Latest Colors Give Your House A More Stylish Look For Less
NAPSI)-Here’s a fashion-forward look at the designs, colors and
styles that are in season for your home. Updating the look of your nook can
be easier and less expensive when you turn to the newest decorating trends
For example, Erika Woelfel, design trend forecaster and color expert for
Behr Paints, suggests these four popular styles:
• Rock N’ Roll—conservative neutrals provide masculine
styling and rock eclecticism. Think of a contemporary living room with a
retro vibe. Deco motifs include guitars, sheet music, album covers, vintage
flags and sports memorabilia. Fabrics combine rugged plaids with sleek metal
and leather upholstery. Comfortable furniture tempts you into playing another
hand of cards or kicking back and watching the big game.
• Danish Twist—whites, neutrals and eco-aware accent colors
adorn these rooms. A white kitchen feels light and uncluttered, in stark
contrast to the energy and intensity of other palettes. Natural materials
such as cotton, leather and wood add to the natural sensibilities of a
Danish-inspired kitchen. Wood has a low-luster finish with simple, functional
hardware. Neutral color schemes can be simple, yet extremely elegant.
Pop—optimistic bright colors offer an explosion of youthful
self-expression to create rooms with a fun-filled, action-packed energy. A
wide, pink stripe running up the wall and onto the ceiling adds a dynamic
focal point behind the bed. Bright clothes, accessories, anime posters and
tech gadgets add eclectic style to the room.
Most people are partial to a particular color family. You can use this as
the starting point for selecting your color scheme-perhaps pink for a little
girl. Find coordinating colors to go with that favorite color and you will
design a palette that is unique to her tastes and personality.
• Boudoir Goth—glamorous colors can enhance at-home
entertainment. A modern rendition of Victorian romance with an edge of dark
mystery can bring over-the-top romance and drama to life in any room. The
style reaches back to the days of exotic ornamentation, twilight colors and
candlelit ambience. Furniture styling flirts with bold color and curvy
shapes, while surfaces are reflective and shimmer with polish.
To enrich the color scheme, make use of throw pillows, accent rugs and window
treatments to add a splash of color in a different hue.
You can learn more about home decor and trends from the experts at Behr
Paints, available exclusively at The Home Depot. For inspiration and more
information, visit www.behr.com.
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Kids Room That Inspires Learning And Creativity
(NAPSI)-As the cold weather approaches, kids spend less time outdoors
burning off all that wonderful energy. The change in weather also means that everyone—including
you—spends more time indoors. Don't worry. There's an easy and inexpensive
way to turn any room into an environment that fosters your child's learning
Here are a few tips for creating the perfect area for learning and fun:
• Inspire Creativity. When turning up the creativity in a child's room, a
good place to start is the walls. Light blue (the color of academics) or
light pink or rose are good colors to use, especially for very active
children who need a calming environment to focus. Before painting, apply
three thin coats of Rust-Oleum® Magnetic Primer. It transforms any wall into
a surface that attracts magnets, so kids can hang their favorite photos,
artwork or school papers without tape or pushpins. Add a few funky magnets
but not too many. Too much clutter can be distracting and have a negative
impact on focus and creativity.
• Let Them Write on the Walls (or doors or dresser drawers). Educators
recognize that giving kids a space to express their creativity or just "think
out loud" is an important component of the learning process. Instead of
creating paper clutter or buying a chalk or dry erase board, why not paint a
wall, door or dresser drawers with Rust-Oleum® ChalkBoard or Dry Erase Paint?
ChalkBoard Paint comes in black, green and a tint base where you can choose
from fun colors such as Periwinkle or Raspberry. Both ChalkBoard and Dry
Erase Paint can be applied over existing paint and instantly turn any surface
into a space for math problems, poetry or homework assignments. It's also
great for leaving messages or subtle reminders, like "Time to Clean Your
• Create a Space to Work. You don't have to spend a fortune to give your
child the perfect workspace for studying and homework assignments. You can
transform a flea market desk—or repurpose a table and chair you already
own—with a little spray paint. Try Rust-Oleum® Ultra Cover 2X and coordinate
by spray painting a bookcase, some picture frames—even the bed's headboard—to
add a little more color to the room. The possibilities are endless!
Need more inspiration? Visit www.paintideas.com.
It's the destination for inspiring decorating ideas and creative projects for
every room in your home.
