After years of designers bringing nature indoors, this spring's trend does the reverse: furniture for the outdoors mimicking indoor living.
Martha Stewart's newest furnishings at Kmart include pieces so comfortable, you can turn your porch, deck or patio into a living room or dining area.
The Victoria Collection has added a three-seat sofa with plush damask-print cushions, a scratch-resistant coffee table and two easy glide rocking chairs to accompany last year's biggest seller, a leaf-patterned dining table with rotating serving tray and mildew-resistant cushioned dining chairs.
Also new is the Galveston Collection, an eight-piece dining set with a frosted tempered-glass tabletop, rotating tray and four swivel chairs.
An addition to the Montecito Collection is a sleek steel frame outdoor bar with a pentagonal table and four chairs in easy-to-clean sling mesh. Complete dining and bar sets retail in the mid-$300s.
Top your tables with new Martha Stewart lanterns in punched Pagoda, framed mesh and cutout patterns filled with votive candles, retailing at $12 to $15. Add ambience with an umbrella or canopy in the mid-$100s.
Buy these products at Kmart or online at www.bluelight.com.
Despite all the jokes about wives' writing "honey-do" lists for their husbands, it seems women are the ones who get the to-do lists done.
According to ACE Hardware's recent survey of 1,000 homeowners, 70 percent of the time women assume some or all of the responsibility for the jobs around the house.
These "handyma'ams" are more likely to conduct research and seek help on home projects than their counterpart -- the handyman.
Spring is when to-do lists appear, either on paper or mentally, say respondents to the survey.
The home project areas topping America's lists are getting rid of clutter, reorganizing storage, improving or enhancing the yard or garden, replacing items such as an electrical switch or showerhead, painting a home's exterior, enhancing safety and repairing the driveway.
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