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Ventilation Options Save Energy Bring the Beach Into Your Home Lighting Tips Update Table Settings Settings a Beautiful Table Brighten Your Bathroom

Warm And Cozy, Whatever The Weather

(NAPSI)—One of the hottest trends in warming homes—and keeping them cozy—is the energy-efficient heat pump.

Heat pumps aren't known for being particularly good at providing heating in cold climates. Older models of heat pumps often require an additional heat source to keep a home warm during the winter. However, the latest heat pump technology offers superior heating performance, especially at lower outdoor temperatures, and is changing the way people think about such systems.

For example, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating, an industry leader in cooling and heating technology, offers a heat pump option that operates at full heating capacity at temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Mitsubishi Electric Hyper-Heating® systems use a unique technology that enables the heat pumps to provide year-round comfort in extreme climates while being extremely energy-efficient. In many applications, there is no need for resistance electric or other supplemental, energy-consuming devices to provide this level of performance.

The H2i® systems are ENERGY STAR® and tax-credit qualified, and the systems maximize energy savings by making sure only the energy needed to heat an area perfectly is used. The system also features an auto changeover function in which it senses whether a space needs cooling or heating and automatically switches mode as needed to maintain a consistent temperature.

Inside the home, the heat pumps feature quiet operation and an enhanced filter system. A sensor scans the room and makes real-time adjustments based on temperature readings.

These systems don't need ductwork, making them easy to install and providing complete personal comfort control for each room. All Mitsubishi Electric systems use environmentally friendly refrigerant and are made of mostly recyclable parts.

To learn more, you can go to www.MitsubishiComfort.com.

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Illuminating the Latest Ventilation Options

(NAPSI)—Interest is circulating in fans that do more than improve indoor air quality. Homeowners may be reluctant to settle for just a standard ventilation fan when the latest fans also offer lighting options to help beautify a room and safely navigate it.

Ventilation and Ambience

For example, the NuTone LunAura Collection offers a lighting option to create a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere in a bathroom.

In addition to its incredibly quiet and powerful ventilation, the ENERGY STAR®-qualified NuTone LunAura offers bright task lighting as well as soothing blue LED night lighting to enhance the ambience of a room in need of additional ventilation. Its innovative technology helps to create a calming atmosphere and is much more visually appealing than standard fan and fan/light combinations.

The soft lighting offers the convenience and safety of a functional night-light while simultaneously showcasing a contemporary look that can be a central design focus and an immediate conversation starter.

A Soft Blue Hue

NuTone LunAura comes in two clear light panels (round, square/diamond) which give the appearance of natural glass when the LED light is off. When turned on, the panels become a beautiful soft blue hue.

This hue allows one to more easily get back to sleep after a middle-of-the-night visit to the bathroom. It also features a 36- watt GU24 main light for brightness and efficiency.

The product has an HVI-certified 110 CFM air movement rating and a nearly silent 0.7 Sone rating. In addition, more than 50 BROAN and NuTone ENERGY STAR-qualified ventilation fans are designed, engineered, manufactured and customer supported in the U.S.A.

For More Information

For more information, visit www.NuTone.com.

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Save Energy Without Sacrificing Design

(NAPSI)—One way to save some green in your wallet is to buy green ENERGY STAR®-qualified products.

The ENERGY STAR program alone helped Americans save enough energy in 2010 to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars—all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.

On average, 25 percent of in-home energy is used by appliances and lighting. That's why using ENERGY STAR products is a win-win situation for homeowners and the reason that the popularity of such products continues to grow.

In response, manufacturers have created an ever-expanding range of appliances that combine energy efficiency with design appeal. For example, Broan-NuTone, the leader in providing ENERGY STAR residential ventilation solutions, now offers more than 50 ENERGY STAR-qualified ventilation solutions to choose from.

There are energy-efficient solutions for kitchen, bath and whole-house ventilation needs, helping to rid the home of excess humidity, odors and indoor pollutants to help improve indoor air quality.

The BROAN and NuTone lineup includes ceiling fans, range hoods, ventilation fans and fan/light combinations. These ventilation fan models use less than 10 kilowatt-hours per year with normal use and only cost around $1 per year in energy costs!

There are a variety of energy-efficient range hood options to fit both ventilation and décor needs. Also, select indoor and outdoor models of the NuTone ceiling fan collection are ENERGY STAR qualified and can lower energy usage associated with operating costs while improving the quality of the air circulating in and outside the home.

All of these products are certified by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), which assures homeowners that the certified airflow and sound ratings are the result of testing by an independent laboratory.

For more information, visit www.BROAN.com or www.NuTone.com.

