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An Open-and-Shut Case for Safe Jewelry A: If you've got it, flaunt it! And I bet your grandmother would have agreed. It's well worth an investment on your part to keep your heirloom jewelry both safe and accessible. A piece of furniture

you can lock is a logical beginning, but then again, it's so logical any thinking thief might right away hone in on it.

fashion-forward manufacturers of home fashions, who are thrilled by grays of all intensities.

A better option would be an unexpected hiding place, which must have inspired the clever designers at Hooker Furniture who came up with the handsome hardwood doorway-to-

Chella Textiles, Pearson Furnishings and York Wallcoverings are among design industry leaders championing the color gray all through the house — and in more than just 50 shades! "Chameleon-like ... more livable than black and more elegant than taupe," designers say of gray, a color that can range from charcoal to silver and even dove, and look smashing paired with extroverts like red, orange and apple green. Learn more at chellatextiles.com; pearsonco.com, and yorkwall.com. On the same color note, Restoration Hardware has made its name in furniture with generous helpings of silvery metallic pieces and dry, grayed finishes on wood that looks recycled. If so, its time has certainly come again in great style.

Door with a secret: Who knows what riches lie behind this mirror? Certainly not a jewelry thief! Photo Courtesy Hooker Furniture nowhere we show here. What looks like an architectural element, with its mirrored front,

Open the mirrored door and you've got 20 hooks and 48 pouches to fill with jewelry. And no one will guess it's there ... unless, of course, some sneaky thief reads this column.

Even French Heritage, the ne plus ultra of Gallic chic, introduced a "vieux bois," or "old wood" finish at the fall High Point furniture market in North Carolina. Available with or sans sheen, the lighter vieux bois pieces would stand out in a room full of darker woods.

Check it out at hookerfurniture.com.

Q: More than 50 shades of gray?

carved frame, and pediment top, is actually a vertical jewelry box that makes a grand impression yet takes up only inches of floor space.

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mother's jewelry, including several valuable necklaces and earrings. It seems wasteful to have good stuff and not wear it, but my husband is nervous and thinks it should stay in a safe deposit box. I'd rather find a dresser or wardrobe I can lock, something that would go with our traditional mahogany bed-

room furniture. Any recommendations?

Photo Courtesy Hooker Furniture

Q: I've inherited my grand-

A: Yes, indeed, according to

In fact, the other new look at French Heritage — digitally printed fabrics in oh-la-la colorways — would stand out in just about any room. The new digital technology offers breakthrough design innovations, according to the company's co-founder Henessy Wayser. She describes the prints as "modern baroque." Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style," and six other books on interior design. COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM.


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JB Sandlin Texas Builder of the Year Rose Bennett Gilbert

Q: I need a home office, but our house is pretty

much used up — we have four bedrooms and three teenagers. After reconsidering the way we use every room, I am thinking about converting the deep closet in our front hall into a tiny office. Does this make any sense?

A: Of course. It's your home and you are smart

to make it serve the needs of your personal lifestyle. As long as that closet is big enough for a desk, a chair and a good working light, I say to station a rack out in the hall for guests' coats and move right in.

In his helpful book, "New Rooms for Old Houses" (the Taunton Press), Shirley writes: "Portals add drama to the experience of passing between rooms." Here, the deep portal is accented

From left: 2012 Builder of the Year Ron Rohrabacher with Greg Bowling and Randy Bowling of Tropicana Homes, the 2013 Builder of the Year. Step into my portal: An open, shelf-lined entry separates a busy family room from quiet workspace. Photo courtesy of Randy O'Rourke, the Taunton Press.

with display shelves recessed into the wall, and beyond there sits a small but presumably productive home office. COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM.

At the recent Texas Association of Builders meetings in Austin, Texas an honor was bestowed on Tropicana Homes as they were named the JB Sandlin Texas Builder of the Year. The announcement was a surprise to Randy and Greg Bowling who had gone to the Hall of Honor dinner and awards thinking that there was

a special award for El Paso, but in fact the award was for Tropicana Homes. The event was also attended by El Paso Association of Builders executives, President Edmundo Dena, President elect Frank Torres and Executive Vice President Ray Adauto.

