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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Importance of Play in Life

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Don’t you love to watch children play? In altogether different worlds, children make sense of their lives through play. It’s essential, and as parents we can learn so much from our children. A playroom serves double duty in encouraging play and keeping clutter to a minimum in the home. Create the perfect space to foster growth and imagination within your kids. Children should have a place of their own, and 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 the young minds you love.

Consider design based on the ages and preferences of the children who will use the room. Plan for today and for tomorrow. 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. Limit permanent fixtures so the room can grow and adapt with your child.

Next consider the size of your home and space available. Choose colors and possible theme. A playroom is the perfect place to showcase expression and creativity. Map it out. Basements, attics and small spaces underneath the stairs are ideal choices for a child’s playroom, especially in smaller homes. Include your children in the planning if possible. 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.

Creativity stations allow for various functions. If a whole room is not available due to space, identify a few separate 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 the space organized. Choose options easiest for kids to get in and out of effortlessly. There are numerous designs available and many can double as shelves and writing surfaces. Be creative and allow your children to do the same when determining storage solutions.

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, 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 16, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

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We all know the saying, “home is where the heart is.” But during the dead of winter when we’re stuck inside, our hearts grow tired and weary. It’s Ohio, we know what to expect and we also know it won’t be long before sips of sunshine are beaming through our windows each day. Maybe that’s why February and March seem the hardest months to endure. Connell’s to the rescue! Allow your  heart to sing again with design ideas to turn home time into a glorious time!

1. Because homes are designed to be functional, think about this during seasonal changes. The beauty of furniture is that it can be moved. Do it! Arrange a family game space. Pick one room and redecorate, creating a haven for friends and family to gather.  Think outside the box (room) and move a sofa from one room into another. Change or rearrange art, photographs, even televisions and home entertainment systems. Pick your most comfortable furniture and group it together into a “conversation pit”. Swap lighting and center a table in the pit for optimal board game madness. Bring on Banangrams and Pictionary. Move the home entertainment area for the best views of Scene It. Let the games begin.

2. Pick a day each week for culinary exploration. Cook up a storm around a chosen theme. Welcome Friday Family Fiestas! Make tacos, enchiladas, burritos, sopapillas, guacamole, refried beans, spanish rice and salsa. Try your hand at fried ice cream. Be amazed at your success and laugh at your culinary misfortunes. Either way, it’s time well spent with family while learning something new!

3. You don’t have to wait for spring to see signs of life. Green sprouts and flower buds await when you start an indoor garden. Pick the sunniest room of your home and clear it out. Either buy new plants or bring existing ones into the room together. Buy seed packets for your vegetables this year and plant them in your garden room. Read directions, research the internet and await patiently. Arrange a small seating area for  a quiet place to sit and reflect. Know that spring is just around the corner.

4. Rearrange your bedroom or your child’s bedroom. Add color where it was absent, or soften a currently bold look. Pull antique quilts out of storage or buy a comforter for a brand new look. While you’re rearranging furniture, move a chair, loveseat and/or end table into the room for a sitting space. Spend quiet Saturday mornings reading the newspaper or catching up on emails in your newly created space.

Be spontaneous. Be creative. Find ways to reinvent each room in your home. Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark for more home design ideas. Before you know it, Spring will be here and you’ll be outside again enjoying the beautiful sunshine!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Decorating Tips that Won’t Bust Your Budget!

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Spring’s a time for change! It’s a new season and colorful new life is around us. Invite spring’s fresh and delicate colors into your home and refresh your living room and bedroom with some great looking, yet inexpensive, design tips from Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses.

  • Lighten Up! Kick that boring old dark-colored sofa, loveseat or recliner to the curb and invigorate your room with lighter, mid-toned colors. Decorate with the colors you see naturally occurring in nature, such as magenta, marigold, aqua blue, spring green, teal and even try hot pink!
  • Add accessories! Pillows and throws are a fantastic way to introduce some lighter colored fabrics into your room. Add patterned pillows with calm and tranquil colors to a solid-colored sofa to add bursts of flair. Or toss a patterned throw on the back of a chair, sectional or futon to bring your room to life. Hang colorful wall art and illuminating mirrors for some seasonal springtime style.
  • Paint! Rejuvenate a dreary dining room or lackluster bedroom by repainting the walls with some colorful paint. Designers agree this is a cost-saving solution since a couple of gallons of paint are very inexpensive, plus you can do it yourself. Try a color you’ve always been curious about – and if you hate it, just paint over it. Some suggestions: test out light and clean colors, like kiwi green, pale violet or coral blue.
  • Flowers! Indoor plants and fresh flowers will bring colorful life to any room. Try to be consistent with your floral arrangements. Choose a color scheme, use the same type of flower and place your floral arrangement in a pretty glass holder. Top it off with a little lace or a satin ribbon tied around your beautiful bouquet.
  • De-clutter! Clutter is distracting. No matter how beautiful your room is, unsightly piles of magazines, movies and media will ruin your spring decorating. Put entertainment in its place with media chests and hutches and stash your work away in filing cabinets, desks, and credenzas for your home office.

