Down-to-earth furnishingsCraig Beckenheimer couldn't find...


December 05, 1993|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

Down-to-earth furnishings

Craig Beckenheimer couldn't find the kind of furniture he wanted when he first moved to Baltimore, so he hopes his new store, Pendulum, will fill the niche. "Of course, I'm choosing with my eye," he says with a laugh.

His approach to home accessories and furnishings is eclectic, but the look is clean-lined and contemporary with a mix of materials. Pendulum specializes in unusual lighting; but it also has coffee tables, end tables, wall accessories, mirrors and some chairs. "We buy from smaller companies," says Mr. Beckenheimer, "and we limit the amount. I don't want people to see the same thing again elsewhere."

He decided on the name Pendulum when he learned that the definition included "held by earth's gravitational force." "I like to think we have a down-to-earth approach," he says. "Not too way out." And he likes to think of the store as always moving, revising its lines to fit the time and clientele.

Pendulum is located at 330 N. Charles St. The phone number is (410) 727-0355.

Christmas is one time of year when what isn't hot is just as important as what is, maybe more so. The longer a home !B accessory, ornament or ritual has been around, the more precious it becomes. But yes, Virginia, there are trends out there. Here are five important looks this Christmas:

* Natural is bigger than ever, but think beyond traditional evergreens and holly. Decorative herb wreaths and wreaths using dried roses, laurel, magnolia, eucalyptus, pepperberry or manzanita can be gotten from florists or ordered from catalogs. Have pots of amaryllis, paperwhites and freesias around the house as well as poinsettias and cyclamen.

* Santa Claus has gone on a diet this Christmas. Pick up any catalog and you'll see what we mean: This year's Santa figurines and ornaments are thin, thin, thin. Just to show that what goes around comes around, the new look will remind you of antique reproductions or folk art.

* All that glitters is gold, and it's everywhere: Gold fruit (wood painted with gold leaf). Gilded pinecones and gilded dried grasses tied with gold ribbon. Gold candleholders and gold candles in the shape of stars or trees. A gold papier-mache angel to top your tree.

* Twiggy things look spare and elegant. You'll see grapevine wreaths, huckleberry twigs in floral arrangements, tree ornaments made from twigs, twiggy doll furniture to put with your favorite Christmas figurines.

* French wire ribbon is beautiful and stays in the shape you want, whether it's around a package or on a wreath. The wire along the edges creates those graceful curves and curls. Even newer this year: organdy ribbon for shimmering translucence. If you picture a Hanukkah menorah as nothing more than a candelabrum with metal branches, stop in at ZYZYX!, the arts and crafts store at Festival at Woodholme on Reisterstown Road just outside the Beltway. There are creations in brass, blown glass, wrought iron, and hand-painted ceramic.

In artist Sue Treuman's creation, the candleholders are ancient Israelis of sculpted clay. Toby Rosenberg's bears dressed as klezmer musicians hold candles in another Hanukkah centerpiece. And Steve Resnick makes art nouveau menorahs of green cut glass.

ZYZYX!'s menorah exhibit features more than 150 creations by more than 30 artists. It continues through Wednesday, the first day of Hanukkah. Call (410) 486-9785 for more information.

Holly, with its shiny green leaves and bright red berries, is as much a part of the holidays as Santa Claus. But the hollies are also among our most important landscape plants. They come in all shapes and sizes: Some are tree types, some are shrubs. Some are evergreen, some not. They have white, yellow and black berries as well as red.

The National Arboretum has developed several wonderful and unusual hybrids, like the deciduous Sparkleberry. Its leaves turn a beautiful yellow in the fall, and in the winter its berries show up vividly on bare branches -- especially when it snows. The berries last until the daffodils come up.

You can plant hollies whenever the ground is workable. They are relatively easy to grow, as long as they have somewhat acid soil and adequate water. They can flourish in either sun or shade.

Erik Neumann will discuss selecting and growing hollies tomorrow at the National Arboretum at 1:30 p.m. in the Administration Building classroom. The arboretum is located at 3501 New York Ave. N.E., in Washington. The phone number is (202) 475-4815.

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