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Proper ty clinic.

Q . How do I dress my double bed to give it a professional feel? LESLEY says: A beautifully dressed bed can make a mountain of difference to the simplest of bedroom schemes. Here are my top tips to get it looking just right. You will need the following items: * A co-ordinated duvet set with four pillow cases and pillows * A matching throw * Two square cushions * A decorative cushion * A flat sheet (optional) Fold the throw and place over your duvet at the bottom of the bed then fold down the top of the duvet to reveal the flat sheet if you are using one. In the space left by your folded down duvet place your pillows, two on each side either piled flat one on top of the other or resting against the head board stacked up in front of each other.

Proper ty Then place the two square cushions in front of the pillows and the decorative cushion in front of them.

Now relax and enjoy. Q. Can I save energy - and money - with the way I use water in my home? ALAN says: The energy needed to treat and pump mains water to our homes, and to collect and treat waste water from the sewage network is responsible for nearly 1% of the UK's annual greenhouse gas emissions. Heating water in our homes is responsible for a further 5%. Heating water for use in taps, baths and showers makes up around 30% of average household's gas bills - that's around pounds 200 a year - and could well cost even more if you use an electric immersion heater.

All homes can save money on their energy bills by wasting less hot water. Around 30% of homes in England and Wales are currently on a water meter and can make additional savings on their water bills by cutting water use. Here's some tips: * Every minute you cut off your daily shower could save you between pounds 5 and pounds 10 off your energy bills over the year.

* If everybody in a four person family replaced one bath a week with a five minute shower, you could save between pounds 5 and pounds 15 per year on your energy bill. This saving would be even greater if you use an electrical immersion heater. * Using a bowl to wash up twice a day rather than leaving the hot tap running could save around pounds 25 a year on a household's gas bills.

clinic * Don't use hot when cold will do - for example, rinse plates and wash vegetables in cold water.

* Wait until you have a full load before turning on your dishwasher or washing machine.

* Choose the eco setting or lowest temperature setting when using your washing machine.

* Insulating your hot water cylinder is one of the simplest and easiest ways to save energy and money in your home. Putting a 75mm thick hot water cylinder jacket on your hot water will save around pounds 35 a year. By insulating any visible hot water pipes you can save around pounds 10 more off your annual gas bill.

Q. How long is a mortgage for? What's the maximum length it can be? DAVE says: Usually a mortgage is spread over 25 years.

But you can get a mortgage for any length and 15 or 20 year mortgages are fairly common now.

The reason why people often go for a shorter mortgage term is that - despite seeming to be more expensive with higher monthly payments in the short term - you'd be paying a lot less interest over the length of the mortgage. But make sure you don't stretch beyond your means in the current climate.

The longest period for a mortgage is generally 35 years or your retirement age. You can extend a mortgage term beyond retirement age if you can demonstrate that you can afford the payments. Most lenders won't lend beyond age 75 unless you want an equity release mortgage.

Lesley Prior-Berruer - a visual merchandiser at House of Fraser's Middlesbrough store. Dave Bassett - Managing director of Homes and Finance in Yarm. Alan Jones - North-east advice centre manager for the Energy Saving Trust


TOUCH OF GLAMOUR: Use cushions to give your bed that luxurious look. This collection is from House of Fraser. 'Wave', by Aura, ebony pillowcase pounds 18, 'Wave' ebony double duvet cover pounds 85, black sparkle throw pounds 120. Dove grey standard pillowcase pounds 7, charcoal satin stripe cushion pounds 20, both Linea
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2009
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