Ceiling Fans Ceiling Fans

If you're looking for a way to cool down this summer without breaking the bank, we have a solution that is inexpensive and that can also add a new note of style to a room: ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans have a wonderful history, in the slow-moving rustle and creak from above in grand old hotel lobbies to the present day super-efficient models.

An air-conditioner, unless it's installed in the wall of a room, takes up precious window space, and for much of the year may not be necessary in more temperate climates. And some people simply don't like the way the frigid, conditioned air makes them feel. A ceiling fan offers a more natural way of cooling a room without making the air so cold that you need to unpack your winter woolies.

Plus, a ceiling fan saves considerable money over the cost of running an air conditioner or central air in your home.

And unlike a box window fan, a ceiling fan is much quieter and less disruptive - if it's high-quality and kept in good repair.

Today, you can find ceiling fans to suit just about any style of décor. Some of the most popular ceiling fans include lights, and they have a switch so that you can have either the fan or the light on, or both.

  • Tip: Because the ceiling fan lightens the mood of a room, having one in an ornate, baroque style undercuts the best use of the ceiling fan as a decorative item. Instead, opt for a fan that looks as light and thin as the mood of the room, one that will cut the heated air without adding more weight to the room.

For a dramatic look that will recall the days of Bogart and Bacall in Casablanca, choose a fan with a rattan weave on the paddles. While we all love the idea of living on an old-time movie set, be sure to find a fan that works somewhat more efficiently, however. Or, for an Asian-themed room, choose one such as the fan shown here, perfectly suited for a room furnished with Chinese antiques.

As with the use of any "little thing" in a room, make sure the ceiling fan you choose blends with the design of the room. Would Michelangelo have installed a ceiling fan in the Sistine Chapel? No, because that would have interrupted the design of his masterpiece.

Keep in mind the speed of the fan. Your whole purpose in the use of a fan is to produce a feeling of calm; the terrible heat has reduced you to a quivering mass of molten neurosis, so you want the fan to help re-capture the calm of spring, not sound like a helicopter about to take off. High-quality fans will have a range of speeds available, and some are even controlled with a remote.

Check also the length of the paddles, as this will have an effect on the fan's ability to move the air, and will also affect the look of the room. Likewise, bear in mind the fact that a ceiling fan is a permanent installation of furniture, in a sense, and having a heavy fan in the center of the ceiling can disrupt the otherwise sleek lines of the ceiling, altering the space, the light and the perspective.

With careful consideration and some diligent research, you should be able to find a fan that will work with your décor, while saving you enough money on electric bills so that you can invest in a new white linen suit for summer.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Design

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