Cold weather offers challenges that, with a little creativity, can be interpreted as opportunities to splurge on luxe fabrics that provide warmth.
Bombay Company offers wickedly sumptuous, "I'm not leaving this room" bedding in a quilted burgundy silk/cotton blend or velvet, accented with sari-inspired gold passementerie.
The line includes shams and accent pillows, $30 to $70; sheer curtains, $50; and bed skirts and duvet covers, $90 to $300, depending on size. They're available at some Bombay Co. stores and www.bombayco.com.
BIRDS' BED AND BREAKFAST: Think about restaurants in the most pared-down terms: They provide food and shelter, thus meeting two of our fundamental needs. But animals can't patronize restaurants, yet their needs for food and shelter grow as temps drop.
Enter the edible log cabin from All About Birds, an Internet business created by former Baltimore Zoo employee Maureen O'Brien. The structure, handmade from millet stalks, can be spread repeatedly with a seed/suet mixture, and the chimney holds larger seeds.
True, birds will never know the luxury of being waited on. But then again, they needn't leave tips. $49.95 at www.allaboutbirds.com.
SHELF-HELP: God bless physics. Without it, vertical storage would be impossible -- and little brings order to chaos as quickly as shelving.
The Container Store offers some of the best-looking shelving we've seen lately. Its Skandia line is a sleek, grown-up version of the humble pine do-it-yourself stock sold by That Really Big Swedish Chain.
Constructed of lacquered Scandinavian fir, Skandia offers the warmth and clean lines associated with modern Scandinavian furniture. These versatile pieces complement most decors, and work well in a range of spaces, from family room to home office to guest room. The individual components -- among them drawer pulls, drawers and shelves -- range from $4 to $260, but to give two examples, an entertainment center (16 inches deep by 104 inches wide by 82 inches tall) sells for $1,144, and a storage and display unit (16 inches deep by 60 inches wide by 50 inches high) sells for $902.
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