Something old, something new -- MontrachetHere's a twist...

ON THE HOME FRONT

March 08, 1992|By Jill L. Kubatko

Something old, something new -- Montrachet

Here's a twist. If you can't afford to buy something old, you can always buy something new. A line of new furniture purposely designed to look like hand-me-downs from Aunt Sally's attic or Grandma's barn is arriving at the Towson Thomasville Galleries later this month.

The line, called Montrachet, after a region in south central France, includes antique-looking furniture with details such as hand-painted, hand-rubbed finishes and old-fashioned planked tops.

Also in the collection are items embellished with relief carvings of French country motifs such as sunflowers and shafts of wheat, ** and furniture that combines wood and wrought iron. The public doesn't often get a chance to peek inside the Washington Design Center, unless accompanied by a designer, architect or someone with similar credentials-- but this coming Saturday, everyone is welcome.

House Beautiful magazine is sponsoring, in conjunction with the center, a special day of trend seminars and panel discussions. Design buffs will also get the chance to see decorator showrooms, meet close to 300 interior designers, and learn about new home products.

"A Day with House Beautiful" will take place at the Washington Design Center, 300 D St., S.W. in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $30 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Children's National Medical Center. For more information call (202) 479-4227.

J.L.K. Creative color play is something increasing numbers of people are trying their hand at these days, says former Baltimorean Leatrice Eiseman, a nationally known color consultant now based in Seabeck, Wash.

"It has taken some time to get people to use colors and mithem. But once you step over and make the decision to try it because it's new and fun, it grows on you," she says.

Even people who choose soft colors or neutrals for their main decorating theme are adding personality to their homes with the help of bright color accents.

Those accents, says Ms. Eiseman, could be anything from a colorful lamp shade to a bright carpet.

While the color forecasters at the Color Marketing Group say colors are moving generally in the direction of a natural, less artificial palette, they expect Spanish shades like matador red and flamenco gold to become important as a result of the 1992 Seville World's Fair and the Olympics in Barcelona.

Local interior designer Alexander Baer believes subtle shades are starting to make way for rich Crayola-crayon greens, blues and reds, used in solid blocks of color rather than prints.

J.L.K. With a recession underway, artisans setting up their crafts at the 1992 ACC Craft Fair weren't quite sure what to expect. Would people be willing to part with their limited funds for a nonessential, no matter how beautiful?

Apparently so. More than 30,000 people -- only 1,000 fewer than last year -- came to look, and they spent $3.9 million, up from last year's Desert Storm era. Categories that showed an increase were ceramics, glass, wood furniture and mixed media (brooms, baskets and candles), says JoAnn Brown, director of American Craft Enterprises in Highland, N.Y.

Dollar amounts aside, local artisans say they fared rather well during the week-long fair.

"This is one of the few ways you can market yourself," said Stephen Perrin of Timonium, whose furniture, with an average price of about $2,000, was featured at the juried exhibit.

One of his most successful items was a folding chair that sold to European as well as American collectors. The Whitney Museum also placed orders.

Glass blower Anthony Corradetti, who works out of a studio on Hollins Street, sold six of his hand-blown, one-of-a-kind items, which also average about $2,000 each. Two were chosen by MCI's corporate offices in Washington.

J.L.K.

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