A stylish way to clean up
Miele vacuum cleaners -- a must for true fashionistas -- have gone "platinum" for the 21st century. The latest model (there is already a waiting list, even though it costs $995) has a sealed system that picks up and holds onto fine particles, and a direct-connect system for attaching accessories to the wand. Call 800-579-4555 to find the dealer nearest you.
A cook's tour
When you look around kitchens today, you're likely to see many things that were there, in pretty much the same form, 100 or even 200 years ago. The likeness may be more striking in an "unfitted" kitchen -- a slow-building trend that's been restricted mostly to the very high-end lines and to the work of custom designers who are returning to the unmatched "kitchen furniture" of the last century, instead of focusing on the coordinated counters and cupboards of the current one.
And yes, today's kitchens have microwaves, solid-surface stoves, convection ovens, food processors, multicycle dishwashers, and refrigerators that deliver crushed ice and water through their doors. But over the years, the changes in general shape and function have been less obvious in some appliances and kitchenware. A frying pan is still a frying pan, whether made of coated aluminum or stainless steel. Tea kettles still whistle. Pots and pans still have lids and handles.
But every year manufacturers refine their designs to make them more efficient, more versatile, more durable and, because this is the '90s, more beautiful.
It may be as subtle as a change in the angle of a pot handle, or as dramatic as a technologically astute vacuum cleaner that picks up more and finer particles.
Here's a roundup of some of the new items, most introduced earlier this year at the 1999 Gourmet Products Show in New Orleans. All are available from retailers, designers or contractors.
Out-of-the-ordinary flower photographs in macro and infrared formats by Florence P. Flax will be on display through Nov. 14 at the U.S. National Arboretum Administration Building lobby. Admission is free. The arboretum is at 3501 New York Ave. N.E., Washington. For more information, call 202-245-2726.
Metzler's Garden Center & Florist, 10342 Owen Brown Road in Columbia, offers a fall decorating workshop, using such items as pumpkins, dried flowers and Indian corn, at 12:30 p.m. today. At 2 p.m., there will be a pumpkin-decorating class for children. Both events are free. For more information, call 410-997-8133.
Washing with no guesswork
Fabrics such as Tencel, Lycra, Spandex and rayon -- and combinations thereof -- can give an ordinary washing machine fits. The Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science has developed a new washer with what it calls Catalyst cleaning action, designed to handle complex and delicate fabrics and blends while still working wonders on cotton, denim and polyester. Machines with the Catalyst system spray a safe, concentrated detergent/bleach/fabric softener mixture onto dirty clothes while they are still dry, pretreating the entire load for soil and stains. Suggested retail price is $799. For more information, call 800-253-1301.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.