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How to make a windowless room seem brighter

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Whether it’s a powder room, a basement or an office, a room with no windows can be dark and hard to decorate. Here are a few tips to help you brighten your windowless room.

• Play with lighting. Install overhead pot lights evenly across the whole ceiling. Set up a few table or standing lamps for times you don’t want all the lights on.

• Use the right colors. Opting for pastels or light neutrals will give the room an airy, open feel. Stick with a simple color scheme and avoid contrasting shades.

• Hang a mirror or two. Mirrors reflect light, making the space seem brighter and bigger. Metallic, glass and other reflective surfaces have the same effect.

• Keep it simple. To keep the space feeling open and light, choose streamlined furniture and avoid filling the room with too many decorations.

• Install interior windows. If possible, replace a door or wall between two rooms with a frosted glass window or door. This will allow light from the adjoining room into your windowless space.

Even a windowless room can be light and airy. Follow these tips to make it a space you’ll love to spend time in.

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Top brass: the metal interior designers are falling for

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An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is once again at the forefront of home decorating trends. Today’s brass, however, is muted and offers a welcome respite from the flashier rose gold and copper that dominated the design world in years past.

Brass goes well with almost any color, from somber blues and burgundies to pale neutrals like cream and blush.

Increasingly, retailers are offering an assortment of brass items to their customers. From cabinet hardware and faucets to floor lamps and chandeliers, there’s no shortage of options if you want to bring brass into your home. If you’re in the market for a new bedframe, consider one made of this metal.

To prevent your brass from looking dated, choose angular, modern pieces that are brushed to a dull sheen instead of the overpowering shine that was once popular. Keep your pieces looking new by regularly cleaning them with ketchup, tomato juice or a simple solution of lemon and salt.

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Gifts for the people who serve you all year long

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The holidays are the perfect time to say thank you to the hairdressers, bus drivers, babysitters, baristas and many others who regularly serve you. If you’re wondering what to get them, here are some ideas.

• Pretty hand soaps
• Holiday dish cloths

• Scented candles
• A scarf or shawl
• A soft blanket
• A tote bag
• Premium coffee or tea
• A to-go mug
• A bottle of wine
• A box of chocolates

If you know a little about their tastes, you can also consider something more personal like a book you think they might enjoy, a sweater or a decorative item for their home or workspace.

The point of buying gifts for the people who serve you is to thank them for the positive difference the make in your life all year long. Don’t forget to include a nice card with a handwritten mes¬sage expressing your appreciation.

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Protect your home from radon

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Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when the uranium in rock and soil breaks down. When released into the outdoors, it poses no threat. However, if it seeps into a home, it can accumulate and cause significant health issues.

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking, and it’s the leading cause of the disease in non-smokers.

While you can’t see, taste or smell radon, you can test for it, either by yourself or by hiring a professional.

If you decide to test your home yourself, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and to send your samples to a lab for analysis after the test period.

Alternatively, if you hire a professional, ensure that the individual is certified and that they conduct a long-term test over the span of at least three months.

A test that reveals radon quantities higher than four picocuries per liter is concerning. In such a case, it’s important to hire a professional to seal any leaks and reduce the level of radon in your home. A certified radon-mitigating contractor can assess your property and make changes that will stop the gas from entering your home.

Don’t risk your family’s health. Have your home tested for radon gas and take the steps necessary to guarantee clean air.

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Games to liven up your gift exchange

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Are you tired of the same old holiday gift exchange? If so, here are some fun games to enliven this year’s gift giving.

• Dice. Every number on the dice comes with an instruction (pass to the left or steal a gift). Take turns rolling the dice until everyone has a present.

• Hot potato. This childhood favorite is just as fun to play as an adult. Turn on a holiday song and pass a present from person to person until the music stops. The person left holding the gift is out of the game but keeps the gift.

• Personal trivia. Everyone writes a little-known fact about themselves on the gift they contributed. The others must guess who the information is about in order to win the right to open the present.

