Moving way out West bit by bitYou know the country-western...

ON THE HOME FRONT

April 25, 1993|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

Moving way out West bit by bit

You know the country-western look is hot, but you aren't ready to reupholster your sofa in cowhide yet. Consider instead a small piece that will give your room a little Western style -- warm, casual, handcrafted and very American.

The place to start is Jake & Jake's, a brand new country-western store in the Gallery. It's owned by Cathy Caples (nee Jacobs) and her father Marvin Jacobs -- hence the name. The Jacobses loved country when country wasn't cool; they used to own Tyler's Country Clothes. The new store sells Western apparel, as their old one did, but there's much more in the way of home accessories and gifts.

You'll find hand-painted chests, twig chairs, furniture "carved by a cowboy in Idaho," according to Ms. Caples, tin mirrors from Santa Fe and mirrors with leather-tooled frames, china in a Western motif, and quilt racks.

Jake & Jake's is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday througSaturday (until 10 p.m. after May 1) and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. It's located on the second floor of the Gallery at the Inner Harbor; the telephone is (410) 685-5253.

Linda Compton's Shawan Shops has been remarkably successful, considering how off the beaten track it is. But since she opened the gift and decorative accessories store in the Oregon General Store six years ago, she's never been able to rely on drop-in customers.

Now she's moving to a new location near a group of antique stores in Cockeysville. It will give Shawan Shops more visibility, more space and off-street parking in back of the building.

The store will continue to carry unusual gifts and accessories, ranging from country to contemporary, but now there'll be room for new items such as decorative weather vanes, Yield House furniture (Shaker-influenced designs), and hand-painted game tables and jelly cupboards.

The new Shawan Shops will open May 1 at 10866 York Road, one mile south of Shawan Road. Hours will be Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The new phone number is (410) 628-0773.

If your sheets are clean, what more do you really need in the way of fashionable bedding? Quite a bit, according to manufacturers. The idea is not to cover your sheets up with a spread, but to make them part of a well-designed bedroom.

Here are some trends to watch for this season:

Prints are relaxed and range "from diffused florals to geometrics and painterly abstract patterns," according to John Hall, vice president of marketing for Dan River, a bedding manufacturer.

Fashion is influencing beddings more than ever, with names like Alexander Julian and Jones New York getting into the sheet business.

Texture is big this season in furniture design, and the textured look is spilling over into bedding: Look for Kilim rug prints, dropcloth splatter prints and sponged effects.

Plain white sheets are being textured with embroidery, eyelet and applique.

Patterns are often woven in, which results in richer colors and fabric reversibility.

There's so much variety out there in all price ranges that you can use sheets as home decorating fabrics: Their width means fewer seams and less sewing.

At Cricket Hill Garden in Connecticut, Kasha and David Furman have developed a small and very specialized business in rare classical Chinese tree peonies, imported from the People's Republic of China.

The plants sold today -- with names like "Intoxicated Celestial Peach" -- are clones or grafts of those developed 1400 years ago, a favorite of Chinese mandarins. Actually large bushes, not trees, they eventually grow 4 to 6 feet high and wide. They can live a hundred years or more, with fragrant blossoms as large as 10 inches in diameter.

Because of the risky and time-consuming techniques for propagation, these unusual and beautiful plants are expensive, from $50 up. But gardeners will at least want to get a copy of Cricket Hill Garden's slender catalog. The tree peony is so prized in China that the different varieties are used on postage stamps; watercolors of the stamps illustrate the catalog.

For more information, write to Cricket Hill Garden, 670 Walnut Hill Road, Thomaston, Conn. 06787, or call (203) 283-4707.

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