If you can't afford the couch, think about buying the advice
While almost any interior designer will be glad to work with what you have for a fee -- if you need help rearranging your living room furniture, for instance -- most don't make that the cornerstone of their business.
Enter Nancy Pappas and Lauren Hwang.
The two women have a background in design and last managed the Handblock and April Cornell stores. They decided to start their own business, says Ms. Pappas, "because so many people want to have a decorator come in but feel they can't afford it."
They give simple tips, work with what you have and help with long-term goals. What should you do with a sofa you no longer love but don't have the money to replace? They might show you how to jazz it up with a shawl or help you get it slipcovered, and give you ideas on what to buy when you can afford it.
An in-home consultation costs $49. For $99 per room, the two women will give you a room layout, which includes furniture placement, color scheme and future design wish list. Call Decorative Sources at (410) 337-8751 or (410) 252-5063 for more information.
When the editors at Southern Accents look for a house for their cover, it must be very special. The March/April issue features one that's "not just a period house," says editor Karen Phillips Irons. "It's very warm and comfortable, something we always look for."
The owner and interior designer is Stiles Colwill, the former curator of the Maryland Historical Society and now a decorative arts consultant and a partner in the firm of Colwill-McGehee Antique Decorative and Fine Arts. "He appealed to us enormously as a subject because of his background," says Ms. Irons.
The 12 pages detail in gorgeous color the family home Mr. Colwill renovated three years ago, filled almost entirely with antiques. He's known particularly for his collection of Baltimore painted furniture. In fact, when the Maryland Historical Society created the exhibition "Classical Maryland 1815-1845," it borrowed two pieces from Mr. Colwill's living room.
"The quality of his antiques aren't something you find very often," says Ms. Irons.
Flower shows are in lush profusion this time of year, but here's one with a twist: the Art Blooms at the Walters program.
For two days, 35 paintings and sculptures from the Walters collection are paired with interpretive flower arrangements designed by regional garden clubs. There will also be lectures and demonstrations by author and floral designer Norman Kent Johnson, floral designers for the National Cathedral, and Louisa P. Cameron, winner of the 1992 Ben Franklin award for best garden design book.
A preview party will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. The event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 14 and 15. The preview party will cost $50; a day ticket, including lunch, $45.
Art in Bloom will be held at the Walters Art Gallery, 600 N. Charles St. Call (410) 547-9000, Ext. 305, for more information.