Home Front


October 24, 2004|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

Hands-free vacuuming

It's a vacuum with a mind of its own. Yes, it sounds like a case for the repairman. But indeed it's not. It's the new Electrolux Trilobite vacuum. Set it on the floor, turn on the power, press start, and it's off and running, without you needing to guide it.

Trilobite uses infrared and ultrasonic sensors to navigate around furniture and under chairs. With its "Smart-Path Navigation," it can calculate the dimensions of a room, determine the best cleaning path and steer clear of obstacles, including people, pets and stairs. The bagless vacuum also automatically knows where its charging station is and knows to return to it when its batteries are low or after it's completed its cleaning. Charging takes two hours and allows for a 60-minute cleaning.

Trilobite sells for $1,799 and is available at Hammacher Schlemmer, the Great Indoors, Sears.com, Amazon.com, electroluxusa.com or by calling 877-366-5514.

Are you allergic to your home?

The sneezing, the runny nose, the watery eyes, the wheezing -- you've got it all. Your allergies are making you miserable. How to alleviate some of the airborne allergens at home? Hunter Fan Co., maker of numerous air purifiers and fans, offers these tips:

Get allergy-reducing filters for your heating and air conditioning. And remember to vacuum twice a week.

Use allergen-proof covers for pillows and mattresses. And wash bedding weekly in hot water.

Install blinds or shades instead of large fabric drapes, for less dust accumulation.

Inspect your children's toys for those stuffed with animal hair or beanbags.

Keep plants and fish tanks out of bedrooms. And display silk plants, instead of live plants, to avoid pollens.

Open a book and fly away

We all share the dream. Ah, to own a getaway house. Our very own private retreat. Our cozy, safe haven. Our place to steal away.

Whether it's a beach house in the Hamptons, a desert hideaway in New Mexico or a ski chalet in Nevada, we've salivated at the thought. And now to further tease us comes the book The Getaway Home (Taunton, $30) by Dale Mulfinger, available at Amazon.com.

Flip through the 208 pages and step inside 24 tantalizing American getaway pads. Divided into four categories -- in the mountains, on the plains, along the coast and by the lake -- the book uncovers a fly-fishing retreat in West Virginia, a beach cottage on the Florida Gulf Coast, a kayaking haven in Minnesota and more.

Some 250 color interior and exterior photos fill the book, which also features floor layouts and interesting tidbits about each house.


Learn about "Wild Things: Native Plants for the Home Landscape" with plant expert David Culp, 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton. $30. Call 410-557-9570 to register.

See Big Works on Small Paper, an exhibit of paintings and drawings by Deborah Donelson, through Saturday at Fleckenstein Gallery, 29 Allegheny Ave., Towson. Pictured at right is the watercolor / gravure Portrait of the Artist as a Young Hare. Call 410-296-8588.

Baltimore artist Jo Smail displays new paintings and works on paper, through Nov. 8 at Goya Contemporary, 3000 Chestnut Ave. Call 410-366-2001.

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.

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