h'The Fence Bible' offers building tips
Jeff Beneke thinks good neighbors ought to make good fences. That's why he wrote "The Fence Bible," a guide to planning, designing and building fences that are both functional and attractive.
The book discusses a variety of fence styles and materials, covers design and layout consideration and contains how-to instructions.
"The Fence Bible" is published by Storey Publishing and is priced at $24.95 in softcover.
Gold has furniture line
Mitchell Gold, known for his sofas and chairs sold at Crate and Barrel and other furniture chains, recently released his first line of casegoods -- the furniture industry's term for chests, tables and dressers -- under the new company name, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
The 90 items range in price from $495 for a spool table to $6,500 for a cherry armoire. Another 20 sconces, lamps and chandeliers cost $150 to $600.
For more information, go to www.mitchellgold.com.
Paint colors expanded
Restoration Hardware, known for solid good taste and quirky accessories, has been gradually expanding the limited selection of paint colors that sets off the chain's furnishings.
Along with the Butter, Latte and Silver Sage that complement the RH mood, Lavender, Navy and Shore (a Wedgwood blue) debuted last week. Company spokesman Dave Glassman said another nine colors will be added in July.
A gallon of the paint is $25 at stores only.
Visit www.restorationhardware.com for locations.
Vacuum mud away
Spring is prime time for mud -- tracked by people and pets across carpets and rugs. The Georgia-based Carpet and Rug Institute counsels patience: Getting rid of mud is much easier if you don't try scrubbing but let it dry thoroughly and then vacuum.
For tougher stains, see the institute's Web site at www.carpet-rug.org for a list of recommended carpet cleaning products.
New products give style to spring cleaning
Warmer weather and longer days are here at last, which is wonderful. Less wonderful is that spring also brings the dreaded annual ritual of spring cleaning.
But don't despair. A shelf full of cool cleaning products on the market this year makes the prospect of facing grimy windows, multiplying dust bunnies and accumulated clutter less dispiriting and -- dare we say it -- even a little fun.
Wash clothes with white clover soap flakes that smell as fresh as they look. Freshen woodwork wearing rubber gloves in colors as trendy as a new purse. Gather old magazines in a canvas bin that gives storage a good name. Make a proper fuss over lampshades and books with an over-the-top rooster-feather duster.
Go ahead and invite spring indoors. It could be as easy as scooping detergent with a shell.
Grass-cycling beneficial to yards, saves time
Grass-cycling is the practice of leaving clippings on the lawn after mowing. When done properly, clippings quickly decompose and return nutrients to the soil naturally. Grass-cycling makes caring for your lawn easier and can reduce mowing time by as much as 50 percent because you don't have to bag or dispose of clippings.
When done correctly, the practice of leaving clippings on the lawn also slows water loss through evaporation and reduces the need for fertilization. To grass-cycle properly, cut grass when it is dry, and keep your mower blades sharp. Use the one-third rule -- mowing often enough so that no more than one-third of the grass blade is removed.