Thinking of home


April 14, 2002|By Jill Kubatko | By Jill Kubatko,Sun Staff

This season, furniture designers are using buzzwords like "comfort zone," "haven," "warm," "welcoming" and "retreat" as they focus on enjoying life at home. These themes will be dominant this week at the world's largest furniture trade exposition, the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point and Thomasville, N.C.

And while the emphasis is on the home as a retreat, home can be fun as well. Find yourself in an Elvis-Presley-inspired bedroom. Vaughan-Bassett offers two collections: Graceland, mimicking the King's magnificent mansion, and another featuring the Golden Age of Hollywood in a '60s retro look. Faith Popcorn has developed home-office furniture for the working mother, pairing a sleek, glass-top worktable with a cottage-style storage system and pulling it together with an office chair in black and white gingham.

Other highlights at the show include a strong showing of children's furnishings, a new Kathy Ireland line, designer textiles, home electronics and entertainment furniture, plus Habersham has collaborated with the Plaza Hotel for a collection of items inspired by themes and pieces at the New York hotel. The show runs from Thursday to April 25.

Profiles introduce modern designers

When most Americans think of great modern-era designers, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles and Ray Eames come to mind. Chronicle Books expands the layman's knowledge of contemporary designers of the 20th century with four new stylish books featuring Richard Sapper, Michael Graves, Eileen Gray and Jean Prouve. As part of the Compact Design Portfolio series, these 5 3 / 4 -inch-by-5 3 / 4 -inch books put great classic and contemporary design within everyone's grasp.

Each book contains an introductory essay that addresses the designer's life and work, and subsequent pages are filled with photographs and sketches. Books are $12.95 each at

Etiquette made easy

Quick -- answer these questions: Do you know how to properly set a table? Do you always bring a hostess gift? Do you send a gift when you cannot attend a wedding? If you know the answers, you are in the minority. Lenox recently conducted a survey on etiquette and found 85 percent of Americans consider themselves to be well-mannered, yet only about half of these respondents send thank-you notes after receiving a gift, 31 percent bring a hostess gift and 59 percent send a wedding present.

Katie Brown, lifestyle sage and television correspondent for news programs and E! Style Network, has joined Lenox, maker of fine china, in developing a booklet, "Guide to Living Graciously. Modern Etiquette: Always in Style." Within its colorful 10 pages, readers learn common courtesy, setting a proper table and tips for gracious gift giving. Available free, call 800-63-LENOX or visit


* Take the train to Philadelphia this weekend for the eighth annual Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The event, which runs from Friday to next Sunday, will bring together more than 250 juried artisans from across the United States and Canada. See woodworkers, fiber artists, glass artisans, metal forgers, potters, sculptors, basket makers and others display their wares. Information: See or call 215-440-0718.

* Colors abound in the sculptures of Matthew Gavin, whose works will be on display at the Potters Guild of Baltimore through April 30. The guild is in Hampden in Meadow Mill, Suite 101, 2600 Clipper Mill Road near the Woodberry Light Rail Stop. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: 410-235-4884.

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.

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