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By staff March 1, 2008

Trend Watch

Forget the Spider Man sheets; put your baby (or grandbaby) down to nap on crisp, contemporary Sweet Violet bedding from Nurseryworks. $355 for a six-piece set. (888) 508-9540,

Radiant blooming pillows in eye-popping colors by Koko Company bring a burst of tropical sunshine. Choose either the Pollen or Kaleidoscope collections. $45 to $60. (888) 873-5656,

Wedding maven Vera Wang brings her stylish sensibility to the subtle floral pattern of the Vera Notions Fine Bone China for Wedgwood. $50 a plate. (800) 955-1550,

A perfect finishing touch to the modern room is the large Meridien pendant light by Lights Up! $370. (718) 513-3770,

Try This at Home

Bringing spring to your fireplace.

Once winter’s over, what do you do with the gaping black hole that is your fireplace? Marianne Eriksson of Marianne E has a stylish answer in the spectacular seashell-covered fireplace she created that’s on display in her home accessories boutique on South Palm Avenue. Inside the hearth she placed a large arrangement of silk hydrangeas, ranunculus and calla lilies in apple green, coral, yellow and dusty salmon tones to complement the colors of her boutique. (It’s set in a seashell container to match the fireplace theme, but you can use whatever container you prefer.) On the mantel is a pot of bright green ivy, “to bring the outdoors in,” she says.

“In the spring and summertime, you want something cheerful and bright,” Eriksson says. “If you don’t want to use silk flowers, find a beautiful folding screen that has flowers printed on it. Or fill the hearth with a basket or 20-inch clam filled with seashells. Some people fill the hearth with candles in a variety of heights; a good alternative to that is to spread the hearth floor with pebbles and place tea candles throughout. They don’t drip when lit, and they sparkle at night.” For extra drama, she suggests, strew polished sea glass among the pebbles.

Now that’s a hot idea. –Ilene Denton

Green Report

Set a tropical tone with plantation-grown products.

Perhaps so many Sarasota model homes are dressed in eco-chic Palecek furniture and accessories because the plantation-grown wood and woven grass fibers the company uses are perfect complements to our Florida-tropical lifestyle. What designers and their clients might not know is that California-based Palecek has been making its fashion statement with environmentally friendly natural materials for more than 30 years.

“Organic, sustainable, natural materials are very strong style elements right now, but we have always recognized the importance of conservation,” says company head Allan H. Palecek. The company has been a major contributor to the reforestation project in the Philippines, where for the past 15 years Palecek has been involved in planting more than a million trees. In addition to its environmental programs, the company strives to preserve the culture and heritage of its craftspeople by investing in their schools and local art programs.

The go-to source for woven rattan chairs and barstools, tropical-looking abaca footstools, wood-based lamps with shades of natural raffia and more, Palecek has now expanded into designs of mid-century Scandinavian influence. The collection broadens the options for consumers who want to buy environmentally friendly products with a more streamlined look. In addition to a cane-backed occasional chair made from quickly renewable rattan, the collection includes a plantation-grown mahogany veneer chair ($2,326). Both new chairs are upholstered in organic hopsack, a green fabric. –Carol Tisch

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