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Briefs: Ceiling coverings offer new looks

| Saturday, April 14, 2012, 4:02 p.m.

Ceilings are the Rodney Dangerfield of homes. They get no respect.

But there are plenty of easy ways to make over this oft-overlooked area, from the quirky charm of Victorian-era, pressed-tin tiles and beadboard to a simple splash of color.

Probably, the easiest way to bring the eye upward in a room is with a ceiling medallion, a white or colored decorative disk typically mounted around a lighting fixture.

The pieces come in a variety of styles and can be found in any home improvement store. Another bonus• Today's lighter polyurethane models are much simpler to install, and easier on the wallet than those from decades past, says Alex Bandon, online editor of ThisOldHouse.com .

If you have tall ceilings or want a cozy feel, extend the wall color onto the ceiling, or go bold and throw a darker or contrasting color up above to make the area appear smaller.

For a classic New England cottage look, you can't beat the charm of wood paneling such as beadboard on the ceiling.

Pressed-tin panels are a popular ceiling option if you're looking for a folksy, vintage feel, and they come in larger patterned-metal sheets for easier installation, Bandon says.

Originally used during the Renaissance and popularized in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, coffered ceilings are one of the more complex ceiling projects, but also the most formal and dramatic.

The process involves attaching flat or more intricately molded beams to the ceiling to create a square, grid-like pattern that is then typically trimmed with crown molding, Bandon says.

DIY projects featured at Butler show

The Butler Home Show will offer exhibits from about 100 vendors and seminars and demonstrations on do-it-yourself projects Friday through April 22.

The show will be at the Family Sports Center on Route 68 in Connoquenessing.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council, a local nonprofit group, will celebrate Earth Day weekend by collecting unwanted cellphones for recycling and offering advice on "green" home and lawn care.

The show will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 21 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22. Details: www.butlercountyhomeshow.com

Snore away in an adjoining room

Baby boomers' snoring has breathed life into the sales of mouth pieces, clips, strips, nose sprays and specialized mattresses. Now, home builders have heard the roar.

A so-called snore room is the latest offering from Del Webb, which builds communities for people 55 and older.

Buyers whose marriages are plagued by a spouse who snorts, grunts and wheezes while he or she sleeps can opt for an adaptable bedroom plan marketed as the "owners retreat" at Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio, Calif.

Designed for couples who start out in the same bed but end up apart because of ear-piercing snoring, insomnia or late-night TV viewing habits, this secondary bedroom is connected to the bathroom of the master bedroom.

"A nice enclave that shares the master bathroom provides a civilized alternative to the family room sofa," says Jacque Petroulakis, corporate communications spokeswoman for PulteGroup, the parent company of Del Webb.

Many people "don't like the idea of having totally separate rooms, but before this, didn't have any other choice."

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