TIP OF THE WEEK: Change the direction of your fan
With the right settings, ceiling fans can help circulate cool air and cut energy costs during the summer. These instructions from Home Depot will teach you how to select the correct ceiling fan direction for the warmest summer months.
In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise so the blades push cool air down in a column, making the air feel cooler than it is. It allows you to turn your thermostat up a few degrees and save money.
Typically, you can set the counterclockwise rotation by pushing the direction switch on the side of the motor housing down, but be sure to check your fan’s instruction manual to confirm. If you are unsure if your fan is turning the correct direction, stand directly under the fan and look up. If the fan is moving counterclockwise and you feel a rush of air, it’s in the correct setting for summer.
Remember, while a good ceiling fan set to the right ceiling fan direction in summer can take the edge off of a very hot summer, it does not actually cool the air in the room. The ceiling fan improves air circulation and creates a breeze that you feel on your skin, a “wind chill” effect. To maximize the effect, the fan should be turned on to its highest speed.
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GARDENING: Seven tips for composting
Not only is composting great for your garden, but it is also great for the environment. Choose to turn vegetables, coffee grounds, grass clippings and fallen leaves into a compost, rather than just throwing them away. Here are seven tips from Bob Vila for everyone interested in composting.
Compost efficiently and consistently for fast results: Composting happens faster when you consistently maintain the right conditions. How fast the pile breaks down depends on several factors: particle size, carbon to nitrogen ratio, temperature, moisture, and aeration. Passively managed compost piles, where material is left alone, can take a year or longer to process, whereas the most efficient composting systems can take as little as three weeks to turn out a batch of finished compost.
Look for signs to know when compost is ready: When the compost is ready, the pile will shrink to half its original size and the materials will be unrecognizable.
Screen your compost: When your compost is ready, there will still be a few large particles left behind that shouldn’t be mixed into your garden. Filter out these sticks and stones to make a smooth product suitable for using indoors or out.
Store compost until you need it: When you have more compost than you need, screen it and store it. Use woven bags or plastic containers with air holes punched in the sides. Store the containers in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to use compost in your garden.
Make a potting mix: Use screened compost for potting soil for your container plants. Use one part compost and three parts perlite or vermiculite by volume.
Incorporate compost into garden beds in early spring or fall: At planting time, mix one to two inches of compost into your garden beds.
Mix compost with native soil when you plant trees, shrubs and perennials: When planting a tree or shrub, make a mixture of compost and soil from the planting hole. This combination creates a transitional growing environment where roots can easily expand from the potting mix, while also flourishing into the local soil.
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DECORATING TIP: How to use peel-and-stick wallpaper
With peel-and-stick wallpaper, decorating your home doesn’t have to be a permanent commitment. The temporary, easy-to-apply and easy-to-remove wallpaper can transform a room or a piece of your furniture in an instant –– without damaging the surfaces underneath. For renters or anyone who wants to refresh their home with a semi-permanent new look, this low-stakes interior design option is a perfect go-to. Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be applied to a variety of surfaces, so you can decorate more than just your walls. Check out some creative ideas from Home Depot to get you inspired.
Accent wall: A standout wall can make a cramped space feel larger and fill an otherwise empty area. Use peel-and-stick wallpaper to liven up unusual nooks and corners, such as underneath stair railing, on the walls of a built-in window seat or any other wall space that is difficult to decorate for an intriguing look and classic feel.
Closet: Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be applied to the interior of a drab closet for an unexpected pop of color. Or, apply it to the interior and exterior of plain closet doors.
Ceiling: You can use this removable wallpaper to imitate a wood panel, tile or pattern on your ceiling. For cozier-feeling spaces, choose a wallpaper that is darker. For an airier, brighter space, choose lighter wallpaper.
Backsplash: Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be used as an alternative to a traditional kitchen backsplash. Apply it behind your sink for a fun, new look.
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HOME RENOVATION: Making small spaces bigger
Since we’re going to be spending time in our homes this year, we might as well like them. These tips from Home Depot show how to make a small apartment or room feel bigger and more inviting.
Use mirrors: Using wall mirrors is one way to make a living area appear bigger by amplifying the available light while creating the impression of more space. Mirrored tile and mirrored furniture, such as chests and coffee tables, can offer a similar function.
Elevate your eye line: Use open-shelving storage systems and decor that takes advantage of the upper walls and draws the eye higher, conveying a taller ceiling. Further, by hanging curtains above the window line, closer to the ceiling, it gives the appearance of having taller walls.
Bring down your furniture: In the opposite way, bringing furniture such as chairs, sofas and coffee tables closer to the floor create an appearance of taller ceilings and more space.
Put storage on display: Small spaces often don’t have much space for storage, so try bringing it to the forefront. Open shelving can double as creative decor. Alternatively, bikes can be hung near the front door, and pots and pans can be hooked onto a ceiling rack in the kitchen.
Use furniture with a dual purpose: Make your furniture work for you. Choose furniture with more than one function, such as a bed with built-in storage, a coffee table that can serve as a dining surface or an ottoman that can offer extra seating.
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