Western Precast Concrete Attains NPCA Certified Plant Distinction from certified plants, engineers, architects and contractors are assured they are receiving products that come from an organization dedicated to the highest level of quality throughout the manufacturing process. “Earning the distinction of NPCA Certified Plant Status assures that our products are being produced in a uniform manner, adhering to national ASTM designations for the highest quality available,” says Leo Feuerstein, Western Precast Concrete’s Operations Manager.

El Paso, Texas- December 2, 2013 – Western Precast Concrete, Inc, located in El Paso, Texas, is pleased to announce it has been awarded status as a National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) Certified Plant. The designation recognizes Western Precast Concrete as a precast concrete manufacturing plant operating at the highest standards of production and quality control. NPCA established its national Plant Certification Program in 1987 to ensure a consistent industry benchmark and a high degree of excellence among precast operations. The program involves a comprehensive review of all aspects of a plant’s manufacturing processes. To achieve certification, participants must pass an initial inspection. Plants then maintain certification by passing periodic, unannounced on-site inspections conducted by an independent engineering firm. According to Ty E. Gable, NPCA president, Western Precast Concrete has proven its commitment to producing high-quality precast products by attaining certification. By specifying NPCA certification and purchasing products

For more information about Western Precast Concrete call (915)859-9362 or visit www.westernprecast.com . To learn more about NPCA and its certification programs visit www.precast.org. photo www.westernprecast.com

The sliver of an office, which we show here, should offer ample inspiration. It's part of a family room but cleverly set apart by a deep portal — author Frank Shirley defines a portal as "the yield sign of room separation." A portal is open without a door, but it clearly marks a transition between areas and activities.

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Bright Ideas to Find the Right Light for Dining Rose Bennett Gilbert

works best over a dining table? And how high should we hang it? We are a pretty informal family, so nothing too fancy — I mean, not a crystal chandelier. Our furniture is oak, reproduction Victorian with pressed-wood designs in the chair backs.

A: You have a wide range of choices in lighting styles to suit your informal dining style, from a brass chandelier with a number of branches to a fixture made of stained glass, Murano glass or turned wood. For sheer drama, take a leaf from "Picture Perfect" by designer Scott Sanders. He lights up the pictured dining room with an astonishing stroke, an enormous lantern (from the design studio of Holly Hunt) that looks as if it were nabbed from the front hall of

fixture for size before you buy. Bring it home and view it in position (have someone on a stepstool hold it over the table while you decide).

It's also a delightful response to Sanders' client, who asked the de-

How high you hang it also depends largely on the light's size and the size of your table. Two key common-sense guidelines: It should be high enough that you're not looking directly at the light when you're seated, but not so low that you might bump your head when you stand.

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Q: What kind of lighting fixture

some city hall or court of law. Yet, it's in good proportion to the room and the table; it's the perfect complement to the elaborately beamed ceiling.

PHOTO SCOTTSANDERSLLC.COM

signer to come up with a "sexy" scheme for the dining room. Also on the list, lots of shine and shimmer: silk draperies, the mirrored silver sideboard, and walls wrapped in glass cloth with silver-painted flowers. See more of the designer's ideas at scottsandersllc.com.

A dramatically oversized lantern sheds a whole new light on a dining room. Photo courtesy of Michel Arnaud. Whatever style lighting fixture you choose, be sure it's properly scaled to your room and dining table — large

enough to shed the right light for dining, but not so large that it looms over the diners. Your eyeball is the best guide. You should always try a light

One final bit of advice: Always put a dining room light fixture on a dimmer switch. You want to have it bright enough to see well when you're, say, doing your homework on the table as well as soft enough for serene, even romantic, meals. Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design. COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM.


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Spotlight Homes December 2013