Climbing the wallsWant to redecorate for spring but can't...

ON THE HOME FRONT

January 10, 1993|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

Climbing the walls

Want to redecorate for spring but can't really afford new furniture just now? Consider wallpapering a room or two for a fresh new look. We asked local wallcovering stores to tell us what's new and interesting for spring. Here's what we learned:

* Barbara Serra, Wall Flowers & Prints: "We're seeing morvibrant color. Bigger and bolder prints. They're getting away from the tiny little prints."

* Richard Mitchell, National Wallcoverings Inc.: "The extreme contemporary [wallcoverings] are coming in very light -- white and off-white backgrounds -- and the traditional are very dark. Purple and teal are the big colors."

* Dottie Swimmer, Plymouth Wallcoverings: "Wallpaper borderare the newest look -- architectural details [paired] with faux-finish walls. Borders are framed with wood molding either at the ceiling, chair rail or plate rail height."

* Corinne Kaufman, Papier Design Group: "There's a stronemphasis on floral stripes, both florals between stripes and intertwined with them. Ivy continues to be big. The newer colors are updated versions of the '70s: new gold, moss greens, mustard yellows."

After 25 years of selling furniture, Charlie Taylor decided she needed a change. "On the spur of the moment," she says.

So what does she do? She opens an antiques and collectibles shop in Sykesville with her husband, Craig.

True, Alexandra's Attic is filled with more interesting sorts of things than the new furniture Mrs. Taylor used to sell: antiques dating from the 1800s, Victrolas, glassware, occasional tables, clocks, dolls and other collectibles -- plus jewelry by local artist Brenda Davidson. (Not everything in the store is an antique.)

Alexandra's Attic is named after the Taylors' youngranddaughter, in spite of the fact that the shop's motto is "featuring the items Grandma stowed away." Although Mrs. Taylor is new to the antiques business, her husband owns Sykesville Clocks and Collectibles, not far from their recently opened shop.

Alexandra's Attic is located at 7542 Main St. in Sykesville. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The telephone number is (410) 549-3095.

The fragrance is natural, distilled from flowers grown on the last large-scale, commercial lavender farm in England today. And whenever possible, Norfolk Lavender does it (whatever it is) the old-fashioned way. For instance, no aerosol propellants are used in the Room Fragrance Spray; at $9.45 it was the biggest seller this holiday season for the 60-year-old company. Natural beeswax is used in the Lavender Polish ($11.25), which produces a wonderful luster but requires elbow grease. As one customer told the company: "Your polish is hard to buff, but the dust just slides right off once it's on!"

Norfolk Lavender's catalog has the soaps and bath products, but other items for the home include botanical print tea towels ($6.50) -- featuring lavender plants, of course -- and Lavender Hand Cream ($8) to use after gardening. (Supposedly the natural antiseptic qualities of lavender oil help cuts and scratches.)

You can call (800) 886-0050 to get a copy of the NorfolLavender Mail Order Catalogue, only recently available in the United States.

Right about now, in the midst of the winter doldrums, we could all use a breath of spring. So the Baltimore Museum of Art Women's Committee has called its annual lunch and lecture exactly that: "A Breath of Spring."

The event, which takes place Jan. 28, starts at 10:45 a.m. with a book signing by author and House Beautiful columnist Dee Hardie. (The Johns Hopkins Press has reissued her book "Hollyhocks, Lambs and Other Passions" in paperback.) Next will be the lecture and slide presentation by Ms. Hardie at 11:15 a.m. The committee will have a boutique with garden items for sale before the lunch at 12:30 p.m. in Schaefer Court.

The cost is $25 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers. Mail your check by Jan. 21 to Jane Borst, 12 Glen Lion Court, Phoenix, Md. 21131. Tickets will be held at the door on the day of the event. For more information, call (410) 396-7100.

for photo A:

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