Visit Connell’s two convenient locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark for hundreds of stunning styles from spring’s latest furniture and mattress fashions. It’s all in stock, ready for immediate delivery and protected by Connell’s famous No Oops™ guarantee—if you don’t like your new furniture for any reason, we’ll take it back – no questions asked, no restocking fees, no return delivery charges and no penalties.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Choosing the Perfect Chair

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Well it’s finally happened. Your dog has taken over your favorite chair for good. It’s always been this way. You’ve loved that chair, but let’s face it. When it comes right down to who gets the chair, the dog always wins.

The solution? Buy a new chair, one just for you. Yet the chair the dog owns matches the rest of your furniture. So now how do you find a new chair that works with the rest of your furniture? The task is not as hard as it may sound.

You’re in luck. Gone are the days when each piece of furniture in a room had to match. In fact, today’s decorating is much more flexible and fun. Your new chair can be totally different in style, color and fabric. Whether you plan to replace an existing chair or buy a completely new one, what’s most important is that it fits both you and the purpose of your room.

Think about the role the chair will have in the room. Will it be a big, comfy chair to curl up in and read – one that you’ll sit in every day? Or will it only be used for extra seating when guests come to visit?

Who else will sit in the chair? Does the chair need to accommodate a strapping young man? An elderly relative?

Will the chair primarily be a decorative accent so style, color and fashion are most important?

Once those questions have been answered, it’s time to think about where the chair will be placed in the room. The location should provide 12-18” of space around it for walking and moving.

Measure your existing chair both inside and out. The height, width and length of an accent chair are important for two reasons. First, the chair will need to fit in the space you’ve chosen. Second, the overall scale of the chair should be in proportion to the other furnishings in the room. If you’d like a smaller or larger chair, adjust the size accordingly.

Take the dimensions with you to Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses when you shop. When you see a chair you like, sit in it just as you would at home. Cross your legs; lean back; tuck your feet up.

Does the seat depth allow you to sit comfortably and support your back?  Are the arms the right height for you to read your newspaper? Is the seat cushion as firm or soft as you like?  Will the height of the chair back allow you turn your head easily?

Ask your sales representative to show you several sizes and styles of chairs. Although you’ve had a club chair for years, maybe it’s time for something classy and traditional.  Or for a new twist, try a chic chaise or armless chair.  Have you thought about a high-leg recliner?

You can even share your chair with your dog. Look for a roomy oversized chair. Visit Connell’s in Mt. Vernon or Newark to find the perfect chair to meet your back and budget.

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Entryway Enticements

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Chances are you’re in and out a lot more these days with the kids back in school. We gave you some ideas to make your home “school year ready.” This week we’ll feature tips to makeover your entryway. Whether you use the front, back or side doors, the entryway into your home is typically the most forgotten space of all design-wise. This is sad, because it’s the most used room of the home. Read on for tips to make your entry enticing!

First, think about the way in which you enter your home. No matter which side you enter from, any doorway that leads outside is still considered an entryway. However, how you use that space will dictate the way in which you decide to change it up. Be sure to organize the most used entryway in a way that makes leaving – and entering easy and stress-free.

Is your entryway a catch-all for everything? Organize. There are so many options on the market to organize all spaces within the home. Shelves, cabinets, rolling bins, expandable organizers, bulletin boards, message boards, portable closets, shoe racks, coat racks . . . the list goes on. Be creative and make the space unique. Keep clutter to a minimum so people can move about freely without tripping over anything!

Create a family showcase! If your entryway is small, like a foyer, use it to display photos of the kids and family . . . playing sports, in school, on vacation . . . you name it. The foyer is the perfect place to keep these photos organized and displayed in a uniform manner.

Do you love art? There is no better place to display beautiful art and sculptures in the entryway to your home!

Create a bountiful book nook! Build in shelves and window seating and voila! You have a cozy space to read on a Sunday afternoon!

Greenhouse galore! If you have windows and enough room through the entryway door for plenty of sun to shine, use your entryway to entice visitors with beautiful flowers and houseplants!

Don’t forget the candles and diffusers! The first room in your home is the perfect place to showcase wonderful scents so visitors are intrigued and want to explore more!

Sit down while tying those shoes! If your entryway is an actual room, move a sofa and end table into the space for a comfy place to sit while readying yourself to make your way out for the day!

Whatever you decide, remember, the entryway is the first impression of your home! Make it a great one!

Finally, don’t forget to stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark for more design tips, beautiful home furnishings and customer service beyond your expectations!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Planning your living room

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You’ve done your homework and you’ve found the perfect sofa. “Just wait until the neighbors see it,” you think proudly. Uh oh! What about the rest of the room?

There are several stylish directions you can go to create just the look you want, and  Connell’s offers seating solutions for every living area.

