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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Storage Solutions

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Old Man Winter won this year! Undoubtedly, the cold halted all outdoor pursuits and havoc prevailed on an otherwise organized home as you were forced to stay indoors. As always, Connell’s is here to help. We have furniture and accessories to create the perfect mood. Lucky for you we also have storage solutions to help you stay organized as you transition from one season to the next.

Oh no! Your winter coats have taken over your house! Put them away by clearing out a small space in your entryway for a new coat closet that can double as an organizer during the warmer months. Small, movable closets are available which measure just a few feet wide and stand about six feet tall. Most have hooks, a closet area to hang larger coats and jackets, plus drawers and cubbies. Once winter has passed, use the closet for storage of other often-used items such as raincoats, umbrellas and book bags.

Storage cubes and ottomans keep family game night within easy reach. These convenient storage places are perfect for living room or family room use. Keep cards and board games out of site when not in use and use these storage spaces as a playing area when you need one fast! Magazines, remotes and books can also be easily hidden to keep clutter at bay.

The kids’ rooms become messy easily as more time is spent indoors. Puzzles, games, Legos and video games become a giant pile after just one afternoon. Storage solutions for kids are both fun and functional. Purchase shelves with removable baskets to individually store items. Color code toys and games by basket for easy clean up and retrieval.

A writing desk is a wonderful family organizational tool. Adding this piece of furniture to your home organizes the most chaotic mess of all – paper. This family space saver is a great way to keep everyone’s schedules coordinated and within easy reach. Mail has a central place to land before opening and organizing. Choose separate drawers for each person in the family. Use the center drawer for commonly shared items such as pens, paper, scissors, tape, stamps and paper clips.

Get organized now, before bigger Spring cleaning begins over the next few months. You’ll feel lighter and happier when you do. Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon and Newark today for other ideas and inspiration to get—and keep—you organized.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Arranging a seating area

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No, it’s not true. Your home isn’t plotting against you. It’s just that each room has its unique challenges.  Take living areas for example.

If you live in an older-ranch style home, your living room might be long and narrow.  If your home is a modern two-story residence, you may have a “great” room big enough for an army encampment.  Yet if you happen to be an apartment dweller, your living room may be barely large enough for a sofa.

Here are a few tips for arranging seating to solve these pesky problems.

Start with a focal point. A focal point is an architectural detail or decorative accent that draws immediate attention within a room.  Most family areas have a fireplace or dramatic window as a focal point.  In your home it might be a striking painting or an aquarium. You’ll want to arrange seating in a group to take advantage of this focal point.

Look at traffic flow. Take at look at the location of doorways.  Will family traffic move through the room from side-to-side or at an angle? Seating should be placed to allow for traffic to pass easily around and not through the grouping.

Consider Your Options. There is no rule that says a sofa must sit against a wall.  In fact, placing a sofa perpendicular to a wall creates drama. There is also no rule that says a sofa and loveseat must be combined in a seating arrangement; it frequently isn’t the most logical or comfortable option.

In fact, there is no rule that says a sofa needs to be used at all.  A comfortable seating area can be created by combining a chaise or loveseat with accent chairs.

What’s most important is to create an inviting conversation area.  Some rooms just need a little creativity.

Get Creative. Segment long, narrow rooms into separate seating areas.  One spot might include two small accent chairs facing a sofa, while the other seating location may have two armless chairs flanking a bistro table.  As an alternative, a comfy discussion area can be created in an out-of-the-way corner.

Use area rugs to define separate seating areas in a very large room.  A sectional sofa can become a comfortable conversation nook at one end of a “great” room with a group of loveseats or accent chairs at the other end.

When a room is square, concentrate seating in one single area. If family traffic flows along the edge of a living room, place twin sofas on either side of a fireplace or entertainment center.

If your home is an urban condo with a very small living room, go with a loveseat or apartment-size sofa and a single small accent chair and ottoman.  The ottoman can be moved to provide additional seating as needed.  Think about adding a cocktail table with nested seating underneath which can be pulled out when friends arrive.

Visit Connell’s today in Mt. Vernon or Newark and let one of our sales representative show you the many seating options available in store today.

 

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, February 9, 2011

The Five S’s of Studiousness

Success begins in the bedroom. No really, it does. Your child’s success in school is directly related to the functional design of his/her bedroom. Ensure your child puts his/her best foot forward each and every day in the classroom. Begin by building a cozy, comfortable bedroom around the five ‘S’s’: sleep, study, storage, stimulus and safety.

Sleep

On average, children need eight to nine hours of sleep per night to maintain their attention span in the classroom. Start by turning off the TV and giving your child a comfortable bed.

Study

Providing your child with a fun and creative bedroom is only half the battle in making them star students. Now you must motivate them to study!

  • Give them plenty of space to spread out and work. Make sure the desk you choose has adequate space to allow them to lay out their books, pencils, pens, paper, and markers. Look for a child’s desk with built-in shelving for books and supplies, or consider a long rectangular table.
  • Hang a calendar or bulletin/dry-erase board over their desk and encourage them to use post-notes and colorful dry-erase markers. This will teach your children how to follow a schedule and alleviate any confusion of assignment due dates.
  • Set aside a designated homework time for your child – after school or after dinner – and give them space in their room when they need it, and be available to help them.

Storage

School supplies in addition to your child’s hordes of toys equal a clutter nightmare! Prevent this disaster by outfitting their room with furniture designed for extra storage.

Stimulus

Kids will be kids … and what better place to be a kid than in your their own bedroom. Let their room be a refuge, a place for daydreams as well as sweet dreams.

  • Allow a little leeway in choosing their favorite paint colors and bedding to let your kid’s personality shine through.
  • Provide toys that stimulate their imagination like building sets, paper, crayons, or dolls.

Safety

Looking out for the safety of our children means they will sleep safe and sound, and we as parents will rest assured they aren’t in danger.

  • Depending on your child’s age, make sure the ends of furniture are rounded and protectors are in the electrical sockets.
  • Place a nightlight in your child’s room.
  • To make sure your child is calm in their room, use soft colors or pastels to paint the walls or for decoration.
  • Teach them to put away their toys and remove clutter from the floor. This will curb anxiety and prevent tripping over that race car and hurting themselves in a fall.

This advice will help your child do well in school, and you’ll do well at  home by cutting down on the inevitable complaints about math, history and writing homework! Stop by one of Connell’s two locations and give your child the gift of a studious and beautiful bedroom!