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home? Remove that old wallpaper.
(NAPSI)-The lilac print wallpaper in your bedroom may not be your style.
And if your house is on the market, that lilac print wallpaper is probably not
your prospective buyer's style either. Removing wallpaper is easier than you
may think and has a big impact on a home's appearance. In fact, removing
aging, sagging wallpaper is one of the least expensive ways to improve a
home's resale value and shorten its time on the market, according to a survey
of real estate appraisers.
Follow this advice for "painless" wallpaper removal in three easy steps:
Step 1--Most wallpaper has a waterproof surface, so it's necessary to
score it so the wallpaper stripper can penetrate and loosen the glue
underneath. Use a wallpaper scoring tool like Zinsser PaperTiger®, a
palm-held tool that perforates the wallpaper without damaging the wall. Move
PaperTiger in a circular motion to make as many holes as possible, using light
pressure. The more holes you make, the faster and easier it will be to remove
Step 2--Next, apply a wallpaper stripper like Zinsser DIF® Quick Wallpaper
Stripper, an environmentally friendly wallpaper stripper that removes
wallpaper in just two minutes. DIF Quick loosens the glue underneath the
wallpaper to make wallpaper removal quick and easy. Simply spray the
ready-to-use solution on the scored paper starting at the top and working
your way down, making sure the wallpaper is thoroughly wet. DIF® is also
available in a concentrated liquid, Ultra Concentrate and Gel for tough
wallpaper removal projects.
Step 3--Use a tool like the Paper Scraper™ to remove the loose wallpaper
without surface damage or hard work. If any glue remains after the paper has
been removed, spray the area with more stripping solution, wait a few minutes
and remove the glue with the scraping tool or a sponge and rinse with clean
water. It really is that easy! Before you know it, you will have removed all
the wallpaper, and your room will be ready for redecorating.
For more project ideas and product information, visit www.zinsser.com.
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Out" The Kitchen When Shopping For A New Home
(NAPSI)-Although buying a home is the largest investment most people will
ever make, the decision doesn't have to be as daunting as it may seem to
many. There are some simple guidelines that can help you find a home you will
be happy with for a very long time.
A recent study conducted by Merillat, a leading manufacturer of cabinetry,
found that the kitchen is the most influential room when deciding to buy a
home, followed by the great room and then the master bedroom.
"The kitchen is the gathering place for special occasions, family
functions and day-to-day activities, which is why it is so important for
prospective buyers to ensure that their new kitchen will meet the needs of
their family from a design and functionality perspective," said design
expert Paul Radoy.
The kitchen deserves special attention when shopping for a new home and
has many aspects not always visible with a quick glance. Follow these two
simple guidelines and you'll be better able to decide if the kitchen is right
Keep A Checklist
• Do I like the layout of the kitchen? (Consider the kitchen from an
overall perspective and keep in mind all the items that will require
• Does the kitchen look comfortable and make me feel good when I'm
• Does the kitchen help facilitate frequent casual interactions with
family and friends? (Consider the views into the surrounding rooms. Do the
spaces enable you to easily associate with family and friends?)
• Is the cabinetry durable and well built? Is the finish on the
cabinetry smooth and consistent?
• Does the kitchen have visual impact or a good focal point such as
an island, cooking grotto or other unique feature? (Islands
are a useful feature that many homeowners desire. When examining an island,
identify the tasks or storage functions it serves to be sure it will meet
• Does the kitchen have adequate storage space and built-in features
to accommodate my possessions? (The study found the biggest regret homeowners
have after a kitchen remodel is that they didn't include enough storage
features. Look for drawer organizers, pull-out trays and a lazy Susan.)
Test-Drive The Kitchen
• Open and close the drawers several times to be sure they roll in
and out smoothly and quietly.
• Open the wall and base cabinets, because you may discover unique
• Pretend you're making a meal and role-play the necessary steps
involved to see if the space is laid out as efficiently as possible.
• Examine the thickness of the wood on the drawer fronts and sides,
as well as the cabinet doors.
• See if the hinges are adjustable to make for a correctly aligned
• Investigate the cabinet interiors to determine whether they're
covered with a durable water- and stain-resistant material versus a
• Check to see that the color of the interior complements the
Most importantly, when shopping for a new home, take your time and analyze
all aspects of the home to ensure it is perfect for you and your family. To
learn about kitchen design and storage features, visit Merillat, a leading
manufacturer of cabinetry, at www.Merillat.com.
