The folks at the Internet store Wall Kandy encourage customers to "Hang a Conversation Piece." And they mean it. The store sells more than 100 original black-and-white and color photographs, each snapped by photographers / company founders Leslie Rosenthal and Julie Chytrowsky, from visits to Paris, New York, Venice, Bangkok, Burano, Holland, Brazil, Prague and other destinations.
Their intent is to offer affordable, original and conversational pieces to decorate customers' walls. Each photo comes with a short story from the artist on the details of the shoot. "Sometimes, the story can bring the image closer to the customer, making it more than just a decorating purchase -- it's an emotional bond," said Rosenthal.
The Web site allows users to search by theme or by decor, and then to choose the size of the photo (8-by-10 inches or 11-by-14 inches), choose matting and pick a frame color and size. Prices are $90, $140 or higher for extra-large photos.
Visit www.wallkandy.com or call 866-99-KANDY.
Sleek kitchen and bath accessories
Creating functional products is what Umbra does best. And the company's latest venture into the kitchen and bath has spawned several new sleek and useful items.
To its kitchen countertop collection, Umbra has added Spun, a line of brushed stainless steel accessories with a spun finish. Included (and pictured below) are an oversized soap pump ($16.99), a sculpted spoon rest ($9.99) and a slotted round scrubby holder / soap dish ($7.99).
In the bath, Umbra has added the Vapor line, a thick-glass soap pump, tumbler, toothbrush holder ($11.99) and glass tissue cover ($29.99). The new Stream collection features bath hardware, a towel ring, toilet paper stand, mirror and more.
Items are available at www. umbra.com. Call 800-387-5122.
Get comfy shopping from home
In need of a wall unit? A cocktail table? A headboard? Whatever your furniture needs, check out www.furniture.com, a Web site partnership between Seaman Furniture Co. and Levitz Furniture Co., which offers local products and assistance.
From the comfort of your home, you can shop the vast selection of furniture and accessories available at the two stores. Once you place an order, a local sales associate from your store will contact you regarding delivery. Most items will arrive within 10 days.
The Web site also features decorating advice and how-to tips, recommendations, articles, swatch images and even a room planner (pictured below), which helps customers visualize their new and existing furniture.
For more information, call Seaman's at 800-445-2503 or Levitz at 888-538-2558.
* See more than 100 functional, sculptural and decorative teapots created by 100 clay artists at the national juried exhibit 100 Teapots 2, through Feb. 15 at Baltimore Clayworks, 5707 Smith Ave. Call 410-578-1919.
* Watercolors and oil paintings by Baltimore artist Bernard M. McGibbon are on display through Jan. 18 at Clay Orbit, 10918 York Road, Cockeysville. Call 410-329-1440.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, 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.