Furniture where the fun is built in

Furniture should always be functional, but sometimes it can be fun as well. Nobody does fun furniture better than Sticks, a company in Des Moines, Iowa. Using a distinctive wood-burning technique and richly colored nontoxic acrylic paints, the artists at Sticks turn words and images into one-of-a-kind functional art.

Locally, you can see a good selection of Sticks at Zyzyx! in the Festival at Woodholme shopping center, 1809 Reisterstown Road.

Zyzyx! manager Michael Barrash says the process of ordering a Sticks piece is as much fun for the staff as it is for customers, with choices of themes, palates and iconic phrases.

With Sticks chess sets, players can pit Democrats versus Republicans or cats against dogs. One of Barrash's favorites is a set featuring junk food versus health food. Can your broccoli take my fries?

Sticks prices begin around $300 for small pegboards and go way up. A dining room table with six sturdy chairs sells for $8,000.

For more information, call Zyzyx! at 410-486-9785.

Cooking up extra space in the kitchen

Are you always looking for more room in your kitchen? One way to squeeze some extra space is to make use of fixtures with clever accessories. One example is American Standard's new Culinaire Collection, which includes nonslip cutting boards and metal dish racks that fit over the sink surface. Other suggestions from interior designer Barbara Schmidt:

Treat your kitchen like your closet -- give away duplicated items or ones you never use. Create more counter space by adding a center island or a rolling cart, making sure you also get storage space below the work surface. And look for a way to annex space from an adjoining area to create a walk-in pantry, a popular feature for homebuyers.

American Standard products are available in the Baltimore area at Lee L. Dopkin, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Home Depot and other retailers.

The colors of Fallingwater

For countless visitors and admirers, Fallingwater in Bear Run, Pa., has become emblematic of the style of its architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Its clean lines, functional space, use of natural materials like wood and stone and its perch above a rushing creek have awed and inspired several generations of architects, interior designers and homeowners.

Now the stewards of the house, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, have teamed with PPG's Pittsburgh Paints to identify a palette of colors similar to those selected by Wright for Fallingwater. (Wright selected the colors after his original intention to cover the concrete with gold leaf was rejected by the owner as too extravagant.)

The Fallingwater hues include a Cherokee red (No. 6432-7), which was said to be Wright's favorite color; the light ocher on the concrete walls inside and outside the house (No. 319-5); a lava gray trim color featured on the window screens (No. 554-6); a golden accent color (No. 216-5), as well as colors reminiscent of the moss-covered ground and other aspects of the mountainous setting.


* Clay Orbit celebrates its two-year anniversary Oct. 4 to Oct. 27 with "Mother Paints, Daughter Pots," featuring the work of ceramic artist and gallery owner Mary Ellen McLewee and her mother, watercolorist Louise Seward-Miller. Receptions are scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct 4., and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. The gallery is at 10918 York Road, Cockeysville. For more information, call 410-329-1440.

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.

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