Take a Home Decorating Personality Quiz

You often hear that you should match your home’s design to your personality and interests, but few color swatches come with names like “Reads Paranormal Romance Novels,” “Hikes on Weekends” or “Gleek.”

To help you figure out what color palettes will best suit your personality, Mohawk Flooring provides the following quiz:

What Is Your Design Personality?

You’re making big plans for the weekend. What are they?
A) Participating in a charity walk
B) Antique shopping
C) Inviting friends over for dinner
D) Touring a haunted house

What Colors Best Fit Your Personality?

(NewsUSA) – You often hear that you should match your home’s design to your personality and interests, but few color swatches come with names like "Reads …

Tips to Navigate Through Choices in Composite Decking

Homeowners often find themselves faced with many options and questions when deciding whether to add a new deck or replace an existing one with low-maintenance composite deck materials.

There are quite a few different decking options available, based on individual needs and budgets. Composite decking is available in several different types of boards with varying looks, colors and qualities; therefore, it is important to understand all the alternatives.

Based on all these options, how can consumers decide which is best for their lifestyle? TimberTech, one of the leading manufacturers of composite decking, railing and fencing products, offers a number of tools that help sort through the details of choosing a deck and assist consumers in making educated decisions about their new deck.

Tips for Inexpensive Outdoor Entertaining

<b>Tips for Inexpensive Outdoor Entertaining</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Celebrate the warmer days by hosting an outdoor summertime party or barbecue. It’s easy to add pizzazz to an outdoor party and stay on budget, with accessories and color.

Here are some inexpensive ways to add character to your outdoor get-togethers:

1. Make it colorful. For a fast way to give your party a sense of style, color-coordinate your bowls, plates and cups in attention-grabbing colors. Dollar General stores (www.dollargeneral.com) sell plastic tableware in bright colors and patterns. These items are inexpensive enough to buy in multiples, so if you plan on hosting several parties, you can use one color per occasion, then invite guests to your “pink party” or “orange party.”

2. Pep up your decor with peppers. Add a memorable touch by serving condiments or finger foods in hollowed-out green, red and yellow peppers. Simply cut the stems, and fill the peppers with ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce or any other condiment. Depending on the peppers’ colors, you may be able to coordinate them with the rest of your tableware.

3. Create a field of dreams. Silk flowers can create a beautiful centerpiece or be used in smaller arrangements around the table. Add a whimsical touch by purchasing a variety of silk flowers and planting them upright in the ground. Use them to mark paths through the yard or to the food tables and seating areas. Silk flowers are inexpensive at stores like Dollar General and are economical enough to buy in large quantities. They’re also more durable than real flowers and can be used again and again.

4. Find unique ways to deter bugs. Certain herbs and flowers repel insects. For instance, sprigs of parsley or tansy may help keep ants at bay, while lavender or mint could drive flies away. Set up decorative bowls of herbs in various spots near the guests’ seating. A larger bowl can be the striking centerpiece of a table. Keep your food safe from unwanted company with mesh food covers.

Navigate Through the Choices in Composite Decking

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When many consumers decide to add a new deck or replace an existing one with a low-maintenance composite version, they typically discover an overwhelming amount of information available. Homeowners might find themselves faced with many options and have questions about how to choose the right product. What type of composite decking is right for me? How do I choose from the different types of deck boards? What color combinations are right for my home?

There are quite a few different decking options available, based on individual needs and budgets. Composite decking is available in several different types of boards with varying looks, colors and qualities; therefore, it is important to understand all the alternatives.

Based on all these options, how can consumers decide which is best for their lifestyle? TimberTech, one of the leading manufacturers of composite decking, railing and fencing products, offers a number of tools that help sort through the details of choosing a deck and assist consumers in making educated decisions about their new deck.

At the beginning of the decision-making process, consumers first need to choose the type of board that best fits their lifestyles and tastes. Tools like the Product Selector guide consumers through a series of step-by-step questions that are used to uncover their needs, habits and deck usage. The results give consumers options of board type and style that are best suited to their needs.

Another tool that is helpful during the planning process is the Deck Designer. By using the Deck Designer, consumers can enter the desired size, shape and color of their dream deck so that they can envision the deck before it is built. When the deck design is complete, users can print a 3-D model of the deck, build a materials list and get installation guidelines and helpful construction tips for their deck.

The newest tool, designed to help consumers decide among the varieties of color combinations available, is TimberTech’s Color Visualizer. The Color Visualizer lets consumers choose different home colors and decking color combinations. The colors of the primary decking, accent decking, rails or balusters and posts can all be changed to build a customized look. If consumers are looking for more direction, the Color Visualizer also offers suggestions of the most popular color combinations.

No matter what type of composite decking consumers choose, it is important to understand the different offerings available by taking advantage of these free interactive tools available online at www.timbertech.com.

Shake Up Your Space With Color, Indoors or Out

<b>Shake Up Your Space With Color, Indoors or Out</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Economic news got you feeling the blues? A little jolt of color can take care of that. Budget-consciousness doesn’t always mean having to abandon your dreams for a more colorful living space. Using a little creativity and materials such as spray paint, you can still enjoy a love affair with color, without a big commitment of time or money.

