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Velveteen RabbitNo, it's not a toy shop,...


Velveteen Rabbit

No, it's not a toy shop, although there are a couple of antique dolls in the window. And it's not a children's bookstore. The Velveteen Rabbit is Baltimore's newest antique stop, and one of the few in the area that sells antiques and quality reproductions side by side.

Owner Tina Protzman's slogan is "Beautiful Pieces at Beautiful Prices," so don't expect to find $4,000 vases here. She says, "If I wouldn't buy it at that price, I don't carry it."

Her tastes are traditional; most of the furniture is mahogany or cherry. While items are priced to appeal to the careful shopper, you won't find much for the do-it-yourselfer here. Every piece is completely refinished and in excellent condition.

The Velveteen Rabbit is located at 5734 Falls Road, (410) 532-5268. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays; and closed Mondays.

This fall you'll be seeing a heightened interest in Anglo-Indian opulence in interior design, reflecting the blend of two diverse civilizations during the British Raj. Look for it in exotic furniture lines and ethnic accent pieces. Pearson furnishings company, for instance, has introduced the Viceroy Collection by Victoria Morland, which is getting great press in this month's shelter magazines. Several books on the subject will be coming out, including one by Tricia Foley, author of "Linens and Lace."

Look for the Anglo-Indian influence in the use of rattan in interesting new ways, woven and painted motifs, paisleys, geometrics with a strong Indian pattern, exotic wood carving, opulent fringes and tassels.

Kathleen Mahoney, a senior editor of House Beautiful, describes the look as one of those "replacing the pretty, sweet chintzes that have been popular." The latest of the ethnic influences, it blends well with the oh-so-hot southwestern style.

You'll fall in love with the four-poster bed first. It's too small for a child but too big for a doll. Then you'll notice its beautiful handcrafted canopy and realize you can have one of your own for a very reasonable price.

The Woman's Industrial Exchange, a consignment shop fohandmade items, sells the canopies, which take about four weeks to complete after you place your order. Bring in the dimensions of your bed, the length and width measured from poster to poster. And note whether it has a high curve or no curve at all. The canopies are hand-knotted in a double diamond pattern, in ivory or white 100-percent cotton. (They're washable.) A twin or double costs $225, queen $275 and king $300.

And the bed? It's not for sale. It was made by the husband of thcraftsperson (she doesn't want to be identified) to show off her wares.

For more information, call (410) 685-4388. The Woman's Industrial Exchange is located at 333 N. Charles St.

It's not hard to hang a picture when you have a bare wall and one large painting. But it's not so easy when you have several pictures and aren't quite sure how to make them work together. That's when expert advice can help.

Joy Vernacchio will provide it. She knows how to take your best-loved photographs or paintings and arrange them in elegant groupings. The cost varies depending on how complicated the job is, but plan to spend anywhere from $50 to $150.

"I take into consideration the look of the room and what the family likes," she says. "I'd like to end up with a wall that says something about them. I help weed out the pictures that don't go together and try to find ones that have something in common coloristically."

Ms. Vernacchio can also help you choose and buy your pictures if you wish. She's an artist herself, specializing in faux painting, and an interior designer. She and partner Ellen Sullivan run Avanti Design, (410) 625-9188.

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