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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Decorating a Long, Narrow Room

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We probably all remember the excitement we felt when we moved into our first apartment.  Some of us may even remember a similar feeling when, as empty nesters, we downsized to a smaller residence.  Both homes very likely had one feature in common – a long, narrow living area.

There’s no doubt decorating a single, elongated space is challenging. The larger, open spaces make arranging furniture tricky. Below are a few secrets to conquering these narrow spaces and providing chat-friendly areas within the room.

  • Create individual focal points within the room to draw visual attention.

Place an entertainment center at one end of the room or in a corner.  Hang a dramatic piece of art with an accent light above it. Brighten a fireplace with sconces, buffet lamps or tall candleholders.

  • Design separate intimate conversation areas.

Segment furniture in groupings adjacent to the focal points. Arrange club chairs or a chaise at angles in front of the entertainment center. Place a plush sofa perpendicular to the fireplace with twin accent chairs opposite the sofa.  Create a reading nook by arranging bookcases at right angles within a corner and adding a cozy recliner and lamp.

  • Anchor each zone with an area rug.

A rug will add personality and create visual separation from other sections of the room.  Select a rug which coordinates in style and color with the furnishings in each conversation area. To make the area look wider, place the rug at an angle.

  • Trick the eye into believing the room is shorter

Paint each end of the room a darker shade.  This trick will visually remove length from the room. Go a step further and paint the ceiling a light white.  A very light ceiling will draw the eye upwards instead of forwards down the room.

Your Connell’s sales representative in Mt. Vernon or Newark will be happy to help you select just the right furnishings and accents to create cozy conversation areas. With a little ingenuity, your long room will become a fashionable and versatile living space.

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, 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.