Want to stir things up around the house this summer? Add a ceiling fan.
Ceiling fans do more than just bring about breezes. Designed with the latest home decor trends in mind, these overhead fans move in fashionable circles.
High-tech, contemporary designs have become popular in the last few years. As a result, brushed nickel, steel, and sleek pewter finishes get thumbs-up approval from trendsetters. Earth tones like rustic copper and bronze are also hot-sellers. Ditto painted finishes and washes.
Ceiling fans work well in any home, thanks to a variety of design options. Ornate filigree blade holders offer a graceful, turn-of-the-century ambience. Brushed steel housing and light-colored maple blades offer the ultimate in contemporary styling. Classic polished brass finishes work well in more traditional homes.
The soaring ceilings and expansive great rooms in today's newer homes have increased demand for larger fans with bigger blades and longer down rods. Manufacturers comply, creating phenomenal fans that move massive quantities of air and work well in 30-foot tall spaces and lofts.
Fan design isn't the only thing that's expanded. Places to put ceiling fans have also increased. These fans bring a breeze to almost any home space, inside or out -- from kitchens, bathrooms and dining areas to porches, patios and gazebos.
With more than 14 million ceiling fans sold annually, most do double-duty, lighting a room as well as moving air. "Our research indicates that a majority of ceiling fans are sold with a light fixture because consumers are usually replacing a light in their room," says Mark Jeffrey, of St. Louis, MO.
Ceiling fans today offer a wide variety of lighting options that add interest to any home. Mission-inspired fans look great with mica or stained-glass light fixtures. Art Deco styles boast white frost fixtures for a clean look. Glass shades etched with flowers add a romantic touch to a little girl's room.
"Ceiling fans have become an important part of the lighting scheme in homes today," says Held, who often works with customers to combine recessed and decorative lighting with ceiling fans.
Some fans feature built-in lighting. Others work with light kits, allowing dwellers to mix-and-match light fixtures and fitters to create a customized look.
When choosing lights for your ceiling fan, be sure they meet the room's needs. Workspaces like kitchens and home offices demand bright light. Bedrooms and dining rooms, require more subdued illumination. Dimmer switches also allow you to adjust the light on a fan to fit your mood.
To create more relaxed lighting, consider ceiling fans with indirect uplighting.
Like garage doors and television sets, some ceiling fans utilize remote controls to not only adjust lights, but operate the fan itself. In addition to turning fans on and off, some remotes automatically adjust the fan based on changes in the room's temperature, turn lights on and off when you're not home and dim lights as you leave the room.
Ceiling fan prices are as diverse as the styles. Experts agree, however, that quality counts. Independent research from the American Lighting Association (ALA) indicates that 70% of consumers do not mind paying more for a higher quality product. The ALA points out that consumers will have the ceiling fan for many years so quality and style should be key factors in the buying decision.