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March 16, 1986|VIRGINIA GRAY

Twin Attraction Because a child's room must answer to many demands, the challenge is to make a practical as well as attractive space. Interior designer Maxine Smith, of Smith-Cleary Inc., and architect Dennis Cashato faced an especially demanding task when they designed a bedroom, above, for Smith's 7-year-old twins, Zack and Jake. Sleep, play and storage areas were set off with bold colors and clever, functional use of space, which includes a play loft above the beds. A Conran Sequel Sir Terence Conran--knighted in 1983 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to design and retailing--was in Los Angeles to talk about his latest venture, "The New House Book" (Villard Books, $40), which updates his 12-year-old classic "The House Book." Conran is internationally known as a trend-setter in the world of home furnishings, and his philosophy of good design at modest prices (well illustrated in his stores in Europe and on the East Coast and in his mail-order catalogues) is enlarged in this comprehensive and practical volume. He explains: "I firmly believe that plain, simple things are superior to flashy, complicated ones. I admire any sort of honest interior. The most important thing is that what is done be done with conviction. It's exciting to go into somebody's house and to find yourself thinking, 'I know this person rather better now,' because his or her interior design tells you something more about the owner's personality." His essay, "A Taste for Simplicity," serves as the book's preface and makes clear Conran's design preferences: "I have a taste for austerity and utility, but that's not to say I have no appetite for pleasure." This stylish how-to reference contains 750 color photographs.

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