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Designing Dilemmas February 2007

Picking the Right Fan

Dear Debbie: How do you choose ceiling fans? J.

Dear J: There are a few important considerations when choosing a ceiling fan:

  1. Power:
    To efficiently circulate air in a large or tall room, you need to choose a fan with a powerful motor- it's the most important part of the fan. A powerful motor will ensure maximum air movement over a very long period of time without any noise or vibration. A motor that is not big enough for the job will overheat, vibrate, shake and eventually burn out, requiring replacement. When shopping, check the manufacturer's recommended room size for each fan you are considering. Choose a fan large and powerful enough for the space in which it will operate.
  2. Pitch:
    The pitch or angle of the blades produces the air movement. A minimum of 13 degrees is generally required to optimize your fan's performance and achieve greater energy efficiency in your home. In hot weather, fan blades should turn counter-clockwise and in cold weather, blades should turn clockwise.
  3. Style:
    If your room height is a standard eight feet or even less, choose a fan with a low ceiling adapter (to minimize how much it suspends from the ceiling) and do not add any light fixture attachments. As a general rule, a fan that blends with the ceiling in an eight foot tall room is less likely to stand out and be noticed- and that's a good thing in a smaller, shorter room. For taller ceilings, make sure you can order extension rods, so that you can suspend the fan at an optimum height for circulating air. Again, as a general rule, in a taller room you can add light fixtures to the fan and choose styles that blend with the room's furnishings.

Asian Inspiration

Dear Debbie: I have a dining room that is 10 feet by 12 feet and it has a jade colored carpet in it. I want to introduce an Asian type theme, and am looking for some budget friendly decorating ideas. Megan

Dear Megan: To add some Asian-inspired decor, let's start at the top with your lighting fixture. Suspending three small of one large colorful lantern over your dining table will definitely add an Asian feel to the dining room and provide a stylish focal point to the room. In addition, if you have windows, consider using rice paper or bamboo shades to provide more Asian style and a functional window covering. About furnishings, try a "chow" style table or serving piece- the distinctive leg style, either in a painted finish or in rosewood, will define the style of the dining space. With your jade colored carpet, definitely add in some black, gold and red. Use these colors with the jade flooring to highlight moldings, add accessories and table ware or for covering your dining chairs. All of these suggestions will help you to finish off the dining room in your desired style.

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