Sunday, June 04, 2006

The quest for decent-looking ceiling fans...

It's hot out. It's been stifling, unnecessarily, non-life-enhancing-ly hot for a past week now, and it's caught everyone by surprise. My unattractive air-conditioning unit (you know, those awful window-mounted models) was in storage, so I was left to wilt on a chaise lounge with a handkerchief. Just call me Blanche.

If the heat isn't enough to make you faint, consider this: An air-conditioning unit (whether you have central air, or the aforementioned window-mounted eyesore) wastes a TON of electricity. How much? In my quest for answers, I stumbled upon Michael Bluejay's page, which deals with saving electricity. Air conditioners use anywhere from 600-3500 watts of energy. If we switch to ceiling fans, we will save roughly $610 on our energy bills, which will be enough for each of us to buy a mid-price pair of Christian Louboutin sandles.

The problem is that ceiling fans can be even bigger eyesores than those air-conditioning units. They bring to mind the faux-country style that worms its way in to suburban households everywhere. Go in to the Home Depot or Lowe's and you will be visually assaulted by fake wood grains, fluted light bulb covers and caning, to the point where you will start to think that paying that extra $610 in energy costs might be worth it.

My advice: head over to Arch Street Lighting (120 Arch St.). Not only do they have a lovely and tasteful selection of lighting (side note: why does Home Depot/Lowe's consider "modern lighting" those pendant lamps that hang at Starbucks stores? That's all they have in terms of lighting that doesn't look salvaged from the set of Evening Shade, or perhaps a Cracker Barrel), but they have an equally well-edited selection of ceiling fans.

At left is the Centauru by Fanimation, which boasts satin nickel and cherry accents in a design that is a whimsical tribute to mid-century modern design and the Fairly Oddparents cartoon show. See more options here.