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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bring Beachside Style Home

As landlocked Ohioans, we have to plan and work at getting to the beach. Whether it’s a long drive or a flight to a beach on the East coast, it takes time, energy, effort and money to get there. Sure, some of us may own a home around one of Ohio’s lakes where we can enjoy boating, jet skiing, fishing and swimming. But nonetheless, we don’t have the luxury of stepping outside on warm sand by the ocean every day. However, with some simple design ideas from Connell’s Furniture & Mattresses, you can easily give your home some decorative flair to bring the relaxing beachside feel back home to Ohio.

453145657Decorate that deck. Give your deck or patio the relaxing summer beach feeling with light colors. If you’re staining the deck wood soon, choose a light, airy beach color like white, beach-beige or a natural wood stain. Accent your light deck stain with pops of color by adding bright Adirondack chairs in blue, red or green and put up an umbrella or shade canopy to keep the sun off the deck and guests.

Go light indoors. Bring the coastal feel indoors with crisp, white furniture. You can easily transform your living room into a relaxing beach sanctuary by choosing a sofa and loveseat in a crisp, white color. Offset the bright whites with a chair in aqua blue or orange, and tie the room together with an accent rug and lamps in the same aqua blue or orange color.

Accessorize in coastal patterns. Rugs, pillows and throws really go a long way in transforming a living room, patio or bedroom into beachside cabana. Look for an area rug or throw with a palm pattern, and accent that crisp white furniture or your bed with blue pillows adorning a little anchor.

Bring out the beach knick-knacks. Show off some of your beach souvenirs around the home. For instance, set out a photo frame adorned with seashells on a chair side table or sofa table, or set some seashells in a decorative bowl on your dining room table or even make it focal point of the living room. If you really want to go the extra mile, with some seashells and glue, you can transform a bedroom or bathroom mirror into a coastal mirror. Simply glue the seashells around the mirror’s border and watch it transform into a beachside mirror.

As always, visit us at Connell’s Furniture & Mattress in Mt. Vernon and Newark for outstanding design ideas from our superb staff. No matter what design style you’re looking for, you’ll enjoy our incredible selection of quality furniture at amazing low prices!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Talking about eclectic style

It’s all the rage. It seems all the interior design television shows and blogs are talking about eclectic style. Yet, what is it really and how do we get it?

Well, the truth is that you already know what it is. It’s the style most of us have in our homes. Eclectic style is a combination of different styles together in one room.

In other words, the décor doesn’t match. If your living room has a Country French sofa with a rustic Southwestern cocktail table sitting on a Persian rug, you have eclectic style.

It may be even easier to say what eclectic style is not – a strict coordination of the same types, colors and designs of furnishings.

“Well that’s an easy way to decorate,” you say.  After all, all you have to do is put together whatever you like.

Not so fast. While eclectic style gives you the opportunity to decorate with individuality, it also gives you the opportunity to have rooms that end up looking like a flea market.

To avoid having your home look like a hodgepodge of mismatched items, it’s important that there is a design element that ties them all together.

One way to bring together eclectic décor is with color. By using common colors in upholstery fabrics, floor coverings and wall art, individual items of décor will complement each other. It’s best to stay mostly with neutrals as a foundation then add a few bold accents.

Another way to harmonize eclectic furnishings is with shape.  A curvy sofa can sit front of a round cocktail table. Curvilinear vases might sit on the fireplace mantel.

Finishes and textures are also important in creating a synchronized look. The brushed silver finish on a lamp can tie in with silver leaf accents in the frame of a mirror.

Eclectic style is all about bringing together a variety of different furnishings and blending them together to create a unified look.  Stop by either of Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark to guide you when making your eclectic décor purchases.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Decorating With Contemporary Style

One thing you absolutely know, or think you know, is that you don’t like contemporary decor. After all, contemporary style means tables with chrome legs and glass tops, metallic lamps that look like space ships and harsh sofas covered in glossy, uncomfortable leather – right? Not so fast.

Too often contemporary style is characterized as austere, aerospace modern when in fact it includes a wide range of fashionable, comfortable furnishings. Defined by texture, clear colors and clean lines, contemporary décor illustrates an easy simplicity and subtle sophistication.  It can be as bold or as understated as you would like to match your personality.

Here are few quick tips to help you decorate with contemporary style and create a home that’s not only current and chic but welcoming and family friendly.

Choose furniture with simple silhouettes.

Leave the intricately carved cabinet fronts and ornate fabrics behind and select pieces with gently curved or straight lines. Not only are simple profiles the foundation of contemporary fashion, they establish a base for creative decorating. Frills and adornments make furniture look cluttered and accessorizing more difficult.