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Makes A Comeback
NAPSI)-What’s old is new again, at least when it comes to home
decor and entertaining these days.
More and more Americans are bringing out the old family china to enjoy—and
share—the warmth, color and comfort of family values, simpler times and
a slower pace of life. To bring about a feeling of nostalgia at your next
family gathering or dinner party, try these tips:
• Bring out family photo albums and ask the older folks to tell
about the people and events that are shown. Grandparents generally enjoy
reminiscing and kids often love hearing about what people did before there
were computers and video games.
• Serve old-fashioned food. Turn to grandma’s favorite recipes
or look up vintage cookbooks online or at the library.
• Set the dial to “then.” Play popular songs from the
past or show DVDs of old favorite TV shows or movies.
• Set the table with charming, nostalgic dinnerware. One example of
a tried-and-true style that’s been around for generations is Fiesta
Dinnerware, now celebrating 75 years of making its colorful iconic dishes.
As one collector put it, “I feel happy and closer to my grandparents
knowing they ate off the same dishes I am now using.”
Over its history, the dinnerware has become one of the most popular
patterns for gift givers and at bridal registries.
Designed by noted ceramist Frederick Hurten Rhead, Fiesta Dinnerware is
The Homer Laughlin China
Company’s best-selling line. It was introduced in 1936 and features art
deco styling and bold, bright colors--14 at any given time. Over the years,
more than 50 pieces in 41 complementary colors have been produced and sold at
hundreds of retail stores throughout the country.
The line was discontinued in 1973 and reissued in 1986 to mark its 50th
anniversary. The dinnerware has since become one of the most collected china
products in the world and prized for its unmatched durability, distinctive
design and superior heat retention as well.
• Learn more. For further information, including where to find new
pieces to start or fill in a dinnerware set, visit www.homerlaughlin.com or call (800)
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Not Just A Fashion Statement
(NAPSI)-Designer-inspired looks, rich embellishments and technological
advances are changing the way people look at flooring.
Floors have become more than a surface to walk on. Today's residential
flooring makes a statement not only of fashion, but also of homeowner
philosophy that transcends taste and space.
For example, floors today feature recycled leathers and suedes, woods that
are not merely "exotic" but also "green," self-cleaning
ceramics, and carpets made from corn sugars.
For wood flooring, tropical looks that are also environmentally friendly
are the rage as manufacturers show an understanding of newly established
environmental standards. Hardwoods from sustainable forests undergo natural
staining and aging treatments that leave them looking much like their highly
sought but endangered rainforest cousins. Unfinished vintage looks and
high-gloss, piano-finish contemporary wood planks are also growing in
popularity. Coconut palm floors resembling zebrawood are a new trend--and
they are eco-friendly, durable and affordable.
Carpets and Area Rugs
The ever-popular plush carpet appears in a wide variety of alternative and
sustainable materials and styles, including a new, luxurious hemp weave that
looks and feels like silk and a cozy "fisherman-style" wool weave
rug that's like a sumptuous sweater for your floor.
Neutrals will also hold their place in plush flooring but the color du
jour in carpet and rugs is turquoise, bringing a clean, fresh representation
of water and sky into the home.
To add a bit of sparkle to your plush floors, a number of manufacturers
have woven shiny tinsel into new carpets and rugs.
Giving American homes an international look for less, laminated floors are
made to look like exotic woods inspired by tropical varieties from Hawaii, Honduras
and Africa. One new line of wood-look laminates
offers a beautiful alternative to timbers that can no longer be harvested
without harming the environment--and breaking the law. Homeowners can enjoy
an exotic look underfoot without having to fear for the rainforests because
Porcelain and Ceramic
Tiles are now available in every color, texture, shape and size
imaginable. In fact, a rapidly developing trend in the category is to design
your own. Many companies are now offering completely customizable tiles in a
wide assortment of materials and a rainbow array of colors. Many will even
create custom dyes for consumers who send in swatches of fabric or paint to
Then there's this feat for your feet: A new tile line infused with
antimicrobial protection that won't wash off or wear away provides a layer of
defense from stain- and odor-causing bacteria.