Options, Options, Options

Today’s decorating trends offer a multitude of choices for arranging furniture. In a traditional room, a loveseat might just be what you need to complement your sofa. But the opportunities for fashion don’t stop there.

An oversized club chair paired with a wood-frame accent chair or recliner provides a stylish alternative to a loveseat.

If your living area is an unusual shape, go with armless chairs or jumbo ottomans, which are both functional and moveable.

To create a casual sitting/dining area for an area near a window, pair two small contemporary or traditional chairs along with a round bistro table.

To Match or Not to Match

Your grandmother’s home was filled with upholstery with matching fabrics. Home fashion today, much like apparel fashion, targets an eclectic look. A floral sofa can be paired with an accent chair in a stripe of coordinating color.

Just because your sofa is covered in fabric, doesn’t mean a coordinating chair needs to be. Add a leather chair to your room with a pillow in a coordinating fabric to add flair.

 No Walls, No Problem

No wall to put your sofa against? No problem.  When arranging furniture, it’s perfectly acceptable to “float” a sofa so that the back is visible. Today’s sofas feature fabric tailoring which makes the back equally as attractive as the front.

Look for upholstered pieces to solve your decorating challenges at Connell’s Furniture in Mt. Vernon and Newark or shop online at connells.com. We’ll help you find exactly what you need. And remember, Connell’s No Oops policy means you can’t make a mistake, because if you don’t like your new furniture, we’ll take it back – no questions asked!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Entertaining

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Can you believe the holidays are upon us already? It’s time to get organized and prepare for overnight guests. Make them feel welcome and comfortable with a few simple design changes to  your home. Attention to the small details can make all the difference in making them feel welcome during the holidays. Here are some starter ideas:

Choose a space in your home for guests to stay comfortably. Having an extra bedroom is a bonus, but not absolutely necessary. Give up one of the other bedrooms or use a room divider in another part of the home to provide privacy. Buy a sofa bed as an extra bed, which also serves as a space saver. Alternatively, make space available for an inflatable bed, with an area in which to store it when not in use.

Pack the guest space with essentials or prepare a basket with items they may have forgotten. Include travel-sized toiletries such as soap, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. Purchase a full length mirror for the guest area so they can get ready in privacy.

Create a sense of home in your guest room. A bouquet of flowers and scented candles on an end table or night stand are a lovely touch. Include other items such as a notepad, pens/pencils, alarm clock, water carafe, books and magazines. If space allows, make a reading nook complete with chair, table and lamp for a private retreat area.

Make guest feel welcome upon arrival by preparing a simple, slow cooker meal that can be enjoyed anytime. Show guests around your home and let them know where all the essentials are located. Keep plenty of beverages and snacks in an easily accessible location and let them know they are welcome to them at any time throughout their stay. Offer continental breakfast choices so guests feel they can eat and run, if they so choose.

Include one or two of these ideas and your guests are sure to return for future visits. Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today for other ideas to help you prepare for the holidays.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Designing a Functional Home Office

Creating a home office can keep you sane and organized. Whether you work from home or need a space to centralize your family’s activities, here are a few key points to keep in mind when organizing a home office.

  • First determine your needs, then identify the space. Should you devote an entire room for an office, or would a corner or closet work well for you? Will this solely be a work space or will it be a family organizing area? How much physical space can you devote to an office? Keep productivity in mind by choosing a space that keeps foot traffic and noise to a minimum, especially if you are working from home. If your home office is solely for family purposes, what area of the home makes the most sense to keep things centralized and organized?
  • Make it versatile. If you’ve devoted an entire room to your home office, you will likely want to use it for other family purposes outside of work. Obvious essentials are a desk, office chair, shelving, storage and lighting. Place another small chair or chair set, end table and light to add this home element to your office. Move from your desk to the additional seating area if entertaining a client and when reading or reviewing work. Having these additional spaces within the home office gives it an ascetically pleasing look, lets you have perspective throughout the day, and provides more options for the family.
  • Utilize vertical space. Most of us spread our belongings horizontally throughout the home. Install shelves which extend from the floor to the ceiling to provide storage and make the most of the space. This is especially crucial in smaller areas. Place items most used within close reach, while storing unused items such as photos and memorabilia on the top shelves.
  • Bring nature in. Working for long periods of time in an unnatural environment is detrimental to your health and well-being. Find a room or space that utilizes as much natural light as possible. Hang artwork which includes nature. Bring in live plants to provide beautiful color, texture and detail. They will enliven the space and provide oxygen to the brain throughout the day, keeping you productive.
  • Minimize clutter. Many home offices become the gathering place for everything paper: mail, school calendars, receipts, bills, work notes, even old homework. Clear piles of paper by sorting and organizing into files, recyclable items and trash. Donate your old clunky computer to charity and invest in a laptop or desktop computer with a flat panel monitor to provide more workspace.

Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark today and talk to your sales representative about these and other ideas to properly design your home office.