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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Perfect Playroom

Child’s play is essential and a playroom encourages it! Create the perfect space to foster growth and imagination within your kids. Our homes are designed around our own needs and conveniences, but children should have a place of their own. 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 your little ones.

Identify the ideal space based on the size of your home and the age of your children. Map it out. Basements, attics and small spaces underneath the stairs are ideal choices for a child’s playroom, especially in smaller homes. Choose colors and theme. Include your children in the planning if they are old enough to make informed choices. 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. A playroom is the perfect place to showcase expression and creativity.

Consider design based on the ages of the children who will use the room. Plan for today and tomorrow both. 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.

Create a few “stations” for various functions. If space in one room is an issue, identify a few separate play 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 it organized. Choose options easiest for kids to get in and out of effortlessly.

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, August 10, 2011

Unused Spaces

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Homes aren’t like they used to be! Before plumbing, outhouses were our only restroom option. Formal dining rooms were a necessity in the ’50s to keep clutter under control and to serve as a place to entertain. Rooms are now larger, more open and functional for a variety of reasons. One room alone may serve as a kitchen, dining area and lounge. But what about older homes with smaller rooms and less open area? No worries! Turn those unused spaces into functional, multi-purpose rooms designed for practical everyday use. Think outside of the box and change it up with the seasons. Read on for tips to turn unused spaces into favorite places!

An entryway can become a catch-all for everything coming and going. Control clutter and turn your entryway into a functional seating and conversation area. Install hooks along the wall beside the door. Place a bench and cubbies for extra seating and storage of shoes, backpacks and more. An end table or sofa table serves as a place to add extra lighting and store keys easily and within reach as you are walking out the door.

Gone are the days of the formal dining room, but not functional dining rooms with additional seating for family and guests. Dress up that dining room table with bright, floral, fun tablecloths and runners. Remove a few chairs and install a bench for the little ones. Place a few functional, comfortable chairs in the corners and add splashes of color. Voila! Your formal dining room becomes a place the whole family wants to hang out, whether it’s dinner time or not!

Extra Bedrooms are often the most unused spaces. Turn that extra bedroom into a craft or sewing room. Find cabinets and counter tops at discount home improvement stores for additional storage and functionality. Remove the bed and put in a sofa sleeper for double duty. You’ll still have room for guests and can use the room any other time you’d like a quiet place to read or work.

Chances are if you live in an older home closets are sparse – and likely packed full. But if you have the luxury of an extra closet or two, turn that closet into a craft space, office area or homework nook.

Don’ t waste a room with a view! Install a window seat to turn it into your favorite place in the house. Throw in some houseplants to freshen up the air, and give it texture and beauty. Add additional storage shelves to conceal clutter when not in use and allow the kids to enjoy the view with you. Turn the room into a lounge and entertaining area, without television of course. With a view like that, who needs TV?

Every room in your home can and should be functional and usable. Try these tips or come up with some of your own. You know your home and your habits. Let them be your guide. Change is good. It provides new perspective. Change with the seasons, family events or just because you think it’s time to do so! And by all means, stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark for ideas, inspiration and beautiful home furnishings!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Home Design Therapy

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Shorter days, longer nights and sub-zero weather can bring you down quickly. Do something good for yourself and your home! Combat the Winter Blues with home design therapy from Connell’s. Spice up your living space with color, texture and warmth. Change your perspective. Whether you desire a complete home makeover or small changes to a few rooms, we’ve got you covered – with the goods and the inspiration!

This winter  has been unseasonably cold in Ohio. Physically create warmth inside your home with new window treatments. Replace sheer curtains with thick draperies. Use warm colors such as burnt orange, mustard yellow and ruby red. Look for your favorite patterns, then design an entire room around them. Mix and match. Play. Have fun!

Since you’re stuck indoors, create a few gathering spaces. If you have a fireplace and it’s not a focal point, move furniture to make it so. Arrange a conversation pit. Group furniture together toward the center of the room making it perfect for family game night. Place a new flat panel television toward one end of the seating area, creating another focal point perfect for quiet, cozy evenings at home.

Little touches can make a big difference. Disperse candles with warm scents such as vanilla, hazelnut and warm apple pie throughout your home. Brighten up a dark winter night with a candle centerpiece atop your coffee or cocktail table.

Don’t wait for Spring to surround yourself with life. Sprinkle houseplants throughout your dwelling, adding color, texture and fresh air. Create live art and bursts of color by arranging oranges, lemons and limes on a platter or in a vase. Add neutral colored stones and branches for additional texture.

You layer your clothing for added warmth. Do the same in your home. Place a beautiful quilt or wool blanket at the foot of your bed for cold winter nights. Grab a few extra pillows and a fleece throw to snuggle on your sofa or love seat.

Don’t stop there. You’re only limited by the imagination. Dream away, then stop by one of Connell’s two locations to remedy your Winter Blues with Home Design Therapy!