A place for fresher fixturesYou've made the commitment to...

Home Front

December 27, 1998|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff

A place for fresher fixtures

You've made the commitment to redo that old kitchen or bath, and you want everything to be perfect - and maybe a little different from the standard fare available at home-improvement centers. A new shop from the folks who run Designer's Hardware can help you locate that out-of-the-ordinary, or even that out-of-this-world, fixture or detail. The shop features everything to outfit bath and kitchen, from door handles and locks to plumbing fixtures. Luxury plumbing lines include Kallista, Hastings and Dornbracht. The shop also offers Corsi custom cabinets.

The Designer's Hardware Kitchen and Bath Annex is in a renovated historic building at 224-226 W. Read St. The annex is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. To visit the annex, stop by Designer's Hardware at 239 W. Read St., or for more information, call 410-225-3640.

Scientific approach to brighter silverware

The table looks gorgeous when it's set with your silver, but it's such a burden to polish the pieces, you hate to get them out. If that's the way you feel, you'll be glad to know that a Johns Hopkins scientist has figured out a simple way to remove the tarnish from silver, using baking soda, water and aluminum foil.

Jerome Kruger, an expert on corrosion, says the technique works especially well on metal with intricate patterns and lots of crevices. Kruger (below) refined the approach some years ago, but he likes to remind people at this time of year how easy it is.

Here's the method:

1. Wrap the entire object in aluminum foil, making sure it touches the foil at at least one point. Put some slits in the foil to allow water to penetrate.

2. Put the wrapped object in a large glass, enameled or stainless-steel pot that can be placed on the stove.

3. Fill the container with a solution of 4 to 5 tablespoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) per quart of water; use enough water to cover the object. Turn on heat and simmer mixture gently for 30 minutes.

4. Take out the object and remove the foil. Rinse the object and dry it thoroughly. If all the tarnish is not removed from crevices, repeat the procedure.

You may want to use a commercial product to brighten large, plain surfaces of the silver, Kruger says.

EVENT:

* Experience enchantment in the light of the moon on a walk through the National Arboretum in Washington from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. The five-mile hike, which the arboretum folks call "mildly strenuous," will be led by an experienced horticulturist. Fee is $7. Dress for the weather, with walking shoes. Meet at the R Street gate, R Street Northeast, off Bladensburg Road. Reservations are required. Call 202-245-2726.

Accessorize your Beanie Babies

If Beanie Babies were a big holiday item around your house, you may want to check out Ty products' first forays into nontoy items: Beanie Babies "heart protectors" (to preserve the little tags on the Babies; $3 for a pack of 10), calendars (in daily, weekly and monthly versions; $10) and collector's cards and card binders (cards, $1.99 a pack; binders, $10; extra card sleeves, 50 cents each). The card packs feature embossing and full color; specialty cards such as "birthday," "retired" and "original nine" are inserted. Available where Beanie Babies are sold.

Pub Date: 12/27/98

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