Saturday, February 16, 2002

In the know

A guide to what's going on around the home

Wise Buys

        Self-cleaning windows: A few months ago, the word spread about window glass that doesn't need cleaning — just a top-to-bottom hosing down or a good rainstorm to prevent streaking and spotting. Now, there are two companies producing the work-saving glass.

        Activ Glass from Pilkington, a British company, and SunClean from Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries are coated with a concoction that continuously breaks down dirt when exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. It can be used only on exterior surfaces. It doesn't rub off but can be damaged by abrasive cleaners, steel wool, etc.

        Activ Glass is available at Champion Windows. SunClean is working on local distribution. Check out And expect to pay more in order to work less at cleaning.

        Pooch protection: All dog owners know that the minute the lock clicks, those crafty canines head for the forbidden furniture. We see the tell-tale hairs. Who do they think they're fooling? Sure Fit knows all about this surreptitious sofa hopping so it has come up with Paws & Bones, a pattern of paw prints and dog bones embossed on a soft beige Microfibre cover than can be washed and dried. Sure-Fit covers ($99 for chair cover to $159 for sofa cover) are available at home goods stores, including Bed, Bath & Beyond, Linen 'n' Things, Wal-Mart and Target, or call (888) 787-3348.

Shop Talk

        Plaid power: The distinctive camel, black, white and crimson Burberry plaid is on coats, scarves, hats, purses, umbrellas and boots. So it's no surprise the London plaid and its knock-off cousins have made it into our homes. The Great Indoors has a toasty fringed throw in what it calls the “Nova check” for $39.99. Can plaid kitchen appliances be far behind?

        Shower power: It's a double shower head and a body sprayer in one. The Grohe Freehander is a shower system with two shower heads on a sturdy tubular arm that pivots 180 degrees to convert the heads to a body spray position. $395 and up. Ferguson Enterprises and Keidel Supply carry Grohe products.

By Design

        Trends: According to Metropolitan Home magazine and Smith & Noble, here are this year's hot home-decorating trends:

        • Recliners, but sleek and smart-looking this time.

        • White, soothing and peaceful in many hues and variations.

        • Upholstered headboards and footboards, in fabric or leather.

        • Stand-alone bathtubs as bathroom centerpieces.

        • Handmade quilts, ethnic objects, crafts.

        • Herbal and aromatic gardens.

        • French-country with primary colors and white, rugs with basket weaves and dyed sisal fibers.

        • Cottage-style with distressed woods, washed fabrics and touches of crochet lace.

        • Traditional velvets, chenilles, jacquards and formal damasks paired with florals or coordinating stripes.

        Contact Joy Kraft by phone: 768-8467; fax: 768-8330;



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