Start with neutral colors.

Today’s contemporary colors draw inspiration from nature and are subtle rather than bold. Sofa and chair fabrics in taupe, white and cream tone-on-tone hues are versatile and work well in almost any room.  Accent them with throw pillows in sage green, slate gray or deep-ocean blue.

Need a darker color fabric for that couch the kids jump on? Try rattan brown, stone or black. Want to create a pop of color? Change those throw pillows to hot pink or yellow.

Add texture.

Textured fabrics and finishes add visual interest and a fresh, fashionable look to décor. Woven upholstery fabrics in wool, cotton or a cotton/linen blend are comfortable and breathe well. Select a sofa with exposed wood legs in a beech or birch finish. Put a textured fabric shade on a metal lamp base.

Let accessories complete the look.

Accessories tie together the lines, textures and colors within a room. If your furniture has curved lines, select accessories and accents with curved lines to create balance. For example, add a pair of round rattan ottomans. If your upholstery has straight lines, choose accent tables and accessories with straight lines.  Consider a rectangular, wood and glass cocktail table.

Remember to add texture. Let go of that colonial braided rug and select one in a natural fiber such as jute or sisal. Create warmth with permanent greenery in a ceramic or terra cotta container. Feeling bold?  Choose a brushed metal lamp with a barrel or square shade.

Stop by any of Connell’s two locations to consult our sales staff and let your imagination roam. You’ll quickly find contemporary furnishings that match your fashion personality.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How To Creatively Hang Pictures

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.

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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 either of Connell’s Furniture and Mattresses two showrooms in Mt. Vernon or Newark, and one of our talented representative will help you find just the right wall décor to hang in your home.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fun! Fantastic! Fireplaces!

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The colder weather has changed our habits and we’re snuggling indoors; reading, watching television, listening to music, or cooking up something delicious in the kitchen. Nothing says winter warmth like the beauty of a crackling fire and the sound of family gathered around the hearth. Take some tips from Connell’s Furniture and Mattresses as we help you recover that fireplace into the focal point it was meant to be.

A corner fireplace adds dimension. Perhaps your home didn’t come with a fireplace and you’d like to add one. Never fear, a corner fireplace is fun, quirky, and a beautiful addition to any room. With so many varieties to choose from, adding a fireplace will give your room depth, dimension and warmth. Arrange furniture in such a way that the fireplace becomes the focal point, but be sure to leave as much floor space as possible. Experiment, move and settle into your new beautiful addition.

Curvy lines hold extra appeal. If your fireplace is in need of repair, change the shape of the arch from rectangular to an interesting arch that adds a softness to the room. Use stone or beautiful brick and spread the elements throughout the room to tie it together. Another doorway might match, or a section of the floor might be the best bet.

Tile adds visual vintage appeal to a fireplace or mantle. Choosing a single color of tile, or a mix and match assortment creates a focal point sure to please any eye. Find colors you enjoy that will be easily tied into other pieces in the room. Leave it ultra simple, or add  vintage finds to the fireplace for a cozier feel.

Dress your fireplace up with a screen. Just the simple addition of a screen will add extravagance or elegance to the room. Choose from cast iron with straight lines for a more modern look, or choose a screen with scrolling elements to give the room a soft, cozy feel.

Bookshelves dress up an otherwise bland fireplace. Are you handy, or do you have a few in your household who are? Create built in bookshelves right next to your fireplace for a grand statement, as well as a ready made reading area.

Draw attention to your fireplace with the addition of another focal point. If you fireplace gets lost amid all of the other design elements, add a large mirror or piece of beautiful artwork to the mantle, drawing attention front and center. Use other smaller accents to keep attention where it belongs.

As always, stop into one of the two Connell’s locations in Mount Vernon or Newark today for beautiful home furnishings, plus more ideas to make your house a home. As always, expect exceptional customer service and savings beyond compare.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sights, Sounds and Smells of Spring

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We’re well into spring and the weather has finally joined us! As you begin to enjoy the beautiful springtime Ohio weather, bring the feeling indoors with the addition of the sights, sounds and smells of the season. Lighter colors, floral prints and sheer fabric all come to mind when thinking of spring, but you are missing other important elements if you focus on color and fabric alone! Use your senses when designing this spring. Here’s how:

Create and hang a beautiful spring wreath. The bright yellow forsythia bushes have bloomed and are now green, but you can still keep the flower essence of the plant in your entryway. Purchase a grapevine wreath and faux forsythia and make a simple, elegant wreath to welcome visitors as they arrive.

