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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great Design for Small Spaces

Don’t let a small room cause decorating problems! Instead, get creative. Utilize every inch of the area to create an exquisite dream room, even if space is an issue.  Follow the design tips below to breathe fresh life into any small space and make it seem bigger than it actually is.

Be flexible and versatile. Painting the room in a lighter color can make the room feel bigger. Choose antique white, cream or taupe. Place lamps of varying shapes and sizes in locations throughout the room to draw the eye around the room.

Choose furniture in light colors. It’s true, dark furniture can make the room feel small. Buy vibrant accessories such as pillows and wall hangings to add bursts of color.

Keep scale in mind. Add a small sofa or loveseat as opposed to overstuffed pieces that will dominate space.

Place mirrors strategically throughout the area. Mirrors create a sense of openness, tricking the eye into believing there is extra room. Consider hanging a mirror near a window to reflect the outdoors into the room.

Arrange larger pieces of furniture, such as a sofa at an angle. Doing this draws the eye down the diagonal length of the sofa instead of the shorter wall, creating an illusion of depth. An added benefit is the storage space automatically created behind the sofa where you can store items.

Choose pieces of furniture that serve multiple purposes. Storage cabinets or armories will hide a television when not in use. Also, ottomans with hidden storage are perfect for small spaces. Add benches in lieu of chairs in your dining room to save on space and create an open atmosphere.

Finally, take a look at your technology, which tends to take up considerable space. Consolidate by moving your music to a specified computer or music player and get rid of CDs. Also, flat panel televisions are great new alternatives and save on space.

There are numerous ways to create a beautiful and spacious look in any small space. Visit one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark and let our knowledgeable sales representatives help you get started!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Five S’s of Studiousness

Success begins in the bedroom. No really, it does. Your child’s success in school is directly related to the functional design of his/her bedroom. Ensure your child puts his/her best foot forward each and every day in the classroom. Begin by building a cozy, comfortable bedroom around the five ‘S’s’: sleep, study, storage, stimulus and safety.

Sleep

On average, children need eight to nine hours of sleep per night to maintain their attention span in the classroom. Start by turning off the TV and giving your child a comfortable bed.

Study

Providing your child with a fun and creative bedroom is only half the battle in making them star students. Now you must motivate them to study!

  • Give them plenty of space to spread out and work. Make sure the desk you choose has adequate space to allow them to lay out their books, pencils, pens, paper, and markers. Look for a child’s desk with built-in shelving for books and supplies, or consider a long rectangular table.
  • Hang a calendar or bulletin/dry-erase board over their desk and encourage them to use post-notes and colorful dry-erase markers. This will teach your children how to follow a schedule and alleviate any confusion of assignment due dates.
  • Set aside a designated homework time for your child – after school or after dinner – and give them space in their room when they need it, and be available to help them.

Storage

School supplies in addition to your child’s hordes of toys equal a clutter nightmare! Prevent this disaster by outfitting their room with furniture designed for extra storage.

Stimulus

Kids will be kids … and what better place to be a kid than in your their own bedroom. Let their room be a refuge, a place for daydreams as well as sweet dreams.

  • Allow a little leeway in choosing their favorite paint colors and bedding to let your kid’s personality shine through.
  • Provide toys that stimulate their imagination like building sets, paper, crayons, or dolls.

Safety

Looking out for the safety of our children means they will sleep safe and sound, and we as parents will rest assured they aren’t in danger.

  • Depending on your child’s age, make sure the ends of furniture are rounded and protectors are in the electrical sockets.
  • Place a nightlight in your child’s room.
  • To make sure your child is calm in their room, use soft colors or pastels to paint the walls or for decoration.
  • Teach them to put away their toys and remove clutter from the floor. This will curb anxiety and prevent tripping over that race car and hurting themselves in a fall.

This advice will help your child do well in school, and you’ll do well at  home by cutting down on the inevitable complaints about math, history and writing homework! Stop by one of Connell’s two locations and give your child the gift of a studious and beautiful bedroom!