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December 6, 2006 | Betty Hallock
It's amazing what they can do with Plynyl these days. These woven vinyl, easy-cleanup place mats created by New York designer Sandy Chilewich come in ever more colors and patterns. "Engineered squares" are produced with complex gradations of color -- green, orange, turquoise. A "spun" vinyl has swirled strands that conjure some kind of industrial lace. Other textures evoke sewn-together ribbons or bamboo or cool steel mesh. About $15 each.
October 12, 2006 | David A. Keeps, Times Staff Writer
"PEOPLE who are coming of age now completely missed out on the vintage vibe of cocktail culture," says Joe Keeper, owner of Bar Keeper in Silver Lake. His tonic? A cool blend of furniture, stemware and party accessories with a twist. Along with contemporary items including Mexican hand-blown double old-fashioneds, plates emblazoned with skulls and shatter-resistant crystal Tritan wineglasses from Schott Zwiesel, vintage wares fill Keeper's shelves.
July 26, 2006 | Amy Scattergood
It looks a lot like the kickstand on your kid's bicycle, but it's a bar gadget: a muddler, used to crush fresh fruit, herbs and spices -- such as are necessary for some of the best summer drinks. The idea is to release the oils and juices before shaking or stirring with other ingredients. Although traditional muddlers are wooden, stainless-steel ones are often favored by chefs and bartenders because they're cleaner.
July 26, 2006 | Betty Hallock
The tabletop pickle pot: It's fun just to say it, and for those who don't speak Japanese, easier than pronouncing "shokutaku tsukemono ki." The small plastic container makes quick pickles of cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, eggplant, burdock root, radishes, matsutake mushrooms ... an endless variety of tsukemono. Traditionally, vegetables for pickling were placed in wooden or ceramic tubs, weighted down with large stones -- no room for those in the kitchen.
June 14, 2006 | Charles Perry, Times Staff Writer
SUMMER'S here, the lazy days of summer, so what do we want to do? Speed up the barbecue, of course. Vacation time and long bright evenings are terrible things to waste. And that's why some companies want us to buy vacuum marinators. The idea sounds good. The most time-consuming part of barbecue is the marinating. Having to put your meat in aromatic liquid hours before firing up the grill just throws a cold blanket on the spontaneity of the whole thing.
April 7, 2006 | From Reuters
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. said Thursday that it would extend its reach by launching an exclusive line of home products in Macy's department stores. Shares of the lifestyle media company rose 13.7%. The Martha Stewart Collection, which will include towels, dinnerware and holiday decor, is expected to debut in fall 2007 in Macy's stores and on Martha Stewart Living already sells home goods at Sears Holdings Corp.'s Kmart unit and Sears Canada Inc.
November 24, 2005 | Adamo DiGregorio, Special to The Times
THE holiday spirit is in the air: everything and everyone accented with red, lights sparkling in unexpected places, and a heady scent of anticipation. In the home, there are sophisticated and inexpensive ways to tickle and soothe the olfactory senses during the holidays. The aroma of freshly baked cookies or fragrant pine can evoke warm memories, but scented pillows, candles, beads or sticks can also infuse your house with a festive ambience.
November 17, 2005 | Adamo DiGregorio, Special to The Times
FRESH design ideas are giving tables a stylish presence. Over the last year, there have been innovations in table shapes, tops and details thanks to advances in technology and sophisticated finishing techniques. Silk screening can give a coffee table a dual personality. A sleek dining table appears to be a hunk of walnut when it actually is made up of hollow, modular units. Precision cuts allow designers to use different materials such as traditional walnut and modern porcelain enamel.
November 10, 2005 | David A. Keeps and Adamo DiGregorio, Special to The Times
IF you want to make over any space, be it breakfast bar or boudoir, mix thriftiness with craftiness. The first part is easy: Inexpensive furnishings come in a world of periods and styles, from modern Scandinavian to ancient Moroccan. The keys to a dramatic transformation -- strong colors and powerful patterns -- can be cost-effective as long as you're willing to make friends with a staple gun and a paintbrush.
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