Putting zing into business


January 13, 2002|By Julie Klavens | Julie Klavens,Sun Staff

As the design revolution marches steadily across America, innovative furnishings are staking their claims in offices. Astute entrepreneurs know they can toss the solid, stolid, pseudo-Colonial credenzas and still present a professional image.

Topdeq, which sells European-designed pieces and accessories for the workplace, is an excellent resource. The catalog's "wow" factor is high, from its shocking-pink cover to its pages filled with fresh, bold, sometimes playful pieces by such notable designers as Sir Norman Foster, Vico Magistretti and Philippe Starck. Take a look at Starck's "Dr. No" stacking chair, named for the comparably indestructible movie villain (priced at $127 each); or his witty update of the club chair, constructed of yellow, red or gray polyethylene ($365 each).

These furnishings do their share to combat the Monday blues. For more information, visit www.topdeq.com or call 866-876-3300.

Brighter days ahead

Although the days are slowly growing longer, this month and next promise many bleak hours. OTT-LITE products never looked so good.

OTT-LITE bulbs, created by a scientist who helped invent the lightboxes used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, proportionately replicate all wavelengths in the visible spectrum, thus bringing indoors what their literature calls "perfect light."

If you watch the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, you've seen OTT-LITE lamps -- the appraisers are among the many professionals who write glowing (sorry) testimonials about them. And, the company has begun paying more attention to aesthetics, which is a relief: The lamps are compact and well designed, but earlier models are a bit unprepossessing.

Prices begin at $69; for more information and purchase options, visit www.ott-lite.com or call 800-842-8848. -- J.K.

Short hop to Paris

If post-holiday credit-card bills rule out travel for at least a few months, consider infusions of far-off locales from travel videos, periodicals and books.

One of the most satisfying of the recent crop: Artists in Residence: A Guide to the Homes and Studios of Eight 19th-Century Painters In and Around Paris. Author Dana Micucci and photographer Marina Faust, frequent contributors to Architectural Digest, shed light on van Gogh, Monet, Cour-bet, Delacroix, Moreau, Bonheur, Millet and Daubigny.

Each section presents a biographical sketch of the artist and explores with insight and delicacy the relationship between his or her work, influences, home and studio. And, the book offers ideas for off-the-beaten-path adventures in and around Paris.

Artists in Residence, published by Little Bookroom, sells for $19.95 at area bookstores. -- J.K.


* Rich Hardie of Lyric Seed will discuss how to draw bluebirds, woodpeckers and other birds to your garden, at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at Valley View Farms, 11035 York Road in Cockeysville. And if the promise of enhanced bird-watching isn't enough, door prizes will be awarded. For information, call 410-527-0700.

* Curator Nicholas Joerling brings together works by 42 respected ceramics artists in Pots Presented, which opened yesterday at Baltimore Clayworks and runs through Feb. 23. He offers this tantalizing glimpse into the exhibition: "When I put pots on trays, the tray forms a stage; I leave a direct conversation [with the pot], figuratively speaking, go and sit out in the audience, and am now more inclined to watch what happens on stage -- i.e., on the tray." Baltimore Clayworks, 5707 Smith Ave. in Baltimore, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; for information, call 410-578-1919.

-- J.K.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Liz Atwood, 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.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.