Lively, lush leather


At some point, all that leather furniture starts to look the same, doesn't it? Nouveau Contemporary Goods has a solution to that problem with its new furniture from American Leather of Dallas. The line -- made in the United States, as the name implies -- offers chairs, recliners and sofas made of high-quality leather in interesting shapes and amazing, bright colors.

The Guggenheim sofa by Rick Lee is a sectional turned sleek. You can choose from different sizes to create a piece that fits your room. Combine a one-arm sofa ($3,075), an armless sofa ($2,625) and a chaise ($2,685) for a snakelike sofa (right) that comfortably seats eight. (Bookshelves that fit behind the sofa come in natural or espresso and retail for $597, and the orange cushions are sold separately for $225.)

The French Kiss accent chair by Rick Lee (left, $2,310-$3,042) is part angles, part curves and nothing like what you would find in your average home store.

These pieces have an international flair, but thanks to their Dallas manufacturer, they can be shipped in four weeks.

The Guggenheim, the French Kiss and the rest of the new American Leather collection are available at Baltimore's two Nouveau Contemporary Goods locations. Call the 519 N. Charles St. location at 410-962-8248, or the 2400 Boston St. location at 410-342-7666, for more information.

Ready for slumber-party season

Now that school is back in full swing, it's much easier for kids to schedule sleepovers with their friends. Worlds Apart offers a new item that might actually induce slumber at slumber parties.

The Readybed is an inflatable sleeping bag that includes a mattress, a pillow and covers all in one. A battery pump inflates the Readybed in under a minute, and it deflates in just seconds thanks to a patented valve.

The Readybed is available in four styles -- space travel, flowers and butterflies, princess, and sports -- and retails for $59.99. It's available at or at Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

With bamboo reeds, room fragrance gently wafts

When it comes to home fragrance, most people turn to candles or room sprays, but bath and body product retailer Thymes has developed an alternative in its new environmental fragrance collection.

The Reed Diffuser is the signature product, exhibiting bamboo reeds infused with fragrance oils in a glass vase, providing a welcoming aroma without the mess or fire hazard that sprays and candles can cause.

The collection centers on three fragrances -- clean and invigorating verbena, crisp and spirited cypress and warm and seductive amber. The scents are available in refresher oils to replenish the Reed Diffuser, sachets to layer with clothing or linens, decorative scented stones, as well as candles and aromatic mists.

Prices in the collection range from $18 to $45. To find out where Thymes products are sold, request a catalog or place an order, visit or call 800-366-4071.


* In "A Hands On Event Comes Home," Baltimore Clayworks turns its gallery into a hip nightspot to honor Sen. Barbara Mikulski for her support and advocacy of regional arts programs. Tickets for the event, taking place Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., are available in advance at the gallery for $100. Volunteers interested in staffing the event should contact Clayworks during regular business hours (10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday). Call 410-578-1919 for more information, or visit

* The Wheaton Festival of Fine Craft, this Saturday and Sunday in south New Jersey, is a juried show that will include the works of five Maryland artists. The festival will be held at the Wheaton Village, 1501 Glasstown Road, Millville, N.J. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students. Children 5 and younger are free. For more information, call 800-998-4552 or visit

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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