Q: I am in the market for a zebra rug. Should I buy new or hold out for an antique hide to accent my library? And when did animal prints become popular in home decor?
A: Jennifer Boles, interior design blogger and author of “In With the Old: Classic Decor from A to Z,” answers: I adore animal prints, especially leopard spots. Animal prints were actually popular back in Napoleon’s day. I suggest holding out for an antique hide because they have a nice-looking patina. One alternative that I really like are hooked rugs that look like zebra skins.
Alarm clock goes ‘smart’
Remember when an alarm clock just woke you?
Now there’s one that helps plan your day.
Paired with a smartphone, Quirky’s Wink Nimbus clock can be customized to tell you whatever you need to know the first thing in the morning – perhaps the traffic report, or your schedule, or even how your latest Facebook post is faring. The clock has four screens, each of which displays the information you choose. The information updates constantly, just as on a smartphone.
The Nimbus comes in black or white. It’s available for $89 at Home Depot and its website, HomeDepot.com, and also sells for $129.99 at Quirky.com.
New Nell Hill’s book
Mary Carol Garrity, owner of Nell Hill’s home-decor stores in Atchison and Kansas City, Mo., has written her eighth book, “Rooms We Love” ($29.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing). It visits four houses that were decorated using Garrity’s and friends’ tricks of the trade.
For instance, former Wichitan Marsee, owner of an English Tudor, has stylishly disguised kitchen cleaning utensils by placing them in a footed silver tray. Annie added a soulful feel to the dining room in her newly built country home by using various styles of chairs, including two large wingbacks. And Julie included a seating area in her large master bedroom, which is done up with tailored gray walls and creamy houndstooth fabric.
Every home in the book has at least one seating area (a couple of comfy chairs with a table in between). They’re apparently integral to the design of a home.