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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Simplistic Design

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Spring welcomes warmer weather, longer days and more time outdoors. It also invites spring cleaning as we open the windows to let the fresh air into our homes. As you embark on spring cleaning this year, declutter and create a simplistic feel in your home. Simplistic design is easy and doesn’t have to be boring. Pops of color and little points of contrast are all that’s needed to liven up an otherwise drab room. Let Connell’s show you how to keep simple in mind while adding pizazz to your home.

Clear it out. Begin with a clean slate. The only way to truly clean is to clear out your space or at least move half the stuff to the other side of the room while getting your hands dirty. Go through your belongings and decide if you truly love it or if you’ve just had it so long you never dreamed of getting rid of it. Separate items into “keep” and “donate” boxes.

Paint the walls. After a thorough cleaning, you may decide it’s time to paint the walls. Consider white, cream or beige to keep the room neutral. It will give you a soft palette to work from as you re-create your room simplistically.

Replace large, overstuffed sofas, sectionals and loveseats with slim-lined pieces to create a simplistic feel to the room and more space to move around. Comfort does not need to be compromised with more modern looking furniture. “Test drive” your new furniture to ensure comfort and appropriateness for your family’s needs.

Choose one accent color. Instead of going crazy with color, choose one primary accent color to give the room depth while keeping its design simple. Use varying shades and intensities of the color to give the room more depth and draw the eye around.

Add texture and pattern to the room. Using your accent color, add a pattern or two to the room to give it some flavor. Add texture in more neutral tones such as white or off white pillows, throws, rugs and tapestries.

Give the room depth. Nothing adds depth to a room more than a mirror. Choose one large mirror or several smaller ones placed close together in a pattern to reflect light around the room.

Explore, play and have fun! With design it’s all about what feels right and works best for you and your family. And Connell’s is always here to help, listen and provide additional inspiration. What are you waiting for? Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook to share your inspiration with the rest of the world!

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 13, 2011

A Stunning Entryway

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First impressions matter. You consider them in your personal life, shouldn’t you consider them for your home? Make a grand first impression by meticulously grooming the entryway of your home. Entryways are sometimes neglected because they aren’t always entire rooms. Beyond that, they are easy prey to “catch-all” madness because you use them so much. Change all that and make a fabulous first impression for your home.

Pay attention to curb appeal. Take a look at the outside of your home first. Is is visually appealing? Do you have things sitting around that could go elsewhere? Arrange a small seating area on your front porch if space allows. Place a small garden statue in your flower bed. Hang a seasonal wreath or swag on your front door.

Create a focal point directly inside the entryway. What do your eyes first go to? Choose a large beautiful painting or several small framed pictures of friends and family. Fresh flowers are a nice touch and a large mirror adds both appeal and a way to check yourself as you are leaving for the day.

Proper lighting is essential for guests to feel welcome any time of the day. An overhead dome light, wall sconces or a table lamp are all great choices depending on space and existing furniture.

Add some texture. Place a rug in the entryway, or woven baskets for storage if there is enough space. Another great way to add texture and seating is to include a bench with a few pillows for a place to sit while removing shoes.

Don’t forget functionality. While you want the entryway to be ascetically appealing, consider usage and space. Include a table with storage, hooks for coats and a low shelf for shoes, bags and umbrellas.

Divide the space. If your entryway opens into a larger room and there is enough space to separate it from the rest of the room, use a screen, divider or bookshelf to create two distinct spaces.

You are well on your way to making a grand first impression of your home. Stop by either of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today for more ideas to turn your house into the home of your dreams.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Texturizing for Room Appeal

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Don’t let fear paralyze you into leaving a room bare and lifeless. Turn boring into vibrant! Color is important, as is furniture and layout, but you should never rely on these elements alone to liven up your room. Texturizing a room – or adding depth, dimension and pizazz – is the perfect solution to a dull space. Go crazy, have fun and give your room oomph with these fabulous ideas to add texture.

Start with the perimeter. Give your walls a little pick-me-up! Start by vising any home improvement store and picking your favorite paint color. Then choose an applicator that applies texture to your paint, such as a sponge. Try experimenting with paint glaze to add sheen to your walls, or even wallpaper a single wall instead of all of them.

Stonework isn’t just for your garden’s edge! Stone, tile and slate are all excellent choices that add depth, dimension and texture to any room. Create a backdrop behind your kitchen stove or sink from a few colorful tiles and create a pattern. Use slate for a chalkboard wall or select stone tiles for your bathroom floor. Options are only limited by your imagination!

Chenille, silk and flannel, oh my! Fabric is an excellent way to add texture to a room. Mix and match fabrics in coordinating or diverse colors on pillows, blankets and draperies. Don’t forget about furniture. Numerous options are typically available on that beautiful sofa you recently eyed in our showroom!

Speaking of furniture, options abound in finish. Traditional oak, maple and cherry are mainstays in the furniture industry, but more contemporary styles and finishes are also now available. Mix and match traditional and contemporary throughout the room. Choose from matte, rustic, shiny, mirrored and glass pieces.

“Out with the old, in with the new” is cliche, literally. Gone are the days of ridding your home of old to be replaced by new. Keep those family heirlooms and antiques, mixing them with new to create a one-of-a-kind look. When visitors ask where you found it, proudly say it was Aunt Betsy’s writing desk. How cool is that?

“Yum, is that baked apple pie I smell?” Scent in a  home adds appeal of its own. Candles, incense and reed diffusers come in all shapes, sizes and fragrances. Choose lemongrass for your entry, fresh laundry in your bathroom and hazelnut vanilla for your kitchen. Fragrance elicits emotion, so choose scents that make you feel great.

Decorating choices should be an expression of you. Are you bold, colorful and creative; or quiet, soft and contemplative? Let intuition be your guide as you embark on a home design adventure! Stop by one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark today to get started designing a room – or entire home of your dreams.