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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions for the Home

It’s hard to believe it’s almost 2012. Where did the time go? Isn’t that the question we ask ourselves every year as we grow older? It really is hard to believe how time flies! Nonetheless, it will be 2012 in just a few short days. Have you started making your New Year’s Resolutions? Did you think about your home when doing so?

Your home is your castle, your haven, your safe place to rest. Shouldn’t you nurture and take care of it in the same way you take care of yourself and your loved ones? Consider making at least one resolution for your home and take some time to nurture your relationship to your home. It keeps you warm and dry, doesn’t laugh when you cry and likely takes lots of abuse with all of the time you and your family spend there. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about your own New Year’s Resolutions for you home!

ALL YEAR:

Commit to a room makeover each quarter. Room makeovers don’t have to be huge to be fabulous. Rearrange furniture. Switch pillows and wall hangings out from one room to another. Collect your children’s artwork and buy frames to proudly display them. Want to go bigger? Repaint just one wall. Buy one new piece of furniture. Accessorize in a way you never thought you would. Bigger yet? Go for it! Redo an entire room in 2012. Spread it out over the year if necessary.

ALL YEAR/SPRING:

Do you hate to clean? Make it a ritual and include the whole family. Get the kids involved and offer to give them commission for a job well done. Make your own homemade cleaning supplies that are far less toxic than the ones you find on the shelves. There are all sorts of books and online resources that will show you how, using simple ingredients like vinegar, water, essential oils and baking soda!

Start a garden! When thinking of your home, think of your whole home – the inside and out. If you’ve never had a garden, do it this year. Start small if it seems daunting. Grow a few herbs in pots indoors to use in your favorite dishes. Grow a tomato plant or two in different varieties – think big, large and juicy, as well as small cherry tomatoes for yummy salads in the summer. Potatoes are easy, as are peppers in all varieties and broccoli.

SUMMER:

Host a dinner party or fun barbeque. This is your year! Since you’ve committed to spending some time and energy on your home, host a gathering. Feature your garden beauties and simple fare. Decorate for the season and enjoy your guests. Try it once and you’ll be hooked – friends and food always equals good times!

Bring nature inside whenever possible. Cut a few flowers from the garden or purchase a bouquet from the store to brighten up your home on a regular basis. Try out your green thumb on a new plant or two. Flowers and plants are life and they beautify your home like nothing else.

FALL/WINTER:

Take stock of your belongings. Give what you can away to others who need and will use it. Buy something new for your home. You deserve it and by giving  your gently used stuff away, others will benefit. Connell’s regularly hosts different functions for charity encouraging you to do so. Stay tuned as the year goes on.

Ready, set, bring on 2012! You – and your home – are ready! Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations today in Mt. Vernon and Newark for more ideas, design tips, beautiful home furnishings and unbeatable customer service. Plus, don’t forget to join us on Facebook for regular updates, specials, sweepstakes and more!

 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Going Green for Spring

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It’s springtime – well almost, and this is the best time of year to start observing your carbon footprint. There are many little things you can do each day to begin “going green” in your home. If you have little ones, they’ll thank you AND start good habits early. Read on for tips to simplify, and lesson your footprint around your home. Mother Earth will also thank you.

Thermostat. Begin by turning your thermostat back 3 to 5 degrees each day. With the 70 degree temps we’ve been having, this isn’t too difficult to do. Surprisingly, it isn’t that hard when the weather is colder as well. If you work outside of the home, turn the thermostat back when you leave and raise it to a comfortable level upon returning, keep your sweatshirts and sweaters available throughout spring to warm up this way instead. Once warmer temps arrive for good, open windows instead of running the air conditioning as much as possible.

Lights. Turn off lights when not in use. Replace all standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (cfls). This will cut usage in half, if not more.