The resilient category--which includes vinyl, cork and linoleum, among
other surfaces--offers new looks that closely resemble travertine, limestone,
concrete and slate but leave out the high price and high maintenance. New
lines of rich-looking leather and suede tiles are made from recycled car
seats and jackets.
To help you find flooring to suit your sense of style, the World Floor
Covering Association website, www.WFCA.org,
has answers to floor-covering questions. It also offers a product catalog and
practical tips on manufacturing details, varieties and styles available,
things to consider before you buy and how to prepare for installation, plus a
database of retailers to help you find a store nearby.
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Gas Heat: The Clean, Green Choice
(NAPSI)--Economy, style and safety. These are three reasons a growing
number of homeowners are turning to clean, green, vent-free gas-heating
products, which include heaters, logs, stoves, inserts and fireplaces. They
provide sensible green heat to supplement the central HVAC system, saving
money and energy while keeping homes warm and comfortable. All models operate
on natural gas or propane and require no electricity--a special bonus during
electrical power outages.
Because they operate at 99 percent efficiency, vent-free gas-heating
products are extraordinarily economical, delivering 99¢ worth of heat for
every energy dollar spent. Vent-free gas appliances promote zone heating,
focusing warmth where needed and saving more than 20 percent on energy costs,
according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Environmentally friendly, vent-free gas-heating products come in a wide
variety of types, styles and colors, ranging from traditional to
contemporary. Whatever your home's decor, there's one that's perfect--at a
surprisingly affordable price to purchase and install: as little as $400 for
a heater, $500 for a log, $1,400 for a stove, $1,400 for an insert and $1,500
for a fireplace with a mantel. Plus, many homeowners find that adding a
vent-free gas unit increases their home's resale value.
Designed to operate with your home's natural ventilation system,
energy-efficient, vent-free gas-heating products don't need a chimney and can
be placed practically anywhere. Because these products have been sold in the U.S.
for more than 30 years, they have an extensive, stellar safety record. All
models are safety tested and assured by an independent certification agency.
With a clean, green, vent-free gas appliance, you can enjoy the added
comfort and security of knowing that you've made a safe, green choice for
Over 20 million American homes have vent-free gas heaters, logs,
fireplaces, stoves or inserts. These savvy homeowners appreciate the economy,
style and safety of sensible green heat. To learn more or to download a free
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Homeowners Reap Rewards
(NAPSI)-Homeownership is how many American families accumulate wealth. One
reason is that homeowners can take advantage of tax benefits such as the mortgage
interest deduction every year at tax time and capital gains exclusions when
they sell their home.
Over the long term, homeowners also tend to accumulate equity, which
contributes to a notable increase in their personal net worth. The most
recent data from the Federal Reserve Board shows a homeowner's net worth is
46 times that of a renter's.
"There's a reason homeownership is called the American Dream," said
National Association of Realtors® president, Vicki Cox Golder. "People who
buy within their means with the intent to stay in their homes for more than a
few years have the opportunity to build long-term financial stability.
Homeownership is the first rung on the ladder to building wealth, both
socially and financially. A fixed-rate mortgage might last 15 to 30 years;
renting is forever."
Beyond financial considerations, many people become homeowners to help
their families. Nearly four out of 10 recent buyers had at least one child
under age 18, and academic studies show homeownership promotes lower juvenile
delinquency rates, lower teen pregnancy rates and higher student achievement.
Homeowners can make their houses more attractive and comfortable and
increase the value at the same time. Websites such as HouseLogic.com can provide tips, home
improvement advice and how-tos that can inspire homeowners and help them
maintain and enhance their home's value.
For example, HouseLogic.com
suggests these easy ways to improve your home's curb appeal.
• Paint it. A new paint job will renew your home's facade.
• Wash it. Pressure washing particularly makes the house look bright and
clean at a fraction of the cost of having the house painted.
• Trim the shrubs and green up the yard. Cut down overgrown bushes and replace
them with leafy plants and annuals.
• Add a splash of color. It could be a flower bed, new paint for the front
door or a brightly colored bench on the front porch.
• Add a fancy mailbox and house numbers. An upscale mail box and
architectural house numbers or an address plaque can give your house a
• Repair or clean the roof. Stains and moss can be handled with
• Put up a fence. A picket fence with a garden gate to frame the yard is
• Perform routine maintenance and cleaning. Fix hanging gutters, replace
missing bricks on the walkway and make your house shine.
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