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By staff October 1, 2007

The CityLights and NightLight pillow collection from eff.ess has a simple, yet sophisticated square-on-square design that works well in your family room or in your formal living room.

These diamond-patterned, black-and-white dining chairs by Thayer Coggin bring a note of the Jazz Era into your dining room.

Intersecting spheres prove an interesting move from more traditional carpets in the Geo Spheres rug from Karastan’s Artisan collection, made of New Zealand wool.

The Chocolate Drop from the NewWave Caffe collection by Villeroy and Boch comes in mug, cappuccino, café au lait and espresso sizes and includes a pop-inspired platter that doubles as saucer and snack tray.


Set your table with fresh seaside style.

Sarasota hostesses love a beachy theme, but how can you create one that’s fresh and sophisticated instead of a cliché? Barbara Roane of Annabelle’s Home & Kitchen on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch suggests a sea-themed table in coral, cream and gold that’s elegant enough for a fashionable fall luncheon.

Roane’s inspiration was a coral-patterned tablecloth in two-toned naturals. She layered it with hand-beaded and embellished placemats with a shell and sequin border, then added a charger, dinner plate, dessert plate and salad bowl adorned with delicate painted shells. Pearl-handled flatware furthers the beach theme, as does the centerpiece, a stunning arrangement of ruby-red wild ginger and baby pineapples set atop a nautilus shell.

“The thing to remember,” says Roane, “is that there are no rules. Use whatever brings you joy.”

DESIGN RESOURCES: Coralline-patterned tablecloth by Palmer Smith for the Table, $204, matching square napkins, $20 each; placemats by Kim Seybert, $75 each; Seychelles-patterned dinnerware by L’Objet, $27 to $57; napkin rings by L’Objet, $64 for a set of four; rectangular tray, $114, and ice bucket, $140, by L’Objet in the Oceania pattern; flatware by Alain St. Joanis, five-piece setting in the Colchique pattern with pearl handles, $298, and salad servers, $266 for the set; caviar server in the Marietta pattern, $260, and salt cellar with spoon in the Lottie pattern, $85, by William Yeoward Crystal; pink wine glasses, $42 each, and champagne flutes, $26 each, by Abigail.


Recycled cassette tapes make a cool new fabric.

The buzz about Designtex’s new Sonic Fabric is actually emanating from the product; you can hear sounds literally woven into this textile. Texas-based artist Alyce Santoro invented the cloth as part of a program to develop new uses for post-industrial waste—in this case a fabric woven from reclaimed cassette tapes.

The result of collaboration between Designtex and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York for what they call their Material Matters program, Sonic will generate even more environmentally friendly design because a portion of the proceeds of the $192-per-yard fabric goes to the not-for-profit-organization.

Available in five colors—copper, onyx, granite, amethyst and cobalt—Sonic gets its silky luster from the tapes. Though sound is preserved because no finish or backing is applied to the textile, you hear better when a tape head from a reconfigured Walkman is drawn over the surface.

For her attention-getting prototype, Santoro created a custom sound collage, recording musicians, conversations and the noises of city streets on tapes slit and spun into the100 percent polyester Sonic. The fabric is strong because of the tape, and is suitable for hotels and offices as well as residential upholstery and drapes. It’s a great conversation piece, and a good way to reuse miles of unwanted tapes. Available through designers; --Carol Tisch

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