Home Help: Mini-makeover tips for your bath

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Decorating Tip: Revive your bathroom

In today's economy, it doesn't pay to go overboard and over-spend on a bathroom remodel. A mini-makeover can give you the beautiful bathroom you crave.

- Start with the walls. You can do a lot with your walls for very little money, from simply repainting to adding texture and art work. Don't forget towel bars, towel rings and shelving; these necessities can do double duty as decorative elements as well.

- Consider the focal points in the room - namely, the fixtures and mirror. Upgrade the faucets on your sink, tub and shower, replace or beautify the mirror, and switch out a utilitarian showerhead for something more luxurious, like a rainfall or massaging showerhead.

- Replace an old cabinet-style sink and vanity with a stylish pedestal model. If you're committed to cabinets in the bath, be sure to replace outdated door handles and drawer pulls with a more contemporary style.

- Lighting can revive a bath. Replace dated dressing room style bulb-bars with sconces or a fixture that features decorative shades. Swap out old incandescent lights with energy-efficient alternatives.

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How to: Add more horsepower to your car

If your car feels sluggish, there are ways to up your horsepower without emptying your wallet. Here are a few tips from today's top engine experts on how to get more power from your car on a budget.

- Upgrade your lubricants.

- Replace and/or upgrade your air filter. Upgrade to a performance air filter, which can free up an additional 2 to 3 horsepower.

- Use higher octane gas or an octane booster.

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Did You Know …

You can microwave a cup of water with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice in it to loosen stuck-on food inside the microwave and make it easier to remove.

Home Improvements: Outdoor lighting brightens the season

If you've been thinking about enhancing the lighting above and around your front porch or door, the holidays are a great time to put that thought into action.

- A good rule of thumb for choosing a right-sized lantern is to pick one that is at least a third the size of the door.

- The style of your outdoor lighting should match both the design of your home's exterior and the lighting design inside the house.

- Don't be afraid to incorporate some trends into your exterior lighting design. Some hot exterior lighting trends include the addition of crystals to different style fixtures, and - for upscale homes - natural gas lanterns in copper or brass.

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Garden Guide

Many areas of the country are experiencing the first frost of the year. Here are some tips on protecting your outdoor plants from the cold:

- Throw an old blanket, drop cloth, or tarp over tender plants. If you need to protect your plants from a small number of especially cold nights, a simple shelter such as an old blanket may be enough. Take it off during the day so that the plants can get light and air.

- Bring the plants indoors. If you can, carry or wheel the plants into a garage, sun room, greenhouse, or shed. Outdoor plants may not be at their best indoors, since they won't necessarily get enough light, but they may make it long enough to survive through the winter.

- Use mulch. Mulch acts as an insulator, so mulch can protect plants, especially from wide swings in temperature. Sometimes the cold temperature is not what damages the plant. It's the freeze/thaw cycle affecting the soil and causing it to "heave" the plant.

Backyard Buddies

It is important to remember that all birdseed is perishable. Be sure and store any open product in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent the seed from drying out and little critters from finding it.

In the off chance your birdseed gets an Indian meal moth or two after you open it, it is still okay to use. A few tiny insects will not decrease the attractiveness of the seed to the birds.

GateHouse News Service