If you're looking for just the right rug or piece of furniture to brighten a hallway or an accent piece to finish a room -- any room -- head to HomeGoods in Valley Centre, 9616 Reisterstown Road.
New to the Baltimore market, the off-price home goods store from the TJX Companies Inc., which includes T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, offers a large selection of name brand home fashions, accessories and gifts for every room of the house at bargain prices. With 10,000 new products arriving at the store each week, the merchandise is always fresh and often eye-catching.
Lamps featuring vintage posters can add a note of deco sophistication to a den or even a bedside table. They sell for $99.99, compared with a listed retail price of $180.
Party, party, party
Looking for ways to celebrate while not busting the budget? Diane Warner's Great Parties on Small Budgets: Celebrations for Grownups and Kids of All Ages , by Diane Warner (New Page Books, 2002, $12.99) has useful suggestions for saving money and maximizing fun for everything from birthday parties to barbecue bashes.
The book is available from www.bn.com and other booksellers.
With a prolonged drought taking its toll on area gardens, sculptures can be just the thing to brighten the scene. It's hard to imagine gazing at this busy terrier without a smile on your face -- especially when you know that this is one Jack Russell that can dig all he likes and never do any harm.
Modeled in cast resin, the sculpture stands 13 by 7 by 10 inches. It's available for $85 from Eximious of London, based in Northfield, Ill. To order, call 800-221-9464 or log on to www.eximious.com.
Floored by the possibilities
Linoleum was never the classiest of floor coverings. But what it may have lacked in eye appeal it always made up for in ease of care. These days, vinyl floor coverings come in grades luxurious enough to give homeowners both convenience and good looks.
Nafco offers luxury vinyl in three grades -- Good Living, Better Living and Best Living -- with 15-, 20- and 30-year warranties, respectively. The better and best grades also feature a coating of Tritonite, a ceramic technology that provides extra layers of resistance to scratching, abrasions and the usual wear and tear of daily life.
As for looks, luxury vinyl has gotten very good at simulating aged wood, polished marble, textured slate or other natural materials that cost a lot more and need more care.
A number of retailers in the Baltimore area carry Nafco products. For a list, or for more information, call 800-248-5574 or see www. nafco.com.
* A Japanese Koi Festival will be held at the National Arboretum, Washington, D.C., Sept. 14-15. Lectures, demonstrations and seminars centered on the colorful Japanese fish that enliven many a backyard pond and water garden. For directions and a schedule of events, call the arboretum's education office at 202-245-5898 or see www.usna.usda.gov.
* Patterson Park will hold a "laid-back, Euro-style" fine art and craft market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at Eastern and Linwood avenues. The market will feature handmade art from area artists and stores, including pottery, prints, paintings, clothing, jewelry, furniture as well as original pink flamingos. For more information, phone 410-342-0600 or log on to www.pattersonpark.com.
* Ridgely's Delight, the area where Babe Ruth was born, will hold a Neighborhood Home and Garden Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 a person and will be available on the day of the tour at Pickles Pub, 520 Washington Blvd. Rain date is Sept. 15. For more information, call 410-385-1213.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Liz Atwood, 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.