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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome Spring Indoors

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Welcome spring in with more ways than one way this season! With the sunshine and longer days we feel vibrant and full of energy. Though the weather is erratic, we’re optimistic knowing what’s to come. As you welcome spring into all aspects of your life, don’t neglect your home! There are so many things you can do each spring to bring more joy and life into your home. Read on for tips to get started.

Let the world know you are ready. Hang a colorful wreath at your front door. Replace your lifeless winter wreath with one matching the bright colors of spring. Choose the bright yellow of  beautiful forsythia or the myriad colors of tulips in bloom.

Let the sun shine in! Replace those heavier winter drapes with a lighter version for spring. Choose a sheer panel curtain or light cotton valance. Purchase blinds that can be drawn in the evening if you live in a busy neighborhood and need some privacy. Open them completely during the light of day and bask in the glorious sunshine.

Breathe easier with houseplants. Bring new life indoors. Choose varieties that do well inside and out. Place them indoors in a sunny location and send them out for a little extra sun when the weather is warm enough.

Try your hand at growing something. Start seeds indoors before sowing them into the soil outdoors. Many fruits, vegetables and herbs can get a head start inside. Experiment and have fun. Won’t it be great to eat tomatoes later this summer that you started from seed? Plus you may discover you have more of a green thumb than you originally thought!

Color your season bright. Replace rich autumn tones with soft spring hues on all cloth items throughout your home. Include pillows, blankets, throws, comforters, tablecloths, napkins and place mats. It will give your whole home a brand new feel.

Get a new perspective. Buy a mirror to splash the sunlight around. Place it in a sunny room pointing out so some of the beautiful outdoors is captured inside as well. Rearrange furniture and see things from a new point of view, literally.

Nothing says spring like spring cleaning. Spend one Saturday a month on various tasks around the home to clean in places that get missed during your normal cleaning routine; wash windows, scrub floors, wash linens. Welcome the newness of spring with open arms.

Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today and let us help you put some springtime fun into your home!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creating a Man Cave for the Whole Family

Ask any man, we’ll tell you we enjoy our man caves and our own area to unwind, have fun and entertain guests. Heck, who doesn’t enjoy a room devoted to football, friends and good times! But in many instances, they’re just not practical. For instance, many of us just don’t have the extra living space to devote an entire room to football watching and revelry. Plus, it’s more functional to create a common space – that everyone will love – to share with our wives and children.

In many instances, we can create a versatile living room that our wives will love – contemporary, warm and inviting – while maintaining the bare essentials of a man cave by following these basic steps:

  • Color. Most rooms dedicated to men, sports and cocktails are usually devoid of inviting colors. You know what we mean; dark paint on the walls and very few windows (typically with the blinds pulled shut). Instead, lighten up the room by repainting the walls in neutral colors such as beige, creme or off-white. These are warm, inviting colors that our wives love, and they also won’t clash with some colorful and contemporary artwork that we love. And if the room still appears dark after using lighter color paints and opening the curtains, incorporate mirrors to reflect the light throughout your room.
  • More Color. Decorate your living room with warm and inviting  furniture upholstery colors. Colors such as plum, burgundy, browns, yellows and oranges are comfortable colors that our wives love because of their warm feel. And best of all, these can be contemporary and masculine colors that create a great atmosphere for entertaining.
  • Utilize space. Nothing screams man cave more than an empty room occupied by a large area rug and several recliners. Instead, pick a focal point and fill out the room around this spot. The focal point can be anything from your fireplace to a big screen TV. Fill out the surrounding area with occasional tables and cocktail tables that serve as elegant accent pieces, a gaming area – or even a footrest.
  • Divide the room. Place a sectional or a large sofa in the middle of your living room to divide the room into two different areas. In one area, create a media/TV space where the family can sit down and watch movies and television together – this also doubles as a space to hang out with friends and watch sports. And for the second area, build a lounge setting by incorporating a long rectangular dining table with numerous contemporary bar stools. This area is the ideal place to sit down with the family for a conversation, but it also serves as the perfect setting to entertain guests and have a cocktail.

Visit us in Mt. Vernon or Newark to discover how to turn any room into the ideal living space! Plus all November long, enjoy 2 full years interest-free financing with no minimum purchase and no down payment on millions of dollars worth of inventory that’s in stock and ready for immediate delivery to your living room, bedroom, dining room, home office or youth bedroom.

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, December 22, 2010

Great Design for Small Spaces

Don’t let a small room cause decorating problems! Instead, get creative. Utilize every inch of the area to create an exquisite dream room, even if space is an issue.  Follow the design tips below to breathe fresh life into any small space and make it seem bigger than it actually is.

Be flexible and versatile. Painting the room in a lighter color can make the room feel bigger. Choose antique white, cream or taupe. Place lamps of varying shapes and sizes in locations throughout the room to draw the eye around the room.

Choose furniture in light colors. It’s true, dark furniture can make the room feel small. Buy vibrant accessories such as pillows and wall hangings to add bursts of color.

Keep scale in mind. Add a small sofa or loveseat as opposed to overstuffed pieces that will dominate space.

Place mirrors strategically throughout the area. Mirrors create a sense of openness, tricking the eye into believing there is extra room. Consider hanging a mirror near a window to reflect the outdoors into the room.

Arrange larger pieces of furniture, such as a sofa at an angle. Doing this draws the eye down the diagonal length of the sofa instead of the shorter wall, creating an illusion of depth. An added benefit is the storage space automatically created behind the sofa where you can store items.

Choose pieces of furniture that serve multiple purposes. Storage cabinets or armories will hide a television when not in use. Also, ottomans with hidden storage are perfect for small spaces. Add benches in lieu of chairs in your dining room to save on space and create an open atmosphere.

Finally, take a look at your technology, which tends to take up considerable space. Consolidate by moving your music to a specified computer or music player and get rid of CDs. Also, flat panel televisions are great new alternatives and save on space.

There are numerous ways to create a beautiful and spacious look in any small space. Visit one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark and let our knowledgeable sales representatives help you get started!