A Maryland classic If you haven't visited Montpelier...


June 04, 2000|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff

A Maryland classic

If you haven't visited Montpelier Mansion, a National Historic Landmark near Laurel, you can at least enjoy its beautiful, authentically decorated rooms in the June/July issue of Classic American Homes (formerly Colonial Homes). Six pages of color photographs by Erik Kvalsvik and text by David Maurer portray the historic home to full advantage.

Jason Kontos, the magazine's editor-in-chief, says, "What I love about the house, besides its beauty, style and elegance, is how they made it seasonal, got it ready for summer."

Even today, you can see such seasonal changes as the parlor's white slipcovers and the white dimity curtains with hand-beaded fringe that replace winter's heavy red draperies.

If you want to visit the real thing, Montpelier is located at 9401 Montpelier Drive. Call 301-953-1376 for more information.

Wonderland writing desk

If Alice in Wonderland designed home office furniture, it might have something of the look of MacKenzie-Childs' whimsical new Marble Collection writing desk. The hand-decorated piece features majolica, faux marble and tortoise-shell finishes, with silk tassels and fringe.

Measuring 36 by 20 by 30 inches, the desk retails for around $2,800. No, you don't have to use a quill to write here. A laptop computer fits just fine.

The Marble Collection is available at MacKenzie-Childs' flagship store in New York City and at Neiman-Marcus stores. Or you can order it locally at the Kellogg Collection in Baltimore or Creative Specialties in Pikesville. Call 800-640-0546 for more information. -- E.L.

Garden in a kit

If you love being surrounded by flowers and greenery but hate the work involved, Urbox could be your perfect planting pal. Available through Windowbox.com, Urbox is a self-contained planting kit that comes complete with potting soil, a container, plants and everything else you need to start and maintain your own mini-garden.

There are 13 Urbox kits available, and you can choose flowers or herbs. With the Pizza Garden variety, you'll enjoy sassy spices such as African blue basil and Santa Cruz oregano. The Shades of Pink floral Urbox presents a blushing bouquet of snapdragons, verbena and more. Urboxes cost from $29.99 to $79.99. You can visit www.windowbox.com or call 888-GARDENBOX. -- Tamara Ikenberg

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Mary Corey, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.


The Showcase of Homes tour runs through June 25. There are 101 lovely living quarters, from condos to custom homes, on display in many Maryland counties. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

At 4023 Cloverland Drive in Phoenix, enjoy the Million-Dollar MASCO Home of the Year. Admission to this state-of-the-art centerpiece of the tour is $10 at the site. You can visit it Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Call 410-494-0909 or go to www. homebuilders.org for more information.

Come to "A Healthy Environment, A Healthy Me," an open house featuring down-home environmentalism. The event, taking place Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is sponsored by the University of Maryland, Central Maryland Research and Education Center. Learn about nutrition, hop on a hay wagon to tour a dairy, and bring your plant questions to the plant clinic. The open house takes place in Ellicott City at 4240 Folly Quarter Road. Call 800-342-2507 for more information.

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