Saturday, April 19, 2003

In the Know

What's going on around the home

By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Shop talk

Seated in color: The eye-popping royal blue fabric on the gold lacquered chair is your first clue that the seating offered at the new SIT shop - for Seating Interior Themes - is something extraordinary. The museum-showroom approach, with chairs on mini-pedestal boxes, defines Thomas Hoskins' vision and energy. A designer of interior spaces in New York and Orlando, he saw business expansion possibilities in the many private requests spilling from his commercial work, some of it at Cartier and Bloomingdale's.

"It's very luxurious, very high-end," he says of his seating, "and not for the squeamish." He easily runs through the selection of more than 2,000 fabrics, all in-stock, including a bunny-soft mohair, stitched eel skin in five colors, tapestries, subtle white-on-white weaves, even patent leather.

His "gotcha" piece is covered in a cotton-backed polyurethane that can take a transfer of a favorite photograph for a one-of-a-kind seating statement.

Turn-around time is six to eight weeks for a custom chair with U.S.-made frame, costing $800-$3,500. 7850 Beechmont Ave. 474-8700.

Hotel lux: European white goose down comforters, silk quilts, Egyptian cotton sheets, lush towels, chic china, Italian and Portuguese fabrics and mouth-blown crystal - the "extras" one expects from luxury hotels - are part of the Hotel Collection, $25-$550, new to Lazarus at Kenwood Towne Centre store only, from Charter Club.

Earth smart

Veggie gardening CD: Though it's not a rake, hoe or new garden gadget, Purdue University has a handy tool for beginning gardeners, The Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening. More than a book, because it's interactive, the CD includes pictures and text as well as links to Web sites and books, guiding the green thumb wannabe through planning, planting seeds and seedlings and growing 30 of the most popular garden vegetables. Mac and PC compatible, $10.95 at

Cordless battery-powered mower: Imagine a mower with trimming and edging capabilities. Now imagine one that doesn't need gas or oil and starts with the push of a button. The Neuton, from Vermont's Country Home Products, is a cordless battery/electric mower that weighs 48 pounds - with the battery. Running for about an hour on a single charge, it's geared to those with quarter-acre or smaller lawns fed up with gas machines, leaking oil and tangling cords. $399. (800) 929-8401 or for information.

Contact Joy Kraft by phone: 768-8467; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:

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In the Know: What's going on around the home

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