In the news:
Feel festive with gear for spring
The Domestic Goddess offers up a chair both contemporary and comfortable, a lantern to beat the bugs and, wait for it, participatory wallpaper.
Pacific NW associate editor
O, what a festive season this is. We celebrate St. Paddy this very day, National Corndog Day on March 19, and Friday it was nothing but fun on that doubleheader holiday of Buzzard Day and The Ides of March.
To sum up? Spring. We're still really looking forward to spring. And here, dear, is gear for the seasons ahead.
Take a load off
And have a seat in Grillage by François Azambourg. His idea for this line of contemporary and surprisingly comfortable outdoor furniture was simply this: a sheet of perforated metal stretched to create a mesh, then folded, origami-style. In designer talk "Grillage tells the story of its manufacturing process (stretching, folding, creasing); it reveals everything about itself, from how it was designed to how it was produced."
Dress either the chair (from $765), armchair (from $1,005) or sofa (from $1,185) with a quilted covering for added comfort and a warmer look.
"It's so cool!" Kim Lavarello practically hollers into the phone. Lavarello is interior designer at Ligne Roset Seattle, and she's seen it all come and go over the past 10 years. "I had one guy who got his in black with fuchsia cushions.
"There's something weird about Grillage. It looks very designery, but it's so comfortable."
Comes in sky blue and white, as well as black. Ligne Roset Seattle, 112 Westlake Ave. N.; www.ligne-roset-usa.com.
Quit buggin' me
Bugs, bites, West Nile virus, oy. Repel! Repel! With the ThermaCELL Patio Lantern, touted as the world's first dual insect repellent/LED patio lantern. Also, touts say, it is the most effective mosquito-repellent device on the market (98 percent in Defense Department and Army testing) while "simultaneously being a very stylish patio lantern." Also, they do say, it is the least-toxic major insect-repellent device on the market, 100 percent DEET free.
Crank that baby up to be both light and insect killer or use functions separately. Lantern provides a 15-by-15-foot mosquito-free zone using allethrin, an artificial version of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums (science!). Also, it's silent, portable, odor free. Think patios, backyards, decks, picnics, barbecues, campsites for summer fun to come. $29.99. Find local retailers at www.thermacell.com/mosquito-repellent. Also at www.amazon.com.
Crawling the walls
Who are we kidding? We've got a lot more indoor time ahead before summer begins, you know, on the Fifth of July. It's enough to make you draw on the walls. So do that.
Wallstrips Color-By-Numbers by British designer Jenny Wilkinson and sold in the U.S. by www.2jane.com. Wallpaper strips are 15 feet (6 inches deep) of make-your-own fun for kids or grown-ups ($10). Apply with water, use crayons, pencils, pastels or any tool with color to complete. Choose from Insect Hustle Bustle, Floral Funk, Figure Fantasy, High C's Hijinx, Pixie Playtime and Spaceman Shuffle.
If wallpaper border isn't enough of a challenge, check out Wilkinson's website at www.jennywilkinson.com for her line of grown-up wallpaper in need of coloring (for those confined to a room for a very, very long time). Check out Venus Flutterby or the traditional-looking wallpaper print that, upon closer inspection, is really hammerhead sharks.