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Chinese antiques in Roland Park

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Far East comes to the East Coast at a new shop in Roland Park that specializes in antiques from China and other lands still mysterious to Yankees used to Sheraton, Hepplewhite and Chippendale. Sonny and Laurie Glassner, principals of Louis Mazor, the venerable design firm, opened the Pacific Collection, 600 Wyndhurst Ave., to showcase the furniture and decorative objects they collected on recent buying trips to China.

Among their finds: A painted chest-on-chest, about 8 feet tall, called a Golden Dragon cabinet ($3,900, left); a red lacquer clothing rack about 6 feet tall ($1,425, right); a hand-painted Tibetan chest with double folding doors ($4,000); and an intricately carved Chinese hanging cabinet made of fir ($1,750).

The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 410-532-1000.

More or less sunny

Here's something new for the sun -- Luminette Privacy Sheers from Hunter-Douglas. A sheer face fabric that filters light is bonded to neutral white fabric vanes that rotate for extra light control and privacy. The shades are ideal for ameliorating bright morning sunshine in a breakfast nook, but would work anywhere that sharp, slanting sun is a distraction.

The shades come in five fabrics. Pictured is Filigree, which has an embossed pattern of soft scrollwork. A 60-inch-by-72-inch shade costs $884. For more information, call 800-205-8225 or visit the Web site www.hunterdouglas.com.

A cook and his garden

Having a party? Here's what chef, cookbook author and TV personality Rick Bayless thinks is essential: "Great food, great music and an atmosphere that allows you to escape." It helps if you have a nicely rehabbed house (once a polka bar) with an adjacent 1,000-square-foot garden -- not to mention two wildly successful restaurants in Chicago (Frontera Grill and Topolobampo) that serve true regional Mexican food.

Bayless' new show on PBS, "Mexico One Plate at a Time" (on at noon Saturdays on MPT), celebrates that country whose cuisine he loves. The show was filmed in the home kitchen he shares with his wife and business partner, Deann Bayless, as well as in their garden and on location in Mexico. The garden has room for nine long, narrow beds (double-dug and then raised), which produce French beans, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, lettuces, and herbs, among other things. Bayless uses produce from the garden in his restaurants, and lugs home several pounds of vegetable trimmings every night for the garden. A book to accompany the series will be out this fall.

Living in a fairy tale

If you grew up listening to fairy tales and always wanted to live in an enchanted cottage, "The Illustrated Cottage" by Nina Williams (Hearst Books / Country Living, 2000, $30) is for you. Part fantasy, part travelogue, part homage to French country living, the book explores how Williams used objects and art to turn her 1936 cottage in the Denver area into a farmhouse in Provence.

Working with two muralists / trompe l'oeil artists, Barb Fisher and Laura Chappell, she transformed the house into a picture book of the imagined lives of inhabitants of the "French" house, especially Williams' fantasy alter ego, Severine, a 14-year-old girl who lives amid lavender fields in the town of Sault. The house and the illusion are quite real, and quite charming.

It's easy to picture Robert, Severine's beau, strolling into the atelier, flopping down on the chaise, and reaching out for a lemon to toss casually from hand to hand. Available at booksellers nationwide.

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.

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