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Discoveries : Medieval Magic

October 14, 1995|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

Dungeons, dragons and the age of chivalry are alive in the castles and cottages of Henry and Marie Olko.

Combining history and art with a little fantasy and imagination, these colorful facades are actually storage units that can enchant young and old.

The cabinets (about $990 for a single unit to $4,500 for a three-piece one) are sold under the names Fantascapes and Imagi-nations. They were originally created for the Olkos' grandchildren. "The children had so many little dolls, Legos and the like, they needed some place to store them all," says Marie Olko.

The cabinets vary in size and shape, and have many nooks and crannies. The facades open, the roofs lift and the windows conceal unbreakable mirrors. Also, each one has some secret hiding places to create "a little sense of mystery," Olko says.

The wishing well houses are large enough to hold TVs and VCRs. Also available are barns, trees and villages reminiscent of old Holland, France and Italy. All of the cabinets, made of MDF board with birch veneers, can be personalized and colors customized.

Henry Olko, who has a master's in architecture, was a furniture maker for more than 30 years. Marie Olko, a painter, is the trompe l'oeil artist.

The Olkos have plans to add dressing tables, desks and beds, starting at $900, to their collection later this year.

For more information, call (212) 249-5097 or (203) 672-2301.

Move Over, Martha

You'll be right at home to shop for the latest when "Home & Style" premieres Oct. 23 in Orange County.

"Home & Style," a new 30-minute television show featuring furnishings, accessories and gift items for purchase--such as this hand-forged wrought-iron bench in a branch design ($365, cushion $115) and candle adornments ($22 to $55)--not only lets you shop until you drop from your favorite chair, but the magazine-format show will present up-to-date information and tips on decorating, entertaining and gardening.

There also will be interviews with county artists and craftsmen conducted by the show's co-hosts, Laura Dunn of Beverly Hills and Ian Harris of Laguna Beach.

The first show was taped on location at Sea Castle, an oceanfront estate in Laguna Beach.

It will be aired on Cox Cable on Channel 31 on Mondays at 7 p.m., Tuesdays at 10 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. and on KODC Channel 56 on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.

Remodeling Hot Line

If you think you're ready to get rid of the psychedelic colors in your kitchen or that '70s look in your living room, but you haven't a clue where to start, who ya gonna call?

Barron Financial Services, an Irvine-based mortgage lender specializing in home remodeling loans, has set up a free 24-hour hot line to answer any questions and offer advice on the ins and outs of renovating.

Barron president Glen Pickren came up with the hot-line idea after fielding questions from clients over the years. He says he hopes the service will "help keep remodeling dreams from becoming construction nightmares."

Call (714) 518-3699.

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