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People still have a soft spot for...


People still have a soft spot for velvet

"Velvet's in vogue," according to Style Beat in the August House Beautiful. That startled us -- we (and everyone else) have been writing about the pared down, simplified '90s. We decided to consult the experts.

Ruth Clark of Pearson, the upholstery division of Lane, doesn't see a hot trend but says cautiously that yes, people are beginning to look at velvets again. "For the past three years we've introduced one or two per market," she says, "especially because of all the tapestries that have been so successful for us. They work together." But these aren't commercial velvets like those used on recliners, she says, but cut velvets and other more unusual looks.

Linda Jones, spokeswoman for Masco, the world's largest home-furnishings company, doesn't feel that people are ready to embrace velvet yet. "Velvets are creeping back," she says, but ++ it's the softer, more casual fabrics like chenille that are most popular.

A market for antiques

The grand opening isn't until September, when all the dealers will be in place, but the Monument Antiques Market is open for business now at 507 N. Charles St. The co-op will initially have some 10 dealers, several moving from Howard Street; and owner Craig Flinner plans to expand into the space next door by October.

The Monument Antiques Market is open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Enter through the Craig Flinner Gallery.

Beating the heat

If your only answer to beating the summer heat is to turn up the air conditioner, use these energy- and money-saving tips from the Home Depot:

* Install a ceiling fan. They cost about 6 cents a day to operate, and their cool breezes allow you to keep your air conditioner at a higher setting.

* Put in a programmable thermostat. You can come home to a cool house, but the air conditioner won't have been on all day.

* Use a dehumidifier. When the air is drier, it feels cooler.

* Check your insulation and air filters. Filters should be checked every six months and replaced if full.

* Use fluorescent lights. They are cooler and more energy efficient.

Hanging around, nicely

The decorative textile hangers at Beadazzled are so beautiful they may eclipse your prize wall hangings. Made from pieces of wooden looms from Indonesia, each one is different. Prices are ++ around $100. Beadazzled, located at 421 N. Charles St., is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is (410) 837-2323.

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