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Bring The Beach Into Your Home Year-Round

(NAPSI)—There's nothing better than digging your toes in the warm sand, breathing crisp, salty air or hearing the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline. But whether the beach is close to home or thousands of miles away, you don't have to leave the memories behind at the summer's end. There are many creative ways to bring the beach into your home all year long.

Here are a few project ideas that are sure to give you that tranquil beach feel even on a gloomy winter day:

Accent with shimmering sea glass. Sea glass is one of the rarest of all beach finds. Perhaps that's why purchasing an accent piece made of natural sea glass can be very expensive. But thanks to paint innovation, it's easy to replicate the glimmering bluish green tone of natural sea glass and create a beautiful accent piece without spending a fortune.

Find an old glass jar, bowl or vase around your home—or purchase one at the dollar store. Then spray it with a paint like Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Spray. Fill the jar or bowl with sand, coral or shells you brought home from the beach. It will cost less than $10 but will look like you spent a fortune.

Seashells forever. Hunting for shells is a timeless beach pastime. And the seashells you find can be used to create one-of-a-kind decorations to give a beach feel to your home year-round.

Make sure to clean your shells with soap and water to remove sand, salt and other debris. Once completely dry, spray on a coat of Bulls Eye Shellac. Its all-natural shellac resin will seal in lingering odors and preserve the shells so they don't crumble over time. Let the shells dry overnight. Then get out your glue gun and attach them to any surface you choose. It's an easy, affordable way to spend some post-beach time with your kids.

Frame up your vacation memories. Photos are great for reminiscing about warm summer days at the beach. So instead of storing them on your hard drive, why not frame them in ocean-esque colors for all to see?

Find a few old frames, either at home or from a thrift store. Then paint them with a spray paint like Rust- Oleum Stops Rust Harbor Blue or Ultra 2X Aqua. Group your photos on a vacation wall—or display them throughout your home—to keep your warm, sunny days at the beach top of mind throughout the winter's chill.

Visit Facebook.com/Paintideas for additional inspiring and creative decorating projects.

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3 Biggest Lighting Mistakes

(NAPSI)—Homeowners don't have to be in the dark when it comes to avoiding common lighting mistakes. Here are several examples and tips on how to avoid them:

• Not installing landscape lighting. With the proper lighting, your home can look even more dramatic at night than during the daytime, have greater security and increase its value.

• Choosing the wrong-sized lighting fixtures. Take the width of the room, add it to the length of the room, turn that measurement from feet to inches—that is a good approximation of how wide the fixture should be. Also, make sure the bottom of your dining room fixture is 30" off the table.

• Not using a dimmer. Lighting controls have several advantages over on/off switches—starting with savings. A $20 dimmer pays for itself within the first year.

Videos detailing these and other common mistakes—and how to avoid them—are available on the Capitol Lighting website at www.1800lighting.com/mistakes.

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Set The Table For "Then" Or "Now"

(NAPSI)—Whether it's inherited china from Grandma or place settings straight off the wedding registry, the choice of accessories and tabletop decor can bring old-world charm to new dinnerware or freshen beloved family heirlooms.

Fiesta Dinnerware, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, offers some tips on how to set the table with something old and new.

From Contemporary To

Country Cottage

Even modern solid-colored dinnerware can translate to a fresh, vintage look when paired with well-picked accessories. Place sprigs of herbs in petite vases in a row down the middle of the table, or use a white cotton tablecloth with a touch of lace. Incorporate natural materials like jute through place mats, or bring in sun-washed colors like buttercream through cloth napkins, which can often be picked up for next to nothing at yard sales or secondhand shops. Don't be afraid to mix and match complementary colors in order to come up with a complete set. And, in lieu of water glasses, pick up a few Mason jars.

From Traditional To Trendy

No matter the color scheme, there's always a way to update traditional styles—even the floral pastels of Grandma's best china. Just incorporate more intense versions of the colors. A simple apple-green table runner, for example, could play up flowers in the dinnerware's design, and feels fresher than a traditional tablecloth. By adding dishes in solid colors like Marigold, Fiesta's new color of the year, or Turquoise, you can create a timeless yet perky feel.

Items with curving, Art Deco—style lines—like the company's sleek Disc Pitcher—can also provide a bridge between today's geometric prints and yesterday's elaborate designs.

From Transitional To Timely

Many people have dinnerware and other accessories that are considered "transitional"—with stylized floral patterns or a simple printed border—and that lend themselves easily to "then" and "now."

For example, dinnerware with an ombré design—in which one color gradually fades into a second—can feel modern and funky when served with square bowls in a solid coordinating color, but just as easily goes vintage if a calico-print tablecloth and fresh bouquet of flowers are on the table.

For more inspiring colors and combinations, visit www.homerlaughlin.com or call 800-452-4462.

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Setting A Beautiful Table

(NAPSI)—The next time you have friends or family over for dinner, show off your personal style by setting a beautiful table that makes your guests feel special.

