Since our air ducts run through space inside the house (inside the ceiling, exactly), they are well insulated and thus our heating and cooling system runs more efficiently and is more affordable. Loosing 12 inches isn't too bad of a sacrifice.
What I don't like at all are the industrial looking ceiling vents we have in our downstairs rooms.
They clearly aren't the fun, hip industrial kind of thing.
Don't say I didn't tell you.
Just ... blegh.
Anyways, since I haven't managed to source an inexpensive place to buy decorative vent grills (it's a decorative thing I'm not willing to spend $100/pop on), I finally decided to do the next best thing:
I took down all five downstairs vent grills, scrubbed them to within an inch of their lives (And gosh, did they need it!) and gave them a quick make-over with a light coat of spray primer and white satin spray-paint.
After they had dried sufficiently to be handled I plopped them back into place and screwed them in again. The weather has cooled down beautifully so we are currently running neither heat nor air which means they get to cure in place.
Even the husband was pleased with how they turned out. He was never bothered by their old look but considers the new 'do a definite improvement.
Oh, spray-paint, what would we do without you?