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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, January 4, 2012

How to Hang Pictures Creatively

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Hanging pictures is an art. If you’ve ever done it yourself, you know that’s a true statement. So how is it that your neighbors have great collections of family photos neatly arranged on the wall? How did they do it?

With a little planning and patience, hanging pictures can be done easily. Whether your goal is to hang a single dramatic serigraph or a collection of black and white sketches, by following a few steps you can make your art or photos look fabulous.

1)  Select your collage of photos or artwork according to a theme or some type of similarity. The art in the collection should include related subject matter or color. It’s O.K. for the shapes and sizes of the frames to vary.

2)  Pick an odd number of your favorite pieces. An odd number will have greater visual interest and greater flexibility. To create a uniform look, choose frames that are similar in style or finish. With photos, use mats that are the same width and color.

3)  Create templates of the pictures. Lay the pictures on brown craft paper on the floor making sure the grouping will fit within the available wall space.  Trace around the frames and cut out templates. Label the templates for identification and mark the location of the hanging wire or tabs.

4)  Attach the templates to the wall with reusable adhesive or poster tape. Be careful not to use masking tape because it will leave residue on the wall. Use the template and a pencil to mark on the wall where picture hangers should go.

5) Create balance within the grouping. Select a single favorite piece as the center of the collection, grouping the other pieces around it and keeping a consistent distance between each one.  It’s fine to hang pictures in a straight line if you have two or three matching pieces which will only coordinate when hung side by side.

6) Hang your artwork at eye level. The biggest mistake made when pictures are hung is that they’re placed too high on the wall.

Hanging art creatively will add warmth to a room and create visual interest. Visit Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses in Mt. Vernon and Newark to find just the right wall décor to hang in your home.