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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Stunning Entryway

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First impressions matter. You consider them in your personal life, shouldn’t you consider them for your home? Make a grand first impression by meticulously grooming the entryway of your home. Entryways are sometimes neglected because they aren’t always entire rooms. Beyond that, they are easy prey to “catch-all” madness because you use them so much. Change all that and make a fabulous first impression for your home.

Pay attention to curb appeal. Take a look at the outside of your home first. Is is visually appealing? Do you have things sitting around that could go elsewhere? Arrange a small seating area on your front porch if space allows. Place a small garden statue in your flower bed. Hang a seasonal wreath or swag on your front door.

Create a focal point directly inside the entryway. What do your eyes first go to? Choose a large beautiful painting or several small framed pictures of friends and family. Fresh flowers are a nice touch and a large mirror adds both appeal and a way to check yourself as you are leaving for the day.

Proper lighting is essential for guests to feel welcome any time of the day. An overhead dome light, wall sconces or a table lamp are all great choices depending on space and existing furniture.

Add some texture. Place a rug in the entryway, or woven baskets for storage if there is enough space. Another great way to add texture and seating is to include a bench with a few pillows for a place to sit while removing shoes.

Don’t forget functionality. While you want the entryway to be ascetically appealing, consider usage and space. Include a table with storage, hooks for coats and a low shelf for shoes, bags and umbrellas.

Divide the space. If your entryway opens into a larger room and there is enough space to separate it from the rest of the room, use a screen, divider or bookshelf to create two distinct spaces.

You are well on your way to making a grand first impression of your home. Stop by either of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today for more ideas to turn your house into the home of your dreams.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making a Large Room Feel Cozy

Recently, architectural trends have moved toward large, open spaces versus the quaint rooms of yesterday. However, many people feel challenged by making these spaces feel cozy. It isn’t as daunting as it seems if you follow a few simple design rules. Use the following ideas to start designing a large, cozy room.

Divide the space into zones. Group furniture together in different areas of the room. Arrange a media center for viewing television and listening to music while making a second location into a conversation pit. If the room is large enough, it could also serve as an office, exercise room or craft area. Use bookshelves back-to-back to block the view from one section to the next.

Install built-in furniture. Having a large room allows you to install built-ins such as floor-to-ceiling shelving for a home library and benches for a reading nook. These areas take up floor space and make the room feel quaint and cozy.

Buy overstuffed furniture for your conversation pit. One or two large pieces are enough to achieve the desired effect. Avoid placing furniture directly against the wall. Get creative. Use area rugs to tie individual spaces together. Large wall hangings and plants also create a warm, cozy atmosphere.

Avoid mirrors and glass top furniture which gives the room a sense of spaciousness. Opt instead for dark, rich tones and woodwork, creating a warm, intimate feeling.

Use bold, vibrant colors. Paint the entire room or a few walls a rich bright color, drawing the eye into the space. Complement the wall color by hanging a large tapestry. Add baskets, pottery and large accent pillows to complete the desired look and feel.

Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark and talk to a sales associate about these and other ideas to make your home feel intimate and comfortable.