The Table

Start by thinking about what kind of party you're having. Decorate around a theme, a holiday, a season, a personal occasion, travel photographs and souvenirs or your favorite color.

Be creative with your centerpiece and make sure it ties back to your overall theme. Look around the house for ribbons, shells, flowers, candles, jewelry and unique items to use in your place settings and centerpiece.

For example, tie up the napkins with holly for a holiday party or decorate place settings with miniature pumpkins for a harvest theme. Fresh flowers are also nice to display on the table as long as they're kept low so your dinner guests can see around them.

The Tableware

Be sure to use your favorite dishes. Whether you prefer clean lines, florals, casual or transitional patterns, your dishes should help you express your personal style while enhancing the food you are serving.

To help, Pfaltzgraff, a leading brand of quality tableware and home accents, has a wide selection of patterns for everyday dining and entertaining and a broad range of multifunctional accessories that can help you make every meal special. Whether you prefer hand-painted floral designs or geometric reactive glaze looks, you're likely to find something that will help you make a statement on the table.

If you are looking for a versatile set of dishes that will never go out of style, consider Heritage dinnerware. This classic white stoneware pattern—noteworthy for the 200th anniversary of Pfaltzgraff—offers traditional styling that can be dressed up or down for casual dining or special occasions.

Resources

If you'd like to get more table-setting ideas for your next entertaining event, visit www.pfaltzgraff.com to view new patterns and check out the wide variety of accessories you can use to personalize your table. If you have any questions, call (800) 999-2811.

 

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Brighten Your Bathroom In A Weekend

(NAPSI)—If you're looking for a fun makeover project, the easiest room to redecorate may be your bathroom. It's a small space, so giving it a fresh look makes for a great weekend project.

It's also the room most likely to need a makeover, as this high-traffic area is prone to stains caused by moisture from your shower and bath, as well as makeup and grooming products. By adding a fresh coat of paint, bathrooms can be transformed quickly and affordably.

The natural place to start is by deciding on a color scheme. You may want to begin by selecting various color swatches or paint samples from the store or using online color coordination tools. Once you have the paint samples in hand, try them on the wall and note how they look during different times of the day.

Erika Woelfel, director of color at Behr Paints, suggests you note how colors reflect the light. The bathroom is the first place you look at yourself every day, which is why she favors pink for bathrooms.

"Peach, apricot and salmon pinks provide a warm, rosy background glow. They're great to use in dressing or vanity areas as they enhance skin tones for daily grooming," said Woelfel. "We all want to put our best foot forward each morning and color can help." To keep it fresh, use white for the trim and fluffy white towels.

Here are a few color schemes and themes to try:

Keep It Classic: If your sense of style leans toward more traditional tastes, a classic bathroom may suit your aesthetic needs. Consider a light minty green, an ethereal white and a downy white, then accent with soft pops of color. Choose an eclectic collection of light fixtures and hardware.

Make a Bold Statement: Go for all-out glamour with walls in aubergine, eggplant and lilac. Add black trim and onyx tiles to the floor. Brighten with white towels and linens.

Go Tranquil: Use the soft colors of nature to whisk you away. Pale spring green walls and luminous gray-green tiles evoke grass, while cloud-white accents, potted plants and natural wood add to the ambience.

Dress the Room with Fabric: Fabric can add depth and texture to a design scheme. Fabric considerations include matching or coordinating shower curtains and window treatments, as well as colorful towels. To make towels even more distinctive, add ribbon banding for trim.

Get a Handle on It: Sometimes, a room's look is all in the details. If there are cabinets or drawers in your room, one easy way to spruce things up is to change the handles. A variety of decorative drawer pulls and handles can be incorporated into a decorating scheme. Follow up with glasses, trays and other accessories that fit into your scheme. And don't be afraid to paint built-ins.

Here are a few tips to help with your weekend bathroom makeover:

• Use an online program like ColorSmart by Behr to select, match and coordinate color. You can also save your selections to a workbook and buy samples online at www.behr.com.

• Pick up smaller brushes to reach corners, baseboards and hard-to-reach places and a roller for larger surface spaces.

• Be sure to pick up tape and paper to cover fixtures, mirrors and countertops to keep those elements free of paint and keep clean-up easy.

• Choose a paint that is well suited for bathrooms, like Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior in a Semi-Gloss or Satin Enamel finish, available exclusively at The Home Depot. This paint and primer in one is great for bathrooms, with an easy-to-clean, durable, mildew resistant finish that helps protect against moisture and stains and provides improved hiding in fewer coats for a quicker re-do.

For more information and inspiration ideas, visit Behr's new blog penned by Woelfel at www.colorfullybehr.com. You may also "like" the paint company at www.facebook.com/behrpaint and follow it at www.twitter.com/behrpaint.

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