Sorted by Tag:  ' bookshelves ' 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beautiful Bookshelves

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A bookshelf is a wonderful addition to any room regardless of its use. Undoubtedly, if you are book lover, you likely have a bookshelf or two in your home. However, bookshelves are great even if you don’t own a lot of books. Think outside the box and use a bookshelf for a variety of reasons in any room imaginable. Read on for tips on beautifying the bookshelves in your home.

Bookshelves can be the home of nearly anything you’d like to display. Do you have a private collection of any kind? Maybe you have a lot of photos, framed pieces or other possessions that would look fabulous on new bookshelf instead of in drawers or storage boxes.

When choosing a bookshelf, consider use and in which room you will place it. Coordinate it with existing furniture if that’s your style or choose something entirely different for a more eclectic appeal to the space.

Start with a clean slate if you currently have a bookshelf housing books. Go through all of the books you own and determine which ones you will keep and which you’ll donate. Second-hand stores, thrift stores and some shelters are always willing to take in books in need of a new home. Books are priceless gifts that should be passed on once you’re done with them.

Sort, size and color-code your books. Once you’ve determined the books you will keep, sort them by book color, size, and hard and soft back. Envision an overall flow of your bookshelf and be creative in design.

For visual interest, place some books horizontally, while others remain vertical. Keep size of the books relative and look for objects throughout the home to use as bookends to keep them in place.

What makes you happy? What do you love? Add anything else that gives you joy to your bookshelf – vases, pictures, photographs. If you love it, your bookshelf will love it too and give it a proud new home.

Don’t own a bookshelf? With so many uses, start exploring your options today. Also visit either of Connell’s two locations today in Mt. Vernon and Newark for more design tips and fabulous home furnishings.

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, 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!