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Weathering the Storm  
While April showers bring May flowers, they also bring slippery floors. Save your hardwoods from their daily drenching by leaving umbrellas outside.
Made from sturdy wrought iron, this Victorian-style umbrella stand won’t blow away in even the most treacherous storm, and unlike most things it looks great even in ugly weather. Accessories in Brass, 4537 Magazine St., 899-6237, or go to www.accessoriesinbrass.com.


Direct Translation

Its name, le bois dore soleil, is as pretty as the mirror itself. Meaning gilt wooden sun, this unique piece was hand-crafted in France during the late 1800s. Its sun-sational beauty and charm can brighten any room in need of a little bit of sunshine. La Jolie Antiques & Interiors, 701 Metairie Rd., 835-2557.

Fired Up
The EcoSmart™ Fire is the hottest new thing in town. It’s been featured on HGTV and has graced the pages of publications nationwide. Now the flue-less fireplace is available locally. Because it requires no pipe or utility connection, it’s as mobile as any couch or coffee table and can be enjoyed anywhere—turning any room into a warm and welcoming refuge. EcoGreen Fire, 2031 Metairie Rd., 613-0955, or go to www.ecogreenfire.com.

The Chandelier Through the Centuries (Vissi d’Arte Books, $45) 
Award-winning writer and photographer Kerri McCaffety has combined detailed research with 200 breathtaking photographs to create a captivating pictorial on the evolution of the chandelier. Her quest for the fascinating fixtures took her around the globe and back—chandeliers from churches, castles and estates throughout Europe, River Road plantations, Garden District mansions and Royal Street shops are included. From her findings she has compiled what is said to be the definitive resource for the history of chandeliers ever published. DeVille Books, 736 Union St., 525-1846.

An Outsider’s View 
Even from across the Atlantic, European artist Mark Clouet captures some of our city’s most cherished landmarks as if they’re in his own backyard. With bold strokes, bright colors and vivid imagery, he creates artful and often abstract interpretations of the streetcar, Pirates Alley and lush French Quarter courtyards. Heirloom Furnishings, 1400 St. Charles Ave., 671-8298.

Grillin’ on the Go
If the early bird gets the worm, then the multi-tasker gets the steak. And a good steak at that! This remote thermometer, a Williams-Sonoma exclusive, allows you to monitor temperature and cooking times within distances up to 150 feet. While you’re hard at work with other tasks, your favorite meats and poultry are busy cooking to perfection. Williams-Sonoma, The Shops at Canal Place, 523-3993, Lakeside Shopping Center, 828-3769, or go to www.williams-sonoma.com.


Laid-Back Living

City slickers and suburbanites agree that the Uptown Adirondack Collection is a great fit for patios everywhere. The new collection from Homecrest reinvents the classic All-American Adirondack style and includes a dining chair, “chat” chair, and swivel rocker. Each boasts wide armrests and softened curve fronts for stylish comfort, and low-maintenance aluminum frames for years of use. Homecrest, 800/345-4852, or go to www.homecrest.com.

Natural Tendencies
Drawing inspiration from the beauty found in her own garden, artist India Stewart creates pretty plants, beautiful birds and irresistible insects from cast resin and gold leaf. Like the elephant-ear table sconce, her designs include a garden variety of sculptures, jewelry, picture frames and other ornaments and adornments for the home and body. Magasin for the Home, 5419 Magazine St., 899-0907, or go to www.indiastewart.com.

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