Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Show up your home’s elements

Knight Ridder Newspapers

In a well-designed house, the drama is in the details.

Architect and author Dennis Wedlick picks apart dozens of houses in his new book, “Good House Parts.” His purpose is to draw attention to the elements that give a house character and help his readers embellish their own homes with details that reflect their personalities.

Wedlick touches on all the major elements of a home, such as windows, floors, fireplaces, stairways and roof profiles. He educates readers on the various elements and incorporates plenty of photos to illustrate his points or to give readers ideas for unusual treatments.

Wedlick purposely keeps his focus narrow, so you notice the impact of contrasting window trim or the graceful punctuation of a hand-carved stair-tread end.

“Good House Parts” is published by the Taunton Press and sells for $34.95.

Sweeping made easy

Hoover has done the push broom one better with SpinSweep, a lightweight sweeper designed for use on hard surfaces outdoors.

SpinSweep has two brushes that rotate in opposite directions, pulling debris into a self-contained collection bin that can be detached and emptied. The device is powered manually: Pushing the sweeper makes the swiveling wheels turn, which in turn causes the brushes to rotate.

The sweeper has an adjustable brush height for various surfaces and picks up everything from sand and grit to leaves, grass clippings, pebbles and empty cans. It weighs 13 pounds and can be stored upright or hung flat on a wall.

SpinSweep is available at hardware stores and the lawn and garden sections of mass merchandisers. Retail prices are expected to range from $99 to $129.

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