Creating fun in the real world

HOME FRONT

May 19, 2002|By Sara Engram | By Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Good design need not be a function of price. In its latest effort to prove that everyday objects can offer as much appeal for their looks as for a reasonable price tag, Target has asked designer Philippe Starck to bring his uncommonly elegant touch to a new line of common household objects.

Dubbed "Starck Reality," the new line offers whimsical and elegant new takes on items for the home, kitchen, office and bath, as well as for babies and toddlers.

For any place in your house where you could use an extra seat or an extra bit of storage, try the Ethno Plastic Stool with removable lid (right), which comes in combinations of two iridescent colors -- hot pink and yellow, green and blue, purple and blue or red and purple. Sit on it, stack things on it or store things inside it -- all for $9.99. Your favorite toddler could spend hours exploring this Pop-Up Playhouse (above), in yellow with gray trim and a nickel-colored floor, $24.99.

Pot and plant are well grounded

There's some good news this spring for gardeners whose thumbs are more brown than green, and even for green-thumbed gardeners who are short on time or energy. You can plant annuals easily and have instant blooms, thanks to a new line of plantable pots.

Called Plantables, the pots are as easy on the environment as on the gardener. They are made of coconut fiber, which is porous enough to let roots grow through and will eventually decay into the soil.

The pots come filled with hardy and vibrantly colored annuals grown nearby in Burtonsville. Choose from several varieties, including Fiesta double flowering impatiens, Celebration New Guinea impatiens and Galleria trailing geraniums.

You can find Plantables for $4.98 each at Home Depot stores in Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Paper, pen, stamp -- it's called keeping in touch

If your favorite graduate is eager to embark into the wider world, but worried about losing touch with the old gang, give him a Circle Journey book. Inspired by round-robin letters, the Circle Journey kit makes snail mail easy by providing a sturdy 4- by 6-inch book with 60 blank pages that friends can write in and mail to each other for years to come.

Circle Journey kits are ideal for graduates, for grandparents or for any far-flung friends or family. The correspondence kits sell for $19.95 and are available at Borders, Bibelot, Greetings & Readings, The Pleasure of Your Company and other local stores. Or go to www.circlejourney.com.

Events

* Visit Leakin Park Saturday for the 16th annual Baltimore Herb Festival, featuring music, train rides, herbal lunch, woodland walks, cooking, exhibits, lectures and more. This year's featured herb is ginger. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is $5. For information, call 410-496-4655 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit www.baltimoreherbfestival. com.

* The African Violet Society of America is holding its 2002 National Convention and Show at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Va., this week. The show is open to the public Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plants, leaves, pots, soil, plant supplies, violet jewelry, and other plant-related items will be sold. Admission is free. For more information, call 301-953-7554. You can also visit the society's home page at www.avsa.org to learn more about violets and local clubs around the country. For information about the convention or show, visit www.avsa2002.org.

* Baltimore Clayworks presents Bonsai inSites: Collaborations Between Tree and Container, an exhibition that offers an innovative approach to an ancient art form. Clay artists and bonsai enthusiasts have reinterpreted the traditional relationship between bonsai and their containers to create singular works of art. The exhibit is on display at the Clayworks Gallery, 5707 Smith Ave., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 410-578-1919.

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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