• Cards. Cut some regular playing cards in half and distribute card halves to all participants. Draw the other card halves from a bowl or hat to determine who gets to choose or steal a gift next.

• Story. Rewrite a well-known Christmas story to include the words right, left and across numerous times. To start the game, everyone holds the gift they brought as someone reads the story aloud. Every time an instruction word is said, the presents get passed in that direction.

To make sure that everyone receives a gift they’ll enjoy, be sure to decide on a budget and theme beforehand.

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Renovating your kitchen? Don’t forget the range hood!

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Are you planning to renovate your kitchen or update your appliances? If so, you should upgrade your range hood while you’re at it. Here are the most common types.

• Under-cabinet range hood. This common type of hood gets installed under the cabinets above the cooktop. It’s an inexpensive option that blends into a kitchen’s overall design without making an impact.

• Wall-mounted range hood. Installed above a stove when there isn’t a cabinet, this type gets attached directly to the wall and is considered a more stylish option.

• Island or ceiling-mounted range hood. This type looks similar to a wall-mounted range hood but hangs from the ceiling instead. Used when a cooktop is set into an island, ceiling-mounted range hoods must be larger than the stove in order to effectively remove cooking fumes and smoke.

• Downdraft ventilation hood. This type of hood is hidden behind or beside your cooktop and comes out when you need it. It’s compact but less efficient at removing odors from your kitchen.

• Insert hood. Also called a ventilator power pack hood, this type has the functionality of a normal range hood but is designed to be hidden behind a custom-made enclosure.

No matter what style you prefer, choose a powerful range hood that’s vented to the outdoors to keep the air in your kitchen clean and smelling fresh.

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How to avoid indoor air pollution

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Many people think of air pollution as an outdoor problem. However, studies indicate that the air in most homes is two to five times more polluted than the air outside. Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality can cause serious health problems, especially when you consider that people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.

Causes
Sources of indoor air pollution include:

• Mold, dust and pollen
• Tobacco smoke
• Gases such as carbon monoxide and radon

Additionally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a leading cause of indoor air pollution. These gases are given off by many sources. Because they have a low boiling point, they can be released from products even at room temperature. They’re found in cleaning materials, personal care products, new furniture, building materials and even some fabrics.

Solutions
Here are a few ways to keep the air in your home clean:

• Choose products low in VOCs, and if possible, store new furniture, carpets and building materials outside of your home for a few weeks until they stop emitting gases
• Avoid scented products like plug-in or aerosol deodorizers, candles and incense
• Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working
• If you have one, keep your air exchanger on at all times and clean the filters regularly

Help yourself and your family breathe easier by identifying the sources of indoor air pollution in your home and taking steps to reduce or eliminate it.

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King Cartoons

‘Tis the Season

video

Front Royal
34°
Sunny
07:1816:50 EST
Feels like: 34°F
Wind: 1mph SSW
Humidity: 63%
Pressure: 30.43"Hg
UV index: 1
SatSunMon
43/25°F
47/38°F
54/52°F

Quotes

Upcoming Events

Dec
7
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
10:00 am Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
The pet adoption event will be hosted by Subaru of Winchester and feature adoptable pets from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke. This annual event will take place at the Subaru dealership located at[...]
1:00 pm “The Nutcracker” student perform... @ Skyline High School
“The Nutcracker” student perform... @ Skyline High School
Dec 7 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
“The Nutcracker” student performance @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts presents the seasonal classic ballet “The Nutcracker” in Front Royal, Virginia, on December 7, 2019. Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its student production of “The Nutcracker”, being brought to the[...]
2:00 pm Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for[...]
Dec
8
Sun
2:00 pm R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Discover The Power of Rise at Randolph-Macon Academy! Join us for an open house on Sunday, December 8th, with tours beginning promptly at 2:00 pm. Families interested in applying for the second semester (January 27,[...]
3:00 pm Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (previously Front Royal Oratorio Society) presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” – a program of uplifting sacred and secular selections sure to brighten everyone’s yuletide season.[...]
Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]