. As an example, try a large floral pattern on a few pillows, small checks and solids on a few more and vertical stripes for your drapery, which will also make the room seem taller.

Add a solid color for attraction and include textures in your theme. Or choose a main color and mix in varying shades. When choosing textures, limit it to only a few. Sheen textures are perfect for formal spaces, while muted textures give a room a more casual comfortable appeal.

Relate similar objects, then fill with color and fabric patterns. To avoid making the room too busy, keep the background color neutral and uniform. Start with only a few colors you really like.

When thinking of pattern, consider the entire space. Doorways, floors, shape of furniture and accessories may all have patterns within them. If you’ve always had the sofa against the wall, angle it to create a triangular shape in the room. A square or rectangular table in the corner can be replaced by a circular one. When you’re ready to buy new furniture, replace your overstuffed sofa with a modern, streamlined piece with square edges.

Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations today in Mt. Vernon or Newark to get more ideas and inspiration, then talk to a sales representative to make those design dreams a reality.

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.