Do-it-yourselfers choose spray paint because it’s fast and easy to apply and leaves a smooth finish with no brush marks. Krylon has introduced a unique 360-degree dial spray tip that makes it even faster and easier to spray in hard-to-reach places without runs or drips. By using spray paint for simple fix-ups, you can quickly and easily make a striking difference around the home and yard.

Brightening architectural details such as shutters, garden gates and light fixtures with a punch of color can increase a home’s curb appeal. Indoors, strategic use of color can transform attic treasures and bargain finds ranging from tables and headboards to picture frames and wicker baskets into fresh accent pieces.

“The key color drivers this year are the economy, nature and fashion,” says Donna Schroeder, who develops color palettes for the Krylon spray paint brand. “Neutral colors are always popular during economic downturns, but today’s more educated consumer loves color and seeks shades that are enchanting and beautiful, honest and natural.”

Color has been proven to affect mood. Magical colors infuse energy, counter despair and fulfill a genuine need for art, culture and beauty in life. Examples from Krylon’s Indoor/Outdoor color palette include Rich Plum and Jade, Raspberry and Hyacinth — floral hues that impart a dream-like aesthetic.

“At the same time, the green movement is in everyone’s consciousness, so consumers are exploring natural, honest colors and textures,” Schroeder says. She points to Pistachio and Pebble as colors that are ideal for refreshing and repurposing the home with soothing, nature-inspired tones.

Once you’ve introduced a color you love, Schroeder suggests building on it with flower arrangements, pillows, throws and other accessories. For inspiration and home-improvement hints, visit the Krylon Web site at www.krylon.com.

Five Green Tips for Stylish Home Decorating

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You don’t have to sacrifice great style to get a great, green look in your home. You can use these five simple design tips from the 2009 HGTV Green Home in Port St. Lucie, Fla. to make your living environment more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. HGTV Green Home designer Linda Woodrum’s ideas can also help make your green home more visually appealing.

1. Welcome Home. Create a welcoming entrance to your home by setting your foyer apart from the rest of the house with a shot of color. Use a fabric, tile, texture or decorative motif as inspiration, and use low-VOC paints and painter’s tape to recreate the design on the wall. You’ll get a lot of pow for very little money.

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Unique pieces make a room richer and a lot more interesting. Decorating green is about using antiques, repurposed items and salvage materials. Take a look at the 2009 HGTV Green Home for inspiration on how to use everyday items in unexpected and amazing ways.

3. Create a mood in your master bedroom. Capture all that’s good about a place or location through your choice of color and décor, but keep it clean and natural with organic and recycled materials. The recycled glass tile in the HGTV Green Home master bedroom and the wall color in the bedroom evoke a retro-South Florida look, yet have a natural, clean feeling worthy of the finest spa.

4. Saturate with color. Using one color throughout a room creates a calm, cozy retreat. The HGTV Green Home sitting room carpet and walls are all the same inviting color. It’s easy to recreate this look with low-VOC paint and environmentally friendly carpet — a perfect example of how green living also means big style.

5. Use durable materials in high traffic areas. Your front and back entrances are subjected to a lot of wear. Using beautiful ceramic tile in both locations is a great way to set them apart from the living areas, yet tile is environmentally friendly and easy to maintain.

For more information on this year’s HGTV Green Home Giveaway, visit www.hgtv.com.

Women Fear They’ll Have Little Gold in Their Golden Years

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Nearly 40 percent of women aged 30 to 55 are worried about spending their retirement years at or near the poverty level because they cannot adequately save for retirement, according to a recent survey.

The National Women’s 2005 Retirement Survey found that women of color are most concerned about their ability to save for retirement. While 53 percent of women of color report that they expect to live at or near the poverty level in their retirement years, just 33 percent of all men expect to face the same dilemma.

The survey was commissioned by the Heinz Family Philanthropies under the direction of Teresa Heinz, founder of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement and chairman of the Heinz Family Philanthropies.

Here are some of the survey’s other key findings.

* Fifty-two percent of women expect to continue to work once they reach retirement age, including 57 percent of Hispanic women.

* Fifty-four percent of women have little to no money left to save for retirement once they pay their bills, rising to 62 percent among Hispanic and African-American women.

* When asked, “At the present time, do you feel that you are saving enough money for your retirement?” 62 percent of the women surveyed answered “no.” Among women of color, 74 percent of African-American and Hispanic women said they are not saving enough.

* When asked about barriers to saving for retirement, African-American women are more than twice as likely as white women to cite “financial responsibility for adult children or grandchildren” as a reason for not saving for retirement. Of the African-American women supporting their adult children or grandchildren, 63 percent report spending between $100 and $1,000 on them each month.

The Heinz Family Philanthropies commissioned this survey with the Christie Foundation, the Barbara Lee Foundation and others to identify the critical retirement savings issues facing women and to use the data to develop ways to help women secure their financial futures.

The survey polled 1,700 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

For more information about the Heinz Family Philanthropies, e-mail jlewis@heinzoffice.org.