Fresh cut flowers are not just for dates and special occasions! Spring is an awesome time for bouquets of all colors, shapes and sizes. Cut blooms from your own spring garden or purchase them from the greenhouse or market and display these beauties in your entryway or on your kitchen table. Find varieties that are both beautiful and powerfully fragrant like lilacs, hyacinth and lily of the valley.

Use soundscapes in your home to add auditory texture. You may be done with the season’s thunderstorms, but there are many beautiful springtime sounds on CD that enhance a relaxing Sunday afternoon. Nature sounds like ocean waves, wind blowing in trees and bird singing are just a few selections available, along with accompanying soothing background music.

Aromatherapy is a beautiful springtime home enhancement. Select a few lighter scents to make your home feel more like the season. Use an essential oil diffuser or burner or place the essential oil in a white vinegar solution for cleaning. Choose lemon, tangerine, lavender or bergamot. Top notes or lighter scents make more sense than the heavier, deeper smells of fall and winter.

Use your creativity! Adding sights, smells and sounds of spring to your home gives it just a bit more oomph than visual creativity alone. Stop by one of the two Connell’s location in Mt. Vernon or Newark today, and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook for more deals, specials and design ideas!

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, November 17, 2010

Design Inspires our Lives

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We all have homes and most of us like to decorate. That’s why Connell’s Furniture and Mattresses features design tips and decorating ideas in this blog. As we explore interior design – both past and present – we ask you to think about why you design the way you do. How do you choose furniture and accessories when you shop? This week we want to hear from you! Your design feedback and ideas will help us help you.

The history of interior design is vague as to its beginning. Some historians speculate it started with cavemen drawing in their caves and utilizing different areas for various functions, depending on light and other natural resources. Briefly going back in time, most experts agree however, that the first sign of purposeful design originated with the lavishly decorated Egyptian tombs.

Moving forward to the time of the Renaissance, art and architecture were at the forefront and interior design began to take shape. Form and function were still important, but the wealthy lavishly styled their homes with luxury and beauty in mind. Churches and other interesting architectural structures also formed the beginning of design as we know it today.

Early American design featured artisanship and function, while the Industrial Revolution literally revolutionized how we see and use our homes today. Throughout the last 100 years, items for the home became affordable for the masses. With a wide variety of furniture, accessories, electronics and appliances, most Americans have a multitude of choices. Shouldn’t you choose wisely the items placed in your home, as you spend the majority of your time there?

We want to hear from you. Why do you choose the pieces you do for your home? Is it simply for form or function? Does beauty appeal to you? Do you entertain? Have a family? What about comfort, brand name and quality? No matter your reason or taste, we offer furniture and styles for everyone. Leave us a comment, then stop in to see a Connell’s sales representative to learn more. Be sure to return regularly for other design topics in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Defining Your Design Style

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With so many choices of furniture and accessories, defining your design style may be difficult. Luckily, sticking to strict rules regarding design isn’t as important as it used to be. Still, there are a few distinct styles of furniture to choose from. Your decision is whether or not to strictly use one style or to mix and match them to fit your needs, personality and living space. Here are a few styles, along with their characteristics:

Traditional design style is elegant with attention to detail. Its classic, calm, orderly look is the most popular style in America. Lines are curved and there may be additional fine detailing in a rich colored woodwork such as cherry. Colors are muted and fabrics are rich.

Transitional style is neither traditional nor contemporary, but somewhere in between. History is preserved in some pieces of furniture, while others get sleeker lines and an updated feel to them. In a transitional style home, curves and straight lines are present. Wood color remains rich and other colors throughout the home are often muted, relying more on texture than color to complete the design scheme.

Contemporary and modern style both feature clean, straight lines and more solid colors than traditional or transitional. Mirrors and mirrored pieces of furniture along with polished silver are prevalent. Geometric shapes and a sense of openness gives contemporary style a minimalist feel. The use of bright colors is found more often in modern style than in traditional.

Country style has a distinct feel to it. More casual than traditional and warmer than contemporary, country style features lighter colored woodwork for the furniture. Soft floral and gingham prints are used in shades of red. Black and soft white are also used a lot in this style.

Eclectic style is much harder to define as it borrows from several design styles. For an eclectic style to work, central themes must tie the room together. Colors can vary and the background is often neutral with pops of color throughout the room. Furniture finishes are mixed and the use of old and new are typically incorporated. Imagination and surprise is a sensed in an eclectic room.  Antiques and flea market finds are sometimes re-purposed and mixed with new contemporary looking pieces.

Stop by either of Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark to see furniture and accessories in each of these unique styles, then decide for yourself what your style is.