Water. Since springtime tends to be a season of rain, set up a rain  barrel or two to catch water. Use the water for houseplants and your new spring garden instead of running water from the faucet. The water is more pure and has many nutrients that regular tap water does not. Your plants will love you for it. When doing laundry, wash in cold instead of hot and use a drying rack whenever possible instead of using the dryer. Skip the bottled water for drinking. Instead buy a water filtration system and save the additional plastic.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. There are far too many items going into the trash these days that can be recycled. Some municipalities offer curbside recycling, and for those that do not, recycle bins are typically within easy traveling distance. Separate and save paper, glass, plastic and aluminum and dispose in recycling bins instead of in the trash. Think before you buy (reduce) and when you are ready for your next furniture purchase, sell your gently used furniture on Craiglist, give it to a friend in need, or donate it to Goodwill or a thriftstore. Your “trash” may be another person’s treasure. Don’t forget about electronic items. Televisions, DVD players, cell phones and more can either be repaired and reused, or recycled. Do not throw them into the trash.

Food. Start a home garden, or a community garden if it will be too tedious to take care of alone. Give a shout out on Facebook about your intention to start a garden and see if any friends want to go along with you. Eating home grown food is amazing and rewarding. It’s a great way to teach kids the value of wholesome nutritious foods. Whether or not you are able to garden, buy local, sustainable food. There are Farmers Markets everywhere starting in about April and running throughout the summer months. There are also local whole food stores that stock items from local farmers instead of shipping them in from Mexico – or Guam.

Celebrate Earth Day this April 22nd, with at least one small change, and commit to doing the same year after year. Soon you’ll be living off the grid. Earth Day is an annual observance which started in the early 70’s to remind the people of Earth of their shared responsibility as environmental stewards

These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are so many things you can do to “go green” and conserve energy and resources. At Connell’s, we know that your home is your castle and we want you to enjoy it to the fullest. That’s why we deliver these tips and tricks to you week after week. Stop by one of our two locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today to see why we give you the best home furnishings, the best prices and the best customer service around.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That’s Entertainment

Now is the best time of the year for friends, family and entertaining! Whether you’re having a themed party or just an informal gathering of friends, Connell’s has both ideas and home furnishings in  stock! Stop in today for that perfect new piece of furniture or home accessory to add a little extra spark to your abode. Connect with us on Facebook for daily inspiration and special offers. And absolutely read on for spring/summer entertainment ideas!

Use the weather to your advantage. Get out the grill, set up that badminton and cornhole game and enjoy the company of friends in the great outdoors. Ask friends to bring a side dish while you provide the grillin’ grub. Spread your patio or porch furniture out into conversation areas throughout your yard or property.

Have a Sunday brunch or tea party. Invite friends and family over for an informal Sunday gathering after church. Create and place a beautiful springtime centerpiece on your dining room table and in your entryway. Arrange a few additional seating areas with the help of portable benches, ottomans and storage cubes. Play soft music and start your week off right! Allow guests to mingle indoors and out depending on weather.

Try something new. Warmer weather invites growth which produces beautiful fruits and vegetables from the garden. Choose your favorite fruit or vegetable and find a new recipe with it as the featured food item. Lighter fare like appetizers and chilled soup are wonderful selections this time of year.

Flowers on food? Yes! Use real flowers on food as a garnish – but make sure to inform your guests that they are just that! Whip up simple vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing and add beautiful spring flowers to the top for that extra pizazz. Your guests will say, “how beautiful! I never thought of that!” and you’ll look like a domestic goddess. Score!

Celebrate family! It’s not necessary to invite guests to have a good time. Announce to the kids that you are having a Family Night and throw a party for yourselves. Let the kids help make kabobs and other finger foods. Have them set the table and get out the games. Whether outside or in, a good time is sure to be shared by all.

At Connell’s, we don’t just sell furniture and mattresses! We help you celebrate your home. After all, there’s “no place like  home.” Stop in to one of our two locations today for home furnishings, mattresses, accessories and other ideas to turn your home into a wonderful gathering place for friends, family, and acquaintances. And don’t forget to find us and share your experiences on Facebook! Stop back next week for more home ideas and design tips!